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 WELCOME TO THE TNRLCA

MEMBERS CHANGING their ADDRESS

 

Please be sure to give the Secretary/Treasurer your new address when you move.  The Union does not necessarily know you have a new address just because you gave it to the USPS.  Please text 865-740-3162 with your new information.

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Rural carriers diagnosed with 

covid-19 after january 27, 2023

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) was signed into law. This legislation streamlined the process for federal workers diagnosed with COVID-19 to establish coverage under the FECA (Federal Employees' Compensation Act). FECA Bulletin 21-09 was issued on April 28, 2021 and incorporated the ARPA’s provisions for processing COVID-19 claims.

Section 4016(b)(1) of the ARPA required these statutory provisions apply to a federal worker who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 on or prior to January 27, 2023. That legislation is now expired. Therefore, any claim for which COVID-19 is diagnosed after January 27, 2023, must establish the five basic elements for determining a workers' compensation claim.  The five basic elements include:

  1. The claim was filed within the time limits set by the FECA. (A CA2 would be used to file this type of claim, not a CA1.)

  2. The injured or deceased person was an employee within the meaning of the FECA.

  3. The injury, accident or employment factor actually occurred, and a medical condition was diagnosed in connection with the injury or event.

  4. The employee was in the performance of duty when the event(s) leading to the claim occurred.

  5. The medical evidence establishes that the diagnosed condition is causally related to the injury or event.

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Retro Pay Adjustment to

be included on February 17 Check

 

The retro pay due to rural carriers will be reflected on their pay check dated February 17 which includes pay period 04/23.

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new anticipated dates for rrecs

The new dates for the mini mail survey are February 25 - March 10, 2023. The expected begin date of RRECs is March 25, 2023 (Pay Period 08/23). You may curently request "End of Run Reports" every day from your manager and verify your numbers.  The report will include the previous day's numbers. 

Members, please go to nrlca.org for more information.

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Payroll deductions update

If you have dental or vision insurance through BENEFEDS, you did not receive a payroll deduction for these benefits during the Dec. 31, 2022 - January 13, 2023, pay period. However, your benefits are still active and deductions will resume during the January 14 - 27 pay period (Pay Period 03/23). You do not need to take further actions or pay a catch-up deduction to account for the missing deduction.

Additionally, if you’re enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, you’ll see your new 2023 premium rates reflected in the Jan. 14 - 27 pay period (Pay Period 03/23).

If you contributed to the Combined Federal Campaign, you’ll see your deductions begin during pay period 04/23 which includes January 28 - February 10.

If you have payroll concerns other than missing deductions, call the USPS Accounting Service Center at 866-974-2733.

If you have dental and vision insurance questions, call BENEFEDS at 877-888-3337.

You may email the USPS Benefits and Wellness team at benefitsandwellness@usps.gov for any additional questions regarding benefits and wellness.

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The New Postal Service Health

Benefits (PSHB) Program to Take 

Effect January 2025

The Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) Program is a new, separate program within the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program which is being administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). It  will provide health insurance to eligible Postal Service employees, Postal Service annuitants, and their eligible family members starting in 2025. The PSHB Program coverage will replace Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB) Program coverage for these groups. Any plan participating in the PSHB program must include plans with benefits equivalent to FEHB for postal workers and annuitants.

Employees, annuitants, and their family members who are currently eligible for coverage under the FEHB Program will be eligible for coverage under the PSHB Program. Employees, annuitants, and eligible family members may continue to participate in the FEHB Program for the 2023 and 2024 plan years. Their current FEHB enrollment will continue unless they make any changes prior to January 2025. The first opportunity to select a new PSHB plan will take place during Open Season in late 2024, and coverage under the PSHB health benefits program coverage will begin January 2025. Employees and annuitants currently enrolled in FEHB plans who do not enroll in a new PSHB plan during Open Season in 2024 will automatically be enrolled in a PSHB plan. The automatic plan enrollment will be based on their active employment or retirement with the USPS.

Enrollment in a PSHB plan will not disrupt enrollment in other insurance and benefits programs which include:

  • Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

  • Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)

  • Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI), or

  • Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)

If a family member of a Postal Service employee or Postal Service annuitant meets the eligibility requirements for enrollment in an FEHB plan, such as through qualifying employment with the Federal government, the PSRA (Postal Service Reform Act) will not affect their eligibility to enroll in an FEHB plan or affect their ability to cover their eligible family members.

Most Postal Service annuitants and their eligible family members who are entitled to Medicare Part A will be eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B during a six-month special enrollment period (SEP) starting April 1, 2024. This six-month period permits annuitants who did not sign up for Part B at the age of 65 to do so penalty-free. (The 10% per year penalty is waived.) Individuals who qualify for the SEP will receive a separate notification prior to April 1, 2024, as required by the PSRA. Annuitants and their family members who are entitled to Medicare Part A must enroll in Medicare Part B to be eligible to continue PSHB coverage. Current annuitants will not be required to enroll in Medicare Part B if they chose to stay out. Some other very limited exceptions will apply.

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Multifactor authentication now required for LiteBlue

Cyber criminals continue to pose a threat to postal employees by creating fake websites that closely resemble LiteBlue. As a reminder, you can reduce the chances of going to a fake site by navigating directly to the official USPS website at (spell aloud) W-W-W - “dot” - L-I-T-E-B-L-U-E - “dot” -U-S-P-S- “dot” -G-O-V.

As an additional layer of protection, the organization is strengthening its security measures by requiring multifactor authentication (MFA) for all employees to gain access to LiteBlue after Jan.15.

Multifactor authentication is an identity verification method in which users provide two or more confirmation factors to gain access to an online account.

It is frequently used by banks and other institutions dealing with sensitive personal information.

When employees log into LiteBlue, they will be required to reset their Self-Service Profile (SSP) password, verify the last four digits of their Social Security Number (SSN), and set up their multifactor authentication preferences.

Once an employee’s setup is enabled, these ID confirmation factors will be required each time he or she logs in.

For more information or to view support materials, go to the LiteBlue login page and select “Multifactor Authentication" or members visit the www.NRLCA.org website.

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relief carrier appreciation week

february 4 - 11, 2023

The NRLCA National Board has designated the first full week in February as "Relief Carrier Appreciation Week".  We kindly ask that you join us in showing all our leave replacements that their daily dedication and commitment do not go unnoticed. Please go out of your way and do something kind for the relief carriers in your office. Additionally, appreciate them every day, of every week throughout the year, not just this week.

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New EMA Rate Effective December 31, 2022 (Pay Period 02-2023)

 

On December 13, 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the November 2022 Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which established the Private Transportation Index at 266.492, a decrease from the August 2022 Index of 273.737. Therefore, based on the November 2022 CPI-W release, the Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for rural carriers will decrease 2.5¢ to 93.5¢ per mile. This EMA rate will be effective December 31, 2022 (Pay Period 02-2023).

The next index will be calculated in three months and will reflect the current market price of gas. Remember, EMA is not just gasoline. The following is a breakdown of what is included in our EMA:

          45% - New & Used Motor Vehicles

          24% - Motor Fuel

            3% - Motor Vehicle Parts & Equipment

            8% - Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair

          17% - Motor Vehicle Insurance

            3% - Motor Vehicle Fees 

        100% - TOTAL INCLUDED IN EMA 

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new 2023 FEHB, FEDVIP premiums

The Office of Personnel Management released the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) premium rates for 2023. Federal employees and retirees will see an average increase of 7.2% in their portion of premiums. This is the highest increase since 2011.

The average increase for federal employees and retirees for the Federal Employees Dental Insurance was 0.21%, and a decrease of 0.41% for vision plans.

Open season will run from Monday, November 14 through Monday, December 12. Check out the Rural Carrier Benefits Plan (Aetna Insurance). The savings are phenomenal and the coverage is basically the same. However, you must be a member of our union to get this insurance. I have a limited number of brochures on the RCBP. If you would like some information, call, text or email the state secretary/treasurer and I will send you what I have available. Also, if you are not a member and would like to try this insurance plan and save lots of your hard earned money, contact me for a form 1187 to join our association. The annual savings are often more than the annual dues.  What are you waiting on?

Additionally, if you already have the RCBP, the 2023 premium for self + Family (382) is less expensive then the self+1 plan (383). You might want to switch yourself to self + Family. It is a savings of $9.91 per pay period for a total of $257.66 per year.

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Election Results: 2022-2023

NRLCA National Board

 

Listed below are the newly-elected National Board for the 2022-2023 Association year:

  • President: Ronnie W. Stutts

  • Vice President: Donald L. Maston

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Thomas K. Turner

  • Director of Labor Relations: Bridget Boseak

  • Director of Steward Operations: Shirley Baffa

  • Executive Committeeman, 4-year term: John Adams

  • Executive Committeeman, 3-year unexpired term: Jeanette Dwyer

  • Executive Committeeman, 2-year unexpired term: Patrick Pitts

  • Executive Committeeman: 1-year unexpired term: Nicky Phillips

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MOU Allowing Regular Rural Carriers to Volunteer to Work on Sundays

or Provide Assistance on other

Rural Routes Extended

 

Several months ago, when the MOU providing regular carriers the opportunity to volunteer to work other routes and to deliver packages on Sunday expired, the Postal Service refused to extend the MOU.

The Postal Service’s decision not to extend the MOU has had real consequences. We have predictably seen an increase in RCAs working over 12 hours in one day and regular carriers being required to work other routes and deliver packages on Sundays. Most of you are aware that the NRLCA has filed unfair labor practice charges on both issues. At the same time, the NRLCA has heard from carriers across the country requesting that they try to convince the Postal Service to extend the MOU. After much discussion, the National Board has agreed to revisit the MOU with the Postal Service and it has been extended.

In doing so, the NRLCA board believes this will help to shut down the Postal Service’s improper practice of forcing regular carriers to work other routes and deliver packages on Sundays and provide some much needed relief to the many overworked RCAs. We continue to have a crisis in Postal Service hiring and retention.

The MOU was sent to USPS Labor Relations and HQ Delivery and Field Performance with the following instructions:

The Postal Service and the NRLCA have signed a MOU regarding two temporary modifications to the USPS-NRLCA National Agreement. Beginning Sunday, August 7, 2022, and continuing through February 24, 2023, regular rural carriers may volunteer to work on Sunday to deliver packages and may also volunteer to provide service on rural routes other than their assigned routes in the office.  Regular rural carriers will be compensated at the overtime rate for hours worked on Sunday and for hours performing service on routes other than their assigned routes.

Regular rural carriers will not be required to work on Sunday or serve all or part of any other rural route.  Regular rural carriers volunteer to perform these additional services.

Prior to working volunteer regular rural carriers on Sundays or on other rural routes, management must comply with the scheduling provisions of the National Agreement.

Members may visit NRLCA.org to read the MOU.

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MOU Signed on Rural Route

Territorial Adjustments

 

On August 1, 2022, the USPS and NRLCA signed an MOU on Rural Route Territorial Adjustments.

The parties recognize that there is potential impact to rural route evaluations resulting from the implementation of the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System (RRECS). To limit this impact and ensure that routes are evaluated accurately during the first year of RRECS implementation, the parties agree to temporarily modify the following contractual provision:


Article 9.2.C.6 – Identifies 47K and 48K rural routes as interim classifications pending route adjustments. Unless it is operationally necessary or the assigned regular rural carrier requests an adjustment, routes classified as 47K and 48K will maintain the interim classification.

The above modification will begin August 13, 2022, and will continue in effect until October 7, 2023; unless either party provides written notification to withdraw from the terms of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

All route adjustments will be made in accordance with the standard route adjustment policy. New deliveries will be appropriately added to all rural routes and routes may be adjusted accordingly should it be deemed operationally necessary. This agreement does not preclude management from completing route adjustments for seasonal routes, to ensure regular carrier workhours do not exceed the annual guarantee, or when necessary for consolidation of one or more rural routes.

Additionally, any dispute regarding the operational necessity for route adjustments will not be subject to the grievance-arbitration procedure. Concerns related to this MOU should be directed to the parties at the national level for resolution.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE ON

RURAL CARRIER SAFETY

 

The following is a statement of NRLCA’s position on three very important issues:

 

  1. The safety of rural carriers and the public.

  2. Requiring or allowing regular carriers to work on other routes and/or on Sundays.

  3. Requiring Leave Replacements to work more than 12 hours in one day.

 

We want to reach every rural carrier as soon as possible. Please share this information with rural carriers in other offices and ask them to post also.  

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RRECS Activity Scans: Update/Clarification on additional Trips/Loading Scans

 

Effective immediately, when carriers are performing 2nd  trips, they must also utilize the Hotkey 6 STARTLOADVEH and Hotkey 7 ENDLOADVEH to capture the load time associated with the 2nd  trip.  This will ensure proper compensation when RRECS is implemented.  In addition, 2nd trips are to continue to be compensated per Handbook F-21 563 and documented on the PS Form 4240. Members, please go to NRLCA.org for more details on the correct process.

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Comprehensive Guide to the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System (RRECS) UPDATED APRIL 1, 2022

The Comprehensive Guide to the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System (RRECS) has been updated. Please log-in to NRLCA.org to see the newest updates.

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NRLCA and USPS Sign MOU

Concerning Annual Leave

Carryover for Leave Year 2023

 

The NRLCA and USPS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing that for leave year 2023, regular work force career employees covered by the USPS-NRLCA Agreement may carry over 520 hours of accumulated annual leave from leave year 2022 to leave year 2023. That is equivalent to 13 weeks or 65 days of annual leave carryover.

In all other respects, the ELM provisions for payment of accumulated leave are not changed because of this Memorandum.

This MOU will expire December 31, 2023. Please go to NRLCA.org to see the actual document.

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RRECS information available

* A comprehensive guide to the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System (RRECS) for members. The 99-page guide includes an overview and history of RRECS, a mapping overview, an explanation of the drive speed matrix, a comparison of the new RRECS standards to the 4241-M worksheet, a comparison of the Evaluated Compensation System (ECS) to RRECS, a guide to determining rural route evaluations under RRECS. 

 

* A user-friendly Q and A concerning RRECS that is now updated with over 200 questions from carriers and answers to those concerns by the National Board.

* A 33-page guide to MDD Activity Scans/Entries

Members may go to the NRLCA.ORG website to obtain this information.

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K-95 Masks Available

for USPS Employees

 

The USPS has approximately 14 million K-95 masks on hand. Local postal management can order these through the supply chain out of Topeka, Kansas. If you would like a K-95 mask to wear at work, you may request it from your immediate supervisor. Remember, employees and contractors who do not deal directly with the public are required to wear face coverings if they cannot achieve or maintain social distancing in the workplace, regardless of the employee’s or contractor’s vaccination status.

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New Medicare Advantage for RCBP

 

For 2022, RCBP is offering an incredible enhancement for retirees with Medicare Parts A & B, the option to opt-in to Aetna Medicare Advantage! While this new option may create questions, this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is meant to assist our RCBP retirees in making a decision that is best for them and their family.

Here are few key points to keep in mind regarding Aetna Medicare Advantage for RCBP.

  1. You must be retired with Medicare Parts A & B.

  2. This enhanced plan is optional, 100% voluntary for RCBP retirees.

  3. You will remain, and always be an RCBP member by opting-in and joining this plan.

  4. No change in premium—you pay the retiree share of RCBP premium.

  5. You can opt-out at any time and still have the great coverage of RCBP with Medicare Parts A&B.

  6. Part B premium reduction!

 

What are some of the plan highlights?

  • $900 Medicare Part B premium reduction per year for each eligible member

  • Added programs such as SilverSneakers®, Healthy Home Visits, nonemergency transportation for medical appointments, meals after a hospital stay and more, at no extra cost

  • Unlimited chiropractor visits

  • Unlimited physical, occupational and speech therapy visits

  • Low prescription copays—as low as $0 from preferred pharmacies and $2 from standard pharmacies

  • Nationwide doctors (use any doctor who is eligible to receive Medicare payment)

 

Please visit NRLCA.ORG for more information.

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MAIL DELIVERY after 8:00 p.m.

Postal Service Headquarters Leadership has committed to the NRLCA that rural carriers should not be out on the street later than 8:00 PM.  Your National Board believes that delivering mail and packages past this time creates a very unsafe situation and is committed to stopping this practice whenever possible.  We ask that any rural carrier who is required to deliver mail after 8:00 PM immediately notify your District Representative so that we may bring this to the attention of higher level USPS Officials as soon as possible.  Please assist us by reporting infractions as requested.

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raft incentivE PROGRAM 

As an incentive for recruiters and new members, the 2021 RAFT Program offers the following benefits:
1. Individual recruiters will receive the following monetary amount paid by the National Office of $15.00 for each RCA or ARC recruited and $50.00 for each Regular or PTF recruited. The recruited individual must sign an "1187 Dues Withholding Authorization Form" and stay on the USPS employment roles for a period of three months after the State Secretary or National Office processes the 1187 Form. The recruiter should legibly list on the upper right hand corner of the new member's 1187 Form the following to quailify for the incentive payment: their full name, EIN or CSA number, and their address.  Please submit all 1187 forms to the State Secretary/Treasurer immediately after receiving them from the recruited individuals. Please do not hold them.
2. The newly recruited member will receive three free months of membership before his/her Form 1187 is sent to the USPS for processing and the deduction of pay period organizational dues.  
3.  No incentives will be paid to the State Association.
LETS GET RECRUITING!!

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HAVE YOU ENCOURAGED A NON-MEMBER TO BECOME A MEMBER TODAY?

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