USPS Not Paying New Jersey Postal Employees For Missing Work Due To Snowstorm

The following is a message from a  Cranford, New Jersey NALC  Union Steward:

Postal employees from the Cranford, New Jersey postal facility were told that they would not be paid Administrative Leave for Monday’s (December 27, 2010) snowstorm. The employees were told to use their personal leave to be excused for that day. The decision not to pay postal employees Administrative leave came down from the USPS District Office.

I know most Post Offices in the Union County (New Jersey) area did not get Administrative Leave. But I believe it goes as far as Monmouth County to Bergen County (New Jersey). I am not sure about post offices in New York. We were never given a copy of our PS Form 3971’s approving or denying our request for Adminstrative Leave as required by the ELM. The employees found out we were not getting paid after looking at our paystubs online.

As for how many employees, I know it’s in the thousands as all crafts were denied this leave. This did come down from the USPS District Office because I received a copy of a letter sent out to all Postal Managers.

The bottom line is the mail never reached many post offices until late in the day, so there was no mail to deliver even if you made to the post office.

There is language in the USPS Employee Labor and Relations Manual which covers “Acts of God” which is when a disaster happens in your community and people can not get to work. Also there was a state of emergency declared which is also part of the criteria.

519.21 Acts of God
519.211 General
Acts of God involve community disasters such as fire, flood, or storms. The disaster situation must be general rather than personal in scope and impact. It must prevent groups of employees from working or reporting to work.

519.212 Authorizing Administrative Leave for Acts of God

The following provisions concern administrative leave for acts of God:

a. Postmasters and other installation heads have authority to approve administrative leave for up to 1 day.

b. District managers and Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) plant managers may authorize administrative leave beyond 1 day, but not to exceed a total of 3 days, for their installation and those reporting to it.

c. District managers and senior or lead plant managers may approve administrative leave for periods up to and in excess of 3 days for their installation and those reporting to it.

519.213 Determining the Cause of Absence

Postmasters and other appropriate postal officials determine whether absences from duty allegedly due to “acts of God” were, in fact, due to such cause or whether the employee or employees in question could, with reasonable diligence, have reported for duty.

The mail couldn’t get to the post office because all of the snow. The Postal Service is always preaching safety for employees, but yet they wanted us to risk our safety . I guess they wanted us to report to work just for employees to sit around.
Dave Brinkerhoff
Shop Steward
NALC Branch 754
Cranford, NJ

18 thoughts on “USPS Not Paying New Jersey Postal Employees For Missing Work Due To Snowstorm

  1. Hi. We just got blasted with 18-38″ of snow here in western ma. I don’t know if we will be paid. But we were told we will be given dixcipline for not making it to work! They were even scheduling people in who had the day off! We also have a number of employees commuting 50 miles because their facilities were shut down in Eastern Ma. As far as safety talks, that’s basically to keep osha off their backs.

  2. Management fights Act of God grievances very hard so the union better document everything that occurred during or as a result of the storm. This would include employee absences due to the storm (don’t forget management), media reports, business closings, local and federal government facility closings, transportation issues (road closings must be shown), state/federal emergency aid to the area, etc.

  3. No money to pay Employees, because they have to spend “$5 million” to upgrade the OIG’S Headquarters. WHY???????????? 🙁

  4. Been a Postal worker for 25 years and gone through many snow storms, state of emergencies and never have received administrative leave.

  5. If the usps is going to preach safety, let’s do all aspects of safety. do no pick and choose. If so throw out these safety talks.

  6. USPS NEVER grants admin leave for snow. Every blizzard our local has had to file a grievance. And, we have won every single one we filed!! JUST GRIEVE IT

  7. Have never received administrative leave, even when a snow emergency was declared by the city of Omaha. Had to use three days of emergency AL last year during our three Blizzards in Dec 2009. About eight inches of snow on the ground today, thought ahead and took AL for tonight, so I don’t get an unscheduled absence like last year.

  8. It kills me to hear people say “stop whining” or “at least you all have jobs” when it comes to safety. Employees aren’t complaining about going to work. Look at the news. In Atlanta, the DOT is urging people not to go out. Tractor trailers are sliding on the ice into each other. Hell, some of our highways are shut down completely because the tractor trailers are stranded ON THE EXPRESSWAY! This is not snow, its ice, frozen solid. The ones saying we are complaining; do you all go to work when the roads are iced over and frozen……I think not. You must live in Fla or out west.
    Another thing, The ELM which addresses “Acts of God” and all postal handbooks and manuals are authored by the Postal Service. They wrote the rules. So it is hard for me to understand why they don’t follow their own policies. If you (USPS) wrote a policy stating that in cases of inclement weather which prevents groups of employees from reporting, officials can approve administrative leave up to and over 3 days, then why do we (especially in the Atlanta District), have to go through every year fighting for 1 or 2 days of Admin leave?

  9. Bottom lines supposed to be if a “state of emergency” is declared. We are “non-essential” thus should not be on the road. So we stay home, management figures out what to do with the mail, and we file grievances to get paid admin leave, if management refuses to give it to us, since snow is an “Act of God” . These are the rules agreed to by the USPS and the NALC(read the contract). If you don’t follow thr rules your part of the problem,NOT part of the solution!

  10. Management never automatically approves admin leave. It is always a fight to get it… the Union grieves it and, maybe a month or twelve later, the admin leave is granted. This is nothing new… just business as usual at the Post Office.

  11. billio, so if someone shoots you on your 40th birthday, don’t complain because some people don’t live even that long!

  12. o boohoo! it’s the weather……….unpredictable………..just go out and deliver the mail in the SAFEST possible way………should you get administrative leave….DON’T think so!

  13. The same happened to our clerks during a snowstorm in 1995. Rather than write an article seeking national attention , our steward filed a grievance and we recieved a settlement in 2000.

  14. We are about to face the same situation here in the south where we are not prepared for snow. We have no adequate snowplows or salt trucks on rural routes. My area is not flat like most snowy areas….we have mountains and dirt roads. Kids are out of school and on 4wheelers in the roads. Even when we are safe, other people are sliding around curves towards us. Ice and trees are across the roads. People do not need their mail….banks are closed….sale paper stores are closed. Airlines shut down. DOT warns people to stay off the roads! Why? because they are smart! What do our brilliant Postal Managers order us to do but would never do themselves? Risk our lives, the lives of others, and damage to vehicles. So don’t ask me to take you seriously when you give any future “Safety” talks!

    When I asked about this I received the reply “We pay you to deliver the mail”. Well, supervisors are “paid” to be 100 percent budget balanced….but are they? They are not paid to play golf or to be out of their offices, either, are they? Even if we are by the rules supposed to deliver mail in all conditions……then somebody with brains should change those rules….dontchathink? When extreme things unusually happen, we should not take such risks. Did we deliver in Katrina….during 911? Come on managers….wise up! You wouldn’t want your family out taking these risks….or maybe you modern day Pilate’s would….

    Are you listening Senators? Are you listening OSHA? Are you listening DOT? Are you listening Governors? Someone outside the Postal Service should be able to shut down delivery in threatening times!

  15. I carried mail on Long Island in the sixtys and seventys and we all got admin.l leave when the roads were impossible to travel…times have changed because those who want upward careers always kiss ass and show they can be ruthless and save a buck….TIMES HAVE CHANGED…WE USE TO BE A FAMILY…

  16. i am a letter carrier on long island, new york, and we all got denied administrative leave as well.. the supervisiors just automatically made everyone use their annual leave. the union is trying to fight it but who knows what will happen. post office bullshit as usual.

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