Mail Handlers Local 323

Representing Mail Handlers and MHAs working for the United States Postal Service

Local President's Page

September 2020 Update

Moving forward during difficult times tends to present a unique set of challenges.  This is particularly true if it’s necessary to adapt an approach to be more responsive to circumstances.  Still, we can’t be deterred from making necessary changes solely because times are difficult.  It would be easy to sit back and wait for things to return to some semblance of normalcy; but the path of least resistance is seldom a path of progress.


This dynamic is representative of some discussions held at the August meeting of the Local Union Council.  Your Local Union has two governing bodies.  The Local Executive Board and the Local Union Council.  The Local Executive Board is responsible for the operation of the Local Union.  The Local Union Council, which is comprised of the Local Executive Board members and all Branch Presidents, serves limited but focused functions.  One of those functions is the collective bargaining goals of the Local Union.


When convened as the Local Union Council and discussing collective bargaining goals, the Council members must take into consideration the needs of nine Branches across two States.  Generally, this concerns grievance activity and begins with an analysis of our performance.  We evaluate what we’re doing well, what we’re doing adequately, where we need to improve, and how well we’re implementing new provisions of the contract.  We develop new strategies or approaches in response to changing circumstances. 


The next step in the process concerns implementation.  Where do we start?  Implementation of new strategies begin in the metro Branches and Fargo.  It starts with one Steward, in one area, on one tour, and spreads from there.  If something doesn’t work out exactly as planned, we refine our approach and continue moving forward.  The strategy will spread across the tour, to other tours, and eventually be used throughout the installation.  The next step involves rolling out the strategy to other installations.  As you can imagine, implementing something new in facilities hundreds of miles apart presents another set of challenges.


Time for some pointed questions.  Did the Local Union Council come up with some new strategies?  Are new strategies being implemented in Local 323 right now?  Why am I being so vague?  Ok, I’ll spill the beans, we didn’t sit in that room for five hours playing cards.