NATIONAL APWU NEGOTIATES MONETARY INCENTIVE FOR RETIREMENTS, SEPARATIONS; MORATORIUM ON EXCESSING THRU OCT. 9, 2009

SPECIAL BULLETIN ALERT:
APWU Web News Article #099-09, Aug. 25, 2009
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APWU-represented employees who retire or separate on or before Nov. 30, 2009, will receive a monetary incentive of $15,000, in accordance with an agreement negotiated by the union. The incentive will be paid in two installments to eligible employees. “This agreement achieves a long-standing objective of the APWU,” said union President William Burrus.
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The incentive will be offered to eligible career full-time employees who terminate their service through regular retirement, Voluntary Early Retirement, or voluntary separation. (Eligible PTR and PTF employees will receive proportional percentages of the incentive.)
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To qualify for regular retirement, employees must have at least 30 years of service and be age 55; must have at least 20 years of service and be age 60, or must have at least five years of service and be age 62.
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To qualify for early retirement, employees must have at least 20 years of service and be 50 years of age or must have 25 years of service at any age. (The annuity is reduced for employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System [CSRS] by 2 percent for each year employees are under age 55.)
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Employees who do not qualify for regular or early retirement but wish to receive the incentive may resign.
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Not covered by the agreement are employees who were issued a notice of discharge on or before Aug. 24; MPE 9s, ET 10s, and ET 11s who cannot be replaced without training; Operating Services employees; employees in the Accounting Services section of the IT/ASC bargaining unit, probationary employees, and Transitional Employees.
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Eligible full-time employees may, at their option, end their service on or before Sept. 30, or they will be assigned a date of Oct. 31 or Nov. 30 by management, based on operational needs. Employees will be paid $10,000 within two pay periods after separation, and will receive an additional $5,000 on Oct. 29, 2010. Part-time employees will be assigned a date of Nov. 30. Negotiations over the agreement, which was finalized Aug. 24, took two months, Burrus said.
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“Our goal was an incentive of 50 percent of a year’s salary. Because of the difficult economic times, however, the agreement had to be structured to avoid adding to the deficit. Nonetheless, we feel that the settlement will provide a modest incentive to employees to end their service. “The USPS financial condition is precarious,” Burrus said.
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“The congressionally-imposed obligation to pre-fund the retirees’ health insurance fund has caused tremendous deficits over the last two years, and without legislative relief, improvement is not in the forecast."
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“Management has been forced to reduce costs, but unfortunately, the cuts have been applied disproportionally to bargaining-unit employees, especially to those in mail processing,” the union president said.
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“Because our contract prohibits layoffs, the only means for cutting work hours have been to reassign full-time employees and to reduce the hours of PTFs,” Burrus noted. “Excessing and work-hour cuts cause severe hardships for our members,” he said, “so finding a way to make voluntary complement adjustments became an urgent matter.”
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There will be a moratorium on excessing from Aug. 24 through Oct. 9 to allow time to assess the vacancies created by the retirements and separations. During this period, excessing notices that have already been issued will be reviewed.
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If more than 25,000 employees indicate they wish to accept the offer, the parties will discuss implementation, based on a proportion of the number of employees in the complement of the APWU and Mail Handler crafts. Mail Handlers are expected to receive an offer virtually identical to the APWU-negotiated agreement.
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The agreement includes the following:
There will be a $10,000 payment to eligible full-time employees who terminate their service through regular retirement, Voluntary Early Retirement, or voluntary separation, to be paid as soon as administratively possible, but no later than two pay periods after separation; Each full-time employee who terminates employment also will receive a $5,000 payment on Oct. 29, 2010.
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Part-Time Regular and Part-Time Flexible employees who terminate their service will receive a proportional percentage of the $10,000 and $5,000 incentive, as follows:
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Percent of Incentive Payment
Under 520
25
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520 and under 1020
50
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1020 and under 1520
75
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1520 and over
100
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The agreement applies to all non-probationary career postal employees in the APWU bargaining unit employees, including employees in the Clerk Craft, Maintenance Craft, Motor Vehicle Services Craft, mail equipment shops, material distribution centers, occupational health nurses, with the following exceptions or limitations:
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Employees who were issued a notice of discharge on or before Aug. 24, 2009, are excluded; MPE 9, ET 10, and ET 11 employees will be eligible if the residual vacancy created as a result of their retirement or separation can be filled by a qualified employee who does not require additional training to fill their vacancy.
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Operating Service employees are not eligible; Employees in the Accounting Services section of the IT/ASC Collective Bargaining Agreement are not eligible.
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(Credit http://www.apwu.org/ for the above news item) and if you are interested in the full text of the Memorandum of Understanding click on pdf at bottom of the full page on www.apwu.org above news item.
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BELOW USPS NEWS ITEM RELEASED ON TUE., AUG. 25, 2009
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Media Contact: Yvonne Yoerger(O) 202-268-8596(C) 202-258-4322yvonne.yoerger@usps.govusps.com/newsRelease No. 09-073
Postal Service Continues Cost-Cutting Actions.
Negotiated Incentive Plan Designed to Save $500 Million.
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WASHINGTON — In a decision to save hundreds of millions of dollars in labor-related costs, the U.S. Postal Service negotiated an agreement with two of its employee unions to offer select employees a financial incentive to retire or resign before the end of the fiscal year.
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The one-time offer is a strategic move to accelerate targeted staffing reductions for employees represented by either the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) or the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU).
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Advances in mail processing technology and the continuing recession have led the Postal Service to more aggressively match work hours with work load. The majority of employees eligible for the incentive work in mail processing facilities.
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Because the number of addresses grows by 1.5 million each year, letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association were not extended this offer.
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The incentive provides eligible employees $10,000 to be paid during the first three months of Fiscal Year 2010, creating salary and benefit savings for the next nine months. The same employees will receive a second payment of $5,000 in Fiscal Year 2011. Fiscal Year 2010 starts Oct. 1, 2009.
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As many as 30,000 employees could take advantage of the incentive offer. Savings to the Postal Service could be as much as $500 million next year.
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The employee incentive offer is the latest in a series of cost reductions the Postal Service has made this year. Cost savings during 2009 are expected to total more than $6 billion, including the following actions:
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Cutting more than 100 million work hours, the equivalent of 57,000 positions;
Halting construction of new postal facilities;
Closing six district offices;
Negotiating an agreement with the National Association of Letter Carriers that adjusts letter carrier routes to reflect diminished volume;
Instituting a nationwide hiring freeze;
Reducing authorized staffing levels at postal headquarters and area offices by at least 15 percent;
Selling unused and under-utilized postal facilities;
Adjusting Post Office hours to better reflect customer use; Consolidating mail processing operations; and
Freezing salaries of all Postal Service officers and executives.
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“This decision reflects our desire to provide a fair and equitable opportunity for some of our longest-serving employees,” said Anthony Vegliante, chief human resources officer and executive vice president. “It is important to the Postal Service that we take appropriate measures to address our current financial situation.”
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The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 149 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes, six days a week. It has 34,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses.
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Named the Most Trusted Government Agency five consecutive years by the Ponemon Institute, the Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.

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