“ …regardless of your political affiliation, at some point we need to stand up and fight for our future.”
by Paul McKenna, APWU Milwaukee Area Local 3 President
In 2016, the National APWU was successful in contract negotiations. While there were many contractual enhancements some of the bigger ticket items were that we were able to secure included a decent pay raise for the next two years (with back pay) and retention of the no lay off clause and cost of living allowances. We were also able to retain limits on excessing and an all career workforce in MVS and Maintenance.
The PSE’s also seen many benefit increases in this contract as well. They received a good pay rate increase (as well as back pay), better health insurance options, and paid holidays. Many were also converted to career.
The National APWU was also successful in winning a National Labor Relations Board charge against the Postal Service in regards to the fight against subcontracting our work out to Staples. This is a big win for our members as it protects our work from being pieced out to private companies.
On a local level, we were very successful in negotiating new Local Contracts for all of the Associate Offices that recently joined the Milwaukee Area Local. We also negotiated new improved language for overtime provisions and holiday calls at others.
Looking forward, the Milwaukee Area Local will conduct elections for officers. Please take the time to fill out your ballots when they arrive at your home and get involved in your union.
We still have many issues that need to be resolved here in Milwaukee. In the Milwaukee Installation and some of the Associate Offices, we are still trying to resolve the issue of management using 204b’s in violation of the National Contract. This violation has been going on for too long. Grievances are still being filed by the pay period.
We also need to address the problem in the automation department of how management is not assigning employees to the job as it was posted, or to their “Principle Assignment Area”.
We have many safety concerns that need to be resolved; everything from a recent armed robbery at a city station, truck drivers having their personal items stolen from their trucks while unloading at stations, to the maintenance department not having the proper safety equipment on lifts.
One of the more important issues that we are going to have to keep in our sights is what kind of changes Congress is going to throw at Postal Workers. There have been many ideas already floated around to change our benefits and retirement.
I realize that Postal Workers are on all sides of the political spectrum but , regardless of your political affiliation, at some point we need to stand up and fight for our future. Unfortunately, some members of Congress have their eyes on union workers and (specifically Postal Workers) to weaken our standard of living.
It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican, Democrat or an Independent, if it affects your job, it affects your family. If Congress wants to reduce our benefits or retirement, I hope you are going to get involved and fight for what our union has fought for years to obtain; that is a decent standard of living for all members of the American Postal Workers Union.