By Mark Hennessy

OK! Summer is here! Lather up with the sunscreen, block those ultra-violet rays!

Well, we move forward with a new 4 1/2 year contract. Did we gain a lot, or was it a split for both the Union and the USPS?

It will nearly take the 4 1/2 years to answer that question as some gains and $ do not kick in until the contract days move forward.

There are immediate gains for PTF's come August, when Level 21 and up offices, where there are all regulars, not PTF's, but new terminology (actually) maybe changing the title but with the same meaning. No part time regulars? Just what were they when they could work 30 hours as to now with the 30 hours? Oh, three 10 hour days maybe? We will see how the DUO concept is working with Level 16 OIC's in charge and working 5 hours per day with a PTF or a regular splitting a day.

The mail is vanishing and the politicians are lining up to privatize even as hints of this come from the top. More products and services wherever they can get a business to take on squeezing out our window clerks. Oh, oh! Sales and Service Associates maybe if they step back and realize we are not a business. We are a SERVICE! Since the business concept has been jammed down our throats, the service (?) has diminished. One thinks the guess here we should take out the service with the re-instating of United States Post Office - again - prior to 1970. But this is progress - or is it?

The days are ticking off and a Congress that most holding these elective positions still do not know how the Postal Service operates or what the concept is. Quite frankly, just give us back the overpayments to the retiree funds and cut the annual payments where they are more reasonably proportioned to the funds and maybe things will look better as we move on.

Our members have to be more involved, take an interest to what is happening and be more pro-active on the union and what may well be "customers' last stand," if eyes and voices remain closed!

In Solidarity,
Mark Hennessy