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NRLCA and USPS sign MOU on Temporary Paid Leave for Rural Carrier Associates

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Today, President Stutts signed an MOU temporarily granting paid leave to RCAs during the COVID-19 crisis. The MOU does not apply to Assistant Rural Carriers (ARCs). For the 60-day duration of this Memorandum of Understanding, rural carrier associates (RCAs) will be permitted to use up to eighty (80) hours of paid leave in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic in the following circumstances:

  • The employee has contracted COVID-19 or has been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms generally associated with COVID-19.
  • The employee has visited any country identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a level-3 country (currently China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, and most other European countries) within 14 days of the employee returning to work.
  • The employee returns from a trip on a cruise ship in which an identified case of COVID-19 was detected onboard the ship.
  • Consistent with the MOU Re: Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care during COVID-19.

Except for emergencies, paid leave for the circumstances listed above must be requested on PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence, and approved in advance by the appropriate supervisor. Employees should designate the reason for the absence as “Other” and write “LC19” in the space provided.

An exception to the advance approval requirement is made for emergencies and unexpected illness; however, in these situations, the RCA must notify the appropriate postal authorities as to the emergency or illness and the expected duration of the absence. As soon as possible after return to duty, the RCA must submit PS Form 3971, and explain the reason for the emergency or illness to their supervisor. Supervisors approve or disapprove the leave request.

The supervisor is responsible for approving or disapproving the request for paid leave by signing PS Form 3971, a copy of which is given to the RCA. If a supervisor does not approve a request for leave, the Disapproved block on PS Form 3971 is checked and the reasons must be noted in writing in the space provided.The paid leave outlined in this MOU will be recorded as Other Leave as indicated below:

  • Designation 78-0: Use PS Form 1314-A, Route Number A999, and enter up to 8 hours per day/40 hours per week in Other Leave. Total combined work and leave hours may not exceed 40 hours per week.
  • Designation 79-0: Use PS Form 1314-A, and record DACA Code ‘N’ for any day not served by the assigned carrier. For approved paid leave, as outlined above, enter up to 8 hours per day/40 hours per week in Other Leave. Total combined work and leave hours may not exceed 40 hours per week.
  • Designation 74-0: Use PS Form 1314, and record DACA Code ‘O’ on the appropriate day for approved paid leave. If leave is disapproved, record DACA Code ‘L’ on the appropriate day.

The parties will revisit this issue immediately prior to this MOU’s expiration to determine if an extension is appropriate.

This MOU will expire May 17, 2020.

Please click here to view/download the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

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