Press Release from the National Association of Letter Carriers
The head of the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO) said today that frequent postage rate increases like the one today that boosted a first-class stamp to 44 cents – while necessary for the U.S. Postal Service to function effectively this year – can and should be avoided in the future.
“Six-day, universal mail delivery in the United States remains the best postal bargain in the world,” said NALC President William H. Young. “Despite the economic climate, letter carriers and other postal employees are working hard to maintain top-rate service for all Americans while adjusting to the many technological changes in the communications field.”
But Young said the rate hike should not have been needed, at least not at this time.
“Future postage rate increases could be delayed or even avoided on a regular basis if Congress would act to rescind some of the onerous financial shackles imposed on the Postal Service by the previous administration,” Young said.
Young said Congress should pass and send to President Obama legislation (H.R. 22) to correct the payment schedule for pre-funding retiree health benefits of postal employees which currently costs USPS more than $5.5 billion a year. The legislation would save the Postal Service an average of $3.5 billion a year by adjusting the pre-funding schedule, and allow those funds to be used for day-to-day postal operations.
No other government agency or major corporation has such an onerous and unnecessary retiree health benefit funding obligation.
In addition, Young said Congress needs to rescind the requirement that the Postal Service – unlike any other government entity – pay retiree benefits for employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) for the years they served in the U.S. military. That change alone would save the Postal Service billions of dollars yearly.