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    SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE (SAC) HAS BEEN CANCELED

The South Atlantic Conference (SAC) which was to be held in January 2021 has been canceled due to the COVID 19 virus.  The COVID 19 restrictions placed on the hotel and guests contributed to the cancellation. The SAC Board made this decision for the health and safety of all involved.

NRLCA and USPS Sign MOU Concerning Annual Leave Carryover for Leave Year 2021

The NRLCA and USPS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing that for leave year 2021, regular work force career employees covered by the USPS-NRLCA Agreement may carry over 520 hours of accumulated annual leave from leave year 2020 to leave year 2021.  That is an additional 80 hours of leave we may carryover for a total of 13 weeks permitted to be carried into 2021.

 

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

 

Should you be planning on retiring before January 2, 2021 (the beginning of the new leave year), your maximum cash out on annual leave will still be 55 days.  However, if you are planning on retiring between January 2 and December 31, 2021, your maximum cash out on annual leave will be 65 days.  Of course, this is dependent on how many annual leave days you have earned but have not used on the actual date of your retirement. 

This MOU will expire December 31, 2021.

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New EMA Rate - Effective September 26, 2020 (Pay Period 21-2020)

 

On September 11, 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the August 2020 Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which established the Private Transportation Index at 200.83, an increase from the May 2020 Index of 187.467. Therefore, based on the August 2020 CPI-W release, the Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for rural carriers will increase 5.0¢ to 70.5¢ per mile.

This EMA rate will be effective September 26, 2020 (Pay Period 21-2020).

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FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provided employees with two additional types of leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and Expanded Family and Medical Leave for child care needs. This leave benefit became effective April 1, 2020, and continues through December 31, 2020.

Since the introduction of the new leave types, the Office of Personnel Management has provided official guidance that leave payments under the FFCRA are not eligible for retirement and Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) deductions.

If you took leave under FFCRA, any deductions withheld for TSP or retirement as a result of FFCRA leave will be refunded to you in pay period 20-2020, retroactive to April 1, 2020. Retirement refunds will show on your October 2, 2020, paycheck. These refunds will not impact creditable service time towards retirement eligibility.

If you wish to keep your retirement and TSP contributions, you must change your FFCRA leave to a different leave type. Contact your supervisor to request an adjustment of your FFCRA leave to annual or sick leave. These adjustments must be in line with leave policies, covered by earned leave balances, and be entered in AdjustPay before September 11, 2020, to prevent a refund of retirement and TSP deductions. Employees receiving the TSP refund can increase their TSP election for the remainder of the year. All TSP eligible employees may change their TSP election at any time during the year.

Additional details about the FFCRA and other COVID-19 information can be found on the special COVID-19 pages of the employee websites, Blue or LiteBlue.

Thank you for listening, and thank you for your professionalism, commitment, and all you do for our customers, your co-workers and the Postal Service. Stay Safe.

*This has been copied from the NRLCA.ORG website.
 

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Expedited to STREET -AFTERNOON SORtATION (esas)

 

The postal service is testing their new program called Expedited to Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS).

The stated purpose of this test is to determine if the current Expedited Preferential Mail (EPM) Delivery Program can be enhanced to assist in reducing the morning office time for city letter carriers by enabling them to get on the street earlier to better serve customers and provide for more consistent delivery times.

The test is scheduled to begin on July 25, 2020 and will continue for approximately 30 to 60 days.

This test is meant to be a change for city carriers and clerks, however the changes in mail distribution will affect the rural carriers in these offices. We have had lengthy conversations with HQ Labor Relations, and we were assured that further communication would be sent to the field. We know there is already bad information in the field and some managers are already violating working rules, handbooks, and manuals. Below you will find some explanation and instruction from your National Board.

  1. This test is NOT a license to violate our contract, handbooks, manuals, or Step 4 Settlements.

  2. The offices in this test will have Distribution Up Times established. City carriers will not report until that time.

  3. City carriers will not be allowed to case mail in the mornings—this does not apply to rural routes.

  4. Rural Carriers must still be permitted to:

    • Case their DPS Letters and Flats in the office at their option.

    • Case boxholders at their option.

    • Mark their parcels at the case.

    • Pull down and tie out in the morning—not in the afternoon as will be required of city carriers.

  5. Rural carriers cannot be required to use the Load Truck Function for their parcels unless it was built into their evaluations (this is a very limited number of offices).

  6. Any change in starting times for rural carriers requires reasonable advance notice of the change. Carriers must be given reasonable time to plan for the schedule change.

  7. What management can change regarding rural carriers:

    • They can establish an Expedited Preferential Mail office—this has been an option in the PO-603 for decades. This means that there is a definite cut-off time for mail distribution in the morning—established by management. Any mail distributed after that time will not be delivered. It will be cased in the afternoon for delivery the next day.

    • They can make the mail available for rural carriers to case in the afternoon as mentioned above or they can allow rural carriers to come in earlier in the morning to case the mail that was distributed after DUT the day before.

    • They have to do either a or b. They cannot tell carriers you cannot case mail in the PM AND you cannot come in before SUT in the morning. Time must be allowed for us to case mail—see #4 above.

  8. REPORTING VIOLATIONS: If any manager at any level in your District(s) orders or directs anything in violation of any of the above principals, you are to report immediately via email to your assigned District Representative:

    • Name of Manager.

    • Position of the manager (supervisor, postmaster, etc.).

    • What exactly they changed.

    • If the directive is in writing, provide a copy.

    • If verbally made the change, provide the date of the change.

  9. We will immediately discuss these violations with USPS HQ and get it stopped.

We have advocated EPM and getting carriers out of the office sooner and back off the street earlier for years. We have too many carriers on the street late in the evening causing increased safety issues, (getting dark, heat stress etc.) Your National Board has concerns as to how this process will work and will continue to monitor the progress.

Please report any of the above violations as soon as they happen and file a grievance if necessary.

Thank you all for your patience as we continue to go through these changes.

Your National Board

This has been copied from the NRLCA.org website

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Letter Carriers' Donor Drive

 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the postponement of the previously scheduled May 9th "Stamp Out Hunger" food drive.

As an alternative, a special website has been created to assist those wishing to participate in the food drive to donate funds to their local food bank(s) to help the pantry purchase food.

If you would like to donate to a food bank in your community, go to:

1)  nalc.org/food

2)  Select your state

3)  Choose a food bank in your area

4)  Make a contribution

 

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