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
COVID-19 Awareness and PreventWe are not out of the woods yet
FUTURE NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
73rd National Convention in Chicago Aug. 8-12, 2022
The third regular cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for career letter carriers under the 2019-2023 National Agreement is $416 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 payable retroactive to February 27.This COLA will be included in back pay calculations, which are ongoing. More information on the implementation of the new contract will be released as soon as possible.
The 2019-2023 NALC-USPS National Agreement is now available online by clicking here. The PDF includes bookmarks and hyperlinks to make navigating the document easier. Printed copies will be available in the coming weeks.
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.
The Postal Service has awarded a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense to manufacture a new generation of U.S-built delivery vehicles that will drive the most dramatic modernization of the USPS fleet in three decades.
The historic investment is part of a soon-to-be-released plan the Postal Service has developed to transform its financial performance and customer service during the next decade through significant investments in people, technology and infrastructure as it seeks to become the preferred delivery service provider for the American public.
Under the contract’s initial $482 million investment, Oshkosh Defense, based in Oshkosh, WI, will finalize the production design of the next-generation delivery vehicle (NGDV), a purpose-built, right-hand-drive vehicle for mail and package delivery, and will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of them over 10 years.
The vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains and can be retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies. The initial investment includes plant tooling and build-out for the U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur.
The contract is the first part of a multi-billion-dollar 10-year effort to replace the Postal Service’s delivery vehicle fleet, one of the world’s largest.
The USPS fleet has more than 230,000 vehicles in every class, including commercial-off-the-shelf vehicles. Approximately 190,000 deliver mail six, and often seven, days a week in every U.S. community.
The NGDV, along with other commercial vehicles, will replace and expand the current delivery fleet, which includes many vehicles that have been in service for 30 years.
The first NGDVs are estimated to appear on carrier routes in 2023.
“As the American institution that binds our country together, the U.S. Postal Service can have a bright and modern future if we make investments today that position us for excellence tomorrow,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. “The NGDV program expands our capacity for handling more package volume and supports our carriers with cleaner and more efficient technologies, more amenities, and greater comfort and security as they deliver every day on behalf of the American people.”
The NGDVs will include air conditioning and heating, improved ergonomics and some of the most advanced vehicle technology — including 360-degree cameras, advanced braking and traction control, air bags and a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual and audio warnings.
The vehicles will also have increased cargo capacity to maximize efficiency and better accommodate higher package volumes stemming from the growth of electronic commerce.
“Our fleet modernization also reflects the Postal Service’s commitment to a more environmentally sustainable mix of vehicles,” DeJoy said. “Because we operate one of the largest civilian government fleets in the world, we are committed to pursuing near-term and long-term opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment.”
The Postal Service awarded the Oshkosh Defense contract in accordance with competitive USPS procurement policies after extensive testing of prototype vehicles, evaluation of offered production proposals, and discussions of technical specifications with the offerors.
The award is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, meaning that after an initial dollar commitment, the Postal Service will have the ongoing ability to order more NGDVs over a fixed period of time — in this case, 10 years.
Oshkosh Defense is evaluating which one of its several U.S. manufacturing locations is best suited to produce the NGDV.
Share your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.
Beginning on Jan. 11, every active letter carrier eligible to
vote in the contract ratification election was mailed a copy of the
proposed 2019-2023 National Agreement between NALC and USPS. Mailing of
ballots was completed on Jan. 20.
Included in the mailing is a letter from NALC President Fredric Rolando, a summary of the contract’s provisions, a ballot and secrecy envelope, a return envelope and instructions for casting a vote. For a ballot to be counted, it must be received by noon on Feb. 16.
If you are eligible to vote on the proposed agreement and have not received a ballot by Jan. 25, call NALC Headquarters at 202-662-2836 (9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Eastern Time) to request a replacement ballot. A replacement ballot will be mailed after your eligibility is verified.
“Yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol, just steps from our headquarters, was a disgraceful betrayal of our democracy, our elected officials and the law enforcement personnel who protect them. That it was incited by the outgoing President of the United States makes it all the more appalling. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”
“Letter carriers, like our fellow American citizens, are diverse, opinionated and passionate about their values and politics, which NALC appreciates and celebrates. But a line has been crossed that can never be excused, accepted or repeated.”
“Yesterday, should have been a peaceful and happy day. One on which members of Congress represented their constituents and the will of their states’ voters by formally certifying presidential election results. It should have been a day when dissenting Americans gathered peacefully to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest.”
“Instead, a mob, triggered by a president who refuses to accept the results of our recent election, attempted to thwart the hallmark of our democracy for more than two centuries – the peaceful transfer of power. That is unforgivable.”
“Although it is deeply saddening that four people lost their lives, we can take some solace in the fact that the attack on our democracy utterly failed. After order was restored, a joint session of Congress reconvened and certified the results of the 2020 Election by accepting the votes of the Electoral College. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.”
"We believe President-elect Biden’s record of working with leaders in both parties to make progress and build unity will help us overcome the poisonous partisanship that has plagued our country for so long. I hope every member of our union will join me in doing our part to heal the deep divisions that led to yesterday’s tragedy.”
By joint agreement (M-01932), several COVID related memorandums of understanding have been further extended through March 26, 2021. These memoranda include: temporary expanded sick leave for dependent care (M-01910); temporary additional paid leave for CCAs (M-01911); temporary use of the 7:01 rule (M-01913); temporary workplace changes to promote social distancing (M-01915); and temporary use of TCAs (M-01916).
NALC and the Postal Service also agreed to another temporary time limit extension on Step B and arbitration appeals (M-01933), 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-01934). Both of these agreements will expire on March 26, 2021, as well.
Also extended through March 26, 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.
A press release put out Sunday by the United States Postal Service is full of spin and distortions aimed at influencing public opinion. The National Association of Letter Carriers wants its members to know that we are responding to press inquiries regarding the USPS release as follows:
The release, which addresses the status of negotiations with two unions, contains significant misinformation in a variety of areas. We recognize that the USPS faces major challenges that need to be addressed to secure its future, but this cannot be done responsibly if one party engages in blatant and self-serving attempts to mislead people.
While we have no involvement in these particular negotiations, on a broader level misinformation about important issues must be addressed, lest people accept it as valid. Here are a few examples of the misleading statements.
In what is presented as an objective depiction of the negotiating process with the American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, the Postal Service writes that in the event of an impasse, "An arbitrator determines the final outcome and is not legally required to consider the Postal Service's financial obligations when rendering a decision."
This is nonsense, because arbitrators are required to consider all evidence presented by the parties. Since the USPS always presents information on its financial situation, its finances always are considered. The press release phrasing is a thinly disguised attempt to prompt congressional meddling in the traditional labor-management process by legislation that would insert one-sided language favoring the Postal Service's positions—a terrible precedent. We don't think it's the role of Congress to get involved on behalf of either side, including ours.
The Postal Services spins the issue of eliminating Saturday delivery by claiming that the public favors 5-day delivery over using taxpayer funds and other alternatives. In fact, as the USPS well knows, the Postal Service has not used a dime of taxpayer money for 25 years, and no one is proposing that it do so now.
What is being proposed, both by us and by the Postal Service, is an internal transfer of surplus pension funds to cover the $5.5 billion in annual pre-funding of future retiree health benefits, resulting from a 2006 congressional mandate. No other institution in America, public or private, is obligated to pre-fund future benefits at all, let alone at the aggressive schedule imposed on the USPS by Congress. Nonetheless, if Congress allows the Postal Service to make this transfer of its own money realized from the sale of products and services the financial status of the USPS would improve markedly. How much? Instead of losing money, the Postal Service would have realized a net profit of $700 million the past four years, even with the worst recession in 80 years.
How would the public respond if the question was whether people would rather lose a day of mail service and see 80,000 people thrown into unemployment, to realize a relatively meager savings of at most $3.1 billion annually -- or instead see the Postal Service simply transfer money from one account to another, thereby coming up with $5.5 billion at no cost to taxpayers, and not slashing services or engaging in mass layoffs?
The release says, "The drop in the economy coupled with the shift to digital communications has created the greatest loss in mail volume since the Great Depression. Mail volume peaked at 213 billion pieces in 2006 and plummeted to 170.6 billion in the fiscal year (FY) ending Sept. 30."
Inexplicably left out is the fact that the Postal Service itself projects that mail volume will begin to increase again next year. Just 10 days ago, the USPS stated that it projects mail volume to rise next year, by 1.1 percent, for the first time in four years. Neglecting to include this in the press release is explicable only if the aim is to spin the truth in an effort to achieve other aims.
The Postal Service release also says, "To remain strong into the future, the Postal Service needs to control costs through a flexible workforce to adapt to the nation's changing mailing trends."
We all know what this means - a decrease in quality through transforming the workforce into a collection of temporary employees, rather than maintaining the current high standards of a workforce that the very same press release says has led the public to regard the Postal Service as the most trusted government agency six consecutive years.
Our craft alone, the letter carriers, not only delivers mail in an efficient and professional manner, we look after the elderly on a daily basis, save the lives of customers in medical difficulty, rescue people from fires or automobile accidents, stop crimes and conduct the largest annual food drive in the country. Reducing the quality of the federal government's most trusted workforce, coupled with slashing mail delivery, would be huge mistakes that would damage the USPS.
These various spins, half-truths or outright distortions are no way to inform the public and to have a rational discussion about the best way to secure the future of a great national institution on which 150 million households and businesses rely for mail delivery six days a week. We stand ready to engage in a serious discussion that considers the best interests of the American people.
On behalf of the National Association of Letter Carriers, which represents 285,000 active and retired letter carriers around the country, we congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory today.
This country, like our union, is comprised of diverse and passionate voters ranging from conservative to liberal and everyone in between. As such, it is important that we as a country and a union work to heal divisions and work in unity to ensure that letter carriers and the Postal Service are not only protected, but promoted.
This election and pandemic has shown the importance of the Postal Service network. For the last four years, we’ve had to play defense against attacks from the current administration. Now, it is time to go on the offense for letter carriers in providing Covid-relief to this agency, repealing the mandate to prefund retiree health care and utilizing the network to continue serving the nation.
NALC is excited to continue this important work and stands ready to work with the Biden-Harris administration in the coming months and years.
The National Election Task Force has engaged in several cooperative and productive meetings to discuss communication, operational needs and potential issue resolution. We have made progress in continuing past policies and efforts as well as developing additional protocols and commitments to ensure that election mail is handled appropriately. We also produced a video with Postmaster General DeJoy to outline our goals.
In the initial meetings, the Task Force was fully briefed on the Postal Service’s months-long preparation for the November election, which included dramatically increasing the number of personnel to serve as liaisons with local election boards in the Postal Service’s district offices and steps to taken to replace all the postmark printers across the country to ensure high-quality postmarks on ballot envelops. Also covered was the Postal Service’s external and internal communications plans.
The Task Force has agreed to develop local election mail task forces in each postal facility to ensure appropriate communication is accomplished with all employees and to quickly identify and resolve issues that may arise. The union and management representatives on these local task forces will be educated on the protocols that have been developed at headquarters. They will have constant communication locally throughout the election season.
Among the topics being discussed are ways to ensure every ballot is delivered on time even if they are mailed later than the recommended seven days before the election and how to ensure that every ballot handled by the Postal Service can be postmarked, even for types of mail that don’t usually need a postmark. The latter is important because some states use postmarks to determine whether a ballot is cast on time.
The Task Force is also discussing contingency plans in the event of potential Covid-19 outbreaks this fall that could impact postal operations. Toward this end, the MOU negotiated in the spring to allow for increased staffing in facilities impacted by the coronavirus was extended through the end of the year.
We look forward to continuing our efforts and are confident the Postal Service is well positioned to handle and deliver whatever volume of election mail we are given this fall.
The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would provide $25 billion in financial relief to the Postal Service. Now it’s up to the Senate to take action. Unfortunately, the Senate has failed to advance much-needed relief despite the public demand during the pandemic and leading up to Election Day.
This funding is urgently needed to deter service cuts and to ensure that letter carriers have every tool needed to meet the needs of the public in delivering, mail, essentials and in preparation for November.
Tell your Senator to provide relief to the Postal Service.
Call 844-477-7651 to be connected to your Senator.
NALC and the Postal Service have settled national-level case Q16N-4Q-C 20345187 concerning the Postal Service’s implementation of a test of the delivery initiative entitled Expedited Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS). As a result of the settlement, the parties agree that the ESAS pilot test is concluded and terminated as of August 19, 2020. Additionally, any future modifications or alternate applications to the Expedited Preferential Mail (EPM) Delivery Program, as outlined in Section 144 of Handbook M-39, Management of Delivery Services and Sections 223, 450, and 924 of Handbook M-41, City Delivery Carriers Duties and Responsibilities, will be subject to discussion through the City Delivery Task Force. Furthermore, any grievance pending as of the date of this agreement at any step of the Dispute Resolution Process asserting the ESAS delivery initiative violated the collective bargaining agreement will be closed.
The settlement (M-01927) can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System on the NALC website.
The NALC has received notification from the Postal Service that leave taken under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is not eligible for retirement and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) deductions. This is in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Personnel Management which oversees both benefits.
Those that have taken leave under the FFCRA will be issued refunds by the Postal Service for any retirement and TSP contributions which will be reflected on your October 2, 2020 paycheck.
Leave used under the FFCRA (Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act Expansion) will not impact creditable service time towards retirement eligibility. This leave does not impact the High-3 Average Salary calculation used for an annuity computation. The annuity calculation for full-time career employees will not be impacted.
However, use of FFCRA leave for part-time career employees will have an impact on annuity calculations. Annuities with a part-time career component are prorated based on the hours worked when compared to a full-time position. Leave taken under FFCRA is not considered basic pay and is treated similarly to periods of Leave Without Pay (LWOP), which does not increase the total hours worked for the part-time component calculation. NALC members may contact the NALC retirement department with questions regarding part-time career service.
Carriers that wish to, may change their election of FFCRA leave to a different type of leave (such as sick or annual) to keep their retirement and TSP contributions. To avoid a refund, all requests must be entered in AdjustPay before September 11, 2020.
All TSP eligible employees may change their TSP election at any time during the year.
The FFCRA will expire December 31st, 2020, and any unused leave will be forfeit.
The Postal Service Mandatory Stand-Up Talk dated August 27, 2020 regarding this refund can be found here.
President Fredric V. Rolando has issued his latest statement to letter carriers covering several evolving issues. The statement may be viewed here.
An audio version of the statement is also available on NALC's podcast feed on Podbean.com. You may listen here.
As a reminder, in addition to contacting your shop steward, branch officer or NBA, NALC has a new email address for members to ask any questions or provide information about the COVID-19 pandemic: COVID19@nalc.org. When sending your email, please be sure to include your name and NALC branch number to expedite getting information to you.
Today, I am pleased to announce that the NALC will begin working with the Postal Service in a joint labor management task force to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus with regard to handling election mail. Formation of the task force comes as a result of my initial meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, where I suggested that we create a joint labor management task force to meet these specific challenges and work together in response to the public health crisis that is expected to dramatically expand the role of mail voting during the upcoming national election. Meetings of the joint task force on election mail will likely begin within the next two weeks.
Nearly one quarter of all ballots cast in 2016 involved mailed out ballots, a level that could double this year as voters look for safe ways to vote in the midst of the pandemic. Although the Postal Service and its employees have always given election and political mail the highest priority and greatest care, the current crisis calls for extraordinary efforts to serve America’s voters. The task force will work to establish special protocols ahead of the national election to ensure the expedited handling of all political and election mail, particularly for mailed out ballots. In a statement today announcing the parties’ commitment to joining the task force, the PMG also suspended several recent operational initiatives, some of which were causing the delay or non-delivery of mail, in order to assure the public that there would not be any impact on election mail. This was an important step in addressing any perception that these initiatives were intended to negatively impact our quality of service during the election.
In our work with the National Election Task Force, NALC intends to advocate special training programs as well as external communications initiatives to assure the public and our election board partners that they can rely on the Postal Service to deliver exceptional service.
Our goal is to give every American voter who chooses to return their ballots by mail the assurance that their ballots will be counted, consistent with state and local election board regulations. In the face of the worst public health crisis in more than 100 years -- and in cooperation with the other unions and employee organizations -- NALC is committed to raising the Postal Service’s performance by going above and beyond to help Americans vote safely during this crisis.
This task force, along with our legislative efforts and our task force on city delivery, provides another tool for NALC to enhance the value of the Postal Service and to advocate for the public good.
Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), released the following statement regarding the NALC Executive Council’s endorsement of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for president and vice president of the United States:
On behalf of nearly 300,000 active and retired letter carriers, we are proud to endorse Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to lead this country as president and vice president.
Vice President Biden is – was – and will continue to be – a fierce ally and defender of the United States Postal Service (USPS), letter carriers, and our fellow postal brothers and sisters. NALC’s endorsement and our support come down to Joe’s steadfast support of us and his unwavering dedication to improving the lives of all working people throughout this great nation.
Since coming to the Senate in 2016, Senator Kamala Harris has put letter carriers and working families first. In her role on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, she has stanchly defended maintaining a healthy, financially stable Postal Service and has consistently acted to ensure that those who are nominated to run the Postal Service are held to the highest standard.
Together, Biden and Harris fully exhibit the experience, dedication, thoughtfulness and steady hands that will work to ensure that letter carriers and working families are put first.
The Executive Council’s decision to endorse the Biden/Harris ticket was based on the input of our membership through polling, surveys, responses to our candidate questionnaire, and a discussion with the Vice President. The decision is also partly informed by what we have seen from the current administration with regards to the Postal Service. In 2018, legislative recommendations from the White House Postal Task Force report called for the revocation of collective bargaining rights by America’s postal unions, massive cuts to services, and the potential privatization of the agency. Since that time, we have continued to see the administration take steps outside of the public eye to undermine the Postal Service and letter carriers.
And now, our country struggles to withstand the public health and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 virus. This pandemic threatens the very survival of USPS. Yet, while postal employees are on the front lines providing essential services to the public every day, the current administration refuses to provide the necessary financial relief that would strengthen the agency during this pandemic.
The Postal Service must not be allowed to fail. We must do everything we can to help the Postal Service thrive, not only for the men and women of the Postal Service but for the communities and businesses that we serve during this critical time. For those reasons, NALC is proud to stand with Vice President Biden and Senator Harris in November and beyond.
Today, the House of Representatives passed the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2021 H.R. 7617 (116), which provides funding to the majority of the federal government through September 30.
FSGG legislation has broad jurisdiction over agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Department, the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, the Judiciary, the Small Businesses Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Postal Service.
As it relates to the Postal Service, every year, NALC works hard to ensure that our long-standing language preserving six-day mail delivery is in place. Once again, those efforts were successful due to the hard work of letter carriers in educating members of Congress on both sides of the aisle.
In addition, appropriators also included an amendment that would prevent the Postal Service from implementing the Expedited to Street Afternoon Sortation (ESAS) pilot program or from making changes to services standards in effect on July 31, 2020. The inclusion of this language comes following numerous reports of service disruptions nationwide following the Postal Service’s recent announcement on ESAS.
The House-passed measure also included an amendment to provide $2 million to the Postal Service for a postal banking pilot program and funding for the Postal Service Office of Inspector General to “encourage the Postal Service” to investigate mail delivery issues in Chicago. NALC will monitor all postal related measures as the Senate continues its work on the appropriations process.
The $1.3 trillion measure wrapped six appropriations measures into one, effectively cutting down on time spent on individually appropriations measures during Covid-19. Last week, the House passed appropriations covering the Departments of State, Agriculture, Interior, and Veterans Affairs, leaving only Homeland Security and the Legislative Branch left to complete.
With House consideration of FY 2021 appropriations near complete, the Senate must complete work on its appropriations process. NALC will continue to monitor any provisions related to the Postal Service.
Local Taxes IT-2104 needs to be filed with the USPS by all Employees in Local Tax Code Area otherwise nothing will be taken out so check your records
Any Questions call Accounting Help Desk (866)974-2733
Any Questions call Accounting Help Desk (866)974-2733
Repeal Letter for Prefunding Mandate Sent to Washington
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.