Effective February 27, 2021, (Pay Period 06-2021) all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive a cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2019 National Agreement. This is the third of six possible COLA increases under the terms of the current agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the January 2021 Index, using the July 2019 CPI index as a base provides an annual increase of $416 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.
WAGE CHART (Effective PP06-2021)
For almost a year now, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the entirety of the postal workforce, have risked their own and their families’ health and safety just by going to work during the global coronavirus pandemic. Mail handlers have always served an essential roll. But now our work is more important than ever as we ensure the delivery of necessary government and personal correspondence, vital prescriptions, and needed home goods during this time of crisis. Despite social distancing when possible and the use of PPEs, over 3,500 mail handlers have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning the of the pandemic. This along with quarantining and caring for our children and elders has not only impacted our lives, but also the Postal Service’s on-time delivery rates and service.
Understanding the value of our jobs and the inherent risk postal employees now find themselves in, the Centers for Disease Control recommended Postal Service personnel to be considered frontline essential workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 during the second part of phase one vaccination, or Phase 1b. The CDC recommended to states’ health departments to follow this guidance, however, several states’ plans do not include postal employees in their plans.
Our friends in the House of Representatives, however, recognized the necessity of our work and the risk we take on a daily basis during the pandemic and introduced H. Res. 108. This resolution, as introduced by Representatives Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11) and Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), emphasizes the importance of the work of Postal Service employees and calls upon states to prioritize them in vaccine distribution plans. NPMHU fully endorses this resolution, and I ask all members of the House to cosponsor it.
For fifteen years, the United States Postal Service has been obligated to prefund its retiree healthcare costs at 100%. This mandate resulted in the annual loss of $5 billion over a decade and has been the primary cause of financial deficits since 2013. Because of these losses, the Postal Service faced cuts in services and cannot focus on revenue growth.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic added to this financial instability. The USPS faced losses in revenue due to a drop in first class mail as well as increased costs associated with protecting the health and safety of the dedicated workforce during this global health crisis. But the pandemic also proved to Americans how it is necessary to support sustainable Postal Service.
Recognizing the problems of this undue burden and the financial limitations it creates, Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Colin Allred (D-TX-32), and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) and Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 695/S. 145) to repeal the prefunding mandate. The House passed this important legislation in the 116th Congress with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 309-106.
These bills are the first step towards creating a sustainable Postal Service. NPMHU endorses this important legislation and will continue to work with Congress to develop postal reform legislation that addresses the USPS’ financial shortcoming and protects its workforce.
With the recent Memorandum of Understanding Re: Additional Mail Handling Staffing, the parties agreed to jointly develop and implement a Question and Answer document addressing and affirming the parties’ mutual understanding and interpretation of the provisions contained in that MOU.
While the Q&A document does not address every matter, the interpretations contained in the Q&A should be self-explanatory.
Please feel free to circulate the attached Questions and Answers as you deem appropriate, and please do not hesitate to contact the National CAD should you have any questions.
Washington, D.C. (January 7, 2021) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today:
The 500,000 strong, proud, and united men and women of LIUNA are ecstatic and thrilled that President-elect Joe Biden has chosen a dues-paying, card-carrying, second-generation member of Laborers’ Local Union 223, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, to be the next U.S. Secretary of Labor. Marty Walsh is a living embodiment of the American dream: he worked his way up from the field to become a leader of his local union, the head of the Boston Metropolitan Building Trades Council, Mayor of Boston, and now, U.S. Secretary of Labor. He is a hard-charging, hard-fighting, tireless and tenacious working class warrior whose word is his bond, who says what he means and means what he says, and who can always be counted on to stand with working men and women. Marty never forgets where he came from; he values hard work and those that do it; and he has seen, first hand, the power of the Trade Union Movement to transform lives.
As a labor leader and community activist, Marty Walsh helped tens of thousands of workers build strong, middle-class lives for themselves and their families. As Mayor of Boston, Marty Walsh has made his deep roots in the Trade Union Movement a central part of his political career, proudly wearing his union affiliation on his sleeve, and displaying his union card wherever he goes. He has fought for Boston’s working families, made city government more responsive to all those who live and work in Boston, and distinguished himself as one of the hardest-working, most innovative big-city leaders in our nation today.
I know that with his dedication and devotion to the cause, the purpose, and the mission of the Labor Movement, Marty Walsh will restore and re-energize the Department of Labor’s role as a powerful guardian of workers, and strong and effective enforcer of labor laws. He will fight for all working people, regardless of where they come from, what language they speak, or what kind of work they do. He will work to bring skills training and a stronger voice on the job to millions of American workers who too often have been disregarded. He is also a leader that has a history of working cooperatively with employers to create middle class family supporting jobs.
We are awed and inspired that the top labor post in our great country will be occupied by one of our own LIUNA brothers. The choice of Mayor Walsh shows that, when it comes to the agency responsible for enforcing our nation’s labor laws, President-elect Joe Biden not only talks the talk; he truly walks the walk. We congratulate Marty on this appointment, and look forward to working with him, and the Biden administration, in the months and years to come.
Linked here, please find a new MOU just signed by the NPMHU and the Postal Service to provide for additional Mail Handler staffing, in large part by converting 5,288 Mail Handler Assistants to full-time regular career employment no later than March 13, 2021. Also attached is a 4-page chart listing the 183 facilities in which these 5,288 conversions will take place and the number of conversions that will take place in each listed facility.
A copy of these documents was distributed to each Local President on December 24, 2020. Please do not hesitate to contact the National CAD should you have any questions.
Out of an abundance of caution, the 2020 NPMHU National Convention is once again being postponed. In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Executive Board has concluded that this is the only responsible course of action. The Mail Handlers Union continues to prioritize the safety, health and well-being of delegates, guests, family, and staff.
To that end, we have negotiated the following revised arrangements for the 2020 quadrennial convention. The convention proceedings will be reduced to a modified four-day event and will still take place at the Hyatt Regency at Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. The main delegate arrival and registration will take place on Sunday, August 7, 2022. The convention is scheduled to convene the morning of Monday, August 8, 2022, with the closing convention session to take place on Thursday, August 11, 2022. Additional details will be mailed to each delegate in the coming days and posted at the NPMHU Convention site.
Reappointment Opportunities for MHAs Separated for Lack of Work Please find enclosed a copy of a new Memorandum of Understanding signed today in order to accommodate the hundreds of MHAs hired under the Memorandum of Understanding “Temporary Exception Period-COVID-19” dated March 26, 2020 and the subsequent extensions of this MOU. The Memorandum of Understanding “Mail Handler Assistant Employees” under Item 3, Other Provisions, Article 15, number 3 states in relevant part: “MHAs separated for lack of work before the end of their term will be given preference for reappointment ahead of other MHAs with less relative seniority and ahead of other applicants who have not served as MHAs, provided that the need for hiring arises within twelve (12) months of their separation.” (emphasis added). The parties agree that for MHAs hired between March 26, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the above provision will be amended to read “within twenty-four (24) months of their separation.” If you have any questions, please contact the National Contract Administrative Department.
September 3, 2020 - The first MOU allows for additional Annual Leave Carryover for the 2021 Leave Year. In the 2019 National Agreement, the MOU on Annual Leave Carryover allows regular work force employees to carryover 440 hours of accumulated annual leave. The new MOU on Annual Leave Carryover for Leave Year 2021 expands that limit and allows regular work force employees to carryover 520 hours of accumulated leave from leave year 2020 to leave year 2021.
The second MOU deals with the Annual Leave Exchange Option for the 2021 Leave Year. The Annual Leave Exchange Option MOU for Leave Year 2021 will allow career employees to sell back a maximum of 80 hours of annual leave prior to the beginning of the leave year provided the following criteria is met: 1) The employee must be at the maximum leave carryover ceiling (440 hours) at the start of the leave year and 2) the employee must have used fewer than 75 sick leave hours (excluding emergency sick leave taken under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act) in the 2020 leave year. Normally the maximum amount of hours that may be sold back under the 2019 National Agreement MOU on Annual Leave Exchange Option is limited to 40 hours.