This week, NALC and USPS continued daily with interest rate arbitration proceedings to resolve the impasse over the 2019 collective agreement. The 2019 national agreement will last 44 months and will cover the period from September 20, 2019 to May 20, 2023. The agreement provides for four annual general wage increases and seven adjustment costs (COLAs). In addition, with effect on November 19, 2022, a new next step (stage P) will be added to the factor pay scales, which will be $444 per year higher than Stage O. The agreement also provides for the automatic transition of City Carrier Assistants (CCAs) to career status, no later than 24 months of relative position, providing benefits and total security to non-career holders. In addition, there is protection against subcontracting and redundancies. There are nine collective agreements with seven unions, which include about 550,000 professional employees. Negotiations with unions include wages, numerous benefits and conditions of employment. There are currently negotiated agreements with the nine bargaining units. The most recent agreement was prompted by the issuance in April 2009 of a decision on interest rates for postal nurses, represented by the National Postal Professional Nurses, linked to the American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO (APWU). Collective bargaining with two of the four main postal unions, the APWU and the National Rural Letter Carriers` Association (NRLCA), will begin in 2010. “Today, I am pleased to announce that NALC and the U.S. Postal Service have reached an interim agreement on a new national contract, a goal we have been working on continuously over the past 17 months.

As I have pointed out on several occasions, NALC has taken a two-tiered approach to reaching a new national agreement, with negotiations underway and the presentation of the best possible case for our proposals in derinseschied. I am proud of the case and the evidence we have accumulated in the interest of arbitration, but I am all the more pleased that the factors can now decide whether or not to accept this provisional agreement in a ratification vote in accordance with the procedure described in the NALC Constitution. On September 20, 2019, negotiations on a new collective agreement between NALC and USPS reached an impasse. The current collective agreement remains in effect until the final settlement of the wage dispute between the parties. As explained in Chapter 3, two interim alternating route adjustment processes were negotiated with the NALC due to the dramatic drop in mail volume. As part of the revised agreement, all line evaluation and adjustment decisions were made jointly by NALC teams and postal representatives after verification of selected data and data provided by the regular carrier. These processes have eliminated 10,119 urban transportation routes, and if route adjustments are added outside of this process, about 11,000 urban roads have been eliminated this year. Under the 2016-2019 National Agreement, uniform compensation for professionals and non-career holders will increase under the US$44 agreement of 44 $US: the NALC Executive Board unanimously recommends approval of the interim agreement.

Issues that remain contentious after the expiry of the mediation period will be dealt with through the interest rate arbitration process, resulting in a final and binding decision on the content of a new national agreement. We summarized the main features of the contract in the NALC Bulletin, which is sent to stations and offices across the country. Full details of the interim agreement, as well as the forward-looking pay schedules, other contractual changes and information relating to the new Declarations of Intent (MOUs), will be presented in the December issue of The Postal Record.