USPS Worker Warns "You May Not Be Getting Mail" as Employees Walk Out
A CHANGE IN RULES FOR CERTAIN CARRIERS COULD LEAD TO PROBLEMS FOR CUSTOMERS.
Regular mail delivery is a vital service for the millions of us relying on the postal system to receive essential items like prescriptions and bills. But over the past year, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been heavily criticized for problems involving missing mail. Customers claim they've suffered from ongoing issues with delivery delays and even stolen checks. Now, USPS workers are warning that a new problem may cause even more issues for customers. Read on to find out why you might not be getting your mail soon.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Making These New Changes to Your Mail.
The Postal Service is rolling out new rules for rural workers.
A long-lasting disagreement between the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association (NRLCA) and the USPS over how rural workers should be paid has resulted in the new Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System (RRECS).
Since 2013, the two agencies have been working together to reach a resolution and develop these new rules. The RRECS replaces the old manual evaluation process, serving as a mostly automated system that "will base compensation on volume data collected over a 12-month period," per the NRLCA.
According to an updated timeline, the official implementation of RRECS has started this month. On April 1, carriers received forms that summarize the data that will be used to determine their route evaluation—and how they'll be getting paid.
The first pay period under these rules begins on April 8, and rural USPS workers should expect to get their first RRECS-based paycheck on April 28.
Some carriers say their pay is being cut significantly as a result.
Several USPS workers have taken to social media recently to share how the new RRECS rules are resulting in a significant pay reduction for them.
"I'm a postal worker. I took a 25 percent pay cut today," a Reddit user wrote on April 1. The carrier revealed that their pay is going down from $65,000 to $47,000, and that they're hardly the only one taking a hit.
"Almost every carrier in my office is also receiving a pay cut. Anywhere from 5-30%. Absolutely no one got an increase in pay," the user added.
Others say the implementation of RRECS is resulting in reduced hours, which is further affecting pay.
"Basically just got told that [I'm] going from 6 days a week to 1-2 days a week," another Reddit user wrote on April 1 in a discussion about the new system.
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This may cause issues for customers getting their mail.
In a video posted to his TikTok account, @kellman9, USPS worker Kellman Kirkconnell warned customers about the situation.
"We just got told … a lot of us are losing money with our new pay system," Kirkconnell said in his TikTok, per Daily Dot. "I'm losing about $12,000 per year, guaranteed." (He clarified that he is actually losing $10,250 in a follow-up video.)
The video has since been removed but not before earning nearly 4 million views. According to Kirkconnell, the pay cuts have already pushed some postal carriers to abandon their work.
"A lot of you may not be getting mail today," he said. "We've had some people walk out, and other people lost way more than I did."
Staffing has been a significant problem for the USPS.
When Best Life reached out to the USPS about the new RRECS rules, the agency provided a statement about the change, but did not comment on concerns that it could affect customers' mail deliveries.
"The compensation system for rural letter carriers is a nationally negotiated pay system codified in the parties' National Agreement. The current modifications to the compensation system were the result of a previous interest arbitration proceeding and mandated by an interest arbitrator," the USPS said. "The parties worked jointly for years to implement these new provisions and will continue to share data and information throughout the implementation process."
But staffing problems have already been a concern for customers. In Dec. 2022, the Postal Service blamed a shortage of available employees as "the main factor" for delivery delays in several parts of the U.S., including Kansas City.
"Unfortunately, the Kansas City region, like many other areas of the country, has had trouble hiring the appropriate number of personnel," James Reedy, a government relations representative for the USPS, wrote in a response letter to two Missouri congressmen who sent a complaint about postal delays in the region.