Illinois Rural Letter Carriers' Association
Summary Of Covid-19 Updates as of 3-30-2020
by Tracey Panepinto
MID STATES CONFERENCE UPDATE!
With much regret, the 2020 Mid States Conference has been cancelled. Conference officers have determined such action was necessary. We will be working on details for handling pre-paid food orders in the next few days.
If you have reservations for the President Abraham Lincoln Doubletree® they must be cancelled individually by you. The wait time on the phone line is long. The hotel is recommending you either cancel using the Hilton app or by clicking on the link found in your reservation confirmation.
Thank you for your patience as we work through this unique situation
We hope to see all of you in Indiana in 2021!
NRLCA and USPS sign MOU on Temporary Expanded Use of Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID-19 Crisis Today, President Stutts signed an MOU expanding the use of sick leave for dependent care for rural carriers. For the 60-day duration of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), in addition to the purposes outlined in the Sick Leave for Dependent Care MOU in our National Agreement, sick leave may be used by an employee for unexpected childcare needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, employees may use sick leave for dependent care in the event they must care for a child as a result of daycare closures, school (Pre-K through Grade 12) closures, or the unavailability of a child’s primary caregiver as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This MOU does not change the 80-hour limitation for sick leave that may be used for dependent care in any leave year. Approval of sick leave for dependent care will continue to be subject to normal procedures for leave approval. This MOU will expire May 17, 2020.
It is with deep regret we inform you of the passing of Robert Picklesimer
SIDNEY—Robert Earl Picklesimer, 66, died at home in Sidney on March 13, 2020. He was the founder and director of the Creative Dramatics Workshop at the Homer Opera House, and in that role, he mentored countless area children and teenagers, providing friendship, instruction, and the opportunity to express themselves through the performing arts.
There will be a private service for immediate family and a celebration of his life for his many friends and former co-workers will be announced at a later date. He will be laid to rest in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Sidney.
Robert was born on August 9, 1953, at Chanute AFB, the first child of Irvin J. “Jack” and Betty Matteson Picklesimer. He is survived by his parents of Urbana, a brother Michael of Sidney and two sisters, Suzanne Picklesimer of Urbana and Jacqueline Price of Meridianville, AL. He was a generous and loving uncle to his nieces Ellen Heitzig, Anne Picklesimer, and Ashley Curtis, and his nephews Benjamin and Matthew Price, and he doted on his great-nieces and -nephews Harrison and Harlow Heitzig and Cameron, Brielle, and Kenadee Curtis.
He had a special talent for finding the perfect gifts for those children. The expression of joy on Harrison’s face when he opened and tried on his huge green Hulk hands last Christmas is one memorable example. Another is the Harry Potter costume Robert gave Brielle; she still wears it.
As a child, Robert traveled from air force base to air force base with his family. The Picklesimers lived in some beautiful places, and Robert was always up for an adventure with his brother, whether it was jumping off a train trestle into the Missouri River or hookybobbing on snow-packed river roads in Montana.
He graduated from C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls, MT, as the family moved to Illinois, and he then attended and graduated from Rockford College. He received his master’s degree in theatre from Idaho State University, where he was twice nominated for a national Irene Ryan Acting Award.
Robert loved theater, and in 1996 he founded the Creative Dramatics Workshop in Sidney where he was executive artistic and managing director, doing more than 80 plays there. The workshop moved to the Homer Opera House in 2015, expanding its capabilities. He was probably most proud of co-writing with Lucinda Lawrence 1787 The Musical, We Wrote the Constitution, which was performed at the Virginia Theatre. His article, “Shakespeare for Kids,” appeared in Spotlight, a community theatre magazine. He also gave two workshops at the American Association of Community Theatre national festival in 2015. He experienced enormous pleasure and personal fulfillment from participating in these activities.
He also had a 25 year career as rural letter carrier for the Champaign Post Office, where he served as union steward. He attended all the conventions and ran for national office more than once.
Domestic Mail Manual 508 2.2 Rural Delivery Service 2.2.4 Delivery to Recipient With Contagious Disease
Mail is delivered to a customer’s mailbox if a quarantined disease exists, provided
that delivery can be made without exposure to contagion. No mail is collected from
such box while the quarantine is in force.
The Lakeland District Manager is holding twice weekly teleconferences with the NRLCA District Representative to stay connected during this ever evolving situation we are in, together. Some of the discussion today pertained to supplies of hand sanitizer, gloves and wipes; management is authorized to make these purchases. There is discussion regarding staggering start times in order to enhance the social distancing that we should all be practicing. If there are any hot topics or issues, please let me know so I can share any concerns during these meetings. Please take to heart the service talking points recently disseminated; a fractured excerpt; the White House and CDC guidance states, if you work in a critical infrastructure industry, (which includes the United States Postal Service) you have a responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. Our core mission is to bind the Nation together, and we continue to be a vital connection for millions of people throughout the Nation. Everyone of you should be proud of what you do and what you accomplish every single day as a Postal employee. Two MOUs have recently been signed between the NRLCA and USPS, I encourage you to check NRLCA.ORG frequently, liteblue, USPS.COM and the state web-sites often, to stay fully informed on the efforts of our employer and Union. Stay safe and well,
The USPS has released a 5 year plan. go to NRLCA website for details
House Bill 2382 has passed the House. A motion to suspend the rules on 2/5/20 at 5:30 PM and pass the bill agreed to by Yeas and Nays. (2/3 required to pass) Vote was 309 Yeas and 106 Nays. Vote total Democrats 222 and Republicans 87 and 1 independent. Nays were 105 Republican and 1 independent. This bill H2382 still has to be passed by Senate and signed by the President. Congratulations on the Grass Roots movement that made this possible!
The USPS and the NRLCA have agreed to move forward with the new mapping program that has been developed and tested. Pilot offices in eight districts are being mapped now and the process will expand shortly with a goal of getting all routes mapped in the next few months
The Administration released its 2021 Budget Proposal. The proposal recommends many reforms included in the President's Task Force report on the US Postal Service from last year. The Budget proposes a combination of Operational reforms and retiree health and pension changes. Operational reforms include: changes to delivery processing mode and frequently; increased use of private sector partners; more closely aligning Postal Service employees wages with those of other Federal employees; licensing access to the mailbox ; and providing additional Government services at retail locations. Remember PAC is our way of protecting our jobs and benefits.
Attention Lakeland District Rural Carriers;
DPM (Delivery Point Manager) and LTM (Line of Travel Manager) is coming to your office and your route soon!
These programs are associated with RRECS; in the DPM program, carriers will be working with a facilitator to map points related to their route using a program specifically designed for the implementation of RRECS (rural route evaluated compensation system). LTM will follow shortly thereafter. Lakeland District has gathered about 50 facilitators, Rural Carriers and Managers, to work in offices around the district with the carrier assigned to a route, to enter data into these programs. We are expected to be completed by the end of June, so the better prepared, the smoother it will go!
There is much preparation for the first step, DPM; responsibilities that are assigned to Management as well as Carriers; edit books must be current and in delivery order. All addresses accounted for. PO Boxes or new pre-construction deliveries, if lumped at the end or beginning of the edit book must be moved to proper sequence within the edit book. PS4003s must be in delivery order, it must match the edit book. All the header data on the 4003 must be accurate. Carrier case labels must be in the same delivery order as the edit book, the PS4003 AND you have to be delivering the route in this exact same order. On another set of edit book pages, markings to group together cluster box units and NDCBUs, curb line deliveries that are within close proximity (less than 5’), traffic control points, location of RR crossings and school zones. You may need to acquire site maps for apartment complexes or trailer parks if you deliver to these types of structures, to assist with plotting (the 4) points. (MailBox, MailStop, ParkPoint, FrontDoor)
All the extra work (listed here and more) associated with getting ready for mapping is compensated for, as is the time spent with a facilitator doing the mapping. As the carrier assigned to the route, your input is vital; your input is what will be entered in to the program. Make sure you are well informed and well prepared, so you can create an accurate base-line of your route in the program for when implementation of RRECS arrives.
On March 11, 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the February 2020 Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which established the Private Transportation Index at 203.056, a decrease from the November 2019 Index of 205.481. Therefore, based on the February 2020 CPI-W release, the Equipment Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for rural carriers will decrease 1.0¢ to 71.0¢ per mile.
This EMA rate will be effective March 28, 2020 (Pay Period 08-2020).
Breaking Legislative News "Federal Retirement Fairness Act"
H.R. 2478 has been reintroduced this Bill provide that civilian service in a temporary position after December 31, 1988, may be creditable service under the Federal Employees Retirement System, and for other purposes. Click on this link to read the entire bill. Now is the time to contact your representatives in Congress to get this very important legislation passed . CLICK HERE
2019 National Convention First Timers Chelcee Owens, Blake Jurasich, Paul Mendernach, Tim Shaw
2018 Member of the Year Tim Sutton
A picture from the past. Emmet Bennett, Emily Anderson, Lee Cutright, Joyce Wilson, Steve Traylor, Nancy Traylor, Janice Jeremiah, Terry Powell.