WELCOME TO THE TNRLCA

      Buyback Legislation Introduced

 

Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) introduce partisan legislation to allow rural letter carriers the ability to buy back their time spent as an RCA. The legislation, H.R. 4268, is once again named the Federal Retirement Fairness Act. Visit the NRLCA.org website to follow this story.

                          **********************************************

MOU NO LONGER IN EFFECT

With the original signing of the COVID MOUs the NRLCA agreed that regular rural carriers could volunteer to perform duties on routes other than their own and on Sunday.

Effective June 3, 2021, this MOU is no longer in effect and all relevant contractual and handbook/manual provisions are now in effect. In accordance with Article 30.1.P, "A regular rural carrier shall not be required to serve all or part of any rural route other than his or her assigned route…" A regular rural carrier may no longer volunteer for these duties.

It is past time for the USPS to start hiring leave replacements so that all routes are fully covered, for relief days and leave requests, without resorting to extraordinary means such as having regular rural carriers work on routes/duties other than their own.

***************************************

NEW EMA EFFECTIVE JULY 3, 2021 (pp15-21)

On June 10, 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the May 2021 Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which established the Private Transportation Index at 229.942, an increase from the February 2021 Index of 208.129. Therefore, based on the May 2021 CPI-W release, the Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for rural carriers will increase 7.5¢ to 80.5¢ per mile.  

*****************************************

  EXTENDED MOU THROUGH AUGUST 6, 2021

The following Memoranda of Understanding between the United States Postal Service and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association have been extended through August 6, 2021. The parties agree to meet and discuss the above Memoranda of Understanding prior to August 6, 2021, to determine whether or not further extension is appropriate.

• Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID-19

• Temporary Workplace Changes to Promote Social Distancing – COVID-19

• Suspension of Temporary Additional Paid Leave for RCAs 

*****************************************

      EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Employees          requesting EFEL must provide the                   following information:

  1. A completed PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence; and

  2. COVID-19 Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) Employee Notification and Leave Request Form (Employee Notification and Leave Request Form) and all documentation required by the specific qualifying circumstance (as indicated on the Request Form); and

  3. A signed Employee Agreement in Connection with Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) Provided Under Section 4001 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Employee Agreement). The Employee Agreement is required for only the first use of EFEL.

*******************************************

MOU BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE AND THE NATIONAL RURAL LETTER CARRIERS' ASSOCIATION

The parties agree that for leave year 2022, regular work force career employees covered by the USPS-NRLCA Agreement may carry over 520 hours of accumulated annual leave from leave year 2021 to leave year 2022.

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, 2022.

*****************************************

the 2021 national CONVENTION

HAS BEEN CANCELED

On April 10, 2021, our National Board announced their decision to cancel the 2021 National Convention that was to be held in Orlando, Florida in August.

They recently conducted a ZOOM teleconference with the state presidents and shared information on the current COVID 19 situations across the country. Please be assured that the decision to cancel the national convention this year was not taken lightly, and the National Board is regretful that they are unable to return to business as usual.  Health and safety were a priority.
 

the 2021 tnrlca STATE CONVENTION

HAS BEen CANCELED

After long deliberation, the TNRLCA Board has made the decision to cancel the 2021 State Convention that was to be held in Franklin from June 26 - June 28, 2021.  With everybody's best interests in mind, this decision was made due to COVID-19 issues. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause but everyone's health and safety were our main concerns & priorities.

                             *******************************************

  2021 COUNTY UNION MEETINGS

Our National Board would like us to hold off on conducting any in-person union meetings for now. Until some point in the future they do not feel in person meetings should be held. Once a significant percentage of the population has been vaccinated and we see lower transmission rates and prevalence of the virus in our communities, we can begin to think about gathering in person again.  Until then, and consistent with CDC guidance, they do not recommend holding in person union meetings. Additionally, they will not be sending any NSS employees to attend any in-person meetings.

                            **********************************

                      NEW EMERGENCY FEDERAL EMPLOYEE LEAVE (EFEL)

                              AVAILABLE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30, 2021

 

Effective March 12, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act provides employees with up to 600 hours of paid Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL). This leave is available to employees beginning on March 12, 2021 and continuing through September 30, 2021 - or until the funding established in the Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund for reimbursement is exhausted. The leave is available to eligible employees who are unable to work due to one of eight qualifying reasons as summarized below:

 

An employee is entitled to take EFEL related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work because the employee:

1. is subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to              COVID-19.

2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns          related to COVID-19.

3. is caring for an individual who is subject to such an order as in (1) or has been so      advised as in (2).

4. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.

5. is caring for the employee's son or daughter if the school or place of care of the     son or daughter has been closed, requires or makes optional a hybrid of in-               person and virtual learning instruction models, or if the child care provider of the     son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.

6. is experiencing any other substantially similar condition.

7. is caring for a family member with a mental or physical disability or who is 55            years of age or older and incapable of self-care, without regard to whether               another individual other than the employee is available to care for such family           member, if the place of care for such family member is closed or the direct care         provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.

8. is obtaining immunization (vaccination) related to COVID-19 or is recovering              from any injury, disability, illness or condition related to such immunization.

LEAVE ELIGIBILITY:

1. All career and non-career employees, regardless of tenure, are immediately eligible for EFEL.

2. Full-time Employees can receive up to 600 hours of paid EFEL, capped at $2800 per pay period.

3. Part-time Employees can receive up to the proportional equivalent of 600, capped at a proportional equivalent of $2800 per pay period.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

1. EFEL does not count as creditable service toward an employee's retirement benefits.

2. Employees cannot contribute to Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) while on EFEL.

                              *********************************************

     RURAL CARRIERS WHO DEVELOP COVID 19             IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES

         ARE ENTITLED TO OWCP COVERAGE                    

All federal employees who develop COVID-19 while in the performance of their federal duties are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage pursuant to the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). This includes Rural Letter Carriers.

The Department of Labor has created new procedures specifically to address COVID-19 claims. COVID-19 claims are filed using Form CA-1, Notice of Traumatic Injury. The CA-1 must be filed within 30 days and the employee is eligible to receive Continuation of Pay for up to 45 days. Proof of a positive COVID-19 test will be required, as well as a qualified physician’s statement.

Due to the number of claims filed for COVID-19, these claims are taking a longer than normal to be processed, but they are being accepted and processed.

For complete information regarding COVID-19 OWCP coverage and filing a claim go to the following website: 

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/owcp/dfec/InfoFECACoverageCoronavirus

*From NRLCA

                                  ********************************************

                     COST OF LIVING RAISE SET FOR                             FEBRUARY 27, 2021

Pursuant to the release of the January 2021 Consumer Price Index – Urban Wage and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), and in accordance with Article 9.1.E, the sixth COLA adjustment of the 2018-2021 National Agreement will result in a $416 increase for eligible rural carriers. This COLA adjustment will be effective February 27, 2021, (PP 2021-06). All COLA adjustments are based on a 40-hour evaluation with proportional application to those route evaluations over 40 hours. The increase should appear in paychecks dated March 19, 2021.

In accordance with Article 9.1.E.3, full COLA adjustments will apply to Table One and new Step 15 of Table Two. COLA adjustments to Steps 1 through 14 of Table Two will be adjusted proportionally to each step’s percentage of Step 15. This will serve to bring Table Two schedule (Step 15) employees to the same pay level as Table One (Step 12) employees, thereby eliminating the pay differential between Table Two and Table One employees at the top step and for the rest of their careers.

NOTE: All leave replacement employees will receive an additional 1% salary adjustment annually in lieu of COLA adjustments. Those leave replacement employees on the rolls prior to August 11, 2012, will receive the additional 1% salary adjustment annually, rather than waiting for a COLA roll-in at the end of the agreement.

*From NRLCA

                             *********************************

      raft incentive in effect as of 1/2/21

As an incentive for recruiters and new members, the 2021 RAFT Program offers the following benefits:
1.  Members who have successfully recruited (the new member must complete, sign and date an 1187 Form "Authorization for Deduction of Dues") will receive $15 for each RCA or ARC and $50 for each Regular or PTF.
2.  The newly recruited RCA and ARC will receive a one time incentive payment of $25 after their 1187 is received by the National Office, processed and sent to the USPS and accepted for processing.
3.  The newly recruited PTF or Regular Rural Carrier will receive a one time incentive payment of $50 after their 1187 is received by the National Office, processed and sent to the USPS and accepted for processing.
4. The recruiter must legibly provide their EIN or CSA number along with their name and address in the upper right hand corner or on a seperate piece of paper attached to the new member's 1187.
5.  No incentives will be paid to the State Association, only to the recruiter and new member.
6.  There will no longer be a "two month free waiting period" for new members. The 1187 will be processed as soon as possible upon receipt by the Union.
                                                   LETS GET RECRUITING!!

                             2021 nrlca calendars

We have a limited number of 2021 NRLCA calendars available.  If you are a member from Tennesse and would like one, please contact the State Secretary at 865-740-3162 (text or call) to request one.  A limited number is available and supplies will run out.

             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

 

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