The NALC has filed a national-level interpretive dispute with the Postal Service, charging it failed to provide mandatory retirement counseling prior to the June 19 irrevocable decision date for the latest Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) offer extended to letter carriers.
“A lot of our members did not get the help they needed to make a proper and informed decision about whether they should accept this latest earlyout,” said Executive Vice President Gary Mullins, who headed the union’s Contract Administration Unit when the agreement was reached.
Letter carriers who applied for the VER and requested retirement counseling but did not receive it prior to the deadline should get in touch with their region’s National Business Agent for more information.
“Our NBAs also need to hear from any carriers who withdrew their application for an early out because they couldn’t get counseling prior to the irrevocable date,” Mullins added.
Twice in the past year, the Office of Personnel Management approved Postal Service requests to offer earlyouts as a way to reduce operational costs by cutting from its payroll older, higher-paid workers who were close to retirement. The VER was extended to carriers who were at least 50 years old and had at least 20 years of service, or to carriers of any age with at least 25 years of service. There were no financial incentives to take either VER offer.
This national-level grievance only applies to letter carriers who were in line for the second VER with the June 19 deadline.
Local grievances that have been filed regarding retirement counseling for this latest VER are held in abeyance until the national-level dispute is resolved.