The finances of the U.S. Postal Service are deeply in the red. The agency faces a permanently reduced demand for its services and its labor accounts for almost 80 percent of its costs. Thus it is not a good time for postal employees to get an increase in wages and benefits, right?
According to one postal union, the USPS’s deteriorating condition isn’t relevant. The American Postal Workers Union, which represents more than 200,000 employees, has recently entered collective bargaining negotiations for a new contract. In an interview with Government Executive, APWU President William Burrus calls a pay increase for his members an “entitlement”:
“More – more control over activities at work, more money, better benefits – we want more,” said Burrus. “We will try to fashion our proposals to reflect the entitlement to more.”
Burrus said he resents the idea that an arbitrator should be required to take into account the Postal Service’s financial situation. He called the idea antidemocratic and said it interferes with free collective bargaining.