Sent to Ruralinfo from a rural carrier
Dear Postmaster General,
We hear your words about the changes and how we need to be patient as you transform us into a better, more efficient, organization.
I know that I am not alone when I say our patience has turned into frustration. Over the years, our patience has been challenged on many levels; I would like to point out several. We have been asked to do more and more each year with less compensation.
In 2012, during arbitration, the arbitrator made the ruling that an engineering study should be done to determine the work that a Rural Carrier actually completed each day. It was an effort at a fairer compensation system. This was to be implemented in 2015. It is now 10 years later and when it was finally to be implemented it was delayed twice again.
According to the President of the NRLCA the delays are needed due to the lack of transparency in the USPS. Promises and agreements have been made, but alas, another instance of why should we have any trust?
The two-tier pay system has left frustration and is driving a wedge between the Rural Letter Carriers; it has also led us to be less competitive in today’s job market. With the current unionization drives that are ongoing across the United States which have resulted in higher pay and better benefits for workers, we need to ensure we are competitive.
We go years without proper/fair evaluations. The United States survived the pandemic on the backs of the American Postal Worker. The loads greatly increased, and rural carriers especially were not compensated for the extra work. This was not included in our evaluations for the routes.
We were promised vehicles more than 8 years ago that were safer. Each year we watch postal vehicles burn, catastrophic crashes, or carriers dying in the heat. How many have we lost? Any recognition for lives lost is only noticed when they show up on one of the most dangerous job lists.
We have carriers that are NOT receiving their actual pay on payday because of failures of management, and then it can take months to receive that compensation. We wait for raises due to us by the contract management agreed to, and yet they get delayed. Back pay takes months to receive. If there is an error in our favor, we receive a letter of immediate demand.
Again, we wait for our back pay as we waited for our raises. The union had to file a step 4 class action to get a date for our back pay that was not more than 10 months out. While we wait, management received an immediate raise.
RCAs were promised annual leave in this last pay period, but it is not there. It was in the contract, and it was supposed to be there 6 months after ratification.
One RCA per route has been the established practice, except that it seems we are being pushed into formula systems that make it more difficult to get time off. It leads to lower morale for career workers.
In offices big and small across the United States and the protectorates, shortages of employees and equipment are prevalent. I remember a time when taking the test was a goal for citizens. And, now we are losing career employees because it has become a less desirable position.
Whether it is not being properly compensated, working more than 12-hour days, the toll on the body, or not being able to get relief days/AL/SL the career carrier is leaving.
As we near 2023 and the changes that are coming to the USPS, please tell us how we are supposed to trust that this will work for the USPS to survive. Please tell us how further commutes, increased employee numbers in our work environments, and spreading our limited number of leave replacements further will make things better for us? Tell us how the improvement of facilities will make our service standards better for the customers on our route.
Will we be able to learn their names and develop the relationships that build the trust of our organization?
Mr. DeJoy, I love my job, but I do not love what it has become. I was proud to follow the footsteps of those that came before me, but now I am left sad and figuring out my options for the future.
A new 40-minute commute, the increasing number of parcels, and the hostile environments that many of us are working in should not be the rewards for a job well done.
Rural Route 1
Every Town, USA
Feel free to use this to send your own letter to the PMG – Please encourage other rural carriers to do the same.
Address for PMG:
PMG Louis Dejoy
475 L’Enfant Plaza Southwest
Washington, DC 20260