--- NEXT UNION MEETING:  November 02, 2014 @ 12:00 pm ---

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OIG ASKS  "SHOULD THE USPS CONTINUE ITS CONSOLIDATION PLAN?"

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!

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

PLANT CLOSINGS
 TO RESUME
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.

POSTMASTER GENERAL SPREADS MISINFORMATION

      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.

CONTRACT RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY MEMBER VOTE

      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
2013 - 2016 LOCAL OFFICERS ELECTED

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.

LV LOCAL IS #1 IN THE COUNTRY

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.

ELECTION CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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.   

LV LOCAL WINS "BEST NEWSLETTER"
AWARD

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.   

NATIONAL OFFICER ELECTION

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!

 

CLERK CRAFT JOB POSTING:  ERRORS MADE ON AWARDS

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.

REASSIGNMENT OPPORTUNITY:
EDISON
(NJ)
CUSTOMER CARE CENTER

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.

YOUR RIGHTS: OFFICIAL DISCUSSION

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

REP. ISSA BLAMES UNIONS FOR USPS CRISIS

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, "ďThe unions wanted to keep six day, and they didnít 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.

OBAMA BUDGET PROPOSAL HAS POSTAL REFORMS

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
USPS:
DELAY MOVE TO
5-DAY DELIVERY

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...} 

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 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:
336-662-4073

 

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 #91500
bid at liteblue.usps.gov
Manual Posting #9000
Submit PS Form 1717A (yellow bid card)

RMD Call Off Number
877-477-3273
TTY 866-833-8777
   
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