A newly unveiled tentative labor contract puts 200,000 U.S. Postal Service employees in line for a raise, however, they could also see a decrease in health benefits. The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) represents more than 213,000 city mailmen/women reached an agreement with USPS management to avoid binding arbitration.
NALC members will vote in the coming months on whether to formally ratify the labor contract. The agreement would begin retroactively to May 21, 2016, and continue through September 20, 2019. All city letter carriers would receive a 1.2 percent pay raise retroactive to November 26, 2016, and a 1.3 percent pay increase effective November 25, 2017. Those on the second level of the 2-grae pay scale would receive a 2.1 percent raise in 2018.
On top of those general wage increases, workers will also receive a series of 7 cost of living adjustments throughout the life of the contract. Non-career employees represented by NALC would see an additional boost and career carrier assistants would receive new step increases. Substitute carriers would receive payments adding up to a dollar per hour over the course of their first year at USPS. They would also receive more generous wage increases than career employees.
USPS would convert non-career employees that have been at the agency for at least 30 months to career positions. Employees working as letter carriers for at least 6 years won’t be subject to layoffs for the duration of the labor contract, and their work wouldn’t be contracted out.
Health Benefit Cuts
There are also cuts being proposed too. USPS would cut its contribution towards employees’ health plans by 3 percent through 2019. However, they would still end up paying 76 percent of any given plan. If this agreement is ratified, USPS and NALC would form a Joint Workplace Improvement Process to address more issues.
Fredric Rolando, NALC president said, “I am very happy that our members will have a chance to make the final decision about this labor contract through the ratification process outlined in our union’s constitution.”
A postal service spokeswoman said, “The tentative agreement addresses important financial and operational considerations of the Postal Service, serves the interests of the American people and is fair to our employees.”
NALC holds a national meeting in mid-June and branch leaders will become educated about the proposed contract so that members can know the details before they vote on the ratification.