Let’s talk about the Elephant in the room

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Elephant in the room” is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook; thus, people in the room who pretend the elephant is not there have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.

Rural carriers just came out of another Christmas Overtime period.  That is basically the only time of year where a rural carrier would be eligible for overtime pay.  One might think that since it is Christmas, and there are a lot more packages, that some overtime might be expected.

Sounds right to me, but it does not actually work that way.  Rural carriers basically spend almost a month every year being rushed and pressured to avoid getting overtime.  All of this, while at the same time the USPS brags about this holiday season being the “Best Holiday Season Ever“. They recently reported on the “News Link”  page that packages services volume increased by 244 million pieces in 2012 compared to 2011.



Scan through the rural carrier message boards and the majority of posts about Christmas are from rural carriers who are being rushed and pressured to finish under their evaluation even with the added Christmas volume.  As the Rural Christmas Overtime period approaches the USPS goes into overdrive with telecons, emails, and stand up talks. The hours are tracked online and any overtime or aux help has to be  “justified” and then “approved” by someone higher up the pay scale.  By the time it is over rural carriers are walking wounded bundles of stress.  It takes the spirit out of our holidays and our families end up suffering for it.

Imagine my disgust when I came across this article on Postalmag.com  about City Carrier overtime at the USPS. Just this small paragraph is enough to make a rural carrier’s blood boil after what we just went through.

And overtime seems to be through the roof. On this Monday in question, one of the carriers who was working on their off day worked 16 hours! That’s about $600 for one carrier on one day. That’s lawyer pay. And most all the carriers at my post office seem to be working 10-12 hours 6 days a week.

Of course it is not the fault of the carriers.  They are out there trying to get the mail out just like rural carriers are, but it seems the USPS looks at their overtime in a whole different light as they do rural overtime.  City carriers can get overtime all year-long.  Rural carriers only have 1 month per year they are eligible for overtime, yet one hour of overtime for a rural carrier during the Christmas Overtime period can throw a manager into cardiac arrest!  What is wrong with this picture?

The pencil pushers at the USPS must not be keeping their pencils sharp enough because they are more worried about the mouse in the room than they are the elephant!

And also from Postalmag.com, lets look at this article from August 2012:

According to the National Payroll Hours Summary Report Pay Period 18 – FY 2012 (August 11 – August 24, 2012), the USPS used 187,678 hours of Penalty Overtime at a cost of $9,903,460 for the two-week pay period. The average hourly rate for this overtime was $52.77. This brings the year-to-date Penalty Overtime usage to 3,126,746 hours, costing the USPS $164,457,454 at an average hourly rate of $52.60.

Letter carriers were the benefactors of a majority of the Penalty Overtime, working 130,437 hours for the two-week pay period and a total of 1,995,527 hours so far this year.

I wish someone could explain it to me because I can’t seem to get it to sink in.  It seems that our small window of overtime eligibility is a drop in the bucket compared to the overtime in the other USPS crafts. I could understand it if they were doing it to save money but that can’t be what it is about or we would not have city carriers making lawyer pay.

Hello!  L’Enfant plaza We have a problem!

141 Comments on "Let’s talk about the Elephant in the room"

  1. I personally don’t think the NALC is any help at all.
    They side with management just like every union these days.. And….For that matter We all are pressed for time. in one way or another we are all getting screwed! CCA”s are paying union dues????FOR What??? they tell us up front they can’t represent us until after our 90-120 days! Really???? The NALC acts like they don’t know what is going on in these sweat shops, but they do! and they don’t CARE!! Management puts unrealistic times on New CCA’s and create a dangerous scenario, with the vehicle or the carrier being injured. Whoever said all carriers need to band together and stick together was on point. That is so true! EEOC is probably paid a cut for not intervening , I am more than sure they have been contacted plenty of times!

  2. What about the days in summer when a rural carrier goes home at noon? Should they have to pay that back, or get a cut in pay? I understand the stress of Christmas, but when a carrier gets 8 hours of pay daily for 4 months worth of half days… not sure I understand why a rural carrier doesn’t compare those days with the longer days during winter, and suck it up like the rest of us do who are monitored year round. Personally, I would love to pay overtime for Christmas, and give lots of parcel help, and any other thing that would help, but I would also expect rural carriers to do better at keeping their cases clean, labels clear to read and in order, and a plethora of other things, rather than going home after 4 hours day after day. But, I’m just a clerk, so what do I know?

  3. sam

    Lot of jealousy and hate going on in this old thread. I see pluses and minuses to each craft. I don’t know much about city carriers being that I am rural in a 2 route office. I only wish the post office treated all employees fairly. I have been an aux route for 16 years, 6 days a week 39 eval hours per week and I am not considered career or full time? No health or life insurance, no option to join a 401k or no paid holidays. I’m not sure how many employees in either craft would put up with it but it is a job with a short commute and decent pay.

  4. Chris C

    With those few exceptions that we craft workers have seen…USPS management tends to be inept and in general does more harm than good. The majority of craft workers: rural carriers, city carriers, mail handlers bust ass and earn every penny they are paid.

    As a long-term city carrier I personally would welcome the two carrier unions joining forces.
    There is strength in numbers…As an example, perhaps the carriers could unite and obtain the same hourly pay and get universal start times in the neighborhood of 0630. Equal pay and we all get off mid-afternoon.

    Bickering among the crafts is great for postal management–divide and conquer, the oldest trick in the book.

  5. just because postal management is allowed to steal our money during xmas, is not a reason to junk a system that works very well for a majority of rural carriers. It is reason to look at the union and say WTF!?

    It is a reason to negotiate fairness, but personally I enjoy salary over hourly because most of the year, i beat my evaluation times, even WITH the changes in the formulas. What we need is a Union that has some teeth and actually hires lawyers that can fix these problems, instead of a Union that every single time comes back from bargaining with the apologies and explanations of how they fought a hard and good fight.

  6. chorky

    No Kathy. Rural carrier were never part of the NALC. It is true that city carriers USED to be able to bid on rural routes over rural subs, but that changed back in the mid 70s. I know, I was working at that time. The route I was a sub on at the time, was awarded to the last city carrier to go rural in our office. I subbed for him for a few years, while also working an aux route, before making regular in 1980.

  7. Chorky

    I am not here to bash my City Carrier friends. I work in a huge office, with about 140 city routes and 23 rural routes. On any day, there are at least 20-25 open city routes. That is when the day is started. If someone calls off sick, it adds to that list. That is the way the POOM wants it. He calls the shots in my office, not the Postmaster. Because of the number of open routes, the city carriers have to do pivots on those open routes, then deliver their routes. It makes for lots of overtime, not their fault, but the POOM insists that it still costs less to do it that way.Oh, and in the meantime, the carriers are brow beaten over the extra time it takes to do those pivots. I just wanted to help explain why there is so much overtime on the city side.

    Now, on to our rurals. The "bump," the time that used to be in our evaluations that would allow us to finish a little earlier in the time of light mail, usually the summer, but finish later in the winter months and still be at or under the 2080 mandate, is now gone. Why? Many reasons, but one that really rankles me is anyone working off the clock. It distorts the time taken to complete a route. The times are sent to Headquarters, they analyze the times and voila, we get a change in time standards. The other thing that sets me off is when the subs work a full week (6 days) and complete those six days in UNDER 40 hours. I have a 44K route. My sub never goes over the 40 hour mark in any week I am off. Why not? My sub, like a lot of others, have figured it out that if they stay UNDER the 40 hours, they get evaluated pay. If they go OVER the 40 hours, they get actual time worked. Do the math. My 44K equals 52.8 hours for 6 days. Say the sub works 48 hours in those 6 days. The sub loses 4.8 hours of OVERTIME pay. So, how does a sub do the 44K in under 40 hours. First off, the boss looks the other way because the subs in our office run Express Mail for him on days they aren't doing a full route. Second, they fudge the 4241 to make it look as if they are under time. They will add a 30 minute lunch to go along with the fudging. The boss goes along with it. He has to, because he has been told it is going on and does nothing about it.

    The consequences of this fudging are the change in time standards AND the brow beating over Christmas Overtime. The POOM feels, and rightly so, that the sub does the route in that little amount of time all year, it must be the regular TRYING to go overtime during Christmas. He sees us as stealing from the USPS. It isn't fair, but it IS a consequence of the working off the clock and the fudging of the 4241. I'm not saying the POOM is right in every case, but be careful what you do and what your sub does with regard to time. It does get the attention of the number crunchers at Headquarters.

    One last thing. I have spoken to my sub about what I have posted, over and over again. I get nowhere. The only thing I get is I should retire and let someone else have the job. Perhaps I should, but that is MY decision, not my subs decision. If my sub and other subs keep up this nonsense, there won't be a route to have when I'm gone.

  8. You city carriers would do well to being counted like the rural carriers do.You would'nt have to waste time, but then the O.T. Would go away. You still come out ahead by the evaluated system.I have been around too long not to know what I am talking about.By the way,… You got to know how to work the system. Peace out

  9. I don't know where you work, but in my small town two route office I run year long to make it back by dispatch. Unlike City carriers who have their gas provided to them I have to buy my own. I am only reimbursed from mail box to mail box, but I am increasingly having to drive several miles extra a day up and down driveways with parcels that I don't see a dime for.

    All I got extra at Christmas was an extra hard time about time.

  10. Jill

    I've really vented a lot today but it's because I care. I'm working on a program for our district to fully use the subswe have, the eager ones who want to work. TRC or RCA, even PTF , to improve retention and reduce Rural Academy classes that need to be conducted.

    It seems to be well-received by management and hopefully will catch on so subs get hours and Regulars can enjoy vacation time without much notice needed (a rural perk.)

    New standards are a ways away, so let us prepare fo our upcoming MAIL COUNT. Helping eachother, and yes, even management.

  11. Jill

    My sub used to be back fast. She bragged of it. Put me to shame. I smiled and dealt with it. Management asked me why she was faster. I don't know, I said. She's half my age? Boss left me alone. Sub soon quit. Never admitted the truth. It's a hard job. She drove unsafe. Customers told me. She didn't do forwardsor any paperwork. But she lasted a couple years. Few days a week. I'm still here. 6 days a week when needed, which is often. For years now. Even that manager has moved on. So don't worry about my speed unless you pay me. Customers are happy. Do mail count proper and we won' have a 2080 problem. Or you can base my route on that girl that quit.

  12. Jill

    I wonder if the FEDEX clerk is jealous of the Fedex driver. I wonder if the UPS driver is jealous of the guy who loads the trucks. I LIKE MY JOB. I'm Rural. I can always quit. But no one would pay me this salary fo this skill. Putting paper in a metal box. The real skill is dealing with the pressure, co workers, contract. And jealousy.

  13. Jill

    At least you are thinking of a solution. But remember which came first. Abuse from companies created unions. Now unions are abusing our company. We all need towork together to save our Postal Service. There are plenty of POSTAL EMPLOYEES willing to listen on ways we can help. There are people in every craft broken hearted, actually emotional, watching fellow employees abuse overtime.

  14. Jill

    In my 23 years I've heard many in management say they wish they were Rural. WAKE UP! That is old news. Party is over. And realize, former rural postmster, that rurals rarely go into management. So we are forced to be ruled by jealous, uninformed Postmsters. Who seem to b living in th past. If you have time to write here, you have time to work on a solution. Or must we suffer your sarcasm, probably typed on office computer on company time?

  15. Jill

    You need to get out more. City guys in my office walk up to us, see ourfull LLVs and say I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU GUYS DO IT. With an occasional YOU ARE GETTIN SCREWED. City route gets half the volume we do, mounted, CBU or walking, they can't fill a hamper! Our routes get 2 hampers of just parcls! That is also why they PUSH their hamper to the LLV, we move ours to the 3-5 hampers we load!

    You also may never know a city full day. Offer just once to payhim a full day no matter how fast he finishes. You'll see him go home at 1.

  16. Jill

    Dear Paul Harvey

    I put you in the jealous pile. Yes we are evaluated. Mail count has our longest days because it's like bein audited, very time consuming. Even finding the person who times our loadin takes a while. Not you, I'm sure, woprobaly stand by the LLVs to ensure carriers are not slowed down by wait time.

    As for my route, 10 and 11 hour days started with ELECTION MAIL. I was not paid more. I servd my route and customers, in th dark. As best I could. Some help was provided all our rural routes during this time. Not enough to keep to eval, just enough to make dispatch. City routes got overtime.

    I don't believe in overtime. Ever. For anyone. It's dumb. I can live on my salary. What I can't live with is 12 hour days. All the time,at any pay.

  17. Jill

    Dear Lou,

    You are one of many who are jealous of our Evaluated system. I don't blame you. However, the fun is over for us Rurals, as it should be. Maybe there are still ones going home at noon. But with FSS, new standards and BAD counters during mail count, I'm not seeing it.

    The games need to stop by rurals slowing down during xmas overtime. Games during count by getting

    double counted bundles, but nothing compares to the lifestyle of games played by City carriers and cerks. So like a cop catches a speeder when everyone is speeding, we as rurals, get nailed during xmas.

    The rea solution is City overtime.

    From what I see.

    They brag openly about it. Being mismanaged. Running up OT invarious ways. This would stop if they were evaluated.

  18. Jill

    At first glance I thought your idea was way off. We should all be eval or all be hourly. Only Aux carriers get this choice right?

    But I have delivered and cased in every style. Everything you mentioned above. I guess it could be a solution. But FSS, dirt roads, etc should have values that are factored in, for a good eval. I'dr ather not be hourly. I REALLY ENJOY not being watched every second.

  19. Jill

    I don't wanna be managed like the city carriers. I think they should be like us, but that's another matter. Every job I've ever had has been hourly. Not until I became Rural did I finally and enjoy my job. Our friends and family all have hourly jobs right? Why is that special?

    If you thought managemnt was ON US during Christmas, try working hourly every day like that. Ever see clerks go slow on purpose? Ever see city carriers hide? Those crafts want to be like us!!! We had it good once. The pendulum will swing back to a balanced place. I believe.

  20. Jill

    We all know that WORKING OFF THE CLOCK caused this false reading, changing our standards. Ever case a covereage on a saturday to get ready for monday? Now our mondays are impossibe. It is our fault for "giving" our time to our company. Now we suffer for it. So we learned. Every mail count is another chance. Ours is coming up.

    • its only another chance for the po to cut you even more.thats why they have the mail counts. TO KEEP ON CUTTING.must be management needs another raise.

  21. nobackingdown

    cant wait till new time standards are made. come on- 2 min for a clearance slip but only 30 seconds for a parcel big or small. hopefully this new study will make a big change in our pay I agree with the evaluated system, just not the time standards I am a dps ffs llv route. 20 rts in office all rural only 3 take mail to street why would you case dps letters into a case with very little flats then strap it all down again( oh I know we have to wait for mail) (we cant get out in a timely manner) well if you are leaving at noon and have a 6 hour street time it cannot be done. our fault NO! we don't get paid for this so if you are doing this you are the one causing yourself to loose time each day you are the one causing physical pain to yourself. this is the game they want us to play take everything to street and demand an early leaving time if you can't get done ask for help do not deliver after dark. something has to give stop bickering between city and rural this is a waste of time I know there are some extreme cases and people don't get days off but what if you fell ill they would find a way. our problem is that we want to do a good job but we can't with the tools we are given. working city routes, not getting paid for 2nd trips, read up on a little of our carrier duties and stop doing this. don't let them get away with this it should only happen once shame on you if you let it continue without a fight. know you job duties and hope for the best with the new time study being done. yes we all like the "freebie" of the clearance slip but I rather have 30 seconds for this and 2 min for parcels.

  22. Jill

    You may need to GO ABOVE YOUR STEWARD. It should not be this hard to get paid or file. I supect something else is going on. Start calling around for help on this. Attend a meeting. I, too, realize there is little time to file, or think, or breathe with the new standrds.

  23. Rowena Ashby

    The time constraints are put on Rural Carriers because every time we go into contract negotiations, the powers that be want to show that we keep carrying the "ever-decreasing" (so they say) mail volumes below the subjected evaluated hours that we are currently being paid. They (the USPS) want to then add more volume to our time standards, as they did this contract. It is becoming more and more difficult to carry the "average" day within the evaluated time. But, management keeps an ever watchful eye to hammer and hammer the carrier to carry their routes below their evaluated time.

    I have a lot of seniority within my craft, and I so hope that I can withstand the ever-changing craft and retire before it dwindles into nothing. I've 204B'd and can unequivocally tell you that it takes many more man hours to supervise the City Craft than it ever does the Rural. And yes, overtime seems to be doled into the City Craft without much repercussion of overtime cost. I love being a Rural Carrier and have a MBA behind me, but wouldn't trade my job and flexibility within my craft for all the jobs in the world.

  24. Steve

    Not in my DNA. Ever have someone take advantage of you? It's wrong on all levels of human interaction. why should PO go without scathing rebuttal based on hopes that all will simply blindly follow. If I am in battle, you are the last one I would trust. If you are not ready to fight for yourself, then who will?

  25. Steve

    During count the procedures, paperwork, and other extraneous activity accounts for the lengthier times rural carriers are posting. You seem to be suggesting that rural carriers are trying to pose for the camera during this time. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  26. I've only been a city carrier for 17 years, but weren't the rural carriers part of the NALC

    at one time and didn't they decide they didn't want to be associated with us any longer because when routes went up for bid city carriers could bid on rural route based on senority. I may be wrong because this was before the start of my career. Maybe it was some other reason, but it's doesn't matter why they changed they had hourly and overtime but decided the grass was greener with their own contract. Same with the clerks they were part of the NALC and jumped ship also.

  27. Brenda

    Hi, rural carrier here. We don't get to curb mail because it doesn't matter how long it takes us to deliver a route. We could be evaluated at 6 hours and it takes us 8, but we still get paid for 6. Why would management want to let us curb mail so we can actually make it in on time? And, yes, sometimes we get in early, but there are many times we come in way after our evaluation and get paid no more for it. I don't understand why city and rural carriers are against each other, we both are getting screwed by management, just in different ways.

  28. Katja Lee

    Maybe I can get some people here to understand how the rural craft works: Compare us to a mechanic working on your car. When you take your car to a shop for a specific job, let's say transmission work, the mechanic will give you an estimate based on what his book hours say the the job should cost, let's say six hours for the job required. If he fixes the transmission in four hours, he still is allowed to charge the six hour book rate. If it takes him two weeks, unless extra parts are needed, he still charges you for six hours for the job.

  29. Nancy Olom

    Shall we talk about how we rural carriers hit the street only to find City carriers hiding behing buildings reading other peples n

    ewspapers and magazines….riding the clock. We have evaluation so we can bust our butts to get the job done and go home.

  30. cangonow

    I have to say that I have the highest respect for city carriers (I am a rural carrier) A walking carrier lugging a satchel all day long in all kinds of weather working out of who knows how many bundles of mail is a feat in itself. What I am after is a switch to hourly pay or an option for it on the rural side. If the two unions united, that would be great! I know there was a movement on the city side to petition rurals to join them years ago (10 or so) but not many rurals were interested. Times have changed, rurals have been continually screwed in arbitrations and the NRLCA has not been able to improve things. The rural count is a management tool to reduce costs and they use it to the max. We will have our time standards re-engineered and they will go into effect in 2015…15 years after an arbitrator ordered the parties to come up with a better system. What took the NRLCA so long and what makes the rurals think that this new system will be fair? The city carriers meanwhile have continued to be paid hourly and have gained through the years so that a rural route has to evaluate at 43 hours to make what a city carrier makes for 40. In my opinion the NALC is a smarter union which looks out for all its members. The hourly system protects carriers from being abused by unfair standards, manipulated mailcounts, differences in routes and differences in carriers. Its time for the NRLCA to smarten up and either unite with the NALC or switch to an hourly system.

  31. Linda

    I did not read all of the comments but found it interesting that not much was said about salary. I have been a Rural Carrier for 22 years, 7 of those as an RCA. An RCA may work 1 day a week or 6 days a week, they never know. Although they are paid well by the hour, there ar no benefits. I was blessed to have a husband who had a good job and was retired military, so I had medical/dental and we were okay. We have a lot of single parents who are RCA's, maybe working 1 day a wek w/o benefits and having to provide a vehicle for the route. City Carrier PTF's are paid well by the hour plus they get benefits. I have always loved my job and am blessed to have a very nice route (with a postal vehicle) in an upscaled, gated community with paved roads, in Florida where I do not have to deal with snow. I am on the Relief Day Work List, and am the only carrier on that list with a Saturday relief day in a station with 14 routes, so I work nearly every Saturday. Everyone in my station gets along very well, we are a family. I worry about the city carriers out in the heat in the summer and during storms with lightning. Several months ago we had a City Carrier killed in a traffic accident and we were and are all devistated. We lost a member of our family. Another of our City Carriers retired about 6 months ago, he told me that he made $70,000 including overtime in 2011. Even with all the overtime I work, I have never made $70,000 and do not know of any other Rural Carrier who has. I really don't think there is enough overtime in the Rural system to do that. We had a mail count in Sept. 2012 and most routes lost money, we will have another count in February and we will probably lose more money. Mail Count takes longer to do the route because we end up waiting to be timed and waiting for mail to be counted. There is also the delay caused by discussions with the Counters over whether an article is a flat or a parcel and then having to document it so you can fight for it later. City Carriers, I do not begrudge you, your $70,000 salary so please do not begrudge me my 6-7 hour days.

  32. Chuck DeFargers

    When the "experts" decide what the new rural "standards" are – it's gonna "bring the knife" to the city craft as well…..gonna finally be hard to explain how the bigger rural routes can get done faster and more efficient than on the city side……the city carrier union better watch closely what happens here…..

  33. Evanna Kemble-Teller

    As a newly retired RURAL carrier, I can tell you that the stress and nonsense USPS put us rurals through was a BIG part of why I chose to retire at 56 with 14 years career and 4 years RCA service, at a big loss financially (5% less in pension for every year under 62, only 50% of unused sick leave accrued toward years of service)! Rurals are PUSHED to avoid gettingt OT during Christmas, the only time it's actually allowed, mail is RARELY curtailed for rurals (if it's here, it goes), and mail flow is NEVER controlled for rurals as it is for city carriers. What rurals receive during their mail count is NOT a true representation of what they receive the rest of the year, so their 'salaried' evaluations are based on next to nothing! There is no way for rurals to help each other and get paid, or take partial days off (they get sick while working for example) and get paid. Yes, there are rurals that go home early many days because they work faster (not necessarily safer or better) or they work off the clock to make themselves look good and management leaves them alone; but they don't slow down to make sure they work 8 hours to avoid getting extra work either. More often than not, a rural carrier works at least their evaluation, if not one or two hours OVER, and then get threatened to have the route CUT (at an average loss of $5000 in annual pay)! Yes, rural carriers are their own worst enemy because of those practices, but that doesn't mean they should be treated differently, or paid less than what they deserve! So now, you city carriers try proving to me where you think rural carriers have it better!

  34. Oh yeah and if you city carriers think the evaluated system is so hot ask yourself why the postal service is pushing so hard to get city carriers on it. And why your union is refusing to get on it.

  35. Leland Grant said it well but I would like to add that 8 and 9 mile routes are also very hard on the bladder because you stand out there for as long as you can take it and no rest room nearby. And after 5 hours of this (my personal amazing limit) something's gotta give. BTW that's 5 hours on the street I'm talking about NOT in the office which is even more hours added to your day.. Not everyone is running a route in 4 hours and most city carriers in my office were gone home before I trudged in (except for those on the overtime list!).

  36. Kristy M

    If city carriers worked on a scale of volume like the rural carriers, they would be done early also. I really don't know what they do to be out so long anyway. Rural very rarely takes a lunch either, so we can get done early. If city would be salary, the clerks could be done early and save money on how many clerks are in office.

  37. Leland Grant via Fac

    i read all the comments and commented too. many city carriers[ if those commenting are a good example] feel we all get done by 1pm daily, few rural carriers get to do this, this may be close to true on some routes , not too many anymore, we need to become on union, one pay schedule etc, and management needs to brought to heel.

  38. leland grant

    ed et al city carriers , unless you fellows have worked in multiple offices, then you really don't know what all rural carriers do.————————– my office has 16 rural and 12 city routes, only 2 rural routes regularly get done under the evaluated . and those routes have many quick to deliver areas that have many ndcbu delivery units, our 43k routes get paid equivalent to city 40,——————— when our mail goes down during a count, we lose PAY, not work, when you guys get a drop, they adjust your workload, not your pay. our so called OT [ any evaluated over 40] is NOT the same pay structure as the ot you nalc guys can earn, it is formed differently and is less per hour., simply put, we make less usually, and we are allowed to drive mainly , so we can move faster ; city carriers move faster on the drive up portions of their routes too. ———- there are many functional differences, many rural carriers on high density routes get cheated during mail counts and then get nothing but grief when the volume jumps back up. the usps does arrange lower volumne during counts, i have taken 4 pay cuts in the last 5 years, and will be cheated again in a few weeks[ only reason they will count us for 2nd time in 5 months is to cut pay. we need thousands more city carriers to reduce penalty and thousands fewer useless management toads. and oh yeah, at least you city guys have some place on your routes to stop and take a shit, all i ahve are corn/bean fields.

  39. POPatty

    I can only quote what the arbitrator said in his ruling, "The Postal Service would be well served to use the evaluated system with the city craft". Because Rural carriers work smarter and harder without breaks and lunches means we can go home. Statistically Rural carriers are the MOST productive workers in the Post Ofiice due to the evaluated system. City carriers are slugs, that actually count to themselves while casing during route inspections so they don't case too fast. Sad, sad, sad! Remember 7:01… How quickly did you get done when you could go home after 7 and get paid for 8. Don't be a hater because you're jealous…

  40. Mike

    I have over 866 boxes and 40 miles and i bust my butt to get off early every day. I hardly ever work past 1:30 but everyone that had the route b4 me could get back in by 3. i earn my 8.6 hrs in the 6 hrs i work everyday.i can run every route in my office at least 2 hrs faster than the one that is assigned to it. What im saying is that if you want to finish early you can. Just work harder and smarter.


  41. Gail Spencer via Fac

    the truth is we are not in this together. their rules are very different from ours. the way we are treated at X-mas is something I do not agree with. that being said,I would never like being treated the way they are on a daily basis.

  42. I'm an RCA and I carry the city side all the time. The "rules" only apply in some offices. 😉 "They" like to quote the rules but when the mail needs to be gotten out the door, well, the "rules" don't matter so much.

  43. I agree with Randolph. We're both doing the same work. We need to stand together. Maybe we should work closer together so regular carriers could get overtime more often. Here's a question that well surely start a fire but, how can City Carriers carry Aux routes but, no RCA can carry a City route?

  44. Suzanne

    Kind of funny how none of these "city carriers" are mentioning the fact the some rurals are getting paid 2 or 3 overtime hours a week, but they are working 6 days a week for it. Could be some of the factor of rurals coming in earlier than city too. When a rural route is evaluated at 7 hours a day, sure they will be back before city, but they are also there on Saturday earning their regular pay, not all OT for the day.

  45. mia

    ohhh please please please stop the insanity city carriers…do not tell me we have it better, why? because 5 days a year i get to go home at 12? big f'''''' deal, my salary is not even close to yours. do you feel for me when im working 3 hours over my evaluated? would that ever happen in your craft? a carrier working for NOTHING FOR 3 HOURS? i dont think so. all you see is us going home early some days, so what. you dont see us working 12 hour days ethier? no lunch, no breaks!!! if our gig was soooo great, why as an academy instructor do i continue to see new trc's (te's for your side) bounce to city side? because instead of making 13/hour they can make 20/hour or more switching to you side. that should say it all, newbees think you have the better job and YOU DO.

  46. Symton Poole via Fac

    City carriers are jealous of rural carriers. At least they are in my office. They hate the fact that we don't have to wear the uniform, that we can case all of our mail, we don't have to walk, etc. etc.

  47. OU812

    Instead of pointing fingers, We all do the same job, Deliver Mail & Parcels. Yes we have different unions and different pay scale But We really Need to Work together because if The Upper Management that Sits in the Ivory Tower get their way, We're ALL Going to Get Screwed …

  48. Bruce

    Those city carriers that are "working 10 hours" get a 2 ten minute breaks on the clock (2 hours a week) They MUST take a half hour lunch off the clock 3 hours a week. They must pace themselves so that the route takes the same time as there heaviest day because if the return early 4 days of the week they will take mail off the slowest and laziest and make the harder workers work harder! I am very seldom under eval any more with the FSS and DPS standards I work less hours a day than the city side but move 1 1/2 times the mail most of the city routes are mounted and have less stops, less mail and a lot less miles than mine. The ones on the OT list made between 70 to 80 K last year and worked a lot less days than me. Lets see how long the City routes get when they put GPS devices in the LLVs. As far as not helping out when we are down a route THERE IS NO WAY TO PAY A REGULAR RURAL ROUTE CARRIER. If they would pay me I would gladly help out but we don't make the rules

  49. Jon Dough

    This carrier actually got screwed since there is no penalty OT at that time (double pay for anything over 10 hours). I used to be a rural carrier and switched over to city because I would rather be guaranteed my hours and receive OT for "anything" over 8 hours. Sure, going home early like rurals do is nice, but it sucks when you go through a count and you lose some of your paycheck.

    "And overtime seems to be through the roof. On this Monday in question, one of the carriers who was working on their off day worked 16 hours! That’s about $600 for one carrier on one day. That’s lawyer pay. And most all the carriers at my post office seem to be working 10-12 hours 6 days a week."

  50. Rick

    A city carrier is pushed everyday all year long. I see rural carriers going home early all the time and there base pay is higher than a city carrier with 1000 stop route. You have the best job in postal service enjoy it.

    • Bruce

      Our base is higher? The average conversion from rural to city is 1 and 1/2 city roues to every rural route our 40 hour wage is 40,859 to 52,582 your top rate is around 58,000 so why don't you check the facts before you talk. When you guys get slamed the day after a holiday you get OT we get S*(t

  51. Tony Bals

    I have never liked the idea of "rural carrier" or "city carrier". To me they should both be called "Mail Carrier". All carriers should be paid on an hourly basis, used on any route their is work, and management should have the ablity to level out the routes. I hate to see my rural carriers working 8-9 hours and get paid for 7. But managing city carriers is no easy task, and I don't think that rural carriers would like to be treated like city carriers. The unions have created the mess everyone is in, and they will continue this struggle to maintain their ranks. I will go one step further and say that all employees should be called "postal employees" and not clerk, PSE, RCA, rural carrier, city carrier, ect. Too many times I see PTF clerks going home after 3 hours of work, and wanting more hours, while a rural carrier works 8-9 hours a day….6 days a week. Having the ablity to lighten the load once in awhile would be priceless.

  52. stop u wining

    so for 11 months a year you rush your ass off to have a shorter day and get your full amount you can't have it both ways be like acity carrier and get timed for everthing you do if there is a inch less of mail you have to be back a half hur earlier and do a split cry baby

  53. Dan

    You want overtime like the carriers you are talking about?? Take an office with 20 rural carriers, let 5 of them go and then you and the other 14 Rurals pick up the slack. That's what these city carriers are putting up with. Post Offices that are badly understaffed thanks to idiotic management, so they are working 10 + hours a day. .

  54. truthfull teddy

    most rurals I see are middle age women who if they had to do the average city walking route wouldn't make it to day 2…you got ice cream over on your side…stop complaining

    • Susan

      truthful Teddy, I am one of those middle age women, I can do a walking route, but I choose not to be a city carrier, I chose rural route. You chose city route. I have trained or tried to train city carriers who thought they wanted to switch. They didn't last thru the three day training period. Went back to the city.

      Everyone thinks the other side is better. I work hard to get back when I can, My sister carrier gets harassed because the other eleven months of the year she is back after her evaluated time. She is forced to take time off she does not want, when she doesn't want it because she is over her 2040. Then when we get to Christmas OT, she is still expected to be back early and looses any overtime because he gives it to the only RCA or sub we have in our office. She can't take time off when she wants too cause he is using the RCA as a sub on a city route, or in office and would go over hours. I don't know where you guys work, none of us are allowed overtime. City or rural. or RCA.

      We are both "real" rural carriers, dirt or mud roads, over 87 miles on hers and 95 for mine, I have over 553 boxes and she has less than 500.Each rte eval. we are told we need so many new boxes to go up or so many miles, then extensions are denied and they take part of one route and give it to the other. We can't use our sub when we want, we have to schedule for our pm's whims. If we are sick, we put up with his attitude because it messes with his schedule. We both come in sick and spread germs because we just don't won't to deal with it.

      You guys arguing about who is has the best job is outrageous. Not all offices are the same, not all routes are the same and not all should be.

  55. cangonow

    Thank You admin! As I pointed out I can never meet my weekly evaluation the whole year and went over 12 hours one week shortly before the Christmas OT period started. Thats 12 hours of free OT for the USPS! Leading up to the Christmas OT period I was regularly over by 3-5 hours and expect that to continue during the snow season. Routes are different…carriers are different and the evaluated system just doesnt work anymore for many. The best that I did last year was one hour over eval during the slower summer months. I work hard the whole day…I do not slack and give all the service that we are required to give..I dont take shortcuts…the system just doesnt work anymore for me and is slowly grinding me into the ground.

  56. kim poland

    I have been a rural carrier for 26+ years. Some routes have changed quite a bit since I first started. I am one of the carriers that works over eval more often than not during the whole year. I have a very high volume route,532 boxes, 26.2 miles. LLV DPS.L route. Since they keep changing time standards it only goes to reason the higher volume routes will see the biggest effect and the routes that go home early everyday are the routes with a high box count and/or high millage, low volume of mail. Since those routes have no mail they get out early. I am usually still casing flats (that is what I case first ) when they leave for their routes.They can deliver faster if you don't have to stop at each box everyday. Also I deliver a very high number of parcels ( my customers order everything online) each day. I get one half a minute for each parcel. That is 30 seconds to get it out of my parcel hamper, get it in order (cause when you have 100 to 150 parcels they have to be in order) put a parcel marker in my case (cause I'm old and forgetful) load them in my vehicle and take them to the door(yes, I do not hang parcels) can you do all that in 30 seconds? Routes are all very different and we need to figure out what is best for everyone. I do not hold it against routes that get done early, as long as they are doing everthing they are suppose to do. That is the incentive for an evaluated system. But, the system is not working for all of us. And just remember those of us that work over are saving you from more drastic time standard cuts!

  57. TP

    Well city carriers are not home at 1 or 2 oclock like most rural carriers. They get back as fast as they can and go home for 2to 4 hours a day with pay. There your overtime. Suck it up!

    • There seems to be a huge misconception that ALL rural carriers are done by noon… As I stated earlier, HALF of our craft is OVER evaluation….. HALF.. If you think all of us go home by noon, you are vastly misinformed.

      • Jon Dough

        Stop going on 3, 4 and 5 smoke breaks every morning. Stop carrying on outside of your case with fellow rurals. The ones that are leaving early tend to be working diligently in the mornings and getting out on the street and getting done. I'm walking down the street delivering my route between 12 and 1pm and get honked at by three or four rural carriers on their way home every day. Then the ones that are there all day long are there EVERYDAY late. Even when we have NO MAIL. Even if we have a bunch of mail. They always come back about the same time, which is at the very end of the day.

        So, if you are a normal person and come back later when the mail is heavy or early when there is no mail, then the system works. If you are always late, then it is YOU.

        • Rayeann

          Maybe some of the City Carriers on here do not realize that all Rural Routes are not the same evaluation. You can have a 3 hour a day route or a 9+ hour a day route. That is why we all come back at different times.

  58. Arly

    Does not matter if rurual carriers have an eight hour route and work it in only six. That is the incentive of our contract. And management can give aux assistance during Christmas OT period to keep the carrier from getting OT. What's the Problem?

  59. There seems to be a huge misconception that ALL rural carriers are done by noon… As I stated earlier, HALF of our craft is OVER evaluation….. HALF.. If you think all of us go home by noon, you are vastly misinformed.

    • Sheri

      I've been an RCA for 14+ years and have never been done before noon, or 1:00 for that matter, nor have any of the other routes in my office. I'll mention the flip side of "rural carriers who go home at noon every day" with this: how about even on the lightest mail days, the city carriers still take all day ? They could go home early too, but nope gotta draw that 8 hours pay !!

  60. OH, those poor rural carriers. I was a rural carrier Postmaster for 7 1/2 years and boy everyone in the post office should have it this good. If I had to do my career again I would definitely be a rural carrier. In all my years at the PO I have only seen rural go over evaluation the day after a holiday. My rural carriers always made their evaluation with little or no help during Christmas. Always over on Monday, but under the rest of the week. A matter of fact most of my rural carriers usually made the 1220PM dispatch. Now if I could work 5 or 6 hours a day and get paid for 7.5 or 8 I would gladly do it. And all those city carriers sucking up OT, put them on evaluated and see how fast they get done.

  61. as a city carrier i used to envy the rural carriers in my office. they case the dps ,scanners were brought to them, and they were on the way home by noon.not so much anymore; sometime in the last year or more,they're back as late as i am, routes were cut from 8 RR to 6 & you need roller skates to case in their runway length sorting cases. i also don't want to be a rolling window clerk. some time ago it was suggested that city carriers have evaluated routes also, now on this thread rurals are wanting hourly. i guess the grass is always greener but bottom line is postal mgmnt. is inherently dishonest & the higher their position the bigger the a$$h*!!e occupies it.

  62. ok ive been at this since 1994 your best bud is your supervisor not your union ok have a cow. Flames right do you want a good working enviroment or a strong union you cant have the latter. They are political they wont admit it, they only want the dues , your supervisor want's you to keep him out of the hot seat work with him.the bottom line as you have done is fudge just spell it out it won't hurt poloticians do it all the time. Now serk ve your route take care of your customers they are your bread and life they mean nothing to the union or usps they are yours. you can do what it takes you may not be compensated but you are the best mail carrier ever. so what, does that get you? Here is what that get's you. You have freedom to get the holidays done you know your supervisor has got your back . he and you both know the system is flawed but you dont bring attention to yourself. oh know says the union mind of thinking stay with it, now. eveyone is working toward the same goal let's get the route done and call it a day. i've tried here to educate some most won't get it they think they deserve extra , here is the rub rememeber in july when you finished at 2:00 pm or 2:30 and you got paid for a full day thats the catch. now it's pay up time just take care of your customers.

  63. postman101

    Transfer over to city carrier and lets see how well you loke it when you are walkiing in the 35 degree rain instead of listening to the radio in your heated LLV.

  64. Cindy

    I am still waiting to be paid for a route that I worked on November 2! I My paycheck on November 6th was shorted for that day of work. I brought it to their attentiion on the 13th of November, and to this day, I still have not received my money! I asked on a form 13 to file a grievance over three weeks ago, and it sat in the try on the door of the office for almost three weeks. I have spoken with the union regarding this, but I still not have received an answer regarding my grievance. Only have been told that our new postmaster did the paperwork wrong. I pay into the union and feel that they are not representing us to the best of their ability. If I owed the post office money, I bet they would be all up my butt for it! A lot of other carriers…RCA's too, have had their pay messed up and it hasn't been corrected. We come in there and are threatened about a lot of things lately. It is not okay that they can just continue to keep our pay that is due to us. Instead, one RCA was told "well I guess that wasn't money that you needed to spend on Christma." Are you kidding me!!!

  65. First of all, I feel the pain of the rural carriers. However, this is unfortunately old news. Several years ago under the leadership of Bill Young, the nalc approached the rural craft about the possibility of joining up with the letter carrier craft because of all the above issues. The rural membership declined. I know many of the rural carriers in the office I worked in did not want to work the guaranteed eight hours of a regular. Many of them liked the option of going home early if they finished early. You cannot have it both ways. Perhaps it is now time for the rural craft to join up with the nalc and become a stronger force in total, because we are in the fight for our lives.

  66. big daddy

    rurals have the best job in the PO . in my office they are done when im back for lunch typically 12-1 and get paid till 4 . they easily get 3-4 hours of pay doing nothing . yes they dont make as much as a city carrier nor should they with all that curbside . city routes would have to be cut in half to get paid the way a rural does . if rurals went hourly they would have to add to there routes to make a full day .

  67. cangonow

    Jacen, you are correct that OT is sometimes built into the system (if your route is large enough) and that we get extra time during the 3 week Christmas period if we work over our weekly evaluation but do you know that a rural carrier has to evaluate at 43 hours a week to make the same as a city carrier? Do you also know that there are rural carriers who can not make their evaluated time any week of the year and put in many free hours each week? I suppose if its not happening to you that you dont care. And Lou, what I am pushing for is a change in our pay system to hourly wages or an option for it, would that make you happy? And Cathy, do you really think that rurals are not subjected to scrutiny like everyone else? And USPS, do you really understand the evaluated system to say that we slack during the evaluated period. All but a few functions have set standards and the rest of the functions are monitored closely by management. I really think that if the evaluated system is so great that the clerks and city carriers should go on it. The clerks could be evaluated only on certain job functions at set rates per hour and that would be their yearly salary and the same for the city carriers and the rest of the craft employees. Any time that there is not a standard for (like talking to fellow workers or taking too long with a window transaction would not be paid by the USPS, which would save all kinds of money!)

  68. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabad

    Typical, "they got some, I want mine" thinking. The problem with this article is it focuses how to get more overtime for rurals, when the real discussion should be how to reduce overtime for the city carriers. High overtime may be caused by poor management, but it will be the craft employees, and the customes, that suffer the consequences of fiscal insolvency.

  69. Mick

    Everyday is Christmas for rural carriers……one in my office works analog of 4 hrs a day and gets paid for 8.5…..also works every other Saturday straight ot….laughable

      • Marshall

        No one here is under evaluation like that. I bet that is a route that is all mileage and no mail. I never had to worry about counts when my route was 80 miles long and retirees had not discovered Tennessee. Now that houses and subdivisions dot what was rural territory here and most routes have shrunk to 25 to 40 miles then our associations inability to defend our contract mail volume standards has a huge effect. Not to mention the fact that mail we have all year long just happens to disappear during count and reappear in an avalanche right after count ends.

  70. USPS

    Your article forgets to mention the Paul Harvey of this situation, now for the rest of the story. Management focuses on when carriers come back to the office, not what a route is evaluated to. For both city and rural carriers. Rural carriers are less supervise because of the type of contract they have, once evaluated, that is what they will be paid for the year, with slight exceptions. When rural routes are being evaluated, that is the longest day a rural carrier works, being credit for time on every operation performed. Day after evaluated, rural carriers starts running the route to get off as early as possible and still get paid for the evaluated time for that route. 11 months out of the year running as fast as they can, quite often working 6 hours, and getting paid for eight. So when December comes around its hard for a rural carrier to justify overtime, when 11 months out of the year they show undertime to management by returning from Their routes early. Management takes advantage of this and pressure them, and it works.

    • That is not the whole story either. You forgot to mention that half of our craft is working over evaluation before the stress of Christmas volume. Yes, the craft on average shows a bump, but we are all thrown into the same pile, with the same standards applied. I can assure you there are no rural carriers out there making a lawyer's pay day. In an organization that is supposedly going broke, the Elephant being ignored is a much larger problem than a rural carrier working under their evaluation in an incentivized pay system.

      • Chris

        The problem is the postal service leaves the city carriers way under staffed. But the postal service makes sure there is plenty of rural carriers and RCAs. I would love not to have to work 12 hr days 6 days a week. Those of you rural that are jealous of the pay and overtime with the daily harassment we have plenty of routes available. Come on over.

  71. Cathy

    Many rurals have a route evaluated to 40 or close per week and regularly finish during the year in much less time. If they no longer want this evaluated route system I am sure that NALC would love for the rurals to merge with their union and go to an hourly wage system. This means rurals would be subjected to the same kind of time scrutiny that city carriers are subjected to. Can't have it both ways.

  72. Jacen

    not to quible but in the evaluated system if your a 42K you get paid for 2 hours OT every week so please do not say you only get OT for 3 weeks at Xmas every year OT is built into routes that are evaluated for it. as for my office while no OT was paid we did have RCA carrier extra time that was put in and i did not work at all on 2 fridays.

  73. cap

    My city / rural mixed office here goes .. 15 city routes NO ptf carriers . NO help for city carriers City carriers get OT . Rurals 7 routes with 4 RCA's , RCA's make less per hour = cheaper work hour rate.. NO rural OT! enough said

  74. cangonow

    I couldnt agree more. You seem to have a route like I do. Mine is a FSS,DPS and LLV supplied rural/suburban route with lots of volume as I work in a middle/upper class area.There are many differences in rural routes already…LLV vs POV…L vs non L….dirt roads vs paved roads…rural vs suburban…FSS vs non FSS….DPS vs non DPS…snow vs non snow routes and probably many more. We need to make one more difference in rural routes to protect the carriers as our evaluated system leaves more and more being abused by it….hourly vs evaluated routes with the regular carrier making the decision after an official mailcount. WE need to make it happen!

  75. I don't make the rules,I just get what I take…

    and I guess every rule was made to break.

    After 26 plus years,23 as a regular you learn to play their game and get what is due.

    I always tell my fellow RLC's ask me after I retire

  76. cangonow

    What I always push for is an option to be paid hourly or by evaluated pay after an official mailcount. Put in resolutions at next years spring meetings. The evaluated lover could keep their system and those being killed by it could choose hourly pay. Let the carrier choose! There would be changes for those picking hourly. We would be managed like city carriers and you wouldnt have OT rolled into your salary but when it gets to the point (like I am in) that you can never meet your weekly eval and go over by 5-12 hours in the fall and winter, something needs to be done.

  77. Tom

    Unfortunately, the majority of the rural delegates to the national convention have felt like Barbara and want the ability to go home when they work fast. This has led to the situation we are in now, with arbitrators deciding that we are overpaid for the average hours we work and then cutting our standards resulting in less evaluations. Until we as a craft start showing the Postal Service and arbitrators that the "bump" is artificial, we will be stuck right where we are. By the way, are you aware Barbara that the threshold for a route adjustment is only 3 hrs per week?

    • Rayeann

      How many conventions have you been to? I am one of the last people back in my office and I never go home by 2:00, so how do you know that about the delegates? I know how important it is to not cut my hours by rushing thru my route because I have taken the time and listened to what the stewards have told us a meetings. I think more people getting involved and learning their contract is what we need I have heard it said a million times Rural Carriers are our own worst enemies and this is true.

  78. sarah

    Just thank the good Lord you all have jobs and a paycheck, whether it's little or lot. No one is ever happy at the P.O, so we should just be thankful for jobs. If you are that unhappy with your check, find another job. I've worked with the P.O almost 30 yrs now and more then half of that is part time, with no benefits. But i'm grateful for what i have. Thank you.

    • Sarah, everything that happens to the craft cannot be explained away by just be happy you have a job.. There are inequities, and there are problems that we need to have discussions about. Being happy to have a job has nothing to do with it. We can be happy to have our jobs and discuss the problems of our craft at the same time. If we never had these kind of discussions, then nothing would ever change..

      • sarah

        you are correct, but aren't these discussions just a bunch of moaning and groaning. when i have tried in the past to discuss problems, there's a chain of command, and a bunch of paperwork, and at the end of it all, the problems and the craft has been changed with new rulings, that lead to new discussions. so in the long run, i feel like after 30 yrs not much has changed. I just believe that if we just went to work knowing whats ahead (problems, postmasters, managers, mistakes, sick people, short handed, lack of money) all that goes into play when we go to work, and its just the same thing. So i just go to work, do my job, and leave. I'm sorry so many people have so many problems with the PO, but how many of these prolbems are solved within a reasonable time, and with a satisfactory results

  79. Ralph Reuter

    Number one, we are the smallest union, Number two our Union participated in writing the "overtime" rules that apply! USPS managers are just doing their job to make sure the contract is followed to the letter! No pun intended. It is impossible to get overtime, if per chance you even get close to your weekly evaluated time they send you home and have an RCA, (who is probably working on OT already) finish the route. Then no millage for second trips, or even to divert for an express! Until our Union "leaders" stand up and do something about it, next year will be the same!

    • Rayeann

      If you are in a POV and not getting mileage – that is your own fault. We have a second trip MOU in place and you get paid for second trips. I do not want any overtime, if I come close to going over and they give me help, fine.

  80. gonepostal

    I am a Rural Carrier for 17 years ( 10 years as a Rural Carrier Associate, no benefits, and 7 years as career) and this does boil my blood reading the above article! Everyone thinks the rural carriers make big money when it is other crafts in the post office. We work twice as hard and longer hours for half the pay( evaluated pay) and are always getting targeted for the cuts in our evaluated time. I don't understand this! I've been fighting tooth and nail every since I have been a rugular carrier to be paid and treated fairly, but it is like a loosing battle. I love what I do, but it is becoming harder to do as I get older and the post office keeps expecting more and more work done for our evaluated time. I am a good carrier, but where is the equality! I have never worked as hard ( and I always work hard as a rural carrier) as I did this past Christmas season. I don't know how they did it but they seemed to manage to pay me just a few hours overtime each week when I was working every K day( my off day) and working 10 to close to 12 hours a day ( they manage to rush you out before you reach 12 hours or it would be overtime for that day). I was making 2 trips a day most days for packages ( having from 100 to 150 parcels a day) and I still never got paid for my extra trips that I could see. Our paystubs look like they are written in another language with all the different codes they use which makes it really hard to understand. I have tried to educate myself on reading them, trying to go thru the proper steps when they aren't paying me correctly of talking to management and union stewards but it is a really slow and long process to ever get anything done…everything has to be done with the proper steps and paperwork and it looks like nothing ever gets done. From what I understand we only have 14 days to grieve anything even our pay or we are left out in the cold. For me, I usually stay so busy from daylight to dark 5-6 ( usually 6) doing my job, hustling and trying to perform my duties correctly but very swiftly and of course safely that I end up screwing myself out of my entitlements…pretty much working for free. This Christmas Overtime Season was definitely was no exception! I thought I was going to make really good pay for all the hard long days I put in. I made a little extra , but not much. It really burns my cookie that the city carriers make such high pay ( I respect and like the city carriers), but where is our union and where is the equality. Rural Carriers make descent wages but nothing like the pay listed for city carriers. Then we don't even get paid for all we do and have to do more work and hustle, hustle, hustle. I am thankful for having a job, but I am tired of being cheated and ripped off. I know I didn't sign on for the pay as city carriers or other crafts get, but I would like to get paid what I am suppose to. I will keep fighting for now to try to get it…It is just so hard to grieve it in a timely manner when you work so hard and stay so busy and management puts things off or won't allow you to talk with your union steward without permisssion or an appointment. It really disgust me that city carriers get paid so much, but I know I signed on as a rural carrier. If I would have known that got paid so well I would have tried to take the test and fought to try to get a letter carrier job. You just wouldn't expect there would be such a difference in the pay, hours and how you are treated when both are delivering Mail for the Postal Service working in the same office. I am not whining, I just wish everyone in the upper management, the goverment, and the public would see that the rural carriers are being paid and treated unfairly. I just want to be treated fairly and get paid for what I actually work for…I don't think that is too much to ask. But until the rural carriers and rural union stand together nothing will change…everyone has to start seeing that elephant in the room. This article just made me sick to my stomache and feel like a slave, really nieve, used and abused.

  81. Cyndi Salinis

    Logged in 154 scans in one day went out with a steel full of parcels on numerous occasions during the Christmas period, only to be sent home if I even got close to OT

  82. Barbara Waymier

    My personal opinion on the matter is, I don't want hourly. I figure I am a fast worker, so I get done before evaluation time. If we go to hourly I might make more money but, I would lose my freedom to work fast and get done early. I would have to pace myself and work according to evaluated time standards. I think if we went to hourly the USPSs budget would take another hit. Can you imagine the overtime every carrier would get if we worked like the city carriers.

    • I don't know how long you've been a rural carrier, but eventually working fast is going to take a serious toll on your body. I've always been the "slow" one and after 24 years my back and shoulders are almost shot.

    • David

      Mrs Ratiker you better count yourself lucky.My route has 710 boxes-2 schools-and tons of mail but is only evaluated at 8.25 hrs.It takes me 10-12 hrs a day to deliver.I had to filed greivance at last count because p-master just flat said he will not give me what the count came to. Which was a 48k + instead I get paid 42k wages.During christmas I had to make 2 trips everyday I got home around 9pm every night even though I am use to getting home around 7 pm. ((not alot of diffrence)) Not once did I even get paid mileage.Some people have the right to complain.Remember the carriers that are lucky enough to get off early should realize another carrier somewhere maybe even right beside you will be taking up the slake.Please just try to remember the tieds could be reversed any time just by the p-master restructuring the routes.We must stand together for change.

  83. cangonow

    We need as rural carriers to switch to hourly pay. I see this happen in my office every year, everyone gets OT except the rurals who are pushed to stay at evaluation or given aux help, while the clerks and city carriers rake in OT pay without management even blinking. Until we make the change, dont get jealous or mad, because it is us who demand to stay with this system.

      • Bill Jamisson

        As a city carrier I frequently notice rurals going home 1-2pm while I'm back at the station half way through with my city route, to pick up my OT mail. Only during the count are the rurals still there in the afternoon.

        • Bill Jamisson

          And another thing. Several times in my career I've been mandated to go back out in the late afternoon to carry rural route mail because management cannot send rurals out on a route other than their own rural route. In other words, rurals go home at lunch time; city carriers go home when all the mail in the station has been delivered.

          • Former Rural Carrier

            Are you a City Carrier delivering Rural Routes? What office do you work? Where is the union? First,management can send RCAs back out.(subs)Second,management themselves can be required to deliver Rural Routes if no one eslse is available.I was in an office that had City and Rural Carriers.Saw this procedure often.Never did a City carrier deliver Rural routes.Check it out.And as for pay, Rural Carriers have one bundle and fly through their routes to get off early.Paid 8 hours,work 4-6.When count comes around,they slack and take the complete 8 working hours..Stop crying about what YOU are doing to yourselves.

        • Crystal furrow

          We r not paid ANYthing for the xtra time spent at the office due to mailcount.it is NOt factored in anywhere. It slows us down always waiting for someone to time us or count us & make us all do stuff differently than is actually done all yr. some of the routes r H & J which puts them at less than 7hrs pay a day

          And yes. There r the crooked/sneaky ones who somehow manage to get credit or count for stuff the rest of us didn't.

          Also box to box routes take longer than cluster box routes 🙁

          There r lots of factors on both sides. We all try to communicate w/ @ other in our office.

          Had a city carrier tell me this yr that Xmas time is the only time they r NOT allowed to get V time…. That's got to piss them off. Could go on & on but why? Po likes to divide & conquer. Sad.

        • what post offices do you work at. Rural carriers with easy routes or a low volume of mail and packages get back early but there are many rural routes that take 9 or 10 hours most days and we’re only getting paid for 8. It is ignorant of you to say rurals are lazy, that is opposite of what I have seen at my post office

      • Suzanne

        Oh.. and don't forget all those days that they curb mail on the city side, so they don't go over 8 hours. I can count on one hand the number of days in 12 years that the rural side has gotten to curb mail. We take everything every day, and sure don't come waltzing in the door at 1 either.

        • I was a letter carrier, and a supervisor. I rode with rural carriers. They do good work. However, the rural I rode with had a real estate business on the side. He was done EVERY DAY, except for around Christmas, at no later than 2pm.

      • Monique Boyd

        The only time I have ever seen rural carriers coming in at the middle of the day is to pick up more mail, because for some damned reason they can not be provided LLV's.

      • Crystal furrow

        Not me 🙁 my rt pays 43 hrs 5 days a wk. that 3 hrs of built in OT every wk. However, even in the summer I avg 8 hrs a day. In MY office the majority of rural carriers would rather go hourly like city & clerk craft. Our leave needs to go hourly too. If I'm on my route & have to leave due to illness, I must take a full 8 hr leave day & no additional compensation for all the hrs already worked!…..just saying. We all have our pros & cons. But why? We all work for the same company & should be working towards the same goal.

  84. Pam Sommer Simpkins

    We all know it happens, but to see it in real numbers the way this article lays it out makes me want to puke. And to think, for the second time in 5 months, we will be fighting, scratching and clawing for every second, every minute we can on our evaluations. The double standard is glaring!! What makes us the red headed step child of the Postal Service? What has our craft done that is so horrible to justify treating us this way?!!

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