Will RRECS be fair?

Havenowgone

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I read post after post complaining about the new system and how it will not be fair and not work. The reason for RRECS is because the old system was not fair to either party. How can a struggling USPS continue to pay some rural carriers 2-3 hours a day (and in some cases more) for work they are not doing. No doubt those carriers think they are fast and efficient (and I'm sure many are) but how can a company continue with a system like that. How can a union (assoc) claim to represent all carriers when many are continually working way over their evaluations, and providing the USPS with free work...many through no fault of their own. Their routes are constructed so that no one could work what they are being paid and many are forced to use annual and sick leave to stay within their 2080 hours. Many can't even think of taking a high option because of their work hour problems. Many of the carriers benefiting from the system think those having trouble are just slow. They don't consider that their routes may be part of the problem. The solution to these problems was either hourly pay or a revamped system that should get more correct times for the things carriers do and a more accurate indication of the volume they deliver. The old system could not continue! Those that can beat their evals by hours a week can expect to take a hit with RRECS. They should still be able to beat their evals but not by nearly as much and may see huge decreases in evaluations. Maybe some can make up the difference by taking a high option. I think the next step would be for the NRLCA and the USPS to figure out a way to build up their evaluations through consolidations and excess territory taken from routes that will gain and territory from aux routes. This thing called RRECS had to happen. The only other option would be hourly but those carriers getting done so early would likely be hurt again. Once this is all over and settled, there may be some discontent for awhile, but in time I think that most rurals will be content with the new system. If not, then we need to push for hourly.
 
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Voglio-il mio

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I read post after post complaining about the new system and how it will not be fair and not work. The reason for RRECS is because the old system was not fair to either party. How can a struggling USPS continue to pay some rural carriers 2-3 hours a day for work they are not doing. No doubt those carriers think they are fast and efficient (and I'm sure many are) but how can a company continue with a system like that. How can a union (assoc) claim to represent all carriers when many are continually working way over their evaluations, and providing the USPS with free work...many through no fault of their own. Their routes are constructed so that no one could work what they are being paid and many are forced to use annual and sick leave to stay within their 2080 hours. Many can't even think of taking a high option because of their work hour problems. Many of the carriers benefiting from the system think those having trouble are just slow. They don't consider that their routes may be part of the problem. The solution to these problems was either hourly pay or a revamped system that should get more correct times for the things carriers do and a more accurate indication of the volume they deliver. The old system could not continue! Those that can beat their evals by hours a week can expect to take a hit with RRECS. They should still be able to beat their evals but not by nearly as much and may see huge decreases in evaluations. Maybe some can make up the difference by taking a high option. I think the next step would be for the NRLCA and the USPS to figure out a way to build up their evaluations through consolidations and excess territory taken from routes that will gain. This thing called RRECS had to happen. The only other option would be hourly but those carriers getting done so early would likely be hurt again. Once this is all over and settled, there may be some discontent for awhile but in time I think that most rurals will be content with the new system. If not, then we need to push for hourly.
This is an excellent series of comments taking both sides of the issue! This statement should be required reading for all Rural Carriers & RCA's! It addresses both the Bump & the Amazon screwing!

Good job Havnowgone!
 

btdtret

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Havegonenow et al -- "Will RRECS be fair?" ( excellent piece by the way )

-- It will depend on the scale one uses, such as:

Poor / Fair / Good / Excellent / Outstanding / Stellar

-- Cherry-picking time:

"How can a struggling USPS continue to pay some rural carriers 2-3 hours a day for work they are not doing."

- Because manglement is not adhering to the PO-603's Section 151.2 Performance Appraisal. Short version: managers should consider "corrective action" if a carrier is consistently three hours over or under a route's weekly evaluation.

- Actually the USPS has been doing it for years and years and years. At contract and arbitration time, the USPS has no problem bringing up / pointing out the hours paid for but not worked ( aka the dreaded "bump" when carriers finish under a route's evaluation ).

- And the USPS makes known it is "cash strapped" or in "dire financial" situation to the Arbitrator. Arbitrator Wells' comment in his 2002 award:

- "Based on the Postal Service's dire financial condition, the practice of providing the dollar amount equivalent will not be applied to the 1.2% and 1.8% general wage increase in November 2000 and November 2001, respectively."

- "As long as the financial condition of the USPS places it at risk, similar measures [ Arbitrator Goldberg's lump sum payment in lieu of general wage increase ] should be employed in those years in order to allow the Postal Service to regain its footing and once more become financially viable institution.

-- What constitutes a "financially viable institution"? Since the 2002 Arbitration, the USPS has purchased hundred of thousands of scanners. Put out bids for the NGDV which is estimated to be around $ 6 BILLION. There must be some "loose change" lying around somewhere.

- On the other hand, the NRLCA NEVER mentions the "free work hours" the USPS gets when carrier work over a route's evaluation.

-- Moving on to Arbitrator Clarke.

- "The evidence presented shows overwhelmingly that the average quantum of time paid for but not worked grew dramatically during the term of the 2006 NRLCA-USPS Agreement. In deed, the UNREBUTTED evidence ( that would be the place where the NRLCA was suppose to say something ) shows that the average amount of time paid for but not worked increased from about 160 minutes per week in 2006 to over 320 minutes per week in 2010." ( anyone remember the USPS lamenting how first class mail pieces were decreasing? )

- "The cost involved in the Mileage standard adjustment sought ( over one billion dollars ) is so great that this Board of Arbitration could not grant it without doing serious harm to the USPS and eventually to the Rural Letter Carriers." ( someone seem to be watching out for the USPS )

"Many can't even think of taking a high option because of their work hour problems. "

-- Partially thank Arbitrator Clarke for increasing the number of years as a regular to 10 before being able to take the High Option.

"They don't consider that their routes may be part of the problem."

- More to the point, it is the lack of accurate mail counts.

- How many routes had a mail count, then Amazon showed up a few weeks later. And have not been counted since?

- Even in Pre-Amazon days, mail count would begin and UPS and FedEx trucks seen more out on routes than dropping off parcels at the post office. BB&B, Money Pages, Home & Decor, Mint Magazines, Val-Pak to mention a few mailings just "happen" to show up a week before or after count. To the NRLCA national officers that was just "anecdotal" evidence of things happening in "just a few places", no big deal. Of course their pay was not based upon a count.

- Ever read MOU #1? Apparently the national officers just skim over it. "It is the understanding of the parties that a national mail count may be initiated where rural delivery has been impacted on a national level. Examples of such change would be a reduction of delivery days, a substantial change in mail volume, etc." ( apparently the avalanche of Amazon parcels has not been felt on a nationwide basis -- JMHO )

- Two "killer" items in MOU #1:

a. the word "may" ( might as well have included "or may not" )
b. at least the MOU could have mentioned just who could initiate a national mail count -- as it certainly has not been the USPS.

- Likewise Article 9.2.C.11. Special Counts. a. Special counts are conducted under the following two ( 2 ) circumstances:

( 1 ) When circumstances have negated the validity of the latest count and evaluation.
( 2 ) Whenever a 120 minute ( 2 hours ) or more salary adjustment is made on a route, whether due to a substantial service change or a route adjustment.

-- The NRLCA national officers requesting to go hourly?

- Apparently if other national officers are of the same mindset as X-president Dwyer, not likely to happen, as she mentioned she has never considered anything else but evaluation.

-- Anyone have a special feeling about the date 20 MAY 2015?

Okay, I'll get off of the soap box now.

Have a safe week and stay away from any virus that may be out there.
 

DB.Cooper

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Pretty sure the evaluated system has worked well and saved the USPS a lot of $$$ money, or else it would have been scrapped long ago....

They only have to look at how expensive the city side is to see how well hourly works -vs- evaluated pay.... pretty sure they know which is more efficient.... just sayin'....
 

drakeME

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Every carrier is different. Every route is different. There is no apples to apples comparison that can be made. I'm told RRECS is mostly based on volumes, not actual times. If that's the case, great. If there is a reward for finishing a route slower, not great. Hourly could and would be exploited as much if not more than the evaluated system. At least with evaluated, you know what to expect every week.
 

Havenowgone

Well-known member
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Havegonenow et al -- "Will RRECS be fair?" ( excellent piece by the way )

-- It will depend on the scale one uses, such as:

Poor / Fair / Good / Excellent / Outstanding / Stellar

-- Cherry-picking time:

"How can a struggling USPS continue to pay some rural carriers 2-3 hours a day for work they are not doing."

- Because manglement is not adhering to the PO-603's Section 151.2 Performance Appraisal. Short version: managers should consider "corrective action" if a carrier is consistently three hours over or under a route's weekly evaluation.

- Actually the USPS has been doing it for years and years and years. At contract and arbitration time, the USPS has no problem bringing up / pointing out the hours paid for but not worked ( aka the dreaded "bump" when carriers finish under a route's evaluation ).

- And the USPS makes known it is "cash strapped" or in "dire financial" situation to the Arbitrator. Arbitrator Wells' comment in his 2002 award:

- "Based on the Postal Service's dire financial condition, the practice of providing the dollar amount equivalent will not be applied to the 1.2% and 1.8% general wage increase in November 2000 and November 2001, respectively."

- "As long as the financial condition of the USPS places it at risk, similar measures [ Arbitrator Goldberg's lump sum payment in lieu of general wage increase ] should be employed in those years in order to allow the Postal Service to regain its footing and once more become financially viable institution.

-- What constitutes a "financially viable institution"? Since the 2002 Arbitration, the USPS has purchased hundred of thousands of scanners. Put out bids for the NGDV which is estimated to be around $ 6 BILLION. There must be some "loose change" lying around somewhere.

- On the other hand, the NRLCA NEVER mentions the "free work hours" the USPS gets when carrier work over a route's evaluation.

-- Moving on to Arbitrator Clarke.

- "The evidence presented shows overwhelmingly that the average quantum of time paid for but not worked grew dramatically during the term of the 2006 NRLCA-USPS Agreement. In deed, the UNREBUTTED evidence ( that would be the place where the NRLCA was suppose to say something ) shows that the average amount of time paid for but not worked increased from about 160 minutes per week in 2006 to over 320 minutes per week in 2010." ( anyone remember the USPS lamenting how first class mail pieces were decreasing? )

- "The cost involved in the Mileage standard adjustment sought ( over one billion dollars ) is so great that this Board of Arbitration could not grant it without doing serious harm to the USPS and eventually to the Rural Letter Carriers." ( someone seem to be watching out for the USPS )

"Many can't even think of taking a high option because of their work hour problems. "

-- Partially thank Arbitrator Clarke for increasing the number of years as a regular to 10 before being able to take the High Option.

"They don't consider that their routes may be part of the problem."

- More to the point, it is the lack of accurate mail counts.

- How many routes had a mail count, then Amazon showed up a few weeks later. And have not been counted since?

- Even in Pre-Amazon days, mail count would begin and UPS and FedEx trucks seen more out on routes than dropping off parcels at the post office. BB&B, Money Pages, Home & Decor, Mint Magazines, Val-Pak to mention a few mailings just "happen" to show up a week before or after count. To the NRLCA national officers that was just "anecdotal" evidence of things happening in "just a few places", no big deal. Of course their pay was not based upon a count.

- Ever read MOU #1? Apparently the national officers just skim over it. "It is the understanding of the parties that a national mail count may be initiated where rural delivery has been impacted on a national level. Examples of such change would be a reduction of delivery days, a substantial change in mail volume, etc." ( apparently the avalanche of Amazon parcels has not been felt on a nationwide basis -- JMHO )

- Two "killer" items in MOU #1:

a. the word "may" ( might as well have included "or may not" )
b. at least the MOU could have mentioned just who could initiate a national mail count -- as it certainly has not been the USPS.

- Likewise Article 9.2.C.11. Special Counts. a. Special counts are conducted under the following two ( 2 ) circumstances:

( 1 ) When circumstances have negated the validity of the latest count and evaluation.
( 2 ) Whenever a 120 minute ( 2 hours ) or more salary adjustment is made on a route, whether due to a substantial service change or a route adjustment.

-- The NRLCA national officers requesting to go hourly?

- Apparently if other national officers are of the same mindset as X-president Dwyer, not likely to happen, as she mentioned she has never considered anything else but evaluation.

-- Anyone have a special feeling about the date 20 MAY 2015?

Okay, I'll get off of the soap box now.

Have a safe week and stay away from any virus that may be out there.
btdtret, I could comment on most of the points that you have made but I didn't want to get into a back and forth with pages upon pages to read, which would turn off some posters from paying attention. You obviously have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom and I enjoy and have used some of your suggestions in dealing with management when I was working. Everything that has happened in the past is water under the bridge. The new system was created for a reason and I think many need to be reminded of that. The system should be a fairer system but any carrier that is beating their times by the amounts that many posters suggest is not going to be happy with any changes. I can understand that. Carriers in the exact opposite situation have anxiously awaited change and this new system should be a life saver. The old system forced me to retire before I wanted so I am very interested to see how this thing works out. As you know I was part of the route study so everything that is going on now with the rest of the routes........we had been doing for years. I really believe this new system will be a good thing for the rural craft...as a whole, and as I pointed out, I think most will be content with it after a getting used to period. RRECS is something that had to happen.
 

gotstamps

Well-known member
Best answers
3
Pretty sure the evaluated system has worked well and saved the USPS a lot of $$$ money, or else it would have been scrapped long ago....

They only have to look at how expensive the city side is to see how well hourly works -vs- evaluated pay.... pretty sure they know which is more efficient.... just sayin'....
In my office, the Carriers work 4-7 hours on 45-46k routes. These Carriers would give a big he🏒🏒 NO if asked about going hourly. Quite a few offices in my District had Amazon start delivery after our last Contract mail count.
 

C$$

Well-known member
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Yes, @Havenowgone, this is exactly it. Consistently I see opinions like:
1) I beat evaluation, I am a good carrier.
2) I am SMASHING my evaluation, I must be an awesome carrier
3) They don't beat evaluation, they must be a bad/slow carrier.

But to a larger extent, it isn't the carriers AT ALL! It's the routes and the evaluations. Something had to be done to take the specifics of the routes into consideration and to keep evaluations "fresher."

That being said, there are parts of RRECS where I have concerns:
1) Some of the new standards are alarming.
2) How do we verify the daily data collected?
3) What's going to happen to a carrier if their route gets slashed?
4) A startling lack of transparency during development.
5) More data collection implies more micromanagement.
6) Glacially slow development and implementation.

I'm not trying to fear monger, but I do have questions. And I think they are the same, or similar to, questions a lot of carriers have. The PO or the NRLCA really needs to do a better job of getting us answers and keeping us informed...
 

PastOThirty

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In my office, the Carriers work 4-7 hours on 45-46k routes. These Carriers would give a big he🏒🏒 NO if asked about going hourly. Quite a few offices in my District had Amazon start delivery after our last Contract mail count.
I understand that those few carriers feel a well deserved opportunity to be on the take instead of filling the till, but because of this very volatile swing in work should be the obvious reason that hourly is the only way forward for those that do the work.

Easy come easy go. What will be the new flavor of the day, or how do we get paid for spikes of amazon or Walmart or target or Cvs drops? Well, 5, 6, or 12 months from now it will be “averaged” in..
 

WestCoastRural

Active member
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btdtret, I could comment on most of the points that you have made but I didn't want to get into a back and forth with pages upon pages to read, which would turn off some posters from paying attention. You obviously have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom and I enjoy and have used some of your suggestions in dealing with management when I was working. Everything that has happened in the past is water under the bridge. The new system was created for a reason and I think many need to be reminded of that. The system should be a fairer system but any carrier that is beating their times by the amounts that many posters suggest is not going to be happy with any changes. I can understand that. Carriers in the exact opposite situation have anxiously awaited change and this new system should be a life saver. The old system forced me to retire before I wanted so I am very interested to see how this thing works out. As you know I was part of the route study so everything that is going on now with the rest of the routes........we had been doing for years. I really believe this new system will be a good thing for the rural craft...as a whole, and as I pointed out, I think most will be content with it after a getting used to period. RRECS is something that had to happen.
The old system didn’t force you to retire, the union did. From all the posts on this site that I have read I feel people doesn’t know what consist of a rural route is. You delivered too many parcels in your line of travel but not on your route hence the lost of time. Have you noticed the RRECS formula was published after the 2018 count? There’s your answer.
Is the RRECS fair? Since RRECS is based on volume and difficulty, I think it’s fair but too early to know. I do know RRECS is already under attack by the PO. One of the weakest link in RRECS is parcel, it’s a variable data, they are already having FedEx delivering our packages, I believe they are in a testing phase. This will drive our route even lower.
 

gotstamps

Well-known member
Best answers
3
I understand that those few carriers feel a well deserved opportunity to be on the take instead of filling the till, but because of this very volatile swing in work should be the obvious reason that hourly is the only way forward for those that do the work.

Easy come easy go. What will be the new flavor of the day, or how do we get paid for spikes of amazon or Walmart or target or Cvs drops? Well, 5, 6, or 12 months from now it will be “averaged” in..
I wouldn’t call it “few”. I’m in a fairly large office, APO/RMPO, & both are still growing as are the other offices in my District. The neighboring offices that have lost some Amazon due to the expansion of Amazon self-delivery are also fairly large offices. I think the smallest of us all in a 50 mile range is 16 routes. My own office Was 30+ routes just 15 years ago when I started & we were already a Formula Office.
 

uselesshasbeen

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Think the question would have been better if it had been fairer instead of fair. Any evaluated system is going to be deemed unfair by someone, as is any system of payment.

The proof is in the pudding, and until we see actual effect on routes we can all speculate to our hearts content, whether we are spewing or actually stating known facts.

Current system gives you standards for mileage, mailboxes, mail and parcels and only counts a small time frame. RRECS changes these standards and blends some in a way that seems to me to be more reasonable than current standards, but I am not in a position to know whether it is actually a more accurate reflection of real time activities. Part of this is because I haven't seen the underlying data or even been given an explanation of how these standards were derived. Doesn't make them wrong, just as the fact that engineers made them make them necessarily right.

If by definition you believe that if it could be fairer then it isn't fair, then it isn't fair, since the new mileage standards are better, but not the fairest they could be.

In the long run, what difference does it make? If people posting on this forum spoke for rural carriers then there would probably have been arbitration instead of an approved tentative agreement.
 

stillfirstclass

Well-known member
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btdtret, I could comment on most of the points that you have made but I didn't want to get into a back and forth with pages upon pages to read, which would turn off some posters from paying attention. You obviously have a great deal of knowledge and wisdom and I enjoy and have used some of your suggestions in dealing with management when I was working. Everything that has happened in the past is water under the bridge. The new system was created for a reason and I think many need to be reminded of that. The system should be a fairer system but any carrier that is beating their times by the amounts that many posters suggest is not going to be happy with any changes. I can understand that. Carriers in the exact opposite situation have anxiously awaited change and this new system should be a life saver. The old system forced me to retire before I wanted so I am very interested to see how this thing works out. As you know I was part of the route study so everything that is going on now with the rest of the routes........we had been doing for years. I really believe this new system will be a good thing for the rural craft...as a whole, and as I pointed out, I think most will be content with it after a getting used to period. RRECS is something that had to happen.
you were part of the route study,, my route is mostly dirt/mud/slush/gravel roads,, so i probably would beat my evaluation every day, but instead, i am at/just below 4 days and over 2 days most weeks of the year... i am projecting myself to go from high j to low h... i have always wanted hourly
 

Havenowgone

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Think the question would have been better if it had been fairer instead of fair. Any evaluated system is going to be deemed unfair by someone, as is any system of payment.

The proof is in the pudding, and until we see actual effect on routes we can all speculate to our hearts content, whether we are spewing or actually stating known facts.

Current system gives you standards for mileage, mailboxes, mail and parcels and only counts a small time frame. RRECS changes these standards and blends some in a way that seems to me to be more reasonable than current standards, but I am not in a position to know whether it is actually a more accurate reflection of real time activities. Part of this is because I haven't seen the underlying data or even been given an explanation of how these standards were derived. Doesn't make them wrong, just as the fact that engineers made them make them necessarily right.

If by definition you believe that if it could be fairer then it isn't fair, then it isn't fair, since the new mileage standards are better, but not the fairest they could be.

In the long run, what difference does it make? If people posting on this forum spoke for rural carriers then there would probably have been arbitration instead of an approved tentative agreement.
I would think a system that is derived by professional time study engineers would be a fairer system and a system that uses mail volumes from a long period of time (close to a year) would be fairer than a system that uses a 2 or 3 week (manipulated) window of mail volume. The only way to get arbitration was to vote down the contract, which is what I would have tried to do. (I was retired) I would have voted no because of no scheduled counts and no definite end to the study or implementation date and no relief for routes being killed by our current system.
 
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Havenowgone

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you were part of the route study,, my route is mostly dirt/mud/slush/gravel roads,, so i probably would beat my evaluation every day, but instead, i am at/just below 4 days and over 2 days most weeks of the year... i am projecting myself to go from high j to low h... i have always wanted hourly
I too would have been OK with hourly pay but if we were to stay with evaluated pay the system needed to be revamped. If you are unhappy with the new system then a mass movement needs to make a push for hourly pay. One thing for sure....the old system had to go.
 
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Havenowgone

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The old system didn’t force you to retire, the union did. From all the posts on this site that I have read I feel people doesn’t know what consist of a rural route is. You delivered too many parcels in your line of travel but not on your route hence the lost of time. Have you noticed the RRECS formula was published after the 2018 count? There’s your answer.
Is the RRECS fair? Since RRECS is based on volume and difficulty, I think it’s fair but too early to know. I do know RRECS is already under attack by the PO. One of the weakest link in RRECS is parcel, it’s a variable data, they are already having FedEx delivering our packages, I believe they are in a testing phase. This will drive our route even lower.
Well I guess you could say the union forced me to retire because they let an antique pay system go for so long without change that it forced me out. I'm not sure I understand what you are saying about my parcels? I delivered too many in my line of travel but not on my route? Please explain. RRECS is based on volume and re-engineered time standards. How does difficulty come in? I expect my old route to gain...substantially with RRECS.
 

DB.Cooper

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Once upon a time, it was good enuf for the USPS to look at the expense of hourly city carriers, and then look at the less expensive rural carrier pay system.... and conclude eval pay was a good deal.... then they decided to start squeezing rurals more and more... and that's what happened from about 2000 thru 2012, when they introduced RRECS aka the time study.... now we've been in a holding pattern, but my assumption is the squeeze will resume once RRECS is implemented....
 
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