We continue to live in unprecedented times. While the novel coronavirus has not gone away, many states are moving through the various phases of “reopening” and we hope that process does not cause a dangerous spike in positive COVID-19 cases or worse yet, a “second wave.” As I mentioned to you in my last message, it is critical we all continue to exercise good judgment and follow the public health guidance from the CDC and Postal Service. We have seen an increase in rural carriers who have tested positive for the virus and the number of cases, week over week, continues to rise. In just this past week, we have had 50 additional rural carriers test positive for the coronavirus.
I also want to update you on the NRLCA’s efforts to work with the Postal Service on the impacts to the craft caused by a significant increase in parcel volume, in some cases exceeding 70-80 percent over the same weeks last year. We continue to closely monitor the volume trends. American consumers have shopped online in record numbers and that has meant more business and parcels for the Postal Service. We know that many of you are feeling overwhelmed and are working more hours than normal, and in some cases having difficulty working under weekly evaluation. To that end, several weeks ago we proposed a temporary MOU to the Postal Service that would (1) require managers to make every effort to give auxiliary assistance to those carriers who are exceeding the weekly paid evaluated hours for their routes where relief carriers are available and (2) provide overtime pay for any carrier who exceeds the weekly paid evaluated hours. We believe that this request was not unreasonable, yet the Postal Service was unwilling to agree to our proposed MOU.