Penalty Overtime Exclusion Period
As referenced in Article 8, sections 4 and 5, of the USPS-NALC national agreement, the Penalty Overtime Exclusion period this year begins pay period 25-19, week 2 (November 30, 2019) and ends week 1 (December 27, 2019). Stewards need to watch and make sure that the possible daily overtime violations are enforced properly as it relates to the article 8 ten-hour mandate versus the 12-hour article 8 mandate.
CCA Uniform Bank
The temperatures have started to drop as the winter months are upon us now in Michigan. Please remember to donate your slightly used uniforms and winter gear to the union hall so that we keep the uniform bank stocked for fellow CCA brothers and sisters
who need the uniforms and winter gear. You can bring your donation into your office and give to your shop steward. He/she will make sure the donation makes it to the union hall. You will receive recognition in the next newsletter for your donation.
2019 Open Season Dates
The 2019 FEHB (Federal Employee Health Benefit) dates are November 11 through Monday, December 9, 2019. If you want to make any changes to your benefits, you must do it within this time frame. The effective date of for any changes or new enrollment you make will be January 1, 2020.
If you’re not signed up already for the NALC Health Benefit Plan, you should take a moment and do a price comparison with other Health Plans for you and your family. You can go to OPM.GOV/healthcare-insurance/compare.
The NALC Health Benefit Plan is a plan that is owned by letter carriers and administered by letter carriers. Every year there are changes that are made to the plan that offer more benefits to our members and their family members, all for the reasonable premiums that our health benefit plan charges. Take the time and do the research to make sure that the NALC Health Benefit Plan fits exactly what you and your family needs.
You can download information about the NALC Health Benefit Plan at nalchbp.org. To join the NALC Health Benefit Plan, you must be eligible for FEHB benefits and be a member of NALC. For current Active Letter Carriers, you have four ways to enroll in the plan:
In summary, I encourage you to take the time to compare health plans and consider the NALC Health Benefit Plan if it works for you and your family. Sign up for a year and if you and your family are not satisfied, you can always choose another plan next Open Season.
Consolidated Casing Update
Over 230 post offices nationwide are scheduled to be test sites for this process, the postal service reported to NALC earlier this year. Phase 1 began in May 2019, Phase 2 began in June 2019, and Phase 3 began in August of 2019.
Under this test, letter carriers are either “casing multiple routes” (Casers) or “delivering on the street for 7 hours and 45 minutes” (Streeters).
NALC filed a lawsuit against the Postal Service on August 29, 2019 in the federal district court in Washington D.C. The suit asked the court to issue an injunction stopping the Postal Service from continuing its Consolidated Casing Initiative until NALC’s pending national level grievance is resolved.
On November 06, 2019, U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg issued his decision which stated that the court lacked jurisdiction to issue the preliminary injunction that NALC requested, which would have halted the Initiative pending the outcome of the national-level arbitration. The arbitration is presently scheduled to begin November 22, before national arbitrator Shyam Das.
“The court reasoned that a preliminary injunction halting an employer action pending arbitration is only warranted when the employer’s action would render the arbitration meaningless. The court concluded that a preliminary injunction was not warranted here because Arbitrator Das will have the authority (if he rules for NALC) to find that the Consolidated Casing Initiative violates the National Agreement and to order USPS to end it.”
So, this wasn’t a total loss for us as carriers. The judge just said that National Arbitrator Das will render a decision for the parties and not a judge.
In the meantime, NALC has committed to the membership by having an “Observer” (a trained NALC Union Official) to take notes every day that Consolidated Casing is continuing in offices around the country. These observers, such as me, take notes on the daily violations that are occurring and then forward our reports to NALC Headquarters, regional offices, and local unions weekly. The local branches file the appropriate grievances based on the reports that are sent in by the NALC Observers.
We will keep you in the loop when there are any additional updates regarding this issue.
Happy Holidays from my family to yours,
-- Walt McGregory
Executive Vice President