NALC disappointed, but determined, as Senate passes S. 1789

“Keep your chin up; this fight is far from over,” Rolando says

Amendment to save door-to-door passes

April 25, 2012 — The United States Senate adopted a deeply flawed postal reform bill on Wednesday, voting for S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Service Act, by a vote of 62 to 37.

The legislation embraces a downsizing strategy and fails to fully lift the onerous burden to fund decades of future retiree health benefits decades in advance. If it were to become law, it would be almost impossible to save Saturday mail delivery for the American people and their businesses.

The bill gives the postmaster general the authority to propose a switch to five-day delivery in two years—at a cost of 80,000 jobs—if he believes such a change is necessary to preserve the “solvency” of the Postal Service, subject to review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Although the bill reduced the level of required pre-funding, the cost of the mandate is still too heavy to allow the USPS to regain a sound financial footing.

“We’re disappointed, but we are determined to fight on,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said after the vote. He reminded letter carriers that the legislative process is far from over. “It may take months to get a bill through the House of Representatives,” he said, “but we will not rest in this struggle to defend a strong and viable Postal Service.”

Despite the truly regressive nature of the House Republican bill, H.R. 2309, the NALC’s top priorities—preserving six-day delivery and fixing the pension and health care funding provisions of the law—have a lot of bi-partisan support in the House. Indeed, a majority of representatives support both H. Res. 137 (regarding six-day service) and H.R. 1351 (regarding pension equity). President Rolando vowed a spirited campaign in the House. Once that body acts, the process will not be over. A conference committee would have to reconcile the competing bills, and President Obama would be able to weigh in on the legislation—since a final bill that passed both houses would not become law unless he signed it.

“I want to thank the thousands of letter carriers who joined together to lobby the Senate this week,” Rolando said. “We flooded the Senate this week with tens of thousands of calls and other contacts. We did not prevail in striking the five-day delivery provision or the regressively unfair FECA cuts in S. 1789, but we did protect tens of thousands of letter carrier jobs by winning the adoption of the door-to-door delivery amendment sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer [D-NY]. We also removed an anti-FEHBP health care proposal thanks to an amendment from Senator Jay Rockefeller [D-WV].

“We thank both of those senators as well as Senators Udall of New Mexico and Akaka of Hawaii for leading the fight on all our amendments. Thanks also go to Senator Bernie Sanders [D-VT] for his months of relentless work to support the Postal Service and its workers.

“Last, but not least, I want to thank the staff of our Legislative and Political Affairs Department who worked ’round the clock for the members. We are grateful for all their hard work.”

“Keep your chins up, brothers and sisters,” Rolando concluded. “This fight to save America’s Postal Service is far from over.”

5 thoughts on “NALC disappointed, but determined, as Senate passes S. 1789

  1. to end 6 day delivery NO!

    Having 5 day delivery would open the door to let USPS MGMT hire private contractors
    to deliver mail on the 6th day…


  2. Yipee..the NALC was able to save tens of thousands of carrier jobs by getting passed an ammendment to preserve an antiquated inefficient method of delivery. A method that is becoming increasingly ineffecient as more packages come into the delivery mix and carriers with park and loop routes get to make two trips per day to more and more houses. Once when they walk by with the junk mail and a second time when they drive by to drop off the packages that couldn’t be carried on the satchel.
    Way to go NALC keeping postal cosys 5-9 billion a year higher than they need to be and preserving work methods that destroy your member’s bodies in order to avoid effeciency gains that would reduce the amount of dues coming in.
    This is the final nail in the coffin of the USPS. This was the one part of this Bill that could have improved the postal service’s competitive advantage and helped stave off the death spiral.

  3. The US Senate, working on this bill since Nov. 2011, has passed comprehensive postal reform. AND they did it with a super-majority of 62 senators in agreement. In the last many years of Senate action, this is an extraordinary exception to the rule.

    The House of Representatives will not, politically cannot, ignore or dismiss what the Senate has done.

    There will be incentives for many of us to retire. There will be 6 day delivery for at least 2 more years. Services standards maintained for at least 3 more years. The PMG and all the VP’s will take a salary cut. The Unions will keep the right to collectively bargain and have dues deducted from our paychecks automatically. No rural PO’s will close next year. There’s a lot more in the bill but ya need read it for yourself to be convinced that positive change has begun. But as a shortcut to understanding that S.1789 was good for us, just take a look at who is yelping.

    A USPS that was built up in the 1980’s for a pre-digital world just got a much needed upgrade. More upgrades will be required but it’s a start.

  4. Cliff Guffey, one of the most corrupt Union Officials along with Fred Rolando of the NALC, the APWU nor the NALC speak not for their members but for their own personal agendas and union dues for their 6 figure paychecks, many workers who daily have to fight both Union and management ( abusive as they are ). welcome Privatization to a large extent, take a poll and one would be surprised.
    Management and the Unions have always been the source of the violent attacks on employees, to Congress ;please Mr Issa and Mr Ross Privatize !

  5. Of course it figures that the ONE THING that the Senate 100% agreed to was the reduction of thePMG’s pay down to the level that Presidential Cabinet Secretaries get. Anything to deplete benefits for anyone other than Congress. Congress SUCKS. What a bunch of losers….kick the damn can down the road again and let some future congress worry about it. The USPS DOES NOT HAVE THAT KIND OF TIME. Give it the relief it needs, and also get some supervisors on the floor that weren’t put there by their brown nose buddies and who can think. THEN AND ONLY THEN will the USPS make money.

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