Labor Day Parade 2016 New York City.
Local 300 once again participated in the annual Labor Day Parade celebrating the working class of this great country. Local 300 members, family, and friends joined with our brothers and sisters in other unions to walk in this great city and demonstrate the pride and unity in recognizing every single working class individual and their contribution. The day was fantastic!
Open Season for the Federal Group Life Insurance: FEGLI.
September 1st through September 30th.
Right now is your opportunity to enroll and increase your FEGLI coverage for you and your eligible dependent family members without answering any medical questions or having a physical examination. All career employees are eligible to participate. These open seasons occur infrequently. The last one was 12 years ago. Take advantage of this opportunity to adjust your life insurance needs with minimal work.
Local 300 President Kevin Tabarus, Western Nassau branch president Peter Bilotta, and NJ state representative Charles Price, cheerfully support the endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president by the NPMHU.
The Power of You:
The theme of the 2016 NPMHU convention is; ” The Power of You”. The NPMHU recognizes that the strength of our Union lies in each and every member. Each mail handler has the power to affect change. Whether they be a full time regular, part time regular, part time flexible, or mail handler assistant: each of us has the power. So as our national president, Paul Hogrogian says”, the power of you, all of youz“!
Local 300 delegates in a huddle discussing the place of the next convention site. This led to a roll call vote.
Local 300 delegate, Joe Palau, at the pro microphone, awaiting recognition from the chair.
The National Postal Mail Handlers Union’s National Convention was held in Chicago from August 22nd through August 27th.
Local 300 sent 30 delegates to the convention. It was a busy week. Locals throughout the country presented, discussed, debated, and resolved proposed changes to the Local and National constitution. There were many spirited discussions and it was done with the up most respect for each other. Local 300′s own, Paul Hogrogian, was elected by acclamation as National President. So were Mark Gardner, National Secretary Treasurer, David Wilkins, Northeast Region Vice President, and Lawrence Sapp, Southern Region Vice President. The remaining 3 regions will hold elections to decide between each region’s candidates who will become their respective Vice Presidents.
Lets Go Mets!
Training, Training, Training.
Local 300 continues its aggressive training regiment! July 19th and 20th of 2016, Local 300 conducted 2 days of shop steward training. National Trainers, Tim Dwyer and John Gibson were in attendance to share their vast knowledge and experience to educate our representatives. National President Paul Hogrogian came back home to provide those in attendance an update on contract negotiations.
July 21st and 22nd 2016, the training continued with the topic being the ever popular FMLA.
Arbitrator Thomas rules MHA discipline does not carry over to conversion to FTR.
Arbitrator Irene Donna Thomas has issued an award out of DVD P&DC that discipline incurred as an MHA does not carry over to those mail handler assistants converted to full time regulars. The award was issued July 21st 2016. This award reaffirms the Union’s position that these converted mail handlers are considered new employees.
The two SPSS machines that were intended for deployment in Queens P&DC, will now be installed in the Stamford P&DC. To accommodate these machines in Stamford, the 068 DPS mail will be relocated to Westchester. SPSS installation will begin as soon as the 068 mail is relocated. Target date is August 22 of 2016.
Latest new edition of Local 300 Newsletter.
After a hiatus, the Local 300 Newsletter is back in circulation. The summer 2016 edition will feature a 32 page production with many articles and pictures of Local 300 members, officers, and representatives along with family and friends involved in tri state wide activism, and also recreation! The newsletter will strive to put forward information about past, current, and future Union work and events. The intent is to publish semi annually.
Watch your mail box and feel free to critique the new editor, (not to harshly), about the composition and material. Feedback is welcome. 2016 Summer – Local 300 Mail Handler News
APWU Announces Arbitration Award for New Contract
APWU which represents over 200,000 Postal workers has announced the Arbitrators Award for a new Union Contract. Click Here
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #8
Contract Negotiations Extended Beyond Deadline
2016 No. 8 – May 25, 2016 As expected, a lot happened during the final days of this year’s regular bargaining period. The Postal Service and NPMHU negotiated right up until the clock struck midnight on Friday, May 20. Despite these efforts, however, an agreement on all of the outstanding terms and conditions of employment could not be reached before the deadline. Click Here
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #7
Contract Expiration Approaches – Bargaining Intensifies
2016 No. 7 – May 18, 2016 With the contract expiration date nearing, bargaining has entered its final stage. The parties have launched a series of meetings at a hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. These meetings will occur with increasing regularity as the week progresses.The NPMHU bargaining team is hard at work. Postal Service representatives also are working to ensure that the agency’s interests are represented in this new contract. Much of this work is done at the eleventh hour, however. Considerable progress is expected between now and midnight on Friday, May 20. Click Here
Contract Negotiations Extended
May 21, 2016 — The NPMHU and USPS bargaining teams have been engaged in contract negotiations since late February 2016 in an effort to reach agreement on the terms of their 2016 National Agreement. Contract talks between the parties continued well into the night on Friday, May 20, 2016 as the 2011 National Agreement was set to expire at midnight. While significant progress has been achieved, the parties have nevertheless been unable to finalize a full and complete successor contract. The parties have therefore agreed to extend bargaining over several key issues, with the hope of eventually reaching a full agreement. If and when a tentative successor agreement is reached, its terms will be distributed to the NPMHU membership for review and ratification.
More details will be shared and discussed at a meeting of all Local Presidents scheduled for Tuesday, May 24.
Anna Throne-Holst Meeting
Recently, Anna Throne-Holst met with Local 300. She is running for Congress in New York’s 1st congressional district (Eastern Suffolk County). She supports us on our Postal Issues. The primary elections will take place on June 28, 2016. The general election will take place on November 8, 2016.
USPS Delivers Financial Presentation
2016 No. 6 – May 12, 2016
This past week the Postal Service presented the NPMHU bargaining team with its official, on-the-record Financial Presentation. This did not include a proposed wage or benefit package for the 2016 National Agreement, but rather focused on the Postal Service’s current financial situation.
The presentation was slightly dated, primarily relying on data from Fiscal Year 2015 (ending on September 30, 2015) and the first quarter of FY2016 to reach its conclusions. It also focused on the termination of the exigent rate increase that led to a reduction in postage rates last month. However, it appears that the projections made in the presentation were fairly accurate. Outlined were the Postal Service’s views on the root causes of its financial instability, the steps it has taken thus far to deal with this financial situation, and the additional actions that it believes are still necessary to cope with the formidable financial challenges that lie ahead. Click Here
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #5
Bargaining is entering its final phase as the month of May 2016 approaches. With the contract slated to expire at midnight on May 20, 2016, both the NPMHU and the Postal Service have begun to draft tentative agreements.Tentative agreements, or TAs, as they are known in the world of collective bargaining, are crucial to the practice of contract negotiation. They serve as markers of everything that is agreed upon during the period of negotiations. At the moment, both parties have signed off on only a handful of tentative agreements, but there certainly will be more to come. Click Here
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #4
At the main table session on Tuesday, April 5, the parties reconvened after a brief hiatus to receive and discuss several counterproposals from the Postal Service. Each proposal was presented by a different member of the Postal Service’s bargaining team. At the end of each presentation, the Union had an opportunity to seek clarification and ask questions Click here
ORIENTATION FOR MAIL HANDLER ASSISTANT (MHA) EMPLOYEES
A pamphlet has been issued by the National Mail handlers Union that will help the steward or officer who are conducting orientation for newly hired MHAS. This pamphlet should be given out to the MHAS at orientation to help them better understand the impotance of the Union. Click Here
COMMITTEES TO CONSIDER CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS AND RESOLUTIONS
Throughout the summer, committees appointed by National President Paul Hogrogian will meet to review and establish a full agenda for the 2016 Convention, including possible constitutional amendments and resolutions that may be submitted for consideration by the delegates. Click here
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #3
The NPMHU and the Postal Service have now been engaged in collective bargaining for approximately one month. During the month of March, the Union has been meeting with management representatives an average of three days per week. Some of the meetings were on the record (also known as “main table”) and some have been off the record, in the form of more informal but focused subcommittees. The meetings are expected to occur even more frequently as bargaining moves forward. Click Here
NPMHU Issues Contract Update #2
Bargaining is underway! Representatives from the Postal Service have now met at least three times with representatives from the NPMHU Negotiations Team for productive rounds of on-the-record meetings. Click Here
Advanced Shop Steward Training
On March 31, 2016 Local 300 conducted Advanced Steward Training on a wide variety of topics: MHA Rights & Conversions, Attendance (when documentation is “deemed desirable” by USPS), OWCP basics, Membership Recruitment, Article 12 – Expedited Selection Process (Excessing out of a Section/Tour) and Grievance Processing. This training was similar to the training provided in July 2015. The instructors for this training were Local 300 President Kevin Tabarus, Tommy Reid Vice President, Yvette Johnson NYSEBM (Brooklyn BP), Ray Bermudez OWCP Specialist (DVD BP), Willie Delgado Treasurer, and Tom Ruther NPMHU NE Region Director
The Office of Personnel Management announced last summer that there will be an open season for the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) this year. The open season will run from September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016.
OPM recently put out a benefits administration letter with some important questions and answers on the upcoming open season to help federal employees prepare. A copy of the letter follows below.
Also, be sure to check out the new FEGLI premiums.
NPMHU Local 300 Election of Delegates to 2016 National convention Results
The Certification of Results from the recent election to the 2016 National Convention that took place on March 11, 2016 are now in. Click here
2016 Contract Update #1
For the most current information available, please read the first of many Contract Updates produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2016 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed and involved in the issues raised during this round of bargaining Click Here
NPMHU and USPS Present Opening Statements as National Negotiations Begin in Washington D.C.
National Mail Handler President Paul Hogrogian gave the Union’s opening statement on February 25th 2016 as the start of National negotiations begin with the USPS. Click Here
Wounded Warrior Federal Leave Act Signed Into Law
The Wounded Warrior Federal Leave Act (H.R. 313 and S. 242), introduced by Congressman Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and backed by the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, was signed into law by President Obama on November 5, 2015. The legislation will provide up to 104 hours of paid sick leave to any new Federal or Postal employee who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more, primarily for the purpose of undergoing medical treatment for such disability.
When commenting on the legislation, Congressman Lynch said, “This law will provide medical leave for returning disabled veterans who now work as federal employees, enabling them to receive treatment while transitioning into civilian life. As we approach Veterans Day, Congress has demonstrated the gratitude and deep appreciation for the hardship and sacrifices of our veterans and, in particular our wounded warriors, in service to our country.” This bill gives wounded warriors some additional needed flexibility that they deserve and have earned.
As provided in the new Act, within 9 months after the date of enactment of the Act, the Postmaster General is tasked to prescribe regulations for such leave with respect to officers and employees of the United States Postal Service and the Postal Regulatory Commission. The NPMHU is in talks with the USPS regarding these forthcoming regulations, and will provide additional information as it becomes available. Link to Wounded Warrior Federal Leave Act
ALL MAIL HANDLERS TO RECEIVE GUARANTEED WAGE INCREASE EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 14, 2015
Effective on November 14, 2015, all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive the final of three guaranteed wage increases, as outlined in Article 9.1 of the 2011 National Agreement. Specifically: ”the basic annual salary schedule, with proportional application to hourly rate employees, for all grades and steps for those employees covered under the terms and conditions of this Agreement shall be increased as follows:
Effective November 14, 2015 — the basic annual salary for each grade and step of Table One and Table Two shall be increased by an amount equal to 1.0% of the basic annual salary for the grade and step in effect on February 15, 2013.” Please note that all Mail Handler Assistant (MHA) employees will receive an additional 1.5% increase, for a total increase of 2.5% effective on November 14, 2015. The following wage charts reflect these wage increases. Click here to download a chart which reflects the new wage rates for Mail Handlers resulting from these guaranteed wage increases that are effective on November 14, 2015.
NPMHU Reaches Agreement on Procedures to Fill Residual Vacancies
The National Office is pleased to report that the parties have come to an agreement on the procedures for filling residual vacancies. On August 17, 2015, the USPS and NPMHU entered into a Memorandum of Understanding providing for a specific pecking order when filling residual vacancies. The MOU only applies to those installations that are not subject to withholding pursuant to Article 12. In those installations, the MOU provides a specific pecking order for filling residual vacancies that most prominently includes the right to return to the installation for those with active retreat rights, the conversion of PTF and PTR Mail Handlers, transfers through e-Reassign, and the conversion of MHAs to career status. Overall, this MOU should provide greater opportunities for our MHAs to achieve career status.Click Here In a separate but related matter, the parties have agreed that the MOU Re Filling of Residual Vacancies does not change current rules or practices on the demotion of EAS/management employees or the reinstatement of employees into the mail handler craft. For clarity on this point, the parties have reached agreement by way of a separate MOU Re Demotion of EAS/Management Employees or Reinstatement of Former Employees into Mail Handler Craft, through which the parties agree to refer unresolved matters of demotion or reinstatement to the Article 12 Task Force. Click Here
NPMHU Sues Postal Service Over SPSS Reversal
Late Thursday, August 13, 2015, the NPMHU National Office filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service, claiming that the USPS breached its binding contractual obligations when it unilaterally announced a reversal of its earlier determination that the primary craft for operating the Small Parcel Sorting System is the Mail Handler craft. The NPMHU is seeking a declaration that the Postal Service has breached the tripartite agreement on jurisdictional craft assignments, as well as injunctive and monetary relief to remedy this breach. The APWU also has been named in the suit, as a required party to any litigation on this subject. The suit is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Legal actions raising related, but distinct challenges also have been initiated under the RI-399 Dispute Resolution Procedures and through unfair labor practice charges at the National Labor Relations Board. Read President Hogrogian’s memorandum to Local Presidents, and a copy of the Union’s lawsuit filed against the USPS.
OPM announces Open Season For Federal Employees Life Insurance (FEGLI) in 2016
According to OPM: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced an upcoming FEGLI Open Season and changes in premium rates for certain Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI). These include changes to premium rates for Option A (most age bands), Option B (most age bands), Option C (most age bands), and Post-Retirement Basic Insurance. These rates will be effective the first pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2016. The FEGLI Open Season will be held from September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016.Life insurance Open Seasons are held quite infrequently. The most recent FEGLI Open Seasons were held from September 1 – September 30, 2004 and in 1999. Click here
Postal Service Reneges on SPSS Craft Determination
In a stunning move that defies the tripartite RI -399 Dispute Resolution Procedures, the requirements of RI-399, Article 1.5 of the National Agreement,and any concept of good faith bargaining, yesterday afternoon the Postal Service formally notified the NPMHU of its decision to reverse the June 1, 2015 jurisdictional craft determination that previously identified the mail handler craft as the primary craft for all duties associated with the operation of the Small Parcel Sorter System (SPSS). Instead, the Postal Service has announced”that the hands-on induction, including the singulating/ separating and facing of individual packages, on the five induction stations of the SPSS is similar to the induction stations on both the Small Parcel Bundle Sorter (SPBS) and the Automated Package Processing System (APBS), which are staffed with mail processing clerk craft employees.” The Postal Service’s August 7, 2015 announcement further determines that clerks assigned to the induction system should be rotated to sweeping duties in the “minimum number required. Click here for more . TO SEE THE ORIGINAL CRAFT DETERMINATION BY MANAGEMENT :Click Here