Guffey to Congress: USPS Will Continue as ‘Vital Public Service’

But Needs Relief from Pre-Funding Requirement

“We expect the Postal Service to continue as a vital public service agency funded solely by postal customers for the foreseeable future,” APWU President Cliff Guffey told a House Committee in a May 3 statement.

“However, the USPS needs immediate and short-term relief from the unique and unreasonable requirement that it pre-fund retiree health benefits,” he said. In addition, the Postal Service must have access to the excess funds it has paid into the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), the union president noted.

Guffey made the remarks in response to a series of questions posed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The questions were presented following an April 5 hearing that examined labor costs in light of the APWU’s tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement. Guffey testified at the hearing, along with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors Louis J. Giuliano, and USPS Governor James C. Miller III.

In response to the follow-up questions, Guffey stressed the need for legislative action on the congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree healthcare payments, which is pushing the agency towards insolvency. Charts accompanying the responses also demonstrated that the change in postal compensation has closely tracked those in the private sector from 1980 through 2010.

At the April 5 hearing, Republican committee members said the Tentative Agreement is too favorable to workers and blamed labor costs for the Postal Service’s financial crisis.

For the complete text of questions and the union’s responses, click here [PDF].

source: APWU

9 thoughts on “Guffey to Congress: USPS Will Continue as ‘Vital Public Service’

  1. Ray…lay off the Kool Aid. Karl Marx was wrong, the Soviet Union was never a workers paradise and socilaism has failed (is failing) all over Europe as we speak.

    Voting no is not a “class warfare” statement. It’s an invitation to let an arbitrator change/modify/reduce what every top person in the APWU has signed off on as the best deal possible at this time.

  2. The Republican Party is on a path to destroy all labor unions in this country so as to starve the Democrats of labor’s PAC funds. At the same time, the Republicans will continue to enjoy the massive amounts of contributions from corporate America as they do the dirty work of destroying the labor voice. So who cares if the middle class is impoverished, we are just collateral damage. We all must realize that we are in a class war fare and bowing down and accepting this contract is tantamount to surrender. Labor advocates spilled blood to guarantee and living wage along with a 40 hour work week. Why should we go back? PTFs always gave management the flexibility on schedules. Lets go to arbitration

  3. Brothers and Sisters,

    +$53k a year (+COLA) +5 weeks paid AL, +2 weeks paid SL, favorable health care coverage for the whole family, favorable life insurance rates, matchings funds retirement plan, two 15 (25) minute breaks per shift + washup time….and a NO LAYOFF guarantee.

    Take your so called “craft” skills down the road and tell your new boss the above package is the minimum you’ll accept to go to work. When the laughter dies down, report back here and apologize for your clueless arrogance.

  4. yu stoopid peeple beter quit talking bad abowt famly value Republakins. They is only thing keeping this grate cuntry going!

  5. USPS provides service to the point of diminishing returns. Services provided exceeds needs. Number of small community post offices exceed the need. Sat. mail delivery exceeds the need as American public gives little heed to sales advertisements received on Sat. and are more apt to discard as other weekend activities are more important than checking out what is referred to as JUNK MAIL.
    American public resents Sat. mail delivery with mail vehicles using gasoline and contributing to increasing higher gas cost. Time to deal with reality. Need USPS HIGHER LEVEL MANAGEMENT AND POLITICANS WITH FORTITUDE TO TAKE A STAND FOR WORKING PEOPLE AND NOT GIVE IN TO DEMANDS OF GROUPS WHO HAVE ONLY SELF INTEREST AND NOT WHAT IS BEST FOR AVERAGE AMERICAN PUBLIC.

  6. Absolutely vote no on this disgrace of a contract. And stop whining about what Republicans will do to us. You must understand the legislative process. The Republicans only have a majority in the House. They are the minority party in the Senate, and the President is a Democrat. The House cannot make law. They can send any postal bill they want to the Senate. The Democraticly controlled Senate will not pass any measure that guts the USPS.

    The Republican Party is all about union busting. Unfortunately, they have a willing stooge in Guffey. Shame on him for his antics. There should be NO negotiation until Congress FIRST meets its fiduciary responsibility to reimburse the USPS for the massive overpayments of between $50-75 BILLION to the CSRS. Why on earth would Guffey rush to negotiate from a position of weakness?

    Extend the existing contract one year under current conditions, and let it end in conjunction with the NALC, & the Mail Handlers Union. Rushing to forge a bad contract alone is stupid on Guffey’s part, and he should be thrown out of office. The USPS is crying poor while sitting on a huge windfall, which AGAIN Congress is required BY LAW to balance; to make whole. They could not justify such a contract offer if they were flush with cash, but by willingly playing a part in delaying restitution, they hope to diminish the union with poor contracts, FOLLOWED BY getting their money from Congress AFTER all contracts are settled, and THEN passing the money along to the business mailers in the form of discounts.

    President Obama is addressing the overpayment from FERS of around $7.5 billion, BECAUSE BY LAW IT MUST BE DONE. It is the same with CSRS, but for a LOT more money. Logic tells you that you do not negotiate until the repayments are made, any more than you would deal the poker cards before the pot is antied up.

    Just because Guffey got in bed with Postal management to line the coffers of the national, doesn’t mean we, the members have to. This contract MUST be overwhelmingly voted down. If you have not mailed your ballot in yet, DO IT TODAY ! DO NOT ignore this deadline. If your ballot is not RECEIVED by May 10th, it will NOT be counted. And if you fail to vote altogether, you are willingly guaranteeing yourself a detrimental contract that WILL cost you money.

    VOTE NO! Teach Guffey the lesson he fails to understand; there is strength in numbers. ALL the contracts should be reset to expire together, NOT piecemeal. In fact, we really should merge all postal workers into one union, and exclude EVERY APWU rep that voted for this pig of a contract from holding any office. DO YOU HEAR ME NOW ??? VOTE NO TODAY for your own economic future.

  7. Did you happen to READ the last paragraph about what the REPUBLICANS
    said about our tentative agreement ?

    Yeah, it would be an absolutely great idea to kick this contract down the road
    and delay it just long enough to let the RETHUGLIANS do their BUDGET MAGIC
    on US.

    Vote however you like….but READ THE CONTRACT and THINK before you vote.

  8. Vote no. Our plant manager told us that he will using the “assistants” to replace regulars when the contract passes. These f**kers are already planning to f**k us over with our bids and schedules.

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