Branch 193
                             San Jose, California


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                                                            MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION



 " Remember to take pride in the work you perform and give a fair day's work for a fair day's pay."

                                                                                           Laurie Duarte - Branch 193 President                              


New Branch 193 Members - 2013/2014




          Carrying the Mail

                   A Career in Public Service 

What is a letter carrier?
Cover of Carrying the Mail career pamphlet

A letter carrier is a worker employed by the United States Postal Service (USPS), a U.S. government-owned corporation. A letter carrier is thus a government worker, serving the public directly, and enjoying the recognition, appreciation and trust of the citizens whose mail they carry.

Letter carriers are ambassadors of the federal government—for many Americans, the face of their letter carrier is the face of government. Unlike many other government employees, the letter carrier’s job brings them into personal contact daily with members of the community. How the carrier acts helps determine how citizens view the Postal Service.

Free communication—the freedom to easily exchange ideas and information—is a central foundation of our democracy. Every day, the mail links individuals and organizations throughout the country, binding our large and diverse nation together. Letter carriers fulfill a crucial function by safely and efficiently moving that mail.

What are a carrier's duties?
Most letter carriers engaged in city delivery sort, bundle and then deliver mail addressed to homes and businesses on an assigned route. The average city carrier arrives at the post office at about 7 a.m. They must deal with the day’s mail, which has already been divided for each letter carrier route. The mail consists of letters, circulars, magazines, catalogs and small packages. The carrier’s first task is to "case" any mail that has not arrived at the post office already arranged in delivery sequence—putting it into slots in a sorting case arranged by address.

Letter Carrier talking to a postal patron on his route

After casing the mail, the carrier either places it in trays in delivery order or bundles it with rubber bands. Then the carrier can begin their route, delivering and collecting mail. Most carriers deliver mail from Postal Service vehicles and carry all of the day’s mail with them. Other city carriers deliver on foot. Their bundles of mail are transported by truck to relay boxes along the route. A letter carrier carries a maximum of 35 pounds in a shoulder satchel, delivering one load of mail and then picking up more at the relay box, until the entire route is delivered. Some carriers roll satchel carts to deliver the mail; they can handle more weight at one time.

Except for a half-hour lunch break and two 10-minute rest breaks, the carrier works steadily until all of the mail is delivered. While out on the route, the carrier works independently, without direct supervision. The average route has over 500 delivery stops, although this figure varies widely depending on the route’s location and volume of mail. Routes in small towns, for example, would have fewer stops than those in an area with many large buildings. City carriers delivering on routes whose customers regularly receive large amounts of mail would not have as many stops as those working on routes with a low volume of mail.

Click on Pic for guide

While out on the route, the carrier must do more than simply put mail in mailboxes. Some types of mail require special handling. For example, carriers must get signatures to confirm delivery of such items as registered, certified and insured mail. The carrier also collects postage-due and cash-on-delivery (COD) fees. If a customer is not at home, the carrier leaves a notice indicating where the special mail or parcel can be picked up.

When all the mail is delivered, the carrier returns tothe post office to turn in the mail collected from street letter boxes, homes and businesses, along with any receipts and money. Once they have punched out on the post office time clock, the working day is over. Letter carrier routes should be set up so that office work and mail delivery can be completed in eight hours—usually split between two to three hours of office time and five to six hours of delivery time. Many mail carrier routes, however, frequently require overtime work.

Not every city letter carrier delivers mail door-to-door. Some have specialized jobs such as delivering parcels exclusively or only collecting mail from letter boxes. Others are routers, and case mail all day in the post office. Relay drivers take sorted mail out to relay boxes, where other carriers pick it up and deliver to the appropriate address.

What are the wages and benefits?
Letter carriers’ wages and benefits have been achieved through collective bargaining by their union, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC). All city carriers are free to become members of the NALC, and more than nine out of ten choose to join.

The NALC negotiates a National Agreement on behalf of all letter carriers that guarantees their wages, benefits, working conditions, and rights on the job. The Agreement contains job security provisions, a grievance procedure to ensure fair treatment, holiday and leave benefits, and many other worker protections.

Letter carrier cases mail before going on delivery route

All letter carriers begin their employment with the postal service as part-time flexible (PTF) employees, working a variable schedule. Some PTFs work fewer than 40 hours per week; others may work lots of overtime. Normally, after a few years, carriers become full-time regulars with a fixed 40-hour-per-week schedule. How long someone remains a PTF varies tremendously depending on the community the carrier serves—some become full-time workers after a few weeks, others wait 10 years or more. Because the mail is delivered six days a week, some carriers have to work on Saturday. These carriers have another day off during the week.

Due to NALC’s collective bargaining achievements, a newly-hired letter carrier earned $17.66 per hour as of November 26, 2005. The National Agreement also provides a regular schedule of salary increases. In approximately 12½ years, a carrier reaches the top of the salary schedule, which stood at $23.05 per hour as of November 26, 2005. Cost-of-living (COLA) adjustments help protect carrier earnings from inflation. All carriers earn time-and-one-half for overtime work (in some circumstances, double-time), and full-time regulars earn premium pay for work performed on holidays.

Letter carriers enjoy secure retirement plans administered by the U.S. government, along with health benefits and life insurance.

The job of a rural letter carrier job is organized differently than that of a city carrier. A different union, the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, has negotiated a contract for rural carriers. Anyone wishing more information about working as a rural carrier should contact:

National Rural Letter Carriers' Association
Fourth Floor
1630 Duke Street
Alexandria VA 22314


What are the qualifications?
Letter Carrier talking to a postal patron on his route

In order to become a letter carrier, you must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident alien status, and possess a current driver’s license. Every candidate must pass a physical examination and take a standardized test (USPS Exam 473) which evaluates reading and memory skills. A sample clerk-carrier test can be found in most public libraries. USPS publication 60-A, Test 473 - Orientation Guide for Major Entry Level Jobs includes sample test questions.

Carriers must be honest and reliable because they are responsible for the safe passage of the mail. Good interpersonal skills are needed, as the job demands constant interaction with the public. Carriers answer questions, handle complaints and explain Postal Service products and services to their customers. They must be able to cope with the stress caused by a high volume of work.

Letter carriers must enjoy working outside. They need to be generally healthy, with considerable endurance. An average carrier spends five to six hours every day working in the open, often walking several miles under extreme weather conditions. They should also have the strength to load and unload parcels weighing up to 70 pounds.

How do you apply?
Letter carrier delivering mail

Each local post office is responsible for hiring its letter carriers and other postal employees; there is no central location for applications.

To apply, contact your local post office to find out the date and time of the next written test in your area. The USPS website provides additional information about the employment process, including a schedule of exams by state.

After taking the test and receiving a score, you will be placed on a register of eligible applicants. The register is ranked according to test scores, so the better your score, the greater your chances of being hired. If you are not satisfied with your test result, you may retake the test. Only your highest score will be placed on the register.

If a letter carrier position becomes open, the local postmaster picks the successful applicant from the top three scores on the register. Before being hired, the selected candidate then must pass a physical examination.

In recent years, the demand for letter carrier jobs has far exceeded the number of openings—especially in larger metropolitan areas. Competition is keen. Interested applicants must be prepared to wait at least one to two years before being offered a position as a letter carrier. Because of the high demand, the average age of a newly-hired letter carrier is over 30. Your local post office can advise you of the prospects of obtaining a letter carrier job in your area.



Requests for one or more free copies of the pamphlet, Carrying the Mail, should be sent to the following address:

Supply Department
100 Indiana Ave. NW
Washington DC 20001-2144

Additional information about being a letter carrier, and other careers in the postal service, can be found in most public and school libraries, and through state employment offices.

Other online sources include:

Occupational Information Network.
Occupational Network Information [O*Net]

US Department of Labor.
Occupational Outlook Handbook

US Postal Service. A Great Place to Work for
City Carriers
[Publication 60-B]

US Postal Service. Welcome to USPS Employment



Duties and Requirements of a Letter Carrier

Usual Requirements of the Letter Carrier

Activity Continuous Intermittent Hours Daily
Lifting/Carrying 10 Pounds 70 Pounds 8 or More Hours
Sitting     4 or More Hours
Standing     6 or More Hours
Walking     6 or More Hours
Climbing     2 or More Hours
Kneeling     2 or More Hours
Bending/Stooping     2 or More Hours
Twisting     4 or More Hours
Pushing/Pulling     2 or More Hours
Simple Grasping     8 or More Hours
Fine Manipulation     8 or More Hours
Reaching Above Shoulder     2 or More Hours
Driving a Vehicle     6 or More Hours
Temperature Extremes All types weather   8 or More Hours
High Humidity     6 or More Hours
Fumes/Dust     3 or More Hours
Carrier may be required to work up to 10 or 12 hours per day or longer as service needs require.
Carrier may be required to lift up to 70 lbs from floor to waist height or higher.

                                                              Copyright © 2005 Postal Employee Network



As a letter carrier, there are many physical duties and requirements. After the carriers tour of duty begins he/she must inspect their postal vehicle and then retrieve letter and flat mail from the mail distribution case. This mail may weigh from mere ounces to 10 or more pounds. This mail must be lifted and transported by the carrier to their route case for sorting. At the carriers case there are trays and tubs of mail that have been distributed to their route by a distribution clerk. The carriers day begins by loading their case ledge with as much mail as possible. In order to do this the carrier must bend and lift trays and/or tubs of mail off of the floor surrounding their case and place same on their case ledge for sorting as needed. These tubs or trays of mail can weigh 30 or more pounds. The carrier then begins casing this mail into their "U" shaped route case, which is setup in route delivery sequence. On average days this may take from approximately 1.5 to 2.5 hours of continuous standing, twisting, turning, and reaching above the shoulder.

The USPS handbook entitled City Delivery Carriers'--Duties and Responsibilities, states that "the accurate and speedy routing of mail is one of the most important duties of a carrier; you must be proficient at this task". After casing all available mail for their route the carrier must retrieve their parcel hamper which is a wheeled container filled with large and small parcels that may weigh up to 70 lbs. The carrier rolls this hamper to their case where the carrier then pulls the route down in delivery sequence and places this mail into
trays or tubs and then into their parcel hamper. After this has been completed the carrier must clock onto street time, roll their hamper of mail outside, pick up their DPS Letter trays & proceed to their postal truck and load this mail into their truck or vehicle for street delivery. All mail tubs, trays, and parcels must be lifted by the carrier from their parcel hamper and placed in their vehicle. Loaded mail trays and tubs can weigh as much as 35 pounds or more. All of these duties requires continuous twisting, turning, bending, lifting, and stooping.



After completing their office duties and loading their vehicle the carriers street duties begin which may last up 6 hours or much longer. The vast majority of mail routes are park and loop routes, which consists of parking and "looping" mail delivery up one side of the street and then back down the other side carrying their mail in their hands and via a satchel normally hanging over their shoulder filled with up to 35 lbs. of additional mail and parcels. The carrier returns to their vehicle when completing each park and loop. He then moves the vehicle to the next park and loop point. These  "park and loops" can subject the carrier to all types of terrain from concrete to sand to mud, from hilly to flat grounds, rugged rock filled paths, or normal downtown street sidewalks. Naturally, the carrier performs all of these street duties in all types of weather. Their park and loops may expose them to walking on snow or ice covered terrain, as well as rain soaked ground cover.

The carrier is required to be able to lift up to 70 pounds - in the office or while on the street. Street duties require constant bending, twisting, stooping, lifting and climbing of stairs or hills in all types of weather. All of these duties exposes the carriers body to constant pressure upon feet and knees and upper and lower body.

Copyright © 2005 Postal Employee Network





Why should I join the Union?

The National Association of Letter Carriers is the sole representative of city delivery letter carriers in the United States. Since it was founded in 1889, the union has defended the rights of letter carriers before abusive supervisors, unfair administrations and indifferent Congresses. The NALC is the only force fighting to protect your interests as a city delivery letter carrier. But most of all, the NALC is hundreds of thousands of letter carriers like you, united to protect the quality of their jobs and the integrity of the United States Postal Service.

Since 1889, the NALC has helped win every pay increase and improvement in benefits letter carriers have gained. Before 1970, the union had to persuade Congress to pass a law to raise letter carriers' pay. But with passage of the Postal Reorganization Act in that year, the NALC won letter carriers the right to bargain over wages, benefits and working conditions. Since then, the average letter carrier's pay has gone from $8,000 a year to $45,094.

The Postal Service can be an impersonal and sometimes hostile bureaucracy. Yet because of the NALC, letter carriers can fight unwarranted discipline, discrimination and other abuses. When you have a grievance, the NALC will represent you every step of the way. On the local level, the NALC stewards iron out day-to-day problems and keep an eye on safety and health conditions in the station.

Stewards and branch officers provide strong support when you file a grievance procedure— including third party arbitration if necessary. On the national level, a computerized arbitration index assists NALC representatives in preparing your grievance. In addition, the union takes disputes with the Postal Service over the interpretation of the contract to Arbitration. The NALC has helped thousands of letter carriers win reinstatement, back pay, unpaid overtime and seniority rights.

The NALC is one of the most democratic unions in the United States. Members vote directly for local and national officers and on proposed contracts. The convention, held every two years, is the supreme body of the union, where members elected to serve as delegates chart the course of the union and set NALC policy. Today, NALC is more that 300,000 active and retired letter carriers in 2,561 branches across the country. National headquarters officers in Washington, D.C. keep an eye on congress and the USPS. Fifteen National Business Agents coordinate activities within their postal regions; state associations promote grassroots legislative campaigns. Union members can speak out at branch meetings, vote in local and national union elections, run for office and work for policies and programs they support.

What does the NALC and Branch 193 do for me?

8 hour day
Overtime Pay (time & a half)
Penalty Pay (double time)
General Wage Increases
Cost Of Living Adjustments
Sick Leave
Annual Leave
Extended Leave
Paid Holidays
Family Medical Leave
Maternity Leave
Health Care
Dental Care
Collective Bargaining
Safe Working Conditions
100% Representation
Work Shop/Rap Sessions
Friends Program
Retirement Benefits
Retirement Dinner
Monthly Meetings
Annual Holiday Safeway Gift Certificate, $50.00
Annual Family Picnic
Annual Family Christmas Dinner, FREE
Annual Branch Steak/Chicken BBQ
Amusement Park Discounts,
Education and Training in Contract and Legislative Issues
Branch, State and National Scholarships
MDA and Second Harvest Food Bank Fundraisers
And most importantly, YOUR voice and vote on Contractual Issues and Ratification.

* We also OWN our office building and lease office space. This helps build and strengthen our branch funds.

How much are the dues?

NO initiation fees!

Active member: $20.37 Bi-weekly

Retiree: $7.68 Yearly


How do I join?

To join the union, talk to your NALC Shop Steward in your station. He or she will give you a PS Form 1187 to fill out for NALC membership. If you don't know how to reach your station shop steward, call the branch office at 408-288-8138 or you can simply print one by clicking on this link, fill out the form and give it to your shop steward: ------)  Dues Withholding -- Regular Member



                                                                                                                       Three members of the California State Association of
                                                                                            Letter Carriers displayed their opposition to Proposition 75.
                                                                                     NALC members helped deliver that message to California Gov. Arnold
                                                                                   Schwarzenegger in the November 8, 2005 election when voters soundly  
                                                                                 rejected his anti-union, anti-worker agenda. The Union Members are Mike
                                                                       Poblano, CSALC Vice President Harold Kelso and CSALC President John Beaumont.





                                               Become a SUPER DELEGATE and receive TWO FREE T-Shirts!                     
                                                       Sign up for "Gimme 5" for COLCPE"E-Activist" &
                                                     "Carrier Corps."  You can sign up
 below for ALL three!

                                                                                 Just click on the box!


                                                                        TAKE ACTION NOW!


                                                        This is a sample email you will receive after signing up for e-Activist. Very EASY to do!

Dear Daniel,

More than 16,000 of your fellow letter carriers have already done their part to send this message as part of the AFL-CIO’s Million Member Mobilization:

"To: The New President and Congress

I urge you to enact the Employee Free Choice Act immediately. This crucial legislation will protect workers’ freedom to choose a union and bargain, without management intimidation. Allowing more workers to freely join unions and bargain with their employers will help rebuild the middle class by expanding health care, improving retirement security and raising the standard of living for America’s working families."

But we still need YOU to add your voice. I want at least 25,000 letter carriers to lend their names to this cause before the end of September. Thank you if you have already filled out a post card or filed a petition on line—and please pass this e-mail on to other carriers in your office. We need them to act today. If you haven’t signed up for the Million Member Mobilization, take a few moments right now to do so.

Our goal is to put the Employee Free Choice Act at the top of the agenda in 2009 by making the need to rebuild the labor movement a key economic issue in the November election. The law would provide for card-check union recognition and first-contract arbitration. A healthy and growing middle class and a stronger labor market for workers is essential to the NALC’s continued success at the bargaining table. We have to once again make "union pay and benefits" the rule, not the exception.

With the names and photos of a million Americans, we can show Congress that Employee Free Choice has massive and genuine support. Your letter, petition and photo will put real names and faces on the demands of working people—people who have been invisible for too long.

So please, go here to fill out the petition, attach a personal photo of yourself if you have one (under 1Mb), and hit the submit button. If you have already sent in the Million Member Mobilization postcard from the Postal Record magazine, you can add your photo to your signature here.

It’s that easy to do your part to start rebuilding the middle class. Be one in a million.

In solidarity,
William H. Young



                                                 Click the link below to go to the Democratic National Committee website!

                                                                                    The Democratic Party









        Why Shop Union Made?


Every Job Counts (maybe more than you think)!
When a worker is hired, nearly five additional jobs are created somewhere else in the economy. And every time someone is laid off in the U.S., nearly five more people lose their jobs. Wages buy groceries, gasoline, clothing and other goods and services that keep other people working. When companies hire, they order more supplies and raw materials, creating additional jobs for vendors. When companies downsize and lay off, spending and wages are slashed and jobs vanish throughout the economy. It’s Economics 101: The fight for good jobs is everyone’s fight.


When You Shop, “Vote with Your Dollars” for Good Jobs.
It is up to you, alone. Your shopping dollars can support products made by people earning good pay and benefits. Or your dollars can support products made by -- who knows? Political prisoners in China? Child laborers in Haiti? Terrorized factory workers in a Mexican border town?
It really is simple: Buy union and take responsibility for what your dollars do.
“Support Good Jobs. Shop Union!”


Look at the Price of Unjust, Unfair Trade
At $100 a minute, you would need 9,151 years to pay off the current U.S. trade deficit. The U.S. owes foreign nations a whopping $481,000,000,000 (That’s $481 billion!) That’s the price of importing more than we export; of outsourcing to exploit cheap repressed labor overseas; of trade deals that ignore worker rights and the environment. That’s why we say: “Shop Union! Invest in good jobs for your community.” [Do the math: 1,440 minutes/day = 525,600 minutes/year. 525,600 min/yr x $100/min. = $52.56 million/yr. Dividing $481,000,000,000 by $52,560,000/year = 9,151 years.]


Union Jobs = Good Jobs = Strong Communities
The average union worker earns $760 a week, compared to $599 a week for non-union workers in the same occupations. That 27 percent difference in wages and salaries means more dignity and independence for working families. It also means more wages spent within the community, a stronger tax base and less drain on social services. “Support Good Jobs. Shop Union!”
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Union Jobs are “Ladder Up” for Poorest Workers
Unions provide a sure path out of poverty for the poorest workers. African Americans earn 35 percent more in wages and salaries when they unionize ($665 a week, compared to $491 a week for those without a union). Latino and Latina union members earn a whopping 51 percent more ($632 a week versus $419 a week) and wages for women of all races were 33 higher for union members ($696 a week compared to $522 a week).
“Support Good Jobs. Shop Union!”
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Unions Key to Health Care and Secure Retirement
Did you know 73 percent of union workers enjoy medical care benefits, compared with only 51 percent of nonunion workers? And 79 percent of union workers are covered by a pension plan versus only 44 percent of nonunion workers.
The quality of benefits is also far higher for union-represented employees. For example, 70 percent of union workers have defined-benefit pension plans (which provide guaranteed minimum benefit payments) compared to 16 percent of nonunion employees.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Shopping Union Promotes Stable, Full-time Jobs
Fully 50 percent of union employees have worked at least 10 years for the same employer, compared to only 22 percent of nonunion employees. Not only are union members more satisfied with their jobs, pay and benefits; they also have contracts with grievance procedures to protect against unjust firings. (Nonunion workers are "employees at will" who can be fired at any time for any reason—or for no reason.) Full-time workers are also twice as likely to be represented by a union. Involuntary part-time employment (common among non-union workers) is a major cause of poverty.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics -

         “Support Good Jobs. Shop Union!"


       What products are still American-made?


To its credit, China is trying to fix its reputation. According to CBS News, China's product safety chief Li Changjiang offered assurances that toys made in China would be "safer, better and more appealing. Before Christmas, we will certainly provide children safer, better and more appealing toys. They will certainly like them." To bolster that claim, on September 11th, China signed an agreement to prohibit the use of lead paint on toys exported to the United States.

As posted in July, 2007, we expect that there could be a business opportunity to sell products to U.S. consumers that are made anywhere but China. Then we cited examples of an upscale New York grocery with no Chinese seafood and a New Jersey-based natural producer of premium dog food blended from meat and vegetables. However, we have not seen much in the way of new developments in the last few months.

So what are the choices for those who want to buy products made in the U.S.A.?

It's surprisingly difficult to find companies that actually make their products in America. For instance, you might think that Anheuser Busch Companies (NYSE: BUD) brews its beer in the U.S. However, while it has many plants in the U.S., it also brews in Japan, China and Germany. Hasbro Inc. (NYSE: HAS) makes its Monopoly board game in Waterford, Ireland, not in the U.S. And Wrangler jeans for the U.S. market are manufactured in Central America and Mexico.

We started off looking at companies on the Made in America site -- a show on the Travel Channel. This led us to a long list of companies. While many of the names on this list are headquartered in the U.S., many make some if not all of their products in other countries (to find out, simply do a Google search on 'where is [product name] manufactured,' which usually leads to relevant information on the topic). We decided to strike those names from the list we would write about and focus only on those companies that were fairly well-known brands which as far as we could tell actually made their products in the USA.

With the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching in a few months, here's a list of 22 products which are made in America:

                                             Jib Jab - Big Box Mart


                                           While this video is funny, it is however sadly true.

In this cartoon, an honest factory worker learns the truth about his favorite department store: that there's a very high cost for everyday low prices. Namely, outsourcing to foreign countries and unemployment!






This website is offered to all Branch 193 Letter Carriers as a "Resource" and "Reference" Guide only.
DO NOT always rely on what you read as things can easily be misinterpreted or mislead you into thinking differently.
take matters into your own hands to resolve issues. ALWAYS contact your Union Steward, President or Vice President to handle contract disputes or other issues. Use this information to help you work smarter not harder and to become more knowledgeable on your job functions and rights as a Letter Carrier. Branch 193, it's Web Designers or Web Maintenance Personnel hold no liability for mis-information on this website or it's links. Website information is linked to the NALC website, Branch 193 Bulletin as well as other websites.  We are not liable nor condone questionable material or information posted on other websites. As with any Internet site, websites can be hacked into and information changed or modified.  ALL security measures have been taken to the best of our abilities with Yahoo and PSG Web Services. ANYONE with questions regarding information posted on this website are encouraged to contact the local branch office. All photos and information on this website are property of Branch 193, National and other Union websites. Any Branch or Union member wishing to copy photos or information may do so as long as credit is given to Branch 193  as well as obtaining permission without violating copyright laws.

Contact  NALC Branch 193 at: 408-288-8138

© 2001-2011 NALC Branch 193. All rights reserved.

WebSite Design by  and Webmaster, Dan Taormino