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NRLCA Reaches Tentative Agreement with USPS for Three-Year Contract
The NRLCA and Postal Service have negotiated a tentative agreement to cover the 3-year period from May 21, 2015 to May 20, 2018. In this special edition of The National Rural Letter Carrier, you will find the details of the tentative agreement, including an explanation of proposed changes to the existing contract language. This agreement must be ratified by a majority of the voting membership to become effective.
We began meeting with the Postal Service in March 2015 with every intention of trying to reach a negotiated contract settlement before the May 20 contract expiration date. In many ways, the conditions favored a deal: The Postal Service’s financial position was considerably better than it was when we were last in bargaining. We had a new Postmaster General in Megan Brennan, who has made real efforts to connect with the postal unions and listen to our concerns. And finally, the issue that has repeatedly stood in the way of a deal – time standards – was off the table because of the ongoing industrial engineering project.
However, despite our best efforts, at the time, there was just too much of a gulf between the parties’ positions on general wage increases and COLA. On May 20, 2015, the NRLCA and Postal Service declared an impasse in their efforts to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. As both parties prepared for the next step—interest arbitration—we continued to try to bridge the gap without success. We did not want to bring to the membership a contract we did not think was worthy of ratification. Notwithstanding our commitment to the interest arbitration process, if opportunities for a negotiated settlement arose, we would certainly review our options. We continued talking with PMG Brennan and USPS Vice President of Labor Relations Doug Tulino.
The NRLCA’s proposals provided for appropriate and reasonable wage increases, continued cost-of-living adjustments, and the maintenance of core benefits, including the no-layoff clause. Our goal was to improve the National Agreement in as many ways as possible, with our focus remaining on the economic issues that have taken center stage in this round of bargaining. We believe we have achieved that goal, and more, in this tentative agreement.
We encourage you to read over this tentative agreement and the explanation of changes carefully and exercise your right to vote. Your National Board supports the new contract and will be traveling throughout the country to explain the changes in more detail and to answer your questions prior to the ratification vote.
Please click here to view the Special-Edition-NRLC-2016 of the National Rural Letter Carrier magazine.
Source: News Info