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Where’s the Profit in Non-Profits?

 

 

A Letter Carrier Looks at Branch 214, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the United States Postal Service

 

 

By

 

Martha J. Raup

 

 

 

                          

 

 

 

Paper Presented for City College of San Francisco CA

ECON 3 – Principles of Economics

Instructor:  Henry T. Texson-Foli

 

Text Book:  The Micro Economy Today, 9th Edition

By Bradley R. Schiller

 

 

 

 

Spring 2003

 

What kind of economic organization is a (non-profit) Union?  Is it a business?  If so, is it run by the same methods and for the same purposes as a for-profit organization?  How does one evaluate the economic structure and nature of a Union?  How does what we study in ECON 3 - Microeconomics (or ECON 1 - Macroeconomics) apply to the real world I work in?

These questions intrigue me, because I have found it difficult to apply what I am learning in Economics to the businesses in which I am employed.  To start with, for over 10 years I have been an elected Trustee of Branch 214 of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC).  In that capacity I have participated in bi-annual Proposed Budget and Check-of-the-Books procedures.  We collect and spend and thus need to keep track of over $100,000/6-month period.  I have also helped our Assistant Secretary-Treasurer prepare the LM-2, a financial report filed with the Labor Department on a yearly basis.  And, in the last 12 months, I participated in our Union’s formation of a corporation with another Union, the United Educators of San Francisco, for the purposes of buying a building.  This paper, therefore, will be an attempt to analyze the economic structure of my Union, and the local Branch to which I belong, and by whom I am employed.

 

Before I begin, however, I should say I have also been employed for almost 33 years by the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier.  That organization is more easily recognizable as an economic institution – it provides a service (the collecting, transporting, and delivery of mail, packages, and funds) for which it receives a payment.  Yet it too is unique. 

 

For oral presentation in SF City College’s ECON 3 class, Nina K. Chan and I outlined the current status of the USPS as a (semi)-regulated business, and suggested possible outcomes of any further deregulation. I will summarize that information here.  The ways in which the US Postal Service differs from an ordinary corporation, partnership, or proprietorship, are several.  Significant among them are the fact that the rate structure is set by a Postal Rate Commission, comprised of 5 members appointed by the President.  These rates (and fees) are the result of requests submitted by the Postal Board of Governors.  These 9 people, also appointed by the US President, must document the need for rate increases and submit them for detailed testimony and public debate.  The entire process may take up to 18 months.  There is an obvious inefficiency to this process.  In fact, in my 32+ years with the USPS, I have often seen times when the rates imposed were insufficient even before they were implemented. 

 

Besides this increasingly cumbersome and economically inefficient governmental structure, the USPS today is faced with technological changes that are forcing it to re-evaluate the nature of its business.  The fax, the Internet, and the changes in the telecommunications industry have combined to change the way America does business.  We write fewer personal letters, and less frequently send cards.  We order goods and services online, and send our payments electronically.  And we want instant access, information, and transmission of our products, payments, and personal messages. To top it off, the USPS is faced with increasing competition from both US and foreign companies.  These companies are smaller, better funded, and without the governmental restrictions and obligations that characterize the USPS. 

 

In fact, the situation is such that the USPS recently performed a lengthy study, and presented its Transformation Plan to the President in the fall of 2002.  Following the presentation of that plan, President Bush appointed a President’s Commission that will evaluate the Postal System and propose alternative options for its structure and operations.  The Commission is scheduled to complete its study by July 31, and at that time public debate will begin on how to re-structure our national postal priorities. 

 

 Now I am curious to understand my other business, the NALC, and understand how it operates as an economic institution, how this is different from how other forms of economic institutions operate, and evaluate whether it is actually economical!

 

 

 

 

 

First, let me present a little of the history of the National Association of Letter Carriers

The Web pages for the NALC list “10 Great Moments in Letter Carrier History”.[i]  I will summarize the significant dates and substance here:

 

1.       1888 Creation of the 8-hour workday - no more 12-hour shifts over 7 days.

2.       1889 Creation of the NALC

The Milwaukee Letter Carriers Association invited others to join them in forming a national union. The time chosen coincided with “the annual encampment (reunion) of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union Army veterans, so that many veterans could take advantage of reduced train fares.”[ii]1  60 carriers from 18 states responded. Meeting above Schaefer’s, a local tavern, they created an organization that has represented us for 113 years.

3.  1893 Implementation of the 8-hour workday    

The Post Office Department first ignored the law for an 8-hour workday, and then       reinterpreted it to mean 8 hours over 7 days, or 56 hours per week! The NALC sued the POD, and won $3.5 million for overtime claims.

4.   1912 Lloyd-LaFollette Act overturned President T. Roosevelt’s 1902 “gag order”

The gag order had been imposed to prevent postal and federal employees from lobbying members of Congress for wage increases, or to try to affect the passage of any other legislation.  Other presidential orders “forbid postal employees from discussing their working conditions in public and even from answering Congressional request for information on their pay and working conditions!”[iii][iv] 

5.       1912 Reilly Eight-in-Ten Act and Mann Sunday Closing Act

These two acts prevented the POD from spreading the 8-hour day over more than 10 consecutive hours, and closed Post Offices on Sundays.

6.   1916 Federal Employee’s Compensation Act

This law ensured that workers injured on the job would receive compensation and medical benefits, and would not be fired.

7.       1920 Civil Service Retirement Act
This act allowed carriers to retire at age 65, with annuities from $180-$270 per year.

8.       1962 President Kennedy’s Executive Order 10988
The Order replaced the 1912 Lloyd-LaFollette Act and granted labor organizations in the federal government, including the Post Office Department, the right to hold elections and have exclusive rights to bargain collectively for its members.

9.       1970 Strike! In August of 1970 the United States Postal Service was created.

From March 15-18, the letter carriers of NYC Branch 36 walked off the job, sparking work stoppages nationwide.  By April a Contract was worked out that included a 14% pay raise, collective bargaining with binding arbitration, and a reduction of the time it takes to reach the top step in pay from 21 to 8 years.

10.   1979-1982 Equity for all carriers

The USPS had violated overtime pay requirements of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act.  Private lawsuits were initiated on behalf of carriers.  The NALC intervened to represent those carriers not included.  The resulting settlement of $400 million was awarded equitably to all carriers.

Informational Picket at Mission Annex, SF, 1996

 

Branch 214 President Richard Becker, 1995

 
            

 

Today, the NALC has grown significantly from its first National Convention, at which 52 branches, representing

4,600 members, attended in Boston in August of 1890.

 By 1916, the NALC had 1,694 branches,

and represented over 32,000 carriers.  Recent figures show that the NALC now has over 2600 locals and 49 state organizations, and represents 214,042 active and 90,692 retired members. [v]

 

Centenary Statue in Milwaukee honoring 100 years of NALC

 

 

NALC Branch 214 has a history almost as long as that of the National organization.  Our Branch began in 1891, with Frank Smith as our first President.   Before that, the San Francisco Mutual Aid Association existed, and he had been its President from 1887-1890.  Today, President Tony Gallardo is our 27th president.  We have 5 full-time Officers, 10 part-time Officers, and 1 employee (a secretary).  We represent 2131 active and 351 retired carriers, in. 41 stations, located in 14 cities[1].  And in January 2003, we became proud joint owners with the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) of our own building, located at 2310 Mason Street in SF’s Fisherman’s Wharf area.  We have an award-winning newspaper, published bi-monthly.  We have our own local TV program (TV 214, shown on the third Sunday of each month on channel 29).  And, we have our own Web page, a site put together by former President Spence Burton, at http://www.nalc214.org/.

 

 

In addition to our local membership base, we are affiliated with the California State NALC (CSALC).  Two of Branch 214’s Officers serve as State Officers – our Secretary-Treasurer, John Beaumont, is the President of that organization.  And our Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, Carol Maggio, is the Secretary for the CSALC.  This gives us direct access to the hierarchy of the NALC, and strengthens our reach and political “clout” (or so we believe!). 

 

Likewise, our National organization is strengthened by our affiliation with our parent organization, the AFL-CIO.  This affiliation began with the AFL (American Federation of Labor) in 1917.  That organization later merged with the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) in 1955.[2][vi]  At present, this confederation of labor represents 68 unions, and includes over 13 million of America’s workers.  The (past) President of the NALC, Vincent Sombrotto, has been a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Board since 1981.  In fact, he was re-elected to a four-year term as Vice-President of the AFL-CIO in December of 2001.  Vince has just now retired, after having served America’s letter carriers for 28 years as our voice and national leader.  And, he was our Rank and File firebrand in 1970, when, as President of New York State’s Branch 36, led the wildcat strike that woke up the nation to the need for postal reform.

 

The NALC is also affiliated with labor organizations worldwide.  We participate in the Union Network International – Post (UNI-Post), which has 1000 affiliates and 15 million members.  UNI-Post’s predecessor, the PTTI (Postal, Telegraph and Telephone International) originated in France in 1911.  The NALC affiliated with PTTI in 1950.  This organization then merged with 3 other international trade unions to create UNI in January of 2000.  “UNI links 15.5 m service sector workers in more than 900 unions around the world.”[vii]

 

Finally, the NALC is joined in the labor movement within the USPS by sister organizations representing the postal workers (APWU), the mail handlers (NPMHU), the rural letter carriers (NRLCA), and the Communications Workers of America (CWA).  Our class textbook thus stuck a resounding note with me in Schiller’s ending section on ‘The Economy Tomorrow’ of Chapter 16 on “The Labor Unions”.  “The labor-union movement is fully aware of these forces [shrinking unionization] and determined to resist them.  To increase their power, unions are merging across craft and industry lines.”[viii]  I have participated in this very movement without being aware of it.  Not only has our National aligned with sister and parent organizations, bur our local, Golden Gate Branch 214 (domiciled in San Francisco) has merged with carrier local branches in 13 other cities.  Furthermore, the transition from a tenant to a landlord, and from a single Branch to a building corporation aligned across craft lines (with the UESF), has also been right in tune with the ongoing struggle for survival in the labor movement.

 

ECON 1 and ECON 3 have been an eye-opener for me about economics.  I began studying the subject because I am preparing for retirement, after 33 years with the US Postal Service.  What I found, though, is that the information, rather than focusing me on the future, makes me more curious of the career I have had in the past.  In fact, in our class oral presentation, Nina Chan and I looked at the US Postal Service, as an example of a regulated industry.  Now, I want to look at the National Association of Letter Carriers. 

 

An ordinary industry keeps records of the costs and revenues with which the individual firms operate.  And the federal government requires much information to be sent to them on a regular basis.  In this way, national figures are well maintained.  Hence, there is a good track record on most industries and their profitability.  But what about non-profit agencies, and Unions in particular – how does one assess their profitability?

 

The textbook for ECON 3 has been the 9th Edition of Bradley R. Schiller’s The Micro Economy Today.[ix]  Part 3, Chapters 7-11, talk about “Market Structure”.  His description of industries


distinguishes between 5 types of market structure:

 

1.                   Perfectly Competitive Firms

2.                   Monopolistically Competitive Firms

3.                   Oligopolies

4.                   Duopolies

5.                   Monopolies

 

Market structure is a concept reflecting “the number and relative size of firms in an industry.”[x]  Actually, these forms of market structure are arranged on a continuum, such that any industry can be placed somewhere along the line between completely competitive industries (characterized by many firms, with perfect information, identical products, and low barriers to market entry [xi]), and monopolies (industries in which one firm produces “the entire market supply of a particular good or service”.[xii]

 

Market structure is important, in the economic analysis of businesses, because it determines the nature of the business – how they operate, and how “profitable” they are TO operate.  Firms, Schiller reminds us, are in business for the purpose of making a profit.[3]  He illustrates this by saying: ”Owning plant and equipment isn’t enough.  To generate a current flow of income, one muse use that plant and equipment to produce and sell goods.”[xiii]

 

Profit, as defined by the text, is “the difference between total revenue and total cost.”[xiv]  Total revenue is “the price of the good multiplied by the quantity sold.”[xv]  The economic cost of something is “the value of all resources used to produce a good or service; opportunity cost.”[xvi]  So, to make money in a business, the owners need to know that what they make (or the service they provide) will sell for enough money to enable them to pay for the costs of production. 

 

Strangely enough, economists assert, as does Schiller, “On average, economic profits are zero.”[xvii]   What a strange paradox!  Firms go into business to make money, but normally they don’t!!? Schiller goes on to explain that it is the opportunity cost of capital that constitutes “profit”.  Most businesses make an accounting profit, but do not make much economic profit, which includes the implicit costs of the business.  The implicit costs include what the owner could earn working elsewhere, or employing his/her capital (money and land and equipment) elsewhere – these are considered ‘forgone profit”, and need to be figured into the economic cost of an enterprise, even though they are not part of the accounting costs. The gist of what he presents is that competitive and monopolistically competitive businesses fight hard to keep their heads above water.  In fact, it seems that only the monopolies, or duopolies and oligopolies, can hope to make much money.  But those industries have to fight off the public inclination to want the government to regulate them! 

 

The one ray of hope in all this is for the firms that initiate an industry, or that provide for a niche market, or that achieve a “natural monopoly”[4] due to geography or local market conditions (such as being “the only store in town”).  These firms may make handsome profit for a short time.  But over a decade, or a century, it is highly unlikely that firms will consistently make big profits.  If they do, more and more people will want to duplicate their success.  Competition will increase while profit margins decrease, and before long the game is over. To fight off their demise, firms need to either introduce product improvements, or cost reductions, [xviii] as Schiller demonstrated in his analysis of the computer industry (Chapter 8 – “Competitive Markets”, pp. 173-192). 

 

In a way, both the US Postal Service and the NALC have been shielded from the cutthroat competition that exists in most American industries.  The USPS has been a government enterprise, and before 1970 a government department.  As such, it has had the advantage of a natural monopoly, which Schiller describes in his Chapter 12, on “(De)Regulation of Business”.[xix]

A natural monopoly arises in an industry in which the costs of start-up are so high that only a single company, with massive amounts of capital and equipment, can afford to enter the market.  Here, however, once the initial expense is undertaken, the amount of expense to expand the business, the marginal cost[5], is low or minimal.  This allows the industry to pass on the cost savings to the customer.  Whether or not it does so is not so assured!  However, at the minimum, there are cost savings to be had.  That’s why the government is not entirely eager to dismantle a functioning natural monopoly.  Rather, the choice has been to regulate the industry. 

 

Chapter 12 distinguishes two primary focuses of government regulations:  the structure of an industry, or the behavior of the industry.[xx]  Anti-trust laws focus on both remedies.  “They prohibit mergers and acquisitions that reduce potential competition (structures) and forbid market practices (behavior) that are anticompetitive.”[xxi]  Government regulation, on the other hand, focuses exclusively on behavior.  “In general, regulation seeks to change market outcomes directly, by imposing specific limitations on price, output, or investment decisions.”[xxii] 

 

Chapter 12 goes on to summarize various forms of regulation that government intervention typically takes.  All forms of intervention, however, face or create a tradeoff, between costs and benefits.  A quick review of the characteristics of each form of intervention shows why. 

 

·         Price Regulation - This can focus on:

 

Price Efficiency – this sets the price “at a level consistent with opportunity costs”.[xxiii]  In this case, a subsidy must be given, since the monopolist will end up with a loss on every unit of output produced. 

 

Production Efficiency – this is only achieved at the lowest possible average total cost. Here, too, a price subsidy would be required, since average total costs will continue to fall as output increases toward the point where the marginal cost curve (MC) intersects the average total cost curve (ATC).  Unfortunately, when this point is reached, the price is above the ATC, and the firm will lose money.

 

·         Profit Regulation – this tends to lead to bloated costs, since the firm has no incentive NOT to limit the costs.

 

·         Output Regulation – this can lead to quality deterioration, since the firm (or industry) has an implicit incentive to cut costs in order to increase profits.  Also, this form of regulation violates the principle of “marginal cost pricing”, which exists when goods are offered at prices equal to their marginal cost.  Thus, it is non-economic for the firm.

 

In short, “Goal conflicts are inescapable, and any regulatory rule may induce undesired producer responses.”[xxiv]

 

How is this summarized analysis of market structure and regulatory mechanisms applicable to my businesses – the USPS and the letter carrier’s Union, the NALC?  The USPS is obviously a regulated industry, and a form of natural monopoly.  I won’t go into depth about it, since I have done so already for my oral presentation.  Rather, here I will focus on the NALC, and on a quick comparison of the two entities. 

 

The NALC, ironically enough, is a monopoly also.  Those of us in the Union don’t tend to think of it that way, but it is.  The letter carriers have only one union to which they can belong, and only one union that represents them.  We are not, however, a closed, union shop.[6]  That is, letter carriers are not mandated to join the Union, even though many of us wish it were so! 

 

The essence of unions, Schiller claims, is to restrict the amount of labor supplied, so that they can control the wage rate offered, such that it exceeds the equilibrium wage.[7]  This is a little hard for me to conceptualize, since the local letter carriers’ experience is that management has total control over how many are employed by the USPS.  In fact, as a Union we fight to increase the number of employees, since that would reduce the individual workload of each of us (or so we believe…), and thereby improve our working conditions. 

 

 

A unique factor for the NALC, in this regard, is that we are prohibited from striking.  That is, we may not threaten to withhold our labor supply in order to force the demand for increased wages.  What we achieved in 1970, though, was the right to collective bargaining, with the remedy of “interest arbitration” if an impasse should emerge.[8]

 

Elsewhere Schiller states:  “a primary objective of unions is to raise the wages of union members.”[xxv]  He does touch on other issues, such as job security, working conditions, pension benefits, health insurance, and vacation time.  But these, he asserts, “can be translated into their effective impact on wage rates.”[xxvi]  From that point of view, one way to compare the economic value of a Union is to evaluate the wage rate that the Union negotiates.  Furthermore, one might contrast that wage rate over time with both the union dues and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  On that note, I will point out that my beginning wage in April of 1970 was $7,072.[xxvii]  Today, the beginning wage rate is $33,446, and the top letter carrier pay is $44,271.[xxviii]

 

From my experience within this one particular Union, I would assess Bradley Schiller’s assessment to be shortsighted.  The value of the Union to the individual worker is far more often its presence on the workroom floor, and its power to influence management’s decisions on how the work is done, by whom, and how the worker is treated.  A “strong union” is able to protect the worker from flagrant Contract violations and/or inhumane treatment.  The very fact that this is not easily monetarized is why it is so difficult to assess the value of Unions.

 

Another way to assess the worth of a Union might be to tally the number of grievances filed, and compare the ratio of success (decisions won by the Union) vs. loss (decisions unfavorable to the Union).  Our local does this on a partial and intermittent basis.  The bi-monthly VOICE issues for January-February often list the number of grievances filed in the previous year.  Sometimes there are even monetary amounts attached, such as the 1995 issue that said $80,000 was returned to carriers in 1994[xxix], or the 1999 issue that said $400,000 was won through the grievance process in 1998.[9]  An incomplete analysis of the grievance workload of our Branch showed a range from 650 in 1993 to 2261 in 2002.  Last year’s monetary settlement topped them all, as proclaimed by the lead VOICE article by Ray Fong, Field Director: “Grievance Win - $589,489![10]

 

A systematic grievance-tracking policy might prove useful in this regard.  How many grievances are caused by management violations of the Contract?  How many are caused by improper, excessive, unreasonable discipline of carriers by management?  And how many are caused by poorly trained and/or abusive supervisors?  Contract violations could be broken down by type – overtime violations, attendance issues, EEO abuses.  All of this would be useful information for any assessment of the Union’s value to its membership.

 

The fact that is this: information is so sparsely and erratically collected, and so rarely analyzed that it reaffirms for me the difficulty of doing an economic assessment of a (non-profit) Union.  The problem is not simply the lack of information.  In essence, the Union’s objective is to perform a service for its membership.  The main service is not economic, but political and social.  There is no incentive to spend resources on the economic analysis of itself.  The workload of our Union, and I suspect most others, is simply too high to try to do anything other than handle grievances and represent letter carriers.  The intuitive cost-benefit analysis fails, and any cry for it would fall on deaf ears.  What is one to do, then?

 

In partial answer to that question, let’s look at how non-profit and for profit organizations differ. The shareholders in a for-profit organization are authorized to receive stock in exchange for capital investments (in the form of money, equipment, or property) in the corporation.  Furthermore, they receive a return on their investment in the form of declared dividends.  A non-profit organization cannot issue shares, nor can it pay dividends.  If it dissolves, the money cannot go into the pockets of the directors, but must be passed on to another non-profit organization.[xxx] The other prime distinguishing characteristic, of course, is that the non-profit organization is exempt from paying taxes on its (non-profit-related) income.  Finally, certain privileges accrue to non-profit organizations:

 

1.       Lower postal rates on bulk mail

2.       Discounted advertising rates from many organizations

3.       Discounted internet service rates from many providers

4.       Lower membership rates from many national chains (i.e., Costco)

5.       Qualification for federally-subsidized job-training and other work-study programs[xxxi]

 

How does one evaluate, then, the profitability of the non-profit sector of our economy?  Normally, one uses a cost-benefit ratio analysis:  Is the marginal benefit received from selling this product or extending this service worth as much as or more than the marginal cost of producing or performing it?  If not, it is not economically “profitable” (though it may still be worth doing for other reasons!). 

 

Robert Schenk, in an online economics text, gives an interesting description of the distinction between the two types of organizations.  “The major difference between the for-profit organization and the nonprofit organization is that the former announces that its goal is to make a profit, and then is forced by the constraints to produce a product that is valuable to someone.  The latter announces that its goal is to produce a product that is valuable to someone, and then is forced by the constraints to cover its costs.  But if an organization covers its costs, its revenues must exceed costs, which means it is making a profit.”[xxxii] 

 

Both types of organizations face the same three constraints:

1.       They must buy resources

2.       They must produce a product or a service

3.       They must obtain money in order to continue existence (survive)

Because of this, the actions of both types of organizations may make them hard to tell apart.  What this also means, he asserts, is that “as a result, the economic theory of the firm describes, with a few minor modifications, the options open to not-for-profit organizations.”[xxxiii]

 

So – How do we know if the NALC, or Branch 214, is profitable?  As with all businesses – Show that the income exceeds the expenses!

In an effort to assess that, I surveyed old issues of Branch 214’s The VOICE, our bi-monthly magazine.  Every six months this magazine includes a copy of Branch 214’s Proposed Budget, prepared by the Finance Committee (3 Trustees, of which I am one, the Secretary-Treasurer, and the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer), and accepted by the Branch by vote at our regular monthly meeting.  What information does this public record give us, about the profitability of our Union, I wondered?

 

We have four sets of basic information that seem to apply to this question:

1.                   Income

2.                   Expenses

3.                   Number of Members

4.                   Number of Grievances

 

What correlation can be found between these statistics?  Is there a way to plot the profitability of our organization by analyzing them? What, I wondered, is the break-even point for a Union? 

 

As it turned out, this was NOT an easy exercise!  I didn’t have a full record of information, and I don’t have the statistical skills to interpret them.  I’m afraid I simply can’t come up with the table and charts and statistical analyses that I would like to see.  What I do know is this – the issues raised by economics are relevant even to the non-profit organizations.  This field of Economics has many applications for us.  As more of us learn the language, and figure out how to use its tools, I’m sure the unions will profit, as will their members.  So, I will end this paper with a chagrined sigh.  I’ve learned a lot, but not yet enough!  There is indeed profit in the non-profits, such as Branch 214, but the participants have to learn to look for it in the right places.  And, we have to learn to extrapolate what we know into the economic lingo that will help us interpret it.  Until then, we can still make the ballpark assessment – Yes, my Union is worth it!  That is, the good that I get from being a member is greater than the harm that I get or the price(s) I pay for the services rendered. 

 

SF Delegation to the National NALC Convention in Las Vegas, 1998

 
Text Box: President Vince Sombrotto, at the NALC State Convention in Burlingame CA 1998                


 

                                             



[1] Belvedere, Tiburon, Colma, Corte Madera, Daly City, Fairfax, Mill Valley, Novato, Redwood City, San Anselmo, San Francisco, San Leandro, San Rafael & Sausalito are listed on the NALC Web page, http://www.nalc214.org/, accessed 5/13/0

 

[3] Schiller, p. 150.  “The basic incentive for producing goods and services is the expectation of profit.” 

[4] Schiller, p. 76.  A natural monopoly is “An industry in which one firm can achieve economies of scale over the entire range of market supply.” 

[5] Schiller, p. 225.  The marginal cost (MC) of something is “The increase in total cost associated with a one-unit increase in production.”  Schiller, p. 131.  It is computed by dividing the change in total cost by the change in output.

[6] Schiller, p. 341.  A union shop is “an employment setting in which all workers must join the union within 30 days after being employed.”

[7] The equilibrium wage is “the wage rate at which the quantity of labor supplied in a given time period equals the quantity of labor demanded.”  Schiller, p. 336.

[8] Interest arbitration is “arbitration of a dispute over the provisions to be entered in a new contract,” as opposed to a grievance, or rights arbitrations, which is “arbitration of a dispute over something in an existing collective bargaining agreement…” http://lookup.atomica.com/atomica2/.

Accessed on 5/11/03.  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law 1996.  Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 

[9] “New Year-Old Year Report” by Richard Becker, President. The VOICE of the Golden Gate Letter Carriers Branch #214, p. 3.  “More grievances got resolved in 1998 than in the past few years and the results were mostly favorable for Branch 214 and its members.  Grievance settlements resulted in over 400,000 dollars recovered for the letter carriers we represent and a number of wrong situations were made right.  There is still a significant backlog of old grievances but progress has been made.”

[10] Grievance Win - $589,489!” The VOICE of the Golden Gate Letter Carriers Branch #214, November/December 2002, Vol. XXXII, No. 6, p. 1.  This award, divided by 1153 qualified letter carriers, amounted to $511.26 per person.  The issue was the improper hiring and/or use of casual employees in lieu of career employees.



[i] NALC Facts & History, http://www.nalc.org/nalc/facthist/top10.html, accessed 4/27/03

[ii] NALC Facts & History, http://www.nalc.org/nalc/facthist/brhist.html, accessed 4/27/03

 

[iii] NALC Facts & History, http://www.nalc.org/nalc/facthist/top10.html, accessed 4/27/03

[iv] NALC Facts & History, http://www.nalc.org/nalc/facthist/top10.html, accessed 4/27/03

[v] NALC Facts & History, http://www.nalc.org/nalc/facthist/nalcfact.html, accessed 4/27/0

[vi]“ NALC – Part of the American labor movement”, updated 11/06/02. http://www.nalc.org.nalc/labr/alm.html. Accessed 05/12/03.

[vii] “NALC: Part of the international labor movement”, http://www.nalc.org/nalc/labr/alm.html.  Accessed 05/12/03

[viii] Schiller, Bradley R. The Micro Economy Today.  9th Edition.  McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York City NY 2003. p. 350.

[ix] Schiller, Bradley R. ibid.

[x] Schiller, p. 155.

[xi] Schiller, p. 176.

[xii] Schiller, p. 194.

[xiii] Schiller, p. 150.

[xiv] Schiller, p. 151.

[xv] Schiller, p. 157.

[xvi] Schiller, p. 152.

[xvii] Schiller, p. 154. 

[xviii] Schiller, p. 183.

[xix] Schiller, pp. 254-274.

[xx] Schiller, p. 255. 

[xxi] Schiller, p. 255.

[xxii] Schiller, p. 255.

[xxiii] Schiller, p. 255.

[xxiv] Schiller, p. 259.

[xxv] Schiller, p. 337.

[xxvi] Schiller, p. 337.

[xxvii] “Cumulative Pay Scale: July, 1968-July 1984”. Postal Record, p.26, unknown date

[xxviii] “City Carrier Wage Schedule: Effective March 8, 2003. Postal Record, April 2003. Accessed 05/12/03 at http://www.nalc.org/depart/cau/paychard.html.

[xxix]“Where We Were, Where We Are: State of the Union” by Richard Becker, President. The VOICE of the Golden Gate Letter Carriers Branch #214, January-February 1995, p. 3.  Vol. XXV, No. 1. 

[xxx] “What is a Nonprofit Corporation?”  http://www.mycorporation.com/nonprofitinfo.htm, accessed 5/02/03.

[xxxi] “Not-For-Profit: Pros and Cons”, http://www.mycorporation.com/nonprotitadv.htm, accessed 5/2/03.

[xxxii] Schenk, Robert.  “Survival”.  http://www.saintjoe.edu/~bobs/econ/MakeProfit/Profit2.html.  Copyright 1997-98 & earlier.  Accessed 5/2/03.

[xxxiii] Schenk, Robert. ibid.