---  NEXT UNION MEETING:  May 01 2016 @ 12:00 pm ---

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We need your ideas for Local Negotiations.

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The Lehigh Valley Area Local is proud to welcomes its newest members. 

Zachary Jacoby - PSE Lehigh Valley
     Be sure to welcome these new members into the APWU!

2016 PA

 The Pennsylvania AFL-CIOis accepting applications for the 2016 Scholarship Essay Contest.  There are two scholarhsips available.  One is for graduating students and the second is for students currently enrolled in college. Information and applications can be found on the "SCHOLARSHIPS" page.  Use the link at the top.


The Lehigh Valley Area Local is proud to welcomes its newest members. 

Laurie Petrson  Julie Kelchner
Kwane Fauntleroy Karol Knappenberger
Brian Gosa Melissa Milian
Maria Vargas  
     Be sure to welcome these new members into the APWU!


The USPS has been offering opportunities for PTF and PSEs to apply for residual vacancies in other post offices.  This is a result of the "Filling of Residual Vacancies" Memorandum signed by the parties last year.  When a FTR position receives no bids within its office, the memoradum spells out how that position is filled.  If the job is not filled by the intial steps it creates an opportunity for PTFs and PSEs in other offices to apply for the job.  PSEs also have the ability to apply for PTF positions in other offices which result in conversion to career status.

We have learned, however, that not all postmasters are sharing this information with their PSE which deprives them of opportunites for covnersion to FTR or PTF positions.  The Lehigh Valley Area Local will begin posting these notices on our website to ensure that every PTF/PSE member is aware of these opportunities.   In the past, we have been hesitant to post this information because we don't want non-members having access to the forms.  We still recommend that members do not share this information with non-members.  However, in weighing the pros and cons we feel it is more important to make certain that all members have the opportunity to apply for positions.

The canvassing notices will be posted in the right hand column and will be separated into PTF bids and PSE bids.  Completed forms can be mailed to the address on the paper, or faxed to the number listed on the form.


For clerks working retail counters, one of the worst feelings is coming up short on your drawer.  The contract says employees are liable for their accounts and must exercise reasonable care in the performance of their duties.  The USPS, for their part, agrees to provide adequate security for money, stamps, and other accountable items.

Too often, a clerk who is short has to think back and try to piece together what could have happened since their last audit.  Even if they do remember issues, if they are not documented it makes it harder to support those claims.  The APWU, for many years, has encouraged window clerks to report secutrity concerns or poor financial practices to their supervisors or postmaster.  This does two things.  It alerts the USPS to issues which may need to be addressed.  It also establishes the potential that the USPS failed to ensure adequate security for a clerks accountability.

The Lehigh Valley Area Local has created a local version of the National APWU security / financial practice form that employees can use to document concerns.  We encourage clerks to use this form to memorialize situation when they happen rather than trying to recall after the fact.  You can get the form from our FORMS page.


In a August 7th letter to the NPMHU and APWU the USPS informed the union that they were modifying the previous jurisdictional assignment award for the new Small Parcel Sorting System (SPSS).  The duties of singulating, separating and facing parcels at the five induction station will be performed by Clerk Craft employees, not mailhandlers.

The Postal Service based this decision on the fact that the work performed at the SPSS induction station is very similar to work performed on the SPBS and APBS machines which is done by mail processing clerks.  Clerks will also perform the sweeping duties as part of a rotation as is currently done on the APBS.  If the need arises for "additional" sweeping, beyond what the clerk craft rotation provides, management can use mailhandlers to perform these additional sweeping duties.  However, mailhandlers, even the "additional" sweepers are limited to pulling / replacing containers.  They cannot throw off individual parcels into sack, cages, hampers, gaylords, or other containers. 


Representatives of the APWU and USPS met with officials of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) on June 9 to begin mediation on a new collective bargaining agreement. APWU President Mark Dimondstein, Industrial Relations Director Tony D. McKinnon and staff met with FMCS Acting Director Allison Beck, Deputy Director Scott L. Beckenbaugh, and the USPS vice president of Labor Relations, where they discussed the progress of negotiations and outlined several of the topics that separate the parties. 

Contract negotiations ended without an agreement on May 27, following a one-week extension of talks. In accordance with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA), if bargaining reaches a stalemate, the union and management must participate in mediation unless they agree to an alternate method. Mediation is expected to last at least 60 days. During negotiations, the USPS destroyed the possibility of reaching a deal by insisting on...more

T-1 L-07

Clerk Position #71321443 (T-1 FSM Lead Clerk) was posted at the Lehigh Valley P&DC.  Because of the excessing from T-1 the job was posted for closed bids.  Only current T-1 Level 07 clerks were permitted to bid on the vacant job.  The posting closed and the job received no bids.

The residual vacancy was offered to the only clerk with Level 07 retreat rights to T-1 and the position was declined by that clerk.  As a result the closed bidding requirement is now lifted.  The T-1, Level 07 retreat rights have been exhausted.  Position #71321443 will be posted on the next clerk vacancy notice and will be open to bids for all clerks within the LV P&DC.  

There are still a number of clerks with retreat rights to Level 06 jobs on T-1.  So, any vacant T-1, L-06 jobs will continue to be posted as closed bidding, with residuals being offered to clerks with retreat rights.


July 12, 2015

It will soon be time for ou annual summer picnic at Hershey Park.  This years's picnic will be held on Sunday July 12, 2015 (rain or shine).  Download a form and order your tickets today.




Fran Friel has served as Clerk Craft Director and Full Time Steward for many years.  In May 2015, Fran learned that a long sought transfer opportunity had become a reality.  When an chance like that comes up you cannot say no because you never know how long it will be until the next opportunity.  Fran has accepted the transfer, effective May 30, 2015.

The Local would like to thank Fran for all the hard work and dedication he has shown to the members over the years.  Truly, the post offices of the Lehigh Valley are a better place to work thanks to Fran's efforts.  Fran went the extra mile for clerks in the plant as well as the AOs.

Lehigh Valley Steward Chad Beer has been appointed to fill the vacant Clerk Craft Director position.  Chad will also act as Step 2 designee and Full Time Steward.

We wish Fran all of the best in his new location and hope he realizes he will always have friends in Pennsylvania.  Thanks, Fran!  Good luck and God bless!


Contract negotiations between the American Postal Workers Union and the U.S. Postal Service ended without an agreement on May 27. The USPS scuttled any prospect of reaching a deal by insisting on severe cuts in pay and benefits, despite the fact that progress had been made on many non-economic issues, President Mark Dimondstein reported. “Management’s economic demands and proposed changes to the workforce structure were completely unacceptable,”  read the full story...


LV Area Local Constitution & Bylaws:  Article VI, Section 11

"Any office, except the office of President, vacated for any reason may be filled by a successor appointed by the President.  Such appointment must receive approval of a majority of the Executive Board."


     Chad Beer has been appointed to fill the vacant office of Clerk Craft Director.  The appointment was made by President Andy Kubat and ratified by unanimous vote of the Executive board.  Chad has done an excellent job representing the membership and will do a great job as Clerk Driector.  Chad will serve as Chief Steward for the clerk craft and will be the desginee for Step 2 grievances in the clerk craft. 


APWU President Mark Dimondstein has presented his first update for union members on the status of contract negotiations. The bargaining report is available to APWU members only. To read the summary, click here. For those who are new to the APWU website -- or to the Members Only section -- log-in instructions can be found here


     Tammy Flanagan is the Senior Benefits Director for the National Institute of Transition Planning, Inc. which conducts Federal Retirement Planning Workshops and Seminars. She has spent 25 years helping Federal employees take charge of their retirement by understanding their benefits and planning for the future. Since January 2006 she has been writing a weekly column for www.govexec.com on the many topics related to planning for retirement.

       Below are links to the latest column and archived columns.



LV Area Local Constitution & Bylaws:  Article VI, Section 11

"Any office, except the office of President, vacated for any reason may be filled by a successor appointed by the President.  Such appointment must receive approval of a majority of the Executive Board."


     Chris Day has been appointed to fill the vacant office of Executive Vice-President.  The appointment was made by President Andy Kubat and ratified by unanimous vote of the Executive board at the February meeting.  Chris has done an excellent job representing the membership and will do a great job as Vice President.  Chris will continue to serve as Chief Steward for the maintenance craft and has been named as the President's desginee for Step 2 grievances in the maintenance craft. 


The Lehigh Valley Area Local is proud to welcomes its newest members. 

Sarah Florentino - FTR Clerk LV P&DC Colleen Seidel - FTR Clerk LV P&DC
Christina Mann - PSE Clerk Macungie PO
     Be sure to welcome these new members into the APWU 


The USPS is reporting that files containing employee information have been compromised.  The information at risk includes "names, dates of birth, social security numbers, addresses, dates of employment, and emergency contact information for all active employees".  The USPS is also investigating the possible breach of records involving injury claim data.  Employees will receive one year of free credit monitoring services.

Each employee should receive a letter explaining the problem and what actions should be taken.  If you do not receive this letter by Nov. 20th you should contact the Human Resources Shared Services Center (HRSSC) at 1-877-477-3273, and choose option 5 (option 1 for TDD/TTY).  For more information check out the links below.

Employee Video Stand-Up Talk Employee Handout Employee FAQ
PSE HEALTH BENEFITS - Is PostalEASE saying you are ineligible

Some PSEs are having difficulty signing up for health benefits.  When they log on to PostalEASE the system tells them they are not eligible for benefits and will not process their enrollment sleections.  PSEs who are facing this difficulty should complete the necessary health benefits enrollment forms and mail, of fax, them to Shared Services for processing.  PSEs should complete the following forms:

USPS-24 PostalEASE FEHB Worksheeet (pg 3-5) If selecting self-only write "N/A" on pg 4 in the dependants box
PS Form 8202 - Pre-Tax or After-Tax Premium Selection
PS Form 8141 - Suffient Earnings Requirement Statement

You MUST include your Employee ID number on every page

Send completed forms, via Certified Mail (with return receipt) to:

HRSSC Comp & Benefits, PO Box 970400, Greensboro, NC   27497-0400

It is recommended that you follow up with a phone call to verify that your

FEHB selections have been received and processed.

   Do not wait until the last days of Open Season to submit these forms.  If problems are discovered after Open Season closes it is very difficult to get them corrected.  So, please, make sure you submit your selections promptly!

For more FEHB information, read the 2015 FEHB Guide for Benefits

Fed Emp Health Benefits 11/10/14 @ 01:00 - 12/09/14 @18:00
Fed Vision & Dental Plans 11/10/14 @ 01:00 - 12/09/14 @18:00
Flexible Spending Account 11/10/14 - 12/08/14
Annual Leave Exchange 11/15/14 @ 01:01 - 12/16/14 @ 00:59
TSP Catch-Up Deposits made before 15:00 on 12/10/14 will be counted towards 2014
Health Benefit, TSP, FSA, and A/L Exchange elections are made via PostalEASE.
For FED VIP plan information is on opm.gov and enrollment is via Benefeds.com


The 2014 Leave Year ends on January 09, 2015.  Employees are reminded that any Annual Leave balance in excess of 440 hours will be forfeited if not used on or before January 09, 2015


to vote

The Office of Inspector General is conducting a poll to determine whether it should advocate for or against conitnue plant closures and consolidations.  It is seeking input from the public to guide its decision making.  LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!   Vote "NO" on plant consolidations!


The poll is at the bottom of the article.   Tell you friends, family and neighbors to vote also.

IN 2015

      The Postal Service has announced that it will resume consolidation and closure of mail processing plants in 2015.  In early 2014, the USPS had announced it was halting all scheduled sonsolidations and closures.  However, with this weeks annoucement, the USPS is resuming implementation of their Network Rationalization plan. 

     PMG Donhaoe suggests that decreaing 1st class volumes and "excess capacity" are behind the need to reduce the number of processing plants.  "We find ourselves with excess capacity in the network and few alternatives to reduce costs, "Donahoe said, adding that, "Our operating costs are continuing to increase, and our debt and other liabilities threaten our financial viability."

     Locally, the Network Rationalization plan calls for the closing of the Scranton P&DC with the mail coming to the Lehigh Valley P&DC.  This could result in the return of Article 12 withholding as the change see clerks, maintenance and MVS employees from Scranton being excessed into the Lehigh Valley area.  Click HERE to see a full list of propsed closures and consolidations.


      PMG Donahoe, trying to support the decision to close more plants, claims that  the USPS has "recorded substantial losses over the last three years."  He fails to mention that revenue increased by $5.5 billion in May 2014.  This is a 3% revenue increase versus May 2013.  Additionally, when considering operations, the cost to move and deliver the mail, the USPS is reporting a $1.3 billion profit year-to-date.  This is much better than the $278 million loss they reported this time, last year.


      Members at the February 02, 2014 Union Meeting voted on suggestions for changes to the contract submitted by the membership.  Resolutions that were adopted by the membership vote will be submitted to the PPWU Convention for further consideration, then to the National Convention.

Resolutions Adopted by unanimous vote:  Res #2, Res #3, Res #5, Res #12, Res #13
Resolutions Adopted which next Congress to act:  #11, Leg Res #1, Leg Res #2
Resolutions which have been previously adopted:  Res #4, Res #7, Res #9
Resolutions referred to currently pending resolutions:  Res #6, Res #10
Resolutions defeated by unanimous vote:  Res #1, Res #8
read the full text of all resolutions

Nominations for all officer positions of the Lehigh Valley Area Local were held at the November 3rd General Membership Meeting.  Each officer position received only one nomination.  Therefore, in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws, the nominees will be duly elected by acclimation.  The term of office will run from January 01, 2014 through December 31, 2016.  List of officers

The next election for local officers will be held in November 2016.


The Lehigh Valley Local has won first place in the National "Get Out the Vote" contest.  The National APWU sponsored this contest which awarded prizes to the top three locals with the highest voter participation in the National Officer election. 

Locals were grouped into five categories based on the numbers of members in the local.  The Lehigh Valley Area Local had the highest voter particapation in the 500 - 999 member category. 

As the winners of the contest, the Local will receive $2,000 which will be used to offset the cost of the prozes awarded to members as part of our local contest.


Thanks to all who participated in the Local's "Get out the Vote" contest.  The winners were drawn by the National APWU Election Committee.  Congratulations to:


Weekend at Pocono Manor:  Anthony Wallace - Lehigh Valley MVS

$50 Visa Gift Card: John Browne - Lehigh Valley MVS, Keith Knoblach - Lehigh Valley MVS, Michael McFarland - Lehigh Valley Maintenance,  Sharon Westawski - Lehigh Valley Clerk,  Laurie Freeman - Lehigh Valley Clerk,  Eydie Miller - Stroudsburg Maintenance PSE, Patricia Alexander - Brohdeadsville Clerk,  Teri Dunne - Lehigh Valley Clerk,  Anthony Newborn - Lehigh Valley MVS,  Michael Tecce - Lehigh Valley Maintenance


Thanks to all members who took time to vote.   


The Lehigh Valley Visions Newsletter has been selected as the best in-house production newsleter in the country by the Postal Press Association.  Awards are given out in various categories such as:  best article, best editorial, best photograph, etc...

The Lehigh Valley Visions was nominated in the Overall Excellence category which consists of three subgroups.  The Visions newsletter is designated as a "Best Non-Professional (B)" newsletter, which is any publication prepared, edited, and printed in house by the local editor without any work done by a professional printer.  The Lehigh Valley Visions newsletter is produced 100% in-house by  Editor Bernie Ogozalek and Associate Editor Andy Kubat with indespensible help from Ann Friel.   


All members are encouraged to vote in the election of APWU National Officers.  The people we elect will represent our interests and will be negotiating our next contract.

The Local is sponsoring a contest to encourage voter participation.  Prizes will be awarded to voters drawn at random by the national election committee.  To be entered in the drawing, show your completed sealed ballot to a local officer before mailing.  Please, do not show your ballot, or an incomplete ballot.  Only after you have completed and sealed you ballot inside the return envelope should you show it to an officer. 

Associate Office clerks should call the union office and leave a message informing us that you have mailed your ballot.


Who you decide to vote for is entirely your choice.  Just vote!



The Local has been notified that there are errors on the recent job bid award notice.  It appears that the USPS had incorrectly input an employee's seniority date which resulted in a job being awarded to a junior employee.

That error will be corrected and the resulting change could impact other jobs on the posting as the clerk incorrectly awarded the wrong job may, subsequently, be the senior bidder on another position.  A corrected copy of the award notice will be posted.


The USPS has announced the availability of Customer Care Agent positions in the USPS Customer Care Center.  The Care Center is located in the fornmer Kilmer P&DC in Edison New Jersey.

Interested employees must apply for these jobs using the eReassign system.  The Kilmer Customer Care Agent positions are listed under the New Brusnwick Bid Cluster, within eReassign.  Employees from all APWU crafts are eligible to apply for these positions. See posting.


This is the first in a new series of messages entitled "YOUR RIGHTS".  One of the most effective tools the APWU has is an informed member.  When you know your rights, you will be able to discern when management has crossed the line and violated you rights.  Too many violations go unnoticed because members are not unsure of their rights. 

It is hoped that these messages will give you the information you need to keep your supervisors honest.  The member who knows their rights is the last one management will try to take advantage of.


The first message in this series deals with Official Discussions.  MORE


House Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Ca) convened a hearing in light of the USPS Board of Governors recommendation to postpone the move to 5-day delivery.  Although the BOG decision clearly indicated that the Continuing Resolution passed by Congress prohibited the USPS from making the change it has not stopped Issa from pointing the finger elsewhere.

Issa suggests it was a USPS decision to scrap the 5-day delivery plan, failing to accept any culpability, on behalf of Congress, for passing the Continuing Resolution.  While questioning the USPS BOG Chaimrman about the decision to postpone 5-day delivery, Rep. Issa insinuated that the unions, and its members, were trying to shirk their responsibility, "“The unions wanted to keep six day, and they didn’t mind not paying their just debts pursuant to the law."  Clearly, this is an attempt to demonize the unions, and postal workers, in the court of public opinion.


President Obama's proposed 2013 Budget includes several significant changes for the Postal Service.  If passed by Congress the Budget Plan would affect:

FRHB prefunding:  Change the Future Retiree Health Care prefunding mandate from a fixed amount to a calculated amount.  Expand the timeframe for 100% from 10 years to 40 years which would result in lower yearly payments.  Reduce 2013 and 2014 payments by a total of $10.6 billion.

Postage Rates:  Obama's proposal would grant the USPS Board of Governors the right to make a "modest, one time" rate increase for first class and standard mail.

5-Day Delivery:  The USPS would be allowed to proceed with plans to eliminate Saturday delivery.

FERS Overfunding:  The plan would instruct OPM to re-calculate future USPS FERS contributions while returning the acknowledged FERS surplus.  This surplus is estimated at anywhere from $2.6 billion to $11.5 billion.

B.O.G.  TO

The USPS Board of Governors met on Tuesday, April 09, 2013 to discuss the Continuing Resolution for government funding passed by the Congress in March.  The meeting was to discuss whether the Continuing Resolution would prohibit the USPS from transitioning to 5-day delivery or allow it.

In a press release, the Board said that it had instructed the USPS to "delay implementation of its new delivery scheduled until legislation is passed."  The Board also stated that it was "disappointed with this Congressional action" which "has prohibited implementation of a new delivery schedule for mail and packages."

The Board also directed the USPS to seek a reopening of negotiations with the unions...to lower total workforce costs, and to take administrative actions necessary to reduce costs.  (What that means is anybody's guess!)


     {editors note:  The unions should agree to changes to lower workforce costs?  The APWU contract was designed to save the USPS $3.75 billion over the life of the agreement.  If the USPS sqaundered those opportunities...} 


Some PSEs are having difficulty signing up for Health Benefits.  When they log on to PostalEASE the system tells them they are not eleigible for health benefits and will not process their selections.  PSEs who are facing this difficulty should complete the health benefit selection forms and mail or fax them to Shared Services for processing.  PSEs should complete the following

For more FEHB information, read the 2014 FEHB Guide for Benefits


You MUST include your Employee ID number on every page

Send completed forms to:

HRSSC Comp & Benefits
PO Box 970400
Greensboro, NC   27497-0400
Send via Certified mail with Return Receipt
Fax to:


It is recommended that you follow up with a phone call to verify that you FEHB selections have been received and processed.

LV P&DC Job Posting
Posting 125283
Closes 03/18/16

Function 1 17.87%
Function 4 10.93%
      Updated Nov 13, 2015

RMD Call Off Number
TTY 866-833-8777
2016 Leave Chart
2016 Pay & Holiday Calendar

Lead Clerk**
2010 - 2015 Contract
NTFT Assignments
Automation Staffing
HUB Clerk
Mail Processing Clerk
** APWU Position Paper