The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently reached a new national agreement that will have significant impacts on postal workers and the USPS for the next several years. From improved wages and benefits to changes in working conditions and job security, this new agreement is a major milestone in the ongoing relationship between the APWU and USPS.
One of the most notable changes in this new agreement is the increase in wages. Postal workers represented by the APWU will receive a total of three wage increases over the life of the contract, with the first increase taking effect on November 21, 2020. By the end of the contract in 2023, a career postal worker will have seen their pay increase by more than $3,000. Additionally, the agreement includes a $1,000 lump-sum payment to all APWU-represented employees, which will be paid out in December 2020.
Another significant change in the agreement is the expansion of the Postal Service Career Employees (PSE) program. This program allows non-career employees to become career employees, providing them with improved benefits and job security. Under the new agreement, the USPS will convert up to 3,000 PSE employees to career status each year, starting in 2021. This will provide more stability and better job opportunities for PSE employees, who currently make up a significant portion of the USPS workforce.
The new agreement also includes changes to health care benefits. Postal workers represented by the APWU will continue to have access to the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program, but with some changes to premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The agreement also includes a new health plan option for postal workers, which will be available starting in 2021. This new plan will have lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs than the current FEHB plans, providing more affordable health care options for postal workers.
In addition to these changes, the new agreement includes several other provisions related to working conditions, job security, and more. For example, the agreement includes a guarantee that there will be no layoffs or excessing of career employees during the life of the contract. It also includes improved protections for postal workers who are victims of domestic violence, expanded work opportunities for part-time flexible employees, and updated language on telework and scheduling.
Overall, the new national agreement between the APWU and USPS represents a major step forward for postal workers and the USPS as a whole. By providing improved wages and benefits, expanding job opportunities, and making other important changes, this agreement will help to improve the lives of postal workers while also strengthening the USPS as an essential public service.