APWU members who are considering voting for Mitt Romney for president of the United States should fully understand the full consequences of their vote if he wins. You may believe what is at stake are abstract issues like the national debt, a woman’s right to choose, Planned Parenthood and Big Bird, but you also have a personal stake in the outcome. Assuming that the Republicans retain control of the House as expected, Postal Reform as written in HR 2309 can be expected to be voted on in the lame duck session under the guidance of Republican Chairman Issa and you should fully understand what it will provide. The Bill reads in part as follows:
SEC 304 (d) Collective bargaining agreements between the Postal Service and bargaining representatives recognized under section 1203, ratified after the date of enactment of this subsection, shall contain no provision restricting the application of reduction-in-force procedures under Title 5 with respect to members of the applicable bargaining unit.
(e) Any collective bargaining agreement between the Postal Service and the bargaining representatives recognized under section 1203 ratified before the date of enactment of this Act that contains any provision violating subsection (d) shall be renegotiated with a new collective bargaining agreement to be ratified or imposed through an arbitration decision under section 1207 within 9 months after such date of enactment.
In layman’s terms, the Postal Service would be required to eliminate Article 6 of the APWU national agreement that limits the right to lay off and would have the right to lay off, regardless of seniority. In addition, the Postal Service would have the right to require retirement eligibles to retire based on age and years of service.
If you agree with these provisions, your vote for Mitt Romney will be consistent with your intent, but you cannot have it both ways. Your decision will express support for the removal of no lay off as a condition of postal employment.
It is easy when you can support solutions that affect someone else, but this time it includes you and if you feel that strongly it comes with the territory. In addition to promising to reduce the national debt he also promises to “right size” the Postal Service and you are surplus. No incentive, no severance, just like the efficient private sector, a pink slip. It’s your vote and if you feel that strongly, it’s also your job. There are not free lunches!