|Delivering information when you need it most.||Volume 2 - Summer 1999|
Is there such a thing as the "ideal" letter carrier? Certainly postal managers wish such a being existed -- a perfect performer who always worked at the same pace -- which is to say, as fast as possible. However, NALC stewards know that letter carriers are individuals and have the right, as protected by the National Agreement, to work their routes at a speed that reflects their individual best effort.
For example, Postal Service management is constantly attempting to impose a standard for casing mail, telling letter carriers that they should be casing at a certain speed whatever the circumstances. However, NALC representatives know that managers are prohibited from disciplining carriers for failure to reach some arbitrary casing standard. Rather, the appropriate time for casing mail is set by each carrier working at the speed at which they are most efficient.
Another bone of contention between management and carriers is the speed at which a carrier delivers a route. In a recent regional-level arbitration (C-17434), the Postal Service attempted to argue that letter carriers should be disciplined for driving too slowly, presenting the argument that there was, in fact, a standard for the appropriate speed on mounted routes. In his ruling, the arbitrator upheld the principle that, just as with casing the mail, there is no standard for speed in delivering the mail. Carriers work at their own speed, to the best of their ability.
... continued on