by Rich Brown, Business Agent - from the December 2010 Newsletter

There are ten (10) holidays observed by the U.S. Postal Service. Two of the major holidays in the United States are upon us. Many of us love Thanksgiving and Christmas, spending our time with our family and eating some amazing food of course.

A number of employees have raised questions about the negotiated holiday benefits and the observance of Thanksgiving and Christmas 2010. Thanksgiving Day is the fourth Thursday in November and Christmas Day is December 25th. The three (3) day holiday period for both holidays are the working day prior to the holiday, the holiday itself, and the day after.

When the holiday falls on an eligible (Full-Time and Part-Time regular employees) employee's regularly scheduled work day, including Saturday and Sunday, the employee observes the holiday on that day. If the holiday falls on an eligible employee's non-scheduled work day, then the first scheduled day preceding the holiday is designated as the employee's holiday.

This year, Christmas Day falls on a Saturday. If you have rotating days off and your non-scheduled days are Friday and Saturday, then your designated holiday would be Thursday.

Article 11.6.B of our National Agreement provides the scheduling procedure for the holidays in the absence of a holiday schedule (pecking order) in your Local Memorandum. The holiday schedule must be posted Tuesday preceding the service week in which the holiday falls. This posting is mandated by Article 11.6.A of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

IN ADDITION TO HOLIDAY LEAVE PAY, eligible employees, who would work on their Thanksgiving day holiday or designated holiday (Holiday worked pay) are paid at their base straight time rate for all time worked up to eight (8) hours. Eligible employees who would work on their Christmas Day holiday or designated holiday are paid an additional 50% (Christmas worked pay) of their base hourly straight time rate, up to eight (8) hours. Part-time Flexible employees will receive Christmas worked pay for up to eight straight time hours, only if they work on Christmas Day, December 25.

Eligible employees who work their holiday, at their option, may choose to have their annual leave balance credited with up to eight (8) hours of annual leave, in lieu of holiday leave pay.

To receive holiday leave pay, eligible employees must be in a pay status either the last scheduled hour before or the first scheduled hour after the holiday or designated holiday.

These two holidays, more than others, means family together. Wishing we all can have the holiday and the day after to spend with our loved ones. It's what Thanksgiving and Christmas is all about!

In Solidarity,

Rich Brown