A three-member arbitration panel will begin hearings Dec. 5 on a new contract between the U.S. Postal Service and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, according to a posting on the union’s web site.
The panel’s neutral member will be Jack Clarke, a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and a veteran of the NRLCA-USPS southern area arbitration panel, the posting said. The union has named Joey Johnson, its director of labor relations, to the panel while the Postal Service has appointed Robert Dufek, its manager for labor relations strategies.
The first round of hearings will go through Dec. 8, according to the Postal Service, while additional sessions could continue into April if needed. The hearings will kick off more than a year after an impasse was declared last November in contract negotiations between the two sides. They nonetheless continued to talk for months after that, only deciding this summer to take the plunge to arbitration.
The hearings will alternate between USPS headquarters in Washington and the union’s headquarters in nearby northern Virginia, a Postal Service spokeswoman said.