What Are Some Details About the APWU Contract Negotiation in 2015?


Quick Answer

During the 2015 American Postal Workers Union contract negotiation, the APWU requested fair wages and wage increases where necessary, subcontracting limits, an increase in career jobs and better conditions for Postal Support Employees. The U.S. Postal Service proposed that cost-of-living increases be eliminated. It also suggested that workers contribute more money to health insurance coverage, while reducing benefits for future employees. Additionally, the USPS fought for an increase in the number of non-career employees.

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Full Answer

American postal workers are represented by two union bodies: the American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association. On May 27, 2015, disagreements over the future of postal worker benefits caused contract negotiations to stall for the NRLCA and USPS management. In June, the two groups brought in a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to resolve the conflict. The result was an extension of the contract that was already in place until the two parties could reach a settlement.

The mediation process continued into the fall, when the postal workers and the USPS agreed tentatively on a number of aspects of the new contract. However, the status of new, lower-paid third-tier employees, the increase in health care costs and the pay procedure continued to be sticking points for the APWU. The case was assigned an arbitrator in November 2015; it was expected to enter arbitration in January 2016. The entire process could be resolved by June or July 2016.

Although the contract entered arbitration, negotiators continued to work with the two parties to arrive at agreeable terms. One of the issues of concern to postal workers was the problem of poor customer service, including lengthy delivery times and inadequate post office service hours. Postal workers blamed these shortfalls on management decisions.

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