Browsing: National Association of Letter Carriers

USPS consultant to divine future of stamps under $500K+ contract

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What might the future hold for the humble postal stamp? The financially challenged U.S. Postal Service is paying a New York consulting firm named Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve more than a half-million dollars to find out. “Who will be buying stamps in 2019, 2024 and 2034? What will they be used for?,” reads the company’s description of the $566,000 task order awarded last month. “How can we embed innovation and new thinking into stamps, to engage America’s coming generations and the [USPS’s] existing and new customers?” After starting the job early last month, BrainReserve–whose website touts its consulting specialty as “applied futurism”–is…

For letter carriers, new contract certain to show the strain of tough times

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As early as this week, members of the National Association of Letter Carriers could get the terms of a new contract. Whatever a three-man arbitration panel decides, the outcome is sure to furnish fresh evidence of the painful tradeoffs facing labor as the embattled U.S. Postal Service presses to cut personnel costs. NALC members “understand that difficult things were necessary,” Jim Sauber, the union’s chief of staff, said in an interview today. “But on the other hand, we also want to reward the people who are working harder and have harder jobs.” The NALC, for example, is proposing to create a…

Postal union political spending up this election

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Organized labor may be hurting, but it would be hard to tell from the amount of money that the four big postal unions are spending on this year’s presidential and congressional races. According to their most recent disclosure reports filed earlier this month, the four–through their political action committees–had shoveled about $9.6 million into the 2012 election cycle, already ahead of the $8.9 million total for 2010, a non-presidential election year, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. Accounting for more than half of the 2012 sum was the National Association of Letter Carriers, followed by the American Postal…

Showdown over mail delivery looming on Capitol Hill (but not this month)

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One way or another, it looks like a major congressional battle is headed our way over the U.S. Postal Service’s long-sought goal of ending most six-day mail delivery. One possible flash point is the postal overhaul bill (H.R. 2309) sponsored by Reps. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Dennis Ross, R-Fla., which would allow postal officials to begin moving to five-day delivery within six months of the legislation’s being signed into law. The House’s Republican leadership had hoped to bring the Issa measure to the floor this month; earlier this week, the National Association of Letter Carriers said its “most urgent goal is…

Rural letter carriers' contract concessions follow APWU precedent

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When American Postal Workers Union members agreed to a contract last year that included wage and benefit concessions, they were obviously binding themselves for the life of the agreement with the U.S. Postal Service. Less obvious—at least to FedLine–was that they were also setting the stage for similar givebacks by other postal unions. That’s a lot clearer now, however, with the award of the three-member arbitration board charged with setting the terms of a new contract between Postal Service and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association. The APWU agreement “provided precedent that would have been very difficult to ignore,” wrote…

Arbitrators to decide terms of three postal union contracts

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Now that the U.S. Postal Service and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union are officially arbitration-bound, it seems time for an overview of the state of USPS labor negotiations that will affect both the mail carrier’s bottom line, not to mention the incomes and working conditions of tens of thousands of postal workers. More than a year has passed since members of the American Postal Workers Union ratified a new contract that will run through 2015. But the Postal Service has yet to sew up agreements with its other three bargaining units. Its last contract with the National Rural Letter…

Arbitration ahead for Postal Service and National Association of Letter Carriers

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Well, that didn’t take long. Less than a month after National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando said the union was “committed” to reaching agreement on a new labor contract through mediation, it’s now headed to binding arbitration with the U.S. Postal Service, according to a release posted on a USPS site. The arbitration process will wrap up later this year, the Postal Service said. A NALC spokesman had no immediate comment this morning. The news comes three months after impasses were declared in the Postal Service’s negotiations with both the NALC and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.…

Postal union consultant calls on Postal Service to think bigger

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Six months after its hiring by the National Association of Letter Carriers, the Lazard Group is out with recommendations for turning around the U.S. Postal Service. Not surprisingly, the Wall Street firm doesn’t see salvation in USPS management’s current strategy, which involves cutting lots of jobs, post offices and processing plants. “Instead of focusing on shrinking its network and capabilities, the Postal Service needs an ambitious rethinking of its business model,” says the six-page “white paper.” As an alternative, Lazard calls on the Postal Service to exploit its “last mile” delivery advantage to keep expanding its parcel business and offer…

Postal Service and mail handlers heading into mediation

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For those keeping track of the three-ring show known as U.S. Postal Service labor negotiations, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union reports that a federally appointed mediator is now in place to help the two sides settle on a new contract. The mediation process can take 60 days; if it fails, the next step will likely be binding arbitration. An impasse was declared in late January in the Postal Service’s contract talks with both the mail handlers union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. The NALC announced the appointment of a mediator last month. “We’re working hard,” President Fredric Rolando…

U.S. Postal Service labor negotiations collapse

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This probably comes as a surprise to just about no one, but an impasse was officially declared today in contract talks between the U.S. Postal Service and two unions: the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.  The next step will presumably be mediation or binding arbitration. The impasse comes two months after prior contracts with both unions officially expired Nov. 20. All sides kept talking after that through two extensions,  but could not agree on another extension to keep negotiations alive past today.  The parties “currently are discussing how they will proceed,” USPS spokesman…

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