Members of the American Postal Workers Union will get about a month to decide the fate of a new contract, with the union dangling prizes to encourage locals to get out the vote, according to a news release. Ballots will be mailed out starting April 8 and are due back by May 10, with the actual count taking place the following day, May 11, the union release says.
Depending on size and turnout, individual locals will be eligible for up to $4,000 in prizes to be used on members’ behalf. The union has also scheduled nine briefings around the country.
Announced last week, the 4-1/2-year tentative contract would run until May 20, 2015, replacing an agreement that officially expired last November. For employees on the job at that point, it would continue no-layoff protections. The proposed deal also contains modest across-the-board pay increases and limits the use of “excessing,” when workers have to accept positions at other USPS facilities that may be far from their homes as a condition of keeping their jobs.
At the same time, the proposed deal introduces a separate wage scale that would mean lower starting salaries for new employees and keep them from reaching the top step available to the current workforce. While the APWU’s leadership has strongly endorsed the proposed agreement, former President William Burrus is opposed on the grounds it would cost future hires too much.
The largest of the Postal Service’s four unions, the APWU represents about 205,000 clerks, drivers, and other employees, according to the agency. The APWU release does not say how many are actual members eligible to vote.