The Future of the Rural Carrier – Carriers’ View – NRLCA and the Revolution Part 1


This is a guest post by Older and Wiser. Older and Wiser is a regular rural carrier. Click here to see all of Older and Wiser’s Guest Posts.

The Future of the Rural Carrier – Carriers’ View – NRLCA and the Revolution Part 1
This is how I see it!

”Call out the instigators
Because there’s something in the air
We got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here

And you know it’s right
And you know that it’s right
We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now”

These are lyrics from a 1969 hit by Thunderclap Newman, but for rural carriers these words have a special meaning. The revolution has started. The first shots have been fired. NRLCA, you are on notice.
Like at the start of the American Revolution, all you need is a bunch of people who have had enough of the status quo and in reading the Rural Mail Talk the vote is in- “Enough is Enough.” It is time for the NRLCA to wake up and remember that they are there to represent and inform the membership and realize that they are failing in that mission. Communications 101 is part of basic management and that is where your shortcomings are realized.
NRLCA, your website is straight out of 1996. Two of the items in the NRLCA mission statement are “to improve the methods used by rural letter carriers and to promote a fraternal spirit among its members.

How does the website accomplish this? There are no forums for carriers to talk and exchange ideas or tips on how to be a better carrier. A carrier has no means to ask a question and receive an answer.

There are no sections where a new RCA can augment their training by getting mentored by experienced carriers. When carriers cannot create a dialog on what they are seeing in the field, how does that “promote a fraternal spirit”?

Your magazine is another point of failure. To rely on a monthly magazine to keep your membership informed is so 1990s.

That’s why Newsweek and Time had to change formats because weekly magazines could not keep up with internet and the CNNs of the world.

For the NRLCA to use it as a major means of communications is a losing proposition, unless you want to know if they’re having steak or chicken at the next convention .

Two years ago I had written a suggestion to the NRLCA that would have taken care of many of their problems.

Here is a reprint of that suggestion –

“In reality, the union should have started Ruralinfo, but that ship has sailed, but there is still time to embrace and use Ruralinfo to the union’s advantage. There should be a representative from the union on the site and his nickname should reflect that fact. He would have the full knowledge and authority to respond to any questions and accusations. He could get timely info out to the carriers and help the union with their communications to the membership.”

But there is a problem. Ruralinfo is kryptonite to the NRLCA. Heaven forbid they use a site that really “promotes a fraternal spirit” by letting carriers exchange thoughts and concerns.

Also, Ruralinfo has areas of tips for both regular and RCA to help them improve their skills. That is the way “to improve the methods used by rural letter carriers.”

In Ruralinfo you have a single woman who runs the site on a part-time basis that keeps rural carriers up to date on all USPS news. Should we have to settle for less from the union?

There are many questions that need to be answered but nowhere and no one to ask. Among them are:
Since the 2010-2015 agreement was 2 years late (signed in July 2012) why didn’t we get raises the first two years of the agreement?
Many carriers expect the engineering study will benefit the carrier, will we get the benefits retroactive to May 2015 or will we lose AGAIN?
With the avalanche of parcels (much of which was caused by the USPS when they said to Amazon to send us all the parcels you want), what are you doing for the carriers who will be in 2080 problems because of this avalanche?
Why didn’t we get compensation for the pairing of cell phones or the extra scanning screens the carriers are forced to navigate?

The rural carrier craft has been on a losing streak for a few years.

The USPS is doing everything they can to extract every concession they can and we need a pit bull of a union and not a lap dog.

Sometimes there might not be anything the union can do to stop certain events from happening, but I want to see outrage for Postal Services’ actions.

In a recent blog, I questioned the USPS’s integrity in their actions and I want to see the NRLCA take the Postal Service to task when they fail to act in a moral and ethical manner.

I invite any union official to respond so we can start constructive discussions on the topics that concern the membership.

Since the union website does not provide for space for these discussions to take place, I know of no better place than Ruralinfo where this exchange of ideas can occur.

Since this thread is really for the carriers’ view, there will be a second part where I will make some suggestions of how we can try to wake up the union to the dissatisfaction that is growing in the ranks.

This is a guest post by Older and Wiser. Older and Wiser is a regular rural carrier. Click here to see all of Older and Wiser’s Guest Posts.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

My guess is that you do not work in a fully automated office with LLV’s. If you did and you were always working hours over your evaluation I think you would have a different opinion. I still like my job, I just want it to be fair to everyone..not with the haves and have nots.

1-877-477-3273. Press 4 🙂

Dear Mr. Older and Wiser, I am a regular carrier in Texas. While I am not that old or wise, this past January, I got to celebrate my 30 years as a carrier with the postal service. I sense your frustration. But I don’t really see to your point that the union is all that bad. And the reason I wish to join the conversation is I want to encourage all the new RCAs and new regulars, but especially the newly hired RCAs. In my 30 years, most of my days are under 8 hours, including break times. And in… Read more »