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 USPS reports Fiscal Year 2017 3rd quarter results (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/usps-reports-fiscal-year-2017-3rd-quarter-results Thu, 10 Aug 2017 11:30:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/usps-reports-fiscal-year-2017-3rd-quarter-results The U.S. Postal Service has released a report on its financial results for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2017, covering April 1-June 30.

Here is NALC President Fredric Rolando’s statement on the report:

Today’s financial report shows the underlying business strength of the U.S. Postal Service while also indicating the need to address external matters beyond USPS control.

The quarterly operating loss of $587 million puts the Postal Service in the red by $55 million three-quarters through the 2017 Fiscal Year. These figures reflect the impact of last year’s rollback in stamp prices. Without the two-cent reduction in stamp prices, this quarter’s revenue would be $500 million higher and the year-to-date revenue would be $1.5 billion higher.

With the original stamp price, the year-to-date figures would show an operating profit of more than $1.4 billion. The figures would be on a par with those of the past three years, which had a combined operating profit of $3.2 billion. We would be talking about a government entity producing an impressive operating profit through earned revenue.

The April 2016 rollback in stamp prices was the first since 1919, and it makes little financial sense because the Postal Service already has the industrial world’s lowest rates. The rollback reduces revenue at USPS―which gets no taxpayer money―by $2 billion a year.

Fortunately, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) is in the midst of a legally mandated review of the postage rate-setting system. The PRC has said it intends to issue a decision this fall. At present, USPS is constricted in its ability to adjust rates by no more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI), 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.

Meanwhile, Congress should address the pre-funding burden it imposed in 2006, which requires USPS―alone among all public and private entities―to pre-fund future retiree health care benefits decades into the future. This produces an onerous annual burden of billions of dollars.

Addressing these external financial burdens would allow USPS―which is based in the Constitution and which enjoys broad public and political support―to continue providing Americans and their businesses with the industrial world’s most affordable delivery network.


The media coverage of the USPS 2017 third-quarter report was largely constructive.

Associated Press. AP ran a story in advance of the USPS report that indicated that the Postal Regulatory Commission was looking favorably on addressing the price decrease and made clear that pre-funding is something that no other entity, public or private, is required to do. The story called pre-funding “onerous” and said that Congress’ failure to address that issue made it more likely that the PRC would allow a price hike.

AP’s story the next day featured Postmaster General Megan Brennan’s push for a change in rate-setting and termed the rate cap “unreasonable.” The only person quoted other than Brennan was President Rolando:

"Today's financial report shows the underlying business strength of the U.S. Postal Service while also indicating the need to address external matters beyond USPS control," said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. "Congress should address the pre-funding burden it imposed in 2006."

Federal News Radio. The day of the announcement, Federal News Radio followed AP’s lead with a story whose headline spoke of USPS’ bid for “stamp price flexibility.” The story quotes Brennan, USPS Chief Financial Officer Joseph Corbett and Rolando:

Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, said the rollback of the exigent postal rate made “little financial sense,” and called on postal regulators to give the USPS more pricing flexibility for its products.

“The PRC has the ability to correct this mismatch and relieve the resulting financial pressure,” Rolando said in a statement.

Government Executive. Similarly, Government Executive’s story cited the rate-pricing issue and pre-funding. Rolando and Brennan were the only people quoted.

The National Association of Letter Carriers noted that while USPS is slightly in the red this fiscal year in the controllable part of its business -- a net loss of $55 million -- it would actually would have turned an operational profit of $1.5 billion if PRC had not forced the Postal Service to roll back an emergency price hike it instituted in 2014. That marked only the second time ever, and the first time in 97 years, the agency decreased the price of a stamp.

“Addressing these external financial burdens would allow USPS, which is based in the Constitution and which enjoys broad public and political support, to continue providing Americans and their businesses with the industrial world’s most affordable delivery network,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando.

 

USA Today. Following AP’s lead, USA Today’s story focused on possible rate increase.

Washington Examiner. The Examiner, well-read among conservatives in Congress, had a story that highlighted the fact that USPS gets no tax money. It quoted Brennan, Corbett and Rolando:

Postal unions noted that lower stamp prices affected the results after the expiration of a 2-cent surcharge Congress imposed in 2014 and said the price should be higher. "These figures reflect the impact of last year's rollback in stamp prices. Without the 2-cent reduction in stamp prices, this quarter's revenue would be $500 million higher and the year-to-date revenue would be $1.5 billion higher," said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. "The April 2016 rollback in stamp prices was the first since 1919, and it makes little financial sense because the Postal Service already has the industrial world's lowest rates."


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New NALC-USPS contract is ratified http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/new-nalc-usps-contract-is-ratified Mon, 07 Aug 2017 13:30:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/new-nalc-usps-contract-is-ratified The active membership of the National Association of Letter Carriers has overwhelmingly ratified the proposed 2016-2019 National Agreement with the United States Postal Service. By a ratio exceeding 16 to 1, eligible members voted to accept the tentative agreement that was announced on May 12. The vote to ratify was 78,935 to accept the agreement versus 4,732 to reject it, as reported by NALC’s Ballot Committee chaired by Joseph DeRossi of Jamaica, NY Branch 562.

NALC will officially notify USPS of the August 7 ratification date.

Information on back pay and the implementation of the new contract will be released as soon as possible.

The new contract covers a 40-month term from May 16, 2016, to Sept. 20, 2019.


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Demand that the Labor Department fully implement the overtime pay rule http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/demand-that-the-labor-department Wed, 09 Aug 2017 08:58:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/demand-that-the-labor-department No one likes to have anything taken from them, especially when it is something that benefits you and your loved ones.

But that’s what lobbyists in Washington, DC, are attempting to do to millions of working families who finally became eligible to earn overtime pay just last year.

President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor, Alexander Acosta, thinks the overtime rule is too generous to workers, and Acosta now has taken the first step to revise the rule—with an eye toward denying working people pay raises.

For years, working people pushed then-President Barack Obama to restore overtime protections that had been eroded over recent decades. The Obama overtime pay rule would have made 4.9 million more working people eligible for overtime pay, and it would have made it tougher for employers to deny overtime pay to another 7.6 million workers who already were eligible.

The overtime rule was issued after many conversations with interested individuals and nearly 300,000 comments—largely in favor of the rule—from the public. Working people should not have to wait any longer for the pay they deserve.

The AFL-CIO is joining with some of its coalition partners to help strengthen workers’ right to be paid fairly. Taking action now is a great way to make sure you have a seat at the table for this conversation.

Click here to leave a comment now for the Department of Labor and demand that it fully implement the overtime pay rule for millions of working people.


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House committee spending blueprint targets letter carriers http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/house-committee-spending-blueprint-targets-usps Thu, 20 Jul 2017 13:04:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/house-committee-spending-blueprint-targets-usps On July 19, the House Budget Committee released and adopted its Fiscal Year 2018 budget resolution, and it also published a non-binding policy statement. Drawing inspiration from the White House budget, proposed in May, and from a 2010 presidential commission on deficit reduction, the two documents set their sights on postal and federal employee benefits and target the U.S. Postal Service for massive cuts.

“The House budget would unfairly slash the incomes and benefits of federal employees and needlessly expose the Postal Service to crippling service cuts,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “Active and retired letter carriers must make their voices heard to fight these horrible proposals.” The president also directed NALC members to read the "Budget Battle 2017" web page.

The Budget Committee’s documents are meant to serve as a blueprint for the House Appropriations Committee as it works to adopt 12 federal spending bills covering various parts of the federal government. If the budget resolution is adopted by the House—which is far from certain because of divisions with the Republican majority there—the 12 bills are then expected to be combined in some manner, and they could include instructions directing each of the 12 congressional oversight committees to cut spending by certain amounts in the programs they oversee. These oversight committees, such as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that governs the Postal Service and the health and pension plans of postal and federal employees, would then have to adopt bills to cut spending accordingly. Using reconciliation rules can expedite the budget process and help prevent a Senate filibuster.

The budget resolution now being debated in the House calls for the Oversight Committee to find $32 billion in savings over 10 years, and an accompanying policy statement makes suggestions for cuts that copy many of the harsh cuts proposed by President Donald Trump in May as well as others, including those proposed by the Simpson-Bowles presidential commission on deficit reduction in 2010.

One of the more troubling proposals introduced by the Budget Committee is one to fold the financially independent U.S. Postal Service, which is an “off-budget” agency, into the formal federal budget. Moving USPS to “on-budget” status could expose the agency to across-the-board spending cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011—better known as “sequestration.” Such a move might also tempt members of Congress to pay for their spending priorities using Postal Service cuts that would threaten the quality of service we provide—and perhaps even our jobs. (These kinds of threats prompted Congress in 1989 to move USPS off-budget.)

Budget Committee staffers have suggested that the Postal Service could be protected from such threats, but there would be no guarantees. Regardless, any change in the Postal Service's budget status would require the Oversight Committee to draft legislation calling for such a change, and NALC will of course monitor any such efforts.

Another troubling proposal being floated (actually, recycled) in the budget debate is to cut the rate of return on Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) retirement savings invested in the plan's government securities index fund (or G Fund). Such a cut would cost retirees and savers up to $32 billion in income over the next 10 years, not to mention destabilizing the TSP and the retirement security of its participants.

“Congress should not damage the G Fund, which millions of retirees rely on to preserve the value of their retirement nest-eggs,” Rolando said.

Visit Budget Battle 2017 to learn how you can help fight these and other harmful proposals.

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19th biennial CLUW convention: Sept. 6-9 in Detroit http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/19th-biennial-cluw-convention-sept-6-9-in-detroit Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:17:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/19th-biennial-cluw-convention-sept-6-9-in-detroit Observers are invited to attend the 19th biennial convention of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), Sept. 6-9 at Detroit’s Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

The theme for the convention is “Women: Taking it to the streets.”

The women’s movement and the labor movement are facing some of the biggest challenges in history, with battles on every front. The convention will provide an opportunity to engage those in the labor movement—and friends who are not part of the labor movement—and to form strong coalitions to fight back against those forces that are trying to diminish the power and eliminate the gains women have struggled to achieve.

There also will be workshops on a variety of topics, dynamic speakers and inspirational sessions.

CLUW has a proven success rate of mobilizing around causes important to the entire labor movement. Most recently, CLUW has been working with its Young Women Workers Committee on mobilizing the next generation.

San Francisco Branch 214’s Victoria Sawicki sits on CLUW’s officers council as one of the organization’s vice presidents.

CLUW is making a difference but it needs your help.

Click here for registration information for deadlines and fees.

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Rolando is getting locked up on August 10...for MDA http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/rolando-is-getting-locked-up-for-mda Mon, 07 Aug 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/rolando-is-getting-locked-up-for-mda On Aug. 10, NALC President Fredric Rolando will “do a little time” to do a lot of good—by being a “jailbird” in Fredericksburg, VA, taking part in a Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock-Up fundraiser.

“Every day, kids and adults are diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that take away the most basic freedoms—the freedom to walk, talk, hug and even breathe,” Rolando said. “By taking part in this lock-up to help raise money for NALC’s only official charity, I hope to raise some awareness and help those
doctors striving to give some of those freedoms back.”

An MDA Lock-Up is a lighthearted event where the “incarcerated” individual tries to raise money to “make bail,” with proceeds going to MDA, of course. Click here to download a flyer.

Click here to visit Rolando’s official lock-up page. If you would like for your branch to receive the credit for your donation, be sure to type in your branch number in the “Recognition Name Box” at the end of the billing information.

If you prefer to mail a check instead, click here to download a form, fill it out and make out your check to MDA. Then mail the form and the check to the Richmond, VA, address on the form.

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NALC statement regarding July 19 Senate hearing http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-statement-regarding-july-19-senate-hearing Wed, 19 Jul 2017 12:02:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-statement-regarding-july-19-senate-hearing Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee conducted a hearing calling into question the U.S. Postal Service’s longstanding policy of approving leave without pay (LWOP) for employees to participate in political activity, most recently in 2016.

While not party to today’s hearing, NALC will submit a statement for the record to address the legitimacy and accuracy of some of the data and statements from the investigation and the hearing.

NALC also will monitor these proceedings to protect our right to continue representing the views of ours members across the political spectrum consistent with the law.

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Redesigned Heat Safety Tool app released (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/redesigned-heat-safety-tool-app-released Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/redesigned-heat-safety-tool-app-released The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have collaborated to update OSHA’s original Heat Safety Tool app for smartphones.

The updated app, available for both Android and iPhone, provides a clearer user interface while still providing the same information to help keep employees safe when working outdoors in hot weather.

Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related hazard; each year more than 65,000 people seek medical treatment for extreme heat exposure.

Letter carriers who are exposed to hot and humid conditions can use the app to check the heat index and learn about the relevant protective measures. The app displays the heat index in the user’s location and shows the current risk level. 

Click here to get your current heat index from The Weather Channel—and bookmark the page for future reference.

The app also forecasts the hourly heat index throughout the entire workday, giving employers information they can use to adjust the work environment as needed to protect workers. It provides tips for recognizing the signs of heat-related illness and for rendering first aid, plus links to more information and to NIOSH/OSHA contact information.

Note: If you have the original OSHA app on your phone, it will no longer function after Sept. 30.

To download the updated app and get more information on OSHA’s efforts to help protect employees from the heat, visit OSHA’s heat campaign web page.

UPDATE: Visit the NIOSH page in support of the app to learn more about it and to get answers to frequently asked questions, such as “What is a heat index?”, “When should I use the heat index?”, and “Is monitoring the heat index enough to keep workers safe?”

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Ratification ballot update for observing the receipt and tabulation of the ballots http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/ratification-ballot-update-7-30-17 Sun, 30 Jul 2017 05:27:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/ratification-ballot-update-7-30-17 Ballot Committee members will arrive in Washington, DC, today, July 30, to monitor and observe the receipt and tabulation of the ratification ballots on the proposed tentative 2016-2019 National Agreement between NALC and USPS.

Below is information for NALC members in good standing who wish to observe the receipt and tabulation of the ballots.

The ballots will be picked up at the following location at approximately 9 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, July 31:

Greenbelt Post Office
7600 Ora Glen Drive
Greenbelt, MD 20770

The ballots will then be transported to the following location where the tabulation will begin and continue throughout the day until approximately 10 p.m.

Wyndham Garden Hotel
5811 Annapolis Road
Cheverly, MD 20784

Tabulation will resume at the same location at approximately 8 a.m. on Tuesday, August 1,continuing until approximately 10 p.m. The same schedule will be repeated daily until the tabulation is complete. The Ballot Committee anticipates completing the process by the end of the week. Any further updates will be posted on nalc.org.  

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Ratification ballot update http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/ratification-ballot-update Fri, 28 Jul 2017 16:23:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/ratification-ballot-update Today, the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, denied the request of two NALC members for a preliminary injunction that would have deferred the counting of ballots on the proposed tentative 2016-2019 National Agreement between NALC and the U.S. Postal Service. Thomas Houff of Richmond, VA Branch 496 and David Noble of Washington, DC Branch 142 filed a lawsuit to cancel the ratification vote. The court’s denial of their motion means that the counting of ballots will proceed as scheduled next week. 

Ballot committee members will arrive in Washington, DC, on July 30 to monitor and observe the receipt and tabulation of the ratification ballots.

NALC members in good standing who wish to observe the tabulation of the ballots should check nalc.org for details on the hours and the location where the receipt and tabulation will take place. Details will be made available soon.

 

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Efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will continue http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/tell-the-senate-to-vote-no-on-efforts-to-dismantle-the-affordable-care-act Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/tell-the-senate-to-vote-no-on-efforts-to-dismantle-the-affordable-care-act The debate will continue on efforts to dismantle Obamacare, so it remains imperative that letter carriers continue to call the Washington, DC, and home-district offices of their senators and tell them both to oppose such efforts. Please take a minute to call and keep calling. Ask your adult family members, friends and co-workers to do the same.

  • Call 844-904-7029 to reach their Washington, DC, offices.
  • Call 855-982-3154 to reach their district offices.
  • Tell both of your senators to oppose efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and the employer mandate.

Background

On Tuesday, the Senate voted to proceed with consideration of the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA, H.R. 1628) by narrow margins—requiring Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie. Knowing that the House bill cannot pass the Senate, senators proceeded to consider a substitute amendment containing the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) alternative bill, a move that went down in flames. After that effort failed, McConnell moved on to call for a vote on the full repeal of Obamacare, which also failed to pass the Senate.

Early Friday morning, the Senate voted to reject the latest iteration of an Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) repeal, marking the third failed attempt at health care repeal this week. There are currently no other draft bills, repeal options seem exhausted, and it is unclear how or if McConnell and Senate Republicans will proceed, but NALC will closely monitor for further activity as our fight is far from over. (Click here to learn more.)

What does this mean for letter carriers?

All of the repeal options discussed have the potential to harm letter carriers and their families. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), earlier repeal plans would have stripped health insurance coverage from 22 million Americans, and both would have cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid.

Letter carriers and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) would not be immune to the consequences of repeal. Here are five reasons why:

  1. If Congress takes insurance away from millions of Americans, premiums would rise nationwide to recoup the cost of providing uncompensated health care (FEHBP, too).
  2. The Senate has considered waiving insurance regulations, allowing health exchanges to collapse, weakening protections for those with pre-existing conditions and exposing FEHBP to similar disastrous consequences in the near future.
  3. Corporations and the wealthy would get tax breaks, while the “Cadillac Tax” that affects working people would stay the same.
  4. The “employer mandate,” requiring USPS to provide health care for city carrier assistants (CCAs) and others, could be repealed. Although CCA coverage would still be guaranteed by our contract, without the mandate, USPS might try to drop CCA coverage in future rounds of bargaining.
  5. Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit could skyrocket as tax cuts for the wealthy take immediate effect, while Medicaid spending would be delayed—creating new budget cut threats to our benefits.
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Tentative National Agreement is reached http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/tentative-national-agreement-is-reached Fri, 12 May 2017 12:50:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/tentative-national-agreement-is-reached

The National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service have reached tentative agreement on a national labor contract, covering 213,000 active city letter carriers across America.

The tentative agreement includes provisions rewarding all letter carriers for their contributions to the Postal Service’s extraordinary comeback following the Great Recession; narrowing the compensation gap between city carrier assistants (CCAs) and career letter carriers; creating a formal mechanism to address the problems that have undermined the workplace culture of the Postal Service for much of its history; and preserving the core achievements of our bargaining history, including regular general wage increases and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), protections against outsourcing and layoffs, as well as other contractual elements that define our standard of living.

NALC President Fredric V. Rolando issued the following statement after the NALC Executive Council unanimously recommended approval of the tentative settlement:

“I’d like to thank all the officers and staff who worked so hard to help reach this tentative National Agreement. Most importantly, I want to thank our members for their patience and steadfast solidarity during the long bargaining process – the strength and unity of our union has always been our most important asset in collective bargaining. Although we were fully prepared, if necessary, to fight for our interests in binding interest arbitration, I am very happy that our members will have a chance to make the final decision about this contract through the ratification process outlined in our union's constitution. The Executive Council unanimously recommends ratification of this contract.”

The major features of the contract are summarized below. Full details about the tentative agreement, along with paycharts, other contractual changes and information about new and amended memorandum of understanding (MOUs), will be presented in the next NALC Bulletin and in the June issue of The Postal Record. They will also be distributed though the union’s electronic platforms in the days to come.  All these communication channels will also be used to announce  the members of the Ballot Committee (who will oversee the ratification vote); the timing and details of the ratification process; and the arrangements for the 2017 National Rap Session, a meeting that will be held in mid-June to educate branch leaders about the proposed contract so they can pass on information to their members before they cast ratification ballots.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS

HIGHLIGHTS OF TENTATIVE AGREEMENT
WITH THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE

2016-2019 NATIONAL AGREEMENT

Term

The 2016 National Agreement will last 40 months, covering the period May 21, 2016, to Sept. 20, 2019.

General wage increases and pay upgrade

All letter carriers, career and non-career alike, will receive three wage increases as follows:

  • 1.2 percent effective Nov. 26, 2016, paid retroactively.
  • 1.3 percent effective Nov. 25, 2017.
  • Effective Nov. 24, 2018, all Grade 1 letter carriers will be upgraded to Grade 2. This upgrade will result in an average wage increase of 2.1 percent for Grade 1 letter carriers across all current wage tables. Carrier technicians also will receive a pay increase of 2.1 percent effective Nov. 24, 2018.

CCAs will receive additional wage increases of 1 percent on these three dates for a total of: 2.2 percent on Nov. 26, 2016 (paid retroactively); 2.3 percent on Nov. 25, 2017; and an additional 1 percent increase at the time of the upgrade, Nov. 24, 2018. These additional increases will be paid in lieu of cost-of-living adjustments for CCAs.

Cost-of-living adjustments for career letter carriers

All career letter carriers will receive seven COLAs based on changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) and using the existing COLA formula and the July 2014 CPI as the base month. The first two COLAs will be paid retroactively and the remaining five will be paid in the future as follows:

  • The first COLA will be $21 annually effective Sept. 3, 2016, paid retroactively.
  • The second COLA will be $333 annually effective March 4, 2017, paid retroactively.
  • The third COLA will be effective in September 2017.
  • The fourth COLA will be effective in March 2018.
  • The fifth COLA will be effective in September 2018.
  • The sixth COLA will be effective in March 2019.
  • The seventh COLA will be effective in September 2019.

The COLAs will be applied to the two pay tables for career city carriers in the same manner used in the 2011 National Agreement.

Recently retired letter carriers

Letter carriers who have retired over the last several months will receive applicable retroactive general wage increases and COLAs. The Office of Personnel Management will also make any annuity adjustments made necessary by the retroactive increases.

Step increases for city carrier assistants

The tentative agreement would establish step increases for CCAs. In addition to the wage increases described above, CCAs will receive a 50 cents per hour raise after 12 weeks of service and an additional 50 cents per hour increase after an additional 40 weeks of service. These step increases will be paid retroactively to Nov. 26, 2016, for CCAs with paid hours since Nov. 26, 2016.  For example, CCAs with 52 weeks of service as of Nov. 26, 2016, will get a $1.00 per hour raise, effective on that date and paid retroactively.

Step advancement for certain former transitional employees

Effective May 26, 2018, eligible former transitional employees (TEs) will be advanced in Table 2 of the letter carrier pay scale based on their length of service as TEs after Sept. 29, 2007. Such former TEs will be entitled to between one and four step increases as follows:

Length of creditable TE service          

     Number of additional steps     

2 years but less than 3 years

1

3 years but less than 4 years

2

4 years but less than 5 years

3

5 or more years

4

For those eligible former TEs converted to career status prior to May 26, 2018, the step advancement will be effective on that date. For those converted thereafter, the step advancement will be effective upon conversion to career status. All employees eligible for step advancement will retain time-in-step credit.

Health insurance

In 2017, there is no change in the Postal Service’s share of premium costs for career letter carriers’ health insurance (76 percent of the weighted average Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) plan premium, capped at 79.25 percent of any given plan premium). Following the pattern of previous contracts, the Postal Service’s share will decline by a total of 3.0 percent over the term of the tentative agreement. The share will decrease to 74 percent in 2018 and to 73 percent in 2019. The maximum employer contribution for any given plan will be 77.25% in 2018 and 76.0% in 2019. Over the course of the entire contract, the Postal Service’s share for career letter carriers will remain higher than that paid by other federal agencies that participate in the FEHBP (72 percent of the average premium, capped at 75 percent for any given plan).

The bi-weekly impact of these Article 21 changes will depend on which plans carriers enroll in but will, in any case, represent a small fraction of the bi-weekly pay increases provided by Article 9 of the tentative agreement.

On health insurance for CCAs, the tentative contract maintains the Postal Service’s bi-weekly contribution of $125 toward self-only coverage in the USPS Non-career Health Plan, but it would significantly increase the Postal Service’s contribution toward self-plus-one and self-and-family coverage in that plan (now set at the same $125 bi-weekly contribution available for self-only coverage). In the initial year of CCA employment, the USPS will pay 65 percent of the premium costs. In the second year of CCA employment and beyond, the USPS share would rise to 75 percent of the total premium.

Job security protections for letter carriers

The no-layoff clause that protects letter carriers after six years of service as career employees is retained in the tentative agreement. In addition, prohibitions against contracting out city carrier work would be continued for the duration of the 2016-2019 contract, if the contract is ratified.

Joint Workplace Improvement Process

The tentative accord includes an MOU on improving workplace culture. The parties have agreed to establish a Joint Workplace Improvement Process to address a number of issues to provide safe, efficient work environments in which employees are treated with dignity and respect.

CCA complement and conversion to career status

Upon ratification, there would be a one-time conversion to career status for CCAs with relative standing date at least 30 months prior to the ratification date. The conversions would work as follows:

  • In 200-workyear offices, eligible CCAs will be converted to full-time regular career status in their installation.
  • In 125- and 100-workyear offices, eligible CCAs will be converted to part-time flexible career status in their installation, rather than waiting to convert to full-time career status as a CCA.

The parties have agreed to consider the possibility of another one-time conversion after one year.

Additionally, the parties have agreed to address situations where CCAs work in small offices with no clear path to a career opportunity.

There is no increase to the CCA employment caps in Article 7 of the Agreement or to the number of CCAs currently on the rolls. However, the Postal Service will maintain a percentage of the additional CCAs previously agreed to by the parties through a number of MOUs. These MOUs, which would continue in the tentative agreement, have provided additional career conversion opportunities for CCAs, about 47,000 to date. The vast majority of these CCAs did not have to serve probationary periods as career employees. The MOUs continue to include a weekly meeting to monitor appropriate staffing levels through career conversions and voluntary transfer requests.

CCA holidays

The following six days shall be considered holidays for CCAs: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The amount of holiday pay a CCA will receive will be determined by the size of the office in which the CCA works.

CCA leave provisions in local agreements

The agreement requires the parties to negotiate choice and incidental leave provisions for CCAs during local implementation. It also establishes an alternate dispute resolution process for impasses related to CCA leave prior to arbitration.

Article 8 improvements

All overtime, regardless of whether such overtime was worked on a carrier’s own route, will count toward equitability for overtime desired list (ODL) carriers. Additionally, management will be required to post equitability totals weekly, rather than quarterly.

An MOU is incorporated into the agreement to continue to allow the local parties the option of developing a process that allows employees who transfer from another installation or are converted to full time following the signup period to place their names on either the ODL or the work assignment list. Existing agreements pursuant to previous versions of this MOU will remain in effect.

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75 million pounds: Impressive national Food Drive results http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/75-million-pounds-impressive-national-food-drive-results Thu, 13 Jul 2017 11:33:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/75-million-pounds-impressive-national-food-drive-results Ratification balloting update http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/ratification-balloting-update Fri, 14 Jul 2017 13:31:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/ratification-balloting-update Every active letter carrier eligible to vote in the election to ratify the tentative 2016-2019 National Agreement between NALC and the U.S. Postal Service was mailed a copy of the proposed agreement, a letter from NALC President Fredric Rolando, a summary of the contract’s provisions, a ballot and secrecy envelope, a return envelope and instructions for casting a vote. For a ballot to be counted, it must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 29.

As previously reported, President Rolando appointed a Ballot Committee to conduct the ratification vote, pursuant to Article 16 of the NALC Constitution. The committee arrived in Washington, DC, on June 19, and monitored and observed the mailing of the ballots. The committee will return to Washington on July 30 to monitor and observe the receipt and tabulation of the ratification ballots.

The Ballot Committee is made up of 15 NALC members from branches in no fewer than 15 states. The members of the committee are:

  • Region 1: Barbara Stickler, Garden Grove, CA Branch 1100
  • Region 2: Phillip Rodriquez, Salt Lake City Branch 111
  • Region 3: Mack Julion, Chicago Branch 11
  • Region 4: Adam Fung, Aurora, CO Branch 5996
  • Region 5: Rod Holub, Manhattan, KS Branch 1018
  • Region 6: Robyn Williams, N. Oakland Co., MI Branch 320
  • Region 7: Caitlin Hill, Minneapolis Branch 9
  • Region 8: Antonia Shields, Birmingham, AL Branch 530
  • Region 9: Anthony Ali, Central Florida Branch 1091
  • Region 10: Vanessa Sanchez, San Antonio, TX Branch 421
  • Region 11: John Oross, Dayton, OH Branch 182
  • Region 12: Eryka Tolliver, Pittsburgh Branch 84
  • Region 13: Delano Wilson, Bowie, MD Branch 2611
  • Region 14: Christopher Henwood, Rutland, VT Branch 495
  • Region 15: Joe De Rossi, Jamaica, NY Branch 562

NALC members in good standing who wish to observe the tabulation of the ballots should check nalc.org after the ballot committee arrives for details on the hours and the location where the receipt and tabulation will take place.

Caveat: Two NALC members—Thomas Houff of Richmond, VA Branch 496 and David Noble of Washington, DC Branch 142—have filed a lawsuit against NALC in federal court in Washington, DC. Houff and Noble have asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction that would defer the counting of ballots. The court has scheduled a hearing on the motion for July 28. Further developments in this matter will be reported as soon as possible.

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POSTAL FACTS: July 7, 2017 (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-july-7-2017-1 Fri, 07 Jul 2017 11:16:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-july-7-2017-1 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.

The US Postal Service Is Doing Better Than You've Been Led to Believe (Townhall)

Logo for TownhallNALC President Fredric Rolando’s guest column in Townhall ran on July 7, rebutting a commentary that the website—one of the country's most prominent conservative sites—ran a couple of weeks ago. Rolando’s piece makes a strong case both for USPS and for the legislative reform effort.

Click here to read Rolando’s commentary.

Post office is center of operations (Idaho Press-Tribune)
Letter: The community center of operations (Times-News)
Paige letter: U.S. Post Office (Idaho Statesman)

Logo for Idaho Press-TribuneLogo for Twin Falls Times-NewsIdaho State Association President John Paige’s letter to the editor of the Idaho Press-Tribune ran on June 30. The same letter ran in Twin Falls’ Times-News on July 2 and in the Idaho Statesman on July 13.

Click here to read the letter in the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Click here to read the letter in the Times-News.
Click here to read the letter in the Idaho Statesman.

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