Beginning next week, pursuant to Article 34 of the National Agreement, the Postal Service will begin conducting a study of city carriers’ office activities. As with several other recent unilateral tests involving city letter carriers, USPS once again has decided to perform this study on its own rather than examining methods to improve the work environment and procedures related to city delivery with NALC through the joint City Delivery Task Force. With this new study, the Postal Service states city carrier’s office activities will be observed and data collected in order for USPS to analyze and potentially develop new work methods or standards. Exploration of both items jointly by USPS and NALC are among the many subjects established and directed in the memorandum of understanding Re: City Delivery Task Force incorporated in the National Agreement.
NALC was first notified of the Postal Service’s intent to conduct this study in a letter dated April 19, 2019. In a subsequent notification, dated May 1, 2019, USPS told us the information collected from this study may be used during the collective bargaining process. During a meeting held on May 17, 2019, the Postal Service informed NALC that they intended to contract a third-party company to conduct this study. USPS also stated sites and routes would be randomly selected in which data collectors would collect data related to office activities. USPS anticipated collecting one day of data from approximately 400 routes during the study and the information would be used to evaluate current office standards and, if necessary, create new standards.
NALC didn’t hear anything further about this study until we received notification from USPS dated March 3, 2020. We were notified that a contract had been awarded for the data collection analysis and we were provided with a list of thirty-six sites of various sizes which had been randomly selected for the study. USPS stated the contractor will collect data through on-site visits both in the morning and the afternoon.
In a letter dated March 17, 2020, NALC was provided a list of the routes which were selected to be included in the study. Subsequently, on March 18, 2020, the Postal Service notified NALC the study was being temporarily postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.