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USPS agrees to offer bonuses and pay raises to recruit rural carriers in North Dakota

nrlcaWASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Postal Service has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Rural Letter Carriers Association that will grant pay increases and bonuses to recruit and retain rural carriers in the Bakken region, including Minot, Dickinson, Williston, Watford City and most of the communities in western North Dakota, effective May 17, 2014. The increases are designed to attract and retain rural carriers.

In August 2013, Hoeven invited Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to visit Williston to hear from local business and community leaders and local postal employees about challenges to mail delivery in the region owing to economic and population growth. In November, the senator arranged a follow-up visit to the state with Drew Aliperto, United States Postal Service (USPS) vice president of area operations for the western area.

Hoeven wanted them both to see firsthand the tremendous commercial and demographic growth in western North Dakota and its impacts on postal service. As a result of these visits, the Postmaster General and regional vice president committed to addressing the difficulty local post offices were having in efforts to recruit new workers. Wage levels were not competitive with other area jobs owing to the region’s rapidly growing economy.

“This is great news for western North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “We’ve been working to improve postal service in western North Dakota and this agreement will help do that by recruiting and retaining more carriers in Williston and beyond.”

USPS and union officials outlined the basics of the agreement to Jon Cameron, Hoeven’s Western North Dakota Regional Director. The terms are described as follows:

1. All newly hired or converted career rural carriers will receive a 9 percent increase to their base pay.

2. All part-time/flexible rural carriers will receive a 9 percent increase to their base pay.

3. All Rural Carrier Associates (RCAs) will receive a 20 percent increase to their base pay.

The career rural carriers and the part-time/flexible carriers also receive fringe benefits in addition to their wages, as well as some of the rural carrier associates. The increases outlined in the agreement will result in starting hourly wages in the $21.00 to $22.00 range, plus fringe benefits as applicable.

All members of the three categories above will also receive a $500 hiring bonus 90 days after their hiring or conversion and another $500 bonus at the end of one year. Current rural carriers will receive a $500 retention bonus “as soon as practicable” and a second $500 bonus at the end of one year.

The agreement will allow for cities or towns to be added or removed as agreed upon without having to modify the agreement.

  • san mateo guy 2

    Expect that there will be a push from other high cost areas down the pike.

  • Joe

    How about the rest of us in high cost of living areas, Were barely surviving here on Long Island

    • Joey Jo Jo Shabadoo Jr

      Move. You chose to live there. It doesn’t entitle you to a bigger piece of the pie.

      • Surprise!

        Why dose it not entitle us to a bigger piece of the pie?
        The Rural Carriers in North Dakota just got one.

        If we follow your logic, the Rural Carriers in North Dakota can find better paying jobs right there and they don’t even have to move. The People of North Dakota can move to a place that gets better mail service if they want it as we are told we should do.

        For that matter, I don’t remember being offered a chance to transfer to North Dakota and get the pay increase. A special MOU as this one could have included that.

        WE HAVE A SHORTAGE OF RCA’S ACROSS THE NATION. Why should the rest of us be left to rot? Was it made clear to the arbitrator that the Postal Service was not hiring enough RCA’s when they were being offered the higher wage?

        Also, the Postal Service just recently came out against locality pay of this kind.

        I guess we need to cultivate Congress People.

        • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo

          So I can buy a million dollar house and then cry that I deserve more pay than my neighbor who lives is a 200K house? Where you choose to live, the lifestyle you choose to enjoy is just that…a choice. It doesn’t entitle you to more money than another current employee.
          This story deals with doing what is necessary to entice new hires, not current employees.

          • Surprise!

            “3. All Rural Carrier Associates (RCAs) will receive a 20 percent increase to their base pay.” This does not sound as if it is limited to enticing new hires to me? I read All RCA’s to mean All RCA’s new and old.

            Why only entice RCA’s for this special group? As I have written, RCA’s are needed across the country.

            Personally, I think this is an Illegal back room deal. The Postal Service can’t hire contract carriers because Postal Regulations will only allow this if they can hire the contract carriers for less than the Rural Carriers.

            The NRLCA constitution makes it clear that they can’t change the contract with out a vote of the member ship and the contract sets a wage Nation Wide. No local wages are in the contract.

  • the other Joe

    they pay the a-holes at HQ tens of thousands of dollars as retention bonuses every year -year after year. top guys getting around $90,000 retention bonus every year!

  • John Griffing

    $21-22/hr – what we used to make [non-career city carriers] before a BS arbitration decision took $6/hr away from us. Give us our $6/hr back.

  • SCgirl

    what would you do if you had not got your pay check in two pay periods?