Aaron Gordon, Vice: “It’s crazy to me,” a rural carrier in Maryland who asked to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation told Motherboard. His annual salary was slashed by $9,000 and he has to work an extra day for every two-week pay period. “I’ll be working more and making less all while doing the exact same work.”
The pay cuts were initially scheduled for early April, but have been pushed back each pay period since for unspecified reasons, according to posts and comments on websites and forums dedicated to rural postal workers. The target of their ire is RRECS, or the Rural Route Evaluated Compensation System. It was designed to more efficiently calculate the number of hours a worker needs to deliver mail on their given route, but flaws in its implementation have resulted in most workers unintentionally under-reporting the time it takes to deliver the mail, resulting in pay cuts.
In a statement, USPS spokesperson David Coleman said, “The compensation system for rural letter carriers is a nationally negotiated pay system codified in the parties’ National Agreement. The current modifications to the compensation system were the result of a previous interest arbitration proceeding and mandated by an interest arbitrator. The parties worked jointly for years to implement these new provisions and will continue to share data and information throughout the implementation process.” The union that represents rural carriers, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, did not respond to a Motherboard request for comment.
Read more: Two-Thirds of Rural Mail Carriers Are Being Hit With A Massive Pay Cut Calculated By An Algorithm