• Information for Unassigned Regulars (Branch 1100) The following is from the 'Unassigned Regulars' article from the Union Carrier Branch 1100, September-October 2009 issue.

    "With the MIRAP process downsizing the number of routes in an office, we now have full-time carriers that no longer have a route. These carriers are known as unassigned regulars. Most of our cities have not had unassigned regulars for years so we have dusted off the rules pertaining to unassigned regulars to share in this article. An unassigned regular falls under the same rules as a reserve carrier. As an unassigned regular you have a fixed day-off rotation. It is the same day-off rotation that you had on the route you just lost. As an unassigned regular you still have a fixed start time – it is the start time you had on the route you just lost.

    Under Article 41, the unassigned regular has the right to opt on a vacant assignment. If it has been a while since you last opted, then check with the steward on the current process in your office to submit opts. While holding down an opt, as an unassigned regular, you will adopt the hours and day off of the route you opted on. If you do not opt on a route, you will be given work throughout the office to fill the 8 hour day. If the unassigned regular is not on an overtime list then you should not work any overtime. If the unassigned regular is on the OTDL or work assignment, overtime tracking for the unassigned regular can be confusing. If the unassigned regular is on the work assignment list then you are available to work the overtime on the route you have been assigned for the day.

    For example, you are scheduled for route 2 today. You could work the overtime on route 2. If management is having you case route 2 but carry swings then you do not have an assignment for the day and should not work any overtime. If the unassigned regular is on the 10 or 12 hour OTDL then, depending on where the carrier is assigned, the overtime may or may not count towards the equitability.

    For example, you are assigned to route 2 today, any overtime you work on route 2 would not count towards the equitability. If you are assigned to route 2 and you carry overtime on route 3 then the overtime on route 3 would count towards the equitability. If you are assigned to carry five 2-hour swings then any overtime would count towards the equitability. As an unassigned regular, you can opt into a 6 day week and work all 6 days whether or not you are on an overtime list.

    For example, this week your opted route, or your regular rotation, has Wednesday off. Next week you opt on a route that has Saturday off. You must work Saturday since the new opt does not start until Monday and your current route has Saturday as a regular day to work.

    If your current opt has Saturday off and next week’s opt has Wednesday off, you get Saturday off. Next week on Wednesday, you would float since the T6 is on the route you opted on. An unassigned regular is guaranteed 8 hours a day for 5 days a week. If there is no work for an unassigned regular in the office the employer has the right to “bump” a PTF off of his/her opt. The “bumping” must be done on an hour by hour, day by day basis. The employer can not tell the PTF he/she is not on his/her opt at all next week because there is an unassigned regular.

    T6 carriers that become unassigned regulars fall under the saved grade provisions in the ELM. Saved grade provisions guarantee the carrier his/her T6, LC2, pay for an indefinite time frame as long as the unassigned regular bids on any T6 that comes open in the city (even if they are not the successful bidder). If your pay drops to LC1 when you become unassigned, contact your shop steward or union officer.

    If you are one of our unassigned regulars, please talk to your shop steward or call and talk to one of your officers if you have any questions. As an unassigned regular you never have to meet the office or street time listed for any route. Just do your best.

    Barbara Stickler
    Executive Vice President"

    Sept. 25, 2009

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  • Item O Effected Carriers, A Brief Overview (Branch 791) The following is an excerpt from the 'Buzzin' Around' article from the Snohomish County Branch 791, September 2009 issue.

    "Item O is when a route is abolished that is not vacant and all the routes below the carrier's seniority all re-bid. It is kind of a postal "musical chairs" only with routes. Not fun at all and no winners.

    Lynnwood during the IRAP invoked Item O and 13 carriers were displaced. All of those carriers were placed on bids. This time during MIARAP Lynnwood again invoked Item O and 20 carriers will be displaced with 5 to be unassigned regulars. That does suck. Some offices in the district had to excess a carrier to another station because of no work for the regular. I still believe being unassigned is better than being laid off.

    Chris Kelly"

    Sept. 25, 2009

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  • Accounting For Your Time (Branch 3520) The following is an excerpt from the 'President's Report' article from the Northern Virginia Branch 3520, September 2009 issue.

    "The route adjustment process (MIARAP)continues.As long as volume continues to drop, the Postal Service will continue to inspect and adjust routes to try to capture any savings possible. I cannot stress enough the importance of being a good letter carrier. Do your job consistently every day. Keep in mind that the routes are adjusted using your clock rings. The more street time you show, gives less time to be added to the route. Keep your office time at a minimum. Any time spent on office time, when volume does not justify, will be taken away. If you are casing another route, make the clock ring move to that route. If you are waiting for mail, move to a waiting code. When you don't make those rings, that time will be lost on adjustment. And, when you do things like casing circulars, casing DPS, etc., you will lose all that time on adjustment as well. Losing that office time then translates to added street time to the route.

    Tom Cleer"

    Sept. 25, 2009

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  • Surviving Route Adjustments Carriers all over the US are experiencing the same thing: route adjustments. As a result a large amount of carriers are affected by these adjustments some way or another. It may be having their routes added on to, or unfortunately, having their routes dissolved altogether.

    The following posts are excerpts from NALC Branch Union Newsletters from across the country, documenting and commenting on how to cope with the many changes carriers are dealing with.

    Sept. 25, 2009

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  • Postal Heroes Honored in PEOPLE Magazine We are proud to announce that NALC Branch 782's own Melissa Kelley will be featured in an article in PEOPLE Magazine honoring Postal Heroes.

    The following is taken from USPS News Link:


    Oakland, CA, Letter Carriers Gilbert Rangel, left, Alan Girard, Karen Hill, and Tanya Joseph with Baywood Apartments Property Manager Kathy Walsh.

    What’s a hero?

    That’s someone who commits an act of remarkable bravery. And an upcoming article in the Aug. 14 issue of PEOPLE magazine will recognize several letter carriers who’ve done just that — going out of their way to perform heroic deeds — while delivering on their routes.

    The feature article will highlight these postal employees’ actions and also bring these heroes to the attention of the American public.

    For example, there’s William Perry Bland of Lebanon, KY, who rescued a pregnant woman and child after their vehicle was involved in an accident (Link, 6/15). And Walter Hayes of St. Louis, MO, who protected and comforted a child hit by a car (Link, 6/16). As well as Melissa Kelley of Bakersfield, CA, who saved a customer from two attacking pit bulls (Link, 7/11/08). And don’t forget Oakland, CA, letter carriers Alan Girard, Rick Quinonez, Gilbert Rangel, Tanya Joseph and Karen Hill, and the crucial role they played in rescuing 100 residents from an apartment fire (Link, 11/27/07).

    In a letter to PMG Jack Potter, Baywood Property Manager Kathy Walsh wrote that the Oakland quintet of letter carriers displayed “extraordinary courage.” She added, “It’s not often that you find people of such character and willingness who go above and beyond the call of duty, and for this we are thankful.”

    Each day postal employees across the nation touch the lives of millions of people, and sometimes those same employees and their heroic efforts make the difference between loss of life and property."

    Congratulations Melissa for being not only an outstanding carrier but a hero as well.

    August 16, 2009

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  • Retail Mailers Worries About Five Day Delivery Many retail mailers are trying to adjust to the prospect of the five day delivery week looming in the near future. Arandell Corporation a distributor of catalogs and custom publications, recently posted about the pros and cons of the change.

    The following is an excerpt from the article:

    "With no delivery on Saturday; Monday and Tuesday will be heavy-volume days for the mail carriers. More than likely Wednesday thru Friday will become your preferred in-home days. Because this will be an overall industry change, suppliers and printers (such as Arandell!) will need to adjust quickly and seamlessly.

    For retailers, the story is a bit different. Often our retail clients have specific events, with specific in-home date goals. If the USPS does eliminate mail on Saturdays, retailers will also need to change their event days. This is additional work for retailers that will affect their entire marketing strategies."

    Read the full article

    August 16, 2009

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  • Postal Service Problems Make News Abroad The problems facing the US Postal Service is making news across the pond. According to an article guardian.co.uk the Postal Service is facing financial problems very similar to the British Royal Mail.

    According to an article in the guardian.co.com many US citizens are feeling frustrated at the thought of the any post office closures slated for their cities. Many citizens and congressmen believe that closing these post offices will only add to the decrease in revenue for the Postal Service.

    The following is an excerpt from the guardian.co.com article:

    "In New York, congressman Anthony Weiner attacked the USPS for releasing information in "dribs and drabs": "It's no wonder that they have been losing business. If their intention was to raise alarms, what they've really done is raise questions about their management."

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    August 16, 2009

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  • Time for the Postal Service to 'Upsell'? A recent post on the Office of the Inspector General poses a question? Should the Postal Service 'upsell' its products? Upselling is a time honored tradition in many retail companies. Many retail companies train their employees to try and add just one more product to a customers finally purchase added on a few more dollars to the total purchase.

    Many of the customers who wait in line at their local post office do so thinking that they will get the best price possible. As of now, many of the front window clerks are required to ask each customer if they would like to purchase stamps before they leave. How would the customers react if they were asked to purchase much more?

    Read the full article

    August 16, 2009

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