Letter Carriers will have to wait a bit longer to finally see the back pay from the new labor contract. The National Association of Letter Carriers has issued the following statement concerning wage increases:
On Aug. 19, career letter carriers began earning the first two cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) payable under the new contract that were effective Sept. 3, 2016, and March 4, 2017, as well as the 1.2 percent general wage increase that was effective Nov. 26, 2016. These increases will be reflected in the Sept. 8, 2017, paychecks. Back pay on these increases will be calculated from their effective date through Aug. 18, 2017.
Career letter carriers will also begin earning the third COLA payable under the new contract, which is effective on Sept. 2, 2017. This will be reflected in the Sept. 22, 2017 paychecks. Back pay is not applicable for this increase as it will begin being earned on its effective date.
The U.S. Postal Service has informed NALC that due to the complexity of implementing the new pay scale for city carrier assistants, CCAs will begin earning their pay increases on Sept. 16, 2017. The increases will be reflected in the Oct. 6, 2017 paychecks.
The new CCA pay rates will include the 2.2 percent general wage increase that was effective Nov. 26, 2016, as well as the two step increases that were also effective on that date ($0.50 per hour for those CCAs with 12 weeks of service and an additional $0.50 per hour for those CCAs with 52 weeks of service). CCAs will be placed in their appropriate step based on their weeks of service. Back pay on these increases will be calculated from Nov. 26, 2016, through Sept. 15, 2017.
The Postal Service has indicated that it will take some time to calculate the back pay for the more than 210,000 letter carriers, but that all back pay will be processed and paid as soon as practicable.
Letter Carriers will only receive the 1.2 percent general wage increase back pay to November 26, 2016 even though the prior contract expired on May 20, 2016 and the new contract term started on May 16, 2016. The six-month pay gap has been a sore spot for some letter carriers and has been a topic of discussion at some NALC union meetings. Overall though, letter carriers should be feeling better once all of the increases are seen in paychecks.
How much back pay should letter carriers expect? A Full-Time Regular Letter Carrier at Level 1 at the top step (O) can expect to receive approximately $700-$750 in back pay if they are in the 25% tax bracket, according to our rough estimate.