Mail Handlers Local 323

Representing Mail Handlers and MHAs working for the United States Postal Service

Local President's Page

2022 National Agreement Implementation Update

The National Union has provided us with implementation dates for several provisions of the recently ratified 2022 National Agreement. This requires the Local Union to take steps that ensure the provisions of the 2022 National Agreement are implemented in each facility. Let’s look at what’s going on and when we can expect things to happen.


General Implementation


The date of implementation for work rule changes (non-economic provisions) is April 8, 2023.


Memorandum of Understanding - One Time Conversions of MHAs


All MHAs in 200 work year offices with 2.5 years of relative standing on March 13, 2023, will be converted effective May 6, 2023. Note: Due to quicker conversion times in Local 323 there are no MHAs impacted by this MOU.


First General Wage Increase and First COLA


The new wage rate which will reflect the November 2022 general wage increase and the March 2023 COLA will be effective April 8, 2023 (PP-09-23). It must be noted that this will serve as the end date for the calculation of retroactive pay (back pay). That is to say that the calculation of back pay will rely on the time which begins on November 19, 2022 (PP-25-22) and runs through April 8, 2023 (PP-09-23). Of course, it is necessary to implement the wage increases before back pay can be calculated. Back pay is currently scheduled to be received on the pay checks for PP-19-23 (check dated 9/15/2023).


The specific wage increases are:


1.3% of the basic annual salary for the grade and step in effect on September 20, 2022, for each grade and step of Table One and Table Two (all career Mail Handlers).


1.0% of the salary in effect on September 20, 2022, for career employees hired after February 15, 2013, in Steps BB, AA, and A. The entry Step BB rates as of November 19, 2022, shall be Grade 4: $40,942 (Annual), $19.68 (Hourly); Grade 5: $42,568 (Annual), $20.47 (Hourly).


Cost of Living Allowance


March COLA of $208.00 retroactive to March 11, 2023 (PP-07-23).


Elimination of Step BB


Effective June 17, 2023 (PP-14-23) Step BB will be eliminated from wage schedule RSC M7 (career Mail Handlers hired after February 13, 2013). Mail Handlers in Step BB will advance to Step AA and will have their time in step waiting period reset to zero.


Waiting Period Between Steps


Effective June 17, 2023 (PP-14-23) the step waiting periods between all steps of the RSC M7 wage scale will be reduced from 52 weeks to 48 weeks. On this date, all career Mail Handlers who have at least 48 weeks of time in their current step will advance to the next step and will have their time in step credit reset. All other career Mail Handlers will remain in the same step and retain their time in step credit.


Mail Handler Assistants


In addition to the 1.3% increase provided by Article 9, Section 9.1, MHAs will receive an increase of 1.0% annually, for a total of 2.3% retroactive to November 19, 2022.


New Step B for MHAs


Effective June 17, 2023 (PP-14-23) a new Step B will be added to the MHA wage scale for Grade 4 and Grade 5. Step B will be $0.50 higher than the Step A rate for RSC M4 for the respective wage in Grade 4 and Grade 5. On this date, any MHA in RSC M4 with 6 months or more of relative standing will move to Step B. All other MHAs will move to Step B upon reaching 6 months of relative standing.


Date of Advanced Annual leave for eligible MHAs


Effective June 17, 2023 (PP-14-23) MHAs who have completed an initial 360-day appointment will immediately upon reappointment be advanced forty (40) hours of annual leave. On that date, MHAs who have completed an initial 360-day appointment will receive annual leave prorated to the end of their 360-day appointment.


Night Shift Differential


Both career Mail Handlers and MHAs will receive an increase in night shift differential effective May 20, 2023 (PP-12-23). Career Mail Handlers in both wage scales in Steps A through P will receive a 1.0% increase on that date. Career Mail Handlers covered by RSC M7 Steps BB and AA and MHAs will receive a 2.0% increase on that date.


MHA Automatic Conversions of MHAs in 200 work year offices


Effective June 17, 2023 (PP-14-23) MHAs who have reached 24 months of relative standing will automatically convert to Full-Time Flexible (FTF). Following this date, each MHA who reaches 24 months of relative standing will be automatically converted.


The new FTF employee category is deemed to be part of the regular work force in the full-time category and will only be used for MHAs who auto convert. FTF employees will have flexible reporting times, flexible non-scheduled days, and flexible reporting locations within the installation depending upon operational requirements as established on the Wednesday preceding the service week. The work schedules for FTFs will consist of five workdays per week, eight hours per day with two consecutive rest days.


This is a big change; and as I have stated previously, this is not something that I was the most “warm and fuzzy” about. Still, I cannot hesitate to recognize that without this provision we would be the only Postal Union without a mechanism for automatic conversions. I suspect that the implementation of this new provision will require many grievances; but that’s what we do.


In the overall perspective, things appear to be progressing more quickly than usual. There are still a couple of items lacking an effective date, for example the new provision on Clothing Allowance Carryover. However, things will move forward; and as the National Union continues to provide effective dates for contract provisions, the Local Union will continue to implement those provisions.