March 2019 - Article by VP Mark Beach

The second Saturday in May is a very special day for letter carriers. On that day the National Association of letter carriers in partnership with the USPS hosts the nation’s largest one-day food drive. Many of our newer letter carriers may not understand the tradition and the importance of the letter carrier Food Drive. City letter carriers on that day collect nonperishable food items donated by their Postal customers while in the course of their daily letter carrier duties. Over the years, NALC members have collected billions of pounds of food that replenishes food pantry shelves when they are at their critically lowest level. I would like to encourage all city letter carriers to give 110% when delivering the food drive bags, cards and when collecting on the day of the food drive. The effect and impact that our letter carrier food drive has on Columbus and our surrounding communities is far greater than any single letter carrier can imagine.

This year we have had a huge outpouring of support for the food drive from both the AFL-CIO and United Commercial Food Workers (UFCW) who have combined to donate over 150,000 food drive bags. These bags are to be delivered by letter carriers at residential address, on both walking and mounted routes until they are gone. We are asking the membership to ensure these bags are delivered during the two weeks prior to the food drive and that not a single bag be left at any station. We also have food drive cards that are to be delivered to every patron serviced by Branch 78 letter carriers including apartments on the week leading up to the food drive. We are counting on you the membership, to take the time and extra effort to make sure every food drive bag donated, and every food drive card is delivered in the two weeks leading up to the food drive. We have been given the full commitment and support of the current OIC who has pledge complete management cooperation to ensure the food drive is a complete success.

For the younger members who have not experienced the food drive or have only been with the Postal Service for a few years, I encourage you to talk to some of the veteran carriers at your station on how to be successful at collecting food on that day and its importance to the community, your employer and your union.

Understaffing has plagued the Columbus Installation for many years, and it is from a variety of factors. Now the Columbus Installation has been asked to move its hiring from a local person, to a human resource specialist in Cincinnati. This will more than likely serve to exacerbate the problem by moving it to someone over a hundred miles away.

There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there among CCA’s. For instance, I have run into many CCA’s who think that if they put a hold down on a route, they will automatically get the day off that is assigned to the route. This is wrong. If you put in a hold down, management is required to work you on the route for the duration of the opt. There are two exceptions to this where management can bump a CCA off a hold for the day. 1. Management can bring in a regularly scheduled carrier in that group and if the T-6 has no where else to go in his/her group they can bump a CCA. 2. Management needs work for regular carriers to give them 8 hours in a day when no other work is available in the station to fulfil their work hour guarantee. Regarding the routes scheduled day off management has three options for a CCA with a hold; 1.) They can give them the day off, 2.) They can make them work the hold down route or, 3.) They can make them work somewhere else. Remember CCA’s are required to work flexible hours and flexible schedules. This means that a CCA can be required to work up to 11.5 hours in a day up to seven days in a week. Know your right’s get the NALC APP. And know your right’s.