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Route Vehicles and Inequality

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Yesterday, I asked a simple question of my followers on Facebook. I asked them, “How many days of your annual leave or LWOP have you had to sacrifice for the sake of vehicle repairs?”

This stirred a lot of rural carriers up BIG TIME. Of course most had used a lot of their annual/vacation days for vehicle repairs, maintenance, etc, and most were upset about it.

I don’t know how many others have used, but I had to use about 6 days of my annual leave last year for
vehicle repair purposes, maintenance, etc. The numbers of days in the replies I got were staggering. This is a huge boon for the USPS, and don’t think that they do not know that.

But, I think what surprised me the most were the ones that more or less told me to stop whining and be happy I had days to use, or said if you don’t like it why don’t you just quit and let an RCA have your job, and even some that said go out and buy a back up vehicle.

These responses made my jaw drop for sure. Are you kidding me? Have rural carriers just become so used to being the stepchildren of the USPS, that we accept less than fair treatment willingly? And we willingly partake in the inequity and actually berate others for thinking things should be different?

Also surprising to me was that there were some that wanted nothing to do with a USPS provided vehicle for various reasons (AC, radio, etc) This too is unbelievable to me, because I know I LOSE money every single year providing a vehicle to do my route. Some say they make out OK, but I always wonder if they are taking the true cost of providing a vehicle into consideration. Just think about some of the stuff that should be considered..

1. Car payments (If you use a newer vehicle)
2. Insurance
3. Depreciation
4. Repairs
5. Maintenance
6. Tires, Brakes,
7. State Tags
8. Inspections
9. Car Washes (not a lot, but still should be included)
10. Labor (Even if you do it yourself)
11. A Second Back Up Vehicle (I will never provide 2 vehicles for them)
12. Lost Annual or LWOP Days
13. And of course Gasoline

And there may be more, but you get the point. When you add in all of this stuff above
there is no way anyone could make money on 64 cents per mile.

The USPS even says it costs them 90 cents per mile to maintain an LLV on a rural route, and most of them are fairly old. I know a lot of rural carriers these days have to have a newer vehicle simply for the reliability. I know I started out in an old Postal Jeep and the maintenance and upkeep on that thing was costing almost as much as a new car payment. So I know, Rural Carriers are losing BIG TIME just providing one vehicle to do our routes, much less those that provide another back up vehicle.

I’m sorry, but I don’t believe anyone could convince me that rural carriers that provide a vehicle are entitled to less annual days than any other postal employee in the USPS. Yes, we all start out with the same amount, but there is nothing FAIR or JUST for rural carriers that provide a vehicle to have to use their annual leave for vehicle repairs.

As for being happy I have a job, I am, but I am still not going to hide in a corner and not SHOUT from the roof tops what I feel is UNFAIR and WRONG about our jobs.

As for all of the ones that told me to stop whining, or quit and let an RCA have your job, I have one question for you? Have you become so used to taking what you get and not fighting for what is right that you have begun
to believe you are being treated fairly? I know you might like to keep believing it, but it simply isn’t true. There are many things that we as rural carriers have to suck up and take because “that’s just the way it is” and I for one am not going to sit back without saying something about it. Its just not in me.

When something is WRONG, there is nothing that will stop me from telling it!!

I would really like for someone to tell me WHY it is fair and acceptable that rural carriers that provide a vehicle have to use their annual leave for vehicle repairs while LLV users, and every other USPS employee does not.

I don’t think anyone can convince me, but please, give it a shot!

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