The leadership of the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) has agreed to join forces with the four postal unions representing employees of the Postal Service to designate September 27, 2011 as a day of action to Save America’s Postal Service.
Together, NAPS, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association will rally in every congressional district in the country to concentrate our efforts to build support for H.R. 1351, a bill introduced in the House by Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA).
“NAPS members must take decisive action to let their member of Congress know that the Postal Service, an agency who serves every constituent in their respective districts needs relief that can only be assured through the passage of HR 1351. This is the time to join with all other employee groups to get this message to our members of Congress”, said NAPS President, Louis Atkins.
Atkins added; “This is an ideal opportunity for postal employees from a variety of positions to join forces in a common effort to save the Postal Service as we know it today”.
Passage of HR 1351, would prevent the financial collapse of the USPS — without closing thousands of post offices, eliminating hundreds of mail processing facilities, delaying mail delivery, laying off 120,000 workers, cutting postal workers’ pay, or ending collective bargaining rights. It would allow the Postal Service to apply billions of dollars in pension overpayments to the congressional mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund the healthcare benefits of future retirees.
No other government agency or private company bears this burden, which forces the Postal Service to fund a 75-year liability in 10 years — at a cost of more than $5 billion annually. Without the mandate, the USPS would have shown a surplus of $611 million over the past four fiscal years.
Unfortunately, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has another idea. Word on Capitol Hill is that Chairman Issa is blocking consideration of HR 1351.
Instead of working with the Postal Service and its’ employees, Rep. Issa has introduced his own bill that would destroy the Postal Service as we know it. His bill (H.R. 2309) would do nothing to correct the cause of the USPS financial crisis: It would do nothing about the pension overpayments or the pre-funding requirement.
Issa’s bill would establish a new bureaucracy called the “solvency authority” with the power to unilaterally cut wages, abolish benefits, and end protection against layoffs. Issa’s bill would also create a board that would order $1 billion worth of post office closures in the first year and $1 billion worth of facility closures in the second year. If HR 2309 is enacted, thousands of offices throughout the country would be closed.
At the same time, the Postal Service is proposing legislative changes that would authorize management to lay off 120,000 workers and that would remove postal employees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and from federal retirement plans.
At the rallies on Sept. 27, postal employees will be asking legislators to co-sponsor and support the passage of HR 1351, the bill that would restore financial stability to the Postal Service. The legislation already has 193 co-sponsors, including both Democrats and Republicans. Where lawmakers have already signed on, the rallies will thank them for their support and ask them to pledge to do everything in their power to ensure its passage.
Each employee group will work together at the national level to identify responsibilities for specific congressional districts, and locals have already begun designating District Leads for various locations. The District Leads will secure permits (where necessary), contact the media, and make other arrangements.
The postal employee groups have developed a common Web site to provide information about the rallies, which will be held from 4-5:30 p.m. A complete list of rally locations will be posted on the site by Sept. 16, and the site will be updated frequently in the lead-up to the march. Visit saveamericaspostalservice.org for the latest news about the Sept. 27 rallies.