Thousands of letter carriers at the U.S. Postal Service are starting to see new schedules that have reduced their hours and cut their pay, causing significant anxiety within the workforce.
The changes are part of a revamping of the pay structure for rural employees, a process that has been years in the making and subject to a series of delays. The new work schedules were slated to go into effect last month, but were repeatedly pushed back as the Postal Service sought to iron out kinks.
The National Rural Letter Carriers Association has filed a national grievance on the plan, saying USPS has withheld details on the data that underlies the new hour and pay calculations. The new system was developed in conjunction with the union after an arbitrator in 2012 said the two sides should come together to create a structure that better adapts to the mailing agency’s evolving business conditions.