Not a Done Deal: NALC vows to oppose 5-day delivery in Obama plan

Statement from NALC President Fred Rolando on President Obama’s deficit plan

Return of FERS surplus, other short-term relief a good start—but not enough

Monday, Sept. 19 — President Obama sent a deficit-reduction package Sept. 19 to the special joint committee of Congress established by the debt limit law to find ways to reduce the federal budget deficit. The package included a number of reforms to address the financial crisis at USPS.

We are both encouraged and disappointed.

We are encouraged that President Obama is attempting to creatively address the USPS cash crisis through the deficit reduction process and welcome his proposal to return the $6.9 billion postal pension surplus in FERS to the Postal Service as proposed in Rep. Stephen Lynch’s H.R. 1351.

But we are very disappointed that the administration opted for a deferral of the next two pre-funding payments ($5.5 billion each) instead of embracing a permanent reform based on the Lynch bill’s recovery of the even larger CSRS surplus. And we deeply regret that the administration has given into pressure from the postmaster general and has proposed to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.

The NALC is carefully examining the various elements of the White House plan. It is important to remember that these are just proposals; they cannot become law unless Congress adopts them. We want to assure our members and all those who are interested in preserving the U.S. Postal Service that we will work with everyone involved, including members of the joint congressional committee, to build a strong Postal Service that will continue to provide exceptional service to the public six days a week.

A full report on President Obama’s proposals as they relate to federal and postal employees will be posted on Tuesday.

From NALC e-Activist:

Dear Supporter,

Chairman Darrell Issa of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has called a subcommittee mark-up of his bill, H.R. 2309, for Wednesday, September 21, at 1:30 p.m. I am writing to ask that you call your member of Congress on the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy (contact information below). Ask him or her to SHOW UP at the mark-up to fight for the survival of the U.S. Postal Service and its customers and employees, and urge him or her to vote NO on the adoption of H.R. 2309, a radical proposal that does nothing to address the immediate financial concerns of the Postal Service. Instead, it seeks to dismantle the USPS, piece by piece.

Drastically downsizing the Postal Service is not the answer, especially when the real cost will be passed on to postal customers throughout the country. H.R. 2309 has only one co-sponsor, while H.R. 1351, a bill with 206 co-sponsors from both parties, goes right to the heart of the problem and offers real solutions for the Postal Service’s financial future without the use of taxpayer money.

H.R. 2309 fails to address the real cause of the postal financial crisis: a congressional mandate that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund future retiree health benefits at a grossly accelerated rate of $5.5 billion a year. No other agency or company faces such a burden. The bill also fails to return tens of billions of dollars in overpayments to the Postal Service’s portion of the CSRS Pension Fund. Instead, Chairman Issa is asking for:

a shift to five-day mail delivery service at a cost of 80,000 jobs — many of them held by veterans of the armed forces;
a new, unelected board to order massive post office and processing facility closures;
a new, unelected control authority to micro-manage the USPS, with the power to override labor contracts;
and provisions to intervene in postal collective bargaining and to tilt the process of binding arbitration in favor of management.

In addition to these radical proposals, we are told that new amendments will be considered at the markup this Wednesday that would further slash postal employment and attack workers’ pay and benefits:

a phase-out of door-to-door delivery and a phase-in of cluster box delivery nationwide, including to the elderly and disabled; and damaging and grossly unfair cuts to OWCP benefits.

Congress cannot save the Postal Service by slowly killing it, piece by piece, and by attacking middle-class workers who live and work in all 50 states, red states and blue states alike. Please call your representative and urge him or her to stand up for America’s Postal Service and to vote against the passage of H.R. 2309. Americans deserve a real solution that saves the Postal Service — not one that simply destroys it.


Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) 202-225-8050
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11) 202-225-1492
Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL-7) 202-225-5006


Rep. Dennis Ross, chairman (FL-12) 202-225-1252 (co-sponsor of H.R. 2309)
Rep. Justin Amash, vice chairman (MI-3) 202-225-3831
Rep. Jim Jordan (OH-4) 202-225-2676
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT-3) 202-225-7751
Rep. Connie Mack (FL-14) 202-225-2536
Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-7) 202-225-6276
Rep. Trey Gowdy (SC-4) 202-225-6030

In Solidarity,

Fredric V. Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers

15 thoughts on “Not a Done Deal: NALC vows to oppose 5-day delivery in Obama plan

  1. Yesyesyall on Tue, 20th Sep 2011 6:11 am
    5 day work week four days 10 hours. Off sat, sun, one day during week. T6 to work that 3rd day. It could work without eliminating jobs.

    Funny, this whole union was founded on the 8 hour day principle.
    Now some would just throw that out the window.

  2. Hey Brothertoldya,

    I have been a dues paying member for over 28 years, and I would pay double that for the benedfits that I have gained over the years. The so-called “Liberal Party” is the only party that has ever done anything for the working class. This goes back to th Eisenhower Administration. While I know that all of problems won’t, and can’t be solved legislatively, I so know that the problems, at least in my office, are resolved through the contract. don’t fool yourself into thinking thats we would even have a contract if it was left up to conservatives like Scott Walker and his billionaire backers. All new employees had the choice to not join when they were hired. The NALC is in the business of signing up members; not helping them to get out.There is no requirement that the shop steward sign the form for a member to get out of the union. I know this becaues our local only finds out after it has been sent in. I have been a steward in my office for over 20 years, and neither I ‘, nor any of the other steward in my office, have ever signed the form to get out. I don’t know where you are getting this info from, but who ever it is, they are feeding you the same lies that Representative Issa is feeding the public. The union does not ignor the stupidity of mismanagement; they know as well as you and I do that the ELM requires us to follow instructions and grieve it later. Some of the issues that you mentioned in your post, such as scan-points,overtimime, deciding which clerks to work and when to work them are covered under Article 3 of the CBA. The other issues, such as delivery in the dark and mandatory overtime that is improperly odered can be dealt with contractually. You do not have to deliver in the dark if you can show that it is unsafe. Arbitrators have ruled that darkness in and of itself is not a reason for non-delivery. If its not safe, I don’t deliver period. My mother is 85 years old, and she lives 13 miles outside of the city of Santa Fe, NM. She is home-bound, because she does not drive. She often gets 5 feet of snow where she lives, but the mail always get through. Her letter carrier knows when she has not picked up her mail on a daily basis. No one else would know that. Tell my mother that she does not need 6 days of delivery because it is not profiable.

  3. Hey Chas Gonzo,
    Your first line is exactly what is wrong with OUR union(not yours), OUR Post Office and the LIBERAL Party, you think you own everyone. You do not and will not ever OWN me, I will piss and moan as I feel and choose. How much do you wish to wager on that bet? I have been a dues paying member for almost 19 years, $25.41 per pay period. I choose my charities, NOT YOU. I think NALC has their head so far up the politicians arses, they totally ignore the real problems going on in our shops and throughout the postal service. They and you evidently think ALL our problems can and will be solved legislatively. Just give a big check to ANYBODY with a “D” after their name and we will be alright. WELL, WHEN?
    Yes our union is an open shop, but fess up and explain why you can join at the drop of a hat, but it takes an act of congress to get out. There are 2 forms, PS 1187 and PS 1188. The one for joining is readily available, simple to complete, ample supply from stewards, or union hall etc. There is no deadline to completing and submitting at all. The other one for withdrawing, is not available and must be ordered from shared services, then you must submit it within a very short window or time period, not more than 20 days before or not less than 10 days of your anniversary date of joining the union, not to be confused with your service anniversary date. Then myself, steward and station manager must sign and send by CERTIFIED MAIL. What a real hassle to get out. Do you think they make it difficult for a reason?
    We have some real problems going on in or organization in the dumb, stupid things we do that make no sense whatsoever and the union just ignores that. We are losing money and I mean BIG money everyday, by not having the mail ready, O/T, penatly(V)O/T. mandating folks that are not on the list. The PO CHOOSES to have 50 carriers standing around for an hour or more, rather than bringing a 4 hour clerk to get the mail worked. They keep changing our start times and spending BIG bucks on machines to make it faster. Well why is it so much slower, WITH LESS VOLUME. We waste 3 hours of daylight every morning and deliver in the dark in the evening. The route adjustments have gone way overboard and everybody does nothing about it. 3996’s are the only answer. Why does the union as a whole and as an organization that supposedly has an interest in our future, at least let the press, members of congress and the board of governors know what is going on from within. I really wish someone could tell me why we have MSP Scan Points and EXACTLY what they are for. Yes I scan them, BECAUSE I get paid to do it. I think someone is getting some BIG bucks to manage the boondoggle of a program. Lastly, why do you resort to stereotyping an entire group of people that may not be like you, with a different opinion? Trust me, there are a large number of republicans that support the PO, but with all the stupidity and whining about we are going to have to close, we are bankrupt, we can’t do it anymore, we need a bailout. I too would probably have to go with a vote of little to NO confidence. I believe that if you want to win in the republican lottery, you have to buy a ticket. You know as well as I do that we do not need 5 day delivery anymore. If someone needs medicine, order in sufficient time to get it before it runs out and what if it arrives at the PO on friday afternoon or Saturday morning and because it is bulk rate, it is curtailed and not worked by the clerks until Monday anyway. I order medicine by mail and have for over 20 years, never have I ever even considered Saturday delivery in the equation. I order, knowing it takes 5-7 days for delivery, PERIOD. I have never ran out. The union wants 6 day for nothing more than DUES money, PERIOD. They already get $5.2 MILLION DOLLARS every 2 weeks TAX-FREE, isn’t that enough for an employee picnic, or Christmas ham or turkey? Drive out through the back roads and take a look at some of those little shacks of a PO, 15-20 miles apart. Things have really changed since those places were opened, we now have motorized vehicles, paved roads etc. We are much more mobile than back then. If you can get to a post office 8-10 miles away, why not 20 miles. How often do you really need to visit a PO anyway. Those things are a luxury now and should be priced as so. Why are we still delivering up to the door in some areas? I know they say because it is established delivery, SO. Change it, just like the price of gas, electricity, taxes, milk bread cheese, eggs and YES UNION DUES. We are stuck in the 30-40s in a lot of ways. Come on, you want a PO in the coming years, you better wake up and smell the coffee. The union is going to price you right out of a JOB. Then who ya gonna call.

  4. Hey Borthertoldya,

    Stop your pissing & moaning. Given the tone of your comments, I would bet that you never contributed a dime to either COLCEP or union dues in the first place. If, by some outside chance, you did contribute, and you were even remotely active in the NALC’s fight for legislative reform and contractual rights, you would know just what these contributions have gained for us. Our union is an “open shop” union, which means that anyone that wants to can refuse to be a member if they choose to. It is a credit to the integrity of the ones who have chosen to do the right thing, because they know it is the honerable thing to do. As far as your comments related to COLCEP, if it were not for this we would not even have 1351 to push for. As President Rolando has stated, this is not a done deal, and given the tone in congress, it ia likely that the plan won’t even make it to Obama’s desk. That will take us to 2012, where we will have the oppertunity to use COLCEP once again to kick out the Republicans like Issa.


  6. 5 day work week four days 10 hours. Off sat, sun, one day during week. T6 to work that 3rd day. It could work without eliminating jobs.

  7. Democrats take are money then stab us in the back. Thanks I should of voted for republicans bush didn’t even screw us this bad.

  8. Well, well, well, Just goes to show ya that just like a wallet, when you think you have him in your back pocket, he either jumps out or someone else gets in there and makes a deposit. Your loyalty can be bought for just a song or a dance. So much for all those UNION(tax-free)Dues and COLCPE funds. The main man just let you down and says he is fine with 5 day. I toldyaso.

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