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USPS Boosts Pay & Benefits for Portland Letter Carriers to Address Staffing Shortage

Andy O’Brien
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The US Postal Service (USPS) has decided to boost wages and benefits for certain mail carriers working out of its Portland post office in an effort to address an abysmal staffing shortage that has delayed mail and forced overworked postal employees to work gruelingly long hours. In a victory for Portland letter carriers with the National Letter Carriers (NALC) Local 92, the agency has converted part-time and non-permanent “non-career ”workers into career positions, which will result in a boost in their hourly pay from $19.33 to $22 and will immediately make them eligible for career pension contributions, better health insurance, 401k matches and more. Military veterans will also be eligible to have any vacation time earned in the service apply to their careers with the postal service.

“We are very pleased that the USPS finally listened to our members and addressed pay and benefit disparities for non-career letter carries. These disparities have impacted staffing levels as we’ve already had a number non-career letter carriers leave to go to offices that offered them career wages and benefits,” said Mark Seitz, President of NALC Local 92. "Hopefully this will entice more people to apply at the Portland post office.

In December, NALC 92 held a rally in Portland to demand improvements to hiring practices, workplace safety and mail delivery on Sunday in Portland. Seitz said there have been some improvements since then, including an end to forced overtime. The union also won a grievance to have their start times go back to where they were, which Seitz says will hopefully get mail delivered more quickly.