The U.S. Postal Service has shelved a proposal that “would have expanded its ability to subcontract rural routes to contract delivery service,” according to an announcement this week by the National Rural Letters Carriers’ Association. The decision “came after extensive discussions” between the NRLCA and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, as well as other postal officials, according to the release on the union’s web site.
“We have tabled the issue while we are in the process of resolving a labor contract,” Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders said via email, when asked for confirmation of the union’s claim.
Although Donahoe recently acknowledged that more subcontracting was an option, the exact contours of what the Postal Service wanted to do remain unclear. Neither the agency nor the union would release the written proposal, although the NRLCA was predictably concerned about the possible impact on its members.
The union, which represents about 115,000 career and non-career postal workers, is still talking to the Postal Service about a new contract, according to participants on both sides, despite an impasse declared more than two months ago.
Also in contract negotiations is the American Postal Workers Union. “I know that many of our members are eager to hear details about our exchanges,” APWU President Cliff Guffey said in a release today that described progress as slow. “Unfortunately, while talks are ongoing, it is not feasible to elaborate on specifics.”