On 21 January 2020, NPMHU and the Post Office provisionally agreed to set the terms of their national agreement for 2019. Today, 22 January 2020, the specific conditions of this provisional agreement will be released for NPMHU membership. Below are a special newsletter that has just been published by NPMHU, as well as a full summary of the preliminary agreement. The agreement is subject to the ratification of the majority of the Union`s members. The electoral process will begin at the end of February or the beginning of March (within 45 days) with a 30-day deadline for the return of the ballots. Two minor amendments were made to Section 15 of the Interim Agreement, including (a) the inclusion of employer letters (up to $3,000) in the list of expedited arbitration procedures and (b) the holding of complaints at Stage 3 where local complaints constitute the same issue of interpretation as an interpretation dispute pending at the national level at stage 4. Below is a summary of the interim agreement between NPMHU and the Post Office to define the terms of the 2019 National Agreement. The interim agreement provides for a single transformation of MMAs into facilities of 200 years or more, with conversion expected within 60 days of ratification. From the date of ratification, any MHA of 2.5 years or more will be automatically converted to full-time career status on that date, without a new trial period having to be served. All other declarations of intent and letters of intent, including the agreement on the appeal of the remaining positions, have been continued, with the exception of some casual worker agreements that remain in force until all casual workers are eliminated, but which will then be withdrawn from the 2019 national agreement as obsolete. For MHAs, MHA will be able to maintain their participation in the USPS noncareer health plan in the first year of employment. The Post Office will continue to pay $125 per salary period for self-insurance, but according to the preliminary agreement, the postal service will pay much more – 65% of the total premium for each MHA who chooses to participate in the NONCAReer USPS plan for auto-plus-one or family coverage. After ratification, the treaty extends over a three-year period and runs until 20 September 2022.
In essence, the interim agreement will continue to protect the jobs and standard of living of all post-post career post-post postal workers, both now and in the future. It includes four general wage increases and six cost-of-living adjustments. The agreement also has substantial improvements for handler mail assistants (MHAs), converts many MHAs into career status and eliminates all casual workers. For the first time since 1996, the Post Office and NPMHU have agreed to release the lump sums paid for night differences in each grade and salary scale each year from the contract. Under this agreement, all night differences will increase by 2% per year in May 2020, May 2021 and May 2022. The agreement also eliminates all casual postal workers within 120 days of the ratification of the agreement. Under the 2016 national agreement, the postal service was allowed to provide 3% casual services compared to previous contracts, for which casual percentages were as high as 12.5%. In return, the preliminary agreement will increase the percentage of MMA to allow up to 24.5% per facility (23.5% per facility and 18.5% per district) and this cap will apply at the facility level, making it easier for the union to be implemented.