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NRLCA issues guidance for rural carriers concerning Expedited to Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS)

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The documents linked below went to the field last week. The postal service is testing their new program called Expedited to Street/Afternoon Sortation (ESAS).

The stated purpose of this test is to determine if the current Expedited Preferential Mail (EPM) Delivery 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 to better serve customers and provide for more consistent delivery times.

The test is scheduled to begin on July 25, 2020 and will continue for approximately 30 to 60 days. The test will be conducted in the offices listed on the attached document.

This test is meant to be a change for city carriers and clerks, however the changes in mail distribution will affect the rural carriers in these offices. We have had lengthy conversations with HQ Labor Relations, and we were assured that further communication would be sent to the field. We know there is already bad information in the field and some managers are already violating working rules, handbooks, and manuals. Below you will find some explanation and instruction from your National Board.

  1. This test is NOT a license to violate our contract, handbooks, manuals, or Step 4 Settlements.
  2. The offices in this test will have Distribution Up Times established. City carriers will not report until that time.
  3. City carriers will not be allowed to case mail in the mornings—this does not apply to rural routes.
  4. Rural Carriers must still be permitted to:
    • Case their DPS Letters and Flats in the office at their option.
    • Case boxholders at their option.
    • Mark their parcels at the case.
    • Pull down and tie out in the morning—not in the afternoon as will be required of city carriers.
  5. Rural carriers cannot be required to use the Load Truck Function for their parcels unless it was built into their evaluations (this is a very limited number of offices).
  6. Any change in starting times for rural carriers requires reasonable advance notice of the change. Carriers must be given reasonable time to plan for the schedule change.
  7. What management can change regarding rural carriers:
    • They can establish an Expedited Preferential Mail office—this has been an option in the PO-603 for decades. This means that there is a definite cut-off time for mail distribution in the morning—established by management. Any mail distributed after that time will not be delivered. It will be cased in the afternoon for delivery the next day.
    • They can make the mail available for rural carriers to case in the afternoon as mentioned above or they can allow rural carriers to come in earlier in the morning to case the mail that was distributed after DUT the day before.
    • They have to do either a or b. They cannot tell carriers you cannot case mail in the PM AND you cannot come in before SUT in the morning. Time must be allowed for us to case mail—see #4 above.
  8. REPORTING VIOLATIONS: If any manager at any level in your District(s) orders or directs anything in violation of any of the above principals, you are to report immediately via email to your assigned District Representative:
    • Name of Manager.
    • Position of the manager (supervisor, postmaster, etc.).
    • What exactly they changed.
    • If the directive is in writing, provide a copy.
    • If verbally made the change, provide the date of the change.
  9. We will immediately discuss these violations with USPS HQ and get it stopped.

We have advocated EPM and getting carriers out of the office sooner and back off the street earlier for years. We have too many carriers on the street late in the evening causing increased safety issues, (getting dark, heat stress etc.) Your National Board has concerns as to how this process will work and will continue to monitor the progress.

Please report any of the above violations as soon as they happen and file a grievance if necessary.

Thank you all for your patience as we continue to go through these changes.

Your National Board


Click the links below to view/download the documents accompanying this posting:

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