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.”
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.
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.