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
FUTURE NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
Convention in Honolulu Aug. 17-21, 2020
73rd National Convention in Chicago Aug. 8-12, 2022
Joyce Kilmer Council
35 - 79 160 Street in Flushing
just off of Northern Blvd.
(Food and Beverages will be served)
FUTURE NATIONAL CONVENTIONS
72nd National Convention in Honolulu Aug. 17-21, 2020
73rd National Convention in Chicago Aug. 8-12, 2022
Aug. 8th 2020
Earlier this week, pursuant to Article 15, Section 3.F of the National Agreement, NALC initiated a national-level grievance regarding the Postal Service's unilateral implementation of the delivery initiative test called Expedited Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS).
On July 16, 2020, USPS notified NALC of the ESAS test that was scheduled to begin on July 25 in approximately 400 test sites. On July 28, USPS provided us with revised guidelines for the test. The ESAS initiative substantially alters delivery practices and procedures outlined in the Handbooks M-39 and M-41. These changes directly impact terms and conditions of employment of city letter carriers in violation of Article 19 of the National Agreement.
The ESAS test imposes restrictions on letter carriers' morning casing duties which conflict with M-39 Section 121.211. Similarly, the ESAS test prevents carriers from withdrawing mail in violation of M-41 Section 223.11. Additionally, letter carriers do not obtain accountable items until after they have pulled the mail from the case in violation of M-41 Section 262.1.
The ESAS test raises the same fundamental interpretive issue that NALC has raised in previous national level disputes: whether the Postal Service may suspend compliance with the National Agreement or applicable regulations under the guise of conducting a "test." It remains our position that management may not unilaterally implement tests which are inconsistent with regulations outlined in handbooks and manuals without first reaching an agreement with the Union.
NALC has requested a meeting with the Postal Service to discuss this interpretive dispute.
This morning, the Postal Service sent NALC a copy of a stand-up talk for city letter carriers intended to explain the goals of its latest unilateral delivery initiative. It is called Post Office Sortation Equipment Reconciliation (SER).
In the stand-up talk, USPS states “From a city delivery perspective, our goal is to convert as many city routes as possible to one, six shelf, evenly spaced 124 and provide efficient and effective customer service.” A 124 is the main letter carrier case with the shelf where we place our mail as we sort it. USPS also states, “In order to do so, it is essential that we seek your valuable input as carriers, to finalize the cell size changes. This is vital because, as the expert on the route, you can readily identify addresses that may require additional or less sortation space. In order to complete this as planned, we will be starting carrier consultations soon regarding these changes to our carrier sortation equipment by obtaining your input.” At the end of the stand-up talk, we are reminded of the importance of “vigorously focusing on the efficiency of our operations”.
If supervisors or managers do not consult with and obtain your input prior to implementing this initiative, or if they ignore the valuable input you provide, you should inform an NALC branch representative.
Handbook M-39, Management of Delivery Services and Handbook M-41, City Delivery Carriers Duties and Responsibilities both contain provisions regarding case cells or separations, as well as casing equipment.
If changes to case configurations are implemented that violate those handbooks, then a grievance should be filed citing a violation of the appropriate provisions. If needed, NALC branch representatives should contact their NALC national business agent for guidance.
We have requested additional information from the Postal Service and once we receive that information we will be providing the NBAs with more detail regarding this initiative.
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.
Beginning next week, pursuant to Article 34 of the National Agreement, the Postal Service will begin conducting a study of city carriers’ office activities. As with several other recent unilateral tests involving city letter carriers, USPS once again has decided to perform this study on its own rather than examining methods to improve the work environment and procedures related to city delivery with NALC through the joint City Delivery Task Force. With this new study, the Postal Service states city carrier’s office activities will be observed and data collected in order for USPS to analyze and potentially develop new work methods or standards. Exploration of both items jointly by USPS and NALC are among the many subjects established and directed in the memorandum of understanding Re: City Delivery Task Force incorporated in the National Agreement.
NALC was first notified of the Postal Service’s intent to conduct this study in a letter dated April 19, 2019. In a subsequent notification, dated May 1, 2019, USPS told us the information collected from this study may be used during the collective bargaining process. During a meeting held on May 17, 2019, the Postal Service informed NALC that they intended to contract a third-party company to conduct this study. USPS also stated sites and routes would be randomly selected in which data collectors would collect data related to office activities. USPS anticipated collecting one day of data from approximately 400 routes during the study and the information would be used to evaluate current office standards and, if necessary, create new standards.
NALC didn’t hear anything further about this study until we received notification from USPS dated March 3, 2020. We were notified that a contract had been awarded for the data collection analysis and we were provided with a list of thirty-six sites of various sizes which had been randomly selected for the study. USPS stated the contractor will collect data through on-site visits both in the morning and the afternoon.
In a letter dated March 17, 2020, NALC was provided a list of the routes which were selected to be included in the study. Subsequently, on March 18, 2020, the Postal Service notified NALC the study was being temporarily postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A recent letter dated July 9, 2020, notified NALC the Postal Service was continuing preparation for the proposed engineered work methods study and as part of this preparation, USPS intended to visit two sites in Marietta, Georgia to videotape city carriers performing office activities. USPS indicated the purpose of this video is to assist the contractor with creating training to be used by their observers in the study. On July 15, 2020, Director of City Delivery, Christopher Jackson, and Assistant to the President for City Delivery, Doug Lape, traveled to Marietta to visit and observe these sites while this videotaping was being conducted. Three volunteer letter carriers were videotaped while performing office duties and loading and unloading of their delivery vehicle, in the morning and afternoon. During this visit NALC was introduced to representatives from the third-party contractor Deloitte, who will be conducting the study.
On July 24, 2020, NALC received a tentative schedule for the data collection. The Postal Service confirmed the study will be limited to the original list of test sites and routes previously provided. Data collectors will count the mail and observe the regular carrier perform office and loading/unloading duties in the morning and the afternoon on the selected routes. If the regular carrier is unavailable on the scheduled day, the data collector will choose another route from the list provided. Only the routes indicated on this list are intended for the study, however if there is no regular carrier or route from the list available, USPS may choose another route to study. USPS indicates a standup talk will be provided to city carriers on the Saturday prior to the beginning of the study in selected sites. Additionally, USPS states most sites will have two to three data collectors observing the scheduled routes for one week, Monday through Saturday. In larger offices, the data collectors will be observing for a two-week period. The entire study will be conducted over a 5-week period beginning August 3, 2020. The data collectors will not be giving instructions and will only be asking questions to clarify functions being performed as part of the study. Throughout the study, data collectors are expected to maintain the appropriate social distancing per Postal Service social distancing protocol and CDC guidelines.Letter carriers are reminded to continue performing their duties as they normally do, and in accordance with Handbook M-41 provisions. NALC will be sending a local or regional representative into each site to explain the study to the letter carriers and answer any questions they may have. Once the data collection is complete, those representatives will return and obtain feedback from the carriers involved in the study. NALC headquarters will be monitoring this test closely and exercise its rights as necessary in accordance with Article 34 of the National Agreement.
In a letter dated July 16, 2020, the Postal Service informed NALC of a new delivery initiative test titled Expedited Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS). Rather than discuss this concept with NALC in the Joint City Delivery Task Force, USPS chose to test it unilaterally without NALC participation. USPS states the purpose of this test is to determine if the Expedited Preferential Mail (EPM) program can be enhanced to assist in reducing the morning office time for city letter carriers by enabling them to get on the street earlier. EPM is a long-time program established in Handbook M-39 and Handbook M-41 that involves casing non-preferential mail in the afternoon after completing street duties. USPS believes that their new version of this program will enhance customer service by providing more consistent delivery times. The test is scheduled to begin on July 25, 2020, and anticipated to continue for approximately thirty to sixty days in 384 selected sites. The list of test sites can be found here.
This unilateral test of ESAS should not be confused with the EPM program outlined in the handbooks. EPM is a long-established program in which letter carriers normally case only preferential and time-value mail in the morning. The casing of non-preferential mail and markup work is done in the afternoon when the carrier returns from the route. This is designed to move the majority of carrier casing time to the afternoon. In an EPM office, city carriers would clock-in, withdraw and case only preferential mail, obtain and process accountable items and small parcels and rolls (SPRs), pull-down, obtain parcels, load their vehicles, and leave for normal street delivery. After completion of street duties, city carriers would perform normal return-to-office functions and then begin casing all non-preferential mail. After all non-preferential mail has been cased, the mail will be left in the case until the next morning.
Several guidelines related to the EPM program are contained in Handbook M-39, Management of Delivery Services and Handbook M-41, City Delivery Carriers Duties and Responsibilities. These and other USPS handbooks can be found on the NALC website.
The ESAS initiative, as described, does not appear to conform to the handbook provisions contained in the M-39 and M-41 relating to EPM and other office activities. The ESAS test requires carriers to clock-in, attend any service or safety talk, perform vehicle inspections, obtain accountable items, set-up their scanner, retrieve the parcel hamper, line up the SPRs, and retrieve the mail cased and pulled down the previous afternoon. Instead of casing their SPRs, carriers will line them up in delivery order prior to pulling their hot case mail and then immediately clock to the street to load their vehicle and begin delivery. Under the test, there is to be no casing of mail in the morning. Letter carriers will withdraw hot case preferential flats and are expected to route them in order of delivery on the street. Upon returning to the office, carriers will complete the normal return-to-office afternoon duties. After completion of these duties, carriers will then case and pull down all mail distributed to the route in preparation for the next day’s delivery.
As previously stated, this test as communicated to NALC, is not fully
compliant with Article 19 of the National Agreement related to the
applicable handbook provisions. NALC representatives are discussing the
issues we have with this initiative with USPS representatives at the
headquarters level. Shop stewards and branch officers should monitor
the test process, review applicable contractual and handbook provisions,
and file appropriate grievances where contract violations occur. Please
contact your National Business Agent’s office for guidance, assistance,
and communication regarding the test.
NALC and the Postal Service have settled a national-level grievance regarding the Postal Service’s unilateral testing of Consolidated Casing. This settlement (M-01923) requires that half of the 62 test sites to be returned to their original route structure by July 31, 2020. The remaining 31 test sites will continue through November 27, 2020.
The task force established by the memorandum of understanding, Re: City Delivery Task Force will begin analyzing data from the test sites by July 20, 2020, to determine its application to future testing. Absent joint agreement by the parties to either continue the test or to jointly conduct alternative testing in these sites, the test sites will be returned to their original route structure by January 22, 2021.. Additionally, it is agreed there will be no further expansion of this Case Consolidation Test.
The local parties will jointly work through the transition of returning routes in the test sites to their original structure. Assistance and guidance will be provided by the appropriate NALC National Business Agent (NBA) and USPS Area Manager, Labor Relations (AMLR), or their designees. Once it is determined which sites will end testing first, that information will be immediately provided to the appropriate branch president.
A group of 26 Republican lawmakers led by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) sent a letter today to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) urging direct support for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in the next stimulus package. View the letter here.
That group includes: Reps. David McKinley (R-WV), Don Young (R-AK), Fred Upton (R-MI), Pete King (R-NY), Mike Bost (R-IL), Chris Smith (R-NJ), John Katko (R-NY), Don Bacon (R-NE), Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Susan Brooks (R-IN), Tom Cole (R-OK), John Shimkus (R-IL), Mike McCaul (R-TX), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Paul Cook (R-CA), Tom Reed (R-NY), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Dave Joyce (R-OH), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Mike Turner (R-OH), and Will Hurd (R-TX).
Specifically, they request that the following provisions be considered for the next legislative package:
- A “public service” appropriation of at least $25 billion to the Postal Service to alleviate some of the strain caused by the pandemic.
- An authorization for a continued “public service” appropriation for the difference between USPS revenue and expenses for the duration of this public health crisis.
- A mechanism to reimburse the Postal Service for any COVID-19 related leave pay provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127).
- Ensure equal treatment for postal employees in any legislation that authorizes, and funds hazard pay for other front-line workers exposed to health risks related to the COVID-19 virus. Such legislation should cover postal workers, who face heightened exposure risks to the virus on a daily basis.
They go on to recognize the important service USPS, letter carriers, and other postal employees provide to the country and that any interruption to such service would be incredibly detrimental to both the agency and the American people, their constituents.
NALC is thankful for the support from these members and encourages letter carriers to thank them as well. USPS is in dire need of financial assistance from Congress if it is to survive the current Covid-19 crisis and the associated economic downturn. To support our continued efforts, letter carriers should continue contacting their members of Congress to urge support for funding in the next stimulus package.
Let Congress know that there is overwhelming voter support for funding (link to poll here).
Click here to take action.
63-year-old letter carrier Frank Leong, a member of Branch 36 in New York City, passed away recently from complications related to COVID-19. Brother Leong was a 25-year letter carrier who worked at Church Street Station in Manhattan. NALC mourns with Brother Leong’s family, friends, coworkers and members of Branch 36.
NALC President Fredric Rolando said " We mourn the loss of Brother Leong and send our deepest sympathies and heartfelt thoughts and prayers to his loved ones.“
President Fredric V. Rolando has issued his latest statement to letter carriers covering several evolving issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
Flushing Letter Carriers Branch 294
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
NALC and USPS have settled a national-level grievance regarding non-compliance with the contractual caps on the employment of City Carrier Assistants (CCAs). This settlement (M-01906) provides that all city carrier assistants in any size office with 30 months of relative standing on February 15, 2020, will be converted to career status within 60 days from the signing of the agreement on January 22, 2020. CCAs meeting this criteria in 200-workyear offices or larger will be converted to full-time regular, and CCAs meeting this criteria in all other offices will be converted to part-time flexible.
Select districts will make conversions to career status in addition to those described above. The districts where these conversions will take place and the number of months of relative standing to be used are identified in the settlement. The criteria for these additional conversions will otherwise be the same. All CCAs converted to career status in accordance with this settlement will be converted within their current installation.
NALC projects this settlement will result in almost 4,800 CCA conversions to career status, including approximately 3,000 conversions to part-time flexible in smaller offices.
Flushing Letter Carriers Branch 294
Repeal Letter for Prefunding Mandate Sent to Washington
NALC and management negotiators have reached the end of the 60-day mediation period following the Sept. 20 expiration of our National Agreement with USPS. The parties remain at impasse and are discussing the selection of a neutral arbitrator.
Although NALC will continue to bargain in good faith, we will not delay the interest arbitration process.
Under the law, both NALC and postal management will name one arbitrator and select a third neutral arbitrator to serve as the chair of the arbitration board. Both sides will present evidence and testimony to the arbitration board that will, following hearings, issue a final and binding decision on the contents of our next collective-bargaining agreement. While these impasse procedures are taking place, the terms of our 2016-19 National Agreement remain in effect.
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
2020 Br. 294 Color Coded Calendar
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.