NALC NATIONAL CONFERENCE REPORT
This month's report is separated into five pages and was created with the combined effort of the following Branch 2184 Officers:
Page 1) Mark Judd, President
Page 2) Walt McGregory, Executive Vice President
Page 3) Joe Golonka, Vice President
Page 4) Jackie McGregory, Recording Secretary
Page 5) Cathy Tondreau, Financial Secretary-Treasurer
(Continued from page 4)
Collective Bargaining and Legislative Workshop
This Workshop was chaired by NALC Executive Vice President Brian Renfroe, who provided an overview of the NALC’s process for collective bargaining. In addition to “main table” discussions with postal management, the NALC Executive Council is divided into seven groups, each of which addresses specific areas and subjects of collective bargaining.
As the bargaining process is currently underway, Brian provided some background on the focus of each of the seven groups of NALC Executive Council members. Typically, issues where the parties can reasonably be expected to reach common ground are addressed first, and economic issues are introduced and discussed later in the bargaining process.
Should the NALC and USPS reach an impasse at the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement on September 20, a period of mediation will occur, most likely followed by interest arbitration. It appears that the possibility of arbitration is higher with this round of negotiations, and Brian opined that the USPS seems to be intimidated by the current administration, thus making it more difficult to reach an agreement.
The next subject of discussion, led by Ed Morgan of the NALC’s legislative staff, was the NALC’s legislative mobilization efforts. Our union’s five regional Legislative and Political Organizers (LPOs) oversee and direct these efforts in conjunction with the state presidents, and they are critical in the current political environment. A positive note is current legislation (HR 2382) to eliminate the USPS retiree health benefit prefunding requirement, which has recently attained a majority number of cosponsors. However, the legislation is still a long way from being enacted, given control of the United States Senate and the White House by our political adversaries. Congress is currently on a break until September 9.
NALC Counsel Jim Sauber reported on the political landscape for the forthcoming 2020 National elections. He reported on the Vote at Home coalition, a state by state campaign to enact laws which allow citizens to vote at home. Voting by mail in this manner strengthens the voting process and thus our democracy by increasing voter participation, and also by safeguarding the integrity of the process. Paper ballots completed at home can’t be hacked.
The Workshop also included information about the updated Letter Carrier Resource Guide, which is filled with valuable information for new letter carriers as well as added sections that contain essential information for all active letter carriers.
Contract Administration Unit Workshop
This workshop was led by NALC Vice President Lew Drass and NALC Director of City Delivery Christopher Jackson, along with staff members of the NALC’s Contract Administration Unit. The workshop covered a broad range of subjects including the ongoing “Consolidated Casing” test that was unilaterally implemented by the Postal Service. As noted earlier, there are many contractual issues and violations occurring in the sites where the test is being conducted.
Other subjects covered included the Carrier Academy for newly hired CCAs, with updated training materials that were released in July this year. The USPS is currently testing four new versions of Mobile Delivery De-vices (MDDs), although there is no timeline for procurement of the new devices. The USPS is also conducting two different versions of video testing inside postal vehi-cles at some locations in the United States.
NALC Vice President Lew Drass reported that there are 13 pending interpretive issues at the National level. These include but are not limited to a significant increase in the number of Contract Delivery Services (CDS) deliveries and related subcontracting matters, CCA conversions to fulltime career status, and holiday schedule “pecking order” disputes for work performed on the actual day of a holiday, pay schedule consolidation issues and clerk excessing, and CCA employment caps.
Lew also provided a regional arbitration update and a report on the results of Local Memorandum of Under-standing (LMOU) impasse arbitrations, most of which have been completed with an impressive 72% win rate the NALC. He then provided an update on the Dispute Resolution Process. During recent years the 58 fulltime Step B teams across the United States have discussed nearly 30,000 grievances each year that remained unresolved after the first two local steps of the grievance procedure. Finally, Vice President Drass reported on forthcoming training that will be conducted by the NALC including Formal Step A and Beyond Training and arbitration advocate training. He also reported that route inspections would likely be occurring on a widespread basis during the coming months, and that the NALC Guide to Route Inspections and The Route Inspection Pocket Handbook were available for order from the NALC supply department. The NALC now has more than 100 grievance starters available for our station stewards.
Mark Judd, President
Walt McGregory, Executive Vice President
Joe Golonka, Vice President
Jackie McGregory, Recording Secretary
Cathy Tondreau, Financial Secretary-Treasurer