This is an update to the August 31 notification concerning charges received by the NALC Executive Council proffered against President Brian L. Renfroe by another member of the Council.
Pursuant to Article 10 of the NALC Constitution, the appointment of the panel of three disinterested members has been made. They are as follows:
Today, Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), David Valadao (R-CA), Don Bacon (R-NE) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) introduced the Federal Retirement Fairness Act (H.R. 5995), legislation that would allow certain federal employees to make catch-up retirement contributions for time spent as non-career employees after Dec. 31, 1988, making it creditable service under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).Today, Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), David Valadao (R-CA), Don Bacon (R-NE) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) introduced the Federal Retirement Fairness Act (H.R. 5995), legislation that would allow certain federal employees to make catch-up retirement contributions for time spent as non-career employees after Dec. 31, 1988, making it creditable service under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
The legislation would cover letter carriers who were employed as casuals, transitional employees, or city carrier assistants, providing them with greater retirement security.
“NALC is pleased to see the Federal Retirement Fairness Act reintroduced in the House,” NALC President Brian L. Renfroe said. “We urge the House to pass this bill that would benefit letter carriers and other federal employees who have devoted their working lives to public service. A significant number of active city letter carriers have worked in a non-career position, and that time is not currently creditable for retirement. This bill would change that, allowing letter carriers, and millions of other federal employees, to buy back this time and plan for their well-earned retirements.”
All letter carriers are encouraged to contact their representative and ask them to cosponsor the bill. Click here to take action.
NALC’s fact sheet on the bill is available here.
On Thursday, Sept. 28, the Senate confirmed the nominations of Thomas G. Day and Robert G. Taub to be Commissioners of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). After being nominated to serve as PRC Commissioners by President Biden, their nominations were advanced by the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs following hearings that took place earlier this month.
As an independent agency that exercises regulatory oversight over the Postal Service, the PRC’s responsibilities include preventing anticompetitive practices, promoting accountability, adjudicating complaints, setting postal rates and helping oversee delivery service standards.
The PRC is made up of five commissioners who are nominated by the president for six-year terms and confirmed by the Senate. Taub is a two-time appointee to the Commission following unanimous confirmations by the U.S. Senate in 2011 and 2016. This will be Taub’s third term, and he previously served as the chairman of the Commission from December 2014 until January 2021. A first-term commissioner, Day will bring broad experience in both the global and domestic postal sectors, including 35 years working in senior roles at the Postal Service.
“NALC congratulates Thomas Day and Robert Taub on their confirmations to this important agency,” NALC President Brian L. Renfroe said. “We look forward to working with them to ensure the Postal Regulatory Commission fulfills its oversight responsibilities to promote a Postal Service that benefits the men and women who deliver America’s mail and our customers.”
America’s letter carriers often work in dangerous environments. There are numerous factors that pose threats to our safety and health on the job. Recently, violent crime has increased and resulted in injuries to letter carriers and, unfortunately, even loss of life. As we continue to utilize every possible avenue to stop this violence against our members, we are continuously reminded of another dangerous threat to the safety and health of most letter carriers – excessive heat.
Unmitigated excessive heat can cause heat stress, often resulting in serious illness or death. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many examples of this over the last several years, including in 2023. This hazard becomes a greater threat every year, as science shows that temperature and heat indices are steadily increasing.
Over the last decade, NALC has fought fiercely in a number of forums to protect letter carriers by insisting that the Postal Service create and enforce a comprehensive heat illness prevention program (HIPP) that protects our members by mitigating the hazard posed by excessive heat. We have participated in extensive litigation with the Postal Service and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), as well as engaged the Postal Service directly to create and implement a HIPP that helps protect our members. The current USPS HIPP is available here.
In 2023, all letter carriers and supervisors were required to be trained on the current HIPP by April. If any letter carrier has not received this training, please contact your shop steward, branch officer, or national business agent as soon as possible so the matter may be investigated and a grievance filed if necessary.
The most important and immediate step that can be taken to protect anyone from the hazard of excessive heat is to learn as much as possible about this potentially life-threatening hazard, particularly the warning signs of heat illness. NALC Director of Safety and Health Manny Peralta has compiled a plethora of useful information on the NALC website regarding heat safety, including the warning signs of heat stress, available here. I encourage every letter carrier to familiarize themselves with this information. Not knowing these warning signs could result in heat illness or another tragedy.
The 285,000 active and retired members of the NALC mourn the brothers and sisters that we have lost to heat illness. Their loved ones, friends, and coworkers remain in our thoughts and prayers. We also hope for a speedy recovery for all of our brothers and sisters currently suffering from heat illness.
The safety and health of our members is, and always will be, the top priority of all the members of the NALC. Together, we will continue our fight to make our jobs safer and protect our members from the ever-increasing hazard of excessive heat.
City letter carriers in the Midwest, New England and along the eastern seaboard are facing hazardous working conditions caused by smoke from hundreds of wildfires blazing across central and eastern Canada.
The air quality index (AQI), a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency metric for fine particulate air pollution, exceeded a staggering 400 at times in Syracuse, New York City and Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. Today, the AQI is hovering around 300 in Washington, D.C. A level of 50 or under is considered good; anything over 300 is considered "hazardous," when even healthy people are advised to curtail outdoor physical activity. This poses a special problem for NALC members who must work outside for extended periods each day.
Executive Vice President Paul Barner said today that "The NALC’s business agents and branch leaders are relentlessly advocating for the health and safety of our members as this crisis unfolds." Barner has been in steady contact with management at the Postal Service’s Washington headquarters all week. Management has responded with local mandatory stand-up talks and will provide masks to carriers who request them. Leave is being granted on a case-by-case basis, but the NALC is urging that all employees with medical conditions that could be worsened by breathing in smoke be given leave automatically. Face masks/filtering face pieces provide varying levels of protection based on type and proper usage. Additionally, N-95 masks (filtering facepieces) are authorized for use by postal employees. Employees who have health concerns based on medical conditions are encouraged to immediately consult with their physician. NALC will continue to advocate on behalf of its members and encourage the USPS to provide appropriate protective facemasks/filtering face pieces.
Meteorologists expect the situation to improve markedly by Thursday night or Friday morning, though a situation like this is inherently unpredictable.
NALC Director of Safety and Health Manny Peralta urged all carriers to be vigilant about potential harmful health effects from working in these hazardous conditions: "If you are feeling sick or are having a hard time breathing immediately seek medical attention before it is too late and then, if possible, call your supervisor to let them know what you are going through (see "Safety and Health" column). It is better to be safe than sorry," he said.
For more information on the hazards of smoke pollution, and your rights under the federal workers compensation system, click here.
Today, NALC joins all Americans in honoring and celebrating Juneteenth, a national holiday that commemorates the final emancipation of enslaved Black Americans.
On this day in 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to finally enforce President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – more than two years after it was issued. This monumental and historic day has long been celebrated in the African American community, and thankfully, is now celebrated by all Americans after it became a federal holiday in 2021.
This day marking abolition and freedom is a time for celebration, reflection and reconciliation. We cannot shy away from our nation’s painful legacy of slavery. Black Americans and other people of color have experienced this pain in our nation’s past, which has helped shape our present. As we honor them and celebrate freedom on this day, NALC reaffirms our commitment to continuing our work toward true racial equality in our workplace, our union and in America.
On behalf of NALC, I wish everyone a happy Juneteenth.
By joint agreement (M-01969), several COVID-19 related memorandums of understanding have been further extended through Feb. 11, 2022. These memoranda include: temporary expanded sick leave for dependent care (M-01910); temporary use of the 7:01 rule (M-01913); temporary workplace changes to promote social distancing (M-01915); temporary use of TCAs (M-01916); and reinstatement of temporary additional paid leave for CCAs (M-01965).
NALC and the Postal Service also agreed to another temporary time limit extension on Step B and arbitration appeals (M-01970), and an agreement giving local parties the ability to mutually develop a sign-up process for full-time employees who previously did not, or could not, place their names on either the overtime desired list or work assignment list (M-01971). Both of these agreements will expire on Feb. 11, 2022.
Also extended through Feb. 11, 2022, is a USPS memorandum (M-01914) which instructs managers and supervisors to allow liberal changes of schedule to accommodate employees who are dealing with childcare issues related to the pandemic. The memorandum also provides for liberal sick leave usage for employees who are sick and liberal annual and leave without pay (LWOP) to the extent operationally feasible, treats COVID-19 related leave as scheduled (as opposed to unscheduled) leave, and directs that leave taken for COVID-19 related reasons during this time may not be cited in discipline for failing to maintain an assigned schedule.
Each of the MOUs and the USPS directive can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System on the NALC website.
Today, President Biden nominated Dan Tangherlini and Derek Kan to serve on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors (BOG). If confirmed by the Senate, Tangherlini and Kan would serve on the BOG until 2028. The nominees would replace BOG members John Barger and Ron Bloom, the current BOG chairman.
Tangherlini, a Democratic nominee, currently serves as the managing director of Emerson Collective, a private philanthropic firm. Until 2017, he was the president of SeamlessDocs Federal, a technology firm that focused on simplifying government forms and data collection. His previous government roles include serving as the administrator of the General Services Administration under President Obama and serving as chief financial officer at the Department of Treasury from 2009 to 2013. From 2006 to 2009, he served the District of Columbia as city administrator and deputy mayor. He also served in the management of the Biden Transition team with responsibility for the Postal Service’s Agency Review Team.
Kan, a Republican nominee, is currently an executive with Deliverr, a California-based e-commerce fulfillment startup company. He previously served as the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget from July 2020 to December 2020. From 2017 to 2019, he served as the under secretary of transportation for policy. He also served as an Amtrak board member and as a general manager for Lyft. Prior to that, he served as an advisor for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and as chief economist for the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
“I look forward to meeting with Mr. Tangherlini and Mr. Kan before their nominations are taken up for approval by the Senate,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “On behalf of NALC, I want to thank Ron Bloom for his strong support of letter carriers and his exceptional public service to the U.S. Postal Service.”
As required by the Postal Reorganization Act, the president nominates the nine-member BOG, which is responsible for overseeing the executive management of USPS. By law, no more than five members can be affiliated with the president’s political party. The Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold confirmation hearings on the two nominees, most likely in early 2022. Before serving, board members must be confirmed by a majority in the Senate.
NALC will update letter carriers when these nominees are considered by the Senate.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio has been designated to resolve all pending legal challenges to the Biden administration’s emergency rule on workplace COVID-19 vaccination and testing.
More than 30 petitions seeking judicial review of the rule issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have been filed by state attorneys general, employers, unions and other organizations in all 12 federal appeals courts across the country. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation conducted a lottery to designate a single court to hear all these cases.
The pending legal challenges include a joint filing by the AFL-CIO and UFCW in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC, which will seek to have the mandates expanded to cover as many businesses as possible and to ensure that employees do not have to pay for COVID testing and face masks. SEIU Local 32BJ has filed a similar petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, seeking to broaden the mandate and to require more stringent COVID mitigation measures.
Most of the petitions have been filed by Republican state attorneys general and employer groups that want to overturn the rule. In one of these cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has already issued an order preventing the administration from enforcing the rule. The Sixth Circuit will now have the authority to modify or vacate the Fifth Circuit’s order. In addition, certain employers, possibly including the Postal Service, might request extensions of the deadlines for implementation of the rule.
In a related development, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel’s office has issued a memorandum affirming that unionized employers will be obliged to bargain in good faith with their unions over the workplace effects of the OSHA rule.
The postal revenue increase for Fiscal Year 2021 over Fiscal Year 2020 makes two things clear. The first is how much the American people and their businesses rely on the Postal Service. During the pandemic, letter carriers have helped tens of millions of Americans shelter safely at home, while also helping them vote safely from home—and providing a sense of normalcy through the worst months. Secondly, even with the demonstrated strength of the postal business model, USPS reported a net loss, which drives home the need for postal reform to address the artificial red ink caused by the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS--alone among all U.S. companies and agencies--pre-fund future retiree benefits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID Vaccination and Testing. The ETS, which does apply to the Postal Service, was officially filed in the Office of the Federal Register on Nov. 4.
The Federal Register notice will invite interested stakeholders to submit comments. OSHA is seeking comment on all aspects of this ETS and on whether OSHA should adopt it as a final standard.
NALC has begun reviewing the ETS, including its impact on the Postal Service and its employees.
“The men and women of the National Association of Letter Carriers are deeply saddened by Tuesday’s fatal shooting at the East Lamar Carrier Annex in Memphis, Tennessee. We extend our condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of the victims. NALC stands ready to support and assist members and their families who have been affected. In addition, we will collaborate with our local branch to investigate what led to this shooting and will work with postal management to address any underlying issues. NALC has fought to eliminate workplace violence since the 1990s when such incidents were far too common, and we will focus those efforts on this terrible tragedy in the days and weeks ahead."
By joint agreement (M-01966), several COVID-19 related memorandums of understanding have been further extended through December 31, 2021. These memoranda include: temporary expanded sick leave for dependent care (M-01910); temporary use of the 7:01 rule (); temporary workplace changes to promote social distancing (); temporary use of TCAs (M-01916); and the reinstatement of MOU Re: Temporary Additional Paid Leave for CCAs (M-01911).
Additionally, MOU: Reinstatement of Temporary Additional Paid Leave for CCAs () explains that the terms of MOU Re: Temporary Additional Paid Leave for CCAs (M-01911), which has been reinstated, will be administered as if it had been in effect without interruption since the original effective date of March 18, 2020. This MOU will expire on December 31, 2021.
NALC and the Postal Service also agreed the local parties may mutually develop a sign-up process for full-time employees who previously did not, or could not, place their names on either the overtime desired list or work assignment list (M-01963), and an agreement to another temporary time limit extension on Step B and arbitration appeals (M-01964). Both of these agreements will expire on December 31, 2021.
Also extended through December 31, 2021, is a USPS memorandum (M-01914) which instructs managers and supervisors to allow liberal changes of schedule to accommodate employees who are dealing with childcare issues related to the pandemic. The memorandum also provides for liberal sick leave usage for employees who are sick and liberal annual and leave without pay (LWOP) to the extent operationally feasible, treats COVID-19 related leave as scheduled (as opposed to unscheduled) leave, and directs that leave taken for COVID-19 related reasons during this time not be cited in discipline for failing to maintain an assigned schedule.
Each of the MOUs and the USPS directive can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System on the NALC website.
NALC strongly supports the $7 billion in federal funding for the electrification of the Postal Service vehicle fleet that is included in the reconciliation package.
The aging postal vehicle fleet is in desperate need of modernization. This key investment to electrify the Postal Service fleet will improve working conditions for letter carriers, help combat climate change, and achieve priorities included in President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda as well as Postmaster General Louis Dejoy’s Delivering for America Plan.
Letter carriers deliver to every American household and business six or seven days a week. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have relied on the Postal Service for their paychecks, medications and other essential deliveries. The Postal Service remains a crucial part of the American economy and investment in the agency, its workers, and infrastructure is essential.
As members of Congress actively work on finalizing the budget reconciliation package and bring it to the floor for a vote, NALC urges all members to vote in support of this critical funding for the Postal Service.
NALC will update letter carriers on any future action.
Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747), a bill to expand voting rights and reduce the influence of big money in politics. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA).
The bill includes several measures to address voter access and election administration. The bill would ensure that all voters could request a mail-in ballot, improve the delivery of election mail, and apply minimum standards to ensure drop boxes are available and accessible to all voters. Additionally, the legislation would implement automatic voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, allow same day voter registration, and expand early voting.
The bill also includes measures to improve election integrity through the protection of election records, infrastructure, and ballot tabulation. It would also task the Election Assistance Commission with developing training and recruitment programs for non-partisan election officials. The bill would prohibit partisan gerrymandering and would require super PACs and other organizations that spend money in elections to disclose donors.
“With the Freedom to Vote Act, the entire voting rights working group, including Senators Manchin and Merkley, is united behind legislation that will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them, regardless of what zip code they live in,” Senator Klobuchar said. “This bill will ensure Americans can request a mail-in ballot, have at least 15 days of early voting, and can register to vote on Election Day.”
Overall, S. 2747 is a scaled-back, narrower voting rights package than the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1), which passed in the House earlier this year but was blocked by Senate Republicans. The Freedom to Vote Act has the majority support; however, without the backing of any Republican Senators, it is unlikely to receive the 60 votes needed to bypass the Senate filibuster. NALC will continue to monitor this legislation.
On Sept. 9, President Biden issued two executive orders regarding COVID-19 vaccines. One requires all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the other requires all federal contractors to be vaccinated.
In addition to these executive orders, President Biden also announced that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week.
“If we raise our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masking and expanded testing, and identify people who are infected, we can and we will turn the tide on COVID-19,” President Biden said.
Currently, it is unclear how the executive orders and emergency rule will affect letter carriers and the Postal Service. As more information becomes available, NALC will review and bargain over any rulings that affect our members.
Most eligible city letter carriers will receive retroactive pay pursuant to the 2019-2023 National Agreement on their August 20 paychecks. Backpay for some former city carrier assistants that were converted to career status between November 23, 2019 and April 9, 2021 must be calculated manually, resulting in a delay in payment. This issue was discovered during a recent quality check of the process. We are discussing the issue with representatives from USPS Headquarters. As soon as additional information is available, it will be posted here on the NALC website.
Backpay is calculated for all paid hours between November 23, 2019 (the date of the first general wage increase in the Agreement) and April 9, 2021 (the day before new pay rates were implemented as explained here). The following pay increases will be included in the retroactive pay from the effective date indicated for each:
For career city carriers:
This morning, in a special meeting of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and Acting President Liz Shuler was elected by acclamation to serve out the term of President Richard Trumka, who passed away on Aug. 5.
“NALC congratulates President Liz Shuler on her selection as President of the AFL-CIO,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando, who also serves as a Vice-President of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. “Liz has been a dominating force in bringing power and diversity to the labor movement. In this time of loss, she will bring a steady hand, strength and forward momentum in fulfilling the priorities of organized labor.”
Shuler becomes the first woman president of the AFL-CIO, the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Also by acclamation, United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond was elected to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.
Shuler grew up in a union household—her father, Lance, was a power lineman and longtime member of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125 at Portland General Electric and her late mother, Joyce, worked as an estimator in the company’s service and design department. In 1993, Shuler was hired as an organizer at Local 125. When energy giant Enron Corp. tried to muscle electricity deregulation through the Oregon Legislature, Shuler worked with a broad-based coalition of labor, community and environmental activists to challenge and ultimately overcome Enron’s powerhouse lobbying campaign, a victory that sparked her passion for mobilizing workers to make change even when faced with overwhelming odds.
In 1998, Ed Hill, then-secretary-treasurer of the IBEW, assigned Shuler to California where she mobilized IBEW members to help defeat Prop. 226, the so-called paycheck protection initiative that threatened to silence union members in the political process. That victory prompted John J. Barry, then president of the IBEW, to hire her as an international representative in the union’s Political/Legislative Affairs Department in Washington, DC. In that role, Shuler ran grassroots political mobilization efforts and lobbied Congress on a range of issues important to working families. In 2004, she was promoted to assistant to the international president, where she served President Hill, who had succeeded to that position, in driving the agenda of the nearly 1-million member union.
In 2009, she joined forces with Trumka, becoming the first woman elected to the position of secretary-treasurer at an AFL-CIO convention and the youngest woman ever on the federation’s Executive Council. As secretary-treasurer, she also served as the chief financial officer, turning deficits into surpluses and steering the federation through multiple fiscal crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to her stewardship of the federation’s finances, Shuler led the AFL-CIO’s initiatives on the future of work, retirement security, the clean energy economy, public safety reform, workforce development, and empowering women and young workers. She is committed to busting myths about labor, leveraging the labor movement’s diversity for innovative approaches to social justice and making the benefits of a union voice on the job available to working people everywhere.
Redmond has been a USW member since 1973, when he went to work at Reynolds Metals Co. in Chicago. He became active in his local union almost immediately, serving as shop steward and eventually vice president. He served three terms as local president.
For decades, Redmond served the USW in various staff and leadership roles, assisting local unions, developing and conducting training programs, and bargaining contracts.
As international vice president for human affairs, Redmond oversaw the Civil and Human Rights Department, as well as the union’s shipbuilding, health care and public sector bargaining, and worked with USW allies across the country in responding to attacks on voting rights and in combating economic inequality. Redmond has a long history of leadership on various boards, including the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. In 2021, Redmond was elected president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, a prestigious international post.
“I’ve worked with Liz Shuler and Fred Redmond for many years and fully support their election. I know they will continue Rich’s tireless fight standing up for working families.”
The terms of the three executive officers run through June 2022, when delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia will elect leaders for new four-year terms.
Most eligible city letter carriers will receive retroactive pay pursuant to the 2019-2023 National Agreement on their August 20 paychecks. Backpay for some former city carrier assistants that were converted to career status between November 23, 2019 and April 9, 2021 must be calculated manually, resulting in a delay in payment. This issue was discovered during a recent quality check of the process. We are discussing the issue with representatives from USPS Headquarters. As soon as additional information is available, it will be posted here on the NALC's website.
Backpay is calculated for all paid hours between November 23, 2019 (the date of the first general wage increase in the Agreement) and April 9, 2021 (the day before new pay rates were implemented as explained here). The following pay increases will be included in the retroactive pay from the effective date indicated for each:
For career city carriers:
The postal revenue increase over the same quarter last year makes two things clear. The first is how much the American people and their businesses rely on the Postal Service. During the pandemic, letter carriers have helped tens of millions of Americans shelter safely at home, while also helping them vote safely from home. Secondly, even with the demonstrated strength of the postal business model, USPS reported a net loss, which drives home the need for postal reform to address the artificial red ink caused by the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS--alone among all U.S. companies and agencies--pre-fund future retiree benefits.
A settlement (M-01954) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q01N-4C-C 07098868 concerning the assignment of deliveries to Contract Delivery Service (CDS) prior to the effective date of the 2006 collective bargaining agreement. The parties agree to close this interpretive case without prejudice to the position of either party in this or any other matter. Any grievance held pending the outcome of case Q01N-4Q-C 07098868 will be processed in accordance with Article 15 of the National Agreement.
A settlement (M-01955) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q16N-4Q-C 19234222 concerning whether the collective bargaining agreement was violated when the implementation of Arbitrator Goldberg's award in Case No. Q15C-4Q-C 17397250 was delayed while the decision was challenged in federal court. The parties agree that no national interpretive issue is presented in this case. United States District Court Case No. 1: 18-cv-02553 (CJN) was dismissed by a Stipulation of Dismissal between the Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) on April 23, 2021. In light of the stipulation, the Postal Service will implement the Goldberg award and revise the PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence and Section 514.4 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM). Accordingly, the parties mutually agree to close this interpretive case without prejudice to the position of either party in this or any other matter.
A settlement (M-01956) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q16N-4Q-C 19000209 concerning the assignment of in-growth deliveries on Highway Contract Routes (HCR) in protected offices. After reviewing this matter, the parties mutually agree to close this interpretive case without prejudice to the position of either party in this or any other matter.
A settlement (M-01957) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q16N-4Q-C 20356310 concerning the Postal Service's unilateral implementation of the delivery initiative called Post Office Sortation Equipment Reconciliation (SER). The SER delivery initiative began July 31, 2020 and has concluded. The parties agree all changes to city letter carrier cases or configurations, including those resulting from the SER initiative, must comply with the appropriate provisions of the collective bargaining agreement and relevant handbook and manual provisions unless otherwise agreed upon by the national parties. Any grievance held pending the outcome of this national case will be processed in accordance with this understanding. The above-referenced agreement constitutes a full and complete settlement of grievance number O16N-4Q-C 20356310. This Agreement is made without prejudice to the parties' position in this or any other matter and may only be cited to enforce its terms.
These four settlements can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System.
An electronic version of the 2021 USPS-NALC Joint Contract Administration Manual (JCAM) has been released and is available under Workplace Issues in the resources section of our website.
The NALC are working with USPS on the project of jointly printing hard copies. This process will take at least a few months to complete, so please be patient. In the meantime, NALC wanted to get the new JCAM out to you as soon as possible. The NALC will let you know when hard copies become available.
"The House of Representatives once again passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319), following Senate passage Saturday, by a vote of 221-211. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Biden this week to provide a fifth round of COVID-relief to the American people.
The House vote comes after the Senate stripped a provision that would have changed the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. In addition, the Senate made minor changes to the House-passed legislation, which required another vote by the House. Unfortunately, every House Republican opposed the legislation along with Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), the lone Democrat who opposed the measure.
Of critical importance to letter carriers are two key provisions that NALC successfully lobbied for including:
"The active membership of the National Association of Letter Carriers has overwhelmingly ratified the tentative 2019-2023 National Agreement with the United States Postal Service. Over 94% of participating eligible members voted to accept the tentative agreement that was announced on November 25. The vote to ratify was 60,111 to accept the agreement versus 3,341 to reject it, as reported by NALC’s Ballot Committee chairman Delano Wilson of Silver Spring, MD Branch 2611. The fifteen-member Ballot Committee monitored and observed the dispatch, receipt, and tabulation of the Ratification Ballot conducted by an independent company, MOSAIC of Cheverly, MD.
NALC will officially notify USPS of the March 8 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 44-month term from September 20, 2019, to May 20, 2023."
15 CCAs will be converted to Career
Employees on February 27th, 2021.
11 carriers in Manhattan.
4 carriers in the Bronx
The NALC has been sending ballots to all members as of mid-January. These ballots will be returned and submitted in the mail. Make sure to submit your ballot by the end of January. Reach out to Branch 36 Officers if you do not receive a ballot in the mail or if you have any questions about the process.
"...In the meantime, the interest arbitration proceeding has been suspended pending the results of the membership ratification vote.
The 2019 National Agreement will last 44 months, covering the period from September 20, 2019, to May 20, 2023. The agreement provides four annual general wage increases and seven cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). In addition, effective Nov. 19, 2022, a new top step (Step P) will be added to the career letter carrier pay scales, which will be $444 annually greater than Step O. The agreement also provides for the automatic conversion of city carrier assistants (CCAs) to career status no later than after 24 months of relative standing, providing full fringe benefits and peace of mind to non-career carriers. It also maintains existing protections against subcontract-ing and layoffs.
We have summarized the major features of the contract in the NALC Bulletin which will be sent to stations and offices throughout the country. Full details about the tentative agreement, along with projected pay charts, other contractual changes, and information about new and amended memorandums of under¬standing (MOUs), will be presented in the December issue of The Postal Record. They will also be distributed through the union’s electronic platforms in the days to come. The NALC Executive Council unanimously recommends approval of the tentative agreement."
For more information visit NALC.org
The NALC has received notification from the Postal Service that leave taken under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is not eligible for retirement and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) deductions. This is in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Personnel Management which oversees both benefits.
Those that have taken leave under the FFCRA will be issued refunds by the Postal Service for any retirement and TSP contributions which will be reflected on your October 2nd, 2020 paycheck.
Leave used under the FFCRA (Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act Expansion) will not impact creditable service time towards retirement eligibility. This leave does not impact the High-3 Average Salary calculation used for an annuity computation. The annuity calculation for full-time career employees will not be impacted.
However, use of FFCRA leave for part-time career employees will have an impact on annuity calculations. Annuities with a part-time career component are prorated based on the hours worked when compared to a full-time position. Leave taken under FFCRA is not considered basic pay and is treated similarly to periods of Leave Without Pay (LWOP), which does not increase the total hours worked for the part-time component calculation. NALC members may contact the NALC retirement department with questions regarding part-time career service.
Carriers that wish to, may change their election of FFCRA leave to a different type of leave (such as sick or annual) to keep their retirement and TSP contributions. To avoid a refund, all requests must be entered in AdjustPay before September 11th, 2020.
All TSP eligible employees may change their TSP election at any time during the year.
The FFCRA will expire December 31st, 2020, and any unused leave will be forfeit.
The Postal Service Mandatory Stand-Up Talk dated August 27, 2020 regarding this refund can be found here.
Today, I am pleased to announce that the NALC will begin working with the Postal Service in a joint labor management task force to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus with regard to handling election mail. Formation of the task force comes as a result of my initial meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, where I suggested that we create a joint labor management task force to meet these specific challenges and work together in response to the public health crisis that is expected to dramatically expand the role of mail voting during the upcoming national election. Meetings of the joint task force on election mail will likely begin within the next two weeks.
Nearly one quarter of all ballots cast in 2016 involved mailed out ballots, a level that could double this year as voters look for safe ways to vote in the midst of the pandemic. Although the Postal Service and its employees have always given election and political mail the highest priority and greatest care, the current crisis calls for extraordinary efforts to serve America’s voters. The task force will work to establish special protocols ahead of the national election to ensure the expedited handling of all political and election mail, particularly for mailed out ballots. In a statement today announcing the parties’ commitment to joining the task force, the PMG also suspended several recent operational initiatives, some of which were causing the delay or non-delivery of mail, in order to assure the public that there would not be any impact on election mail. This was an important step in addressing any perception that these initiatives were intended to negatively impact our quality of service during the election.
In our work with the National Election Task Force, NALC intends to advocate special training programs as well as external communications initiatives to assure the public and our election board partners that they can rely on the Postal Service to deliver exceptional service.
Our goal is to give every American voter who chooses to return their ballots by mail the assurance that their ballots will be counted, consistent with state and local election board regulations. In the face of the worst public health crisis in more than 100 years -- and in cooperation with the other unions and employee organizations -- NALC is committed to raising the Postal Service’s performance by going above and beyond to help Americans vote safely during this crisis.
This task force, along with our legislative efforts and our task force on city delivery, provides another tool for NALC to enhance the value of the Postal Service and to advocate for the public good.
In late June, shop stewards attended online virtual training for grievances. More online virtual trainings are to come with the next shop steward quarterly seminar.
On March 14th, 2020 approximately 220 CCAs will be converted to full time regular carriers. Branch 36 will host a Rap Session on Sunday March 15th @1pm – 4pm in The Percy T. McRae Meeting Hall in the Vincent R. Sombrotto Building. All CCAs are welcome. The branch will cover all essential information including any general inquiries. RSVP to the branch. We hope to see you all!
Postal Service applauds effort, but says more steps are needed to avoid financial collapse
The House on Wednesday voted to end the U.S. Postal Service’s mandatory payments toward the health benefits for future retirees, advancing a measure that would eliminate a controversial requirement the cash-strapped mailing agency has defaulted on for years.
Congress first established the prefunding mandate in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the last major legislative overhaul of the Postal Service, and the requirement has hampered the agency ever since. Shortly after the law’s passage, the recession hit and mail volume began to decline precipitously. That trend has continued to this day, leaving USPS without the financial means to make the annual payments and forcing it to default on them while absorbing the losses on its balance sheet.
The Postal Service has lost money for 13 consecutive years and a majority of those losses stemmed from the prefunding requirement. In fiscal 2019, for example, 83% of the $8.8 billion the agency lost came from payments into its retiree pension fund and retiree health benefits fund. Critics of the mandate include a range of Republicans, Democrats, mailers and labor unions. They have estimated the law requires USPS to fund the benefits for retirees up to 75 years in the future, an obligation virtually no other government entities face.
Despite repeated bipartisan efforts, Congress has for years failed to repeal the mandate and reamortize the balance of USPS’ liabilities over a 40-year period as part of a larger postal overhaul effort. Wednesday’s vote marked the first time lawmakers pulled that provision into a standalone measure, as stakeholders have preferred to keep it as a bargaining chip to bring diverse views together for larger, compromise postal reform legislation.
"It gives them no flexibility, it gives them no additional cash flow," said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who has helped push previous bipartisan postal reform efforts, on the House floor Wednesday. "I cannot support his bill because it does not do what we need to do, which is address the problem today. This just kicks the can down the road."
Other lawmakers suggested Congress should not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., went a step further in making his case against prefunding.
"This is part of the effort by some who literally have a jihad against the Postal Service," the congressman said.
The USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382) had more than 300 cosponsors, including more than five-dozen Republicans. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., has introduced a companion bill (S. 2965) in the Senate with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. The measure would eliminate the requirement going forward and forgive all payments on which USPS has defaulted.
Postal management has long called for the reform as one of the key tenets of any legislative effort to put the agency on better financial footing. Dave Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, praised the legislation's intentions on Wednesday, while making clear it was only a first step for the changes the agency requires.
“This elimination of a requirement faced by no other public or private entity would improve our balance sheet and reduce our future reported losses,” Partenheimer said. “The Postal Service believes H.R. 2382 would be an important part of the legislative and regulatory changes—along with substantial self-help efforts by the Postal Service—that are necessary to secure our long-term financial stability.”
He added, however, it would not address the liquidity crisis that “will literally threaten our ability to deliver mail” in the next few years. The Postal Service pledged to work with Congress to craft a plan to make additional legislative changes. In addition to the prefunding repeal, lawmakers have looked to tweak the Postal Service’s delivery standards, enable larger price increases and establish new streams of revenue to reverse the mailing agency's slide.