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Annual Leave Carryover for 2021

The NRLCA and USPS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing that for leave year 2021, regular work force career employees covered by the USPS-NRLCA Agreement may carry over 520 hours of accumulated annual leave from leave year 2020 to leave year 2021. 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, 2021.

Special Mail Count

The deadline for the USPS to notify the NRLCA of their intention to exercise their right under Article 9.2.C.3.a to count all rural routes the last 12 working days in September has expired. The only routes that will be counted during this time period will be those that fall under the Special Count provisions in Article 9.2.C.11.a.
"Special counts are conducted under the following two (2) circumstances:

1. When circumstances have negated the validity of the latest count and evaluation. No salary adjustments will be made as a result of the count unless the evaluation of the route is changed by 120 minutes (2 hours) or more." This provision primarily goes into effect when DPS letters or DPS flats are introduced on a rural route. Before a route can be counted under DPS it must be receiving DPS mail 30 days prior to the count and must have passed a consecutive 3-day qualifying period of 98% accuracy. Once a route has been qualified the first time, no additional qualifying period is necessary, unless a review is requested.

2. "Whenever a 120 minute (2 hours) or more salary adjustment is made on a route, whether due to a substantial service change or a route adjustment, and the density of the route after the change has been increased to twelve (12) boxes per mile or more or has been decreased to less than twelve (12) boxes per mile." This provision will trigger the creation of an "L" route if there was an increase to 12 boxes or more per mile or the elimination of the "L" route status if there was a decrease to less than 12 boxes per mile. Both conditions must exist, plus or minus change above or below the 12 boxes per mile and a 2 hour or more salary adjustment due to service change or route adjustment.

Casing Equipment

From Portland District Representative Monte Hartshorn and Seattle District Representative Joyce Patteson comes the following message:

Certain routes are being targeted for a reduction in casing equipment. We each have a list of routes in our respective districts. Currently, there are 199 routes on the list for Portland, and 362 in Seattle. If your route is being targeted, it's important to remember the following:

1. Your case should be set up with 2 addresses per 2" cell (or 1 address per 1" cell) - definitely no less.

2. Jackpotting is NOT allowed. This is where you have a larger cell to include all addresses in one CBU and the mail is sorted at the CBU location

3. As per Section 213.1 of the PO-603 - "Your manager or supervisor will provide you with adequate casing equipment." Management will be seeking to reduce cell sizes in accordance with bullet point #1. However, it is the volume of the individual customer that determines the amount of space needed.

4. You retain the right to case DPS, and your casing equipment should allow for the DPS volume.

5. As per Section 213.31.c of the PO-603 - you should have an additional 15" as directed by management for Undeliverable-as-Addressed mail.

The reduction of casing equipment may or may not be a contractual violation and is dependent on the above requirements and any grievance will be on a case-by-case basis. You will need to prove which addresses require additional case space usually accomplished by documenting the cased mail for that customer over a certain time frame - preferably with management.
Remember - if you are assigned to one of the affected routes, the time necessary to relabel your case, rework your PS Forms 3982 (pink forward cards), etc., are not considered normal case maintenance and the time is compensable either by being paid 8127 time for a regular carrier; PS 1234 (green card) time for a leave replacement; or by being provided auxiliary assistance.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact one of your Assistant District Representatives or your District Representative.

NRLCA District Representative
Alaska & Seattle
Joyce Patteson
P. O. Box 1005
Selah, WA 98942-4005
Phone - (509)580-0043
Fax - (509)210-2614

NRLCA District Representative
Portland District
Monte Hartshorn
P.O. 321
Castle Rock WA 98611-0321
Phone - (509) 315-7670


Interested in becoming a Rural Academy Trainer?
This position is only open to Regular Rural Carriers in the Portland District

Vacancy Announcement for August 1-September 1 Click Here

Vacancy Announcement for September 1- October 1 Click Here

To Print out an Application Click Here
The following MOUs have been extended between the Postal Service and the NRLCA until September 25, 2020:

Temporary Paid Sick Leave for RCAs
Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID 19
Temporary Expanded Scheduling of Assistant Rural Carriers(ARC)
Temporary Workplace Changes to Promote Social Distancing -COVID-19
Scheduling of Regular Rural Carriers on Sundays and on other Rural Routes

For more information or to read about each of the temporary MOUs please visit the NRLCA website at NRLCA.org


Your National Board and NSS representative(s) have received numerous concerns pertaining to carriers working in close proximity in offices across the country. Your National Board agrees that the social distancing recommendations of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are important measures which should be practiced as much as possible to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Some of those social distancing recommendations for the workplace include increasing physical space between workers, staggering work schedules, limiting large work-related gatherings and reducing or eliminating travel. With that in mind, the NRLCA and the USPS have agreed to a MOU with temporary changes to promote social distancing. The terms of this MOU will minimize the possibility of exposure to the coronavirus or the possibility of unknowingly spreading the coronavirus to a larger portion of the workforce.
The changes are limited to those listed in the MOU. There should be no other contractual or work rule changes associated with this MOU. It is important that the local parties (i.e., district representatives, local stewards and postmasters, or their designees), immediately discuss potential scheduling and office set up changes which would create a work environment that promotes social distancing. It is imperative that if staggering work schedules are considered, the lower evaluated routes, i.e., auxiliary routes be scheduled later in the morning. Communication with the carrier(s) is important prior to changing reporting times to keep from disrupting their personal situations such as day care or other time sensitive responsibilities to the extent possible.
To read the MOU in its entirety please visit NRLCA.org. If you have questions or your office intends to implement any of these changes please notify your local steward, Assistant District Representative or District Representative.


MESSAGE from Joyce Patteson NRLCA Distirict Representative:
It is the responsibility of each post office, station, and/or branch to provide adequate disinfectant cleaning supplies (including disinfectant wipes) gloves, masks and hand sanitizer. If your office is failing to provide you with the above mentioned items please send an email to Joyce.Patteson@nrlca.org. We need to ensure the safety of our rural carrier family and other employees as well.
Take care, be safe, be well, and protect yourself.
Joyce Patteson


With the passage of the recent stimulus bill, it became apparent that the White House and our Legislators do not really think postal workers are truly essential. Instead of the nearly $30 billion that postal management and the unions requested to keep the Post Office afloat, all the stimulus bill had for us was to raise the amount the Post Office can borrow by $10 billion. NRLCA President Ronnie Stutts, on a conference call with myself and all the other state presidents, indicated how disappointing this "help" is, and is urging all rural carriers to immediately flood our Senators and Representatives with calls demanding that the Post Office receive the necessary assistance to continue to do our "essential" jobs. I have copied below a sample script that members can use when calling: Representative/Senator, As a constituent and postal employee, I am very disappointed Congress failed to help the USPS. During this unprecedented time, it has become clear that the Postal Service and its employees are essential to the economy and the American public. We are at the forefront of this pandemic, delivering testing kits, prescription medicines, and basic necessities all while trying to keep ourselves and our families safe. It was disheartening to see that you would provide billions of dollars in financial relief that benefits huge corporations but ignore the Postal Service and its employees. Call the U.S. Capitol operator to be directed to your Senator or Representative at 202-224-3121. What the sample script does not mention, and that you could certainly add, is that we are also currently involved in the vital census counting, and that more than half of the country votes by mail, which could have a major impact on them getting re-elected. There are estimates that without some real help, the Post Office could be insolvent by June, and where would that leave our rural customers, for many of whom we are their only lifeline in these times? Our jobs are in jeopardy. Make those calls, now. Our voices must be heard.
Kurt Eckrem, WARLCA President


Hello WARLCA members, The National Office has advised the State Boards today (March 16, 2020) that it is also appropriate for local units to postpone their meetings to a later date. The Board has therefore decided that postponing the county meetings is the best course of action. The Board is asking that the current County Officers continue in their position until a county meeting is safe to be held, following all DOL guidelines on advance meeting notices. Those county officers that have reserved venues for your county meeting should cancel those reservations. There is so much conflicting information going around right now, and that adds to the confusion and uncertainty. Many of you are worried about your friends and family, as well as your jobs. We urge you to frequently check at nrlca.org for any updates that might impact your workplace, and that you take those precautions you find necessary to keep yourself and your family healthy. As more information becomes available, we will pass it along. Thank you and stay strong. Your WARLCA State Board To access the WARLCA website, click HERE.

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