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 – Interim Procedures Extended again to 5/7/21
The USPS is extending their interim process through Friday, May 7, 2021, or until OPM finalizes its guidance on the administration of EFEL. The interim process will end when OPM issues its guidance, even if that is on or before May 7, 2021. We expect OPM will issue its final EFEL guidance this week, and we plan to immediately implement it once we receive it.
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.
UPDATE: American Rescue Plan Act—Emergency Federal Employee Leave
USPS extends interim EFEL requests to 4/28/21 or until OPM provides guidance.
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.
Benefits & Retirement Seminar
Zoom Retirement and Benefits Education Seminar
May 12, 2021 (Wednesday) 10:00 a.m.
Local 300 AFL-CIO is proud to arrange this extremely informative, hands on, NO COST RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS EDUCATION SEMINAR for our members.
This workshop will help you understand your benefits and help you make educated decisions, with professional advice.
This seminar is highly recommended for all members, whether you plan to retire within 10 years or are a MHA that started working just 10 months ago. You can never plan too early.
You must register by phoning Federal Prep at (631) 750-6499. You must provide your name, email address and EIN #.
- Prepare for Retirement and Learn about your benefits
- Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)
- Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS)
- Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
- Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
- Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)
- Social Security
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.
NPMHU and USPS Reach Agreement to Convert 865 MHAs to Full-time Regular Career MH
NJ NDC – 20 MHA conversions to FTR
Morgan (NYC) – 50 MHA conversions to FTR
Brooklyn – 30 MHA conversions to FTR
Greater Newark – 20 MHA conversions to FTR
March 22, 2021- Memorandum of Understanding Re Additional Mail Handler Staffing; Conversion of MHAs (pdf)
Linked here 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 865 Mail Handler Assistants to full-time regular career employment no later than May 22, 2021. Also attached is a chart listing the 43 facilities in which these 865 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 865 MHAs to career status, in the listed facilities, by May 22, 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 June 4, 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.
- 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:
- 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 April 23, 2021, following the procedures of the current National Agreement.
- 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 April 23, 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 June 4, 2021 following the procedures of the National Agreement. All other Peak MHA hires in these facilities will be separated on April 23, 2021, following the procedures of the current National Agreement.
- 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 June 4, 2021 following the procedures of the current National Agreement.
Also attached is a copy of the Questions & Answers that have been agreed to for this MOU Re: Additional Mail Handler Staffing – March 22, 2021
COVID MOUs Signed
Various COVID-18 Memorandum Of Understanding (MOUs) were signed today 3/19/21.
You can also find them at the link below.
USPS Releases Officers Memo: American Rescue Plan Act – Emergency Federal Employee Leave
The USPS has released a memo (dated 3/18/21) which supplements a March 12, 2021, memorandum addressing the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL).
“Following the issuance of that memorandum, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) advised the Postal Service that OPM is not prepared to implement EFEL at this time. OPM is charged with administering the EFEL Fund that will finance leave granted under the ARPA and, therefore is required to issue guidance covering how the leave is to be administered by covered agencies, including the Postal Service. Because of OPM’s need to finalize their guidance, the Postal Service is limited in its ability to fully implement EFEL at this time.
Notwithstanding, until such time as OPM finalizes its guidance on the administration of EFEL, the Postal Service will be observing the interim process described in this memorandum. We are continuing to work closely with OPM and hope that it will finalize its official guidance sometime within the next couple of weeks.
Under the interim process, employees may submit requests to use EFEL. However, supervisors and managers are only authorized to conditionally approved such leave requests for periods of up to two weeks: up to 80 hours for full-time employees and a proportional amount for part-time flexible (PTF) and non-career employees who do not have a 40-hour a week schedule. Employees must meet one of the qualifying reasons for the leave as outlined in the March 12, 2021, memorandum and must be unable to work as a result of that qualifying reason. At this time, requests for leave based on the EFEL qualifying reasons for dates after March 31, 2021, should not be approved or denied because we expect the final guidance from OPM to be issued before that date.”
Click on memos below for more info…
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.
MHBP Webinars for newly converted FTRs
MHBP webinars for newly converted FTRs. (click the link below)
Mail Handlers Benefit Plan to Host Informational Webinars for Newly Converted Fulltime Regulars is now posted. MHBP hosted webinars will begin on Wednesday March 17, 2021. We have received many questions about health benefits. This is a chance to hear from MHBP representatives directly. There will be time for questions at the conclusion of each session. New FTRs have 60 days from the effective date of conversion to FTR to make a health plan selection. If they do not act, most will be without coverage until 2022.
The following links are also included on the page. Finally, we will be sending push notifications to the mobile app in advance of each MHBP webinar session.
- Register for an upcoming webinar
- View informational videos
- Download the MHBP 2021 Promotional Brochure (pdf)
To register for an upcoming webinar, you will follow the registration link, Virtual open enrollment health fairs – Mail Handlers converting to Fulltime Career Status, then click on Mail Handlers – Special Sessions, enter your name, email, state zip code and choose the webinar session you will attend. Here is what the registration information looks like:
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.
COVID-19 Vaccine – Service Talk
Jan. 20, 2021 (From the USPS)
When will it be my turn to get vaccinated?
Like you, we are eager to learn when Postal Service employees will have access to COVID-19 vaccines. The goal is for everyone to be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.
Currently, the supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the United States is limited, but we are starting to hear that more vaccines should become available soon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others are providing recommendations to federal, state and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. The collective recommendation is that Postal Service employees be considered during the Phase 1B rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in state and local jurisdictions.
While the Postal Service continues to strive toward a standardized priority opportunity for our employees who choose to get the vaccine, we urge you not to delay your own access to a COVID-19 vaccination.
States, and in many cases, local jurisdictions, have their own plans for deciding which groups of people will be vaccinated first. We strongly urge you to review the information on your state and/or local public health websites, sign up for alerts and schedule a COVID-19 vaccination at the first opportunity available to you.
We will continue to provide updates as more information regarding access to COVID-19 vaccinations for our employees becomes available. Thank you for listening.
Mail Handler January Update: RETIREMENTS, APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS AT THE NPMHU
National Postal Mail Handlers Union will experience a flurry of transitions in the coming months starting with the Contract Administration Department (CAD) in the National Office. National President Paul Hogrogian also made four appointments to the NPMHU’s Committee on the Future (COTF). Local Presidents Kevin Tabarus(300), Dan St. Marie (301), Anthony Coleman (302) and James (JC) Morris (317) will be joining the Committee. These appointments continue to ensure that the COTF accurately reflects the NPMHU Local Union structure, and its membership alike. “It is imperative that the make-up of the Committee represents all of our membership and will encompass a diverse line-up of representatives from all walks of life, including locals large and small,” said President Hogrogian.
The 2021 Union Plus Scholarship deadline is January 31, 2021.
Start or complete your application today! https://unionplus.co/scholarship2021
NPMHU Negotiates MOU With USPS Converting 5,288 MHAs
December 24, 2020 – Memorandum of Understanding Re Additional Mail Handler Staffing; Conversion of MHAs (pdf)
Linked here, please find a new MOU just signed by the NPMHU and the Postal Service to provide for additional Mail Handler staffing, in large part by converting 5,288 Mail Handler Assistants to full-time regular career employment no later than March 13, 2021. Also attached is a 4-page chart listing the 183 facilities in which these 5,288 conversions will take place and the number of conversions that will take place in each listed facility.
Various COVID Memoranda Extended to 3/26/21
- MOU – Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID – 19
- MOU – Temporary Additional Leave for MHAs This extension provides the Mail Handler Assistants (MHAs) the opportunity to utilize the 80 hours of paid leave provided in the original MOU, it does not provide an additional 80 hours.
- MOU – MHA Temporary Exception Period – COVID – 19
- Liberal Changes of Schedule and Leave Letter dated March 23, 2020.
Note: Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was an act of Congress that expires 12/31/20.
NY/NJ Peak Crossdock details
New York/New Jersey Cross Dock, NJ Peak Cross Dock Volunteers Needed! From: P&DC’s located in the Bethpage, Brooklyn, DVD, Greater Newark, ISC/JFK, Mid-Island, Morgan, NJ NDC/STC, N. New Jersey Metro, Queens, Western Nassau
WHEN: December 5, 2020 through December 23, 2020 for 24/7 coverage
The New York/New Jersey Cross Dock, NJ Peak Cross Dock needs your help! The Cross Dock is located at 145 Talmadge Road, Suite 1, Edison NJ 08817. We are looking for volunteer Mail Handlers and Mail Handler Assistants to work for the duration of the facility’s operation (Friday, 12/5/2020 through Wednesday, December 23, 2020).
The work will include and is not limited to loading and unloading trucks, surface visibility scanning, consolidating containers, moving containers to and from staging areas and helping to keep the building fluid by organizing work areas and mail transport equipment. Although not required for consideration, trained equipment operators are helpful. Coverage across the twenty-four hours is needed so preferences will be granted based on a first come first served basis.
Overtime opportunities will include pre-tour, post-tour and non-service day as warranted. Travel expenses reimbursed. See service talk for further information.
MHAs Now Can Be Called Back from Lack of Work – for 2 Years
Previously, “MHAs separated for lack of work before the end of their term will be given preference for reappointment ahead of other MHAs with less relative seniority and ahead of other applicants who have not served as MHAs, provided that the need for hiring arises within twelve (12) months of their separation.” (emphasis added).
On 12/4/20 a NEW Memorandum Of Understanding was signed.
The parties now agree that for MHAs hired between March 26, 2020 and December 31, 2020, the above provision will be amended to read “within twenty-four (24) months of their separation.”
Benefits & Retirement Education Seminar
Federal Prep is doing a virtual Benefits & Retirement Seminar via Zoom on 12/9/20 at 1PM. This is for Union Members Only.
Local 300 AFL-CIO is proud to arrange this extremely informative, hands on, NO COST RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS EDUCATION SEMINAR for our members.
This workshop will help you understand your benefits and help you make educated decisions, with professional advice. This seminar is highly recommended for all members, whether you plan to retire within 10 years or are a MHA that started working just 10 months ago. You can never plan too early.
You must register by phoning Federal Prep at (631) 750-6499. You must provide your name, email address and EIN.
• Prepare for Retirement and Learn about your benefits
• Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS)
• Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS)
• Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
• Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
• Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)
• Social Security
New Paychart – Salary Increase
As provided for in Article 9.1 of the NPMHU 2019 National Agreement, the wage scales for all Mail Handler employees will be adjusted upward effective November 21, 2020. This is the second of three guaranteed wage increases provided for in the 2019 contract. Specifically, with regard to career employees: Effective November 21, 2020 – the basic annual salary for each grade and step of Table One and Table Two shall be increased by an amount equal to 1.0% of the basic annual salary for the grade and step in effect on September 20, 2019.
In addition to the general increases provided in Section 9.1 above, MHAs will receive an increase of 1.0% annually, for a total of 2.1% effective November 23, 2019, 2.0% effective November 21, 2020.
Click here to view or download a chart which reflects the new wage rates, for both career and MHA Mail Handlers, resulting from these November 21, 2020 contractual increases.
Consistent with Article XIV, Section 3 of the NPMHU National Constitution, we will be implementing a regular membership dues increase of one dollar ($1.00) per pay period to correspond with the second guaranteed wage increase provided for in the 2019 National Agreement. We are attempting to time the dues increase to coincide with the wage increase that is effective on November 21, 2020 (Pay Period 25) to be reflected in paychecks issued on December 11, 2020.
Open Season – Benefits & Annual Leave
Open Season begins 11/9/20 and ends on 12/14/20 for FEHB (Federal Employees Health Benefits), FEDVIP (Federal Employees Dental & Vision Insurance Program), ALE Program (Annual Leave Exchange), FLTCIP (Federal long Term Care Insurance Program) and the USPS Health Benefits Plan for Non-Career (MHA) employees.
UPDATE ON RETROACTIVE PAY
The retroactive pay due under the terms of the 2019 -2022 National Agreement will be included in the October 30, 2020 paychecks. There are multiple variables that determine how much any one employee will receive.
The retroactive general wage increase period was November 23, 2019 through April 24, 2020. The retroactive period for the March COLA increase was February 29, 2020 through April 24, 2020.
Retirees received retroactive pay for the hours that they were actively employed and worked from November 23, 2019 until their retirement date if their date was prior to April 24, 2020. This check was sent to their last office of record.
The amount an employee received was based on the following:
- Actual hours worked
- Step and level of pay during the retroactive pay period. For example a Level 5, Step P employee will not receive the same pay as a Level 4, Step A employee.
- Overtime hours worked
- Any shift differential worked, such as Sunday Premium, Night Differential, etc.
- Leave Hours paid
- LWOP Hours used
Women’s Caucus Newsletter
Local 300 Breast Cancer Shirts
The Local 300 Women’s Caucus has Breast Cancer T-Shirts on sale now. Local 300 will be subsidizing the cost to offer the shirts at a reduced cost.
T-SHIRTS ARE $10.00
SIZES ARE: S-4XL
SEE A SHOP STEWARD TO PLACE YOUR ORDER
ALL MONEY IS DUE BY OCTOBER 2, 2020
LOCAL 300 WILL MAKE A $1,000 DONATION TO THE MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER
Breast Cancer Shirt 2020 (pdf)
NPMHU Endorses Joe Biden for President
NPMHU members are facing unprecedented times. Despite the USPS being the most trusted federal agency, often it feels as if our work is undervalued and unappreciated by elected officials. We’ve seen attacks against our rights as workers, the service we provide, and the constitutionally protected institution we work for. We need a leader who will stand with us. We need Joe Biden.
Over the past four years, NPMHU members have faced direct threats on their livelihood from the Trump Administration. We saw a White House Postal Task Force that attacked postal labor, recommended taking away our collective bargaining rights and increasing the cost of our retirement benefits. The Task Force also made efforts to undermine the Postal Service itself, calling for moving away from a six-day delivery; expanding third-party partnership, which could lead to privatization; and, increasing postal rates, pricing customers out of the market.
President Trump further attacked the Postal Service in the media, calling it a “joke.” Our union knows how dedicated mail handlers and all postal employees are to their jobs; we take our work seriously. We ensure that every single American household and business receive their mail. We deliver needed medication to the elderly and our veterans. We make sure Social Security and Medicare checks get out on time. We deliver home goods to the house-bound during the pandemic. We keep family and friends connected.
Joe Biden has a history of supporting the United States Postal Service and postal workers and has committed to supporting the dedicated men and women of USPS. As a Senator, he fought against privatization; spoke out on the need for a six-day delivery; and has committed to protecting the universal service obligation, ensuring that every American, regardless if they are in urban, suburban, or rural areas, gets the same quality service. Joe Biden will support putting the Postal Service on a sustainable path forward and will ensure quality service continues.
Additionally, Joe Biden is a proven advocate for members of the labor movement, understanding its value to the growth of the middle class with the development of paid-leave, health and retirement benefit provisions, and the 40-hour work week. In contrast to the Trump Administration’s attacks on collective bargaining rights through the use of executive orders, Joe Biden will be a leader who will support and protect the men and women of labor.
Furthermore, Joe Biden picked a pro-postal, pro-labor running mate with Senator Kamala Harris. Currently, she’s the co-sponsor of several pieces of legislation protecting USPS from privatization; supporting the organization rights of public sector employees; and aiding the Postal Service through emergency appropriations in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
We’re facing a turning point in postal history. We need strong leadership that will have our backs. I urge every member of NPMHU to support Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, just as they’ll support us. – Paul Hogrogian, National President NPMHU
Local 300 Scholarships Awarded
2020 BERNARD HOLLOWAY, JOHN A. ORCHARD, EDWARD J. MILLER, WALLY MERWIN, AND AARON PRESTON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
The Local Union Council and members of Local 300 of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union are proud to announce the winners of the annual competition for the Bernard Holloway, John A. Orchard, Edward J. Miller, Wally Merwin, and Aaron Preston Memorial Scholarship Awards.
This year we have awarded five (5) $1,000 scholarships for study at an accredited college, university, or trade school.
Marina Rezk – Daughter of Samah Rezk of the DVD Branch. Marina is attending Rutgers University and her major field of study is Pharmacy.
Christine Philipose – Daughter of Anil Philipose of the Western Nassau Branch. Christine is attending St. John’s University and her major field of study is Pharmacy.
Beshoy Rezk – Son of Samah Rezk of the DVD Branch. Beshoy is attending Middlesex County College and his major field of study is Engineering.
Henry Lagreca – Son of Nicholas Lagreca of the NYC Branch. Henry is attending Eastern Connecticut State University and his major field of study is Sports medicine.
Angelica Cimirro – Daughter of Lawrence Cimirro of the DVD Branch. Angelica is attending Kean University and her major field of study is Elementary Education.
Happy Labor Day!
YouTube message from the NPMHU National President Paul Hogrogian and National Secretary-Treasurer Mike Hora.
GET OUT AND VOTE on 11/3/20!!!
This will be the most important election of our lifetime! We need to insure that Postal friendly candidates are elected.
Are you registered to vote? Do you know how to register? Do you need to know polling locations? What valid forms of ID? How to apply for absentee/vote by mail?
Voter information can be found at www.canivote.org. it is all organized by state. Should you have any questions, contact Local 300 Headquarters.
COLA $188 added to wages
COLA adjustment effective 8/29/20 MH Payscale – PP19-20 8-29-20
Senator Schumer calls on Congress to fund billions in COVID aid to Postal Service
On August 12, 2020 NY Senator Chuck Schumer held a press conference in front of Mid Island P&DC in Melville on Long Island. Mail Handlers Union Local 300 President Kevin Tabarus stood with other union officials from the NALC and the APWU.
Schumer called on lawmakers to put $25 billion into the United States Postal Service. Schumer says USPS has been increasingly struggling due to several reasons, including because more people are doing business electronically during the pandemic, COVID-19 expenses, etc.
We applaud Senator Schumer for his support and we support him!
NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney visits Morgan P&DC
On August 12, 2020 Congresswoman Maloney (NY 12th district) visited the Morgan P&DC in midtown Manhattan with Local 300 Vice President Yvette Johnson, New York City Branch President Irene Delgado, and Treasurer Wilfredo Delgado. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), is the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform. She has recently introduced the “Delivering for America Act” to Protect Delivery Standards for U.S. Postal Service. She has supported the USPS and we support her.
2019-2022 NPMHU National Agreement
A pdf version of the new contract is available here. Paper copies of the new contract are being mailed to all members home address.
Extension of COVID-19 Related Memorandum
The following Memorandum Of Understanding between the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the United States Postal Service have been extended through September 25, 2020.
1. MOU – Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID – 19
2. MOU – Temporary Additional Leave for MHAs This extension provides the Mail Handler Assistants (MHAs) the opportunity to utilize the 80 hours of paid leave provided in the original MOU, it does not provide an additional 80 hours.
3. MOU – Temporary Exception Period – COVID – 19
4. Liberal Changes of Schedule and Leave Letter dated March 23, 2020.
Doug Durr – Former Greater Newark Branch President
On behalf of Local 300, we would like to extend condolences to the family of Douglas Durr. Doug set the standard for Local 300 (The Greater Newark Branch). His years of solid dedication to USPS and his devotion to ethics and integrity made him a team leader unlike any other. He was a man who was respected by craft, management, associates and competitors alike.
Please accept our deepest sympathies and those of the membership at this sorrowful time.
Temperature Checking to Begin
The Postal Service will begin Temperature Checking at pilot sites for employees entering postal facilities.
Childcare for NYC Residents
Thanks to the hard-work of NY Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, USPS employees are eligible for free Childcare. This is open to all Essential Service Workers residing in New York City.
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.
COVID-19 Info on liteblue.usps.gov
All COVID-19 issued material/information by the Postal Service at the National Level and filtered down to the USPS Areas, Districts, and Installations should be found on the website. Information includes Stand-Up Service Talks, Questions & Answers, Families First Coronavirus Act leave FFCRA. If you are not receiving Stand-Up Talks, see a steward, your branch president, or contact Local 300 HQ at (212)431-0040. https://liteblue.usps.gov/lite-blue/covid19/welcome.htm
National NPMHU President Hogrogian’s April 29, 2020 Message to the Membership
April 29, 2020
Brothers and Sisters,
Mail Handlers and postal workers from around the country continue to courageously perform essential federal service under the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
When I last reported to you regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 8, 2020, there were 436 postal workers who were confirmed to be COVID-19 positive and 400 employees presumed to be positive for a total of 836 infected employees. The latest numbers (as of April 28, 2020) show 1,234 postal workers who have tested positive and 847 employees who have been presumed to be positive for a total of 2,081 infected employees. The number of Mail Handlers who tested positive is 142. Unfortunately, 46 postal workers have died as a result of COVID-19, including 3 Mail Handlers, although it is uncertain if all of these employees were exposed at their postal employment. These numbers will certainly continue to rise as the impact of the coronavirus has not yet reached its peak…. (Click here for more)
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.