We Must Remain Vigilant!
Rallys & Legislation
The Save America’s Postal Service rallies were a huge success. Our local took a significant role in getting our message out to the public to support HR 1351 (Lynch bill). 74 out of just under 500 SSAL members were able to attend rallies in Boston, New Bedford & Lowell and I know for a fact there were many others who wanted to attend but couldn’t get the time off. Legislative Director Donnie Sheehan ran the show in Boston and did a great job as usual! Thanks to all of you.
Just in case anyone is wondering, this is not a test of the Emergency Broadcast System… this is an actual EMERGENCY! Congress is making decisions on YOUR lives.
HR 1351, despite having over 225 co-sponsors, has not been discussed in Congress because Darrell Issa won’t allow it to be. HR 2309 (Issa bill), with one co-sponsor Dennis Ross (I wish he’d change his name), has not only been discussed but has been approved by a majority of two committees and could be voted on by the entire House before this issue of the Word falls into your hands. That bill would destroy the Postal Service, your collective bargaining rights, and open the door to massive layoffs.
The Senate has introduced S.1789 the 21st Century Postal Service Act that would give the USPS short-term financial relief, but would force the USPS to dismantle its retail and mail-processing network. The bill would allow the USPS to eliminate Saturday delivery & degrade delivery to customers’ doors no later than 2015.
The reduction of delivery standards proposed by the Postal Service is something that concerns me very much. If the Service is allowed to delay the delivery of all mail classes by an extra day, that opens the door to larger mail processing facilities being able to eat up the smaller ones. The plant closings will happen and we will have way too many employees without homes. Excessing cannot accommodate everyone under these circumstances. Layoffs would be a given.
That is why we must remain vigilante. The September rallies were just the beginning. We must not stand idly by while Congress is deciding our present and our future. Can you afford to retire right now? What if you don’t have a choice? Be prepared to fight for your jobs. If you are called upon to do something by your union… DO IT! If you don’t fight for your job today, you may not have a job to fight for tomorrow.
Our national officers have been inundated with excessing notices. Locally, we have just finished with the first wave in Taunton with 7 clerks having been moved (6 of them voluntarily). One more clerk is scheduled to be excessed out of Taunton in the next excessing event. I have been notified of excessing in another five offices (Fairhaven, N. Dighton, Swansea, Raynham & Raynham Center). Meetings must take place at the Area level before any moves take place. I will notify affecting clerks when I have more information.
Non-Traditional Full-Time (NTFT)
PTFs in level 21 & above offices who were converted to full-time on August 27th were largely assigned 30 hours over a six day period. Clerk Craft Director Ralph Stefanelli has grieved that there is nothing in the contract that allows FTRs to be assigned to less than 8 hours, 5 days & 2 n/s days. Duty assignments can be non-traditional, but not employees.
The Postal Service is preparing to post NTFT bids. If they have done so without discussion and input by me, they have been done improperly and will be grieved. If management posts a NTFT bid of less than 40 hours and you were a 40 FTR on May 23rd, you cannot be forced into a bid of less than 40 hours. If you are among those employees and don’t want less than 40 hours, DO NOT BID.
APWU Health Plan & Voluntary Benefits Plan
Open season for health plans are not underway and are open until December 12th. I want to urge everyone to take a hard look at the APWU Health Plan. The Plan has improved vastly over the last few years and offers a lot of great benefits. I’ve been in it for a couple of years now and I have no complaints.
I would also advise every member to take a look at the benefits offered by the Voluntary Benefits Plan. One of our members recently suffered a debilitating health condition that will prevent him from working for a long time. His family asked if he had any short and/or long term disability coverage. He didn’t. It’s fine when you don’t have the coverage and don’t need it. But you never know when you actually will need it. It certainly would have been an enormous help to this member’s family if he had the coverage. Don’t let that happen to your loved ones.