- National Rural Letter Carriers' Association
Full name National Rural Letter Carriers' Association Founded 1903 Country United States Key people
Jeanette Dwyer, PresidentExecutive Committee: David Heather, Susan Knapp, Don Maston & Steven L. Traylor
Ronnie Stutts, Vice President
Clifford D. Dailing, Secretary-Treasurer
Joey Johnson, Director of Labor Relations
Robert Horne, Director of Steward Operations
Office location Alexandria, Virginia Website www.nrlca.org
The National Rural Letter Carriers' Association (NRLCA) is an American labor union that represents Rural Letter Carriers employed by the United States Postal Service. The purpose of this Association shall be to "improve the methods used by rural letter carriers, to benefit their conditions of labor with the United States Postal Service (USPS), and to promote a fraternal spirit among its members."
To be able to join the NRLCA, one must first be employed by the USPS and work in the rural carrier craft as a Rural Carrier Associate (RCA), Substitute Rural Carrier, Rural Carrier Relief (RCR), Part-time Flexible (PTF) or Regular Carrier (Designation Code 71). Though temporary relief carriers (TRCs) are excluded from membership, article seven of the contract between the NRLCA and USPS provides guidelines for the implementation of TRCs. Upon completion and processing of NRLCA form 1187, an official membership card is mailed, and the benefits of membership begin. The NRLCA provides information and fellowship for its members at county, district, state & national meetings where all members may participate in a democratic process of developing Association policy. The NRLCA provides a monthly publication, The National Rural Letter Carrier, to keep its members informed on postal and legislative matters of interest.
Free mail delivery began in American cities in 1863 with a limited scope. Shortly afterwards, rural citizens began petitioning for equal consideration. Rural free deliver (RFD) of mail began in the United States in 1896 with five routes. Seven years later, it had expanded to 15,119 routes covering 322,618 miles. The NRLCA was formed in 1903 at a cost of fifty cents per year in dues to its members.
The NRLCA held its first annual national convention in Chicago, Illinois, September 11–12, 1903 (the only year since without an NRLCA national convention was 1918 due to World War I. During World War II, the convention was limited to a small conference in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1942, and Cincinnati, Ohio the following two years. In 1945, a National Board Session was held in lieu of a delegate gathering). In attendance were 52 delegates from 15 states. The host state was represented by the most delegates with 13, followed by Michigan with twelve. Indiana and Nebraska both had five, Missouri had four, Iowa had three, Minnesota, New York and Ohio each had two and Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts and Wisconsin all had one. While represented by the NRLCA, neither Kansas nor Oklahoma had a representative in attendance.
The first officers elected to serve the NRLCA on day two of the NRLCA's first national convention (September 12, 1903) were:
- President: Frank H. Cunningham (Omaha, Nebraska)
- Vice President: B. Pitts Woods (Cherokee, Iowa)
- Secretary: W. F. Tumber (Lockport, New York)
- Treasurer: W. L. Fetters (Bluffton, Indiana)
- Executive Committee: H. E. Niven (Berthoud, Colorado), F. A. Putnam (Dudley, Massachusetts) and E. Dwyer (Aurora, Illinois)
In 1906, rural carriers were granted six national holidays. Christmas was not one of them, and did not become a holiday for rural carriers until 1923. In 1908, women attended the NRLCA national convention for the first time. In 1924, a special association committee traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby for an equipment maintenance allowance (EMA). The following year, it became law. In 1928, the NRLCA implemented term limits for its officers. However, term limits were repealed in 1932. In 1941, tire and gasoline rationing from World War II affected rural carriers. NRLCA President Wallker gained some exemptions from rationing for rural carriers. In 1946, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) expressed interest in incorporating RFD into their union. In 1947, the NRLCA declined.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed executive order 10988 establishing employee-management cooperation in the federal service. Rural carriers selected the NRLCA as their agent, and the union has held exclusive recognition to represent the rural carrier craft within the Post Office since.
The NRLCA ratified its first constitution on day two of its first national convention in Chicago, Illinois, September 12, 1903. H. H. Windsor, editor of Popular Mechanics magazine as well as the RFD News (now The National Rural Letter Carrier) and chair of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee, presented his committee's report, followed by discussion on each article. One of the many topics discussed was union dues. Originally, the NRLCA sought one dollar a year from its members, however, this was negotiated down to fifty cents a year by the time this constitution was ratified (In 1910, dues were raised to 75 cents per year. The following year, it was reduced back down to 50 cents a year. It took until 1919, for dues to reach the dollar originally sought). The articles were amended and approved in order, and after adoption of each separate article, the entire constitution was voted upon and adopted in its entirety.
In 2007, Bylaws were eliminated from the NRLCA Constitution, and each state was directed by the National office to do the same with their state RLCA constitutions. The NRLCA simply incorporated the existing bylaws within the constitution in their appropriate places. As a result, the existing NRLCA constitution underwent some renumbering.
Contract with the USPS
The NRLCA negotiates all labor agreements for the rural carrier craft with the Postal Service, including salaries. Rural carriers are considered bargaining unit employees in the USPS. This means that there is a contract between the Postal Service and the NRLCA. Only the NRLCA can represent members of the rural carrier craft in the grievance procedure, including providing protection in disciplinary actions.
Following the establishment of executive order 10988 in 1962, the NRLCA and USPS established their first national agreement on a contract for rural carriers. As a result of this contract, the Heavy Duty Agreement, or Evaluated Pay System was established (Rural Carriers are paid a salary based upon an evaluation of their particular route. Credit is given to all carriers' duties and compensated accordingly). On August 12, 1970, President Richard Nixon signed the Postal Reorganization Act (PRA). The Post Office Department became the United States Postal Service, and the NRLCA became a union, with collective bargaining rights for wages and fringe benefits.
The most recent contract between the NRLCA and USPS was entered into as of December 3, 2007, and ran through December 2010. At midnight, November 20, 2010, negotiations between the NRLCA and USPS on a new contract ended in an impasse, and is likely headed to a third party arbitrator. The parties expect to meet soon to discuss the next steps.
Since its inception, the NRLCA has had an effective legislative program in the Congress to promote and protect the interests of rural carriers. The Political Action Committee (NRLCA-PAC) was created in 1975 specifically to represent rural letter carrier interests on Capitol Hill by lobbying key government officials and staff on Contract Delivery Service (CDS), five day delivery, the FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System) Sick Leave Bill currently in the United States House of Representatives, and other issues affecting rural carriers. NRLCA-PAC supports members currently in Congress who are friendly to its positions; gains access to members who are on key congressional committees whose jurisdiction affects issues that are important to the rural carrier craft, and develops relationships with current and new congressional candidates. NRLCA-PAC also educates and alerts NRLCA membership on key issues & developments, and encourages rural carriers to become involved legislatively.
Contract Delivery Service is purchased on a contractual basis by the U.S. Postal Service whereby mail is carried from one USPS specified starting point to another, via highway, by private carriers; also called star route. CDS carriers are not USPS employees, but are independent contractors who provide mail service on these routes. The NRLCA believes that contract delivery inhibits the security, sanctity and service of the USPS, and believes that Congress should supporting H.Res. 282 and S. 1457.
Six day delivery
On January 28, 2009, Postmaster General John E. Potter testified before the Senate that if the Postal Service is not able to readjust their payment toward the pre-funding of retiree health benefits, as mandated by the Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act of 2006, the USPS would be forced to consider cutting delivery to five days per week during the summer months of June, July, and August.
H.R. 22, addressing this issue, passed the House of Representatives and Senate and was signed into law on September 30, 2009. However, PMG Potter has continued to unveiled a plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery. The universal service obligation and six day delivery are upheld by Congressional language within Appropriations legislation, so a reduction in service would require action from the House and Senate.
On June 10, 2009, the NRLCA, along with other union and management groups of the United States Postal Service, was contacted for its input on the USPS's current study of the impact of five day delivery along with developing an implementation plan for a five day service plan. A team of postal service headquarters executives and staff were given a time frame of sixty days to complete the study. The current concept examines the impact of five day delivery with no business or collections on Saturday, with Post Offices with current Saturday hours remaining open.
On July 30, 2009, NRLCA President Don Cantriel testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and D.C. urging Congress to continue its interest in the Postal Service, and voiced opposition to five day delivery.
On Thursday, April 15, 2010, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing to examine the status of the Postal Service and recent reports on short and long term strategies for the financial viability and stability of the USPS entitled "Continuing to Deliver: An Examination of the Postal Service’s Current Financial Crisis and its Future Viability." At which, PMG Potter testified that by the year 2020, the USPS cumulative losses could exceed $238 billion, and that mail volume could drop 15% from 2009.
Chairman Jose Serrano (D-NY), of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which oversees language mandating six day service, said "While I understand the seriousness of the Postal Service's fiscal issues, I remain supportive of a six day delivery schedule. I will be in conversations in coming weeks with the senior postal leadership and the postal unions in an effort to avoid service cuts."
Annual food drive
Mothers' Day weekend every year, as they deliver their mail, rural and city letter carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by the mailboxes on their route from postal customers participating in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive.
Beginning in 1993, the NALC, Campbell Soup, Valpak, United Way of America, Second Harvest, the AFL-CIO & cartoonist Bil Keane have partnered for the largest single day food collection in the nation. In 2010, the NRLCA became a full partner in the annual drive (though the NRLCA had participated in the drive from its inception), and the drive collected a record 77.1 million lbs. of non-perishable food for the needy from postal customers. That brought the total for the first eighteen years to over a billion pounds.
On November 14, 2008, the NRLCA withdrew its support from the Quality of Work Life/Employee Involvement (QWL/EI) program effective January 1, 2009. QWL was intended, as the title suggests, to work toward improving the “quality of work life” for rural carriers and their managers alike at all levels of the organization as a joint, cooperative venture between USPS managers and rural letter carriers.
The Postal Service funded all QWL-EI activities, and became more insistent upon QWL/EI working exclusively on issues that support its corporate goal. Thus, the NRLCA viewed the QWL/EI process headed in a different direction than its original intention, and concluded that the Postal Service’s commitment to improve the workplace environment has been pushed to the bottom of the list of concerns. On December 12, 2008, the Postal Service confirmed that QWL/EI will be closed entirely. As NRLCA President Don Cantriel put it, "They were looking for an excuse to get rid of it; we gave it to them."
On August 19, 2011, the NRLCA became the first labor union in the history of the United States Postal Service to elect a female President, Jeanette Dwyer.
NRLCA Presidents NRLCA President Start year End year F. H. Cunningham 1903 1904 P.L. Lindsay 1905 1908 Elias Frey 1909 E.A. McMahon 1910 1911 L.N. Brockway 1912 1913 George W. Kime 1914 1915 Fred L. White 1916 Claude Smith 1917 1919 E.D. Landwehr 1920 1921 A.P. Lang 1922 1924 W.A. Keown 1925 Ned H. Goodell 1928 1929 W.G. Armstrong 1930 1934 J.E. Cooper 1935 R.H. Combs 1936 1939 L.M. Walker 1940 1941 Wiley M. Riedel 1942 T.G. Walters 1943 1945 B.A. Winquest 1946 1947 W.L. Manning 1948 1949 C.L. Ashcraft 1950 Bud Raley 1951 1952 Paul G. Benson 1953 W.B. Bledsoe 1954 1955 Ray L. Hulick 1956 1957 C.R. Larson 1958 1959 T.M. Martin 1960 1961 Max H. Jordan 1962 1963 F.E. Huffman 1964 1965 C.W. Hilliard 1966 1967 H.F. Alfrey 1968 1969 C.E. Olmstead 1970 1972 R.M. Rainwater 1973 1974 L.F. Miller 1975 1976 C.E. Edwards 1977 1978 Dean King 1979 1980 Wilbur S. Wood 1981 1982 Tom W. Griffith 1983 1985 Olin Armentrout 1986 Dallas N. Fields 1987 1988 Vernon H. Meier 1989 1990 William R. Brown, Jr. 1991 1993 Scottie B. Hicks 1994 1996 Steven R. Smith 1997 2000 Gus Baffa 2001 2003 Dale Holton 2004 2005 Donnie Pitts 2006 2007 Don Cantriel 2008 2011 Jeanette Dwyer 2011 Present
- National Association of Letter Carriers
- National Postal Mail Handlers Union
- American Postal Workers Union
- Rural Letter Carrier
- Canadian Postmasters and Assistants Association
- ^ "USPS Authorization for Deduction of Dues". http://nrlca.org/userfiles/File/membership/1187FormFill.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^ "Constitution of the NRLCA". http://nrlca.org/userfiles/File/NRLCA%20Constitution%202008-2009.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^ "Grievance PS Form 8191". http://flrlca.org/PDF/PS%20Form%208191.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-25.
- ^ "Agreement between the United States Postal Service & the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association". 2006-2010. http://nrlca.org/userfiles/File//steward/references/usps/handbooks/EL-902_2006-2010.pdf.
- ^ "Contract talks extended for some postal workers". Associated Press. November 20, 2010. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5je6Sa97Ix8ywMkJRYzmUjdY00GLQ?docId=ace3604771cf4ffda948910a041ad30c.
- ^ "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Postal Service should discontinue the practice of contracting out mail delivery services". http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HE00282:@@@P. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- ^ "A bill to provide for the protection of mail delivery on certain postal routes, and for other purposes". http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:SN01457:@@@P. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- ^ "Postmaster General/CEO John E. Potter Before the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management". http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/_files/Potter.pdf. Retrieved 2009-01-28.
- ^ "Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act of 2006". http://www.usps.com/postallaw/_pdf/PostalServiceNetworkPlan.pdf. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- ^ "Report on Universal Postal Service and the Postal Monopoly". http://www.usps.com/postallaw/universalpostalservice.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- ^ "NRLCA President Don Cantriel & the entire National Board fully support 6-Day Delivery & oppose 5-Day Delivery which could further erode the Postal Service’s dwindling customer base". http://www.nrlca.org/membershipUpdates/selectedMembershipUpdate.cfm/memUpID/124. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- ^ "Statement of Postmaster General/CEO John E. Potter Before the Committee on Government on Oversight & Government Reform United States House of Representatives & Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Colombia". http://oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Hearings/Committee_on_Oversight/2010/041510_Postal_Service/TESTIMONY-Potter-USPS.pdf. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- ^ "NALC Food Drive: Feeding America’s Hungry… Learn How You Can Help". 2009-05-09. http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/localnews/ky/2009/ky_2009_0429.htm.
- ^ "Quality of Work Life/Employee Involvement (QWL/EI) Termination". http://nrlca.org/userfiles/File/whatsnew/QWL-EI_Termination_Directions.pdf. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- California RLCA
- Florida RLCA
- Georgia RLCA
- Illinois RLCA
- Iowa RLCA
- Kansas RLCA
- Maryland RLCA
- Massachusetts Rural Letter Carriers' Association
- Michigan RLCA
- New York RLCA
- North Carolina RLCA
- North Dakota RLCA
- Ohio RLCA
- Tennessee RLCA
- Virginia RLCA
- Wisconsin RLCA
- NALC APWU Postal Union Grievance Research Software
- Examination of the USPS Delivery Route Adjustments Panel 3 Video on YouTube
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