USPS Statement on NALC labor contract arbitration decision

USPS today issued the following statement regarding the announcement of an arbitration decision on a contract with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC):

“The binding arbitration process between USPS and the NALC has concluded and a resulting contract between the parties is effective Jan. 10, 2013 through May 20, 2016.

“While the decision by the arbitrator includes important and substantial cost-savings provisions that will benefit the Postal Service over the life of the contract and into the future, it does not include all of the changes we sought.

“The results of the Interest Arbitration Award include the following:

  • Two-year wage freeze followed by modest increases.
  • Lower wage scale for new career employees, with entry step salary reduced by more than 20 percent and lower cost-of-living adjustments (COLA).
  • Creation of a new, lower-cost non-career employee category, City Carrier Assistant (CCA).
  • Decrease in the employer share of health insurance premiums.
  • Establishment of a Health Benefits Task Force to jointly work towards resolution of health care issues.

“We are disappointed that the Award continued limited no layoff protection and restrictions to contracting out. Congress needs to enact significant legislative reform to quickly restore the Postal Service to profitability and put the organization on stable, long-term financial footing.

“The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.”

The contract between USPS and the NALC carriers expired Nov. 20, 2011. Negotiations for a new agreement continued until Jan. 20, 2012. The parties entered into binding arbitration last April.

The NALC represents 192,000 employees who work as letter carriers delivering mail primarily in urban areas.