Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

US postal workers say agency’s productivity tracking and inconsistent training is life-threatening amid extreme heat

August 7, 2023


The USPS equips managers with the ability to track letter carriers along their routes. They are also able to monitor if carriers are stationary for any period of time.

The National Association of Letter Carriers — a union that represents letter carriers in urban areas, with rural letter carriers represented by a separate union — has worked to educate employees about how to manage questions from supervisors about stationary time, which often results from necessities like using the bathroom or taking time to cool off in the shade.

“When we’re in periods like we are now with excessive heat — or even dangerous cold in the winter — there are just things people have to do to take care of themselves,” NALC President Brian Renfroe told Insider. “We educate our members on that. They have the right to do this stuff.”

Renfroe said there are several protections against stationary time discipline, including contractual conditions that state USPS management can’t rely solely on tracking to conclude someone is not adequately working.

One letter carrier from South Carolina told Insider she was questioned after stopping for 31 minutes on her 30-minute lunch break.

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