NALC: We Cannot Support Sen. Collins Federal Workers Comp Reform Bill

On Feb. 2, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced legislation to reform the federal government’s workers’ compensation program.

Her bill, the Federal Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 2011, would require a “transition” to regular Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) retirement for federal and postal employees, who receive benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) as a result of workplace injuries, once they reach their retirement age under Social Security.

Collins has argued that workers who have been permanently disabled by their injuries and who will never return to work should not be covered indefinitely by FECA, a program that is designed to provide income for workers injured on the job until they recover and return to work. The senator points to some 1,000 postal employees over the age of 70 who are still receiving FECA benefits, which are greater than retirement benefits provided by CSRS and FERS.

The NALC cannot support the legislation as drafted. It makes no provision for the loss of regular retirement benefits under CSRS and FERS suffered by FECA recipients who are separated from the Postal Service—since such injured workers get no years-of-service credit over the period of their injuries once separated, and since their annuities are based on their high-3 average salaries at the time of their separation, not at the time of regular retirement.

This loss of retirement income is compounded for FECA recipients covered by CSRS since those employees are unable to participate in the Thrift Savings Plan or to accrue benefits under Social Security—both of which make up two-thirds of the retirement package earned by FERS employees.

“We believe that any reform of the FECA program that requires a transition to retirement must be carefully constructed to ensure a fair retirement for injured workers,” NALC President Fredric V. Rolando said. “It should not punish workers for being injured in the line of duty.”

“NALC is committed to working with Sen. Collins and Chairman Joe Lieberman to achieve this result should the Committee take up this legislation,” the president added

9 thoughts on “NALC: We Cannot Support Sen. Collins Federal Workers Comp Reform Bill

  1. Let’s see now, since the 60s we have spent billions upon billions on the War on Poverty; spent billions more on wars in Viet Nam, Iraq and Afghanistan; spent billions more in foreign aid to countries who both love and hate us; we give taxpayer money to folks who don’t pay any federal income tax but yet get some back (EITC); we subsidize multi millionaire farmers; and that is just a portion of what we throw money away on.

    But if we can only get these workers compensation folks off them “rolls” we can really solve our financial problems!

    Yeah, right!

  2. Keep stickin it to the little guys until we forget about the Wall Street “bailouts”, etcetera. Little guys have short memories, and are easily distracted!

  3. hey potter i am one of those injured employees, how would you like to work the dbcs machines and get blisters on your hands, your feet, scratches all over your arms, banging your elbows constantly, keep hitting your wrist that is distroyed because of carpel tunnel or get little growths on your nerves that make you feel like your hands are falling off when you hit them. i may not look injured but i am. by the way i work on dbcs machines now. so don’t go around thinking your know so much. your ass ought to be fired because people who complain about others are worse than the people they talk about.

  4. The post office union has always been a safe haven for people who fake injuries just to get out of work. They all ought to be fired

  5. the fair thing would be for sen. collins to disclose her financial information perks included, what are her credentials? how many holidays has she worked? how many morons have stood over her shoulder with a clipboard judging every move she makes? how long would these elitists survive the BS we have put up with for years? walk a mile in our shoes before you criticize every thing we do. the people put collins in office and they can vote her out of office! there are 600000 or so postal workers that vote.

  6. Letter carriers are forced to work overtime, sometimes for years at a time on 6 days a week schedules. Damn arrogant Senators (usually Republicans) take so much vacation and long weekends, how the hell would they even know what a regular job entails, let alone a physical one.

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