Membership Update Feb, 26th 2017

February 26, 2017


Re: Updates to Membership


1. Negotiations:


Negotiations between the PPOA and the Postal Service for a successor Collective Bargaining Agreement began Tuesday, February 7, 2017. The current CBA expires on April 14, 2017. As required, negotiations commence with work rules (contract language) discussions. While contractual language is important—and we’re seeking some necessary, long-overdue language changes—we are not looking to renegotiate the entire contract. Given our Union’s small size—exacerbated by the 100 or so free-loader non-members—our resources will not allow for an exorbitant expenditure work rule/contractual language changes.
Rather, nearly all of our resources devoted to negotiations will be dedicated to our top priority—achieving substantially improved wages for PPOs. Therefore, we intend to expedite the work rule portion of negotiations, at which time we’ll enter the economic portion of the process.
Ultimately, negotiations serve as a reflection of the amount of bargaining power and leverage either side can assert. Over the past two years, the PPOA has positioned itself to assert a kind of leverage beyond anything we’ve ever possessed. Numerous national grievances; letters; disputes; requests for information; National Labor Relations Board charges; meetings; teleconferences; etc. have—in our opinion—placed the Union on the offensive (and, conversely, the Agency in a defensive posture). In other words, the Union is setting the tone with the Postal Service reacting to what we do rather, than vice-versa. The days of the Agency getting away with obfuscation and outright lying are over. This doesn't mean negotiations will be easy. We still face significant obstacles—the primary being funding another interest arbitration (should one become necessary). Membership—now more than ever—is critical. Each PPO should take it upon him or herself to encourage the non-members in our ranks to support our endeavors.
We have never been in a better bargaining position—it’s that simple. We’ll keep you updated as we progress in negotiations.


2. PPOA Job Analysis Survey:


At this point, only 143 PPOs (total) have taken the Union's JOB ANALYSIS survey. Putting that into perspective, nearly 300 PPOs took the Agency’s survey. If you have not done so, please take part in the Union Survey.
Your participation is critical in the Union's fight for higher wages. The survey will only take about 30-40 minutes to complete. The results of this survey will be used as evidence against the Inspection Service. So, if you've been complaining that PPOs don't make enough money, do something about it!! Take the Union's survey.


Directly below is the link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/N6W8GG7


3. FLEOA:


Below, find an update from Geoffrey Bailey, FLEOA Agency President for Postal Police:
"On 2/22/17, FLEOA Exec Director Pat O'Carroll, FLEOA lobbyist Chris Granburg, the FLEOA Agency President for Postal Inspectors, and I met with staff members of Senators Cory Booker (D) and Ron Johnson (R), and bipartisan House Representatives on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGC) to discuss HR 756 (Postal Reform).
The meetings were productive as we were able to put PPO issues front and center. The off-duty firearm issue and issues regarding our police vs. guard status were a part of the discussions. I am encouraged by the amount of interest and questions that were generated and I will be following up by providing information that was requested for further review by these staffers.
Health care concerns shared by PPOs, Inspectors, and Postal OIG were also discussed. We are looking for a cut-out of all LEO's in the bill to keep us on par with other Federal LE, but I am not optimistic. OGR explained that the purpose of the bill is to separate Postal from the rest of Federal Government to alleviate the financial burden the USPS bears in pre-funding retirement care. They anticipate a reduction in premiums across the board as a result of realigning the USPS from FEHB to PEHB.
FLEOA continues to get us meetings with players regarding our issues on the Hill. Originally, we hoped to get their support on the off-duty carry issue (and we are still pursuing this issue), but they have also found ways to get other PPO concerns that we have discussed in these meetings.
Thanks to Frank Albergo and Jim Bjork for their efforts in providing supporting documents for staffers to review. I know they are busy, but they recognize the importance of utilizing the Hill audience while we have their full attention.
Also, please remember that your first phone call regarding any issue should go to FLEOA Legal Support! We pay for this benefit. Let them advise you first and guide you as appropriate. Remember, this is the founding purpose of FLEOA and their motto "Don't go it Alone!"


4. NAPO:


Recently, at our request and immediately upon the 115th Congress being seated, NAPO met with Congressman Peter King's office with Mr. King immediately re-introducing the House version of the LEO Equity Act. We have provided NAPO with additional information seeking their counsel and assistance on a number of additional initiatives and priorities. NAPO advised that we not share these specific initiatives in order to prevent undue Agency interference.


5. Northeast Area Representative (NEAR):


Due to personal reasons, James Mullen resigned his position. PPOA President Jim Bjork nominated Garrett Loveless to fill the remainder of the NEAR term, and that nomination was unanimously supported by the PPOA Executive Board. President Bjork expressed that Loveless’ experience as a former NEAR, as well as his tenacity in supporting the membership were factors in the nomination. Welcome back G!


6. Elections:


Nominations and Elections for all Regional Representative and EB Positions (President; First Vice President; Second Vice President; Secretary-Treasurer; and Sergeant-at-Arms) will be taking place this spring and summer, with three-year terms beginning on September 1, 2017.
Announcements on nominations and elections will be forthcoming.


Take care all, and stay safe.


Jim Bjork—National President                                                  Garrett Loveless--NEAR


Frank Albergo—First Vice President                                        Nate Read—EANR


Nevell Harper—Second Vice President                                    Geoff Bailey—CANR


Eric Freeman—National Secretary/Treasurer                        Bruce Bock—WANR


Humphrey Rutherford—National Grievance Secretary          Craig Clarit—SANR


Stacy Condon—Sergeant-at-Arms