National Postal Mail Handlers Union - Unity · Democracy · Strength - Division of LIUNA - AFL-CIO

National Postal Mail Handlers Union A Division of LIUNA (AFL-CIO)

Media Center / Mail Handler Update

MEMBERSHIP RATIFIES 2019 NATIONAL AGREEMENT

The terms of the 2019 National Agreement between the NPMHU and the U.S. Postal Service were officially ratified on April 7, 2020, when the results of the membership ratification vote were certified by the election service, True Ballot Inc.  The final vote tally was 7,003 in favor of ratification and 255 in opposition, meaning that 96.49% of the voting membership voted yes on ratification.

Attention now turns to implementation of the new National Agreement.  Here is some additional information about the timing of some of its key provisions:

  1. The new wage rates – which will reflect the November 2019 general wage increase and the March 2020 COLA payment – will be implemented in Pay Period 10, which begins on April 25, 2020.
  2. The date for issuing back payments to apply these new rates on a retroactive basis to November 2019 or March 2020, as applicable, is still unknown, but the National Office will post those dates as soon as they are determined.
  3. The new night differential rates, and the new rules on MHA overtime, will begin in Pay Period 11, which begins on May 9, 2020.
  4. The effective date for work rules that do not have a specific date mentioned in the new National Agreement will be April 25, 2020.
  5. The date for conversion of MHAs to career under the one-time conversion program for MHAs with 2.5 years of service will be June 6, 2020.
  6. The last date for casual employees on the rolls will be July 31, 2020.
  7. The effective date for deeming all newly hired MHAs to be hired on a Saturday at the start of the pay period during which they begin work, solely for relative-standing-based-conversion to career, will be May 9, 2020.
  8. The start date for measuring cumulative changes in starting time for a bid under revised Article 12.3B6 is the date of ratification, or April 7, 2020.
  9.  The reset date for the 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 ratios under the MOU re Filling of Residual Vacancies will be June 1, 2020.
  10. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the dates for LMOU Implementation under Article 30 have been reset to the sixty-day period from September 2, 2020 to October 31, 2020.
  11. The eligibility of MHAs for various types of health insurance has been changed for certain MHAs.

First, the Postal Service shall continue to provide the USPS Noncareer Health Plan with self-only, self plus one, and family options for the duration of this Agreement.  There will be a special enrollment period for MHAs to gain access to the USPS Noncareer Health Benefits plan, running from June 6, 2020 to July 3, 2020, with benefits effective on July 4, 2020.  The Postal Service contribution for self-only insurance is the greater of (a) $125 per pay period or (b) the minimum required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and applicable regulations.  For self plus one or family coverage, the USPS bi-weekly contribution is equal to 65% of the total premium for any MHA who wishes to participate in the USPS Plan during the MHA’s initial year of non-career employment.  After an MHA’s first year of employment, the Postal Service will make a bi-weekly contribution equal to 75% of the total premium for either self plus one or family coverage.  MHAs may elect to make their health care contributions on a pre-tax basis.

Second, after an initial appointment for a 360-day term and upon reappointment to another 360-day term, an eligible noncareer MHA may elect to participate in the FEHB Program.  For most health plans, the total expense would have to be covered completely by the employee, but the Postal Service will make a contribution toward the total premium for any eligible MHA who selects the Mail Handler Benefit Plan (MHBP) Value Plan or MHBP Consumer Option.  For self-only enrollment, this contribution shall be equal to, but no greater than, the dollar amount of the Postal Service’s contribution toward self-only coverage for MHAs under the USPS Plan.  For self plus one or family coverage, the contribution shall be equal to, but no greater than, the dollar value of 75% of the total premium for self plus one or family coverage under the USPS Plan.

Such participation (after one year of service and upon reappointment to another 360-day term) in the FEHB Program becomes generally available on April 25, 2020, and becomes applicable to any particular MHA upon reappointment to another 360-day term or upon a qualifying life event under FEHB rules (e.g., marriage, divorce, birth of a child).  Again, MHAs may elect to make their health care contributions on a pre-tax basis.  There also is the general FEHB open season during the months of November and early December each year.

The National Office will continue to circulate information about implementation of the 2019 National Agreement during the coming weeks.  Please watch your bulletin boards and the NPMHU website.

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