Please Contact Your Senators Now!!
(Monday, April 23, 2012) — Debate continues today in the United States Senate on the substitute version of S. 1789 — the 21st Century Postal Service Act — which was introduced in that chamber last week. The Senate leadership has agreed to pare down scores of submitted amendments, and will consider thirty-nine specific amendments to the pending postal bill. Many of these amendments would prove beneficial to the interests of the NPMHU and it members, but there also are many amendments that would prove harmful, if not devastating, to the interests of our membership and other postal workers.
Debate and votes on these amendments, and indeed on the final bill, are expected through at least late Tuesday or Wednesday. The voting on these amendments is scheduled to commence tomorrow (Tuesday, April 24) at 2:15 pm (Eastern). The NPMHU needs your help to improve the bill through this amendment process. While there are many important amendments under consideration, the NPMHU asks all Mail Handlers to immediately contact their senators and ask them to specifically support the following amendments:
1. Amendment #2056 by Senators Tester (D-MT), Begich (D-AK), Conrad (D-ND), Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Carl Levin (D-MI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mikulski (D-MD), Pryor (D-AR), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Stabenow (D-MI), and Wyden (D-OR). Amendment #2056 allows more community and mail handler participation in the decision process for closing or consolidating post offices and postal facilities. The amendment also gives the Postal Regulatory Commission authority to “affirm or reverse” the determination of the Postal Service.
2. Amendment #2042 by Senators Casey (D-PA), Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Leahy (D-VT), McCaskill (D-MO), Baucus (D-MT), Shaheen (D-NH), and Merkley (D-OR). Amendment #2042 maintains current delivery standards for 48 months. It will stop the USPS from its current attempt to close 252 plants immediately.
3. Amendment #2034 by Senators Akaka (D-HI), Brown (D-OH), Franken (D-MN), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kerry (D-MA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Murray (D-WA) and Shaheen (D-NH). This Akaka amendment deletes Title III of the bill which would devastate thousands of postal and federal employees who were unfortunately injured at work through no fault of their own. Amendment #2034 would replace this language with provisions similar to bi-partisan legislation adopted by the House of Representatives, which actually improves some benefits for injured postal and federal workers.
Again, the NPMHU asks all Mail Handlers and interested supporters to contact their Senators and urge their strong and vocal support for three specific amendments to S. 1789 – those are amendments #2056, #2042, and #2034.
On the other side of the coin, please also ask your Senators to express their adamant opposition to any of the anti-union, anti-worker amendments. Specifically, ask them to reject the pending amendments from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) which seek to eliminate collective bargaining rights for postal employees); to reject the amendment from Tom Coburn (R-OK), which would require retirement-eligible postal employees to leave employment with the USPS; and to reject the amendment from John McCain (R-AZ), which seeks to have the Senate adopt the anti-union postal bill pending in the House of Representatives (H.R. 2309) that would gut collective bargaining and essentially guarantee that the USPS would enter into a death spiral.
Following the debate and votes on these amendments, the NPMHU will update their website with its decision on whether or not it will support passage of the final version of S. 1789.
Again, consideration and voting on this bill likely will conclude by tomorrow (Tuesday, April 24, 2012), or perhaps into Wednesday. Please return to the NPMHU website tomorrow for updated information. After consideration and votes on all pending amendments, the NPMHU will announce its determination on whether it will support or oppose passage of the final, amended version of S. 1789.