Balancing UPS career w/ Reserves or National Guard

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by 959Nanook, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. 959Nanook

    959Nanook Member

    Primary Question: Do any Reservists or Guardsmen have input about the wisdom (or lack thereof) of trying to balance a UPS career with service in the Reserves or Guard considering current GWOT missions?

    I served an active duty USMC stint in late '90s and then transferred from IRR to Army Reserves when I moved to Interior Alaska. I allowed my contract to expire last year after a three month extension because there were a lot of unknowns in my life at the time (primarily an ongoing divorce and custody case) and I wanted the flexibility that getting out of the Reserves would afford me. They were offering me $15K to stay but I just wanted a breather from it all and don't regret the decision for one second. Most of the issues have been resolved (not necessarily to my liking but they are resolved) and I find myself starting a new career with UPS.

    I had plans to enter an apprenticeship this year with one of the construction trades; however, I had worked as a Driver Helper last peak season and was fortunate enough to get called back for an interview. A career as an UPS Teamster may have its frustrations but I don't have to worry about getting sent up on the North Slope during the summers when I have custody of my son (or anytime of year for that matter).

    The Army and Navy are offering $20K to come back in as a Reservist which is nothing to sneeze at given my current financial situation and how long it will take me to get established with UPS as a top-scale driver. I generally enjoy military service and the deployments (they would be a significant pay cut for me especially during mobilization and demobilization when I was getting taxed) and I have over ten years of military service so the enlistment bonus is like icing on the cake (albeit really thick icing) as far as I'm concerned.

    The general information that has been relayed to me is that most Reservists and Guardsmen find balancing an UPS career with Reserve or Guard service more difficult than it is worth; however, the contributions were rather limited and all came from pre-911 context.

    Secondary Question: How does mobilization affect retirement and pension?

    I've read the Military Clause, Article 15, of the old UPS NMA and my understanding is that the new UPS NMA left the old contract language intact with regard to the Military Clause but maybe I'm misunderstanding.

    My general concern is that mobilizations for my MOS and pay-grade generally amount to twenty months out of every sixty months given current OPTEMPO. Discussions about the likelihood of that changing in the future are mere conjecture until at least November of this year and changes to the future OPTEMPO will not occur quickly enough to prevent at least one more mobilization .

    It seems that I would lose at least two pension years (possibly three depending upon timing of mobilization). I think my seniority (at this point, it would be part-time seniority) would be preserved if I understand correctly. I would appreciate the input of any Reservists or Guardsmen about how their UPS retirement and pension were impacted by a mobilization in the last six years.


    Danny Ray
  2. 20K to sign up as a reservist??? I didn't get anything to become one. Oh well. Its really easy to balance both. I work at UPS during the week and one weekend a month I put on my white or blue uniform depending on what time of the year it is and I play weekend warrior and once a year for two weeks we go somewhere sometimes Key West, sometimes Norfolk or San Diego. But I have been told recently that my services as an Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class may be required. My understanding is that if you or I were to be called up for active duty and have to leave our jobs then when we got back provided we served honorably for however long we were needed we would find our jobs right where we left them with all our seniority and vacation time intact and whatever raises we would have gotten as well. I think we would be eligible to bid on any jobs we missed out on too but I'm not too sure on that.
  3. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    I look forward to finishing my sentence...I MEAN....contract with the reserves. :) It seems like every time I have a sweet route on a friday it's only when I have reserves that weekend. It's kind of a let down to have reserve duty right after a good route to end a work week. I don't have much time left in the reserves but I sure am counting the days. I look forward to not having to work on weekends ever again. Some people enjoy the guard/reserves but I for me it just went from being an extra LITTLE waud of cash each month to nothing more than an inconvenience. The job is easy and the people I work with are cool but it's just not worth the time and small amount of money involved. I really like driving for UPS but I really hate the reserves. The two weeks per year we go away for training really hits me hard in the wallet because active duty pay is a huge pay cut from UPS. So basically what I'm saying is that I made a huge mistake in joining. With that said...that doesn't mean others might not like it. I just make it a point to tell anyone that asks that they should take a little more time in making the decision whether or not to join the guard/reserves (and especially active duty) because once you ship off they own you for however long you signed up for. Be prepared to miss allot of sporting events, weddings, etc..
  4. 959Nanook

    959Nanook Member

    General comment: I'm not familiar with is balancing Reserves or Guard with a UPS career or how a mobilization would impact my retirement or pension.I have over a decade of military service and over half of that was as a Reservist. I had two pre-9/11 overseas deployments on active duty and I was mobilized as a Reservist for Operation Iraqi Freedom so I'm very familiar with serving in the Army Reserves during the current GWOT (or at least for my MOS and pay grade in the unit I would be returning to if I enlisted with the Army Reserves).

    So far as as my UPS retirement is concerned, it seems that I would not be accruing hours during mobilizations so I would not be earning credible service towards retirement (my understanding is that eligibility for retirement is subject to the Rule of 80 in my local). I do understand that my UPS seniority is not impacted by my mobilization.

    Where I'm really fuzzy is how my pension contributions would be handled during Annual Training and/or mobilizations. The Military Clause of the old National Master Agreement states:

    "Employees in service in the uniformed services ... shall be granted all rights and privileges provided by USERRA ... This shall include ... pension contributions for the employee's period of service, as provided by USERRA."

    Would I be correct in thinking that UPS continues making contributions to my pension if I get mobilized? This is something that I would really appreciate someone who has been mobilized with the Reserves or Guard as an UPSer to provide some clarification.

    : Thanks for your reply. Your response is fairly similar to what I have heard from most just ain't worth the trouble for most UPSers to try and balance the two in the long run.

    FromBluetoBrown : Good to hear that there are UPSers who find it worthwhile to balance the two.
  5. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    UPS is supposed to keep keep contributing to your pension while deployed.
  6. retired2000

    retired2000 Active Member

    when i was put on active duty for dessert storm ups paid for my health ins. and my pension. also when i came back they made up the difference in my pay. i did 23 years in the reserves and worked at ups full-time. it was tough do not get me wrong. now that i am closing in on the great age of 60 i can collect my military pension on top of the ups pension. so i say hang in there and sempfer fi.
  7. Anon1

    Anon1 Guest


    I hope you are able to end your contract with the reserves. My nephew is in the guard and served in Iraq for 17 months right out of high school. He will be finishing his junior year in college and has been told he will have to serve another year in Iraq before he can get out. He was hoping to graduate from college before going over but at this point in time it does not look like he will be able to.
  8. 959Nanook

    959Nanook Member

    retired2000 : Semper Fi! Thanks for providing some firsthand experience. I just wanted to make sure that my understanding on the pension scenario was accurate because that could be a costly misunderstanding given that I could potentially end up with at least three more years of active duty for mobilizations before I retired from the Reserves.

    If I understood you correctly ("also when i came back they made up the difference in my pay"), I'm pretty sure that the matter of making up difference in pay is purely at the option of the employer according to the law and still is optional for UPS in this case according to the National Master Agreement and relevant supplement contracts for my local (unless you were talking about pay raises that you would have gotten had you been working rather than playing in the sandbox).
  9. retired2000

    retired2000 Active Member

    they made up the difference between military pay and ups pay but then again i was only gone 4 months.(short war). they also would of given me any raises i would of gotten at work. i do not think there was any in that short time frame.
    i would not tell them when my 2 weeks were until vacation bids were done with. this way the rest of the guys would get their summer vacaton .
  10. Joopster

    Joopster Boxline Sorter

    I have been at UPS for 7 years and in the Guard for almost 6.

    I have been away from UPS for almost 3 years total with the Guard. I have never had a problem.

    I also get called to do CONUS missions and have never had a problem even leaving for a week or two at a time. I work in a large center so having the manpower is not usually an issue which may be why they don't seem to mind as much.

    Either way, I haven't regretted it and yes your vacation time and pay will continue to grow even while away. It's nice to come back after two years making two bucks more than you did when you left ;)
  11. feeder53

    feeder53 ADKtrails

    At my hub, there seems to be a number of us who wear two hats and I have not seen anyone with an issue. I work at the National Guard HQ and I see my share of trouble issues, but I have seen none from UPS.
  12. feeder53

    feeder53 ADKtrails

    If anyone has any issues just drop me a line and I have access to the JAG and IG. The issues differ from State to state and I am familliar with book 35, Military Law of the State of New York.