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
Open season is here, and shopping for health insurance during an ongoing global pandemic may be as important as ever.
With 276 plan options for 2021, participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program have no shortage of choices.
For the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), participants will see 12 dental and five vision options for next year.
The sheer number can be overwhelming, and it’s often why few federal employees take advantage of open season. Less than 10% of federal employees typically change their health insurance plans during a given year.
For the most part, your enrollment in FEHB or FEDVIP will continue automatically with little to no interruptions.
But if you are thinking about making a change, now is the time to act. This year’s open season runs from Nov. 9 through Dec. 14. It’s generally the one opportunity a year you’ll have to enroll or make changes to your health, dental and vision plans.
COVID UPDATE ON MASK
To protect principles of seniority, the parties agree to a conversion date of May 8, 2021, for CCAs with 24 months of relative standing on March 8, 2021 and those that reach 24 months of relative standing after March 8, 2021, but on or before April 9, 2021.
PTF/CCA SENIORITY LIST 5/17/21
COVID-19 Awareness and PreventWe are not out of the woods yet
FUTURE NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
73rd National Convention in Chicago Aug. 8-12, 2022
On Sept. 9, President Biden issued two executive orders regarding COVID-19 vaccines. One requires all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the other requires all federal contractors to be vaccinated.
In addition to these executive orders, President Biden also announced that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week.
“If we raise our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masking and expanded testing, and identify people who are infected, we can and we will turn the tide on COVID-19,” President Biden said.
Currently, it is unclear how the executive orders and emergency rule will affect letter carriers and the Postal Service. As more information becomes available, NALC will review and bargain over any rulings that affect our members.
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.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available at locations across the country, mostly through state or local governments, medical facilities, and pharmacies. For example, CVS Caremark is now offering COVID-19 vaccinations in thousands of CVS pharmacy locations around the country. No matter where you live, there is likely a CVS pharmacy near you. Getting vaccinated at CVS is fast and free for all letter carriers.
At CVS, the vaccination will come at no cost to you regardless of what health insurance plan you have, or even if you have no health insurance. To schedule a vaccination appointment at a CVS Pharmacy near you or for more information, click here.
You may also walk-in to CVS pharmacies to receive the vaccination without making an appointment. Please bring your insurance card or photo ID with you.
Through September 30, active letter carriers can use Employee Federal Emergency Leave (EFEL) to take off from work and get vaccinated. When requesting this leave, you need to submit a completed PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence and a COVID-19 Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) Employee Notification and Leave Request Form. You will also need to submit a signed Employee Agreement in Connection with Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) if this is your first use of EFEL. For more information on EFEL and for the forms mentioned above, click here.
Vaccinations are proven to be the most effective defense against COVID-19. Scheduling an appointment or receiving the vaccination only takes a few minutes, is free to all letter carriers, and does not require you to use your personal leave. If you have specific questions about vaccinations related to your individual health circumstances, please consult a healthcare professional.
By joint agreement (M-01958), several COVID related memorandums of understanding have been further extended through September 30, 2021. 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 the suspension of MOU Re: Temporary Additional Paid Leave for CCAs (M-01941).
NALC and the Postal Service also agreed, to another temporary time limit extension on Step B and arbitration appeals (M-01960), and an agreement giving local parties the ability to 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-01959). Both of these agreements will expire on September 30, 2021, as well.
Also extended through September 30, 2021, is a 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. 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 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.
By joint agreement (M-01951), several COVID-19 related memorandums of understanding have been further extended through August 6, 2021. 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 the suspension of MOU Re: Temporary Additional Paid Leave for CCAs (M-01941).
NALC and the Postal Service also agreed, to another temporary time limit extension on Step B and arbitration appeals (M-01953),
and an agreement giving local parties the ability to 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-01952). Both of these agreements will expire on August 6, 2021, as well.
Also extended through August 6, 2021, is a 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. 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 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.
Today, Senate Committee Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) and Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan Postal Service Reform Act of 2021 (S. 1720), a bill that aims to provide financial and operational stability to the Postal Service. The bill mirrors H.R. 3076, which was introduced by House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) and advanced out of committee last week.
Including Peters and Portman, original cosponsors of the bill include 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans including: Tom Carper (D-DE), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Shelley Capito (R-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Steve Daines (R-MT), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Thomas Tillis (R-NC).
With the makeup of the Senate being evenly split 50-50 and legislation needing 60 votes to pass, having 10 original Republican cosponsors is an important accomplishment. If all remaining Democrats support this important legislation, this bill could be signed into law.
Just like the House bill, S. 1720 would repeal the mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund decades’ worth of health benefits for its future retirees, which was enacted through the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006, embracing the bipartisan USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 695 and S. 145). In addition, the legislation maximizes participation in Medicare once active postal employees (as of January 1, 2023) retire and reach age 65. Annuitants as of January 1, 2023 will be given the choice of whether to remain in the existing FEHBP system or participate in the postal version of the program that requires enrollment in Medicare Parts A and B – and retirees over the age of 65 who have chosen not to enroll in Medicare Part B will be given a one-time opportunity to do so with no late-enrollment penalty. Annuitants who elect to remain in the existing FEHBP will not be required to enroll in Medicare. NALC also successfully lobbied to ensure exceptions to the requirement to enroll in Medicare for those covered under other insurance arrangements (such as the VA) and for those who live in a place where there are not Medicare-participating providers.
S. 1720 also includes language that requires the Postal Service to maintain “integrated” delivery of both mail and packages six days a week. If this bill becomes law, the six-day requirement would be a statutory mandate. Since 1983, the policy mandate to deliver mail six days a week has had to be renewed annually in the appropriations process. This bill would eliminate the need for the annual fight to maintain this mandate.
In addition, the bill: requires the Postal Service to provide semi-annual reports to Congress on the implementation of its 10-year strategic plan; provides for a public dashboard using nationwide delivery metrics to track delivery performance; directs the Postal Service to use the most efficient means to transport mail, likely moving from air to ground; mandates a Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) review of competitive and non-competitive products and a study of nationwide processing efficiency of flats (magazines and catalogs); provides the PRC with independent budget authority through the Postal Fund, preventing it from being directly impacted by sequestration/shutdowns; provides a special postage discount for newspapers; and consolidates the Postal Service’s and the PRC’s Inspectors General into a single office.
“Millions of Americans and Michiganders, including seniors, veterans, and small business owners, rely on the Postal Service to deliver. For decades, the Postal Service has struggled to overcome unfair and burdensome financial requirements that risk its ability to continue providing reliable service in the long run," said Chairman Peters. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation would help put the Postal Service on a sustainable financial footing, ensure it is more transparent and accountable to the American people, and support hardworking postal workers who deliver rain or shine to communities all across the country."
“While its role in American life has changed over the years, the United States Postal Service remains a key part of American life, serving Americans through its delivery of vital medicines, important packages, and other mail,” said Ranking Member Portman. “For that reason, I am proud to join Senator Peters in introducing the Postal Service Reform Act of 2021, which will, when coupled with the Postal Service’s transformative 10-year plan, help turn around the substantial losses at the Postal Service over the last decade and ensure self-sustaining, high-quality postal service for all Americans."
“NALC appreciates Chairman Peters and Ranking Member Portman’s introduction of this important legislation in the Senate,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando. “NALC recognizes the Senators who have put partisan tensions aside to show strong support for this bipartisan legislation that is crucial to help restore financial and operational stability to the Postal Service.”
Please contact your representatives and Senators and ask them to support this important legislation by becoming a cosponsor and urging immediate House and Senate passage.
To see if your member of Congress is a cosponsor of H.R. 3076, click here.
To see if your Senator is a cosponsor of S. 1720, click here.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 signed into law on March
11, 2021, provides an important new leave benefit for letter carriers
affected by COVID-19. Effective March 12, it establishes a new category
of leave called Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL). EFEL is
available to all federal employees if they experience a Covid-19 related
absence which qualifies under the provisions of the Act. For the
current USPS guidance on EFEL leave entitlements, the qualifying
reasons, and the procedures for this requesting leave, click here.
Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) started on March 12, 2012 and
will end September 30, 2021 is to give Federal Employees up to 600 hours
of paid leave to be disperse under the law till exhausted to cover
those due to COVID-19 from vaccines to care. There is a letter being
sent out by the USPS in which everyone that needed time off for the
vaccine needs to fill it out. Please send it back ASAP before the
deadline date using the information off you vaccination card. You can
track back the dates needed for the form on LITEBLUE.
The active membership of the National Association of Letter Carriers has overwhelmingly ratified the tentative 2019-2023 National Agreement with the United States Postal Service. Over 94% of participating eligible members voted to accept the tentative agreement that was announced on November 25. The vote to ratify was 60,111 to accept the agreement versus 3,341 to reject it, as reported by NALC’s Ballot Committee chairman Delano Wilson of Silver Spring, MD Branch 2611. The fifteen-member Ballot Committee monitored and observed the dispatch, receipt, and tabulation of the Ratification Ballot conducted by an independent company, MOSAIC of Cheverly, MD.
NALC will officially notify USPS of the March 8 ratification date.
Information on back pay and the implementation of the new contract will be released as soon as possible.
The new contract covers a 44-month term from September 20, 2019, to May 20, 2023.
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.