August 03, 2020
Statement from NALC on Service Issues
The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) thanks the American people for their long-term support and appreciation of the service our members provide to homes and businesses throughout the country. Letter carriers value their relationship with the public, and take great pride in serving their customers.
As they risk their health each day along with other front-line essential workers, letter carriers have become angry, frustrated and embarrassed by various USPS management initiatives that are now resulting in delayed mail and undelivered routes in many areas of the country.
The Postal Service must provide reliable service to postal customers, particularly during the pandemic when our role is more essential than ever. We will continue our engagement with Postal Service management and Congress as we work through a transition in USPS governance, the effects of COVID-19 and the consequent need for financial relief.
We appreciate the patience, support and continued confidence of the
As this issue of the Speaks goes to press it has been approximately five months since the first Coronavirus COVID 19 case was reported in Michigan. What a difference five months make. Since that first case was reported here in Michigan, there have been over 5 million infections reported and 164,000 deaths nationwide. The world has been turned upside down and inside out. As the COVID 19 Pandemic has swept across the country it has affected the way we live, both at home and at work. What used to be a
routine trip to pick up some groceries or go to work or having a family member visit is now a process of adhering to CDC protocols and Executive orders, wear a mask, keep socially distant, and make sure to disinfect or wash your hands. While some are advising that we must adjust to the “new normal” I believe a better term would be the “new abnormal”. It makes no sense to argue the science (to mask or not to mask) the numbers of affected or infected don’t lie. The challenge we face going forward is how do we adjust to the “new abnormal” period we find ourselves in.
Here at the Branch Office we have tried to maintain a semblance of normalcy while still adhering to the Executive orders from the Governor as well as adhering to the CDC guidelines. While we have had to cancel our monthly Branch meetings since April and our Branch activities that we had planned for the year, we still have been able to keep the Branch office staffed since the beginning of the COVID crisis and have maintained our membership services without missing a beat. While we have been able to keep pace with OWCP claims and retirement counseling it has been at a distance telephonically. We continue to have our twice monthly stewards meeting and our monthly Executive Board meetings via teleconference. While we continue hope for the best regarding a time when we can all meet together again, we have been exploring possible options for alternative ways to conduct meetings. Until that time we will continue to follow the science and the Governor’s office for the all clear.
With events changing so rapidly with the COVID 19 crisis as well as its impact on the United States Postal Service we have chosen to run President Rolando’s statements regarding the crisis in our last two editions. The information from President Rolando were very comprehensive and addressed the very latest information and news that the membership needed to know. This month we are running on the front page the statement from the national office regarding service issues we are currently facing. One of the challenges in putting out a newsletter is to make sure the information that the members need and depend on is timely, in that regard I would encourage all members to monitor the NALC website as well as signing up for the NALC app for the latest and most current late breaking news and useful information. It can be accessed in mere seconds with a
tap on your hand held device or cell phone. With that being said I will attempt to go over the very latest news from the national office.
On July 16th the national office received notice from the USPS that they intended to roll out a new delivery test initiative called (ESAS) Expedited Street/Afternoon Sortation. This test is being implemented unilaterally without input or participation from the NALC. ESAS is similar to the old (EPM) or Expedited Preferential Mail Program that was widely used some years ago and still can be found in the handbooks and manuals, it involves the casing of non-preferential mail in the afternoon after completing your street duties. The stated purpose of the test is to determine if the EPM program can be enhanced
by further reducing the morning office time, and get carriers to the street sooner. On July 25th the Trenton office became the only station in the Branch at this time that is part of the test. We will be closely monitoring the test and its results; the national office has filed a national level grievance regarding the unilateral implementation of the test.
The national office has reported that all COVID-19 MOUs have been extended till the end of September. These agreements cover a wide range of issues including:
For more information regarding these and other workplace changes go to the NALC web site www.nalc.org.
On August 6, during our teleconference with Region 6 we were informed by President Rolando that the USPS plans to roll out another new initiative called (SER) Sorting Equipment Rationalization. This initiative is being rolled out to review, evaluate,
and optimize the utilization of post office sortation equipment. This initiative allegedly will reduce the physical footprint in the office and create more space for packages, while reducing every assignment down to one piece of equipment. We are following the implementation of this program closely and have addressed the process with our stewards, regarding the case configuration requirements per the M-41 and M-39 and the mandatory requirements that management “perform carrier consultations” before any
changes are implemented.
Finally, I would like to thank you all for your hard work and dedication to the USPS and to the American public for which you continue to deliver and serve. Please continue to work safely, and make sure you are taking the necessary precautions for your safety and that of your family as well.
-- Mark Judd