USPS Employees Eligible for a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot
Employees and residents at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission
People aged 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks. Adults aged 18–64 years who work or reside in certain settings (e.g., health care, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters) may be at increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19, which could be spreading where they work or reside. Since that risk can vary across settings and based on how much COVID-19 is spreading in a community, people aged 18–64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.
- First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff)
- Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers)
- Food and agriculture workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Corrections workers
- U.S. Postal Service workers
- Public transit workers
- Grocery store workers
Extension of COVID Related Memoranda
Below Please find linked a copy of the MOU extending the following memoranda through December 31, 2021:
- MOU – Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID – 19
- MOU – Temporary Exception Period – COVID – 19 * Revised March 19, 2021
- Liberal Changes of Schedule and Leave Letter dated March 23, 2020.
- MOU – Temporary Additional Leave for MHAs – Newly hired MHAs, hired after the signing of this agreement, will be permitted to use up to 80 hours of paid leave for the reasons provided for in the original March 18, 2020 MOU – Temporary Paid Leave for MHAs, it does not provide an additional 80 hours for existing MHAs. Those MHAs already hired prior to the signing of this extension who only used a portion or none of the 80 hours leave from the original MOU, will be entitled to utilize the remainder of the 80 hours that was left over.
Greater Newark Update
September 24, 2021
Members of the Greater Newark Branch:
We wanted to provide you with a status update and future scenarios.
As you know there was a partial roof collapse on 9/1/21. It was truly amazing that there were no serious injuries or fatalities. There were some injuries to employees which were treated at the hospital emergency room. Thankfully, these employees were quickly released from the hospital.
The building status is not clearly known. The roof collapsed over the Destinating Rapistan Sorter (DI) in 2 areas. Recently, interior lighting has been powered on. They are looking to see if there is electrical power for the OI, APPS, and Universal Sorter.
The roof is not repaired. The damaged roof materials must be fully removed first.
We have been in contact with the office for the Mayor of Kearny, Congressman Albio Sires. Also, we have had daily contact with Branch President Latina Crenshaw and postal managers on the NY Metro Divisional level. This collapse should not have happened. We hope to get assistance from political leaders as to the cause of this tragic event.
The Postal Service does not know the future status of the building currently. Here are some possible scenarios…
1. The building is closed permanently. The machines and operations are sent to other facilities in New Jersey. Full-Time Regulars will be reassigned to new facilities with their seniority. There would be advance notice. OR…
2. The building is partially reopened. Full-Time Regulars will be returned first. How long closed, is not known.
We are in constant communication with managers on the NY Metro Division level. If the building is reopened, we want to ensure that is it safe. We will be meeting further to discuss these scenarios and how to move forward ensuring the contract is fully enforced. More updates to follow.
USPS Reinstates Mask Policy
As a result of the uncertainty with COVID-19 related to the “Delta Variant,” the Postal Service will reinstate our previous face covering policy for all Mail Processing and Logistics, Retail and Delivery, and Vehicle Operations facilities.
Need Help For POSTAL REFORM
Contact Congress Now!!!
We are seeing bipartisan support for the Postal Reform Act (H.R. 3076/S. 1720) in both the House and Senate, but there is concern the legislation’s progress is losing momentum.
In order to ensure the bill continues to receive attention, please reach out to your elected officials, educating them on the legislation, why it’s important, and urge them to support it.
The easiest way to do that is through the NPMHU Action Center, https://npmhu.quorum.us/. By quickly registering with your name and address, you can easily send pre-prepared letters to your Representative and Senators, letting them know you support the Postal Reform Act and they should do the same. This will only take a few minutes of your time.
Members of Congress are currently in summer recess and are working from their district offices, members are also encouraged to meet locally (either in-person or over Zoom) with your Representative and Senators (or their staff) to discuss the bill and its benefits to USPS and its workforce.
Additionally, many members of Congress hold townhalls during this time. This is a great opportunity to publicly voice your support for postal reform and raise awareness among your fellow constituents on this important issue.
While participating in these grassroots efforts, please keep in mind the restrictions that are imposed by the Hatch Act. Postal and federal employees are allowed to participate in a wide range of political activities, however, no political activity can be done while on postal property or on postal time. This includes using the NPMHU Action Center, and setting up or attending meetings.
COLA Increase $1,934
Effective August 28, 2021 (Pay Period 19-2021), all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive a cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2019 National Agreement. This is the fourth of six possible COLA increases under the terms of the current agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the January 2021 Index, using the July 2019 CPI index as a base, and will provide an annual increase of $1,934 for all Steps in Table 1 and for Step P of Table 2 ($74.40 a pay period/$0.93 an hour). For the remaining Steps in Table 2 they will receive the proportional COLA increase percentages as outlined in Article 9.3 of the National Agreement.
*Updated wage charts forthcoming
COVID MOUs Extended Again
The following Memoranda of Understanding between the United States Postal Service and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union have been extended through September 30, 2021. The parties agree to meet and discuss these Memoranda of Understanding prior to September 30, 2021, to determine whether or not further extension is appropriate.
• Re: Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID-19
• Re: Temporary Exception Period COVID-19* (Revised March 19, 2021)
• Re: Suspension of Temporary Additional Paid Leave for MHAs
Local 300 Member Events
Local 300 is subsiding the costs of member events. The cost to the members and their guests are substantially discounted from face value. No buses will be available for these events.
Please send checks or money orders payable to:
NPMHU LOCAL 300 20 W. 33rd St. Suite 8A New York, NY 10001 Attention: Treasurer
Great Adventure – Saturday 8/21/21
- $40 per ticket, single day admission, free parking
- 10 ticket limit per member
- Kids 2 years old and younger free admission
- All you can eat buffet 12:30PM to 2:30PM
- Limited tickets available, first come – first served
- See a steward for details, purchase tickets by 8/6/21
- Click here for the flyer to this event
NY JETS GAME vs. NE Patriots – 9/19/21 1PM
- $40 per ticket, single day admission, free parking
- 10 ticket limit per member
- Parking pass available (discounted) $30 per vehicle
- Limited tickets available, first come – first served
- Mezzanine level (Sections 227 or 228)
- See a steward for details, purchase tickets by AUGUST 20, 2021
- Revised Jets Flyer New Due Date
Local 300 Scholarship Open
2021 BERNARD HOLLOWAY, JOHN A. ORCHARD, EDWARD J. MILLER, WALLY MERWIN, AND AARON PRESTON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
The Local Union Council and members of Local 300 of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union are proud to announce the annual competition for the Bernard Holloway, John A. Orchard, Edward J. Miller, Wally Merwin and Aaron Preston Memorial Scholarship Awards.
We will be awarding five (5) $1,000 scholarships for study at an accredited college, university, or trade school. The scholarships are available for regular members, a legal spouse of a regular member, children, grandchildren, and legal wards of our regular members.
The five brothers memorialized in this scholarship devotedly served the cause of Mail Handlers and enabled us all to benefit.
In awarding these scholarships we re-affirm our commitment to increasing the educational opportunities available to our members and to the working class. We also reaffirm our commitment to struggle for knowledge and genuine democracy in order to create a better world in which an informed and enlightened people can best decide their fate.
All members are urged to read the “Requirements” for consideration and to urge every eligible applicant (a regular member, or a legal spouse of a regular member, a regular union member’s child, grand-child, or legal ward who meets the scholarship requirements) to apply.
Completed applications must be received at Local 300 headquarters by August 11, 2021
Click here for the info and the application Local 300 2021 Scholarship
Applications can also be obtained from your Local 300 Shop Stewards or by contacting:
Wilfredo Delgado, Treasurer – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NPMHU Local 300, Treasurer
20 West 33rd Street, Suite 8A
New York, N.Y. 10001-3305
6,596 MHAs Converted to Career Full-time Regular by 8/14/21
Linked above is a new MOU just signed by the NPMHU and the Postal Service to provide for additional Mail Handler staffing, in large part by converting 6,596 Mail Handler Assistants to full-time regular career employment no later than August 14, 2021. Also attached is a chart listing the 245 facilities in which these 6596 conversions will take place and the number of conversions that will take place in each listed facility.
As set forth in the MOU, the Postal Service has agreed to convert 6596 MHAs to career status, in the listed facilities, by August 14, 2021. In exchange, the parties agree to extend the exception period for the continued employment of MHAs in excess of the 24.5% installation cap until July 16, 2021 as set forth below. MHAs hired in excess of the 24.5% installation cap for COVID related reasons remain subject to a separate MOU.
1. The parties agree to extend the exception period for the continued employment of MHAs in excess of the 24.5% installation cap as set forth below:
A. Facilities other than those listed on the attached table that are in excess of the 24.5% installation cap will separate Peak MHA hires (i.e., MHAs hired for reasons unrelated to COVID-19) on or before July 16, 2021, following the procedures of the current National Agreement.
B. Installations that plan to convert five or fewer non-career employees to career status in accordance with the attached table will be permitted to retain the number of Peak MHA hires above the 24.5% installation cap equal to the amount of conversions listed in the table beyond July 16, 2021. After the above-referenced conversions are completed and accounted for in the MHA cap, those retained Peak MHA hires above the 24.5% installation cap will be separated on or before August 27, 2021 following the procedures of the National Agreement. All other Peak MHA hires in these facilities will be separated on July 16, 2021, following the procedures of the current National Agreement.
C. After the above-referenced conversions are completed and accounted for in the MHA cap, facilities listed on the attached table that are in excess of the 24.5% installation cap and which plan to convert more than five non-career employees to career status in accordance with the attached table will separate any non-COVID related MHA hires on or before August 27, 2021 following the procedures of the current National Agreement.
Additionally, we have agreed that the exception period for the 2021 peak season for exceeding the 24.5% limitation as set forth in Article 7.1 B3, will be expanded by one additional accounting period. This additional accounting period must be adjacent to the two accounting periods previously identified to the Union under Article 7.1B3 for 2021 and the Postal Service shall notify the Union, at the National level and at the appropriate installation, of the selected additional accounting period for each installation no later than July 30, 2021.
Also see attached a copy of the Questions & Answers that have been agreed to for this MOU Re: Additional Mail Handler Staffing – June 21, 2021. Please contact the National CAD should you have any questions.
520 MHAs in Local 300 to be converted to Career
- NYC (Morgan) – 90
- NDC – 81
- Teterboro (NNJ Metro) – 56
- Bethpage – 48
- Brooklyn – 45
- DVD – 41
- Greater Newark – 40
- Westchester – 38
- Flushing – 27
- ISC/JFK – 22
- Mid Island – 17
- Western Nassau – 9
- Stamford – 6
Contract Interpretation Manual
NOW AVAILABLE: CONTRACT INTERPRETATION MANUAL (CIM) Version 5
As provided for in Article 15, Section .3E of the National Agreement between the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the United States Postal Service, both parties have agreed to jointly produce a Contract Interpretation Manual (CIM), which represents a good faith effort to identify contractual issues on which the National parties are in agreement regarding interpretation and application of the parties’ National Agreement. The latest issue of the CIM is Version 5, which was released on June 8, 2021.
Click to download the bookmarked CIM-v.5-FINAL-NPMHU(pdf)
COVID MOUs Extended to 8/6/21
- MOU – Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID-19
- MOU – Temporary (MHA) Exception Period COVID-19
- Liberal Changes of Schedule and Leave
- MOU – Suspension of Temporary Additional Paid Leave for MHAs
- MOU – Temporary Extension on Step 3 and Arbitration Appeals
NPMHU Call to Action: Tell your elected officials to support H.R. 3076/S. 1720
The House and Senate introduced the Postal Reform Act of 2021, H.R. 3076/S. 1720. This legislation would repeal the burdensome mandate to prefund retiree healthcare benefits and calls for future retirees to enroll in Medicare. These actions alone would save the Postal Service $44 billion over ten years. Additionally, the bill would offer greater transparency by requiring additional reporting finances and performance, as well as a public dashboard to inform customers on delays.
H.R. 3076 already passed with the House Committee on Oversight, and S. 1720 has enough cosponsors that it would pass when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote.
We ask you reach out to your Representative and Senators, letting them know you support this legislation, and they should too.
You can find a prepared letter at the NPMHU Action center, https://npmhu.quorum.us/, with this message.
Thank you for your assistance on this matter.
NPMHU Seeks EFEL Clarification From OPM
The National Office has sent the attached letter to Kathleen McGettigan, Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management requesting clarification on their guidelines for EFEL Qualifying Circumstance #5.
According to the OPM guidance, a covered employee is eligible for EPL if the employee certifies “that he or she is unable to work because of a qualifying circumstance.” One qualifying circumstance is “(5) Caring for employee’s child when required because, due to COVID-19 precautions, the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the child is participating in virtual learning instruction, or the child’s care provider is unavailable.” The guidance goes on to state that “[t]his circumstance applies only when an employee needs to, and actually is, caring for the employee’s son or daughter and if the employee is unable to work (including telework) as a result of providing care.” Finally, the guidance directs federal agencies, including the Postal Service, “[t]o confirm eligibility for EPL based on qualifying circumstance (5)” by requiring “an employee [to] provide to the agency— (1) the name of the son or daughter being cared for; (2) the name of the school, place of care, or child care provider and a brief description of the situation (i.e., closure, use of on-line instruction, unavailability of the child care provider); and (3) a written explanation regarding why the employee’s circumstances (e.g., ages of children, number of children, special needs of children, lack of other adults in the home) make the employee unable to work (including telework) during the requested hours of leave.”
After OPM guidance was issued, management at the Postal Service issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) to cover postal employees, including mail handlers. Those FAQs included in number 8 the following question and answer:
I work a tour that does not directly conflict with my child’s hours of virtual/hybrid schooling or my need to provide childcare as a result of the childcare provider’s unavailability. Am I eligible for EFEL under qualifying reason 5?
No. EFEL under qualifying reason 5 is available only for hours that an employee actually is providing childcare because of the qualifying reason.
As made clear by the Postal Service’s answer to this FAQ, postal management has taken the position that an employee is eligible only if the employee “actually is” providing childcare during the hours that the employee is scheduled to work. The NPMHU believes that this restriction is a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of OPM’s guidance, which simply states that to be eligible the employee “actually is” caring for a child and because the employee is providing such childcare the employee is “unable to work.” The NPMHU does not believe that the OPM guidance requires an absolute match between the hours providing childcare and the hours required or scheduled to work.
NY Congressman Suozzi Also Asks OPM For EFEL Clarification
Postal Reform Act and the Postal Improvement Act
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform passed the bipartisan Postal Reform Act of 2021 (H.R. 3076). This bill would repeal the 2006 mandate requiring the USPS to prefund its retiree healthcare benefits; require future retirees and their annuitants to enroll in Medicare when eligible; provide agreements with state, local and tribal governments to provide non-commercial services; and, call upon the Postal Service to conduct studies on service standards and create a public facing dashboard, informing postal customers on delays.
By eliminating the prefunding mandate and calling for prospective integration into Medicare, the Postal Service would save $4.4 billion annually. No other private business or public agency prefunds their retiree healthcare, and postal employees have contributed over $35 billion to Medicare over the past four decades, while not fully taking advantage of its benefits. This is a commonsense solution that is supported by labor, management, Republicans, and Democrats alike.
Additionally, the bill allows for agreements with state, local, or tribal governments to provide property and services on behalf of such agencies for non-commercial products and services, such as providing fishing and hunting licenses, as a means of growth. This has been a long-standing item on NPMHU’s legislative agenda, and we are glad to see it was included in this bill.
Last summer, Mail Handlers and customers grappled with changes to service standards and delivery times. Recognizing the problem, H.R. 3076 would create a dashboard on the USPS website that would inform customers of delays and issues with services. This is the kind of transparency Americans deserve from the Postal Service.
We look forward to seeing this bill move through the House, and the NPHMU is working with its friends in the Senate to ensure the bill gains support in that chamber so it will eventually become law. On behalf of NPMHU members, I would like to thank Chairwoman Maloney and Ranking Member Comer on their tireless work on H.R. 3076. As Mail Handlers know, the Postal Service and the work of its employees are essential to Americans across the country. This bill provides the first steps to much needed financial stability. The NPMHU looks forward to our continued work with the entire Committee on Oversight and Reform.
After approving H.R. 3076, the House Committee passed along partisan lines the Postal Service Improvement Act of 2021 (H.R. 3077). This bill includes language that would provide tracking for mail-in ballots for future federal elections, as well as a provision that provides twelve weeks of paid leave to postal employees for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. During today’s committee business meeting, additional amendments were added to the bill that included modernizing the postal fleet with electric vehicles; utilizing letter carriers in the 2030 census; requiring financial disclosures from the Postmaster General and the Deputy Postmaster General before they assume duties; ensuring members of Congress cannot be denied access to postal facilities for basic oversight observations; and restoring service standards to those in effect as of January 1, 2020.
Thank you to the Committee for its work and continued support of the Postal Service and its dedicated workforce.
USPS Releases FAQs on EFEL
Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The National Office of theNPMHU has just received a document from the Postal Service regarding Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL).
The FAQs are also available on the Coronavirus Employee Resources page on LiteBlue, under the EFEL tab.
Stand Up Talks are expected to be given next week.
Additional EFEL Info
Employees who requested EFEL and were “conditionally approved” from March 11, 2021 to May 3, 2021 will be mailed letters to their address of record, asking them to complete the necessary EFEL forms and provide applicable documentation to their direct supervisor or manager by May 21, 2021.
OPM Provides EFEL Guidance
See memo below from National NPMHU and USPS letter on OPM Guidance.
OPM has finally provided guidance on EFEL (COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave).
Related Benefits Administration Letters (BALs) posted at https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/benefits-administration-letters/
- BAL 21-102, “The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021—Emergency Paid Leave Effect on Retirement”
- BAL 21-303, “COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave Reimbursement”
EFEL – New eRMS Codes Memo
This memorandum addresses a new procedure for entry into the Enterprise Resource Management Application (eRMS) relating to employee leave requests for Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL). This leave became available as part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) effective March 11, 2021.
Previously issued guidance instructed eRMS users to input hours code 086-21 for all EFEL requests beginning on March 11, 2021. Effective April 10 (PP09/Wk01), the eRMS application will have available reason codes to accompany the hours code 086. eRMS users should no longer use the hours/reason code 086-21. The following reason codes have now been made available for input. The selected reason code must relate to the EFEL qualifying reason associated with the employee’s leave request:
- 086-01 – Pandemic Isolation Order—Employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- 086-02 – Pandemic Quarantine Self—Employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
- 086-03 – Pandemic Quarantine Other—Employee is caring for an individual who is subject to such an order as in (1) or has been so advised as in (2).
- 086-04 – Pandemic Seeking Care—Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- 086-05 – Pandemic Child Care—Employee is caring for the employee’s son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, requires or makes optional a virtual learning instruction model, requires or makes optional a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning instruction models, or if the child care provider of the son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.
- 086-07 – Pandemic Adult Care—Employee is caring for a family member with a mental or physical disability or who is 55 years of age or older and incapable of self-care, without regard to whether another individual other than the employee is available to care for such family member, if the place of care for such family member is closed or the direct care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
- 086-08 – Pandemic Vaccine—Employee is obtaining immunization (vaccination) related to COVID-19 or is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to such immunization.
FEMA offers COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for funeral costs specifically related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for funeral expenses at 100 percent federal cost share.
Due to the unprecedented number of deaths caused by COVID-19, FEMA will implement this Interim Policy to streamline the delivery of Funeral Assistance. When implemented, this Interim Policy:
• Establishes eligibility criteria for funeral assistance specific to COVID-19 related deaths;
• Minimizes the documentation review typically required to award Funeral Assistance; and
• Establishes a standard Funeral Assistance maximum award amount for COVID-19 related deaths.
New FTR Webinars for MHBP
In conjunction with the NPMHU, the Mail Handlers Health Benefit Plan (MHBP) are currently holding a number of webinars for the newly appointed FTR’s to assist them in selecting health care coverage. These live sessions summarize the MHBP plans and are interactive so the attendees can ask any questions they may have regarding the process. The MHBP.com website has details regarding the webinar schedule and sign up instructions for your new FTR’s, (or any potential member for that matter). Here’s a link to the specific page: https://mhbp.com/webinars/. Click on the “Mail Handlers-Special Sessions” for sign up information. Newly appointed FTR’s are encouraged to attend at least one of these informative webinars.
PMG DeJoy Releases 10 Year Plan for USPS
Earlier today, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the USPS Board of Governors released their long-awaited ten-year plan for the U.S. Postal Service, setting forth a series of strategies by which USPS management hopes to improve service and ensure financial stability. The plan reviews the massive changes in mail volume and mail mix over the past several decades, and urges that a series of steps be adopted to deal with difficulties in processing and delivering mail, reducing employee turnover, and addressing long-term financial shortfalls. A copy of the plan is linked here.
DVD Member Marc Larracas
It is with regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of Local 300 DVD Mail Handler, Marc Gerald Larracas. His death is attributed to complications from the Coronavirus. Brother Larracas was born on 7/1/1970 and passed on 3/17/2021.
Marc began his career with the USPS on 10/16/93; he worked in the DVD P&DC in Kearny, NJ.
Please keep Brother Laraccas’ family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.
Bergen County Central Trades & Labor Council, AFL-CIO Scholarships Available
All members of NPMHU Local 300 & their dependents are eligible and may apply.
- Abe Solomon Scholarship
- Ed Purtill Community Services Scholarship
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) & Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) Memo
When President Biden was sworn into office on January 20, 2021, he promised that one of his first actions would be to help push through the next COVID-19 relief package. On March 11, the American Rescue Plan Act (P.L. 117-2) was signed into law. While most attention has been paid to the provisions in the bill that give direct payments to 85% of Americans and to revenue grants for state and local government, there also are important provisions providing emergency leave and compensation to members of the postal workforce.
As many NPMHU members are aware, last year’s CARES Act (P.L. 116-136) offered postal employees leave due to COVID-19 related illness; these statutory guarantees expired at the end of 2020, however, leaving employees without this safety net.
The American Rescue Plan revives this protection for all Mail Handlers and other postal employees by providing postal and federal employees with up to 600 hours or 15 weeks of leave, known as the Emergency Federal Employee Leave or EFEL. This leave is available if a postal employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms, has to self-isolate due to COVID-19, seeks medical attention to address symptoms of COVID-19, or has to take care of children or elderly relatives due to lack of schooling or care. Payments are capped at $35.00 an hour. It should be noted that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has allocated only $570 million to fund this leave for the entirety of the postal and federal workforces. Once these funds have been exhausted, Congress will have to revisit the need to provide leave again. Also, any payments received under this program will not count toward any retirement annuity and cannot be used to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan.
American Rescue Plan Act (Act) Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL)
Effective March 12, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (Act) provides employees with up to 600 hours of paid Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL). This leave is available to employees beginning on March 12, 2021, and continuing through September 30, 2021—or until the funding established in the Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund (Fund) for reimbursement is exhausted. The leave is available to eligible employees who are unable to work due to one of eight qualifying reasons as summarized in the chart below:
|Emergency Federal Employee Leave|
|Qualifying Reasons||Leave Eligibility|
|An employee is entitled to take EFEL related toCOVID-19 if the employee is unable to work becausethe employee:
1. is subject to a Federal, State, or localquarantine or isolation order related toCOVID-19.
2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
3. is caring for an individual who is subject to such an order as in (1) or has been so advised as in (2).
4. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms andseeking a medical diagnosis.
5. is caring for the employee’s son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, requires or makes optional a virtual learning instruction model, requires or makes optional a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning instruction models, or if the child care provider of the son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID-19 precautions.
6. is experiencing any other substantially similar condition.
7. is caring for a family member with a mental or physical disability or who is 55 years of age or older and incapable of self-care, without regard to whether another individual other than the employee is available to care for such family member, if the place of care for such family member is closed or the direct care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
8. is obtaining immunization (vaccination) related to COVID-19 or is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to such immunization.
As a reminder, the Postal Service provides an essential federal government service as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Therefore, postal employees are generally not subject to Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation orders related to COVID-19, so employees will generally not be eligible to use EFEL for qualifying reason (1) above. Additionally, no substantially similar condition has been identified that would qualify an employee to use leave for qualifying reason (6) above.
We are continuing to work the issues associated with implementation of these new leave requirements, and we anticipate receiving additional guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which will administer the Fund, in the coming weeks. In the interim, employees seeking to use EFEL should submit a PS Form 3971 indicating for which of the eight qualifying reasons they must take leave, and employees must affirmatively state that they are unable to work because of the qualifying reason.
For now, this leave should be managed and tracked within the Enterprise Resource Management System (eRMS). Timekeepers will be instructed to enter the interim hours code 086-21 in eRMS for all employees, and then verify the Administrative Leave is entered in the appropriate timekeeping system using either hours code 086-21 for City or DACA Code O for Rurals.
We will update you with additional instructions and guidance as our processes for managing this new leave are developed and implemented.
MHBP – Mail Handlers Health Benefit Plan – For 2nd Term MHAs and new Full-Time Regulars
MHBP Consumer or Value Option is available for 2nd Term MHAs, with employer contribution to the premium cost. Note; Second Term MHAs will NOT receive employer contributions for Standard Option, instead consider Consumer Option and Value Plan
Local 300 Women’s Caucus Newsletter
March is Women’s History Month! Newsletter produced by our outstanding Women on the Local 300 Women’s Caucus. March 2021 Newsletter (click here)
Shirley Ramos – Chairperson – Bronx
Lucy Lombardo – JFK
Michelle Kimber-Sadler – NJI/NDC
Atika Mohammad – Brooklyn
Sediqua Perry – Greater Newark
Tomiko Utley – New York City
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) set at $416
Effective February 27, 2021, (Pay Period 06-2021) all career Mail Handler craft employees are scheduled to receive a cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment as outlined in Article 9.3 of the 2019 National Agreement. This is the third of six possible COLA increases under the terms of the current agreement. This COLA increase is based on the upward change in the relevant Consumer Price Index (CPI) following release of the January 2021 Index, using the July 2019 CPI index as a base provides an annual increase of $416 for all Steps in Table 1 and for Step P of Table 2. The remaining Steps in Table 2 will receive the proportional COLA increase percentages as outlined in Article 9.3 of the National Agreement.
WAGE CHART (Effective PP06-2021) pdf
NPMHU Legislative Agenda for the 117th Congress
Moving forward into the 117th Congress, 2021-2022, the NPMHU will push a legislative agenda that addresses the needs of the Postal Service and its workforce as it continues to face the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; tackles needed postal reform that ensures the financial sustainability of the Postal Service and protects its workers; strengthens workers’ rights to organize; protects postal workers’ earned retirement and healthcare benefits; and supports vote by mail initiatives at the state and national levels.
- COVID-19 Relief
- Provide $25 billion in emergency funding to address pandemic-related revenue losses.
- Provide $25 billion in funding for “shovel ready projects.”
- Provide hazard pay for essential workers, which includes all postal employees.
- Provide an additional 14 weeks of paid leave to postal employees because the employee is unable to work because of: quarantine or isolation orders related to COVID-19; self-quarantining due to health concerns; caring for a family member who is self-quarantining; caring for a child or dependent who cannot attend in-person learning or outside-of-the-home care due to COVID-19; or obtaining COVID-19 immunization or recovering from any side effects of such immunization.
- Ensure that postal employees are recognized as frontline essential employees and are prioritized in states’ COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans.
- Comprehensive Postal Reform
- Repeal of the 2006 mandate for the USPS to prefund its retiree healthcare benefits.
- Provide for certain index fund investments for the Retiree Health Benefits Fund, rather than restricting the Fund to low-yielding Treasury bonds.
- Require Postal Service annuitants 55 and younger as of January 1, 2023 to enroll into Medicare when eligible for healthcare needs during retirement.
- Utilize postal-only assumptions for calculating pension liabilities.
- Nonpostal services to grow revenue.
- Such as providing fishing and hunting licenses
- Allow the shipment of alcoholic beverages directly between licensed producer and retailers to the consumer.
- Expand nonbanking financial services, providing ATMs, check cashing, bill pay, and expanded wire transfers and money orders.
- Utilize market-dominate postage rates.
- Instate 50% of the exigency surcharge rate
- Fundamentals of the Postal Service
- Protect the basic fundamentals of the Postal Service, ensuring that every American household and business, in urban, suburban, and rural areas, has access to the universal service provided by the USPS.
- Ensure that the Postal Service remains an independent establishment of the Federal Government and is not subject to privatization.
- Continuation of door delivery for all business and residential customers.
- Ensure the continuation of its 6-day mail delivery service.
- Strengthening Service Standards
- In the summer of 2020, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy instituted drastic changes to services. The negative impacts on delivery were seen almost immediately, with week-long delays of government and personal correspondence, vital medications, and needed home goods. While these changes in services were temporarily reversed, the Postal Service previously experienced cutbacks in service standards that have never been reinstated, including the virtual elimination of overnight delivery of first-class mail and periodicals. This does nothing but drive away customers and negatively impacts revenue. The NPMHU asks lawmakers in the 117th Congress to support a resolution that calls for the Postal Service to revert back to its 2012 levels.
- Protecting Earned Retirement and Healthcare Benefits
- The NPMHU is concerned about…
- Moving from a high-3 to a high-5 for annuity calculations;
- Eliminating FERS Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and reducing CSRS COLAs by 0.5%;
- Eliminating the FERS retirement supplement plan for those who retire before the age of 65;
- Reducing the G-Fund interest rates for those under the Thrift Savings Plan; and,
- Increasing employee retirement and healthcare contributions.
- The NPMHU will work with lawmakers to strengthen retirement benefits as well. These measures include:
- The elimination or curtailing of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP).
- Providing temporary employees hired after January 1989 with the opportunity to make additional contributions to their retirement plans, allowing eligible employees to retire on time with full retirement benefits.
- The NPMHU is concerned about…
- Promoting Workers’ Rights
- Protecting the Right to Organize
- Strengthen current federal laws by allowing private-sector workers to organize and join a union and bargain for better wages and benefits.
- Despite the growth of production over the past years, American wages continue to fall behind and the federal minimum wage remains outpaced by inflation. In the 116th Congress, the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582/S. 150) called to increase federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2025, with gradual increases over a five-year period.
- The NPMHU will also work with our brothers and sisters in LiUNA to protect prevailing wage laws, especially those under the Service Contract Act.
- Protecting the Right to Organize
- Strengthen American Elections
- In the November 2020 general election, the Postal Service processed and delivered 135 million ballots (to and from voters), 610 million pieces of election mail, and an additional 4 billion pieces of political mail. The Postal Service delivered 97.9% of ballots within 3 days and 99.7% of ballots within 5 days.
- The NPMHU will promote legislation, primarily at the state and local level, to encourage democratic participation through “vote by mail” initiatives, and will support such efforts at the federal level as well.
- The NPMHU will take all reasonable steps to ensure that mail handlers and their families are actively involved in upcoming elections, through voter registration, education, and efforts to increase turn-out. It is critical that all mail handlers and their families not only are registered to vote, but that they go to the polls to have their voices heard. We must continue to work to ensure that pro-union, pro-worker candidates are elected to represent our interests.
NJI-NDC Member Nair Tiliouine
It is with regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of Local 300 NDC Mail Handler, Nadir Tiliouine. His death is attributed to complications from the Coronavirus. Brother Tiliouine passed on April 29, 2020.
Nadir began his career with the USPS in 2005; he worked in the NJI-NDC in Jersey City. He was a kind man, known for being a hard worker. Nadir was 62 years old. Please watch local sources for funeral arrangement details.
Please keep Brother Tiliouine’s family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.
Message from the Local President regarding the current pandemic.
March 18, 2020
To: Members of NPMHU Local 300
RE: COVID-19 Update
These are trying times for us. We are literally at War with an enemy we cannot see. All of us are on the front lines of this War. Mail Handlers have been through other challenging times (9/11, Anthrax, bombs in the mail, etc.) The Coronavirus is a serious threat to us, we all have to vigilant and remain calm, adjusting to this “new normal.”
On the national level, the NPMHU has been meeting with the USPS – Postmaster General and senior postal officers on a continual basis.
As of today, USPS employees that have tested positive nationwide:
2 – Seattle, WA (Clerk/MH)
2 – Westchester P&DC (EAS)
1 – Raleigh, NC
1 – White Plains, NY Post Office 1 – Manhattan (MVO)
2 – NY District (Postal Police)
There are approximately 150 USPS employees on self-quarantine by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), or other medical professionals.
These numbers will increase as the number of people tested increase with more testing being finally made available.
On the local level, since the evening of Saturday March 14, 2020 – I have been having daily constant contact with the USPS on the NE Area, District(s) and
installation levels. Tom Ruther our NPMHU NE Regional Director has been providing direct updates to Local 300 on a daily basis.
The USPS is not the lead agency during this pandemic. They are to follow the recommendations of the CDC and HHS. Below is a summary of the USPS Policy for COVID-19
- Employees returning from a “LEVEL 3” country or a cruise that visited a “LEVEL 3” country or had a confirmed positive test of another passenger, will be told to self-quarantine and paid Administrative Leave for 14 days.
- Employees who were in “close contact” – defined right now as within 6 feet or closer for 10 minutes or more – with someone who tested positive with COVID- 19, will be told to self-quarantine and paid Administrative Leave for 14 days. Note the definition of close contact has been changing during this fluid time.
- If employees develop symptoms of COVID-19 while on the 14-day self- quarantine, their leave will be changed from Administrative Leave to Sick Leave.
- If employee tests positive for COVID-19, they must remain out of work for at least 14 days and only allowed to return to work with a medical certification for work clearance.
- Postal Service buildings should be cleaned on regular basis on touch surfaces (door handles, mail processing equipment consoles, etc…)
- Gloves, masks, hand sanitizer should be available for employees. -Sanitizing wipes are in short supply. Many locations are making a cleaning solution with alcohol and wiping the commonly touched areas.
- All employees should be receiving regular stand-up talks from USPS management. If you are not, please notify a shop steward immediately.
We all need to practice SOCIAL DISTANCING. Keep 6 feet apart at all times. We have asked for stand up talks to be given to limited number of employees at a time, no huddling together for the talks. The USPS will be giving a stand-up talk on Social Gatherings.
PLEASE, IF YOU FEEL SICK, STAY HOME!
The USPS has now instituted a ‘liberal leave policy.’ Absences taken during this pandemic should not be used in future discipline. It is a matter of choice to come to work if you don’t feel comfortable commuting to work or at work. You should not feel ‘bullied’ by management to come to work or them try to hold you at work. Sick leave, annual leave, LWOP should be approved consistent with USPS leave regulations & documentation requirements. You still have to call to report your absences.
School & Daycare Closings – parents can use up to 80 hours of Sick Leave for Dependent Care (SLDC) for unexpected childcare needs. A national Memorandum Of Understating (MOU) was just signed today to reflect this change. The USPS said they would approve changes of schedule to the fullest extent possible.
The NPMHU National HQ was looking to get special leave available for MHAs. MHAs do not accrue leave in the same manner as FTRs. They are not eligible for paid sick leave or paid administrative leave. Also occurring today, a national MOU was signed giving MHAs up to 80 hours of paid leave for use in conjunction with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National office of the NPMHU is located in AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington, DC. The building will be closed for 2 weeks. The national officers, contract administration department, and staff will be working remotely to the fullest extent possible. Phone calls will be forwarded to the remote locations.
The counting of the ballots for the 2019 National Agreement will be delayed. The ballots have been locked and secured. They shall be counted in the near future.
Local 300 Headquarters located in NYC is open. The officers and staff are available. If we cannot answer the phone when you call, we will get back to you.
All around Local 300, we have been enforcing the enhanced cleaning procedures and constantly checking to ensure management is providing masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. Wipes have been in short supply. Please wash your hands frequently, wear gloves. Ask your supervisor for gloves or a mask. If these or hand sanitizer is unavailable request a shop steward.
On Saturday night, the ‘new normal’ started. I was notified of 2 EAS employees testing positive for COVID-19 at Westchester P&DC. The 2 employees did not work since 3/4/20 & 3/6/20 respectively. Other employees that had ‘close contact’ were told not to work and put on mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days. We faced initial resistance when we demanded the facility be closed for deep cleaning and sanitization. The Union was successful. An outside contractor was brought in. The installation was closed for 24 hours for this to occur. I visited the Westchester P&DC on yesterday. It was good to see the members and they were in good spirits.
The contract will be enforced to the fullest extent during this time. USPS leaders on the national, NE Area, and district levels have given us assurances that contractual provisions and procedures will be followed. However, as history dictates, there are many supervisors and managers that do not! If you have an concerns at all, speak with a shop steward, Branch President, or contact Local 300 HQ.
Attendance in each location is becoming a problem. Each location is short staffed. The USPS is looking to hire additional employees. Most locations have open overtime opportunities. Please work safe and perform the functions of one person, not the work of 2 or more.
We are working with the USPS to get even more cleaning done in all locations. Please don’t pay attention to rumors, especially on social media.
The USPS is a vital essential service for the country. We ensure the communication network for the nation – Packages need to be delivered – Medicines need to be received. I am very proud of each and every one of you. Keep up the great work providing this essential service for our country. We are expecting a parcel increase since most products are only available online due to store closures. Now is the time for us Mail Handlers to shine. You are a Hidden Hero of the Postal Service. It would take a Presidential order to shut down the USPS. Even though he has no passion for the USPS, I wouldn’t expect that to occur.
We will provide periodic updates on our official NPMHU Local 300 website atwww.local300npmhu.org – our smartphone app, and postings on Union bulletin boards.
Kevin Tabarus, President, NPMHU Local 300
Local 300 has moved! Right behind the Empire State Building.
We have finally completed the move. A project which was begun in 2015, has reached fruition. Please come by and pay your HQ a visit.
20 W 33rd Street, Suite 8A New York, NY 10001.
NPMHU Local 300 – Smartphone APP now in Apple APP STORE
Local 300 is proud to have completed a smartphone application, only for the members of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union Local 300. We are the first & only NPMHU Local Union in the nation that has developed a smartphone app for its members. The app is available for download to all Local 300 Members via the Google App store, or the Apple App store (NPMHU Local 300). The app will send ‘push notifications’ on breaking news, events, contract information, salary increases, etc. It also contains many other useful resources, such as the National Contract, Contract Interpretation Manual (CIM), etc. To download this member-only app, click on the link for android users: Google App Store for iPhone users APPLE STORE
Or search the Google or Apple APP Store “NPMHU Local 300”
The process for the app download is as follows:
1. Download the app via your iPhone or Android device.
2. Signup as a new user to the app. (Complete all fields)
3. You will first be sent an automatic ‘verification code’ to your email this is verification of your email, and does not give you access to the app.
4. After you enter the code into the app you will be sent an email advising you that have been approved, but pending membership verification. Be aware that you will not have automatic access to the app until we verify that you are a member of Local 300.
5. After the verification of your membership, you will receive a final email message indicating that you are approved. Log in, enter your password and start using the app.