Web News Article #: 022-2015
02/09/2015 – With contract negotiations set to begin on Feb. 19, APWU members across the country are busy preparing.
At the national level, officers have been studying data, weighing input from union members, plotting strategy, and honing contract proposals.
“But to win a good contract this year, we will have to wage our fight very differently than we have in the past,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.
“While negotiations are going on at the bargaining table, we will have to demonstrate support from union members across the country, as well as from the people we serve,” he said.
The APWU is inviting union members to participate in a live Town Hall Conference Call with President Dimondstein on Feb. 17, to discuss negotiations and how union members can join the fight. To take part, register here. Participants will be able to select from four times. The call is expected to last approximately 35 minutes.
Sticking with the Union
On Feb. 19, the opening day of negotiations, union members are urged to wear stickers and union caps, T-shirt and other gear as a show of solidarity. Stickers have been mailed to local and state presidents for distribution.
“By wearing the sticker and union gear, you will visibly demonstrate that union members are involved, informed, united, and organized in our quest for a fair contract,” Dimondstein said. “To win support, we will need the active involvement of all APWU members – not just stewards and officers.”
Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell said, “We also must make sure that we are united within our own ranks. We must make sure that more senior workers understand the importance of improving conditions for Postal Support Employees, and that new employees understand the importance of protecting retirement benefits. And we must strive together to end the three-tier pay structure that divides our workforce.”
APWU retirees are also involved – planning tailgate parties and working to building public support for our efforts to save America’s Postal Service. “Retirees are providing information to their neighbors and to community organizations, informing them that securing a good contract for postal employees will mean better services and a better place to live,” said Retirees Department Director Judy Beard.
Many locals and state organizations have set up Contract Action Teams (CAT), which will assist the national APWU and local and state leaders in providing information to union members in break rooms and on bulletin boards throughout negotiations. For information about helping to set up a contract action team contact your local president.
“Every APWU member can – and should – get involved,” Dimondstein said. “We will ask all union members to speak out about the threat to the public Postal Service and how a contract that protects good jobs can also protect local post offices. We will ask members to take the message to community meetings, the places where they worship, and small business groups in their cities and towns.”