March 2020 Update
It’s incredible how quickly things can change. Discussions concerning the ratification of the tentative agreement were in full swing just in the couple of weeks past. Now, due to the onset of the coronavirus, that almost seems like a lifetime ago. The counting of the ballots for ratification of the tentative agreement has been delayed and it is now scheduled to begin on March 30, 2020. Having spoken with Officers, Representatives, and Members, from within and outside of Local 323, the sentiment seems to be that the tentative agreement will be overwhelmingly ratified. If that turns out to be the case, then this will provide some certainty to our workplace. It will be nice to not have to worry about our contract with everything else that’s happening.
While the uncertainty regarding our contract may be removed, we continue to deal with a workplace where uncertainty abounds. Many people at all levels of the Union are working hard to assist the Membership with all aspects of the developing circumstances. The National Union has negotiated several Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) for the purpose of allowing the Membership to balance their work lives with their personal responsibilities. This started with an MOU Expanding Sick Leave for Dependent Care and an MOU which establishes Additional Paid Leave for MHA’s. An additional agreement related to step 3 and arbitration time limits has been put in place and an MOU to allow for the hiring of MHA’s above the cap is in place until May 25, 2020.
At the Local level we continue to respond to the questions and concerns of the Membership in every Branch. I’m emailing information directly to each Branch as soon as it is received, pretty much around the clock. You may keep yourself informed by visiting the National Union’s web site or by downloading the NPMHU app. Do not hesitate to contact your Branch Representative or the Local office with any issues you may have.
While Mail Handlers are considered essential employees of the Postal Service, and the Postal Service is considered an essential service of the United States, I am committed to the proposition that the Union is an essential service to the Members. We are here for you and we will be here for you, no matter what.