Welcome to our Flushing Letter Carriers
NALC Branch 294 Website
NALC Branch 294 Website
NALC Br. 294 President Tony Paolillo
Welcome Brothers and Sisters to the Home of the
National Association of Letter Carriers Flushing Branch 294
This website provides our members with the latest News, Membership Information, Resources and Upcoming Events. Keeping abreast of current developments that concern our livelihoods, knowing your rights and being proactive is paramount to a strong Union that only through Solidarity can preserve the rights and benefits we fought so hard to attain.
United We Stand,
Branch President Tony Paolillo
NEW TO OUR RESOURCE PAGE
We have added some new links to OPM as well as Book Book information scrap forms to prepare for your retirement. You'll also find links to Social Security and our Thrift Savings Plan as well as a Financial Advisor to help plan out your retirement and your life after you leave the USPS.
Today, President Biden signed the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 (H.R. 3076) into law. The president’s signature comes after the bill passed with massive bipartisan majorities in the House in February and in the Senate in March.
Annette Taylor, an NALC member who delivered mail for 32 years, introduced President Biden at the signing ceremony. Taylor, who served in the Air Force for eight years before beginning her career as a letter carrier, previously served as the president, vice president and recording secretary of Alexandria, VA Branch 567. She is the current vice president of the Maryland State Association of Letter Carriers.
“NALC is proud to have contributed to the efforts over the last 12 years that resulted in this bipartisan legislation that brings us together today,” Taylor said. “This legislation will help position the USPS to provide the service that the American people deserve. Mr. President, the Postal Service is an essential facilitator of our democracy and our economy. We know there is more to do to secure its long-term viability, but today is a huge step forward. My union stands ready to assist you.”
“With this bill, we're repealing the pre-funding mandate and setting the Postal Service on a more sustainable and stable financial footing,” President Biden said. “We're guaranteeing that the mail will continue to be delivered six days a week. And the bill increases transparency by requiring the Postal Service to develop an online public dashboard updated weekly with local and national service performance data. Today, we enshrine in law our recognition that the Postal Service is fundamental to our economy, to our democracy, to our health, and the very sense of who we are as a nation.”
“After 12 years of fighting for meaningful postal reform, NALC is gratified to see President Biden sign this bill into law,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “I would like to thank every NALC member who helped us get here. Your solidarity and activism were instrumental in this bill’s path to becoming law.
“I would also like to commend the bipartisan work on this bill that was led by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY), Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH). This legislation will put the Postal Service in a better position to grow and adapt to the evolving needs of America’s households and businesses.
“Today, we celebrate this historic victory for letter carriers, the Postal Service and all Americans who depend on our universal service. We look forward to continuing working with members of Congress and the Biden Administration on reforms that will further strengthen the Postal Service and improve the work and lives of our members.”
A video of the signing ceremony is available here.
By joint agreement (M-01976), several COVID-19 related memorandums of understanding have been further extended through May 6, 2022. These memoranda include: temporary expanded sick leave for dependent care (M-01910); temporary use of the 7:01 rule (M-01913); temporary workplace changes to promote social distancing (M-01915); temporary use of TCAs (M-01916); and reinstatement of temporary additional paid leave for CCAs (M-01965).
NALC and the Postal Service also agreed to another temporary time limit extension on Step B and arbitration appeals (M-01977), and an agreement giving local parties the ability to mutually develop a sign-up process for full-time employees who previously did not, or could not, place their names on either the overtime desired list or work assignment list (M-01978). Both of these agreements will expire on May 6, 2022.
USPS memorandum (M-01914), which instructs managers and supervisors to allow liberal changes of schedule to accommodate employees who are dealing with childcare issues related to the pandemic has been extended through April 18, 2022. The memorandum also provides for liberal sick leave usage for employees who are sick and liberal annual and leave without pay (LWOP) to the extent operationally feasible, treats COVID-19 related leave as scheduled (as opposed to unscheduled) leave, and directs that leave taken for COVID-19 related reasons during this time may not be cited in discipline for failing to maintain an assigned schedule.
Each of the MOUs and the USPS directive can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System on the NALC website.
The NALC and the Postal Service have agreed to a memorandum of understanding (M-01979) that increases the maximum allowable annual leave carryover amounts outlined in the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM). For leave year 2023, regular work force career employees covered by the USPS-NALC National Agreement may carry over 520 hours of accumulated annual leave from leave year 2022 to leave year 2023. Provisions in the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) regarding payment of accumulated leave are not changed as a result of this MOU, which expires December 31, 2023.
This MOU can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System on the NALC website.
“America’s letter carriers applaud the 79 members of the U.S. Senate who voted to pass the Postal Reform Act last night, following its adoption by the House of Representatives with a massive bipartisan majority in February.
We express our deep gratitude to Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), the chair and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, for marshalling a huge bipartisan majority for the reform bill and for working with Democrats and Republicans in the House to craft the legislation. H.R. 3076 was a sensible set of reforms that all four corners of Congress could enthusiastically support.
The successful adoption of the bill reflects years of steady work by NALC members and staff to build consensus among postal stakeholders and members of Congress – as well as the overwhelming support of the American people who have long embraced the Postal Service as a national treasure. We thank our fellow postal unions, the mailing industry and postal management for working together on this effort. The resulting legislation, which repeals the unfair prefunding mandate for retiree health benefits put in place in 2006 and secures the continuation of six-day delivery, puts the USPS in a position to grow and adapt to meet the evolving needs of America’s households and businesses.
Looking ahead, we will continue our efforts to ensure that postal management properly staffs the city carrier craft so that we may once again provide the highest quality of service to our customers throughout the country. And we also look forward to working with the Biden Administration to pursue further administrative and legislative reforms to achieve fair and effective postal pension policies that will further strengthen the agency.
The bill passed last night – with President Biden’s anticipated
signature – is a giant step forward in the NALC’s ongoing efforts to
secure a brilliant future for one of America’s oldest and most essential
NALC strives to keep letter carriers informed and as safe as possible. To help letter carriers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, a new COVID-19 guide that includes current tools and procedures is now available.
This guide is designed to keep letter carriers safe in the workplace.
It is a compilation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) recommendations and Postal Service policies, which the USPS states
are based on CDC guidance. Recommendations and policies are subject to
change as the pandemic evolves. The guide will be updated online as
City Carrier Wage Schedule effective Feb. 26, 2022
The Postal Service has advised NALC that the PTF hourly rates in the new City Carrier Wage Schedule, effective Feb. 26, 2022, are not expected to be fully implemented until March 26, 2022 (Pay Period 8).
The Postal Service has also advised NALC that any backpay due to the delay in implementing the additional hourly holiday pay for eligible Part-time Flexible City Letter Carriers will be paid retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022.
Each year, the leave year begins with the first day of the first complete pay period in a calendar year and ends on the day before the first day of the first complete pay period in the following calendar year. For 2022, the leave year began Jan. 1, 2022 (Pay Period 02-22) and ends Jan. 13, 2023 (Pay Period 02-23) for a total of 27 pay periods.
Therefore, employees may earn one additional pay period’s worth of annual leave during the 2022 leave year as compared to the typical 26 pay period leave year. For a full-time employee, the extra pay period amount will be 4, 6, or 8 hours, depending on the employee’s leave earning category. Part-time letter carriers earn leave based on the number of work hours during the pay period up to the same amount of leave earned by full-time employees. CCAs are credited with one hour of annual leave for each twenty hours spent in a pay status during each biweekly pay period.
Although employees may earn one additional pay period’s worth of
annual leave during leave year 2022, the annual leave carryover maximums
will not increase because of it. Employees must use any annual leave in
excess of the carryover limit that applies to them by the end of leave
year 2022 (Jan. 13, 2023) or they will forfeit the hours of annual leave
that are in excess of their carryover limit. Any additional leave
earned by CCAs will be paid out when they take their mandatory break in
service between appointments.
The fifth regular cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for career letter carriers under the 2019-2023 National Agreement is $1,331 annually following the release of the January Consumer Price Index. This increase will be added to every step in Table 1 and Step O in Table 2, and then applied proportionately to Steps A through N in Table 2. The increase will be effective on Feb. 26.
Click here to view the updated paychart.
NALC has filed an interpretive dispute over the Postal Service’s method of calculating overtime pay, Sunday premium pay, general wage increases, and cost of living adjustments (COLAs) for part-time flexible employees in Step AA. This dispute centers around Article 9 Section 8 and Article 11 Section 7 of the 2019 National Agreement and how they interact with each other.
Article 9 Section 8 states “[t]he Step AA Hourly Basic Rate will be equal to Step A of the Full-Time/Part-Time Regular Employees Hourly Basic Rate in Table Two.” Although, at the start of the term of the current collective bargaining agreement, the Postal Service paid this amount to Step AA PTFs for straight time, NALC discovered that it used a lower hourly rate to calculate overtime and Sunday premiums.
NALC’s position is that their overtime, and Sunday premium pay should be the same as FTR/PTR Step A.
When PTF Step AA went into effect, the hourly basic rate was $19.88. However, the Postal Service manufactured a new lower annual rate which generated a lower hourly rate of $19.12 as a base for calculating the overtime and Sunday premium for carriers in PTF Step AA. This resulted in PTFs in Step AA to be under paid by $1.15 for each hour of regular overtime and $0.19 for each straight time hour worked on a Sunday. This error has been compounded over time and now sits at $1.21 for regular overtime and $0.20 for Sunday premium after the release of the January COLA effective February 26.
Additionally, the Postal Service is calculating general wage increases and COLAs for PTFs in Step AA using its manufactured lower annual rate. This includes falsely creating and using a lower proportion of COLA. This has resulted in an hourly rate for PTF Step AA which no longer equals FTR/PTR Step A. This deviation will continue to compound over time as more general wage increases and COLAs are received.
Furthermore, with the addition of the Juneteenth National Independence Day holiday, the Postal Service’s misapplication of Article 11.7 is creating an even larger straight time hourly rate deviation between PTF Step AA and FTR/PTR Step A.
The grievance is currently scheduled for national arbitration before Arbitrator Dennis Nolan on April 21.
5th Contract COLA: $1,331
The fifth regular COLA under the 2019-2023 National Agreement is
$1,331 following the release of the January 2022 Consumer Price Index.
On February 10, 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W, 1967=100) stood at 823.000 in January, 77.624 points above the base level of 745.376 in July 2019. The 5th COLA stood at 64 cents per hour or $1,331 annually.
The sixth COLA will be based on the increase in the CPI-W between the base index month and July 2022, less any previously calculated COLAs, and will be payable the second full pay period following the release of the July 2022 index. The five COLAs that have been calculated under the 2019-2023 National Agreement, totaling 194 cents per hour, are as follows: 1st COLA, 8 cents per hour ($166 annually), 2nd COLA, 9 cents per hour ($188 annually), 3rd COLA, 20 cents per hour ($416 annually), the 4th COLA, 93 cents per hour ($1,934 annually), and the 5th COLA, 64 cents per hour ($1,331 annually).
2023 Retiree COLAs Projection: 2.9% as of January 2022
The 2023 COLAs for CSRS and FERS benefits are based on the increase in the average CPI-W between the 3rd quarter of 2021 (268.421) and the 3rd quarter of 2022 (TBA).
Based on the January 2022 CPI-W (1982-84) of 276.296, the 2023 CSRS and FERS COLAs are currently projected to be 2.9%. The 2023 retiree COLA calculation will be finalized in October 2022 with the release of the CPI-W for September 2022.
CSRS annuities receive full COLAs; COLAs for FERS annuities are payable for retirees 62 and older and may be reduced by up to one percentage point from the increase in the CPI.
2023 FECA COLA Projection: 0.9% as of January 2022
Based on the release of the January 2022 CPI-W (1982-84=100), the 2022 FECA COLA projection is 0.9%. The January 2022 CPI-W of 276.296 was 0.9% above the December 2021 base index (276.296). The 2023 FECA COLA calculation will be finalized when the December 2022 CPI-W is published during the month of January 2023.
FECA COLAs are applicable only in cases where death or disability occurred more than one year prior to the adjustment’s effective date.
- It would repeal the mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund decades’ worth of retiree health benefit premiums, a mandate that applies to no other federal agency or private company.
- It would require that the Postal Service deliver mail and packages at least six days a week.
Additionally, the legislation would reform the Federal Employees
Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) to maximize its integration with Medicare
for future postal annuitants, beginning on January 1, 2025. Over time,
this will reduce any increases in FEHBP premiums for USPS, postal
employees and future postal annuitants as health care costs rise. This
updated explanation of the health care provisions of H.R. 3076 (and the
identical Senate bill S. 1720) reflects modest changes made to the
original bill introduced in 2021.
Under the legislation, postal employees and annuitants would continue to take part in what would be a restructured FEHBP program. All the major plans now available to participants – Blue Cross Blue Shield, the NALC HBP, Kaiser, etc. – would continue to be offered to postal employees and retirees as a postal-only version of their FEHBP plans within FEHBP. While the benefits would remain the same, the premiums would be significantly reduced because postal participants would be placed in a separate risk pool with new rules related to Medicare enrollment.
The new legislation would not change a current postal annuitant’s right to decide whether they want to enroll in Medicare. Nor would this right to decide about Medicare change for any active postal employee who retires before January 1, 2025, or for any active employee at least 64 years of age as of January 1. 2025.
Active employees under the age of 64 as of January 1, 2025, would (when both retired and at least age 65) enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, absent the exceptions discussed below. Currently, around 90% of postal annuitants enroll in Medicare Part A (hospital services) and around 80% are voluntarily enrolled in Medicare Part B (medical services).
While there are no premiums for Medicare Part A, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B in 2022 is $170.10 per month, a figure that is set each calendar year by the federal government to cover 25% percent of the program’s cost. The reason the vast majority of Medicare eligible (age 65 and older) annuitants already choose to enroll in Medicare Parts A & B when they turn age 65 is because doing so virtually eliminates any out-of-pocket health care costs (deductibles, co-payments, etc.) under the FEHBP program, thereby reducing the uncertainty about rising health care costs as they age.
The postal-only plans in FEHBP will be regulated and run in the same
way current FEHBP plans are today. There will be an annual Open Season
that will allow participants to choose among a range of plans with
separate rates for postal and non-postal participants. Indeed,
many annuitants use the Open Season to select plans that work best with
their Medicare coverage, once they obtain that coverage.
There are reasons why some Medicare eligible annuitants don’t wish to enroll in Medicare Part B. Some don’t need it because they have alternative coverage such as through the Veterans Administration. Others live in areas without Medicare providers. Still others, who didn’t enroll at age 65 and later wish they had as their health care costs rise, don’t do so because there is a 10% per year increase in premiums for every year enrollment is delayed after first eligibility.
NALC lobbied aggressively for the inclusion of special exceptions that are contained in the legislation. Future postal annuitants who do not need Medicare because of coverage by the Veterans Administration or by another non-FEHBP program or who cannot use Medicare because they live in a place (for example, overseas) without Medicare providers would be allowed to keep their postal FEHBP coverage without enrolling in Medicare.
We also worked to include a provision to give current annuitants who
did not enroll in Medicare Part B when first eligible, but who now wish
to do so, a one-time opportunity to enroll in Part B without the 10% per
year late enrollment penalty that currently applies. Under the
legislation, the Postal Service would pay that penalty for the annuitant
(and their spouses).
By joint agreement (M-01972), several COVID-19 related memorandums of understanding have been further extended through April 8, 2022. These memoranda include: temporary expanded sick leave for dependent care (M-01910); temporary use of the 7:01 rule (M-01913); temporary workplace changes to promote social distancing (M-01915); temporary use of TCAs (M-01916); and reinstatement of temporary additional paid leave for CCAs (M-01965).
NALC and the Postal Service also agreed to another temporary time limit extension on Step B and arbitration appeals (M-01973), and an agreement giving local parties the ability to mutually develop a sign-up process for full-time employees who previously did not, or could not, place their names on either the overtime desired list or work assignment list (M-01974). Both of these agreements will expire on April 8, 2022.
Also extended through April 8, 2022, is a USPS memorandum (M-01914), which instructs managers and supervisors to allow liberal changes of schedule to accommodate employees dealing with childcare issues related to the pandemic. The memorandum also provides for liberal sick leave usage for employees who are sick and liberal annual and leave without pay (LWOP) to the extent operationally feasible, treats COVID-19 related leave as scheduled (as opposed to unscheduled) leave, and directs that leave taken for COVID-19 related reasons during this time may not be cited in discipline for failing to maintain an assigned schedule.
Each of the MOUs and the USPS directive can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System on the NALC website.
Most eligible city letter carriers will receive retroactive pay pursuant to the 2019-2023 National Agreement on their August 20 paychecks. Backpay for some former city carrier assistants that were converted to career status between November 23, 2019 and April 9, 2021 must be calculated manually, resulting in a delay in payment. This issue was discovered during a recent quality check of the process. We are discussing the issue with representatives from USPS Headquarters. As soon as additional information is available, it will be posted here on the NALC website.
Backpay is calculated for all paid hours between November 23, 2019 (the date of the first general wage increase in the Agreement) and April 9, 2021 (the day before new pay rates were implemented as explained here). The following pay increases will be included in the retroactive pay from the effective date indicated for each:
For career city carriers:
- 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 23, 2019
- $166 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 29, 2020
- $188 Cost of Living Adjustment effective August 29, 2020
- 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 21, 2020
- $416 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 27, 2021
*Cost of living increases referenced above are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement.
For City Carrier Assistants:
- 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 23, 2019
- 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 21, 2020
*City carrier assistants receive the additional 1.0% increases referenced above in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.
Retired and separated employees that worked during the backpay period will be paid by check mailed to their last work location. Retroactive pay adjustments for now retired letter carriers may result in adjustments to annuities. The Office of Personnel Management will make any necessary annuity adjustments.
Fourth COLA is $1,934
The fourth regular Cost of Living Adjustment under the 2019-2023 National Agreement will be $1,934 annually for letter carriers in Table 1 and at Step O of Table 2. Cost of living increases are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement. This adjustment will be effective August 28 and reflected in paychecks dated September 17.
City carrier assistants will receive additional 1.0% increases effective November 20, 2021 and November 19, 2022 in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.
The new pay rates can be seen in the new letter carrier pay schedule available here.
President - Tony Paolillo
Vice President - Harry Carney
Secretary - Keith Bates
Financial Secretary - Ron Oree
Treasurer - Phil Khan
Assistant Secretary Treasurer - Gerry Tripp
Director of City Delivery - Michael Moore
Director of Retirees - Clara Sarmiento
Editor - Andy Fontanetta
Sergeant at Arms - Todd Akelson
Trustee - Ivelis Medina
Flushing Letter Carriers
NALC Br. 294 Room 209
61-34 188 Street
Fresh Meadows, N.Y 11365
Office (718) 264-8494 or (718) 264-8495
FAX (718) 294 - 8498
Knights of Columbus
35-79 160th Street
Flushing, N.Y. 11358
Our monthly NALC Br.294 meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month at the Knights of Columbus in Flushing. The Union meeting will start with the Shop Steward meeting at 5PM followed by the General Meeting at 6PM. Food and beverages will be served.