Guest post by Older and Wiser.
Older and Wiser is a rural carrier.
Click below to see all of Older and Wiser’s Guest Posts.
This is How I See It!
The way things have gone the past few years, it seems like the decision to go hourly may seem like the way to go for many rural carriers. If you are a carrier that cannot make your evaluation on a regular basis, why not go hourly? It seems to be an easy choice, but like many things in life you have to take the time to see the whole picture. There is good and bad. The good is pretty obvious and I will try to write about bad so that whole picture can be discussed in a rational manner.
The biggest unknown is if rural carriers negotiated with the USPS and went hourly, how would the Postal Service institute the rural carrier going hourly? Would they make all the routes 40 hour routes and build up current H and J routes to 40K causing a reduction in pay for K routes and a possible loss of routes in affected offices? Would they use RCAs to work the time over 8 hours a day on routes to prevent overtime? There are other schemes that the USPS could use and you can bet that none of them will benefit the rural carrier. When was the last time they did anything that was a positive for us? You can also bet dollars to doughnuts that the NRLCA will “sell us down the river” to keep in the good graces of Postal Service.
The other part of the picture is also a negative. This part has nothing to do with the financial side; it is more of a quality of life issue. As any rural who works in an office with city carriers can attest, the micromanagement of those carriers is relentless.”Big Brother” watches every movement and how long all their tasks take.
I was on a web site of a city carrier branch office and they listed the grievances that were active in that branch. The list went on for pages covering a myriad of topics. Rural Carriers are not used to that type of management (harassment). Maybe I’ve been lucky but for the most part I can go about my day and do my job in peace. Are we ready to give this up? It takes time to take a close look at both sides of a subject. Take the time!
This is the final blog in my series “The Future of the Rural Carrier” series. I am sorry to say that the future does not look encouraging for the rural carrier craft. We are the true bottom-feeders of the USPS; everything that happens above us trickles down and affects our work life and primarily for the negative.
Even the NRLCA who should be watching our backs have another agenda. I can’t figure out what that agenda is but they are non-communicative to its members and seem to try to appease the Postal Service rather than fighting for the rural carriers who support them with their dues. It’s a shame to say, but we are on our own.
If it weren’t for Ruralinfo and the Delphi forum (forums.delphiforums.com/ruralcarrier/messages), we would really be in a losing position. Sites like this are the only lifelines we have. Support them by using them and sharing your thoughts and opinions so that everyone can stay informed.