2022 No. 9 – September 19, 2022
You are reading the ninth Contract Update produced and distributed by the NPMHU during the course of 2022 negotiations. These updates, along with the Union’s magazine and monthly bulletins, will keep mail handlers throughout the country informed and involved in the issues raised during this round of bargaining.
For nearly a week, the NPMHU Negotiations Team has been sequestered in the Mayflower Hotel with USPS representatives in an attempt to come to a tentative agreement on a new contract for the Mail Handler bargaining unit. The three months of contract negotiations have coalesced into these final days of bargaining. Regardless of the long and arduous road that led to this point, the NPMHU Negotiations Team remains determined to fight hard for its proposals.
Even though USPS representatives have had NPMHU proposals for months, only recently have they submitted counterproposals or proposed tentative agreements. With less than forty-eight hours to go until the expiration of the contract, the Postal Service is responding to a fraction of all NPMHU proposals. In many cases, these proposals could have been the subject of tentative agreements back in July or August, if it weren’t for unexplained USPS delays.
The good news is, as evidenced by their proposed tentative agreements and counter proposals, Postal Service officials now seem willing to negotiate. Though this comes at a late hour, the NPMHU Negotiations Team is cautiously optimistic that this change in pace will result in greater progress toward a tentative agreement on a full contract.
While the start of negotiation meetings at the Mayflower proved to be difficult, bargaining sessions have improved. Both parties are meeting with greater frequency at Main Table sessions. During these meetings, USPS officials seem much more willing and able to reach tentative agreements with the NPMHU. Though a National Agreement is far from being signed, things are looking much brighter than they did just a week ago.
Outside of Main Table negotiations, small groups and subcommittees continue to meet to discuss the finer details of each proposal. These meetings, while not as official as the Main Table sessions, are key to the bargaining process. During these sessions, both parties settle their differences and draw closer to a tentative agreement on a particular issue.
In regard to economic issues, National President Hogrogian and National Secretary-Treasurer Mike Hora continue to meet with Deputy Postmaster General Douglas Tulino in smaller sessions. While those negotiations have not yet resulted in any concrete agreements, President Hogrogian maintains that these talks have been productive and have led to an exchange of ideas.
As the deadline for the contract grows closer and closer, it is imperative that both parties remain open to an earnest and thorough negotiations process. NPMHU representatives insist that their Postal Service counterparts return to the bargaining table committed to reaching an agreement. This includes continuing to respond to NPMHU proposals in pursuit of a tentative agreement, demonstrating a genuine effort to address proposals, and showing a willingness to discuss more difficult and nuanced proposals.
Though the final days of bargaining are never easy, the NPMHU Negotiations Team remains resolute and determined to fight hard for all of its proposed changes to the National Agreement.
Above all, the NPMHU Negotiations Team wants to ensure that any agreement that it reaches with the Postal Service will be favorable for the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, the Mail Handler craft, the Postal Service, and the American mailing public.