ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After declaring an impasse in contract negotiations eight months ago, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA) and United States Postal Service faced the prospect of submitting their contract proposals to an interest arbitrator for resolution. Today, February 11, the NRLCA is pleased to announce that the parties have reached a tentative agreement. The agreement covers the period from May 21, 2015, to May 20, 2018, and provides for significant improvements to and protections for rural letter carriers’ terms and conditions of employment. A majority of the voting NRLCA membership must ratify the agreement for it to become effective.
Since reaching an impasse in their efforts to negotiate a successor contract to the 2010-2015 National Agreement, the parties continued to work on narrowing the differences that stood in the way of reaching a fair, mutually-acceptable contract. The NRLCA’s bottom line included increases in compensation, maintenance of COLA and the no-layoff clause, and several other important advances for the craft. Ultimately, the parties successfully bridged their differences and reached a tentative agreement.
NRLCA President Jeanette Dwyer stated: “The Union’s persistence and unrelenting negotiation efforts paved the way to a tentative agreement that provides for meaningful wage increases and significant improvements in rural carriers’ rights and benefits.”
Among other changes, the tentative agreement includes the following highlights:
General wage increases:
- 2015: 1.2%
- 2016: 1.3%
- 2017: 1.3%
- Continued COLA adjustments (in addition to annual wage increases)
- An increase in Equipment Maintenance Allowance
- Health benefits for eligible non-career bargaining unit employees
- Bereavement leave for employees taking time off for the death of a family member
- Mail count opt-in/opt-out rights for Rural Carrier Associates serving auxiliary routes
- Work rule changes, including giving carriers on Long Life Vehicle routes rights to case Delivery Point Sequencing flats
- A new non-carrier bargaining unit employee classification–Assistant Rural Carrier–to perform certain Saturday, Sunday, and holiday duties
The Union’s national officers will travel the country to discuss the agreement’s details with NRLCA members and answer questions in advance of the ratification vote, which is scheduled for the weekend of March 5, 12, and 19.
Release No. 16-1