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 COVID-19 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/covid-19 Thu, 16 Apr 2020 13:29:52 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/covid-19 ACTION NEEDED: Congress must strengthen and protect the Postal Service during the COVID-19 crisis https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/action-needed-congress-must-strengthe Thu, 16 Apr 2020 13:24:59 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/action-needed-congress-must-strengthe Branch 385 member passes away from coronavirus https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/branch-385-member-passes-away-from-coronavirus Thu, 09 Jul 2020 19:41:04 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/branch-385-member-passes-away-from-coronavirus NALC is deeply saddened to learn that 72-year-old retired letter carrier Raymond Earl Moore, a member of Branch 385 in Youngstown, OH, died on Sunday, April 5, from complications related to COVID-19. Brother Moore joined the United States Army at age 17 and served for 20 years before becoming a letter carrier and serving another 20 years with the Postal Service.

"The entire NALC grieves the loss of Brother Moore," NALC President Fredric Rolando said. "Our sincere condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to his family, friends, co-workers and loved ones.”

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Bipartisan Postal Relief Bill Introduced in Senate https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/bipartisan-postal-relief-bill-introduced-in-senate Thu, 02 Jul 2020 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/bipartisan-postal-relief-bill-introduced-in-senate Today, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the “Postal Service Emergency Assistance Act” (S. 4174) to provide funding to the Postal Service to help offset Covid-related financial losses.

Primarily, the bill would provide $25 billion in direct relief to the agency through establishment of a “Postal Service Covid-19 Emergency Fund” to make up the difference between revenue and expenses during the pandemic, making the fund available through September 30, 2022.

Notably, the bill makes clear that the $10 billion Treasury loan approved in the CARES Act, (read more here) would be subject to the terms and conditions agreed to in the note purchase agreement between the Postal Service and Federal Financing Bank from September 29, 2018. The inclusion of these terms would be far more favorable than the rumored terms and conditions that the Department of Treasury is insisting on but refusing to make public in order to access the funds.

The provisions outlined above are consistent with NALC’s immediate priorities related to Covid-19 and are similar to provisions contained in the HEROES Act, which passed the House in June.

Unlike the House-passed postal provisions contained in the HEROES Act, S. 4174 would direct the Postal Service to report to Congress that funds are being used for the sole purpose of Covid, an acceptable requirement to NALC. Unfortunately, the bill includes language that cites lost volume as the principle cause for Postal Service losses, which does not depict the entire picture. The requirement to prefund retiree health benefits is the principle cause of the Postal Service’s financial condition, leaving it more vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. In addition, S. 4174 included unnecessary language regarding a 10-year plan that is already underway. Despite those minor shortcomings, this legislation is an important marker.

While NALC has not endorsed any particular relief package, including S. 4174, we continue to lobby aggressively for direct financial relief and favorable loan terms and conditions as outlined above. NALC is hopeful that the bipartisan and bicameral calls for immediate financial relief will be part of the conversation between House and Senate leadership and the White House when negotiations over the next relief package are expected to resume later this month.

NALC members should continue to call on members in the House and Senate to include relief in the next package. Click here for our fact sheet and here to contact your member of Congress.

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2020 Stamp Out Hunger Donor Drive https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/2020-stamp-out-hunger-donor-drive Mon, 15 Jun 2020 15:42:45 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/2020-stamp-out-hunger-donor-drive Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NALC has postponed the food drive until it is safe to hold it. In the meantime, the donor drive is a chance to contribute to food banks in your community.

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Branch 1081 member passes away from coronavirus https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/branch-1081-member-passes-away-from-coronavirus Thu, 25 Jun 2020 18:53:39 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/branch-1081-member-passes-away-from-coronavirus NALC is deeply saddened to learn that 60-year-old letter carrier Kerry Morrissey, a member of Branch 1081 in Ames, IA, passed away Saturday, June 13, from complications related to COVID-19. Brother Morrissey worked at the Ames Post Office for 27 years, most recently as the Vehicle Operations and Maintenance Assistant (VOMA).

"The entire NALC grieves the loss of Brother Morrissey," NALC President Fredric Rolando said. "Our sincere condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to Kerry's family, friends, co-workers, and loved ones. “

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Statement from NALC President Fredric V. Rolando on the COVID-19 pandemic https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/statement-from-nalc-president-fredric-v-rolando-on-the-covid-19-pandemic-060820 Mon, 08 Jun 2020 18:00:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/statement-from-nalc-president-fredric-v-rolando-on-the-covid-19-pandemic-060820 President Fredric V. Rolando has issued his latest statement to letter carriers covering several evolving issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement may be viewed here.

An audio version of the statement is also available on NALC's podcast feed on Podbean.com. You may listen here.

As a reminder, in addition to contacting your shop steward, branch officer or NBA, NALC has a new email address for members to ask any questions or provide information about the COVID-19 pandemic: COVID19@nalc.org. When sending your email, please be sure to include your name and NALC branch number to expedite getting information to you.

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Statement of NALC President Fredric V. Rolando on justice for George Floyd and civil unrest https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/statement-of-nalc-president-fredric-rolando-on-civil-unrest Mon, 01 Jun 2020 19:05:45 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/statement-of-nalc-president-fredric-rolando-on-civil-unrest The senseless killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis last week was not just a tragedy for his family, it was an assault on America’s people of color, who include tens of thousands of NALC members, and an affront to human decency.

NALC knows that the death of Mr. Floyd is just the latest example of institutional racism that creates fear in the day-to-day lives of millions of African Americans and other minorities. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – our common rights as Americans – are not achievable in a state of fear. While we appreciate and honor the hard work, public service and social value provided by millions of police officers of goodwill, we stand with our members of color to demand long-overdue reforms to prevent the recurrence of what happened in Minnesota (and also in Georgia and Kentucky) in May.  

NALC celebrates the right to peaceful protest but condemns those who have used this crisis to sow violence and destruction across the country. The irresponsible and criminal actions of the malevolent and misguided few who have rioted only damage the righteous cause of the many who are protesting to make progress and to win justice. Creating new victims does nothing to solve the problem.

More than a few post offices have been ransacked during the recent wave of civil unrest, and some letter carriers have been robbed on their routes. Such crimes harm postal employees and the citizens we serve. At a time when the pandemic has made our jobs more dangerous, the spreading social unrest raises new dangers for letter carriers. NALC is working with the Postal Service to make sure letter carriers remain safe.

As letter carriers, we are proud to be part of a vital institution that helps bind our nation together. As a union, we aim to be an organization that brings together members of all races, creeds and ethnicities in the spirit of love and solidarity.  We embrace our nation’s core aspirational belief in “liberty and justice for all.” For that belief to be fully realized for any of us, it must be true for all of us. In the labor movement, we embrace a similar idea – an injury to one is an injury to all.

The crisis of police violence against people of color in America is not just a problem for minorities. It is crisis for all Americans that must be addressed. It requires all of us to accept the need for deep structural reform that respects the human rights of all while honoring the essential work of our police. Even as we battle a terrible pandemic and its economic effects, we must make that reform the vital work of our democracy.

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Update regarding Branch Elections https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/update-regarding-branch-elections Mon, 01 Jun 2020 11:44:30 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/update-regarding-branch-elections In his March 18 letter to all Branches, President Rolando issued a blanket dispensation permitting Branches to postpone scheduled nominations and elections without requesting dispensation from the President to do so. The letter also noted that “postponed nominations and elections should be rescheduled as expeditiously as possible.

For the foreseeable future, the pandemic may prevent some Branches from conducting normal elections of officers and delegates using the procedures in their by-laws.  For example, Branches that normally nominate candidates and vote at scheduled Branch meetings will not be able to do so if in-person meetings are postponed indefinitely. 

To address this situation, Branches should consider alternative procedures for conducting nominations and elections.  For example, nominations may be submitted by mail or through video web conferencing (e.g. Zoom, WebEx, etc.).  Elections could be conducted by mail ballot or at designated polling places.

Branches may submit to President Rolando requests for dispensation to implement alternative election procedures.  Such procedures must be consistent with the Constitution and the NALC Regulations Governing Branch Election Procedures.  For example, Branches must ensure that an election committee is appointed and capable of supervising all aspects of the election; that  all active and retired members have a reasonable opportunity to nominate candidates for any office; and that all active and retired members can vote by secret ballot. Branches must also have processes in place sufficient to accommodate observers.  

A timely notice of nominations and election must be mailed to all members that accurately describes the alternative procedures. The notice must be mailed at least 10 days before nominations and at least 45 days before the election. 

If any branch needs advice or assistance in developing alternative nomination and elections procedures, it may contact Assistant Secretary-Treasurer Paul Barner.

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M-01923 Consolidated Casing Update https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/m-01923-consolidated-casing-update Thu, 18 Jun 2020 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/m-01923-consolidated-casing-update In accordance with M-01923 in NALC’s Materials Reference System (MRS), USPS has selected thirty-one Consolidated Casing test sites to be returned to their original route structure no later than July 31, 2020.  M-01923 provides the remaining thirty-one test sites will continue through November 27, 2020 and absent joint agreement by the parties to either continue the test or to jointly conduct alternative testing in these sites, the test sites will be returned to their original route structure by January 22, 2021.  Additionally, it is agreed there will be no further expansion of Consolidated Casing. To review the list of test sites to be restored by July 31, 2020, click here.

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Consolidated Casing Grievance Settled https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/consolidated-casing-grievance-settled Thu, 04 Jun 2020 15:08:24 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/consolidated-casing-grievance-settled NALC and the Postal Service have settled a national-level grievance regarding the Postal Service’s unilateral testing of Consolidated Casing.  This settlement (M-01923) requires that half of the 62 test sites to be returned to their original route structure by July 31, 2020.  The remaining 31 test sites will continue through November 27, 2020. 

The task force established by the memorandum of understanding, Re: City Delivery Task Force will begin analyzing data from the test sites by July 20, 2020, to determine its application to future testing. Absent joint agreement by the parties to either continue the test or to jointly conduct alternative testing in these sites, the test sites will be returned to their original route structure by January 22, 2021.. Additionally, it is agreed there will be no further expansion of this Case Consolidation Test.

The local parties will jointly work through the transition of returning routes in the test sites to their original structure. Assistance and guidance will be provided by the appropriate NALC National Business Agent (NBA) and USPS Area Manager, Labor Relations (AMLR), or their designees. Once it is determined which sites will end testing first, that information will be immediately provided to the appropriate branch president.

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State association dues statements https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/state-association-dues-statements Thu, 21 May 2020 12:12:25 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/state-association-dues-statements Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NALC membership department has been unable to mail out the monthly statements and membership information to state associations since April. The information for 2020 is now available only to state presidents, state secretaries and state treasurers by selecting the “State Dues Roster” button in the Member’s Only portal. 

NALC headquarters is also currently working to provide state and branch retiree dues information through the Member’s Only portal. As a reminder, branch presidents, secretaries and treasurers were provided access to their branch bi-weekly dues rosters through the Member’s Only portal in April.

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Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman Resigns https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/deputy-postmaster-general-ron-stroman-resigns Fri, 15 May 2020 13:04:41 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/deputy-postmaster-general-ron-stroman-resigns The wave of leadership changes at the United States Postal Service continued this week with the announced resignation of Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman. Stroman will resign on June 1st after 42 years of public service in the Postal Service and the legislative branch of our government. His resignation follows that of PMG Megan Brennan – and the resignation of David Williams, the Vice Chair of the USPS Board of Governors.

NALC worked closely with Stroman over the years on legislative and policy matters. We especially welcomed his expertise on promoting election mail, international shipments, and environmental stability. We note with gratitude that he and PMG Megan Brennan were dedicated to the proud public service tradition of the Postal Service to the very end by serving during the Covid-19 crisis. We thank them for their exceptional public service during this time of crisis.

“On behalf of America’s letter carriers, NALC congratulates DPMG Stroman on this milestone,” NALC President Fred Rolando said.

See:  https://link.usps.com/2020/05/13/dpmg-resigns/

 

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House introduces fourth major response package to pandemic https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/house-introduces-fourth-major-response-package-to-pandemic Tue, 12 May 2020 11:00:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/house-introduces-fourth-major-response-package-to-pandemic Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) introduced the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or “HEROES” Act (H.R. 6800), the fourth major legislative package put forward in response to the pandemic.

The $3 trillion package, which was co-sponsored by the chairs of 10 major House committees, includes a $25 billion appropriation to the Postal Service to offset postal revenue losses resulting from the pandemic-induced economic shutdown. It also provides for hazard pay for letter carriers and other front-line essential workers in the amount of $13 per hour, subject to a $10,000 cap. And it effectively blocks the Treasury Department from imposing policy conditions on the Postal Service’s access to the $10 billion Covid-19 credit line enacted in the CARES Act – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (PL 116-136).  

“These provisions are an improvement and a first step in keeping the Postal Service stable, given the huge loss of letter mail volume due to the pandemic, ” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

NALC continues to call attention to the need for relief for the duration of the crisis—to fully cover the difference between postage revenues and total USPS expenses during this crisis as well as a  mechanism to reimburse the Postal Service for the cost of Covid-19-related  leaves.

The HEROES Act follows three previous Covid-19-related packages and one supplemental package that have been signed into law: the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PL 116-139), the CARES  Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (PL 116-127), and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (PL 116-123).

In general, H.R. 6800 includes $875 billion in aid to state and local governments as they struggle to cope with rising emergency workforce costs and shrinking tax revenues. These developments have threatened the jobs of many frontline responders across the country such as medical workers, first responders, teachers and others. The $875 billion in funding is broken up into three categories: for states, counties, and municipalities.

Other important provisions in this far-reaching legislation:

  • Provides an additional $75 billion in funding for testing for the coronavirus, contact tracing, and isolation measures;
  • Requires an enforceable safety standard within seven days of passage from OSHA to protect healthcare and other frontline workers at risk of occupational exposure;
  • Prevents employers from retaliating against workers who report infection-control problems;
  • Allocates $850 million to provide essential workers with subsidized care options for people incapable of self-care (children, elderly, and others who require daytime care);
  • Expands the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to allow employees who have been on the job for at least 30 calendar days the right take up to 12 weeks of job­protected paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, regardless of the size of their employers (previously restricted to employees of employers with 500 or less employees), under certain COVID-19 related circumstances;
  • Preserves health coverage for those at risk of losing their employer-provided health insurance;
  • Extends the weekly $600 in federal unemployment payments in response to the record numbers of Americans who lost their jobs as result of this pandemic until Jan. 31, 2021;
  • Provides families with $175 billion in new housing assistance; and
  • Provides a second round of direct payments to individual Americans, amounting to $1,200 per family member and up to $6,000 per household.

One measure included in the bill has divided the U.S. labor movement -- the so-called GROW Act (the Give Retirement Options to Workers Act), which would allow certain multi-employer pensions to create “hybrid or composite” plans with both defined benefit and defined contribution elements. Its inclusion has led some major unions to oppose the overall legislation. NALC has not taken a position on the GROW Act but hopes that the AFL-CIO’s task force on retirement security can broker consensus on this important issue.

On the issue of protecting the right to vote during this pandemic, the stimulus package also seeks to improve the safety of in-person voting and to expand early voting with $3.6 billion in grants to states. The bill also mandates that all registered voters be given access to no-excuse absentee voting in the November 2020 election. Recent negative comments from the White House on vote-by-mail elevated the issue and could complicate negotiations on the final package down the line. NALC is not actively lobbying on this issue; our primary goal is to secure congressional funding for the U.S. Postal Service so that the agency and letter carriers can continue to provide essential services to the public.

It is important to note that this bill is subject to change during negotiations among congressional leaders. Initial comments from Senate Republicans were harsh, with some saying that the bill is “dead-on-arrival” in the Senate.  However, there is no question that more aid is needed throughout the country for many sectors. NALC will monitor the negotiations between congressional leaders and the administration to keep letter carriers informed.

 

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Interest Arbitration dates scheduled https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/interest-arbitration-dates-scheduled Thu, 14 May 2020 18:53:45 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/interest-arbitration-dates-scheduled The interest arbitration hearing dates for a new collective bargaining agreement scheduled for May, June, and July were previously postponed due to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  New hearing dates in September through November have now been confirmed. Neutral arbitrator Dennis Nolan provided the parties sufficient hearing dates for this time period. There continue to be major issues at stake, as we still have many unresolved differences regarding economic, operational and workplace issues. Our collective bargaining goals have not changed. While we continue discussions with the Postal Service, we are also continuing to prepare for arbitration to achieve those goals. Our current collective-bargaining agreement remains in full force pending final resolution of the parties’ dispute.

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