2020 – New Guarantee Year provisions important to rural carriers

There are certain rural carrier provisions that happen around the new Guarantee year and the end of the year.  I have summarized them below with links to more information.  Pay close attention to anything highlighted, or you may end up being surprised.

Guarantee Year

The new Guarantee year starts on October 10th, 2020


Carriers are paid overtime for all hours actually worked in excess of 2,080, up to 2,240, within the 52-consecutive-week guar­antee period.
If a carrier works more than 2,240 hours within the guar­antee period, the agreement under FLSA section 7(b)(2) is considered void, and the carrier must be compensated for all hours worked during the guarantee period in accor­dance with FLSA section 7(a).

High/Low Option Election

A Rural Carrier’s pay grows with the size of their route. In certain situations a Rural Carrier may have the additional opportunity of choosing what is called a "high option".

This basically means they are requesting to work more hours per week, in order to receive more pay.

A rural carrier may choose the high option prior to the beginning of the new Guarantee year if certain provisions are met.


X days - Guarantee Year and Christmas Period

Article 9.2.C.J

j. During the period that starts with the beginning of the guarantee period through the end of the designated Christmas period, a regular rural carrier who works the relief day and is entitled to an X day, must be given the X day as scheduled by the Employer within the same pay period in which the relief day was worked.

Regular rural carriers shall be prohibited from scheduling a previously earned X day from the beginning of the guarantee period through the end of the designated Christmas period.

If the X day is not received with- in the same pay period, the Employer will compensate the regular rural carrier 100% of the carrier’s daily rate of pay in lieu of the X day.

Annual Leave Carryover

The 2020 Leave year ends on January 1, 2020.  Any annual days over 65 must be used before January 2nd, 2021 or you will lose those days.

Maximum Carryover Amounts

The NRLCA and USPS have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing that for leave year 2021, regular work force career employees covered by the USPS-NRLCA Agreement may carry over 520 hours of accumulated annual leave from leave year 2020 to leave year 2021.

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I was told the same thing 4 years ago on my interview.Since then,I’ve had more work than I want to remember.But,I got bills to pay and I love the money.You obviously aren’t that hungry.Most people who get picked,aren’t cut out for this job and end up either quitting or getting sent home shortly after they start.The postal service weeds itself out automatically when people get slapped in the face with the reality of it

Kimberly, I’m sorry you decided against it. Most likely you would have been begging for time off, not work!

Kimberly, you’re only “guaranteed” one day- you will probably be working more hours than you want in almost any office. If it’s not too late, you might want to reconsider. It’s a good job- it’s tough; especially at first, but if you can hang in there, you will get plenty of work ( even if your office is small and really only needs you one day a week, you can often work at other offices that are short-handed.

I was going to be working as a rural carrier and when I went to an interview they told me it’s only one day per week. I did not take the job.