Category Archives: News

Michael Hora Sworn in as National Secretary-Treasurer

On Monday, February 4, 2019, LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan was on hand at NPMHU Headquarters in Washington, DC to officiate at the ceremony to install Michael J Hora as NPMHU National Secretary-Treasurer. Brother Hora was honored to be joined by President Hogrogian, the National Executive Board and spouse Carol Hora. Also, in attendance were NPMHU Headquarters staff and the 2019 Field Negotiating Committee. “I am honored by the support shown to me by the Board. I will work hard to serve the membership to the best of my abilities,” said NST Hora.

Brother Hora has been a Mail Handler for more than thirty-three years and has served the members of the NPMHU in a wide variety of positions and assignments. Before transitioning to the National Office in 2011, Brother Hora served as shop steward, arbitration advocate, and both Vice President and President of Local 321 in Denver, Colorado for more than four terms of office. Before accepting a full-time assignment at NPMHU National Headquarters, Hora served as a member of the Committee on the Future, on the Resolutions and Constitution Committees at several NPMHU National Conventions, and on the 2006 and 2011 Field Negotiating Committees in preparation for those rounds of national negotiations.

Upon his initial appointment to Washington, DC, Brother Hora served as a National Representative in the Contract Administration Department, as Executive Director of the NPMHU-sponsored health plan known as the Mail Handlers Benefit Plan, and finally as Assistant to the past two National Secretary-Treasurers.

2019-2020 SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION FOR LOCAL 301 MEMBERS AND DEPENDENTS

 The following scholarships are available to Local 301 Members and/or Dependents:

Local 301 NPMHU Scholarships

Two (2) –  $1000.00 Scholarships to a dependent of a Local 301 Member in good standing.  Applications available at the Union Office and at the Local 301 website www.npmhul301.org . Deadline May 31, 2019.

NPMHU Arthur S. Vallone National Scholarship Program

$1000.00 Renewable (annually) Scholarship.  Applications available at the Union Office and at the NPMHU website www.npmhu.org  . Deadline March 15, 2019.

Arthur E. Coia Scholarship

$2500.00 Renewable (annually) Scholarship. Applications available at the Union Office and at the Arthur E. Coia Scholarship & Education Fund website www.coiascholarship.org.  Deadline April 30, 2019.

Please see your Branch President / Steward or contact the Local Office for further information.

USPS Expands Wounded Warriors Leave

The USPS has recently expanded the Wounded Warrior Leave policy effective on January 5, 2019.

The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 is a law that provides veterans who have a service connected disability rating of 30 percent or more with 104 hours of Wounded Warrior Leave during their first year of employment. The 104 hours of Wounded Warrior Leave is a separate category of leave in addition to any earned annual and sick leave. The leave can be used to undergo medical treatment for the service connected disability.

The USPS has decided to expand the Wounded Warrior Leave policy by providing 104 hours of Wounded Warrior Leave to veterans with a service connected disability rating of 30 percent or more at the beginning of each new leave year. Any unused Wounded Warrior Leave hours cannot be carried over into the new leave year and are lost.

Update on Government Shutdown

Impact of Federal Government Shutdown on Mail Handlers

As all Mail Handlers know, the U.S. Postal Service remains open and operational during the Federal Government shutdown that started on December 22, 2018. Here is a listing of other federal agencies or services of most interest to Mail Handlers.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – The NLRB was fully funded through October 1, 2019 in September 2018, and therefore remains open and operational.

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) – The DOL is fully funded and operational.
Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWCP) – Employees at OWCP will continue to work during the shutdown, and therefore little impact is expected.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – As a component of the DOL, OSHA remains fully operational during this government shutdown.

Health Insurance (FEHB) – No impact expected, although new enrollments or changes in coverage, for example because of a Qualifying Life Event, may be delayed at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The effective date for any change would still be the first day of the first full pay period in January.

FEDVIP – If you are enrolled in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), your coverage will continue during the government shutdown.

FSAFEDS – Your Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) payroll allotments should not be affected, but if you have questions about how the shutdown impacts your FSAFEDS enrollment or claims, please contact WageWorks, Inc. (who administers these processes for FSAFEDS).

Retirement (CSRS or FERS) – Retirement Services at the Office of Personnel
Management are funded by the Trust Fund, not by annual appropriations, so these employees will still be working normal hours during the government shutdown.

Life Insurance (FEGLI) – No impact expected. Coverage continues for 12 consecutive months in a nonpay status without cost to the employee or to the agency. Neither the employee nor the agency incurs a debt during this period of nonpay.

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) – The TSP will continue its normal daily operations during the federal government shutdown.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – The EEOC is currently closed because of the federal government shutdown. While the federal government is closed, a limited number of EEOC services are available. Please note during the shutdown, the EEOC is not able to staff toll-free numbers: 1-800-669-4000 (voice); 1-800-669-6820 (TTY); or 1-844-234-5122 (ASL Video Phone). If you are trying to contact the EEOC, or have existing business with the agency, please refer to https://www.eeoc.gov/shutdown.cfm.

Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) – The processing of all appeals and other pleadings is suspended, regardless of whether such matters are pending in a Regional or Field Office, before the full Board in Washington, DC, or before an administrative law judge. No personnel are available in any MSPB office to answer inquiries during the entirety of a shutdown. MSPB’s e-Appeal Online system also is not available. MSPB understands that this situation requires adjusting certain deadlines and other processing requirements in many appeals. Therefore, all filing and processing deadlines will be extended by the number of calendar days MSPB is shut down. This extension applies to all deadlines before the MSPB, including those at the initial appeal and petition for review levels. Because the extension is automatic, parties are not required to show good cause and should not request an extension. This extension applies to deadlines in all matters before the Board, even if they involve agencies or employees who are not otherwise affected by this partial shutdown of the Federal Government. This automatic extension does not apply, however, to any deadlines that passed before the date of the shutdown.

MICHAEL HORA SELECTED AS NATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER TO REPLACE RETIRING TIM DWYER

During the National Executive Board meeting in November 2018, National Secretary-Treasurer Timothy Dwyer announced his decision to retire effective February 1, 2019. Brother Dwyer has served this organization in a variety of roles at the Local and National levels, including as both Treasurer and President of Local 301, National Trainer, Article 12 Task Force Representative, National CAD Representative, and finally National Secretary-Treasurer. Brother Dwyer has been an incredible asset to the Mail Handlers Union, and he will be deeply missed. Please join us in wishing Tim the very best in his well-deserved retirement.

By memorandum dated December 6, 2018, President Hogrogian announced that, by a unanimous vote of the National Executive Board, Mail Handler Benefit Plan Executive Director and Assistant to the National Secretary-Treasurer Michael Hora has been selected to fill the forthcoming vacancy as National Secretary-Treasurer, effective February 2, 2019.

Brother Hora has been a Mail Handler for more than thirty-three years and has served the members of the NPMHU in a wide variety of positions and assignments. Before transitioning to the National Office in 2011, Brother Hora served as shop steward, arbitration advocate, and both Vice President and President of Local 321 in Denver, Colorado for more than four terms of office. Before accepting a full-time assignment at NPMHU National Headquarters, Hora served as a member of the Committee on the Future, on the Resolutions and Constitution Committees at several NPMHU National Conventions, and on the 2006 and 2011 Field Negotiating Committees in preparation for those rounds of national negotiations.

Upon his initial appointment to Washington, DC, Brother Hora served as a National Representative in the Contract Administration Department, as Executive Director of the NPMHU-sponsored health plan known as the Mail Handlers Benefit Plan, and finally as Assistant to the past two National Secretary-Treasurers.

To fill the vacant position caused by Mike Hora’s new position, President Hogrogian next appointed Nina Gallauresi as the new Executive Director of the MHBP. Nina has over 15 years of experience in healthcare operations and quality and compliance standards. She has designed and managed quality improvement programs to meet the needs of the Medicare, Medicaid and commercial markets. She has evaluated and documented compliance with Federal and State regulatory bodies as well as URAC and NCQA. She is extremely knowledgeable about the standards that need to be met to achieve and maintain required accreditation through these and other entities. And this expertise has been proven over the past several years, while Nina has worked as Assistant Director of the MHBP.

Finally, in conjunction with Brother Dwyer’s retirement and the subsequent appointments, President Hogrogian has appointed Melissa Shea to the new position, Manager, Health Plan Operations for the MHBP. Melissa has a wealth of experience in healthcare operations and management, and a Master of Science degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Maryland.

Please join us in wishing Tim Dwyer a long and healthy retirement, and in congratulating Mike Hora, Nina Gallauresi, and Melissa Shea on their new positions.

December 5, 2018 Declared National Day of Mourning

Postmaster General Megan Brennan has declared Wednesday, December 5, 2018, as a Day of Mourning to commemorate the passing of former President George H. W. Bush. Postal facilities either will be closed or on limited operations, in accordance with the December 3rd USPS Link.

In 1998, we obtained a national arbitration award that granted all mail handlers administrative leave (even if they were not scheduled to work) for the Day of Mourning declared by former President Clinton and then Postmaster General Runyon upon the passing of former President Richard Nixon. Two years later, in May 2000, the parties at the National level agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding, which guaranteed such administrative leave should another National Day of Observance or National Day of Mourning be declared at some point in the future, first by the President of the United States by Executive Order and then by the Postmaster General.

As noted in the USPS Link, the pay and leave administration for the National Day of Mourning for affected bargaining unit employees will be governed by the provisions of the May 4, 2000 Memorandum of Understanding and Section 519.4 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual. A copy of that MOU is attached for your easy reference.

https://www.npmhu.org/media/news/body/National-Mourning-George-Bush03458320181203155522.pdf

President Hogrogian Issues Official Call for Bargaining Proposals

2019 NATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS
*OFFICIAL CALL FOR BARGAINING PROPOSALS*

With preparations underway for negotiations over the terms of the 2019 National Agreement between the NPMHU and the Postal Service, the National Office has issued its official call for bargaining proposals from all members and Local Unions.

To be fully considered prior to the onset of negotiations, proposals must be submitted by January 18, 2019. Although formal bargaining is not scheduled to begin until June, the Union’s Field Negotiating Committee will be meeting for a full week in February of 2019 to review all submitted proposals and outline the changes in the National Agreement that should be proposed by the NPMHU.

To be sure, planning for collective bargaining is a continuous process at the National Office, as the National Officers and representatives working in the Contract Administration Department routinely identify and collect proposals for improving the language currently found in the 2016 National Agreement. But an equally important aspect of preparing for bargaining is the collection and review of proposals generated by mail handlers across the country. Thus, National President Paul Hogrogian has issued this official call for bargaining proposals from the membership, the Local Unions, and other subordinate bodies of the NPMHU.

If you have any proposals that you would like to have considered for the upcoming round of bargaining, now is the time to submit them to the National Office. Every proposal submitted will be fully analyzed by the NPMHU’s Field Negotiating Committee and the National Negotiations Team while the Union develops its opening bargaining proposals.

All proposals should set forth the Article, Section, Paragraph, and/or Page of the National Agreement that you are suggesting should be changed; the specific language you would like to see added to, or deleted from, the current National Agreement; and your specific reasons for suggesting the change. If you have supporting evidence or documentation that you believe would support the change that you propose, please submit those materials to the National Office along with your proposals.

The National Office is asking that all proposals be submitted as soon as possible, but in no event later than January 18, 2019. The National Office also has issued a form that can be used to submit proposals. Copies of that form have been mailed to all Local Unions and can be downloaded on the NPMHU website.

Once again, proposals from any member (or group of members) and any Local Unions or other subordinate body should be submitted to the National Office by January 18, 2019 using the following address:

National Postal Mail Handlers Union
2019 Negotiations
1101 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036

https://www.npmhu.org/media/update/body/2019-Bargaining-Proposal-PDF-Fillable-FINAL.pdf

$645 COLA effective in September 2018

Effective Pay Period 19, September 01, 2018, career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive the fifth of seven possible cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2016 National Agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the July 2019 Index, and provides an annual increase of $645 for all Steps in Table 1 and for Step P of Table 2. The remaining Steps in Table 2 will receive the proportional COLA increase percentages as outlined in Article 9.3 of the National Agreement.

https://www.npmhu.org/resources/wage-charts-web

Unions Prevail in Hatch Act Arbitration Concerning Use of Union LWOP for Political Activities

We are pleased to provide a linked copy of a National Arbitration Award issued by Arbitrator Stephen Goldberg on August 6, 2018 in a case concerning the use of Union LWOP for political activities under the National Agreement. The matter was heard in June 2018, briefed in July 2018, and decided earlier this week. The case was initiated by the APWU, with the NPMHU and the NALC intervening.

Based on the investigative findings of the Office of Special Counsel, and on political pressures from Senator Johnson and his supporters, the Postal Service unilaterally issued a Corrective Action Plan, which included changes to the ELM and its regulations on the use of Union LWOP and to the Form 3971. Those changes were made unilaterally, and without any bargaining or even consultation with the major postal unions.

Arbitrator Goldberg easily found that these unilateral changes violated the National Agreement, and ordered that they be rescinded. He also ordered the Postal Service to bargain with the APWU about any changes to Union LWOP. To reach this conclusion, he rejected the USPS claim that the Office of Special Counsel has the authority to demand that USPS make these changes.

With this arbitral victory, bargaining over the changes to Union LWOP submitted by the Postal Service is expected to occur over the coming weeks and months.

Bipartisan Coalition to Introduce Resolution Opposing Privatization of the Postal Service

Earlier this week, ten Members of Congress formed a bipartisan coalition to introduce a resolution in the House of Representatives opposing privatization of the Postal Service. If adopted, the resolution (H. Res. 993) would express the sense of the House of Representatives “that Congress should take all appropriate measures to ensure that the United States Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the Federal Government and is not subject to privatization.”

The resolution was introduced by Republican representative Rodney Davis of Illinois and Democratic representative Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts. Other cosponsors include Republicans Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Paul Cook (R-CA), Brian Mast (R-FL), and Don Young (R-AK), as well as Democrats Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH).

H. Res. 993 is a direct response to the Trump Administration’s so-called Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations – formally entitled the OMB’s Report on Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century – which includes various Trump proposals for reorganizing the federal government. Buried deep in the Report is the President’s plan to restructure the Postal Service into a “sustainable business model” and thereby “prepare it for future conversion . . . into a privately held corporation.” National President Paul Hogrogian already has rejected the Trump plan: “The inevitable result of such privatization,” said Hogrogian, “would be to destroy universal postal services for every American.” Such service has been a mainstay of the nation’s systems for communications and commerce ever since the Founding Fathers put the Post Office into the U.S. Constitution.

Also relevant is the Trump Task Force on the Postal Service, which was established in April 2018 and is charged with evaluating the finances of the U.S. Postal Service, including pricing, policies, and workforce costs. This Task Force has a mid-August 2018 deadline for issuing its report and may be considering certain privatization plans while preparing a final set of written recommendations.