Question: What is the “bump” when referring to rural carriers and rural routes?

Answer: The “bump” refers to the large gap between actual hours and standard hours. Standard hours are the hour and minute figure the route has been allotted. For examples, see the table of evaluated hours. Basically it is what we often hear referred to as undertime. All of those times that rural carriers get done and go home before working the full evaluation of the route gets added into the “bump”. The bump takes all routes nationwide into account and then ends up with one number attributed to the whole craft. Working off the clock contributes a huge amount to this figure also.

The USPS tallies this up and takes it into every negotiation and arbitration we have to try to get our standards lowered and reduce that gap between actual and standard hours. The bump has caused our standards to be changed in past arbitrations. In other words, we ended up doing the same amount of work for less credit during a mail count. Every hour or minute worked that is not attributed to the rural craft in some way through timekeeping procedures adds to the bump. When someone works off the clock, they hurt the whole craft!

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