Mail Handlers Local 323

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

Local President's Page

April 2023 Update

The implementation of the 2022 National Agreement is well underway. We’re continuing to move forward but there are still some circumstances which have yet to occur. For example, the automatic conversion of MHAs who reach the two-year mark. We must always proceed with an abundance of caution when implementing a contract and this is especially true regarding new contract language. When we’re implementing contractual language for the first time, we must get it right. So far, so good.


One addition to the contract and the one where I’ve received the most questions, involves advancing annual leave to MHAs upon appointment to their second 360-day term. So, let’s look at this new part of the contract.


Upon completion of an initial 360-day appointment as an MHA and immediately upon reappointment to any subsequent appointment(s) thereafter, MHAs will be advanced forty (40) hours of annual leave. Upon initial implementation, MHAs will receive annual leave prorated to the end of their 360-day term.


The first sentence identifies what is going to occur in a prospective context. Put another way, it says what’s going to happen based upon a future occurrence. If you’re currently an MHA in your first 360-day term you will be “advanced” 40 hours of annual leave “immediately” when you are reappointed to your second 360-day term.


The second sentence regarding “initial implementation” has a present context. It speaks to what’s going to happen now. If you’re currently an MHA in your second term, you will be “advanced” annual leave in an amount that is “prorated” to the end of your 360-day term. Due to relatively quick conversion times in the Local Union, there are likely few MHAs in this situation.


This all seems rather straightforward so far; but here comes the problem. Unlike full-time regulars who all have their annual leave advanced at the same time (first full pay period of the calendar year), this new contract language creates an implementation that is ongoing throughout the calendar year, and is based on when an MHA is appointed. An MHA reappointed to a second term in January will have their annual leave immediately advance in January, an MHA reappointed to a second term in July will have their annual leave immediately advance in July, and an MHA reappointed to a second term in October will have their annual leave immediately advance in October. Does this seem like something that the Postal Service is going to implement smoothly? Not to mention what will have to occur during the “initial implementation” phase.


This implementation, among other things, is something we’re watching closely. If you have questions regarding this new contractual language, or if you believe you haven’t been advanced the proper amount of annual leave, don’t hesitate to contact your Branch office or the Local 323 office. Like always, grievances will be filed as needed to ensure that everyone receives the benefits to which they’re entitled. That’s what we do.