The following is a summary of highlights of the new National Agreement between the United States Postal Service and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association resulting from the July 3, 2012 Interest Arbitration Award.  The Award and the separate opinion and dissent of Interest Arbitration Board Member Joey C. Johnson are available in their entirety on the NRLCA’s website.


    -The term of the new Agreement is November 21, 2010 through May 20, 2015

Salaries and COLA

-General Wage Increases Totaling 3.5%:
November 17, 2012:          1.0% increase (COLA deferred to 2013)
November 16, 2013:          1.5% increase plus COLA
November 15, 2014:          1.0% increase plus COLA

-New wage schedule for new regular carriers hired after November 20, 2010

-New hourly rate for RCAs hired on or after August 11, 2012. These RCAs will
receive a 7.0% general wage increase over the term of the Agreement, but no COLA.

-The Step progression for those career rural carriers hired on or after November
21, 2010 will be 52 weeks for each Step between Steps 1-12 of the new Rural
Carrier Evaluated Schedule

-COLA for RCAs/RCRs on the rolls prior to August 11, 2012 will be rolled into hourly rates during the first full pay period of August 2015

Health Benefits

-Adjusted USPS Health Benefits Contribution
2012:         81%
2013:         79%
2014:         78%
2015:         77%
2016:         76%
(Employees hired on or after the effective date of this agreement will start at 77% upon conversion to regular)

-MOU to consider separate Postal Service health benefits plan in future,
contingent on Congressional action or agreement of other Postal unions

Mail Counts

    -2013:   18-day count (February 9 – March 2)
    -2014:   12-day count (February 22 – March 7)
    -2015:   18-day count (February 7 – February 28)
    -2016:   12-day count (March 12 – March 25) (unless parties agree otherwise)

    -All routes will be counted unless the regular carrier and management agree in
     writing not to count

    -National mail counts will be effective at the beginning of the fourth full pay 
     period following the count

Equipment Maintenance Allowance

    -2013:   increase EMA base rate by 0.5¢ (46.5¢ per mile)
    -2014:   increase EMA base rate by 0.5¢ (47¢ per mile)

High Option Election

    -A regular carrier must have a minimum of ten years of service from his/her retirement computation date to be eligible to elect the high option


    -DPS Letter standard for LLV routes: 43 pieces per minute

    -Prepaid Parcels Accepted: 90 seconds per event and 9 seconds per parcel

    -Dismount Distance (Walking Speed) standard: 0.00429 minutes per foot (2.647 miles per hour)

    -Industrial engineering study of time standards, to be completed and implemented by May 20, 2015

    -Moratorium on Article 34 time standard changes, except for new work functions

Route Conversions

    -Auxiliary routes will be converted to regular routes within 30 days of increasing to 42 weekly standard hours. If increase is a result of a mail
count, then the conversion will be effective with the mail count.

    -Regular rural routes may be converted to auxiliary status if they decrease to less than 35 weekly standard hours

Route Consolidations

    -Encumbered regular routes may be consolidated and the excessing and/or reassignment provisions of
Article 12 will be applied when the route evaluation decreases to less than 37 weekly standard hours



News Info.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

help, in our station our routes are seasonal and in february's count I came back 43 hours but when low season started I got dropped to 26, some people dropped to 17 hours or 15 hours. We are starving and no one cares, shouldn't they be made auxilary routes then?? Is it okay to drop us to 26 hours for 6 months a year? his has not ever happened before. Also they did this without warning us. We got two weeks notice that we were not going to get guaranteed salary.

My route went from 38.43 to 35.46……..wonder what's going to happen now.

How does one figure out if your route will drop to another lower level after mail count, mine dropped 2.12 hrs, will i go from a 43K to a lower K?

Trista got it. Encumbered means overburden. I think the only time we have that any more is when the carrier is up there in age. I know in our office we don't have K routes any more. After this count, I wonder if we'll even have J's.