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Chapter 3 Our Workforce

Labor Relations


The Postal Service has nine collective bargaining agreements with seven unions covering career employees. Negotiations with unions cover wages, many benefits, and conditions of employment. In 2007, the Postal Service successfully negotiated agreements with three of its four largest unions: the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU), the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), and the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO (NALC). The Postal Service also negotiated agreements with two smaller bargaining units covered by the APWU: the Information Technology and Accounting Service Center, representing information technology and accounting employees at the Accounting Service Centers; and the Operating Services Division, covering maintenance employees primarily at Headquarters. The Postal Service also entered into an agreement with the International Association of Machinists, covering a small number of tool and die workers. Negotiations are ongoing with the National Postal Professional Nurses, who have recently agreed to affiliate with the APWU. Pursuant to an interest arbitration award, a contract was established with the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) in December 2007. The Postal Service was unable to reach agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and therefore, interest arbitration is being pursued according to statutory guidelines.

The Postal Service and the NALC continued joint contract application training and dispute resolution process support by delivering training to 88 Postal Service and NALC representatives responsible for addressing and resolving disputes locally. The training has been instrumental in reducing disputes and improving relationships. The Postal Service and NALC also have jointly developed an intervention process that has been widely implemented to identify and resolve root causes of disputes at the lowest level possible, helping build more cooperative and productive labor-management relationships.

The Postal Service and NPMHU co-hosted the 10th annual Quality of Work Life Conference. More than 39 quality circles displayed innovative solutions to improve operations, with three selected as the Best of the Best for potential national implementation.

Consultation With Management Associations

As prescribed by law, program consultations were conducted throughout the year with the national officers and representatives of the National League of Postmasters (League), the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS), and the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS). Pay consultations were held with each party to determine EAS pay and benefits for the years 2007–2010. This process presented an opportunity for the associations to participate directly in the planning, development, and implementation of programs and policies affecting approximately 80,000 managerial employees. Continuation of the PFP program mentioned earlier was one result of these collaborative efforts.

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