WELCOME TO THE TNRLCA
MEMBERS CHANGING their ADDRESS
Please 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 call or text 865-740-3162 with your new information.
STATE CONVENTION RESERVATIONS
To make reservations for our State Convention which is being held at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin, TN, click on the link below for our group rate. Please book your room prior to the May 25 cut-off date for the group rate.
The convention dates are June 25 - June 27. Should you need the hotel phone number, it is 615-261-6100.
NATIONAL CONVENTION RESERVATIONS
To make reservations for our National Convention which is being held at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, 9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL, click on the link below for our group rate.
The National Convention dates are September 6 - 9, 2022. Should you need the hotel phone number, it is 407-996-9939
2022 state & national conventions
The State Convention is planned to be held June 25 - 27, 2022 at the Cool Springs Marriott, 700 Cool Springs Blvd., Franklin, TN. The phone number for the hotel is 615-261-6100.
The National Convention is planned to be held Septembe 6 - 9, 2022 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, 9939 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL. The phone number for this hotel is 407-996-9939.
Some important dates to remember regarding these 2022 conventions are:
May 6 - Last day for national delegate nominations to be received in PO Box
May 10 - National delegate drawing with Sharon Lynch, CPA (random order selection)
May 16 - Last day for county meetings
May 26 - Last day for state delegate credentials to be received in Secretary's office.
June 10 - Last day for proposed constitution changes to be received in Secretary's office.
June 10 - Last day for outstanding member nominations to be received in Secretary's office.
UPDATE: Payment of Contractual Salary Increases in
2021-2024 National Agreement
The NRLCA has been notified by USPS that contractual salary increases included in the 2021-2024 National Agreement will be effective PP16-2022 and appear in August 5th paychecks.
This adjustment will include all eligible rural carriers and all salary changes negotiated in the new National Agreement. Posted salary charts have already been adjusted to reflect the current negotiated salary rates. Back pay will be paid at a later date yet to be determined. Members, please check the NRLCA website for the latest updates.
USPS Self-Service Profile (SSP) Passwords Need to Be
Reset as of April 24, 2022
The Postal Service is revising the information security policies related to the employees' password criteria for their Self-Service Profile (SSP). The self-service password created in SSP is used to access a range of resources, including LiteBlue, Postal Ease, ePayroll, eRetire, eOPF, eReassign, ldeaSmart (external), and HERO (external). Visit https://ssp.usps.gov to reset your password.
Strong and unique passwords act as the first line of defense against potential cyberthreats. To better secure personal information, all employees will be required to reset their SSP password to meet the new password requirements. This change will take effect on April 24, 2022. After the April 24, 2022, effective date, all employees will be required to reset their SSP password using the new password requirements. Once reset, the new password will be immediately available to access applications.
The new password requirements are as follows:
• SSP passwords must be 15 characters in length.
• The last 5 passwords cannot be re-used.
• The password cannot contain the employee's first name, last name or Employee Identification Number (EIN).
MDD Update for RRECS
There has been a recent MDD update (version 7.53) which allows carriers to enter zero parcels picked up at a Carrier Pickup Request location and also to enter a CARRIERPU when none of the parcels collected has a barcode.
There is one more clarification that seems to be needed on Carrier Pick Ups. The CARRIERPU entry is ONLY used in two circumstances:
When a pre-paid parcel weighing two pounds or more is picked up from ANY location. (Mailbox, handed to carrier, picked up at Authorized Dismount, Etc.)
When the carrier is required to dismount to collect parcels as part of an official Carrier Pickup request through MyPO, or is given instruction by management to dismount to collect parcels either on a certain day or as part of a standing order for a certain address, or the customer leaves a note in the box requesting the carrier to collect parcels.
If parcels under two pounds or other mail items are collected from the mailbox, DO NOT use the CARRIERPU function. Use the “H” Hotkey for Prepaid Acceptance Scans for all pieces with a barcode. If the piece has no barcode, no further action is necessary at the collection point.
This procedure is absolutely no different than it was in past mail counts. It just has to be remembered every day of the year.
Under RRECS, ALL collected mail (including parcels that have to be weighed and have postage affixed) is credited with actual unloading and handling time in the afternoon under the End of Shift Duties timed daily.
rrecs data collection delayed
NRLCA President Ronnie Stutts signed an MOU with the USPS establishing the final timeline for implementation of the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System. (Go to NRLCA.org to see the document.) The MOU establishes that data collection for the new RRECS Activity Scans, introduced on February 26, 2022, will be delayed until April 23, 2022. The overwhelming reason for this delay is the lack of training provided to rural carriers by local managers. The National Board is working diligently with USPS Headquarters to ensure every rural carrier receives proper education in these crucial job duties. If you have not been trained at all, or feel you were inadequately trained on the use of the new RRECS Activity Scans/Entries by management, please contact our DR, Von Dykstra, as soon as possible. NRLCA.org will continue to provide information and documentation as it is made available.
All regular rural carriers will continue to be compensated for the new RRECS entries via the 8127 block on the timecard for all time under 60 minutes per pay period or Form 8127 submitted for time that exceeds 60 minutes. (There is a difference between the Form 8127 and the 8127 block. Make sure you manager/supervisor is paying you correctly. You do not have to be paid one hour every two weeks.) Leave replacements will be compensated using Form 1314. This compensation started on February 26, 2022 and will continue through April 22, 2022. There is no need for the carriers to track these new entries on the 4240. The RRECS Entries are being tracked electronically and local management is being provided with the quantity of entries each week. Compensation for this period is based on 5 seconds per entry.
From April 23, 2022, to May 6, 2022, the number of average weekly RRECS entries will be determined electronically and a base-hour change will be applied to every route effective April 23, 2022. The base hour change will be calculated using the average entries multiplied by 5 seconds each. These base hour changes may or may not affect the evaluation and or classification of the route, depending on where the Standard Hours of the route fall in the Table of Evaluated Hours in Article 9.2.c.6.a. on page 30 of the current contract.
Along with the delay in data collection, the parties have also agreed to use only two interim evaluation periods in the first year of RRECS implementation, as opposed to four periods as originally discussed. This decision was based on carrier input and comments and the desire to limit disruptions and changes in compensation.
The first evaluation will be calculated utilizing volume data collected in the immediately preceding 52-week period (Sept 24, 2021, through September 23, 2022), RRECS activity scan data averaged over the 22-week period from April 23 through September 23, 2022, and mini mail survey data collected for 2 weeks beginning on September 10 and ending September 23, 2022. These evaluations will be effective October 8, 2022, coinciding with the guarantee period.
The second evaluation will be calculated utilizing the preceding 52 weeks of both volume data and RRECS activity scan data (April 23, 2022, through April 21, 2023), along with mini mail survey data collected for 2 weeks beginning on April 8 and ending April 21, 2023. These evaluations will be effective May 6, 2023.
Following the initial year of implementation, all rural routes will be evaluated utilizing the preceding fifty-two (52) weeks of volume and activity scan data, along with the mini mail survey data. The mini mail survey will be conducted for 2 weeks during the first full pay period of March and September, respectively, beginning with September 2023. The last day of the mini mail survey will also be the last day of the 52-week period for all other data collection. All route evaluations will be effective at the beginning of the second full pay period following the completion of the data collection period.
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.
2021-2024 National Agreement Signed
On March 23, 2022, NRLCA President Ronnie Stutts and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy signed the ratified 2021-2024 National Agreement. All terms of the new agreement are now effective.
The entire text of the National Agreement will be published as soon as possible in the National Rural Letter Carrier magazine.
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.
NRLCA and USPS Agree to Extend
COVID-19 MOUs Through May 6, 2022
The March 23, 2020 MOU which temporarily expanded the use of Sick Leave for Dependent Care and implemented a liberal leave policy has been extended through May 6, 2022.
The MOU expanded the use of Sick Leave for Dependent Care to allow employees to use their sick leave for unexpected childcare needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to allowing Sick Leave for Dependent Care, for the next 60-day period, managers and supervisors should allow liberal changes of schedule in recognition of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To the extent operationally practicable, managers and supervisors should accommodate employees who submit PS Form 3189, Request for Temporary Schedule Change for Personal Convenience as a result of childcare issues caused by daycare closures, school (Pre-K through Grade 12) closures, or the unavailability of a child 's primary caregiver as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Managers and supervisors should also allow liberal sick leave usage for employees who are sick, and liberal annual and leave without pay (LWOP) usage to the extent operationally feasible during this time period. If an employee requests leave for reasons related to COVID-19, such leave should be treated as scheduled (as opposed to unscheduled) leave.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: RRECS Activity Entries/Scans on MDD Device
The NRLCA National Board has received information indicating that a large percentage of rural carriers are not consistently performing the new RRECS Activity Scans/Entries on the MDD device. These new entries became a part of rural carrier job duties on February 26, 2022. Every rural carrier should have received training on these new MDD entries from their supervisor or manager on or about that date. Every rural carrier should be using these new entries on a daily basis. These entries are not only an official job duty, they are crucial to the success of the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System and will definitely affect future route evaluations under that system. In other words, your pay check will not reflect this additional time and will be significantly less than it could be.
If you have not received training or feel you have not received adequate training on the proper use of these MDD entries, please contact our District Representative, Von Dykstra, immediately. It is the responsibility of management to ensure every rural carrier is properly trained and is properly performing these RRECS entries every day.
Updated Postal Service Face Covering Policy Effective Immediately
With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continuing to decline across the country, state, local and tribal jurisdictions have revised their pandemic mitigation measures and have stopped their mandatory face covering policies and social distancing practices. The Postal Service has decided to align with these national changes.
Effective immediately, the Postal Service will no longer require any postal employee to wear a face covering while at work. All previous Postal Service face covering policies are rescinded. Employees may continue to voluntarily wear a mask or face covering if they are so inclined.
The Postal Service will remain diligent and continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will make modifications to this policy as needed. The Postal Service will continue to provide face coverings for any employee who requests one.
NEW EMA RATE- EFFECTIVE MARCH 26, 2022
(EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCE)
Rural Carriers will receive an increase in their EMA effective March 26, 2022 (pay period 08-22). EMA is increasing to $.905 per mile (that is a $.03 per mile increase) or a minimum of $36.20 per day, whichever is greater. This amount was figured using the gas prices in February, not the current historical, record-breaking prices we are experiencing now. 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
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.
POSTAL REFORM H.R. 3076 Passes
On Tuesday, March 8, the Senate passed postal reform legislation by a bipartisan vote of 79-19. It now goes to the President for signature into law.
The first overhaul of the Postal Service in more than a decade, this crucial postal reform legislation provides the Postal Service with substantial financial relief to help it remain viable well in the 21st century.
H.R. 3076 includes many provisions the NRLCA has advocated for over the past several years. First, the legislation repeals the mandate that requires the Postal Service to prefund its retirees’ health benefits decades in advance. No other agency or corporation is required to prefund future retirement benefits, let alone to fully prefund in just ten years. The bill also safeguards the provision in the law to provide six-day mail delivery for every American. Delivering mail six and seven days a week remains a critical competitive advantage for the Postal Service, especially in rural areas where rural letter carriers deliver the “last mile”. Finally, the Postal Service Reform Act adopts private sector best practices by maximizing the integration of postal employees and retirees into Medicare. This legislation allows the Postal Service and its employees to fully utilize the benefits that Medicare provides.
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.
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.
You must be retired with Medicare Parts A & B.
This enhanced plan is optional, 100% voluntary for RCBP retirees.
You will remain, and always be an RCBP member by opting-in and joining this plan.
No change in premium—you pay the retiree share of RCBP premium.
You can opt-out at any time and still have the great coverage of RCBP with Medicare Parts A&B.
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.
NEW POSTAL HOLIDAY - JUNE 19TH
President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on June 17, 2021, making June 19 a federal holiday. This new holiday commemorates the final end to slavery in the United States and the Postal Service is fully supportive of annually observing and setting aside a day to recognize this historic event.
Because the Postal Service is part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and our customers are relying on us to deliver our essential services, the USPS was unable to cease operations to observe Juneteenth in 2021. Beginning in 2022, the Postal Service will recognize the Juneteenth National Independence Day as a holiday eligible to full-time and part-time career employees. The observance will be included in the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) 518, Holiday Leave and be subject to the corresponding provisions of the section.
PARCEL PUSHES/AUXILIARY ASSISTANCE
The USPS has released a plan to bring in ARCs, HARCs, RCAs, and PTFs to deliver parcels beginning at 6:00 a.m. This amounts to providing auxiliary assistance to the regular carriers, something the NRLCA has been asking management to do for over a year. There is no violation in scheduling RCAs to report early for parcel assistance. However, if the RCA is scheduled to carry a route that day, they should finish the parcel assistance before beginning their regular workday. They should be notified in advance as much as possible. Normally, additional duties are done after the RCA completes their route assignment for the day, but that alternative is impractical if we are trying to get all carriers off the street as early as possible and still provide some parcel relief. Starting leave replacements at 6:00 a.m. will mean they cannot work past 6:00 p.m. without violating ELM 432) All incidents of leave replacements required to work more than 12 hours in a day should be grieved. Remember, safety comes first.
NRLCA AND USPS SIGN AGREEMENT ON EFFORTS TO HIRE RCAS
At the direction of the National Board, the NSS Stewards have filed over 1200 Class-Action grievances since September 10, 2021. The grievances demanded that all RCA vacancies be immediately posted and reposted weekly until filled.
The following is an excerpt from that MOU:
"This letter will serve to confirm our mutual understanding of the appropriate measures to be taken to fulfill the contractual obligation outlined in Article 30.2.A.2., “The Employer shall make every effort to expeditiously fill leave replacement vacancies when they occur.”
In order to meet this obligation, the parties agree that any office with rural carrier associate (RCA) vacancies, not currently working with an active hiring list to appoint individuals to these positions, must immediately post these vacancies through eCareer. Should these postings not result in any RCA appointments, the positions must be reposted in eCareer as soon as the office learns that the positions have not been filled.
Further, any office with RCA vacancies must have an active hiring list in process or postings in eCareer for RCA positions."
Simply put, an office that has any leave replacement vacancies must immediately post those RCA positions on eCareer. If the office is in the process of hiring from an active hiring list, they need not post again until that list is exhausted. However, if vacancies remain, those positions must be immediately re-posted. If an office has vacancies, they must either be working on an active hiring list or have positions posted on eCareer, period.
Members may go to the NRLCA.ORG website to read the entire MOU.
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.
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!!
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.
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:
HAVE YOU ENCOURAGED A NON-MEMBER TO BECOME A MEMBER TODAY?