National Association of Letter Carriers News Feed http://www.nalc.org/rss/ National Association of Letter Carriers News Feed Wed, 1 Oct 2014 05:00:00 +0000 AMPS en hourly 1 PRC publishes revised notice of proposed rulemaking https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/prc-publishes-revised-notice-of-proposed-rulem Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/prc-publishes-revised-notice-of-proposed-rulem In early December, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) issued a revised proposed rulemaking for the system that regulates the rates and classes of the Postal Service’s Market Dominant products. This follows an initial proposed rulemaking in December 2017 that was never implemented. The new proposal is based in part on comments received following the initial rulemaking. NALC’s comments figure prominently in the new filing. The notice is viewable here and the press release is viewable here.

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006 required the PRC to review the existing rate and classification system of Market Dominant products after ten years. The review’s mandate is to determine whether the legislated rate-setting system is achieving the objectives set forth in the PAEA: to create a “flexible, stable, predictable, and streamlined ratemaking system that ensures the Postal Service’s financial health…and maintains high quality service standards and performance.” According to the PRC’s initial proposed rulemaking in December 2017, the system was not meeting these goals.

The first proposed rule, which would have liberalized the price cap to allow rates to rise by up to two percentage points more per year than the increase in the Consumer Price Index, was never finalized in part because of vacancies on the PRC. The last of those vacancies was recently filled.

NALC is pleased to see the PRC return to this important review. NALC is currently reviewing the proposed rulemaking’s impact and will fully participate in this process.  Our goal, as always, is to strengthen our nation’s universal postal service. Comments on the new proposed rulemaking will be accepted through February 3, 2020.

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Senate Introduces Companion Repeal Bill, House Bill Reaches Critical Mass https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/senate-introduces-companion-repeal-bill-house-bill-reaches-critical-mass Tue, 03 Dec 2019 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/senate-introduces-companion-repeal-bill-house-bill-reaches-critical-mass

Today, Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the USPS Fairness Act (S. 2965), a bill to repeal the mandate to prefund postal retiree health benefits. The bill is identical to House legislation (H.R. 2382), which was introduced earlier this year and has the support of a bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives. With the introduction of a Senate companion, there is now demonstrated bipartisan and bicameral support for repealing the mandate.

As letter carriers know, repealing the mandate to pre-fund retiree health remains at the top of NALC’s legislative agenda. The mandate, which no other company faces, is responsible for 90 percent of the financial losses incurred by the Postal Service since 2007.

Pre-funding repeal is a key to achieving postal reform in the future. It will free USPS to invest in its infrastructure, and better utilize its vast networks to further serve business and residential customers. 

In the House, H.R. 2382 continues to gain bipartisan momentum and has surpassed the “House Consensus Calendar” threshold of 290 cosponsors, which means that the bill can now be placed in the queue for a House floor vote. Under House rules, once a bill is placed in this queue, the Committee of jurisdiction (in this case the Committee on Oversight and Reform) has 25 legislative days to take action on the measure. If no action is taken, the bill becomes eligible for a floor vote. As of today, the House bill officially has 294 cosponsors (including 233 Democrats and 61 Republicans), though in actuality that number is 292 cosponsors (232 Democrats and 60 Republicans) due to the resignations of Reps. Chris Collins (R-NY) and Katie Hill (D-CA).

“Letter carriers should be proud of the work we have done to garner support for this very important bill, but we cannot let up,” said NALC President Fredric V. Rolando. “I encourage every letter carrier to thank their members of Congress who have supported the House bill and ask them to urge House leadership to do what is necessary to enact this critical legislation into law. If your member of Congress has not cosponsored this bill, please ask them to cosponsor it.”

While our focus remains on increasing the number of cosponsors on the House bill, we will provide more information on what NALC members can do to build support on the Senate bill in the near future.

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Penalty Overtime Exclusion Period https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/2019-penalty-overtime-exclusion-period Wed, 27 Nov 2019 11:13:47 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/2019-penalty-overtime-exclusion-period As referenced in Article 8, Sections 4 and 5 of the USPS-NALC National Agreement, the December period (during which penalty overtime regulations are not applicable) consists of four consecutive service weeks.

This year, the December period begins Pay Period 25-19, Week 2 (Nov. 30, 2019) and ends Pay Period 01-20, Week 1 (Dec. 27, 2019).

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Update on Contract Negotiations https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/contract-update-statement Fri, 22 Nov 2019 15:19:17 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/contract-update-statement NALC and management negotiators have reached the end of the 60-day mediation period following the Sept. 20 expiration of our National Agreement with USPS. The parties remain at impasse and are discussing the selection of a neutral arbitrator.

Although NALC will continue to bargain in good faith, we will not delay the interest arbitration process.

Under the law, both NALC and postal management will name one arbitrator and select a third neutral arbitrator to serve as the chair of the arbitration board. Both sides will present evidence and testimony to the arbitration board that will, following hearings, issue a final and binding decision on the contents of our next collective-bargaining agreement. While these impasse procedures are taking place, the terms of our 2016-19 National Agreement remain in effect.

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Postal Facts: November 20, 2019 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-november-20 Thu, 21 Nov 2019 15:51:58 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-november-20 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.


Postal Service Sees More Red Ink, Despite Increased Revenue 

President Rolando is quoted in a Nov. 14 article by Bloomberg that covers the USPS' FY 2019 financial report and the congressional pre-funding mandate that is largely reponsible for the net loss.

Click here to read article
 

USPS begins search for new postmaster general amid 13 years of net losses 

President Rolando is quoted in a Nov. 14 article by Federal News Network that covers the search for a new postmaster general, the USPS' FY 2019 financial report and the causes of the net loss.

Click here to read article

Is another year of financial losses beyond USPS control? 

President Rolando is quoted in a Nov. 14 article by Federal Times exploring causes for the USPS' FY 2019 net loss and the need for pre-funding and rate-setting reform.

Click here to read article 

Postal Service Doubles Annual Losses to $8.8 Billion 

President Rolando is quoted in a Nov. 14 piece by Government Executive that covers the USPS' FY 2019 financial report and factors behind the loss.

Click here to read article 

 

NALC’s Rolando uses USPS financial report to restate demand for legislative end to red ink 

President Rolando is quoted in a Nov. 15 piece by Press Associates Inc. that underlines the impact of the 2006 pre-funding mandate and also discusses the increase in earned revenue. 

Click here to read article 

The U.S. Postal Service Just Lost $8.8 Billion. Why That’s Actually Pretty Good 

A Nov. 14 piece by Barron's delves into the numbers from the USPS' FY 2019 financial report.

Click here to read article 

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Statement of NALC President Fredric Rolando On USPS Financial Results for FY 2019 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/statement-of-nalc-president-fred-rolando-on-usps-financial-results-for-fy-2019 Thu, 14 Nov 2019 18:48:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/statement-of-nalc-president-fred-rolando-on-usps-financial-results-for-fy-2019 The large loss posted by the U.S. Postal Service in Fiscal Year 2019 ($8.8 billion) is largely the result of external factors, not the normal operations of the agency.

More than half the loss stems from the 2006 congressional mandate that requires the Postal Service, alone among all public agencies and private companies, to pre-fund future retiree health benefits decades in advance. This accounted for $4.564 billion in red ink this year.

A large portion of the remainder of the reported loss is explained by historically low interest rates that have resulted in huge non-cash actuarial adjustments to the Postal Service's projected liabilities for future workers' compensation costs and pension benefits. Under accounting rules, the adjustment of future liabilities results in increased expenses in 2019, even though actual workers' compensation cash expenditures for the year declined and the agency’s pension funds remain well funded:

  • The workers' compensation adjustment for the year—$2.155 billion—was particularly onerous in 2019.
  •  Falling interest rates also inflated future retiree pension liabilities, causing amortization expenses for CSRS and FERS to rise to $2.677 billion.

Excluding these prefunding expenses, workers’ compensation adjustments and retiree amortization costs, the Postal Service’s revenues from the sale of postage exceeded the costs of processing and delivering the mail by $583 million.

The agency’s loss in 2019 also was inflated by the 2016 roll-back in postage rates (-4.3 percent) ordered by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), which costs the Postal Service $2 billion annually.  

Legislative and regulatory action needed

The 2019 financial results demonstrate the need for legislative and regulatory actions regarding factors beyond USPS control. Lawmakers should repeal the 2006 congressional mandate to prefund retiree health. It has accounted for nearly 90 percent of the Postal Service's accumulated losses since 2007. Fortunately, there is strong support for this action in Congress.  A bipartisan majority of 281 members of the House of Representatives has co-sponsored a bill (H.R. 2382) to repeal the pre-funding mandate.

Congress also should permit the Postal Service to invest its massive retirement funds more sensibly--they are currently restricted to low-yielding Treasury bonds.

Meanwhile, the PRC should expeditiously complete its ongoing review of the postage rate-setting system. At present, USPS is constricted in its ability to adjust rates by no more than the Consumer Price Index, but the CPI is an economy-wide measurement of consumer goods and services that doesn’t fit a transportation and delivery provider. The PRC has the ability to correct this mismatch and relieve the resulting financial pressure. It also should revisit its misguided decision to roll back the price of stamps by two cents in April 2016, the first rollback since 1919.

Overall, the financial results underline the need to strategically address the key public policy factors described above. Doing so would allow USPS--which is based in the Constitution and which enjoys broad public and political support (90 percent in a recent Pew Research poll)—to continue providing Americans and their businesses with the industrial world’s most-affordable delivery network.

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Decision in Pay Consolidation Case https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/decision-in-pay-consolidation-case Wed, 06 Nov 2019 19:01:29 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/decision-in-pay-consolidation-case National Arbitrator Shyam Das has issued his award in a national interpretive dispute involving the memorandum of understanding regarding the consolidation of NALC pay levels.  The memorandum, which went into effect on November 24, 2018, elevated all Grade 1 letter carriers to the former Grade 2.  Arbitrator Das recognized that the memorandum “provided Carriers with the increased compensation they would have received if granted an upgrade.”  Nonetheless, the arbitrator rejected NALC’s position that this change meant that employees from other crafts in grades equivalent to the former City Carrier Grade 1 could no longer be excessed into the letter carrier craft under Article 12 of the National Agreement. 

Both APWU and the Mail Handers intervened in the case in support of the Postal Service’s position.

The Award is not expected to have a major impact on the letter carrier craft.  Evidence presented by NALC at the hearing showed that while 11,589 Level 6 Clerk positions were eliminated in the five-year period from 2014 to 2018, only 98 clerks were excessed into the carrier craft – 0.8 percent of the positions eliminated.

To read Arbitrator Das’ opinion, click here.

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Case Consolidation Lawsuit Dismissed https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/case-consolidation-lawsuit-dismissed Wed, 06 Nov 2019 18:56:49 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/case-consolidation-lawsuit-dismissed The federal district court in Washington D.C. today issued a decision dismissing NALC’s lawsuit that sought to halt the Consolidated Casing Initiative. 

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg concluded that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the preliminary injunction that NALC requested, which would have halted the Initiative pending the outcome of the national-level arbitration.  The arbitration is presently scheduled to begin November 22, before national arbitrator Shyam Das.

The court reasoned that a preliminary injunction halting an employer action pending arbitration is only warranted when the employer’s action would render the arbitration “meaningless.”  The court concluded that a preliminary injunction was not warranted here because Arbitrator Das will have the authority (if he rules for NALC) to find that the Consolidated Casing Initiative violates the National Agreement and to order USPS to end it.

To read the entire opinion, click here.

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Six carriers honored as NALC's Heroes of the Year https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/six-carriers-honored-as-nalcs-heroes-of-the-year Thu, 31 Oct 2019 14:16:30 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/six-carriers-honored-as-nalcs-heroes-of-the-year Letter carriers who saved people from car accidents or home fires, helped rescue a teenager who had been abused for months by her captors, or turned a personal tragedy into a campaign to help others, were among those honored on Oct. 30.

Ivan Crisostomo of Sacramento, CA, spotted a young girl hiding behind a tree on his route and, after some discussion, learned that she had just fled her kidnappers, who were searching for her. He remained with her until emergency responders arrived, and is the 2019 Special Carrier Alert winner. Mitchell Rivas of Berea, OH, whose Maryssa’s Mission Foundation—set up after his 28-month-old daughter died from congestive heart failure and which has helped thousands of families—is the Humanitarian of the Year. The National Hero of the Year is Austin Rentz of Waterloo, IA, who rescued a woman from a house fire before firefighters arrived.

Several other carriers were also recognized as heroes. They represent thousands of letter carriers who not only deliver the nation’s mail six or even seven days a week, but often assist in situations involving accidents, fires, crimes or health crises, or improve the communities in which they work.

Michael Musick of Bellflower, CA, who helped save two fellow letter carriers struck by an out-of-control car, is the Western Region Hero of the Year. The Central Region Hero of the Year, Mark Schuh, of Princeton, IN, saved a man and his beagle from an aggressive pit bull. Theresa Jo Belkota, of Lewiston in Western New York, who aided a seriously injured boy who had been run over by a lawn mower, is the Eastern Region Hero of the Year.

The National Association of Letter Carriers Heroes of the Year were honored by NALC President Fredric Rolando at a special luncheon at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC.

 

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Branch Officers Training set for Jan. 27-30 in Washington, DC https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/branch-officers-training-set-for-jan-27-30-in-washington-dc Wed, 23 Oct 2019 11:16:57 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/branch-officers-training-set-for-jan-27-30-in-washington-dc NALC Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Rhine has announced that Branch Officers Training will be held January 27-30, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Branch Officer Training consists of three and a half days of educational seminars tailored to assist branch presidents, vice presidents, treasurers, recording secretaries, financial secretaries and trustees in the performance of their duties.

These sessions cover the basics for financial officers: taxes, accounting systems and maintenance of proper controls, reporting to the Department of Labor, fiduciary duties under the Landrum-Griffin Act, bonding of branch officers and IRS reporting requirements.

Additional topics include the NALC Constitution and branch bylaws, branch operations and identifying branch policies, maintaining accurate and complete meeting minutes, member notification requirements, record keeping, branch elections, branch dues and how to read a dues roster.

The registration form for the Washington, DC Branch Officers Training will be included in the next NALC Bulletin. Branches must use the registration form to register for the class. Note: Please do not make airline reservations until you receive an acceptance letter. The daily room rate for the training is $189 plus tax.

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NALC mourns passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-mourns-passing-of-rep-elijah-cummings Thu, 17 Oct 2019 15:26:23 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-mourns-passing-of-rep-elijah-cummings The National Association of Letter Carriers sends its heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore, following his death today. 

"Congressman Cummings was an unyielding supporter of government workers," NALC President Fredric Rolando said. "Because of his leadership role on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, we worked closely with him for many years on postal issues and admired his deep knowledge of, and commitment to, the U.S. Postal Service and its employees."

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Former Region 7 National Business Agent Eugene “Gene” McNulty died https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/former-region-7-national-business-agent-eugene-gene-mcnulty-died Thu, 17 Oct 2019 08:47:46 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/former-region-7-national-business-agent-eugene-gene-mcnulty-died Former Region 7 National Business Agent Eugene “Gene” McNulty died Oct. 12.

McNulty began his career as a letter carrier in Minneapolis, MN, in 1967 and joined Minneapolis Branch 9. He served as branch president from 1976 to 1978, when he was elected national business agent. McNulty served as NBA from 1979 to 1994.

Visitations are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at Ritchay Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, and Saturday, Oct. 19, at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Wisconsin Rapids, followed by a funeral mass at 11 a.m.

Expressions of sympathy and condolence may be sent to Rita McNulty and family, 2720 Ridgewood Trail, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494-0709.

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USPS announces selection of next generation MDD https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/usps-announces-selection-of-next-generation-mdd Tue, 10 Dec 2019 09:16:48 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/usps-announces-selection-of-next-generation-mdd USPS has chosen the Zebra TC 77 model as the new on-street scanning device to replace the current Mobile Delivery Device (MDD).  The new scanner will utilize the same software package and on-street menus as the current MDD. USPS indicates the need for updated hardware to improve network communication. Zebra is the manufacturer of the previous Intelligent Mail Device (IMD) used by letter carriers from 2006 until 2014. Pilot testing of the new MDD is occurring in the Northern Virginia District with nationwide roll-out in the coming months. The current Honeywell MDD devices will be repurposed for use in distribution operations.

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PMG Brennan announces retirement https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/pmg-brennan-announces-retirement Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:37:38 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/pmg-brennan-announces-retirement National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando issued the following statement on the retirement of United States Postmaster General Megan Brennan:

"NALC congratulates Postmaster General Brennan on her retirement after 33 years of public service. We extend our best wishes in her future endeavors."

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The printed version of the 2019 Letter Carrier Resource Guide is now available to order https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/the-printed-version-of-the-2019-letter-carrier-resource-guide-is-now-available-to-order Wed, 09 Oct 2019 10:02:49 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/the-printed-version-of-the-2019-letter-carrier-resource-guide-is-now-available-to-order The 2019 Letter Carrier Resource Guide, a comprehensive guide for every letter carrier, combines, updates, and replaces the 2016 City Carrier Assistant Resource Guide and the 2014 Letter Carrier’s Guide.  This new all-in-one guide was created for all letter carriers to obtain important information pertaining to every stage of their career. The guide includes updated rights and benefits, and relevant changes to these rights and benefits, as letter carriers progress from city carrier assistant to career status.  The guide includes chapters on NALC structure, health benefits, pay, uniforms, workroom floor issues, community service, legislation, and much more. 

To order a printed version of the Letter Carrier Resource Guide, log on to the Members Only section of the NALC website, click the checkbox below the image of the guide and a copy will be mailed to your NALC address of record. 

Click here for the downloadable PDF version of the Letter Carrier Resource Guide.

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