Wow at the rumors being thrown out about a NATIONAL September mail count. Managers are telling carriers all over country that there will DEFINITELY be a mail count in September.. Is this true? Well yes and no….
THERE IS ALWAYS A MAIL COUNT THE LAST 12 WORKING DAYS OF SEPTEMBER!- What is important here is what kind of mail count there will be..
So lets try to clarify what WILL happen and what MIGHT happen.
First we have what we call a SPECIAL MAIL COUNT. That is a mail count that only certain routes qualify for. This happens every year..
Now, lets look at what qualifies a route for a special mail count…
There are only 3 circumstances that qualify a route for a SPECIAL COUNT (Article 9.2.C.11)
(1) When circumstances have negated the validity of the latest count and evaluation. No salary adjustments will be made as a result of the count unless the evaluation of the route is changed by 120 minutes (2 hours) or more.
(2) When an auxiliary route evaluates thirty- nine (39:00) standard hours or more. (This is the language in the previous contract.) (This is the language on auxilliary routes from the NEW arbitration award: Auxiliary routes will be converted to regular routes within 30 days of increasing to 42 weekly standard hours. If increase is a result of a mail count, then the conversion will be effective with the mail count.)
(3) Whenever a 120 minute (2 hours) or more salary adjustment is made on a route, whether due to a substantial service change or a route adjustment, and the density of the route after the change has been increased to twelve (12) boxes per mile or more or has been decreased to less than twelve (12) boxes per mile. (This means changed from L status to Non L status, or vice versa)
OK, so if there were only going to be a SPECIAL MAIL COUNT this coming September, then only those routes that meet the above criteria would be counted!
Next we have an option for the USPS to count ALL routes during the September “special mail count” period. If the USPS wants to, they can call for a NATIONWIDE count the last 12 working days of September.
This language comes from Article 9.2.C.3.4
(4) The Employer reserves the right to conduct a national count of mail for all rural routes during the last twelve (12) working days in September of any year. The Employer agrees to notify the Union at the national level at least thirty (30) days in advance of the commencement of the count.
IF the USPS exercises this option, then all routes would be counted and not just those that qualify under SPECIAL COUNT criteria.
Managers across the country are telling carriers it is a SURE THING. It is not a sure thing until the USPS notifies the NRLCA that they intend to call for a nationwide count. As of right now, anything you hear about a national count being a done deal is purely speculation, or a case of Districts jumping the gun on the announcement.
The USPS must notify the NRLCA by August 17th, 2012. So, take what you are hearing with a grain of salt. The USPS is probably chomping at the bit to reap all the savings from the new standards set in the arbitration award, but they also are probably considering that it is an election year. So, they probably have their fuzzy math pencils out right now calculating all scenarios. They may end up willing to roll the dice, or they may not. So, all we can do now is hurry up and wait! Clear as mud right?