07/28/2017 – The American Postal Workers Union and United States Postal Service reached a tentative agreement for bargaining unit employees in the Information Technology and Accounting Services Centers (IT/AS). This agreement is subject to ratification by the membership (under the Support Services Division).
The contract covers approximately 1,140 IT/AS employees with service centers in Eagan, MN, St. Louis, MO, San Mateo, CA, and Wilkes-Barre, PA.
It provides for the following pay increases:
- 1.3% general increase effective January 20, 2017, and
- 1.3% general increase effective January 19, 2018.
- $333 COLA increase effective April 29, 2017.
- Future COLAs based on the September 2017 CPI-W Index, March 2018 Index, and September 2018 Index.
The Employer/Employee shares of health insurance premiums will be the same as all other postal union agreements – shifting 2% of the total premium to employees.
Other provisions provide additional growth of employment and some upward movement in grades and steps:
- With the filling of vacancies, the 50 positions promised in the previous contract and 20 new positions in this contract; the number of programmers will increase to 431 from the current 372. The agreement also calls for regular tracking reports to assure quick movement to the agreed upon staffing.
- A step Q is added to the top of levels 14, 15, and 16, eventually increasing pay for more than 524 employees with an immediate raise for about 240 people. This change provides for consistency with the pay step structure through level 23.
- Four new Level 18 positions will be added to Accounting Services.
“Over several contracts, APWU has been pushing for career ladders, so that employees are paid for their training and experience and are not stuck forever in one place,” reported Support Services Director Steve Brooks.
The tentative agreement continues progress in providing for career ladders by adding one new one and one amended one.
- A new career ladder for the Quality Assurance area and,
- An amended career ladder for Accounting Specialists in Payroll.
“We were able to agree to changes in language regarding our grievance procedure, job postings, and voluntary transfers that will give union representatives and rank-and-file members added input during the processes,” reported Director Brooks.
In addition, the Voluntary 10/4 work schedule option was modified, making it easier to get on the program.
The parties will also create a task force to review the programing application testing procedures on both the IT and Accounting areas. A different task force will review the accounting levels and duties and possible career ladder opportunities.
The ratification process will begin at each center and should be concluded by the end of August. If ratified, the collective bargaining agreement will expire on Jan. 20, 2019.
“Many gains were achieved in this contract and we look forward to continuing our progress next year,” concluded Director Brooks.