Workplace issues


National Agreement

2016-2019 National Agreement

2016-2019 National AgreementThe term of the current National Agreement between NALC and the Postal Service runs through Sept. 20, 2019.

Click on the cover at right to open the PDF of the 2016-2019 National Agreement. The PDF includes bookmarks and hyperlinks to make navigating the document easier. To save a copy, right-click on the cover and "save target as..." to download a copy to your computer.

Select past National Agreements and arbitration awards


2016-2019 NALC-USPS National Agreement

Proposed 2016-2019 NALC-USPS National Agreement booklet

2011-2016 NALC-USPS National Agreement

Das interest arbitration award (toward the 2011-2016 National Agreement)

2006-2011 NALC-USPS National Agreement

2001-2006 NALC-USPS National Agreement

1998-2001 NALC-USPS National Agreement

Fleischli interest arbitration award

NALC Collective-Bargaining History

Contract Term Type of Settlement Bargaining Structure*
1971-1973 Negotiated settlement JBC: NALC, APWU crafts, NPMHU, NRLCA
1973-1975 Negotiated settlement JBC: NALC, APWU, NPMHU, NRLCA
1975-1978 Negotiated settlement JBC: NALC, APWU, NPMHU, NRLCA
1978-1981 Healy Award (partial arbitration) JBC: NALC, APWU, NPMHU
1981-1984 Negotiated settlement JBC: NALC, APWU
1984-1987 Kerr Award (arbitration) JBC: NALC, APWU
1987-1990 Negotiated settlement JBC: NALC, APWU
1990-1994 Mittenthal and Valtin Awards JBC: NALC, APWU
1994-1998 Stark Award (arbitration) NALC
1998-2001 Fleischli Award (arbitration) NALC
2001-2006 Negotiated settlement NALC
2006-2011 Negotiated settlement NALC
2011-2016 Das Award (arbitration) NALC
2016-2019 Negotiated settlement NALC
* In many rounds of bargaining, two or more unions formed a Joint Bargaining Committee (JBC) to negotiate with the Postal Service. The NALC has negotiated on its own since 1994.

Joint Contract Administration Manual (JCAM)

The NALC is pleased to announce that the 2014 JCAM is available online by clicking here.

The 2014 JCAM has changed the way contract language appears to make it easier to photocopy and scan. It now is contained in text boxes throughout the document instead of being shaded in blue as was true in previous editions.


  • contains the authoritative, agreed-upon interpretations of the National Agreement. The National Association of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service have agreed at the national level that this is the definitive interpretation of the National Agreement.
  • should be used by the local parties to help resolve disputes at each step of the grievance procedure.

The National Association of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service are in the process of publishing the 2014 JCAM.

As in the past, the parties have agreed to share the cost of providing a printed copy of the new JCAM to each office.

A printed copy is also sent to each NALC branch upon publication.

CCA Resource Guide

The NALC City Carrier Assistant Resource Guide was created to assist both new CCAs and experienced CCAs alike. It thoroughly covers the letter carrier job and the rights and benefits afforded to CCAs. The guide also provides information and guidance for CCAs during the process of conversion to full-time career status.

Dispute Resolution Process

The grievance process is incorporated into Article 15 of the National Agreement between NALC and USPS.

Step 4 & MRS - NALC Materials Reference System, M-number documents

MRSThe NALC’s Materials Reference System (MRS) Index and Summaries (PDF) has been updated and contains summaries of key contractual documents and direct links to M-number documents (through M-01838) as well as C-numbered arbitrations. It also includes Defenses to Discipline. The July 2014 MRS (PDF) is a prime resource for national business agents, regional administrative assistants, NALC branch officers and shop stewards in their duties of enforcing the collective bargaining agreement.

NALC members may access the 2014 MRS Index (PDF) by clicking on the image at right or save it by right-clicking this link and choosing Save.

You can also find key MRS documents here.

To find a specific M-numbered document, use the box below. Enter the number (numbers only—don’t insert an “M”) and click the Submit button:


NALC Arbitration ProgramNALC Arbitration Program

NALC publishes a unique Arbitration Program. This software enables contract researchers to search quickly through NALC's database of thousands of arbitration awards, which are all contained on a single DVD. To learn more about the program and to see arbitration awards of interest, click here.

More NALC Publications: “Contract Talk” columns and the NALC Activist

NALC Contract Talk

Contract Talk is a regular column in NALC's national magazine, The Postal Record. Written by members of the NALC Contract Administration Unit, the column gives advice on recent national settlements and selected issues of interest to NALC contract enforcers. The archive of Contract Talk columns can be found here.

NALC Activist

The NALC Activist is a quarterly local leadership publication intended for shop stewards, branch officers and all local NALC leaders. The archive of NALC Activists can be found here.

CAU White Papers

The contract administration unit occasionally publishes “white papers,” in-depth analyses of important contract issues. The white papers are available below and also included in the Materials Reference System.

  • Overtime, Staffing, and Simultaneous Scheduling — Explains how NALC representatives can challenge the Postal Service's widespread failure to staff facilities sufficiently, a failure that has led to numerous violations of the contractual overtime rules. Management in many places has consistently worked letter carriers beyond the contractual maximums of 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week. In addition, in many facilities the Postal Service has engaged in the “simultaneous scheduling” of overtime for ODL and non-ODL letter carriers. The white paper should help NALC representatives to: (1) prepare challenges to both types of overtime violations, and (2) seek remedies requiring the Postal Service to comply with the contract by staffing its facilities with sufficient letter carriers. It reviews the negotiating history of the Article 8 overtime provisions, and shows the fallacy of the Postal Service's “operational window” defense, which USPS has often offered as justification for its pattern of overtime violations.
  • USERRA Rights — Outlines the rights of letter carriers who join the military or who are called up to active military service. These rights are guaranteed by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (USERRA).
  • Policing Article 12 Withholding — Explains several withholding provisions of Article 12. The paper explains when withholding is justified, when it is a violation of the National Agreement, and how to investigate, document and handle withholding grievances.

NALC Guide to Identifying Intentional False Editing of Clock Rings

The NALC Guide to Idnetifying Intentional False Editing of Clock RingsThe NALC Guide to Identifying Intentional False Editing of Clock Rings was created to assist union representatives when investigating grievances concerning clock ring edits that impact letter carriers’ pay.  The guide provides instruction on reading the TACS Employee Everything Report, examples of improperly edited clock rings, and includes a grievance starter to help build successful case files.

Uniform allowance

Under the 2011-2016 National Agreement, the uniform allowance for career and non-career carriers will rise by $49 from its 2011 level of $371 over the course of the agreement:

  • $390 effective November 21, 2012
  • $399 effective November 21, 2013
  • $409 effective November 21, 2014
  • $420 effective November 21, 2015

Once a CCA has completed 90 work days, or has been employed for 120 calendar days, the CCA will be provided with an annual uniform allowance equal to the amount provided to career carriers, as indicated above.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Click here for forms and information about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Union member rights and officer responsibilities under the LMRDA

The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) guarantees certain rights to union members and imposes certain responsibilities on union officers.

The Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) enforces many LMRDA provisions while other provisions, such as the bill of rights, may only be enforced by union members in federal court.

Click here to download a summary of the LMRDA (PDF).