During the writing of my book, I searched my memory to recall those things that I was able to achieve that adds to the rewards APWU represented employees received on my watch. In that the primary magnet of employment is wages and benefits, I looked back and researched the contracts that I was directly responsible for and calculated how I helped advanced postal salaries during the years that I served as the chief negotiator. While I was involved in contract negotiations from the beginning of my national service, I did not assume sole responsibility for wages until the 2000 negotiations. In the 2000 negotiations, we did not succeed in finalizing a negotiated contract so it was decided in arbitration and prior to receipt of the decision the salary of a Grade 5 Step O employee was $39,515.
When I left office in 2010 the salary had progressed to $53,102, a difference of $13,587, but that does not tell the whole story because the increases received from the 2000 contract have been received each succeeding year. This is the difference between lump sum payments and wage increases in that one is a onetime payment while the other continues to be received year after year. In the interim, over successive agreements and contract extensions, employees received additional wage increases and cost of living adjustments and my review revealed surprising results.
The record shows that if an employee had frozen his/her expenditures at the level of the first increase in 2000 and banked every increase received to date, that employee would have received a cumulative total of $85,000 in additional wages. This amount includes each pay increase and COLA and the additional amount is credited for each year received (for full comprehension, the salary increases are credited for each year received to date).
Step increases were not included in the calculation. So an employee who was on the rolls when the 2000 contract was finalized and has continued as a postal employee to date has received wage increases over that period of time that added up to a total sum of $85,000 and is still counting. In contrast, the wage increases received since I ended my career comes to the grand total of ZERO, nada, none.