We have been having our local's General Membership Meetings at the Round Table Pizza restaurant in Medford for several years now. We reserve the private party room and members and their families are invited to the meeting. The local pays for several pizzas including a vegetarian style, and also for your non-alcohol beverages.
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.
Round Table Pizza is located in the Poplar Square shopping center between Best Buy and JOANN Fabrics and Crafts. Our meetings start at 1:00 pm, but you are also invited to attend the Executive Board Meeting which begins at 12:30 pm. The meetings usually last about 1 to 2 hours.
Arbitrator Stephen B. Goldberg has been appointed as the impartial chair of the tri-partite interest arbitration panel and scheduled the opening day of the hearings for September 4, 2019.
When the APWU and USPS are unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement through negotiations, the law requires interest arbitration. In this process, there is a three-member arbitration panel. One arbitrator is appointed by the APWU, another by the USPS, and a neutral and impartial arbitrator is selected as chair of the panel by mutual agreement between management and the union.
Arbitrator Goldberg has extensive experience with the APWU and the USPS. He chaired the interest arbitration panel in 2016 and his award determined the terms of the 2015-2018 collective bargaining agreement. He also chaired the panel that determined the 2000-2003 contract. Arbitrator Goldberg has also decided many national grievance disputes between the APWU and the USPS.
The APWU appointed Phillip Tabbita, Manager of Negotiation Support and Special Projects, as the APWU arbitrator. He has been involved in every APWU contract negotiation since 1981 and every interest arbitration since 1984. He served as the APWU-appointed arbitrator in the 2016 interest arbitration. The USPS appointed Robert Dufek as their arbitrator. Mr. Dufek is a management attorney and has been the Postal Service’s arbitrator of choice in every interest arbitration in recent decades.
“The APWU team of officers, staff, attorneys, economists, and witnesses are fully prepared to beat back management’s concessionary demands and win a decent new contract,” President Mark Dimondstein said. “In 2016, we prevailed through interest arbitration when negotiations stalled, and we plan to succeed once again in this interest arbitration as we continue ‘Fighting Today for a Better Tomorrow.’”
The APWU demands include fair and retroactive wage increases and cost-of-living allowances (COLAs), closing the gaps of the divisive multi-tier wage system, maintaining protections against layoffs, increasing career jobs, restrictions on subcontracting, limits on excessing and expanding PTF rights.
Management’s demands include eliminating pay increases, gutting COLAs, creating a new lower-tier of employees with reduced benefits, restricting no lay-off protections, making it easier to excess employees and increasing the non-career workforce.
“The demands of management show complete disrespect for you, the dedicated postal worker, and the hard work you do,” Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman said. “Management would rather punish than reward you for your good work. We will fight in this interest arbitration to get what you deserve — a fair contract that recognizes your value.”
Previous interest arbitrations have taken 18 hearing days and more to conclude. Because of the varying schedules of the neutral arbitrator, lawyers, and witnesses, the hearings are usually spread out over several months, followed by legal briefs, panel deliberations and the writing of a final award by the Interest Arbitration panel.
The national leadership will keep the members regularly informed of the progress of the interest arbitration proceedings through all avenues of print and social media.
“In the meantime, remember,” said President Dimondstein, “that this is a great time to be union proud. Without the collective strength of our union to protect us, management would simply implement their draconian proposals. In the month of September, wear your Good Contract NOW! sticker – soon to be delivered – and union gear with pride as we show our unity in the struggle for a good union contract.”
On Monday, June 3 President Mark Dimondstein and Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman informed the National Executive Council (NEC) that the mediation process was unsuccessful in leading to a voluntary collective bargaining agreement. The NEC was provided a full update and given the opportunity to question the Chief Negotiator and Spokesperson fully about the mediation and negotiation process.
The APWU began the mediation process by meeting with the mediator, appointed by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), to receive an overview of the mediation process. The meeting, held at APWU headquarters, included all the members of the APWU core negotiating committee (President, Vice-President, Industrial Relations Director, and the three Craft Directors) as well as the Secretary-Treasurer and the Assistant Craft Directors. Anyone who could not physically attend the meet at headquarters could participate via teleconference and some did so.
Mediation then began with joint meetings with the mediator and the chief spokespersons of both the USPS and the APWU present. The mediator would meet independently with each party as necessary during the sessions. Following these day-long meetings with the chief spokespersons, the individual Craft Directors and their assistants met in separate day-long sessions with their Postal Service counterparts and the mediator.
After five full days of mediation, the mediator declared that the two parties were too far apart in their demands and positions. Since the parties were so far apart, the mediator did not believe further discussions would lead to a new collective bargaining agreement and further mediation would prove to be unsuccessful.
The APWU, while hopeful that mediation would have been successful, has been vigorously preparing for interest arbitration. The APWU team of your national officers, attorneys, staff members, and members-from-the-field have and are working hard to develop the case and supporting evidence to support our demands.
The USPS and the APWU will now move into the next stage of the process of jointly selecting an arbitrator to chair the three-member panel who will hear the case for a new contract. Once the arbitrator has been selected and appointed, the parties will ask the chairperson to provide dates she or he has available to begin hearing the case.
WEB NEWS ARTICLE #: 35-2019
05/03/2019 - The APWU is continuing to move forward towards interest arbitration. Preparation of hearing presentations, evidence, and witnesses is occurring every day.
The craft directors and their assistant directors are working together with the lead negotiator, President Mark Dimondstein, and the negotiation’s chief spokesperson, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman, on the issues that their craft will be facing in the interest arbitration hearings. For example, the crafts are all currently working on presentations that show how important each of their respective craft’s work is, the complexity of the jobs postal workers do, and how critical each job is to the mission of the postal service.
Your executive officers are all preparing for arbitration, as well working on specific assignments for use in the interest arbitration process. Meetings are held on a regular basis to strategize and report preparation progress by the crafts. as well as joint meetings with the core National Negotiation Committee and the resident craft officers.
While preparation and arbitrator selection are ongoing, the parties have entered mediation in an attempt to reach a voluntary agreement. A neutral mediator was appointed by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and has already began to meet with the principals from the parties. Mediation meetings are also scheduled between the APWU and USPS for each craft. Your craft officers will be meeting with the Postal Service in these sessions.
If a voluntary agreement can be reached through mediation, it will be presented to the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee for their vote to send to the membership for ratification.
“Even though we are in mediation in hopes of getting an agreement, we are diligently preparing for interest arbitration. Your elected officers, our attorneys, subject matter experts, and staff are working tirelessly to prepare to present a case that will get you the contract you deserve,” said Industrial Relations Director Zimmerman.