by Lindamarie Peabody

Hello again! As we roll into Spring there are many issues facing postal workers. The most important one is the Evolutionary Network Development (END) plan, which will involve the closing and consolidation of many existing postal facilities. The USPS plans to narrow the nine (9) type facilities network into a five (5) type facility network. The ultimate goal is to reduce 450 existing USPS processing centers down to about 200! The Postal Service presented the plan to the Postal Rate Commission for evaluation on February 14, 2006. The initial report to the union spoke of 44 specific facilities, but with little or no information about the actual plan. Since then, the union has realized that this plan was created without any input from the public and could be potentially devastating to the workforce. Not only will many workers have to suffer numerous excessings, but the public's mail service will deteriorate as well. The National Officers of the APWU plan to focus most of its resources on trying to halt this plan. The USPS is trying to fast-track its implementation so that the public will have little time to respond with their concerns. As a union member, it will be our responsibility to educate our family, friends and anyone who will listen that this plan will hurt the public and benefit only the multi-million dollar bulk-business mailing advertisers. Our competence in spreading the word to others may be the difference in saving our jobs. We also need to write our state and national representatives to let them know we are strongly against this plan and put pressure on those individuals who are making the decisions for us. Because of this new development we are asking every member of our local to donate money to COPA. They will need the funds to ensure that the word gets out. If you sit back and do nothing, then you will be helping the USPS take your job away! The coupon for COPA is in every issue for a reason...USE IT! We NEED everyone to take action!

On another note, the affected employees from Media who received excessing and abolishment letters should know that all letters have been rescinded for now. Workforce planning and management have made so many mistakes that Mark Hennessy, Rich Brown and Eric Wilson are working triple time to make sense of it all. Actually, the more we look at it the less sense it makes to any of us. The Tri County Local advises you to sit tight and try not to let it get to you. Just remember to thank someone (even God if you want) that you have a strong group of union officers looking out for you and that we still have a no-layoff clause in our contract. Major companies all over the country are handing out "pink slips" daily to people just like us with families, homes and dreams. The only difference is that they can lose their jobs at any given moment and you will still have a job somewhere. No matter what the future holds, we will get through this if we stand together as one strong union. We can't afford to be divided now or ever!

Finally, some good news! A COLA (cost of living) raise and a 1.6 percent salary increase will go into effect at the end of March. Also, the Philadelphia Local will host the APWU National Convention from August 14-18. This is the first time it will be held on the East Coast in a long time, and it will enable us to send more delegates so that the Tri County voice will be heard! I would strongly recommend that if possible, you should check it out and learn first hand what the union is doing for you (call Mark Hennessy if you need more info). I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Keep up the good work, everyone. Until next time...

In Union Solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor