Upcoming SOAL Events and Meetings

Southern Oregon Area Local Meetings

Unless group meetings are limited by Governor Brown, expect our local Membership Meetings to be held at the Medford Co-Work Collective in Downtown Medford. Earlier in the year, due to the coronavirus social distancing and orders limiting group meetings, the SOAL was conducting monthly meetings online using ZOOM. Changes will be updated as each month's meeting is planned. More information is available in the Events tab of the website.

Prior to 2020, we had been having our local's General Membership Meetings at the Round Table Pizza restaurant in Medford for several years. When we do have the meetings there, we reserve the private party room and members and their families are invited to the meeting. 

In February we started having our General Membership Meeting at the Medford Co-Work Collective building at 122 E. Main St. Check our EVENTS tab for more information on the location for the future meetings each month. Usually, we order pizzas from Jackson Creek Pizza from across the street. We also plan on having a potluck in the future. So, make it out to our meetings so that you are up to date on our local's upcoming events and issues involving our members.

Remember ........
The local also has a Postal Pulse drawing each quarter. Turn your Postal Pulse survey forms into a steward or better yet.... Show up and turn it in at the Membership Meeting! If your name is drawn you win $100 if you are present at the meeting. If your not present, you still win $50.

The meetings usually last about 1 to 2 hours.

APWU News

Expanded and Additional Sick Leave MOUs during Covid-19 Pandemic

By Administrator on March 19th

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the union signed two memoranda of understanding with the Postal Service temporarily expanding paid leave for PSEs and expanding the use of dependent care leave for postal employees with unexpected childcare needs as a result of the pandemic.

The Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID-19 MOU:
Allows APWU employees to use sick leave for dependent care in the event they must care for a child as a result of daycare closures, school (Pre-K through Grade 12) closures , or the unavailability of a child's primary caregiver as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MOU will expire May 17, 2020, after 60 days.

The Temporary Additional Paid Leave for PSEs MOU:
For the 60-day duration of the MOU, Postal Support Employees (PSEs) will be permitted to use up to 80 hours of paid leave for use in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic for the circumstances listed in the MOU.
The additional 80-hour allotment or any remaining leave balance at the end of the 60-day period will be forfeited. However, the parties will revisit this issue immediately prior to this MOU's expiration to determine if extension is appropriate.
The MOU will expire May 17, 2020 after 60 days.

We Have A New National Agreement

By Administrator on March 12th

Neutral Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg has released our new contract! The APWU fought every step of the way to achieve a good contract for its members.
The APWU website announcement is HERE.

The key points are:
General wage increases for career and PSEs and full cost of living raises for career (retroactive for 2018 and 2019)
No lay-off protection maintained
50-mile limit on excessing
Narrowing the gap in the two-tiered career wage structure
A one-time conversion to career for more than 4,000 PSEs
We went into bargaining united in support of our contract demands – fair wage increases, protecting our cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and strong job security.

Management’s proposals included a new round of severe concessions – the elimination of COLAs, creation of a new lower “third tier” of career employee with reduced benefits, higher percentages of non-career employees and less job security. The APWU has successfully defended against management’s regressive proposals.

One-time PSE conversions:
All PSEs in 125 work year and larger offices with 30 months or more of service in the installation as of the date of the award will be converted to career. Over 4,000 PSEs will be converted under this provision within 60 days of the Award.

In 2016, the Medford Bid Cluster (MOU, MPC, MCA, CP, and WC) was a 125 MY Office with 176 Man Years. It is doubtful that we fell below the 125 Man Years in the past 4 years, so all of the PSE Clerks with 30 months or more of service in the Medford Installation should be converted within 60 days, as long as our Man Year status has not fallen below 125 man years.

CAREER EMPLOYEE GENERAL WAGE INCREASES
Three annual general wage increases totaling 3.4% over the life of the Agreement.
1.3% effective November 24, 2018 (Retroactive)
1.1% effective November 23, 2019 (Retroactive)
1% effective November 21, 2020
COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENTS (COLA)
Semiannual COLAs for career employees will continue under the current formula. Management pushed, but failed, to convert COLAs into one-time lump-sum payments.
$624 or $.30/hour COLA will be applied retroactive to August 31, 2019
$166 or $.08/hour COLA will be applied retroactive to February 29, 2020
Future COLAs will be applied in September 2020, March 2021 and September 2021
INCREASED COMPENSATION – GENERAL WAGE PLUS COLA INCREASES
Adding the 3.4% in General Wage Increases plus the known COLAs, compensation for a level 6 Step O employee will increase $2,855 over the life of the Agreement. With three additional COLA increases, the total increases over the life of the Agreement will likely come to $3,600 annually, an increase of about $1.75 per hour. In addition, those not yet at the top step of the lower career wage scale will gain new step increases with each Step representing an approximate $.50/hour raise.

USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382) Passes the House

By Administrator on March 4th

On Feb. 5, the USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382) passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming, bipartisan support – 309 ‘yea,’ 106 ‘nay,’ and 15 Representatives did not vote. The House’s passage of this legislation is the first step toward repealing the retiree health care prefunding mandate set forth in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). The prefunding mandate is responsible for 92 percent of Postal Service net losses since 2007 and is a threat to the financial sustainability of the Postal Service.

As Oregon USPS employees, we should be proud that our own US Representatives were sponsors of this bill. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), introduced the USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382) which amends title 5, United States Code, to repeal the requirement that the United States Postal Service prepay future retirement benefits, and for other purposes. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) was co-sponsor to this legislation.

APWU active, retired, and auxiliary members made over 7,570 calls to Congress and conducted numerous office visits urging support for this legislation. With H.R. 2382 passing the House, we now turn our attention to the companion bill in the Senate, S. 2965.

Currently the bill has the following Status: Introduced in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The bill is listed as: S. 2965: USPS Fairness Act and has Sponsor: Sen. Steve Daines [R-MT].

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is the Senate’s primary oversight committee with broad jurisdiction over government operations generally and the Department of Homeland Security in particular. 

Additional COVID-19 Resources

By Administrator on March 4th

As the COVID-19 virus spreads throughout the world it has become a topic of conversation between the APWU and the Postal Service. The APWU is making sure the USPS is taking the risk seriously and not passively. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) documents can be found at:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Management instruction on personal protective equipment (PPE) can be viewed or downloaded from our website here:
MI_EL-810-2009-4_Personal_Protective_Equipment.pdf

The Mandatory Stand-Up Talk - Staying Vigilant should have been held already. Please make sure no one was missed. Small offices in particular do not actually receive this kind of information, even when the PM is required to “certify” it has been communicated. Here it is:
2020 02 25 Mandatory Stand-Up Talk - Staying Vigilant.pdf

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