Biden Administration Taps USPS and Postal Workers for Distribution of COVID Test Kits
APWU-USPS MOU: Re. COVID-19 Test Kit Fulfillment Pilot
The Biden Administration has announced a program to mail at-home COVID test kits to every household that requests them. These kits could be mailed to as many as 160 million addresses. APWU members will be critical to the success of the program.
“The APWU is excited and fully supports this plan,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It is in the interests of the health and wellbeing of the general population as this dangerous pandemic continues. It underscores the invaluable role of the public Postal Service in the lives of the people. It shines a light on the importance of maintaining universal service to every address and person. It opens up the opportunity for similar expanded ‘fulfillment’ work in the future.”
APWU President Mark Dimondstein, Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman and Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks jointly worked with the Postal Service to secure a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the project as “new work” and ensures that the “fulfillment” work associated with packaging and labeling the packages for this temporary project is determined as clerk work. At the same time, the MOU gives the USPS the flexibility to keep holiday temporary workers on the rolls so as to increase the workforce capacity to make this project a success. The fulfillment work will be performed at 43 existing postal facilities throughout the country.
“APWU-represented clerk craft bargaining unit employees boldly accept the ‘new work’ opportunity to fulfill the distribution of the COVID test kits authorized by the Biden Administration’s call to action,” said Clerk Craft Director Lamont Brooks. “This is just another example of clerks, as part of the Postal Service institution, rising to the challenge of connecting the public during these difficult times while still carrying out our mission of processing the mail.”
“This is an amazing opportunity to once again show the American people that we are here to serve them and how important the Postal Service is to this country. This proves we are ready and able to offer expanded services” stated Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman.
The APWU is ready to do our part. It will be up to the Biden Administration to ensure that the necessary number of test kits are quickly manufactured and that the ordering process for these kits is easily accessible for the people.