I have congratulated the officers for finalizing the retirement incentive and they are deserving. Facilitating the decision to retire is a noble achievement so affected employees should recognize that without the efforts of the union officials there would be no incentive. Moreover, in that we all retire, quit or die, those retiring would have terminated employment without the $15,000 cushion. For those employees who will receive the incentive but did not belong to the union, you should be ashamed. While you will greedily accept every penny of the incentive, you made no contribution to its achievement; shame!
Agreement has been reached on the specifics of the incentive but the most important aspect of the situation has yet to be addressed. Over the past year, the subject of a retirement incentive has been a major topic of discussion among postal employees, particularly the retirement eligibles. The message emanating from union headquarters was mixed with the underlying theme that there would not be agreement. It was reported that the national executive board endorsed a position to refuse negotiations until conditions were met. Statements made at the national convention ranged from lack of interest on the part of the Postal Service to union militancy in demanding contract compliance as a pre-condition. Two news service bulletins were distributed essentially informing the members that the Postal Service had not made an offer and it was not wise to negotiate in public. No official statement was ever conveyed to the membership fully explaining the state of negotiations on the subject.
Agreement has now been achieved and the members are entitled to an understanding, not of just the details agreed to but the circumstances leading to the agreement. What changed and how did we proceed from “The USPS has not made an official offer.” “We demand contract compliance as a condition and the Postal Service does not have the funds to make an offer.”
Having engaged in the pre discussions of retirement incentives, I am aware of the behind the scenes maneuvering but the members do not have that luxury. Now is the time to share with them the details of the story surrounding the final agreement. While it is not appropriate to negotiate in public, now the deal is done and the members need to know.