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No. 05-19   October 28, 2005
 
   

NALC-USPS Reach Agreement
On MOU Covering Reassignment
Of Carriers Impacted by Katrina

  November 15 Deadline for Seeking Transfers
   

After lengthy meetings and discussions with postal management to work out details, NALC President William H. Young has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Postal Service outlining the rules and procedures for reassignment of letter carriers impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

The MOU, signed October 21, provides rules for permanently reassigning the impacted employees, first on a voluntary basis and subsequently involuntarily.

“I was determined not to sign any agreement until I was completely satisfied with each of its provisions,” Young said, explaining why the agreement did not occur earlier. “This Memorandum of Understanding satisfies that test and protects the contractual rights of letter carriers.”

Exercise Preference

Young said that a central objective of the MOU is to afford employees the right to exercise a preference for working in a location of their choosing with limited seniority, or being involuntarily excessed with their full contractual seniority.

The MOU defines an "impacted employee” as: “an employee whose official duty station or residence on September 2, 2005, was in an office or area serviced by an office that curtailed all operations due to Hurricane Katrina.”

There will be a “Voluntary Transfer Period” during which impacted letter carriers who wish to exercise a preference for permanent relocation may submit a voluntary request for transfer indicating the specific office or offices to which they wish to be transferred. These requests must be submitted by midnight on November 15.

The national parties have committed to establishing a process that incorporates the web-based eReassign computer application to facilitate matching carrier transfer opportunities with carriers requesting voluntary transfer. Reassignments resulting from voluntary transfer requests shall be completed no later than November 30.

The MOU also provides for an “Involuntary Transfer Period” following November 30 during which any remaining excess employees may be involuntarily reassigned pursuant to Article 12 of the National Agreement.

Retreat Rights

Employees who are transferred pursuant to the voluntary procedures will have a letter carrier craft seniority date of September 3, 2005, but will have retreat rights to their original installation with full seniority. Employees who elect not to submit a transfer request by November 15, and who are subsequently excessed involuntarily, will retain their present craft seniority consistent with Article 12.

Other key features of the agreement include:

  • Under a supplemental MOU executed on October 26, all transferred employees will receive full bargaining unit relocation expenses consistent with Article 12, Section 5.B.5 of the National Agreement, irrespective of whether they are transferred during the Voluntary or the Involuntary Transfer Periods.
  • The MOU fully protects jurisdictional rights of NALC. It provides that when delivery service is reestablished for addresses previously served by city letter carriers, delivery will be performed by city letter carriers.
  • A national-level Joint Task Force will be established to oversee the implementation of the agreement.

The full text of both the October 21 and October 26 MOUs are available here.

   
  Turn Out the Vote!

California NALC Members
Urged to Oppose Prop. 75

  Vicious Anti-Union Effort Dangerous to All Workers
   

NALC President William H. Young urges all active and retired members of the union in California to make a special effort to go to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, and cast a ballot against Proposition 75, which seeks to reduce the ability of public employee unions in that state to represent their members on political and legislative issues.

 

Young plans to meet with letter carriers at several locations in California prior to the special election and emphasize to them the importance of their vote and the potential danger posed to all federal and postal employees should Proposition 75 be approved.

The chief advocate of Proposition 75 is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has made union-bashing his mantra while his popularity wanes. The initiative would prohibit public employee unions in the state from using dues for political purposes without written consent from members. It would not, however, require business corporations to have a similar consent from stockholders before funneling money from their political war chests to candidates.

“Make no mistake, Proposition 75 is an attempt to attack and silence us all by making it difficult to organize politically on behalf of working people,” Young said in a letter sent to all NALC members in California. “If this proposition passes in California, it will serve as an example to the federal government and other state governments on how to silence working Americans.”

He said NALC and other unions need a strong political voice to protect collective bargaining rights, health care plans, pensions and jobs.

“We can win this fight against Governor Schwarzenegger and his attack on teachers, firefighters, police officers, and government and school employees,” Young said. “And we can stop the virus of anti-worker referenda from spreading across the whole country.”

All NALC members in California should make a special effort to go to the polls on November 8 and vote “No” on Proposition 75. They should also encourage their family members, postal colleagues and friends to do likewise.

For information on the location of polling places in California, log on to: smartvoter.org. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

   
 

Latest accumulation!
Seventh COLA at $664.80
CSRS Retirees Due 4.1% Adjustment in 2006;
Those Covered by FERS to Get 3.1% Boost

The projected accumulation for the seventh of eight regular cost-of-living adjustments under the 2001-2006 National Agreement stood at $664.80 following release October 14 of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for September.

The seventh COLA will be based on inflation between July and January 2006 and will be payable in the second full pay period following release of the January 2006 index.

The $664.80 annual accumulation equals 31 cents per hour or $24.80 per pay period.

Retirees under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) will receive a cost-of-living adjustment of 4.1 percent in 2006 based on the September CPI-W, the final month of the year-long period reflecting the increase in the CPI-W between the third quarter of 2004 and the third quarter of 2005 – the criteria for setting the COLA.

Retirees under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) will receive a COLA of 3.1 percent. Under current law, FERS COLA increases are set at 1 percentage point below the CSRS COLA if the CSRS COLA is 3 percent or higher.

The accumulation toward the 2006 COLA for Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) beneficiaries increased to 4.8 percent based on the latest figures. The 2006 FECA COLA will be based on the increase in the CPI-W between December 2004 and December 2005.

 
  © 2001-2005 National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO