March 2023 Update
On March 13th, the National Union announced the ratification of the 2022 National Agreement. While some have decried certain aspects of this Agreement or the paltry level of the Membership participating in its ratification, the fact remains that it is now our job to enforce this Agreement. Recently we were notified that the effective date of changes to the contract language will be Saturday, April 8, 2023. This does not change the date of implementation of the provisions for which the parties negotiated specific dates in the 2022 National Agreement.
Implementing a new contract starts with providing information. Representatives must be informed of the specifics of applying new contractual language, Members must be informed of new contractual rights, and we even try to inform management that their obligations have changed. Believe it or not, management on the floor doesn’t always get the memo. The most important interaction, of course, is between the Representative and the Member. The Representative is responsible for enforcing the rights of the Member and the Member informs the Representative when their rights have been violated. This is straightforward, it happens every day throughout the Local Union. A new National Agreement merely adds more topics to the conversation.
It may be a couple of months before a printed version of the 2022 National Agreement is mailed to each member; so, for now, we’re working with the text changes outlined in the ratification and the 2019 National Agreement. A bookmarked copy of the text changes is available here 2022 National Agreement Changes and in the Member’s Center.
So, let’s look at a couple of the new provisions that we’ll be implementing.
HOURS OF WORK
Section 8.2 D
In postal installations which have 200 or more work years of employment in the regular work force, career employees in mail processing shall have consecutive scheduled days off, unless otherwise agreed to by the parties at the local level.
The first posting of vacant duty assignments following April 8, 2023, can’t have a bid with non-consecutive (split) days off. If you’re a full-time regular looking to bid and see a job posted with split days off, please report it to your Steward. Odds are they’ll already be aware of the situation (we’ll be watching like a hawk), but it never hurts to contact your Steward.
HOURS OF WORK
All MHAs will be offered a minimum of one (1) nonscheduled day each service week, except during the peak season exception period in their installation. Management will notify MHAs of their assigned nonscheduled day by the Wednesday preceding the service week.
On the first Wednesday after April 8, 2023, Management must make MHAs aware of the off day they will be offered next week. If you’re an MHA and it’s Wednesday, April 12th, and you don’t know what your off day will be next week, ask to see a Steward. This might be one of those areas where management didn’t get the memo.
Regardless of whether you’re a Mail Handler or MHA, if you’re deaf or hard of hearing, you should report any accommodation issues to your Steward. The right to accommodation for employees who are deaf or hard of hearing has been expanded in detail under a MOU contained in the 2022 National Agreement.
There are some good changes in the 2022 National Agreement. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with them. I encourage you to ask questions of your Stewards and to report any violation of which you become aware. Remember, your participation in your Union is valued, your Union exists to answer your questions, your Union exists to enforce your rights, and together, we will enforce them all.