APWU: Although the Postal Reform Bill is Flawed -It’s better than the Original

APWU News Bulletin 12-2012, April 27, 2012

“We must now turn our attention to the House…We must re-double our efforts to Save America’s Postal Service.”
– APWU President Cliff Guffey

The Senate passed an amended version of the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) on April 25, and legislative action on postal reform will now move to the House of Representatives.

“Although the bill is flawed, the amended version is far better than the original,” said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “That is a result of the tremendous effort of APWU members, postal customers, and elected officials who appreciate the importance of the Postal Service to American life. Thank you for your hard work,” he said.

“With the moratorium on the closure of mail processing plants and post offices set to expire on May 15, we must now turn our attention to the House. We expect to face very tough challenges there,” Guffey said. “But we will do everything we can to get a good bill. We call on our members, small businesses, individual customers, and lawmakers to re-double our efforts to Save America’s Postal Service.”

“House leaders have not yet given any indication of how they plan to proceed,” said Myke Reid, APWU Legislative and Political director.

The House could consider H.R. 2309, a bill sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), which would destroy the Postal Service. More than half of the members of the House are co-sponsors of another bill, H.R. 1351, which postal unions support, but Rep. Issa, the chairman of the House committee with jurisdiction over the Postal Service, has refused to allow it to come up for a vote. The House also could consider the Senate bill.

A Mixed Bag
“The Senate bill is a mixed bag,” Guffey said. It would provide the USPS, which is facing imminent collapse, with short-term financial relief, by returning $11 billion in USPS overpayments to federal pension funds to the Postal Service. “Keep in mind,” Guffey said, “this is money paid by postal customers, workers and the Postal Service – not taxpayers.”

The legislation also would restructure USPS payments to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees, spreading the payments over 40 years – instead of the current 10 – and reducing the funding mandate  from 100 percent to 80 percent. No other government agency or private company is required to make such payments.

“These are positive steps,” Guffey said, “but they do not go far enough. As a result, the USPS will not have access to the capital it needs to meet the challenges of the future,” he said.

Closings, Consolidations
Another improvement, Guffey said, is that the 21st Century Postal Service Act would allow more community input in the decision-making process for closing or consolidating post offices and postal facilities.  It also would give the Postal Regulatory Commission authority to reverse USPS decisions on these issues.

In addition, the bill would provide limited protection for service standards for a minimum of three years. “Although we sought stronger, longer safeguards, this is an improvement over the original bill, which did nothing to preserve service,” Guffey said. “Protecting service is essential to preserving the Postal Service – and postal jobs.”

But the legislation also would have devastating consequences for the thousands of postal and federal employees who were injured on the job and who receive compensation from the Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP), Guffey noted.

Among other provisions, the bill would authorize the Postal Service to offer retirement incentives. It also would allow the USPS to negotiate with postal unions to create a health plan separate from the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program.

The legislation also would require arbitrators to consider the financial condition of the Postal Service, along with other relevant factors.

For the latest news, visit www.apwu.org.

19 thoughts on “APWU: Although the Postal Reform Bill is Flawed -It’s better than the Original

  1. How’s that “watershed agreement” (aka National Contract) working out for ya! Union came thru for ya? Thumbs up APWU? Keep paying dem dues and dues assessments y’all !

  2. Contact your member of the house, especially if they cosponsored 1351 and have them submit an amendment to replace 2309 and the Senate bill with 1351. Then pass it (since it already has more than 50% of house sponsoring it) and send it to the Senate to get passed quickly.

  3. Sec. 102)
    Allows USPS to offer up to one year of additional creditable service for postal employees in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and up to two years for employees in FERS. Disqualifies any employee who receives such additional credits from receiving a voluntary separation incentive payment.

    THanks not 1 senator thought to Amend this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Give me 3-5 years of Civil Service Time & i will go!!!!!!!!!!!! All you ppl who take just the 25k.I mean approx 17 k……….think about that after you spend the 17K ..then your checks come in….BE SMART say NO to “just 25K or 1 Year’ be smart…….

  4. Issa is an old farted iodiot like the rest of them con-gressmen & women and senators.
    They have their golden parachutes, they don’t give a crap what happens to the postal employees.
    They try to force employees to retire, when they are the ones that should be retired decades ago, even fired for not doing their jobs.
    Stop voting in the losers that represent your districts, old farts out!!
    It became a sinking ship when Guffey took over.
    Those old farts are trying to rewrite the contracts for the employees to do as they please, what use is a union contract???????
    Still paying union dues so they can use your dues money to support the self interest of the unions, not your’s.
    BTW – O.M.G. = Obama Must Go – adios!!!

  5. Everyone acts like this is a done deal because it was passed by the senate. It’s not! It still has to go to the house where they are considering two bills. One the Lynch Bill is a lot more favorable towards the PO than the other bill which seeks to destroy the PO. So just because the senate passed their bill the house could pass HR 2309, the Issa bill or 1351 the bill stephen Lynch put forward. Either way this thing won’t be settled until some time in the fall. And depending on the election who knows what may happen or change? The way this is going now I’ll be long gone and retired before this is over.

  6. Issa should concentrate his total effort on that scum Eric Holder and his buddy Obumma on that Fast & Furious caper by the ATF and DOJ……..both should be impeached and jailed for the death of border agent Brian Terry & 500 Mexican citizens.

  7. If the NAFRE Lobby does`nt threaten to sue the USPS for forcing retirees to pull out of FEHBP against their will when they are no longer represented by their former Unions and presently are under OPM, there will be a major Law Suit filed in Federal Court, Case Closed!

  8. tired of it. Child, don’t waste your faith or time on these heathens. Lord have mercy, I never thump my Bible, I read it. May the Lord slay you in the Spirit, and then you will hate yourself for being such a titty baby, heathen.

  9. If all of the democrats and republicans had any God qualities in them, this country would be lots better off! Where have our politicans minds gone? To pots! It’s defintely going to take God and Jesus both to change the likes of Issa, and Canta, McConnell and Bohener?, mind to do the right thing for this country! Why do they want the Postal Service to fail and thousands of workers out of work! Men and women that think like them will destroy this country! Let’s not leave out our Texas senators and congressman Hutchinson, Cornyn and Flores! They care nothing about workers in our state keeping our jobs or universal maiI service to americans in this state! They vote no on everything americas need in this state that’s positive! All americans need to continue to pray and keep thier trust in the Lord!

  10. quit your god damn whining!!!!!! jesus christ, the usps is in the toilet and you bible thumpers are worried about somebody taking the lord’s name in vain? i just want my GOD DAMN EARLY OUT!

  11. Im with you….God supports me, not the post office. He just lets these unjust judges think they do. Im staying with Jesus

  12. I’m with “tired of it”. I have no faith in our congress so we need to have faith in the Lord Jesus. to see us through these evil times. I’m on my 12th year of service and my, and others futures and retirements are looking bleak. write your congress and express your opinions and pray to God they listen.

  13. Wonder why the ross/issa twins can’t be removed from the committe or from office? That’s where efforts should be. Only an egomaniac would over ride his fellow members of the house. I’m surprised they haven’t voted the twins off the committe.

  14. How can you take the Lord God’s name in vain. It is His money in the first place. I am as fed up with this current postal mismanagement and Issa as anyone. Changes in the last few years have been horrrible. I put my faith in the good Lord to take care of me and pray for all my postal family. Please don’t take His name in that way.

  15. Issa is going to pontificate all the purported evils of organized labor on the USPS. Then his crony Ross will nod his head. Thr republicans screw this up and its GOODBYE. Its congress that has been taxing postal users to supplement the budget so the one percent like romney can pay 14 percent taxes on 25 million.

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