NATIONAL POSTAL MAIL HANDLERS UNION LOCAL 303
SERVING AND ORGANIZING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA & LAS VEGAS NEVADA
JUNE 15, 2018
Congress Collaborates in Support of Federal Workers
This week, some members of Congress reached out to the White House in unified opposition to President Trump’s recently issued Executive Orders issued on May 25, 2018. The Executive Orders were a direct attack on federal employees and the unions that represent them.
Concerned House members urged the President to uphold the current law and long-standing federal labor statutes that protect America's civil service from discrimination, unfair treatment, and sexual harassment. The letter outlined the importance of employee representation rights, collective bargaining, and due process, highlighting the need to work collaboratively to ensure that the workplace is safe, fair, and productive.
A contingency of Senators also raised collective objections, in a letter to OPM Director Jeff T.H. Pon, to Trump Administration proposals to cut federal retirement benefits to federal and postal employees. Specifically, the group addressed legislative and budget proposals that would increase Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) contributions from employees, eliminate the FERS supplement for employees who retire beginning in 2018, base retirement calculations on the average of the highest 5 years of salary instead of the current 3, and reduce or eliminate cost-of-living adjustments.
The Senators wrote in part, “we urge you to move past draconian cuts that harm the financial security of federal employees in every state across the country, and instead commit to comprehensive reforms that modernize our government's compensation system in a way that encourages the best and brightest talent to join the ranks of our dedicated civil servants.”
The Executive Orders issued by the White House on May 25, 2018, and the various legislative and budget proposals emanating from the Trump Administration, should remind members that elections have consequences. As we approach the 2018 midterm elections, you are encouraged to register and vote.
NPMHU ACHIEVES 10,000 MHA CONVERSIONS TO FULL-TIME REGULAR
The NPMHU will continue to champion wage and benefits improvements for all mail handlers. MHAs will continue to convert to career, enjoy holiday pay, and file and win grievances. MHAs or former MHAs will also become stewards and arbitration advocates. MHAs or former MHAs will be elected to leadership positions and will sit on Local Union Executive Boards and Local Union Councils across the country. MHAs or former MHAs are the future of the NPMHU: that is a mathematical certainty.
JUNE 7, 2018
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Sanders Outlines Plan to Strengthen Postal Service in a letter Thursday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the chairman of the president’s task force on the Postal Service.
Sanders includes several recommendations to help the Postal Service succeed and thrive into the 21st century, without moving toward privatization and endangering the jobs of the 640,000 Americans employed by the Postal Service.
JUNE 6, 2018
Making the Postal Service Great Again:
Workforce Submission to the White House Task Force on the USPS
Executive Summary This attached report is submitted by the four postal unions, which represent more than 500,000 postal employees, who are just a small part of the 7.5 million Americans employed in the broader $1.4 trillion mailing industry. Highlights include:
JUNE 1, 2018
White House Shifts Focus to Federal Employees with 3 Executive Orders
The executive orders issued by President Trump on Friday, May 25, 2018 are linked below:
EO: Executive Order Promoting Accountability and Streamlining Removal Procedures Consistent with Merit System Principles
EO: Executive Order Ensuring Transparency, Accountability, and Efficiency in Taxpayer Funded Union Time Use
EO: Executive Order Developing Efficient, Effective, and Cost-Reducing Approaches to Federal Sector Collective Bargaining
It is the position of the NPMHU that the Postal Service and postal employees are not directly affected by Trump’s Executive Orders, primarily because the USPS is not an executive agency and postal employees are not covered. Politically speaking, however, these EOs could have an impact on future bargaining in the Postal Service, postal reform legislation, the Trump Task Force on the Postal Service, etc. so the NPMHU is monitoring carefully.
The U.S. Supreme Court will make a decision in the coming weeks whether or not to undermine the freedom of millions of teachers, nurses and other public workers to have strong unions. Today, the AFL-CIO has launched a new website, FreedomToJoin.org, that provides critical information about the Janus v. AFSCME case, counters misinformation, explains the value of union membership and draws attention to the wave of collective action in America.
Big-moneyed corporate interests have brought Janus v. AFSCME forward because they understand how working people in unions can negotiate a fair return on our work. While its focused on public employees, Janus is part of a multipronged attack on our institutions and values we hold dear. Right-wing corporations have tried to crush public unions for decades, and they’ve poured tens of millions of dollars into this case alone in an effort to slash pay and cut benefits for nurses, EMS workers, 911 dispatchers, security personnel and others who keep our communities clean and safe and provide other essential public services.
Yet even in the face of these attacks, all over the country workers are organizing and striking as we haven’t seen in years. America is waking up to the benefits of unionism, and we’ll continue to organize and mobilize, no matter what the Supreme Court decides.
MHAs RECEIVE WAGE INCREASE OF 20 CENTS PER HOUR
In accordance with Article 9.7 of the 2016 National Agreement between the NPMHU and the Postal Service, all Mail Handler Assistants will receive an hourly wage increase of $0.20 per hour effective on Saturday, May 26, 2018.
This increase is in addition to the general wage increase of 2.3% that will be effective in approximately six months, on November 24, 2018. There also will be another increase of $0.21 per hour effective in May 2019. The 20 cent per hour increase raises the Level 4 MHA hourly rate to $15.66 and the Level 5 MHA hourly rate to $16.50, which is an increase of approximately 1.3% and 1.2% respectively.
These additional increases were included in the 2016 National Agreement to help close the current gap between MHAs and career employees and to reduce attrition amongst MHAs.
President Hogrogian and Secretary-Treasurer Dwyer Meet with Presidential Task Force During 120 Day Study of USPS
The Trump Administration issued an Executive Order creating a task force charged with evaluating the operations and finances of the U.S. Postal Service, covering topics like pricing, USPS policies, and workforce costs. Specifically, the Task Force is being chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury or his designee, and other members include the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and any other department or agency head the Chair may designate.
National President Paul Hogrogian and National Secretary-Treasurer Tim Dwyer, were invited to the Treasury Building on May 15, 2018 to meet with representatives of the Task Force. In attendance were a host of government officials designated not only by the Treasury Department, but also by OMB and OPM. The “listening session,” as the Task Force described it, was led by Kipp Kranbuhl, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Small Business, Community Development & Housing Policy, and Clay Berry, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for the Office of Financial Markets.
Hogrogian and Dwyer led the conversation, starting with a description of mail handlers, their work, and their contribution to the Postal Service. Because the NPMHU was the first outside stakeholder invited to meet with the Task Force, the Union also provided a short overview of USPS finances and its network operations since enactment of the PAEA in 2006, through the Great Recession of 2008, and in relation to the recent electronic diversion of mail volume. There also were discussions relating to ongoing legislative efforts at postal reform, the need to reject additional enforcement of pre-funding for retiree health or pension costs, the use of USPS assumptions in calculating unfunded liabilities, and the intrinsic value attributable to the existing USPS monopolies, the network infrastructure maintained by the Postal Service, and the need for continuing universal service.
Once the evaluation is completed, the Task Force is supposed to develop recommendations on administrative and legislative reforms for the Postal Service. Only time will tell whether this Task Force is able to stimulate appropriate reform, or whether its written report provides just another addition to the landfill of prior reports that were essentially pointless and therefore correctly ignored.
WORKPLACE DEMOCRACY ACT INTRODUCTION
With public support for unions at 61 percent, the highest in 15 years, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and their colleagues in the Senate and House are introducing legislation that would strengthen the middle class by restoring workers' rights to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. The legislation has been endorsed by virtually every major union in America.
Thanks for serving
The Postal Service is showing its appreciation for employees who are military veterans by presenting them with military-style challenge coins.
Historically, the challenge coin is a symbol of military unit identity and camaraderie. They are awarded to service members for special achievement or mission participation.
“Military veterans make up a significant part of our workforce and their contributions are invaluable to postal operations,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Jeffrey Williamson. “We are proud to be able to show our appreciation for their service both in uniform and to the Postal Service.”
USPS is offering veterans the coins to mark Military Appreciation Month, which the nation observes each May.
Employees who are veterans and have five or more years of service with USPS will receive a coin and letter of thanks from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. Veterans with fewer than five years of employment will receive a certificate of appreciation.
USPS is one of the largest civilian employers of veterans. The organization will present the coins, letters and certificates to eligible employees at local recognition events throughout May.
The coin is double-sided and in the shape of a military dog tag. One side of the coin displays the Postal Service logo and a message thanking the employee for his or her service. The other side features an American flag design stamped with the words “Proud Veteran.”
The National Postal Mail Handlers Union has been a sponsor and a participant of the JDRF Walk to cure diabetes for over 20 years and we will continue to walk until Type One becomes Type None! This year our walk will be held on the National Mall. The NPMHU Team will be walking in Washington, DC: Sunday, June 3, 2018. We need your support. A dollar here and there adds up, no matter how small you may think it is to someone with Diabetes it’s a huge gift.
CLICK JDRF ABOVE FOR MORE INFO
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Questions & Answers about Diabetes in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’S TASK FORCE
ON THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SYSTEM
(Click White House below for details)
USPS Statement on Executive Order Establishing the Task Force on USPS System (APRIL 12, 2018)
The Postal Service serves a vital role for American commerce and the American people, as we have for over 240 years. Congress structured the Postal Service to pay for our universal retail, processing and delivery network entirely through the sale of high-quality mail and package products and services, without receiving any tax revenues to support our operations.
To ensure that we can continue to provide prompt, reliable, and efficient universal postal services in a self-sufficient fashion in today’s increasingly digital world, fundamental statutory reforms to the structure under which we are required to operate are needed. As we have repeatedly stressed, these business model problems are serious, but solvable, and the President’s executive order establishing the Task Force on the United States Postal System provides an opportunity to further consider these important public policy issues.
An open and transparent review process in which the perspectives of all stakeholders are fully represented to develop reform proposals could benefit American businesses and consumers. While these recommendations are being developed and then considered by the President and Congress, it remains necessary to put the Postal Service on firmer financial footing through immediate legislative and regulatory reform.
We therefore continue to urge Congress to enact the pending postal reform legislation and the Postal Regulatory Commission to replace the current price cap on our mailing products. We will continue to aggressively manage our business, and to serve the American public.
April 8, 2018
Local 303 Mail Handlers and Mail Handler Assistants
Over the past few months the Local has had an unprecedented amount of activity that has cost the Local time and money. As your Local President I want to keep you informed and up to date on some current events. I want you to know that your new Executive Board which includes me, all believe in complete transparency.
The first event is in regards to an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint regarding sexual harassment filed against the Local. This charge was not filed against a mail handler, the charging party chose to come after the Local. Around November 2, 2017 I received the complaint by mail about 10 days after taking office. The complaint covered the period February 2017 to October 2, 2017. This was the first time I had ever heard of a sexual harassment EEO against the Local. I called the National Office and they referred us to a local labor law attorney.
The Executive Board followed the advice of the attorney from day one. All of the decisions that were made were under the direction of our attorney. Some of the actions taken have been questioned on the workroom floor and this has a lot to do with the rumor mill. I’m providing the membership as many facts as I can during this active investigation. As stated in the E-Board minutes several times, there will be complete disclosure once the investigation is finalized. We are within weeks of the process being completed. The specifics so far include:
1. We’ve retained an attorney
2. It was the unanimous decision of the E-Board to take the attorney’s advice and relieve the Branch President (accused party) of duty.
3. We hired an independent investigator to create a report for the Local. A copy will be made available at each branch.
4. We scheduled mediation and our attorney was able to settle the sexual harassment complaint that was filed against the Local. This action saved the Local the expenses associated with going to court.
5. We appointed Vice President Juan Torres to take on the responsibilities of the Branch President during the active investigation.
6. Juan Torres was a Branch President for over 15 years in Pasadena and there is no additional cost to the Local.
7. The Branch President that was relieved of duty is still being paid a Branch President allowance.
8. The estimated cost for settlement attorney fees and investigator costs are about $18,000 to date. A final total will be made available at the conclusion of the settlement.
The next topic is regarding our Local Vice President that has Article X charges pending. The rumor mill talks about him being relieved of his duties. The rumor mill has linked two different issues together, to include internal Article X charges and an external federal EEO complaint that are both completely different. The facts are that a sexual harassment EEO is not the same as Article X charges. An EEO if not settled in mediation which is ordered by the court is adjudicated in a court of law. The judge or jury will rule if the party is innocent or guilty. Article X charges are an internal policing process that is used for violations of our Constitution. The violation may or may not be illegal but may warrant a trial.
In the case of the of the Article X charges against the Vice President the new Executive Board members have not reviewed the charges. The previous Executive Board did not complete their constitutional duty of adjudicating this Article X charge before leaving office in 2017. The current E-Board with instructions from the National President will meet according to the Constitution to have a consultation meeting. This will be our first time reviewing the charge. The Constitution requires that we make a determination if charges are frivolous, procedurally defective, and timely. We will do that. Juan will not be a part of that decision.
I would like to conclude this note from the President with some great news. The process for canceling the letters received that identified mail handlers to be excessed has started. About 123 mail handlers at LAP&DC received letters stating that they would be excessed and I am happy to report that event has officially been canceled. We have also been able to do the same for Anaheim and will continue until all excessing events have been canceled.
USPS News Link 4/27/18 – The Postal Service is continuing its campaign to educate employees about the Hatch Act. The law, which dates to 1939, prohibits postal and other federal employees from engaging in political activity while on duty, while wearing a uniform, while on federal property or while inside a federal vehicle. A new message for employees highlights the real-life case of “Michaela” — not her real name — a retail associate who used her personal phone to make more than 100 political posts on a social media account while she was on the clock. Following an investigation, Michaela was suspended without pay for more than a month. USPS is sharing Michaela’s example through messages in employee news publications and on Postal Vision video monitors. The organization previously offered the example of “George,” a letter carrier who was disciplined after broadcasting a political rant on social media while wearing his uniform.
NPMHU VS. USPS NLRB F-1 SCHEDULER COMPLAINT UPDATE 2/27/2018