Local 304 is a branch of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union
During the SAMLU (Semi-Annual Meeting of the Local Unions) on August 21, 2014, NPMHU National President John Hegarty stated that there is no VERA (Voluntary Early Retirement) at this time! There have been a lot of false rumors floating around, and some people have gone as far as to post stories by patching old VER information on the Internet to arouse employees. President Hegarty also stated that if or when USPS management announces another VERA, it will be posted IMMEDIATELY on the National Postal Mail Handlers Website www.npmhu.org . It will also be posted on this website if it happens immediately!
Effective on September 6, 2014, all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive both the second and fourth of seven possible cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments as outlined in Articles 9.3 and 9.7 of the 2011 National Agreement. These two COLA increases are based on: 1) the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) Base following release of the July 2013 Index (this amount totaled $540, and as prescribed in the Fishgold Arbitration Award, the implementation of this COLA increase was delayed by one year); and 2) the upward change in that Index Base following release of the July 2014 Index (this amount totaled $687, but was not subject to a deferral period). Taken together, these two COLA adjustments resulted in an annual increase of $1,227 for all Steps in Table 1 and for Step P of Table 2. The remaining Steps in Table 2 have received the proportional COLA increase percentages as outlined in Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.
Click here to download a chart which reflects the new wage rates for career Mail Handlers resulting from these COLA increases that are effective on September 6, 2014.
Sisters and Brothers,
Here is an update from the SAMLU meeting that we just attended in Washington D.C. First of all, there is NO VERA, or early out being offered to any craft members at this time.
It appears that the Postal Service is proceeding full steam ahead with the closings/consolidations. The Postal Service asked Congress to stay out of their business and let them run Postal Operations as they see fit. As of this date, Congress is fighting the closings/consolidations. They have proposed a moratorium for 1 year to halt the proposed actions of the Postal Service to explore different alternatives.
Mail Handlers will see a substantial increase in their salary effective September 6, 2014. This increase is due to a contractual COLA increase and will total $1227. This amounts to approximately 59 cents an hour for Mail Handlers at step O. For Mail Handlers at lower steps the increase could be as much as $1.00 per hour.
There has been a National Level grievance filed on the current consolidations/closings proposed by the Postal Service. The National Office is challenging the previous amp studies that the Postal Service is using for the current consolidations/closings. The Union's contention is that the information contained in the previous amp studies is old and outdated and cannot be relied upon to be accurate. The Postal Service is violating PO 408.
The National Office is also considering filing a lawsuit protesting the closings/consolidations. They are proceeding with caution for fear that Congress may not act AT ALL once a lawsuit is filed.
Effective immediately, all probationary employees, including MHA's can bid.
MHA's converted to career status, only have 60 days to join a health plan. They can join the plan through Postalease. If they do not take advantage of joining a health plan within that time frame, they must wait until open season or when a lifestyle change happens (marriage, divorce, birth, etc.).
The CIM 4 is complete. Once it is edited and copied, I will get that out to the field. Here is a break down of our craft's complement; 38,776 FTR Mail Handlers, 276 PTR Mail Handlers, 82 PTF Mail Handlers, and 5503 MHA's. We have a total of 5177 Mail Handlers that do not pay dues for one reason or another.
William H. McLemore III
Vice President NPMHU
A bipartisan group of 50 senators urged appropriators Thursday to include a provision in year-end, catchall spending legislation that would prevent the U.S. Post Office from closing more mail-processing facilities in the next fiscal year.
“This one-year moratorium will give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively into the future,” the group said in a letter to Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., and ranking member Sen. Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala.
The letter — circulated by Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. — was also sent to Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., chairman of the Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the post office, and the panel’s ranking member Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.
While Congress doesn’t provide funding for the post service, it does oversee the agency.
The letter comes as the post office has been hemorrhaging money in recent years. The agency reported Monday that it lost $2 billion in the second quarter, and $740 million compared to the same time last year. The post office has recorded a loss in 21 of the last 23 quarters. However, the USPS did report a $327 million, or 2 percent, increase in operating revenue due, in part, to continued growth in package delivery.
Congress has sought to reform the post office, but has failed to enact any legislation — including a controversial request from the agency to cut Saturday mail delivery as a cost-saving measure.
So without congressional reform, the post office has already consolidated 141 mail-processing facilities since 2012 and more closures are expected, which the bipartisan group wants to halt by including a provision on the omnibus or continuing resolution Congress is likely to pass before the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.
“In the absence of Congressional compromise, the Postal Service will propose more sweeping changes to its operations,” the letter warned.
“The Postmaster General has announced that the postal service will consolidate up to 82 more mail processing facilities and eliminate up to 15,000 more jobs in 2015,” the letter said. “This wave of closures will directly impact 37 states across our nation, and more importantly, the citizens who on the postal service to be reliable.”
The senators also called for additional language that would continue service standards for first-class mail and periodicals as of July 1, 2012, which they contend are at risk of being weakened to reduce costs.
A USPS spokesman said that congressional reform would be the best course of action, and stressed that failing that, the Postal Service should be allowed to continue to make its operations more efficient.
“We are disappointed by the recent effort to block our ongoing initiative to remove excess capacity from our mail processing network,” said Dave Partenheimer a USPS spokesman. “It would be unfortunate if this action were to impede our current progress. A comprehensive legislative package is the most appropriate way to address our systemic business model and financial issues.”
Most of the 50 signatories to the letter were Democrats, but six were Republicans: Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Hoeven of North Dakota, John Thune of South Dakota, Susan Collins of Maine, James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Orrin Hatch of Utah
The Local 304 Scholarship information and applications are now available! Please click on the pictures below to open the information and application. Please remember that the deadline for ALL applications is August 15, 2014. Your application and requested information must be postmarked by that date.
Local 304 officers are fulfilling their constitutional duties and are touring ALL facilities
As promised by this administration, Advanced Shop Steward Training will be conducted regionally (to offset costs) during the periods of September 23-26 of this year. Because of the financial state the past administration left us with, we will train as many as possible in September and more next spring, when the Basic Shop Steward training will also be conducted. Be assured that everyone who needs to training, will receive the training! Training will be conducted in Cincinnati, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana.
We have had requests to put a retirement calculator on this website, and we have found a site that is self-explanatory, and gives you the option to calculate your retirement whether you are a CSRS or FERS employee. It also allows you to calculate your TSP retirement. Look to the left on this page to the sidebar, and click on the retirement picture to go to this site.
To see the minutes from the May 2014 Executive Board and the Council minutes from January 2014, simply click on the page tiled, BOARD/COUNCIL MINUTES or CLICK HERE
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|The views and opinions expressed in news articles and other posted articles are not necessarily the views and opinions of Local 304.|