Rep. Darrell Issa Team: USPS Retirement Overpayment is a Myth

October 5, 2010 by
Filed under: postal, postal news, retirement, usps 

House Representative Darrell Issa’s Facebook Wall page (now deleted):

Do you have links to those letters you could share so we know what points your union leaders made? We apologize for getting our hackles up…we re-read your post and ours and think we both could’ve done a better job. Truce?

What we can address (without seeing your union boss’ replies)…

The overpayment is a myth dependent on changing the law to conjure up an overpayment through backdoor accounting. Twice, Congress has passed and the President has signed laws that clearly define the retirement benefits obligations of the federal government and the USPS. It was not until the USPS began facing its current fiscal crisis (due to declining revenue from a world-wide move to electronic over “hard” mail communications and the USPS’ extremely high fixed costs…labor amounts to a full 80% of the USPS budget) that it began working with Congressional allies to reverse both laws and create an overpayment out of thin air. The OIG report is, in fact, based upon this change in the law to get its outcome…that is, if the law stays as it is today, the OIG report is not worth much if anything. This is the bailout: changing the law to raid federal retiree pensions to bail out the USPS of its legal obligations.

The USPS is clearly in crisis. We work with postal workers and their representatives on an almost daily basis and we know that many are hard-working; however, because of declining use of mail and rigidly high labor costs (see above), the USPS lost $5.3 billion in 2007, $2.8 billion in 2008 and $3.8 billion in 2009…and Congress allowed the USPS to defer on its legally-obligated health benefits payments last year to the tune of $4 billion.

The USPS must adjust its business model to the realities of declining demand for its services. A big part of that is cutting its workforce and renegotiating its union contracts, from no-layoff clauses to collective bargaining agreements that prevent workers from working outside their respective crafts and unusually generous benefits. For example, federal employees currently pay 27% of health care premiums and 67% of life insurance premiums…USPS workers only pay 17% and 0% respectively.

We love the USPS, but it’s tough love borne of an honest study of today’s supply-and-demand for USPS services. We must fix these structural problems today and cannot support any legislation or policy ideas that rest upon the American taxpayers covering even more USPS financial shortfalls.

Thanks,

Team Issa

Facebook

Wow! Rep. Darrell Issa has really been on a roll lately addressing  USPS issues. Issa is suggesting cutting  the no-layoff clause from postal union contracts?  If Article 6 of the collective bargaining agreement is eliminated–USPS will be free to lay-off thousands of employees. But one must remember that this suggestion is coming from a MILLIONAIRE. Darrell Issa is one of the richest members of Congress:

The wealthiest members of Congress grew richer in 2009 even as the economy struggled to recover from a deep recession. The 50 wealthiest lawmakers were worth almost $1.4 billion in 2009, about $85.1 million more than 12 months earlier, according to The Hill’s annual review of lawmakers’ financial disclosure forms. […]

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), with a net worth of $160.1 million, is the second-richest member of Congress under The Hill’s formula, even though his wealth declined by more than $4 million in 2009.

Comments

14 Comments on Rep. Darrell Issa Team: USPS Retirement Overpayment is a Myth

  1. wayner on Tue, 5th Oct 2010 5:40 pm
  2. issa is another corporate welfare advocate. Sometimes I wish that issa and his fellow travelers would almost succeed in their takeover of the USA. A few people of the rich and powerful against the rest of the people of the USA. I believe Americans would finally wake up and clean up issa and his fellow traveler trash. Send them back to the sewers where they came from! I use small letters for this piece of scum’s name because like small leech he and his fellow travelers try to suck all the life out of the TRUE Americans of this country. It is coming to a head issa and fellow travelers. Your “Bastile Day” is just around the corner.

  3. ZACK on Tue, 5th Oct 2010 11:24 pm
  4. TEAM ISSA,
    Once again you have proven you dont know S@#T, and are spreading false and misleading information. You either are stupid, or you believe we are. Although I agree with you that the OIG isn’t worth a d__n, your opinion on the federal retiree pension overpayments isn’t worth a d__n either.
    Furthermore, it is obviously clear you’ve never read the Collective Bargaining Agreements between the USPS and it’s Union’s either. For esample, there is no such language in the CBA between the APWU and USPS that prevents workers from working outside their respective craft. I would suggest your team read Article 7.2 of the APWU Collective Bargaining Agreeement.
    Lastly, maybe you’ve recently heard the top Postal Execs get free Health Insurance; are rewarded with handsome contracts upon their resignation to come back and train their replacements with salaries that grossly exceed what they were paid as USPS employees; violate ethics codes regularly at a $$$ cost to the USPS; etcetera. I could go on for days, but have better things to do!
    Nonetheless, your so-called “tough love” is totally disingenous, and was never intended to be HONEST! You simply could care less about the blue collar workforce! Your a disgrace!!!! Kiss my A___!

  5. john potter on Wed, 6th Oct 2010 4:45 am
  6. with me in control, there is no way we can not fail

  7. David A. Sault on Wed, 6th Oct 2010 6:35 am
  8. Conservative Republicans are not innately lacking in intelligence, they are just made dumb by ideology (I am, and always have been an independent by the way). Issa Team: do away with the no layoff clause and you do away with the no strike agreement that balances it –unless your intention is to continue to bind the US postal worker by the no-strike ropes while you proceed to kick and beat him with layoffs, pay reductions and benefit denials. That’s not very American of you. Actually, it sounds kinda communistic. You people sound more and more crypto communist with each leveling comment you make. Everybody is supposed to make the same low level of pay and benefits according to your arguments.
    But if you do the right thing and give back the right to strike in order to lay off workers you cause chaos. The result of a postal strike today would be national paralysis once again. The delivery of mail is still essential to the smooth functioning of this nation. Even 160 billion pieces of mail or so a year is nothing to sneeze at.
    We just can’t seem to make it simple enough for people like Rep. Darrell Issa to understand. Issa: don’t climb the telephone pole and touch the top wire. It is not a good thing to do. Past experiences of people are telling you not to do that. Ooops, there he goes to try it. I suggest we call him “Telephone pole Issa.”

  9. kenv on Wed, 6th Oct 2010 9:17 am
  10. David: You are right on target!!!

  11. ZACK on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 12:07 am
  12. House Representative Darrell Issa?
    Issa What?
    Issa “Dumbazz”!

  13. anyman123 on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 7:44 am
  14. Here’s another Myth. Congress works for the people

  15. sooo on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 8:19 am
  16. Do not send him to the sewer, The rats would be offended.

  17. Bob Quinn on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 8:56 am
  18. And just what is team Issa insurance benefits and salary costing US tax payers – not stamp buyers ? the house oversight group cost taxpayers over 10 million a year just in staff cost

  19. Bob Quinn on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 9:11 am
  20. http://www.legistorm.com/member/295/Rep_Darrell_Edward_Issa/70.html

    looks like he (or rather we the taxpayer) pays his staff above the average wage for the working class, All Issa does is make a speech now and then and vote no against the working people of America….

  21. PaleWriter on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 11:57 am
  22. Some good comments above.
    At least no one accused Issa of representing Alaska.
    Rep Issa is an embarrassment to fiscal conservatives.
    This ignorant tirade shows his shallow understanding of the USPS, it’s strengths and it’s problems.

    Republicats are looking for someone to deflect public anger at excesses in government.
    They are looking for someone to demonize.

    Federal Unions are going to take a beating.
    And, not just any old FedUnion workers.
    The “most trusted” government agency FedUnion workers will be, of necessity, sacrificial lambs on the altar of expedience. Unfortunately, Postal union workers are THE redheaded stepchildren of FedUnions.
    Postal workers will bear the brunt of this collective angst.

    Historically, while our brothers & sisters in other Federal & State Unions receive 4% raises each year (1.4% this past year) Postal unions are lucky to get a 4% wage increase over a three year contract.
    PO union workers percentage of health care premiums is gradually increasing to that of other government agencies at a rate of 1% per year. Government employees pay 28% and PO workers pay 21%. OMG! And we hear “Crucify them!”
    Government employees making $50K per year get a STANDARD life insurance policy of $60K for $8.10 bi-weekly. On the other hand a PO union worker (at the same rate of pay) shells out about 30 cents bi-weekly for the same coverage. OMG! And we hear “Crucify them!”
    Let’s do some honest figuring. Try to avoid using Postal Math.
    Does the government average of 12% pay raises over 3 years = PO union worker’s 4% pay raises over 3 years + 7% difference in HealthCare + $7.80 difference in Life Insurance? You do the math.

    The irony here is that lowly Postal union workers of the “most trusted” government agency in America will take a beating for the incompetencies and gluttony of it’s managers. Managers living high on the hog; feeding at the trough of over-indulgence. Managers who get FREE health care, FREE life insurance, FREE relocation benefits with pain & suffering disbursements AND secret Pay For Performance bonuses and raises they are afraid to reveal while the PO is wallowing in financial misery.
    AND it don’t stop there folks!
    Upon retirement at average age 55 these fine leaders, who destroyed our cherished PO and livelihood, get to come back to the USPS herd with ‘no bid contracts’ at doubled salaries with all these special benies included.

    Nothing new here.
    Fiscally irresponsible practices are part and parcel of the USPS.

  23. WOLFGANG on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 12:49 pm
  24. Whenever I read this type of negative commentary (propaganda) from people who are anti-labor, I wonder just how much stock they own in the Post Office’s competition.
    Just another politician with a self serving agenda.

  25. DHud55 on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 7:14 pm
  26. Let’s face facts. In a few years kids will say..” Grandpa, what’s a stamp?” While I don’t trust the veracity of supervisors counting mail. I have to state that with volumes declining to 1980’s level the USPS days are numbered. Combine that with the increased use of automation. (FSS Flats are coming.) And most of the parcels I deliver are drop shipped to my station by UPS and FedEx. What’s left? Those of you too young to retire look elsewhere at USAJOBS.OPM.GOV. FInd a new career. This one is going the way of Buggy Whip Assembler. Good luck to you all. I’m gone in 175 days.

  27. ZACK on Thu, 7th Oct 2010 11:49 pm
  28. Well said DHud55. It’s wishful thinking for anyone who thinks the USPS will be around another 20 years. Like my old man use to always say: “Wish in one hand, and sh_t in the other, and see which one fills up first”!