WASHINGTON – The National Association of Letter Carriers reached tentative agreement today with the U.S. Postal Service on a new five-year National Agreement for all 222,000 city delivery letter carriers throughout the nation. The pact, which includes new limits on contracting out of city letter carrier work along with provisions covering wages, benefits, and working conditions, will be submitted to the NALC membership for rank-and-file ratification.
The agreement, retroactive to November 21, 2006, provides general wage increases of 8.85 percent over five years along with regular cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) and a single lump-sum COLA payment of $686 for the period between July 2006 and May 2007.
The proposed contract includes new limits on contracting out of city letter carrier work in more than 3,000 city delivery installations and establishes a six-month moratorium on contracting out city carrier delivery services elsewhere across the country. During the moratorium, a union-management task force will seek to develop an “evolutionary approach to the issue of subcontracting, taking into account the legitimate interests of the parties and relevant public policy considerations.”
The tentative 2006-2011 National Agreement also abolishes the use of low-wage temporary employees known as “casuals” and replaces them with bargaining unit “transitional employees” under terms and conditions established by the contract. It also includes negotiated resolutions to several long-standing issues involving automated sorting of large flat mail, adjustment of carrier routes and other operational matters.
Consistent with trends in the private sector, the proposed accord also provides the Postal Service relief on health care costs by increasing the share of health care premiums paid by city letter carriers by five percentage points over the five-year duration of the contract.
NALC President William H. Young said the tentative agreement is a ‘win-win’ contract for both unionized letter carriers and the Postal Service, and especially the American public that still relies on universal mail delivery for much of its critical personal and business communication.
“This agreement is fair to hard-working letter carriers by taking necessary steps toward protecting their jobs now and well into the future, along with financial compensation that takes into account increases in the cost of living and the difficult task carriers often face in delivering mail to our nation’s growing population,” Young said. “At the same time, it helps the U.S. Postal Service to build on its record as the most efficient and affordable postal service in the world.”
The agreement provides a 1.4 percent wage increase retroactive to November 25, 2006; and wage increases of 1.8 percent on November 24, 2007; 1.9 percent on November 22, 2008; 1.9 percent on November 21, 2009; and 1.85 percent on November 20, 2010.
The proposed agreement, which would expire on November 20, 2011, was approved unanimously today by the NALC Executive Council following negotiations over the past several days by bargaining teams led by Young and Postmaster General John E. Potter.
The NALC represents all city delivery letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.