by Lindamarie Peabody

Greetings Brothers and Sisters! It is the middle of July and we are still in limbo with our contract. Our National Officers have been in negotiations for months with USPS managers and we still can’t agree on the economic portion of our contract. Our national President Mark Dimondstein has said enough is enough. He refused to sell out like the last time, and opted for a fight. We lost so much in the last contract, that it will take great strength and solidarity to recover in the coming years. He asked that we continue to put pressure on postal management and do our part to show that we will stand for nothing but the best USPS we can offer. This includes better service for the public, and fair wages and pay for all of us who work hard every day to help the Post Office succeed. The way to help aid in the negotiations is to continue to get the postcards signed and mailed back to the PMG Megan Brennan, wear union gear every Thursday, boycott Staples forever, and keep the conversation going with the public on how important the Postal Service is to the future of our country. We can never STOP caring or fighting for a good postal service, good jobs and a good contract. We all work hard and deserve a decent life! Luckily, we still have a contract that will remain in full effect until a new one is hashed out in mediation or arbitration. Check out the APWU website, members only section for updates on the negotiations. We at Tri County will keep you posted on any new developments by mail should a tentative agreement be reached.

In other news, I have been constantly hearing that window clerks are either still failing to ask the HAZMAT question, or just not allowing the customer to respond appropriately on the display unit. You must ask the question in its entirety, every time a customer mails a package. This is non-negotiable and it protects all of us. Postal clerks who try to move the lines by bypassing their duties are not only hurting our WOS hours, but are possibly creating a hazardous environment that can end up injuring or killing one of our own coworkers. It is not worth it to rush through any customer and you are taking a chance with everyone’s life if you fail to do your job. When you are performing window duties you must take your time and ask the HAZMAT questions as well as explaining the services we offer starting with EXPRESS each and every time! This, and wearing a presentable postal window clerk uniform, are your primary duties that the Post Office pays you pretty well to do. Do NOT cut corners that may eventually "CUT" your job!

Finally, I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and spending quality time with their families. This year all of the Officers of Tri County have each had major life events, some good like twin angels and some not so good like surgery or sick family members, but we are committed to doing the best we can in any circumstances. We believe 100 percent that the Union is the only way to protect our hard earned rights and when we are UNITED as a whole, we can overcome any obstacles or accomplish any goals we set our minds to. I look forward to seeing all of you at the September union meeting.

In union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor