Rural carriers ratify new contract

The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) membership has ratified a new three-year labor contract with the Postal Service.

The contract covers approximately 119,000 employees represented by the union.

nrlcaHighlights of the agreement include annual general wage increases, a reduction in the employer share of health premiums, and the preservation of workforce structure modifications achieved during a collective bargaining process in 2010.

Additionally, the Postal Service will create an employee category, assistant rural carrier, to handle weekend and holiday parcel deliveries.

“Overall, this contract results in continued restraint in rural carrier labor costs while giving the parties the opportunity to focus on the ongoing major task of establishing and implementing new engineered work standards for rural carrier employees,” said Labor Relations VP Doug Tulino.

The new agreement, announced in February, runs through May 20, 2018.

Source: USPS

USPS, rural carriers reach tentative contract agreement

The Postal Service and the union representing rural letter carriers have reached a tentative contract agreement. The full text of the agreement can be downloaded here (.pdf file).

Here are some of the highlights:

Wage increases

The tentative contract provides the general wage increases for each year of the Agreement:

1.2% in 2015 (upon ratification, retroactive to November 14, 2015, 1.3% in 2016, and 1.3% in 2017.

The increases above do not reflect additional COLA adjustments for regular, PTF, and RCA/RCR employees on the rolls prior to August 11, 2012.


Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA) and method of determination will remain the same. The “Base Index” date for the purpose of calculating future COLA adjustments was updated from July 2011 to July 2014. July 2014 represents the date of the last COLA adjustment under the 2010-2015 Agreement.

For RCA/RCR employees on rolls prior to August 11, 2012, an amount equal to the COLA paid to full-time rural carriers on an hourly basis under the 2015 Agreement will be rolled into
RCA/RCR hourly rates during the first full pay period of August 2018.

Assistant Rural Carriers

In light of the expansion of Sunday/holiday parcel delivery service, the parties have agreed to establish a new, non-career leave replacement employee classification: assistant rural carrier (ARC). ARCs may only perform Saturday, Sunday, and holiday duties and will be paid on an hourly basis at the same rate as RCAs hired on or after August 11, 2012.

ARCs will be bargaining unit employees with limited contractual benefits. Articles 15 and 16 will apply, but ARCs will not have access to noncareer employee health benefits, earned leave, or bidding rights.

Article 9.2.M.1 (actual hours, first five pay periods) and Article 9.2.M.3 (actual hours, if not served route within past 12 months) will not apply to ARCs.

ARCs are not required to take a hiring exam, but all other hiring requirements will apply. Their probationary period will be the earlier of 90 days worked or one year. They must apply for any desired RCA positions and may not automatically convert to an RCA vacancy. ARCs may be required to provide a vehicle for delivery and will receive EMA accordingly.

ARCs will be entitled to Sunday and Holiday parcel delivery prior to RCAs. They may also case and carry routes on Saturday only after all available RCAs have been assigned and prior to working a regular rural carrier on the relief day. The ARC will not be designated as the primary leave replacement on any regular routes and will not be included in any criteria for implementation or calculation of the formula.

Mail counts

In accordance with the 2010-2015 Agreement, the parties will conduct a twelve-day mail count beginning on March 12, 2016.

There is no mail count scheduled for 2017.

In 2018, the parties will conduct an opt-out mail count beginning on February 24, unless an alternate method for evaluating routes is implemented or the parties (at the national level) agree not to conduct the count.

If the mail count occurs, all routes will be counted except when the regular carrier or RCA (Des. 79) agrees with management not to count the route.

This represents the first time that RCAs (Designation 79) serving auxiliary routes have been given the opportunity to opt-in (or opt-out) of having their assigned route counted.

Equipment Maintenance Allowance

Effective with the quarterly adjustment based on the November 2016 CPI-W, the equipment maintenance allowance base rate shall increase by one-half cent (0.5¢) to fortyseven and one-half cents (47.5¢) per mile or major fraction of a mile scheduled per day or $19.00, whichever is greater.

Effective with the quarterly adjustment based on the November 2017 CPI-W, the equipment maintenance allowance base rate shall increase by one-half cent (0.5¢) to fortyeight cents (48.0¢) per mile or major fraction of a mile scheduled per day or $19.20, whichever is greater.


The agreement requires the Postal Service to ensure that seniority is properly applied to rural carriers. Following the effective date of this agreement, the Postal Service, for the first time, will be required to post a current seniority list in every office and furnish a copy to the Union.

The Postal Service will then be required to update seniority lists as changes occur, post the updated list in every office, and provide copies to the Union.

Unions urge NO vote on latest Issa bill

apwulogoMay 6, 2014 – The presidents of the four postal employee unions – the APWU, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association and the NPMHU – have written to members of the House of Representatives, urging them to vote against a postal bill drafted by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA). The bill is scheduled for consideration by the committee on Wednesday, May 7.

“We write on behalf of nearly 500,000 postal employees who live and work in every Congressional District in America to urge you to oppose the so-called ‘Administration’s Postal Reform Act of 2014,’” the presidents wrote. “If you serve on the Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee, we ask that you vote against the legislation on Wednesday. If you do not serve on the committee, we urge you to express your opposition to the bill.”

“The legislation drastically reduces service,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It ends Saturday mail delivery and promotes contracting out of retail services — including in outside retail establishments. It fails to protect service standards, and fails to address in any meaningful way the cause of the Postal Service’s manufactured financial crisis,” he said.

“Our organizations are committed to working with leaders in both parties to strengthen the Postal Service,” the letter says. “Unfortunately, the bill before the OGR Committee on Wednesday would severely weaken it. We urge your strong opposition.”

Click here for a summary of the bill.

Read more: Vote NO on Issa Bill | APWU.

Postal workers alliance sends letter to Issa opposing latest reform proposal

The four unions representing rank and file postal workers have sent the following letter to Darrel Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member:


Dear Mr. Issa and Mr. Cummings:

We write to share our views on the hearing held on April 8, 2014 on the President’s proposals in the FY 2015 budget regarding the U.S. Postal Service. We write on behalf of nearly 500,000 postal employees who live and work in every Congressional District in America and who belong to our unions. We respectfully request that this letter be included in the record of the hearing. Continue reading