The outcome of the binding arbitration process between USPS and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association has resulted in a contract.
The agreement is effective July 3, 2012 and lasts through May 20, 2015.
The Postal Service is facing a critical financial situation that requires both substantial cost savings from within, as well as substantive legislative reforms from Congress. The arbitrator’s decision includes important cost-savings provisions that will benefit the Postal Service over the life of the contract. However, it does not go as far as the Postal Service believes is necessary to address its financial challenges.
The results of the Interest Arbitration Award include the following provisions:
- A 2-year wage freeze, followed by modest increases
- A lower wage scale for new career employees (more than 10 percent lower)
- Lower wages for new non-career employees (more than 20 percent lower)
- An increase in the employee share of health insurance premiums (the same phased-in schedule as the American Postal Workers Union agreement)
- An agreement to reopen health insurance negotiations if Congress or another union acts on a proposal for new health insurance package other than the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan.
- Work standard changes that will improve productivity and lower costs
SUMMARY OF HIGHLIGHTS OF 2010-2015 NATIONAL AGREEMENT
The following is a summary of highlights of the new National Agreement between the United States Postal Service and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association resulting from the July 3, 2012 Interest Arbitration Award. The Award and the separate opinion and dissent of Interest Arbitration Board Member Joey C. Johnson are available in their entirety on the NRLCA’s website.
-The term of the new Agreement is November 21, 2010 through May 20, 2015′
Salaries and COLA
-General Wage Increases Totaling 3.5%:
November 17, 2012: 1.0% increase (COLA deferred to 2013)
November 16, 2013: 1.5% increase plus COLA
November 15, 2014: 1.0% increase plus COLA
-New wage schedule for new regular carriers hired after November 20, 2010
-New hourly rate for RCAs hired on or after August 11, 2012. These RCAs will receive a 7.0% general wage increase over the term of the Agreement, but no COLA.
-The Step progression for those career rural carriers hired on or after November 21, 2010 will be 52 weeks for each Step between Steps 1-12 of the new Rural Carrier Evaluated Schedule
-COLA for RCAs/RCRs on the rolls prior to August 11, 2012 will be rolled into hourly rates during the first full pay period of August 2015
Health Benefits -Adjusted USPS Health Benefits Contribution
(Employees hired on or after the effective date of this agreement will start at 77% upon conversion to regular)
-MOU to consider separate Postal Service health benefits plan in future, contingent on Congressional action or agreement of other Postal unions.
-MOU to consider separate Postal Service health benefits plan in future, contingent on Congressional action or agreement of other Postal unions
-2013: 18-day count (February 9 – March 2)
-2014: 12-day count (February 22 – March 7)
-2015: 18-day count (February 7 – February 28)
-2016: 12-day count (March 12 – March 25) (unless parties agree otherwise)
-All routes will be counted unless the regular carrier and management agree in
writing not to count
-National mail counts will be effective at the beginning of the fourth full pay
period following the count
Equipment Maintenance Allowance
-2013: increase EMA base rate by 0.5¢ (46.5¢ per mile)
-2014: increase EMA base rate by 0.5¢ (47¢ per mile)
High Option Election
-A regular carrier must have a minimum of ten years of service from his/her retirement computation date to be eligible to elect the high option
-DPS Letter standard for LLV routes: 43 pieces per minute
-Prepaid Parcels Accepted: 90 seconds per event and 9 seconds per parcel
-Dismount Distance (Walking Speed) standard: 0.00429 minutes per foot (2.647 miles per hour)
-Industrial engineering study of time standards, to be completed and implemented by May 20, 2015
-Moratorium on Article 34 time standard changes, except for new work functions
-Auxiliary routes will be converted to regular routes within 30 days of increasing to 42 weekly standard hours. If increase is a result of a mail count, then the conversion will be effective with the mail count.
-Regular rural routes may be converted to auxiliary status if they decrease to less than 35 weekly standard hours
-Encumbered regular routes may be consolidated and the excessing and/or reassignment provisions of
Article 12 will be applied when the route evaluation decreases to less than 37 weekly standard hours