2019 Contract Update #8
Date: September 19, 2019
You are reading the eighth Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2019 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed about the issues raised during this round of bargaining.
Bargaining has escalated in intensity, as both USPS representatives and the NPMHU team have spent the past six days in meeting rooms of the hotel discussing revisions, continuing subcommittee discusssions on especially heated topics, and holding internal team meetings to assess the state of negotiations.
At the time of this writing, the parties have agreed to initial six tentative agreements, and have decided which of the contracts existing Memoranda of Understanding will continue as written without further debate. The Postal Service has only begun to present additional revisions to our team at daily Main Table meetings. We are reviewing and revising all new submissions, while emphasizing those the Union has submitted previously to encourage their continued discussion.
The CAD representatives on our bargaining team have been reaching out regularly, sometimes repeatedly over the course of a day, to the field—to our Local Unions and Regional Offices—to obtain more evidence which demonstrates the necessity of certain proposals. The Postal Service might not take our word for it, but they certainly will be listening to yours. This collaboration is crucial, and greatly appreciated. Our side of the bargaining table extends far beyond the eight chairs present in the room.
The NPMHU also is carefully watching the recent and ongoing negotiations amongst our fellow postal unions. The Rural Letter Carriers have all but finalized their new three-year agreement, and the APWU remains engaged in interest arbitration. Meanwhile, the NALC is bargaining toward the same deadline as the NPMHU.
Still, though the parties have met almost daily for the past two weeks, the parties have only recently begun their discussions of the crucial economic proposals—including those that are high priority and must-have items for our workforce. Of course, the NPMHU will continue to focus on these issues as bargaining nears its conclusion.
All of our membership plays a role in bargaining by continuing to stay informed. We thank you for your participation—from your earlier submission of proposals during the survey by the Field Negotiating Committee, to your responsiveness in the contract’s final days. Our September Update discussing this round of bargaining in full will be released soon, as well as any further updates stemming from these last 24 hours of negotiations. It is certainly not over until it’s all over.
Following this final week of negotiations, we will be looking ahead to the SAMLU meetings scheduled for the end of September and the beginning of October. Local Union Presidents will meet here in Washington, DC to review the state of negotiations. Many discussions will be facilitated to ask and answer questions, provide feedback, and present specific priorities for the period of this contract and beyond.