Amendments to a Senate bill providing short-term temporary financial relief to the USPS would weaken the legislation, harm the Postal Service, and hurt postal workers, APWU Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid said. He urged union members to contact their senators if they serve on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and ask them to reject the amendments.
Amendments offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) would require arbitrators to consider the financial health of the USPS when ruling on collective bargaining agreements, and an amendment submitted by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would increase the share postal employees pay for healthcare coverage.
An amendment submitted by Sen. Coburn would repeal the requirement in appropriations law that requires the USPS to deliver mail six days per week. A total of 11 amendments were submitted as of the deadline for submissions, but additional amendments could be offered when the committee meets on July 29 to vote on the bill, Reid said.
For a summary of the amendments, click here.
Once the committee acts on the amendments, it is expected to vote on the main bill, the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Funding Reform Act of 2009 (S. 1507), which the APWU supports. The bill [PDF], which was introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) on July 23, would restructure the USPS obligation to pay retiree healthcare benefits, and would generate savings of billions of dollars over the next several years. The USPS is projecting a loss of $7.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2009, despite predictions that it will cut costs by $6.1 billion this year.