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 Veterans Day holiday http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/veterans-day-holiday Thu, 28 Sep 2017 10:43:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/veterans-day-holiday This year, Veterans Day, Nov. 11, falls on a Saturday. This has caused some confusion regarding on what day letter carriers who are eligible for the Veterans Day holiday will observe this holiday.

Letter carriers who are eligible for the Veterans Day holiday will observe the holiday on Saturday, Nov. 11. If Saturday, Nov. 11, is an eligible letter carrier’s scheduled non-work day, those carriers will observe the holiday in accordance with Article 11.5.

The calendar on the NALC Member App for Apple and Android smartphones will accurately determine your designated holiday when it is set for your correct non-scheduled days.

]]>
Carriers encouraged to give through CFC http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/carriers-encouraged-to-give-through-cfc Mon, 02 Oct 2017 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/carriers-encouraged-to-give-through-cfc As federal employees, letter carriers can make charitable donations through the world’s largest annual workplace giving program, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), through deductions from our paychecks.

“Letter carriers are known for taking care of our communities,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “The CFC is a convenient way for letter carriers to support their favorite charities.”

Pledges made by donors during the campaign season support eligible non-profit organizations chosen by the donor.

This year, CFC is making it easier for all federal employees to donate online and giving federal retirees an easy option for donating through deductions from their annuities.

To facilitate these changes, the campaign dates have been moved to later than past years. Federal and postal employees may designate the organizations they want to support from Oct. 2 through Jan. 12.

Carriers can choose the charity or group of charities they want to support from a list of more than 2,000 eligible charities, and an amount they choose will be deducted from their paychecks each pay period and automatically sent to each charity.

“The combined effort of letter carriers and other federal employees makes a huge difference to the charities that support our communities each year,” Rolando said.

All letter carriers can participate in the CFC.

In a letter, Rolando asked NALC members to contribute through the CFC in addition to the other ways they support the community.

“Each day, within the communities where we live and deliver the mail, many of us encounter people who are enduring real-life problems,” Rolando wrote. “Throughout the year, we help our communities in a number of ways while looking after those who are vulnerable. In addition to what we do each day in the neighborhoods we serve, the Combined Federal Campaign gives us an easy way to contribute money through payroll deductions to the charities you care about.”

NALC is directly involved in three such charities:

  • The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF) provides financial support to postal employees whose homes are damaged or destroyed by natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The charity is run by the four postal employee unions and three management organizations, whose members support PERF through voluntary donations. PERF grants money to homeowners and renters alike to help with deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses that insurance claims don’t cover, and to assist with replacement of lost property and temporary housing. Information and applications for PERF assistance can be found at postalrelief.com.
  • The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is NALC’s only official charity. It is the world’s leading non-profit health organization sponsoring research into the causes of, and effective treatments for, neuromuscular diseases. MDA research grants support about 150 research projects worldwide, as well as camps and activities for children who have one of these diseases. For more information, go to mdausa.org.
  • United Way Worldwide is the leadership and support organization for the network of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 40 countries and territories. The United Way’s focus is creating community-based and community-led solutions that strengthen the cornerstones for a good quality of life: education, financial stability and health. For more information, go to unitedway.org.
]]>
Help letter carriers in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands hurt by hurricanes (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/help-letter-carriers-hurt-by-hurricane-maria-and-maria Tue, 10 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/help-letter-carriers-hurt-by-hurricane-maria-and-maria

Donations

Donations may be made directly to letter carriers in the Caribbean who were affected by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. The four branches affected and the number of carriers in those branches are as follows:

Branch 869 (795 members):
John Kennedy Rivera
President, San Juan Branch 869
311 Eleanor Roosevelt
San Juan, PR 00918-2719

Branch 826 (431 members):
Efrain Colombani
President, Ponce Branch 826
270 Oeste Calle De La Candelaria
Mayaguez, PR 00682

Branch 6412 (27 members):
Vera Joyce-Thomas
President, Charlotte Amalie Branch 6412
P.O. Box 8755
St. Thomas, VI 00801

Branch 6413 (14 members):
Edelmira Molina
President, Christiansted Branch 6413
USPS 1 Mars Hill
Frederiksted, VI 00841

Uniforms

NALC branches in Houston and Corpus Christi have received an overwhelming amount of uniform and clothing donations sent for the letter carriers and families hurt by Hurricane Harvey—enough to support those in need. Therefore, those branches ask that any contributions planned to be sent to Texas be held pending available addresses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands so they can be directed to our brothers and sisters and their families there.

The NALC Region 10 office expresses its great appreciation for all of the compassion and generosity shown to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. On behalf of all our brothers and sisters and families there, the region offers its most sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped shine a light during a difficult time, and sends best wishes and prayers to all.

Caribbean update—how you can help

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has authorized a special solicitation to assist hurricane victims. This special solicitation is outside the annual Combined Federal Campaign charity drive. The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund, also known as PERF, has been designated as the charity to receive contributions from USPS employees, through Oct. 13, 2017.

PERF helps postal employees and retirees whose homes have been damaged by natural disasters or fires. Voluntary donations can be made online at postalrelief.com or by mailing a check to: Postal Employees’ Relief Fund, PO Box 7630, Woodbridge, VA 22195.

Click here to read the Postal Service’s mandatory stand-up talk dated Sept. 27.

Hurricane Maria’s recent direct hit on Puerto Rico has devastated that U.S. island territory in the Caribbean, while the nearby U.S. Virgin Islands are continuing their own long journey toward recovery following Hurricane Irma.

St. Croix and St. Thomas are the two heaviest populated U.S. Virgin Islands. After Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm on Sept. 6, the northern island of St. Thomas reported extensive property damage—one postal facility was a total loss, widespread communications and electricity cuts were commonplace, and fresh water was in short supply. Although the southern island of St. Croix received less damage, flooding was an ongoing concern.

As Irma moved westward, it inflicted some damage on Puerto Rico. The island was far less fortunate, however, with Hurricane Maria. On Sept. 20, after tacking just to the south of the U.S. Virgin Islands—delivering more winds and flooding to that already battered territory—a Category 4 Maria moved on to make a direct hit on Puerto Rico, where it leveled homes all across the island and completely shut down its electrical infrastructure. Without power, effective communication between Puerto Rico and the mainland is almost impossible, and water treatment plants are inoperative, rendering drinking water scarce. It will be weeks, if not months, before systems get restored there.

Further complicating delivery of relief, the island is nearly 1,000 miles from Florida, and its powerless airports are trying hard to deal with damaged and debris-covered runways.

Despite the obstacles, we letter carriers still manage to find ways to help our own.

Puerto Rico has two branches: Ponce Branch 826 (431 active members) and San Juan Branch 869 (795 active members). In the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are Charlotte Amalie Branch 6412 (St. Thomas, 27 active members) and Christiansted Branch 6413 (St. Croix, 14 active members).

If your branch would like to send immediate financial help or supplies to your brother and sister NALC members in the Caribbean, please see the updated list at right.

Donated money will help branches buy critical supplies once they assess what’s needed. Highly sought material goods include water-filtration devices and systems, powdered food (such as milk and eggs) and crank-charge radios.

Beatriz Rosselló, first lady of Puerto Rico, is soliciting donations through the “United for Puerto Rico” initiative. Visit unidosporpuertorico.com to learn more.

For longer-term relief efforts, letter carriers can donate to the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF). Visit postalrelief.com to learn more.

Thank you for stepping up to help your brother and sister letter carriers in their desperate time of need.

]]>
Letter carriers recognized as 2017 Heroes of the Year http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/letter-carriers-recognized-as-2017-heroes-of-the-year Thu, 21 Sep 2017 14:57:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/letter-carriers-recognized-as-2017-heroes-of-the-year Letter carriers who rescued a young man from a house fire, helped police defuse a tense standoff with an armed man, and raised money for a disabled-accessible van for a young girl, will be honored Oct. 4.

Matthew Lamb of Johnstown, PA, repelled by heat and smoke from a burning house before going to the back yard and telling the 20-year-old trapped inside to jump out the window into his waiting arms, is the National Hero of the Year. Clinton Parker of Waterbury, CT, a 30-year Army veteran named Eastern Hero of the Year, counseled a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD to yield his weapon, which he’d already fired. Letter carriers in Springfield, IL, who held a fundraiser that enabled the family of a 12-year-old girl with muscular dystrophy to buy a van that could accommodate the girl’s wheelchair, will receive the Branch Service Award.

Several other carriers also are being recognized as heroes. They represent thousands of letter carriers who not only deliver the mail to 155 million households and businesses six or even seven days a week, but often assist in situations involving accidents, fires, crimes or health crises.

Donte Cotton of Dayton, OH, who crawled through broken glass to extricate a baby girl from a car that had flipped onto its roof, will receive the Central Hero Award. Daniel Ochoa of Garden Grove, CA, a Marine Reservist, who saw smoke coming from a customer’s house, spotted a propane tank near the fire, and doused the flames, is the Western Hero of the Year. Grand Rapids, MI, letter carriers James McKay and Evelyn Woodward, who provided CPR to a postal clerk who had fallen face-first on the lobby floor, was convulsing in a pool of blood and then stopped breathing, are the Unit Citation recipients.

Holly Allen of Charleston, WV, recipient of the Carrier Alert Award, was concerned when he hadn’t seen an elderly customer for a while, investigated and found the woman injured on her kitchen floor, even as natural gas was spreading through the house. Deb Ochetti of Burnsville, MN, who donated bone marrow to save the life of a stranger she had never met, is the Humanitarian of the Year.

The National Association of Letter Carriers Heroes of the Year will be honored by NALC President Fredric Rolando at a special luncheon at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at in Washington DC. Go to http://nalc.org/heroes for further information on the Heroes.

]]>
POSTAL FACTS: Oct. 10, 2017 (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-oct-5-2017-2 Tue, 10 Oct 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-oct-5-2017-2 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.

National/general coverage

NALC recognizes letter carriers for acts of heroism (Federal News Radio)

Federal News Radio sent a reporter to cover the 2017 ceremony. The piece ran on Oct. 6.

Click here to read the story.

Letter Carriers’ Eastern Hero: ‘I really didn’t know what to expect’ in talking down an active shooter (Press Associates)

Press Associates Union News Service also had a reporter at the ceremony. The piece ran on Oct. 6.

Click here to read the story.

Branch Service Award

Local letter carriers help family buy accessible van (The State Journal-Register)

Springfield, IL Branch 80 was honored with the Branch Service Award during the 2017 NALC Heroes of the Year Awards in Washington, DC, on Oct. 4. The branch held a fundraiser that enabled the family of a 12-year-old girl with muscular dystrophy to buy a van that could accommodate the girl’s wheelchair. Springfield’s State Journal-Register wrote about it in an Oct. 2 story.

Click here to read the story.

Springfield letter carriers receive Hero Award (WAND-TV)

On Oct. 4, Springfield’s WAND-TV ran a story about the branch’s award.

Click here to check out the story.

Heroes award (WCIA-TV)

Springfield’s WCIA-TV posted an updated story about the award on Oct. 4.

Click here to check out the piece.

Unit Citation Award

Letter carriers save woman's life, receive national hero award (The Grand Rapids Press)

Grand Rapids, MI Branch 56 letter carriers James McKay and Evelyn Woodward received the Unit Citation Award for providing CPR to a postal clerk who had fallen face-first on the lobby floor, was convulsing in a pool of blood and then stopped breathing. The Grand Rapids Press wrote about it on Oct. 5

Click here to read the story.

Humanitarian of the Year

Burnsville mail carrier goes extra mile to help leukemia patient (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Minneapolis Branch 9 letter carrier Deb Ochetti was honored as Humanitarian of the Year for donating bone marrow to save the life of a stranger she had never met. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote about Ochetti in an Oct. 3 story.

Click here to read the story.

Minnesota mail carrier named Humanitarian of the Year (Go MN)

Minneapolis-based Go MN (KZGO-FM and KQGO-FM) ran a story about Ochetti on Oct. 4.

Click here for that story.

Minnesota Letter Carrier recognized as humanitarian (Workday Minnesota)

A Press Associates Union News Service story about Ochetti ran in Workday Minnesota on Oct. 7.

Click here to read the story.

Special Carrier Alert Award

Mail carrier from Charleston honored for looking out for customers (WSAZ-TV)

Holly Allen of Charleston, WV, was honored with the the Carrier Alert Award. Allen was concerned when he hadn’t seen an elderly customer for a while. He investigated and eventually found the woman injured on her kitchen floor, even as natural gas was spreading through the house. Huntington/Charleston’s WSAZ-TV ran a story about Allen on Oct. 4.

Click here for that story.

Local Mail Carrier Recognized as a National Hero (Nexstar Media Group)

Huntington/Charleston’s WOWK-TV ran a piece about Allen on Oct. 4. It also ran on affiliated Nexstar Media Group stations upstate in Clarksburg (WBOY-TV) and Wheeling (WTRF-TV).

Click here for that story.

Charleston postal worker honored after saving injured woman (WCHS-TV and WVAH-TV)

Charleston’s WCHS-TV and WVAH-TV covered Allen’s honor on Oct. 5

Click here for the story.

Charleston mailman honored for heroism at Washington, D.C., ceremony (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

Charleston, WV’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Gazette-Mail ran a story about Allen on Oct. 4.

Click here to read the story.

Central Region Hero of the Year

Dayton mailman receives Hero of the Year award after rescuing young girl (WHIO-TV)

Dayton, OH Branch 182 letter carrier Donte Cotton was named the Central Region Hero of the Year for crawling through broken glass to extricate a baby girl from a car that had flipped onto its roof. Dayton’s WHIO-TV ran a story about Cotton on Oct. 4.

Click here to check out the piece.

Dayton mailman receives Hero of the Year award after rescuing young girl (Dayton Daily News)

Dayton Daily News also carried the story on Oct. 4

Click here to read the story.

Dayton postal worker honored in Washington (WDTN-TV)

Dayton’s WDTN-TV ran a story about Cotton on Oct. 4.

Click here to check out the story.

Dayton letter carrier honored nationally for his bravery (WKEF-TV)

On Oct. 5, Dayton’s WKEF-TV ran a piece about Cotton.

Click here to read the piece.

Turner and NALC Recognize Dayton Hero (Rep. Mike Turner)

Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH 10th) posted a story about Cotton on his official website on Oct. 4.

Click here to read the story.

Eastern Region Hero of the Year

City Beat: Mail carrier to be honored as hero (Republican-American)

Connecticut Merged Branch 20 letter carrier Clinton Parker, a 30-year Army veteran, was named Eastern Hero of the Year for counseling a fellow veteran suffering from PTSD to yield his weapon, which he’d already fired. Waterbury’s Republican-American wrote about Parker in an Oct. 3 story.

Click here to read the story (subscription may be required).

Noteworthy Carrier a hero (Republican-American)

The Republican-American followed its story (above) with an editorial on Oct. 7.

Click here to read the editorial.

Waterbury letter carrier honored as hero in D.C. (WTNH-TV)

Waterbury’s WTNH-TV carried a story about Parker on Oct. 4.

Click here to check out that piece.

National Hero of the Year

Johnstown letter carrier to be honored as national hero (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Johnstown, PA Branch 451 letter carrier Matthew Lamb was honored as the National Hero of the Year. Lamb, repelled by heat and smoke from a burning house, went to to the back yard and told a man to jump out the window into his waiting arms. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote about Lamb in an Oct. 3 story.

Click here to read the story.

Local hero mailman honored in Washington after rescue (WJAC-TV)

Johnstown’s WJAC-TV ran a story about Lamb on Oct. 4.

Click here to check out the story.

Johnstown postal worker gets hero's welcome (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat)

The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat’s story about Lamb ran on Oct. 5.

Click here for that story.

]]>
NALC responds to Hurricane Harvey (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-responds-to-hurricane-harvey Tue, 05 Sep 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-responds-to-hurricane-harvey As we’re all aware, Hurricane Harvey has left a huge area of destruction throughout Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana, with the extremely high winds at the storm’s landfall, the massive flooding that resulted in the days that followed and the potential for tornadoes.

The ongoing news reports on this disaster can be difficult to fully comprehend: the rising death toll, thousands injured, tens of thousands homeless or still without power, and property losses in the billions of dollars.

Untold numbers of letter carriers and other members of our postal family are among those hardest hit.

The U.S. Postal Service is a fixture in every community. As a result, whenever disaster strikes, some of us are always in the path of danger. But the fact that we touch every community is also one of our greatest strengths. When some of us need help, NALC members across the country stand ready to provide assistance in one form or another.

A harm to one is a harm to all. We always take care of our own.

Postal uniforms/footwear/rain gear (update)

NALC branches in Houston and Corpus Christi have received an overwhelming amount of uniform and clothing donations sent for the letter carriers and families hurt by Hurricane Harvey—enough to support those in need. Therefore, those branches ask that any contributions planned to be sent to Texas be held pending available addresses in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands so they can be directed to our brothers and sisters and their families there.

The NALC Region 10 office expresses its great appreciation for all of the compassion and generosity shown to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. On behalf of all our brothers and sisters and families there, the region offers its most sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped shine a light during a difficult time, and sends best wishes and prayers to all.

If your branch was affected by Hurricane Harvey

Here are some links to information and resource materials to help you deal with the recovery process.

Red Cross

Direct Relief

Donate blood

  • AABB: 301-907-6977
  • American Red Cross: 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767)
  • Armed Services Blood Program: 703-681-5979

FEMA

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

GoFundMe

Greater Houston Community Foundation

USPS

PERF

Texas AFL-CIO

Union Plus

United Way

Volunteer Houston

NALC members who need assistance in getting help can contact NALC Community and Membership Outreach Coordinator Pam Donato at 202-662-2489.

If your branch wasn’t affected by Hurricane Harvey

Please commit to reaching out to your co-workers, family members and friends and ask them to make an immediate donation to the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund (PERF). PERF is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization operated by the various union and management organizations of the U.S. Postal Service to solely benefit postal employees. Tax-deductible donations can be made in a variety of ways. Click here to learn more.

As much as you might wish to send items to help your brother and sister letter carriers, shipping and distributing goods in the affected areas is nearly impossible for now. Donating money and allowing the agencies on the ground to spend it as needed is the best immediate thing you can do.

]]>
POSTAL FACTS: Sept. 20, 2017 (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-sept-14-2017-2 Wed, 20 Sep 2017 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-sept-14-2017-2 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.

Service: NALC’s Heroes of the Year include Legionnaires  (The American Legion Magazine)

Logo for The American LegionThe September issue of The American Legion Magazine featured a piece on last year’s NALC Heroes of the Year, focusing on the three winners who are Legionnaires: Hazelwood, MO Branch 5847 (Central Region Hero); Mason City, IA Branch 471’s Bradley Gentz (Humanitarian of the Year); and Lynn, MA Branch 7’s Patrick Byrne (Education Award). The in-print story follows the Legion’s online story from April. The American Legion Magazine has a circulation of 2.2 million readers.

Click here to read the print version (PDF).
Click here to read the online version.

Thank you military veterans (Idaho State Journal)
Letter: Mail a letter, support a vet (Twin Falls Times-News)
Vets: Heart of Postal Service (The Coeur D’Alene Press)
Use the mail, thank a veteran (Idaho Press-Tribune)
Paige letter: Postal Service (Idaho Statesman)

Idaho State Association of Letter Carriers President John Paige had a letter to the editor run in several newspapers: Idaho State Journal on Sept. 5, Twin Falls Times-News on Sept. 6, The Coeur D’Alene Press on Sept. 8, the Idaho Press-Tribune on Sept. 15 and the Idaho Statesman on Sept. 19.

Click here to read the letter in the Idaho State Journal.
Click here to read the letter in the Twin Falls Times-News.
Click here to read the letter in the The Coeur D’Alene Press.
Click here to read the letter in the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Click here to read the letter in the Idaho Statesman.

Postage stamps (Idaho State Journal)
Carriers: Stamp of success (The Coeur D’Alene Press)
Letter: When a stamp is more than a stamp (Twin Falls Times-News)
Postage stamps are symbols of America (Idaho Press-Tribune)
Paige letter: Postage stamps (Idaho Statesman)

Logo for Idaho Press-TribunePaige also had an earlier letter to the editor run in several newspapers: Idaho State Journal on Aug. 7, The Coeur D’Alene Press on Aug. 9, Twin Falls Times-News on Aug. 11, Idaho Press-Tribune on Aug. 16 and Idaho Statesman on Aug. 18.

Click here to read the letter in the Idaho State Journal.
Click here to read the letter in The Coeur D’Alene Press.
Click here to read the letter in the the Twin Falls Times-News.
Click here to read the letter in the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Click here to read the letter in the Idaho Statesman.

]]>
Economics Blog: Census Bureau data show improving income—but increasing inequality http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-census-bureau-data-show-improving-incomebut-increasing-inequality Tue, 19 Sep 2017 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-census-bureau-data-show-improving-incomebut-increasing-inequality Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released numbers for median income in the United States. Overall, the numbers are positive, with median incomes for all families rising 3.2 percent to $59,039 in 2016. This is a slower rate of increase than 2015, which saw median income growth of 5.2 percent. The poverty rate also decreased 0.8 percent from 2015 to 2016 to 12.7 percent, making it the second annual decline in poverty. The poverty rate has still not returned to its 2007 level of 12.5 percent.

While the media’s portrayal of the new numbers has been very upbeat, the last couple of years of income growth is not nearly enough to counteract the income losses suffered by most Americans during the Great Recession. The main reason for this is the unequal distribution of income gains over the past two years. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that families in the top fifth of the income distribution saw faster growth than in 2015, while the bottom 80 percent of families saw slower growth. The marginal increases in income growth are insignificant in the face of such widening inequality.

This is very different from the period between 1947 and 1979, when the top income bracket was not the only segment of society that reaped the benefits of economic growth. The below graph from the Economic Policy Institute shows average annual family income growth by income group from 1947 to 2016:

The anti-worker policies enacted over the years have been responsible for this shift from a more egalitarian society to one where the upper 5 percent of the income bracket gain almost all the new income.

]]>
Help postal employees hurt by Hurricane Harvey (updated) http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/help-postal-employees-hurt-by-hurricane-harvey Mon, 28 Aug 2017 09:06:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/help-postal-employees-hurt-by-hurricane-harvey Help postal employees hurt by Hurricane HarveyYou can help postal employees hurt by Hurricane Harvey right now by making an immediate donation to the Postal Employees' Relief Fund (PERF).

Visit postalrelief.com to make an immediate donation with your credit card.

You can also mail a donation check to:

Postal Employees' Relief Fund
P.O. Box 7630
Woodbridge, VA 22195

PERF helps postal employees and retirees whose homes were significantly damaged by natural disasters or house fires.

PERF is not an emergency relief or immediate needs replacement agency such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Red Cross or insurance companies that are paid to replace property.

Rather, PERF (Combined Federal Campaign #10268) provides relief grants to help qualifying individuals get re-established after a loss, based on an application process.

Visit postalrelief.com to learn more.

Postal uniforms/footwear/rain gear

You can send slightly used or new postal uniforms, footwear and/or rain gear to the following branches that can act as hubs for uniforms for the surrounding branches/letter carriers:

Houston Branch 283
c/o Harvey Help
2414 Broadway Blvd.
Houston, TX 77012

Corpus Christi Branch 1259
c/o Harvey Help
1220 S. Alameda
Corpus Christi, TX 78404

NALC Region 10’s office will do its best to assist these branches with distribution. Other affected branches can get in touch with the Region 10 office for help in getting affected letter carriers what they need.

]]>
Agreement reached on implementing new Article 8 provisions http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/agreement-reached-on-implementing-new-article-8-provisions Tue, 29 Aug 2017 11:14:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/agreement-reached-on-implementing-new-article-8-provisions In the memorandum of understanding (MOU) Re: Article 8.5.C.2 Overtime Assignments (Revised Language) (M-01886), NALC and the U.S. Postal Service agree that absent local agreement to apply the new provisions of Article 8.5.C.2.e and 8.5.C.2.f of the 2016-2019 National Agreement earlier than Oct. 1, 2017, these provisions will be effective Oct. 1, 2017.

]]>
Economics Blog: CPI increases slightly in August, driven mostly by gasoline and shelter costs http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-cpi-increases-slightly-in-august-driven-mostly-by-gasoline-and-shelter-costs Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:29:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-cpi-increases-slightly-in-august-driven-mostly-by-gasoline-and-shelter-costs The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for August 2017 today. Overall prices increased 0.4 percent in August and 1.9 percent since August 2016. It has remained in the range of 1.6 percent to 2.3 percent on an annual basis since June 2011.

Almost all of this increase came from the gasoline and shelter indexes, with the gasoline index increasing 6.3 percent and the shelter index increasing 0.5 percent.

In addition, the rent index increased 0.4 percent. The increasing cost of housing and rent is particularly troubling for working people in a time of low wage growth.

The indices for motor vehicle insurance, medical car, and recreation all increased in August as well. 

A surprising piece of data has been the decelerating cost of medical care. Medical care cost increased a mere 0.2 percent in August and 1.8 percent since August 2016, making it the smallest increase since 1965. This is most likely due to an unusual decline in the pay of doctors, according to the CPI index.

While August registered an increase in the CPI index, overall the data indicate a continued trend of historically low inflation that has been most acutely seen since the onset of the 2007 financial crisis. The persistently low inflation may influence the Federal Reserve to hold off on increasing the federal funds rate, a key short-term interest rate that influences the cost of borrowing.

A graph of the CPI-U (base year = 1967) is show below:

]]>
Economics Blog: New OIG report sheds light on post office usage, especially among the young http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-new-oig-report-sheds-light-on-post-office-usage-especially-among-the-young Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:25:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-new-oig-report-sheds-light-on-post-office-usage-especially-among-the-young The total number of visits to post offices can be a difficult variable to measure. One of the main problems with the official statistics is that they only measure visits based on transactions. If a customer walks in and checks a P.O. box, it is not counted in the official numbers as a visit to the post office.

A new model developed by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is attempting to factor in non-transactional visits to provide a better estimate of post office usage. The model and findings are the subject of a new study, released this week by the OIG, which indicates that there are more customers who visit post offices than official statistics show.

The OIG estimates that the total number of visits in Fiscal Year 2016 was 2.7 billion, triple the official figure of 877 million. This news is not only valuable for the Postal Service’s business operations, but also the future of the Postal Service as an entity.

The survey results for millennial usage are also encouraging for the Postal Service’s long-term future. Contrary to popular belief, this age demographic (usually described as individuals born between 1980 and 2000) visit post offices more than older generations. In fact, the OIG found a negative correlation between age and frequency of visits.

The OIG also found that millennials are more likely to visit a post office to pick up free materials, visit P.O. boxes and make a kiosk transaction, more than other age groups. The most popular activities among all age groups continue to be counter transactions and dropping off mail or packages.

How to capture and hold the market for younger customers will be a major concern of the Postal Service going forward, especially as technology and lifestyles continue to change. However, the main results of this study indicate that post offices are more visited than previously believed and that young people are a factor driving this high usage. 

]]>
Economics Blog: NAFTA renegotiations show differences between Canadian and U.S. wages and unions http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-nafta-renegotiations-show-differences-between-canadian-and-u-s-wages-and-unions Mon, 11 Sep 2017 11:34:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/economics-blog-nafta-renegotiations-show-differences-between-canadian-and-u-s-wages-and-unions Will Canada help end right-to-work? That is the topic of a recent op-ed by labor journalist Steven Greenhouse in the Los Angeles Times which offers a fascinating perspective on Canadian vs. American wages and labor practices.

In the recent talks regarding the renegotiation of NAFTA among the three parties, the Canadian government has argued that the low wages and labor standards in the United States are creating pressure on Canadian wages, as firms struggle to compete with lower-wage American workers. The Canadian government is therefore insisting that the United States end so-called right-to-work laws. The concerted effort to smash labor unions in the United States has been so effective that the country is increasingly regarded as “low-wage” by other industrialized nations, such as Canada. 

The low wages caused by right-to-work laws have been well documented. According to the Economic Policy Institute, states that have enacted these laws have wages 3.1 percent lower than in non-RTW states.

While the efforts on behalf of the Canadian government are no doubt self-interested, it is a highly revealing look into how the two countries, both very similar economically, diverged with regard to wages, benefits and union rights. It underscores previous data shown below published in the Summer 2016 issue of Jacobin magazine showing the divergence in union density between Canada and the United States over the past 50 years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that union density in the United States was 10.7 percent in 2016, down from 20.1 percent in 1983. Union density in Canada by contrast was 28.8 percent in 2014, down from 37.6 percent in 1981 according to Statistics Canada.

]]>
Wage increase update http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/wage-increase-update Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:08:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/wage-increase-update On Aug. 19, career letter carriers began earning the first two cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) payable under the new contract link that were effective Sept. 3, 2016, and March 4, 2017, as well as the 1.2 percent general wage increase that was effective Nov. 26, 2016. These increases will be reflected in the Sept. 8, 2017, paychecks. Back pay on these increases will be calculated from their effective date through Aug. 18, 2017.

Career letter carriers will begin earning the third COLA payable under the new contract, effective on Sept. 2, 2017. This will be reflected in the Sept. 22, 2017, paychecks. Back pay is not applicable for this increase as it will begin being earned on its effective date.

The U.S. Postal Service has informed NALC that due to the complexity of implementing the new pay scale for city carrier assistants, CCAs will begin earning their pay increases on Sept. 16, 2017. The increases will be reflected in the Oct. 6, 2017 paychecks. 

The new CCA pay rates will include the 2.2 percent general wage increase that was effective Nov. 26, 2016, as well as the two step increases that were also effective on that date ($0.50 per hour for those CCAs with 12 weeks of service and an additional $0.50 per hour for those CCAs with 52 weeks of service). CCAs will be placed in their appropriate step based on their weeks of service. Back pay on these increases will be calculated from Nov. 26, 2016, through Sept. 15, 2017.

The Postal Service has indicated that it will take some time to calculate the back pay for the more than 210,000 letter carriers, but that all back pay will be processed and paid as soon as practicable.

These new pay rates can be seen in the new letter carrier pay schedule link, also available for review on the free NALC Member App link for Apple and Android smartphones.

]]>
Reminder for Branch Officers’ Training attendees http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/reminder-for-branch-officers-training-attendees Thu, 31 Aug 2017 15:03:00 -0500 http://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/reminder-for-branch-officers-training-attendees For NALC members who have applied for one of the two Branch Officers’ Training sessions this fall and have received confirmation from NALC Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Rhine’s office that you have been accepted, please note the following deadlines for making room reservations:

  • San Diego: Housing deadline is Sept. 12.
  • Baltimore: Housing deadline is Sept. 27.

If you have not received your confirmation letter, please call Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Rhine’s office immediately.

]]>