NAPS: It’s Show Time in the Senate for Postal Reform


NAPS Leg/Reg Update – March 24, 2012

It’s Show Time in the Senate for Postal Reform

Postal reform is coming to the Senate floor this week, beginning Monday.

The Senate is trying to complete action on a comprehensive postal bill before May 15, when a moratorium on closing postal facilities is set to expire. Although both houses of Congress are not expected to reach agreement on a final postal bill before May 15, Senate passage may be enough to prompt the Postmaster General to extend the moratorium.

When postal legislation reaches the Senate floor this week, a modified version of S. 1789 will serve as the basic bill, with a number of postal and non-postal amendments likely to be offered by Republicans and Democrats. S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Service Act, is bipartisan legislation authored by the chairs and ranking minority members of the postal oversight panel and subpanel: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). The legislation reduces the Postal Service’s retiree health prefunding payments, returns surplus FERS contributions to USPS, provides retirement incentives to eligible workers, and requires the Postal Service to consider options to downsize mail processing facilities without closing them.

Senate staff indicated late Friday that the bill has been strengthened in several ways to respond to concerns raised by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and two dozen Democratic Senators about the original version of the bill and Post Office cost-reduction plans. Those concerns involve the retention of overnight delivery standards for first-class mail, preserving rural post offices, and the creation of new revenue for the Postal Service.

Here’s what to expect this week: Senate Majority Leader Reid is expected to call a cloture vote late Monday afternoon to initiate floor action on postal business. Cloture is a parliamentary move to end debate and quash holds by individual Senators aimed at preventing the bill from being brought to the floor. Sixty votes are required to secure cloture, and Reid is expected to meet that test. Once cloture is achieved, Senate floor debate on postal reform will begin, likely on Tuesday morning. Debate and votes on amendments to the postal bill are expected to last during much of the week. Senate leaders will push to complete action on the postal bill before the start of the two-week Senate and House recess.

House Action on Postal Reform Also Revs Up

House leaders appear to be only a step behind the Senate in addressing the Postal Service’s troubled finances. Preparatory action to bring postal legislation to the House floor will begin this week as well, with the House Rules Committee slated to meet late Monday afternoon to craft the procedures governing House floor action on the postal reform measure, H.R. 2309. House floor action on that bill could occur later in April, after the House returns from its two-week break.

The House bill is a dramatically different measure from the Senate bill, establishing two commissions that could rapidly close large numbers of post offices and processing plants, create significant service reductions and impose massive job cuts. These politically unpopular moves are not expected remain part of any House-passed measure that emerges.

As a prelude to House floor action, the House postal oversight subcommittee has scheduled a hearing this Tuesday, March 27, on “Can a USPS-Run Health Plan Solve Its Financial Crisis?” The Postal Service has proposed establishing a separate health plan outside of FEHBP that would save $7B per year. The health plan is part of a broad five-year business plan released by the Postal Service last month, called the “Plan to Profitability.” Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe, along withFEBHP expert Walton Francis are expected to testify at Tuesday’s House hearing.

Senators Take Aim at the Postal Service

The ramp-up to Senate floor action was punctuated by a series of actions and statements by a handful of different Senators last week, laying down markers on possible floor amendments, and reflecting opposition over the Postal Service’s cost-cutting plans, as well as home-state and election-year politics.

* Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced on Thursday that she would attempt to block Senate action on the postal bill by placing a procedural hold on its consideration. Mikulski’s hold was triggered by her concerns over USPS plans to close a postal processing facility in Easton, Maryland, and consolidate its operations with a facility in Delaware. Delaware is the home state of Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), one of the chief authors of the Senate postal bill. (Majority Leader Reid’s expected cloture vote on the postal legislation on Monday, if successful, will trump any holds placed by individual Senators.)

* Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), another architect of the Senate postal bill, in a floor speech on Tuesday, blasted the Postal Service and questioned whether the Postal Service’s cost-cutting and facility closure plans are going too far and will actually drive the Postal Service deeper into debt.

* Sen. Collins also joined with Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) this week inrevealing a secret Postal Service market research study that projected that the Service would suffer a catastrophic financial blowback as a result of the first year of facility cuts, with $5.2 billion in lost revenue, 9.1 percent reduction in first-class mail volume, and a 7.7 percent reduction in all classes of mail. The projections underscore concerns on Capitol Hill about the wisdom of the Postal Service’s service and cost reduction efforts. Last week, the Postal Service was still attempting to backpedal from the study projections, calling the study’s survey methods “seriously flawed.”

* Seven Senate Democrats wrote to Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, identifying billions of dollars in potential cost-savings and opportunities that could increase revenue, such as adequately pricing products that consistently lose money, leasing unused commercial space, limiting executive bonuses, and maximizing the Postal Service’s market share in growing markets like Internet sales. The letter from the seven Senators also identified the need to preserve timely delivery of mail, post offices, and mail processing centers, and expresses concerns about proposals from the Postal Service to create a new health plan outside the FEHBP and void layoff protections in existing contracts. The Senators writing the letter were Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), Max Baucus (D-MT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Bruce Moyer
Legislative Counsel to NAPS

21 thoughts on “NAPS: It’s Show Time in the Senate for Postal Reform

  1. When are they closing IPDC? Terry don’t give a damn cause he got superseniority and ain’t going anywhere while military veterans at IPDC will be excessed in place of him. Keep paying dem dues bruthas and sistas!

  2. Offer a straight VERA, with NO incentives.
    Retire on an immediate retirement, or offer a VERA to qualified employees.
    NO free money….. you entitlement junkies!
    If enough do not retire…… let the excessing, then RIFs begin!!!!

  3. Time to retire our CSRS brethern, consolidate the Mail Handlers into APWU, and to bring in professionals to replace the bloated, malingering hack managment echelon that exists at the plant level.

  4. This is really getting stupid. this bill will not pass because no politician wants to loose re-election. If the usps does not run out of money them the pmg is a liar!
    the house bill will not pass for the same reasons. Then what? We continue along this same path? The president will do nothing this year that would risk loosing more jobs, because of the election. Don’t panic, Nothing is going to happen, Do not hold your breath for v.e.r it is getting to close to half way through the year for that to be viable. Will not happen, except for a very few people and it will not be much. Usps will get the labor contracts they need due to this type of chicken little, sky is falling, crap.

  5. 1) Offer $25K plus 5 years to those FERS foe VER.
    2) 80% privatization the USPS in order to gain revenue
    3) Fire those executive mangement for their greedy.
    4) None of above take action, the USPS will be in chapter 11.

  6. An amended version the APWU supported postal bill (S. 1789) is tentatively scheduled for a vote during the week of March 26.
    , too many amendments will sink this bil. “We may need to respond to an announcement quickly, in order to ensure our members get a lucrative Early Retirement Package.”
    . We ask all of our members to support this Bill S.1789, it is the only bill to offer these Early out incentives and ensure the USPS
    1. 25,000 cash.
    2. 2 years added on to your FERS retirement
    3. 1 year added on to your CSRS retirement.
    “This announcement makes it all the more important that APWU members reach out to their senators to let them know that S. 1789 as amended,” must be passed now said Guffey.
    Call Your Senators:
    (Capitol Switchboard)
    [Click here for direct #s]
    Tell them you Support
    S. 1789

  7. Senate Vote on Postal Bill
    Could Be Taken on Monday

    APWU Web News Article 022-2012, March 23, 2012

    An amended version the APWU supported postal bill (S. 1789) is tentatively scheduled for a vote during the week of March 26.

    Details of the final bill are well known, however. The bill’s sponsors have been meeting to discuss possible amendments, but have not released information about their discussions, too many amendments will sink this bill.

    The APWU is asking union members to be vigilant and to check the APWU Web site frequently for updates. “The situation could change very rapidly, so it is important that union members remain alert,” Reid said. “We may need to respond to an announcement quickly, in order to ensure our members get a lucrative Early Retirement Package.”

    The APWU was sharply critical of the original bill, and supported amendments to set strict service standards; allow the USPS to recover over-payments the Postal Service made to its retiree pension funds; adequately address the requirement that forces the USPS to pre-fund future retiree health benefits, and establish new ways to generate revenue, among others. We ask all of our members to support this Bill S.1789, it is the only bill to offer these Early out incentives and ensure the USPS
    1. 25,000 cash.
    2. 2 years added on to your FERS retirement
    3. 1 year added on to your CSRS retirement.
    “This announcement makes it all the more important that APWU members reach out to their senators to let them know that S. 1789 as amended,” must be passed now said Guffey.
    Call Your Senators:
    (Capitol Switchboard)
    [Click here for direct #s]
    Tell them you Support
    S. 1789

  8. Stop the Bull, PM’s who work the windows are overpaid clerks, and Postmasters of larger offices have, like themselves, abusive, drugged out, alcoholic supervisors to do their bidding, the need is not just to offer VERA’s, but privatize or set the USPS back under the Government, the current structure and work environment is an ongoing plan for implosion, end the misery now.

  9. 10. Advertise on LLV’s even UPS and FedEX could advertise here lol.
    11. Keep all real estate they currently own and lease it until market forces come back.
    12. Deliver top products Priority and Express 7 days a week SELL what works.Eventually eliminate most products that slow down lines at PO’s. There are $Billions to save without really looking too hard.
    Maybe we need an independent party to actually enforce these changes but it shouldn’t be so difficult.

  10. 5. Eliminate position of Postmaster altogether. If office is all evaluated routes then no need for $32 an hour munchkins measuring mail with yardsticks. One morning supervisor for 25 workers and group leader clerk to close office in evening. Maybe a regional Manager for every 10 to 20 PO’s only if they possess financial background to oversee spending.
    6. Contract out all custodial work,convert all workers to actual mail-movers. No more than 1 management person per 20 laborers.
    7. Standardize the size of letter mail and reduce postage to 40 cents. This will boost business.
    8. ELIMINATE FSS immediately. Lease out aircraft hanger sized facilities to military storage and losses will be mitigated. The money saved on this will be immense along with evaluated routes.
    9. Convert LLV’s to CNG fuel if still in business. Why are we paying federal tax on gasoline anyway?

  11. Bill shouldn’t be passed “as is”, if they get back pre payment $, they should offer both years and money. Do not agree with “not to be combined” part of bill. There is still approx 75 billion of CSRS money that congress spent on other things. Give us a real buyout! No way should Donahue and his clowns be allowed to take over healthcare…look what they did to the mailing industry!!!


    1. 5 day delivery ,allow locals to decide which days to deliver.
    2. Curbside delivery at every location possible (no more grandfathered delivery locations) locals again communicate with customers on issue. USPS has final say on matter.
    3. Immediate early out offer to as many as 100,000 takers. If not taken threaten with High 5 instead of High 3 after 2013.
    4. Merge crafts to APWU/NPMHU and NALC/NRLCA . The division of duties in processing plants is abominable. “not my job” attitude pervades throughout whole system. I have a bid on the doors I am not doing that ,get someone else is ridiculous. City carrier routes to be evaluated like rurals. No more stretching for OT. Been there done that. Makes us look shameful. Equal routes rural done at 1:00 PM city at 4:00 PM. Give the poor SOB’s uniforms they can feel good in. Those hideous blue poly shit makes one have no self esteem.

  13. SUPRISE—I think I am with you on this!! I would like to see what the amended bill looks like before saying support it!! To much speculation & not enough facts!!

  14. We were all suckered into this in 2006. Wait for the bill to be posted before you follow these clowns over the cliff again. If the senate screws us again it will be revolution time!

  15. The ammended version of S 1789 has not been released yet! Your are telling us to vote on something no one has seen! What has been stated is nothing but hopeful changes, which I do support.

    No one should support anything they have not seen!

  16. Senate should reform USPS with downsizing entire structure and opt for cost effective operations to meet a budget. Demand for Postal services will continue to decline with massive monatary losses as it is presently operated.Salaries from Pistol Pat and his high priced gang must be reduced by eliminating useless high salaried positions that create no return on investment. Board of governors high salaried members who do not repesent anyone should be abolished as in the 21st century primary postal services are delivery of bulk business mail and non time essential parcels. Too many assistant PMGs WHOSE CONTRIBUTION IS IN NAME ONLY NOT IN ANY PERFORMANCE OF POSTAL CONTRIBUTIONS.
    Small community post offices with high salaried Postmasters whose salary exceeds $60,000 and function is to be a reatail clerk and put mail in post office boxes. Staff consist of 1 part time clerk and no mail delivery. Delivery provided by a large naearby office 4-5 miles away. Larger officies with 70-90 employees Postmasters salaries range from $90000-$96000 depending on PM length of service. This can be verified on postal reporte postal salary update. ALL that is required is to insert state and zip code. All employees on roll will be listed with salary and hire date. Tons of money could be saved by restrucuring present office management system. Custodians salary in some instances exceeds $50,000. Outsourcing could save money for leave time as well as other benefits.
    VERA an investment that would reap benefits as reduction in number of employees equals savings in salaries and benefits.
    Craft and management unions play political games in pressuring politicans to support their group without any concern for the total which is preserving the USPS .
    Action has to be direced to whole and not sum of parts per crafts and management groups otherwise who or how will USPS be paid. There is a price to be paid to continue to exist in some form.

  17. Postal officials said that as a result of the consolidations, approximately 83,000 jobs will be eliminated in the crafts represented by the APWU, including more than 63,800 Clerks, close to 9,000 Maintenance Craft employees, and more than 1,800 Motor Vehicle Craft employees.
    GOOGLE……….U.S. SENATE………Choose your “SENATOR HOME” State. Look for the area in which to write and send your comment.  
    I wrote ” I work for the U.S.P.S. and I do not oppose S1789 in it’s amended form”. This bill offers three types of incentives not to be combined.  
    1. 25,000 cash.  
    2. 2 years added on to your FERS retirement  
    3. 1 year added on to your CSRS retirement.  
    “This announcement makes it all the more important that APWU members reach out to their senators to let them know that S. 1789 as amended,” must be passed now said Guffey.
    Call Your Senators:
    (Capitol Switchboard)
    [Click here for direct #s]
    Tell them you Support 
    S. 1789
    The U.S. Senate soon will likely debate the 21st Century Postal Reform Act (S. 1789), bill designed to ‘save” the U.S. Postal Service by offering Early Retirement Incentives.
    As president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, I understand the budgetary and market challenges facing the USPS.
    S. 1789 should be passed as amended, it will save America’s postal network. Instead of enacting shortsighted, destructive policies, Congress should approve this bill ,S.1789.
    Fredric V. Rolando is the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers
    NAPUS will continue to work with Senate allies to pass S. 1789, and ensure that the measure will garner the requisite votes for passage.

  18. Give our PMG’s shock therapy announcements credit for this sudden (in Senate time) action on saving the USPS. I have no doubt that left on their own, these “up for reelection” pols would have done nada to help us. Now we have a chance for orderly reform…our only chance this year.

    ***** Email your Senators right now. Tell them you are a postal worker and you want them to VOTE YES on the amended S.1789. *****


    (and for those reading this who won’t lift a finger to save the USPS, may God forgive you ’cause there are 550k+ postal families that won’t)

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