Mail Handlers Union warns members of disadvantages of switching to carrier craft

The Mail Handlers Union is reminding its members that there are some risks involved in transferring to the Letter Carrier craft. The US Postal Service has recently been promoting the idea to its clerks and mail handlers, suggesting that letter carrier positions are more secure than those in other crafts. The union points out that that could change if the USPS gets its way, and eliminates Saturday delivery:

The Postal Service recently solicited all Mail Handlers with a message to consider transferring to a city letter carrier position. The message outlined how you could transfer to carrier and enumerated the advantages.

Before any Mail Handler decides to transfer to letter carrier, they should also consider the following:

  • Voluntarily transferring to another craft would give you a new period of seniority as a part-time flexible.
  • If you have less than six years in the Mail Handler craft you might be subject to layoff. Also, you would be junior in that Installation, and subject to excessing.
  • With the letter carrier uniform allowance, you would be required to wear a correct and proper uniform. Failure to comply may make you subject to discipline.
  • As for outdoor work, depending on Where you are; not every winter will be like the current one. Likewise, remember what it was like in July and August of last year where you work. Also, you must love dogs.

There are a few others, such as a slight increase in salary, daytime work hours and interacting with customers. I haven’t decided whether those are advantages or disadvantages. Most importantly, you will be giving up all your accrued seniority, which given the state of the service could be an important factor in the future for you. I cannot emphasize this point enough, “your carrier seniority begins as soon as you start.” and your mail handler seniority ends and you are a PTF. You may want to stay a mail handler, and if management involuntarily has to excess you to carrier at least you take your seniority and status as a full—time employee with you. Additionally, keep in mind that the Postal Service has been telling anyone who will listen, that they are planning on eliminating thousands of carrier positions, especially if they go to five day delivery.

Please feel free to contact the National CAD should you have any questions in this regard


  • unforgiven

    As I remember there was a national arbitration decision won by the NALC 10-15 years ago, which established the clerks and maybe mailhandlers excessed to the carrier craft, went to the bottom of the seniority roster, below the least senior PTF.

    All I know for sure is that the unions are allowing us to be screwed by the screwed up seniority rules. Your seniority in all areas should be the date of hire w/the US Postal Service, regardless of a change in facilities or craft. The current system of seniority does a great disservice to postal employees and then the unions wonder why we hate them almost as much as we hate management….. And yeah, there are plenty of other reasons why we hate the unions and their leadership nearly as much as management.

  • roadking

    To unforgiven Why should your seniority carry in to another craft if you have not been paying union dues in it or have had protection from a different union all the days u have worked ….that would be great lets just say Im tired of delivering mail after 30 years and so Im going to take your window clerk job does that sound fair??????

  • roadking

    Ps if U hate the unions go get another job

  • mike

    DIVIDE AND CONQUER , thats the postal way of doing things.

  • Cb196

    “Your seniority in all areas should be the date of hire w/the US Postal Service, regardless of a change in facilities or craft”.

    Now that the clerks are going to lose there jobs they want to slide right in there seniority spot in the carrier job. It wouldn’t be fair to a carrier that has been carring for all those years. The clerks had it made staying out of the weather, no dogs, no traffic, etc. You should have made the change years ago and you wouldn’t have to worry about it today. Sorry but that is how it is.

  • exmh

    Go ahead and hate your union you mgmt a-kissing whiner. And while you are at it refund your hard won pay, benefits, cola, etc etc to your local union which I’m sure you are not a member of. unforgiven SCAB!!

  • crazy

    Working outside is not as easy as people think. You would also have to be accountable for every minute of your day. It’s not like the old days of carrying; it’s almost the exact opposite.

  • See?

    Jobs will be eliminated in the very near future in most crafts and letter carriers will continue to see route consolidations as mail volume drops. The shift from house to curbside delivery will expedite the consolidation process. The largest need for employees will continue to be as letter carriers until the agency ceases to function in it’s current iteration. Survival could be provided by hiring lower wage flexible workers who can do whatever is needed to get the mail moved. That change will come immediately after the USPS reaches insolvency and requires quick decisive action.

  • Marilynn Reeves

    When the government or management shows up and says “I am here to HELP YOU” run or bend over and grab your ankles.

  • Marilynn Reeves

    Think we will see house to curbside to neighborhood cluster to post office box only;not only in town but on rural routes also. That way customer will have most of the expense and pay the PO to get mail.

  • frkp

    No – you will be accountable for every SECOND of every day – it sux big time

  • Reality

    When you change crafts your seniority is at the bottom of that craft. You do not take your seniority with you. There is not one union. Each union has contractual rules to protect their members.

  • Been There Done That

    Carrier to Clerk and had to go to bottom of the pile……..I dealt….much better then trying to outrun pitbulls/shepards/and annoying little dogs. BUT sometimes it’s worse being inside with the knuckleheads.

  • Cb196

    When the USPS stops going door to door Kiss the USPS good buy. No one is ever going to get there junk out of the box down the street. I know I won’t. Let it build up. Good buy USPS.