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Southwest Coastal Area Local 917 (APWU 917)

Our Union, Our Contract, Our Future.




Emergency Update
April 11, 2024


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Postal service management has been introducing changes that add complexity to our daily tasks without addressing service improvements or ensuring adequate staffing.

The latest concern is the "Hazmat Question Bypass," which primarily impacts many window clerks in our local. We've witnessed several clerks walked out due to this issue. 

Please review the following points to protect yourselves!


"Bypassing the HAZMAT Question":

     Window clerks are REQUIRED TO VERBALLY ASK the HAZMAT QUESTION for each transaction handled over the counter. Currently, there is no policy, regulation, or training that explicitly states clerks MUST obtain customer responses through the Customer Display Unit (CDU) (credit/debit card reader).
     Regarding the RSS, there is a button available to bypass customer entry. However, management is emphasizing that it's
MANDATORY for the customers to answer the HAZMAT question on the Customer Display Unit. It's worth noting that the PO-209 (Retail Operations Handbook 2021) mentions the HAZMAT question and CDU primarily in the context of
the RCE (Mystery Shopper Program).

     Management CANNOT use the RCE/Mystery Shopper Program for disciplinary purposes.
     If Management conducts a Stand-Up meeting,
politely request that management provide a copy of the postal policy or formal training that mandates customers answer the HAZMAT question on the Customer Display Unit (CDU).

What if you bypass the HAZMAT question?
     Immediately note for yourself the date and approximate time of any transactions where you bypassed the HAZMAT question.
     Management will receive a report detailing who bypassed the HAZMAT question and how many times.
     If management informs you of being placed (walked out) on 16.7 (Emergency Placement), follow their instructions, clock out, and immediately contact your union representatives by filling out the "
Contact Us Form" on the union website at or by

calling 714-660-2882.

What you can do to protect yourself:
     Attempt to have the customer answer the HAZMAT question on the Customer Display Unit with EVERY transaction.
     While it's not mandatory, it's important to comply with management’s instructions regarding the HAZMAT question.
     If you experience equipment failure, notify the customer, inform a supervisor that your system is not functioning, and make a note for yourself. It is also recommended to file a
"security/poor financial practice" if management fails to address the issue and fix the equipment failure as soon as possible as this is a safety risk to BSA and terminal transactions. The form can be found at

     When processing a Zero PVI, inform the supervisor first and make a note for yourself.

Verbally asking the HAZMAT question remains MANDATORY for the safety of the mail and coworkers.

The Hazmat question is as follows:
Does your item(s) or parcel(s) contains any liquid, anything fragile, perishable, or potentially hazardous such as 'lithium batteries, perfume, mercury, or aerosols?'"  


If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your steward or your local office.


Thank you for your attention and diligence in upholding safety protocols.

Yours in union solidarity, 
Your Local Union Officers, Stewards, and Representatives

Southwest Coastal Area Local 917 (APWU 917)

You can also read the full article/urgent newsletter here.

Local's Vision

United, We Stand Strong

Here at Southwest Coastal Area Local 917, we are proud to be involved in efforts to improve the lives of postal workers and their families. By enforcing the APWU National Agreement and bargaining for fairer labor-management agreements, we continuously strive to raise work standards and improve quality of life.


National's Vision

Our Union, Our Contract, Our Future

The APWU represents more than 200,000 USPS employees and retirees, and nearly 2,000 private-sector mail workers. 


For more than four decades, APWU has fought for dignity and respect on the job for the workers we represent, as well as for decent pay and benefits and safe working conditions. As an AFL-CIO affiliate, the APWU supports the struggle for social and economic justice for all working families. 


Depending on their occupation, APWU members belong to the Clerk, Maintenance, Motor Vehicle Service (MVS), or Support Services divisions.

Local News

Local news delivered to you, the members

 Pre-Convention Workshop!

The Research & Education Department will sponsor 24 Pre-Convention Workshops on Friday, July 12, 2024, prior to the start of the craft conferences and national convention, at the Huntington Place Convention Center, Detroit, Michigan.

All APWU members are welcome and must register online by the Monday, July 1, 2024 deadline. 


Participants are encouraged to register early, as classroom space is limited. Participants may sign up for workshops after arriving in Detroit but will have limited choices of workshops, as many will already be filled.



A list of workshops and times can be found at the link below.

Here are some highlighted workshops: 

Basic Shop Steward’s Training: 

Dealing with a Hostile Work Environment and Handling Postal “Monsters”

Fighting to Save Jobs Due to Closures and Consolidations:

Labor Law Fundamentals:

Leadership Development:


Safety and Health

The Industrial Relations Director is charged with responsibility for the health and safety of all divisions of the Union. Article 14 of the National Agreement requires management to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all employees covered by the agreement. To achieve this end, the contract provides for the establishment of joint safety and health committees at various levels throughout the Postal Service.



​You can use PS Form 1767 is to be used to report hazards, unsafe conditions, work practice and, in the opinion of the APWU, hostile work environments. You can use this form to report anything that you think could jeopardize your health: Dirty conditions, pests, mold, disturbed or broken building materials (tiles, insulation, etc.)

Fifth Cola Increase Announced

In accordance with the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement, career employees represented by the APWU will receive a $0.17 per hour cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), effective March 09, 2024.​

The increase is the result of a rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) and will appear in paychecks dated March 29, 2024 (Pay Period 07-2024). The COLA for full-time employees in each step and grade will amount to $354 annually, and the hour rates for part-time employees will be adjusted accordingly.


COLA and You

Rising inflation underscores the importance of our negotiated Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) within our union contract, made possible by the strength of our membership. COLAs are our best protection against inflation. Postal Workers are some of the few U.S. workers who receive COLA increases. Even in the postal world, we are the only postal union maintaining full COLA in our union contract.

“Once again, union-won COLAs prove how invaluable our contractual rights are to postal workers and our families,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “We will continue to fight to maintain full COLA provisions in our upcoming contract.”

Please be aware that neither the local nor national APWU has any legal or moral obligation to assist those wanting to opt-out or want to be non-members. 

The COLA adjustments for career employees during the 2021-2024 contract cummlatively totaled $5325 every year! 


Though Postal Support Employees (PSEs) do not receive cost-of-living increases, they have received several additional increases beyond the general wage increases for all employees in the APWU bargaining unit under the 2021 contract. However, when PSEs convert to career, the COLA increases are also included in their base wages going forward.

Demand An End to Short Staffing
In the USPS

The United States Postal Service is an essential part of the fabric of our community and our country. We depend on reliable postal services.

Whether it’s important business, picking up a package, or checking in with family and friends, we need a post office that is open and fully staffed with the trained, dedicated postal workers we trust with our mail and packages.

It is unacceptable to us when our post offices are unexpectedly closed, hours are shortened, and lines are long due to staffing shortages.

We call on you to make every effort to keep our post office open at convenient and reasonable hours and properly staffed to provide the “prompt, reliable, and efficient” service we deserve under the law.


Stop Supervisors From Performing
Bargaining Unit Clerk Work

Supervisors are PROHIBITED from performing bargaining unit work at post offices with 100 or more bargaining unit employees, except:

1. In An Emergency (by acts of God).
2. For the purpose of training or instructions of employees (Instructions limited to only on how to operate/perform a function and not of a direct order from a supervisor).
3. To ensure the proper operations of equipment.
4. To protect the safety of employees.
5. To protect the property of the USPS (Such as: Building and Equipment property).
Technically, although it is for the exclusive use of the USPS, it is still, essentially, the property of the people or business.


In offices with LESS THAN 100 bargaining unit employees, supervisors are PROHIBITED from performing bargaining unit work except as enumerated in Section 6.A.1 through 5 above or when the duties are included in the supervisor's position description (mail pickup and "managing the line" are considered clerk work).


Please also follow the proper grievance process.

Contact Us

A New and More Simplified Way to Reach Us

A New Contact Us Form

Sometimes, contacting a representative from the local union via phone or in person can be challenging. 

Therefore, with this new form, we believe in creating a more simplified way for members to contact us!

Simply fill out the form and the information will be sent to one of our union's local officers for review. We will then follow up accordingly.

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Absolutely Incredible!
Introducing AI! A Member Exclusive!


Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a technology that enables computers and machines to simulate human intelligence and problem-solving capabilities.

If you have a frequently asked question (FAQ) or a quick question, we invite you to chat with our AI system which is designed to be exclusively for APWU 917 union members and website membership members! 

After logging in, simply refresh the homepage or go to and members will have this exclusive feature ONLY ON THE HOMEPAGE AND OTHER MEMBER-ONLY EXCLUSIVE SITES AFTER LOGGING IN and access to more of the website!

AI algorithms can analyze large data quickly, providing valuable insights and quick information!


Please be advised that while AI can assist with frequently asked questions (FAQs) and these are AI-generated answers, it CANNOT be a substitute for steward consultation and DOES NOT provide 100% perfect answers. There is NO GUARANTEE of an answer generated by our AI system, either expressed or implied on the accuracy or verity of the responses. For a definite answer, please refer to the CBA or consult with a local union officer or steward.

The best way to reach us is still by phone at 714-660-2882 or by filling out the Contact Us Form. 


You can directly chat with us here on 
our website, on Facebook, or X(Twitter)

Our Google Voice number is:


(Only call/text this number if you cannot reach the union office).

Grievances and Forms Made Easy

You should never let a postal supervisor or manager tell you that you “don’t have a grievance."


 If you have questions about whether or not you have a grievance you should request “union time” from your immediate supervisor to meet with a local steward.

But how can we make it easier? Simple! By having all the grievance forms, all in one place! 

  • Step 1 Outline Sheet.​

  • Request for information (Shop Steward Only)

  • Grievance or Witness Statement Form (Both Grievant and Shop Steward)

  • Safety and Health PS Form 1767 

  • Supervisor Doing Clerk Work

  • Report of Security Problem or Poor Financial Practice



Be in the now

Upcoming Events

  • APWU 27th Biennial National Convention
    APWU 27th Biennial National Convention
    Thu, Jul 11
    APWU 27th Biennial National Convention
    Jul 11, 2024, 8:00 AM – Jul 18, 2024, 5:00 PM
    APWU 27th Biennial National Convention, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226, USA
    Jul 11, 2024, 8:00 AM – Jul 18, 2024, 5:00 PM
    APWU 27th Biennial National Convention, 1 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226, USA

Podcast and Constitution

All the ways you love podcasts. All In One Place. 

APWU Podcast

APWU members can now enjoy their union news on the move, as the union launches our new podcast "Communicating with You, The Member - A podcast with APWU President Mark Dimondstein".

Hosted by union president, Mark Dimondstein, the podcast is one of the growing number of ways for members to keep abreast of the latest developments: a fact that reflects the many ways that members receive news in today’s media environment.

You can download the podcast on all streaming services, including YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts regularly. New episodes will be available monthly.


Constitution & By-Laws


We, the postal workers of America and the Southwest Coastal Area Local, in order to form a more perfect union, establish this Constitution.

The object of this Area Local shall be to advance the interest of the Postal Service employees regardless of sex, age, race, color, creed, religion, political affiliation, or national origin: to unite the postal workers into a bona fide labor union for their social and economic advancement and their mutual welfare; and to improve the efficiencies of the Postal Service.

The Area Local shall promote, protect, and champion the legitimate struggles of postal workers toward achieving economic well-being, human dignity on the job, and their rights as workers and citizens. To this end, the Area Local shall strive for the complete elimination of political influence from the Postal Service, and the establishment of seniority as the basis for advancement and preference.

Address Change? 

Has your address changed since first joining APWU?

There are a few ways in which a local union or state organization can update members’ addresses. 

1) Local unions and state organizations can change member’s address at the local or state level.  The President or Secretary-Treasurer may log in to the Members Only section and click on the “Change Address” tab.

2) Members can change their address themselves when accessing the Members Only section of the website.

  • Visit

  • Click the Members Only tab

  • Log In

    • Username = EIN

    • Password = last name (all lowercase) and the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number

    • If you should need assistance in resetting your account and/or password, please e-mail

3) Mail or e-mail the member’s new address to the Per Capita Department.  Please include the following information:

  • Member’s Full Name

  • Local/State Organization

  • New Address

E-mail to or mail to American Postal Workers Union, Attn: Per Capita Department, 1300 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005.


Social Media

Engage, Follow, and Inspire in Creating a Social Movement


Our Social Media

We have new social media accounts! Our local union will be posting some helpful information there! Be sure to follow!

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