NALC – Backpay and COLA update

Most eligible city letter carriers will receive retroactive pay pursuant to the 2019-2023 National Agreement on their August 20 paychecks. Backpay for some former city carrier assistants that were converted to career status between November 23, 2019 and April 9, 2021 must be calculated manually, resulting in a delay in payment. This issue was discovered during a recent quality check of the process. We are discussing the issue with representatives from USPS Headquarters. As soon as additional information is available, it will be posted here on the NALC website.

Backpay is calculated for all paid hours between November 23, 2019 (the date of the first general wage increase in the Agreement) and April 9, 2021 (the day before new pay rates were implemented as explained here). The following pay increases will be included in the retroactive pay from the effective date indicated for each:

For career city carriers:

  • 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 23, 2019
  • $166 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 29, 2020
  • $188 Cost of Living Adjustment effective August 29, 2020
  • 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 21, 2020
  • $416 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 27, 2021

*Cost of living increases referenced above are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement.

For City Carrier Assistants:

  • 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 23, 2019
  • 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 21, 2020

*City carrier assistants receive the additional 1.0% increases referenced above in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.

Retired and separated employees that worked during the backpay period will be paid by check mailed to their last work location. Retroactive pay adjustments for now retired letter carriers may result in adjustments to annuities. The Office of Personnel Management will make any necessary annuity adjustments.

Fourth COLA is $1,934

The fourth regular Cost of Living Adjustment under the 2019-2023 National Agreement will be $1,934 annually for letter carriers in Table 1 and at Step O of Table 2. Cost of living increases are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement. This adjustment will be effective August 28 and reflected in paychecks dated September 17.

City carrier assistants will receive additional 1.0% increases effective November 20, 2021 and November 19, 2022 in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.

The new pay rates can be seen in the new letter carrier pay schedule available here.


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