New YorkCongressman Introduces Legislation to Help Stop USPS Layoffs and Service Reductions

Washington, DC – Congressman Maurice Hinchey has joined several of his U.S. House colleagues in introducing the Postal Service Protection Act – legislation designed to alleviate the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) immediate financial crisis and prevent the layoff of thousands of USPS employees nationwide.

“The Postal Service is considering laying off nearly 25,000 workers, eliminating the Saturday delivery of mail and increasing the time it takes to receive a letter from two to three days,” said Hinchey. “These are changes that would have a negative effect on our economy, and Congress needs to take action now to alleviate the financial crisis the Postal Service faces. The Postal Service Protection Act would accomplish that goal.”

The Postal Service Protection Act would:

• Fix the Postal Service’s immediate financial crisis by allowing the USPS to recover the overpayments it made to its retiree pension funds — both the $7 billion overpayment to the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the $50 billion to $75 billion overpayment to the Civil Service Retirement System. In addition, the bill would eliminate the unique requirement that the USPS pre-fund 75 years worth of future retiree health benefits in just 10 years. No other agency is required to pre-fund these benefits.

• Establish new ways to generate revenue by ending the prohibition on USPS providing non-postal services, such as providing notary services, new media services and issuance of licenses; contracting with state and local agencies to provide services; shipping wine and beer, and allowing the USPS to provide services that mail systems in many other countries provide, including digital services.

• Create a blue-ribbon commission composed of entrepreneurs, representatives of labor and small businesses to provide recommendations on how the Postal Service can generate new revenue to succeed in the 21st century.

• Prevent the closing of rural post offices by giving the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) binding authority to prevent closures based on the effect on the community and employees. The bill would also prohibit USPS from considering whether a post office is turning a profit when making the decision to conduct a feasibility study for closure.

• Protect six-day delivery and protect mail-processing facilities by requiring strict standards for delivering first-class mail.

Hinchey and 37 other House members also sent a letter today to Postmaster General Donahoe opposing the planned closing of nearly half of the nation’s 500 mail processing and distribution centers, including those in Binghamton and Newburgh. Last week, Hinchey wrote to the Postmaster General in opposition to the proposed closure of the Binghamton and Newburgh facilities. The full text of the letter opposing the nationwide closure of mail processing and distribution centers follows:

December 8, 2011

The Honorable Patrick Donahoe
Postmaster General
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20260

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe,

The United States Postal Service (USPS) recently announced it would close roughly 252 of 500 mail processing centers. It also announced unprecedented cuts to first-class mail next spring that will slow delivery, and for the first time in 40 years, will eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day. We strongly object to the decision to slow first class service and close processing centers.

We appreciate USPS’s attempt to reduce costs but the USPS is an essential service for the public and reductions would come at the expense of people who regularly depend on these services. The changes may provide short-term relief, but ultimately it would be penny wise and pound foolish because it would push more businesses onto the Internet. Americans rely on the USPS and the access to services to buy stamps and send packages. The elderly and underserved communities have a tradition of using the USPS and many do not have access to a computer to use email or social media websites.

First-class mail in the United States typically takes one to two days to arrive, but the changes would lengthen that to three days. It would slow everything from check payments to Netflix’s DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carriers to underserved communities. A birthday card mailed first-class to a relative or friend could arrive a day or two late, if people don’t plan ahead.

As representatives of Congressional districts where our constituents depend on the services of the United States Postal Service, we strongly object to the decision to slow first class service and close processing centers.


Congressman Maurice Hinchey

12 thoughts on “New YorkCongressman Introduces Legislation to Help Stop USPS Layoffs and Service Reductions

  1. Reality on wed. You do not know your facts very well.. Don’t blame the American postal worker who delivers your mail through rain, sleet, lighting, dogs, ice, and snow; blame the problems on upper high level management. We postal workers are unlike other companies; we can not strike. If we could, then everybody would be more appreciated in the mail delivery.

  2. I believe we need 3 cylinder vehicles like Japan has that get 55 mpg. Energy costs and machines that costs millions just to save a few extra minutes over the previous machines are what is hurting our service. Management don’t have a clue to what is really going on…

  3. They should start firing all those useless stupidvisors and lazy managers starting with the clueless and unprofessional PM General.

  4. Reality your a piece of shit too, your probably one of those people who didn’t pass their probationary period at the PO, check your facts too idiot!

  5. Inspector 19 – you r so ignorant and clueless piece of shit you don’t even know what the fuck u talking about, better check your facts fool!

  6. With what does he propose the USPS pay these unneeded employees with? A multibillion dollar bailout every five years? I am amazed at the shear stupidity of most of the postal workers posting on this blog. It is more than clear that you have opted to use the smoke and mirrors of your unions and individual bloggers as your sources of information. How about you geniuses go by the actual oversight committee and postal regulatory commission numbers instead of all the fabricated lies your union reps keep posting. Your company is beyond broke. If it were a private company it would have shut down by now. When the auto industry was going heads up both management and the unions had a clear understanding of this reality. You cannot keep the doors of the USPS open relying solely on the hopes and dreams that accompany a reduction in your prefunding obligation. Your numbers are steadily declining and will continue to do so. USPS management must be allowed to restructure days and methods of service to adjust to this new reality. What good will simple product innovations do if you are never to see a healthy profit again? I could not believe what I was reading when I read about your labor to management ratio and what it cost the USPS to provide a Saturday delivery. Obviously everything that is thought in business schools goes right out the window when it comes to a union controlled federal company like the USPS. I’ll tell you this much if the USPS receives federal tax payer money as a bailout you will begin to see how Americans can really turn on you. p.s you do realize that the results of your “overpaying 75 billion” into your prefunding was an absolute lie. The USPS can work numbers any which way they want, but when audits like that one take place the game is up.

  7. Congressman Maurice Hinchey , go home and make a pie, and put your face in it. Don’t want to hear all about your fake plastic proposals. You and all your cronies ruined this country. Big mouth!

  8. I am not sure if this bill is what is needed, but we had to bail out AIG and Car Company’s and Banks , then by God we need to keep open every Post Office.

    Also if we can afford a 63 billion dollar defense fund when we havent had a terrorist attack in 10 years, WTF is WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY. Figure out a way to keep them open. HIre full time employees again!!!! WHat are we doing. You can pay private special forces 120k a year but not a full time postal working for 45 k a year.

    Stop stop it. This foolishiness with what we spend money on in our GOVERNMENT I have had it. I am a mom a wife and I ran small company s as an Office Manager. Even I could figure this out. Stop it with the BS

    WE MUST KEEEP OUR POST OFFICES OPEN! Period. Call your senators and assembly persons.

  9. Congressmen Hinchey is the kind of Person you want in Charge of the USPS..Id have Dona-who FIRED/Replaced with Hinchey who seems to have a better grasp of the situation…The LAW PASSED IN 2006 by GW Bush also NEEDS to be REPEALED!!!! Thank you Mr Hinchey!!

  10. USPS hired too many idiot management to spend money extravagant, they do nothing but hang in there, lick up and kiss ass, they don’t even have a college degree. lol… with these trash, don’t expect too much .

  11. now they should reopen the few plants that were shut down with disasterous effects to service. the 217 area is reeling with undelivered mail and disatisfied customers…bring back the frederick plant

  12. How refreshing. The USPS would have made profits during the Great Recession if not for $5 billion plus payment each year to pre-fund (a fund with decades worth of money already in it). I’ve carried mail for over 30 years. I carry more mail than ever. I’ve been mandated to work my day off for months, and frequently work 10-12 hour days. First class letters may not be at their peak but Priority Mail more than compliments that loss. USPS wants to show a deficit. The Postmaster wants Congress to mandate changes that never could come through collective bargaining. USPS mail volume figures are flawed. Mail volume is not so much down, the mail they measure and count is down. Thank You so much. Respectfully, Greg Preslar

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