Mail Handlers Local 323

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

Local President's Page

October 2021 Update

Things don’t appear to be going smoothly as the Postal Service implements changes and attempts to fill authorized positions with new MHAs. Moreover, the new supervisors who have been recently promoted are only adding to the chaos. There has never been a better time to participate in your Union and support your Representatives.


The cause of the current difficulties seems to center around an inability to recruit and retain new MHAs. To be sure, the lure of employment with the Postal Service is not what it once was. There appear to be two primary causes of the situation. First, the starting wage for MHAs is no longer competitive. Every day people drive by signs from FedEx, UPS, and Amazon, offering a $20.00 to $22.00 an hour starting wage. Some companies are even offering retention bonuses of thousands of dollars after a period of employment. Secondly, many new hires are unwilling to subject themselves to the working conditions. Newly hired MHAs are routinely scheduled to work 12 hours a day and 6 days a week. Add to that the inability of management to provide competent supervision, arrange training, or provide any semblance of humane treatment, and this result should be expected.


So how did we get here? The road we’re on started many years ago. It began with several plans implemented by previous Postmaster Generals. Some were based on closings and consolidations which included excessing thousands of employees from their installations, while others relied upon computer programs such as the function 1 scheduler or function 1 review to continually reduce employee complements. Now we have a new Postmaster General who is opening 46 new Postal Support Annexes, increasing career complements, and attempting to hire new employees. This represents a complete reversal of the course set by his predecessors. Unfortunately, the managerial support structure seems ill prepared and ill equipped to implement such a reversal. An organization the size of the Postal Service doesn’t turn on a dime.


So, what’s the answer? The answer for us is at the bargaining table. On September 14th National President Hogrogian issued a call soliciting proposals for the 2022 National Agreement. This provides every Member with a voice on the terms of our next contract. All proposals must be submitted by January 28, 2022. Formal bargaining will begin in June of 2022. A copy of the proposal form is located on the home page. You may provide your proposal directly to the National Union or have it submitted by the Local Union. As in the past, your Representatives, Officers, and I, are available to help with any proposal. Don’t hesitate to ask.


Things may continue to be difficult for a while. Maybe that’s the cause of my somewhat indignant tone. Or perhaps I’m just getting old (and cranky).