The American Postal Workers Union said that its Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee voted last week to send the tentative agreement extending the union's collective bargaining pact to APWU members for a ratification vote.
Ballots will be mailed to members in two to three weeks. If passed, the deal would affect more than 300,000 U.S. Postal Service employees represented by APWU.
The postal service and union reached a tentative deal this month on a two-year extension of their labor agreement, which would expire Nov. 20, 2003. The extension, which needed approval by the advisory committee and members, would be the first of its kind in APWU history. The union represents 366,000 postal clerks and other post office employees.
The deal calls for a 1.3 percent wage increase effective Nov. 15, 2003, and a 1.3 percent increase effective Nov. 27, 2004. It also calls for four cost-of-living boosts by late 2005 and the creation of a joint task force to discuss the repositioning of employees.
The deal also includes a pledge by the USPS that it won't reassign employees whose jobs are eliminated to a position more than 50 miles from their current location. The union also won a two-year extension of no-layoff protections for most full-time postal service workers.