NALC: Budget negotiators reject Saturday delivery cut, unfairly target future federal employees

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS LOGODec. 11, 2013—NALC grassroots activists and the American public scored a huge victory on Tuesday when efforts to include elimination of Saturday mail delivery in the emerging budget agreement for 2014 failed.

National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando reacted with gratitude and relief. “Thanks to the thousands of dedicated letter carriers, citizens and small-business owners who raised their voices in opposition to this misguided proposal to slash delivery service,” Rolando said, “Congress will not unwisely weaken the Postal Service or undermine our last-mile delivery network. Together, we have not only helped save tens of thousands of good jobs, but we have preserved a path for recovery and growth for the USPS in the future. This is a win for tens of millions of Americans and countless businesses throughout the country that rely on the Postal Service for the world’s most affordable delivery service.

“Congress must continue to reject any legislation that would lead to the elimination of Saturday mail delivery,” he added.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced on Dec. 10 that they had reached a deal to partially replace the across-the-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, that were called for by the Budget Control Act of 2011, with a package of alternative spending cuts and revenue raisers. Ryan had proposed the Saturday delivery cut as a measure that would save $20 billion over 10 years, a figure NALC and others strongly contest. Murray stood firm with the nation’s letter carriers and the American public and rejected the proposal.

The budget agreement calls for a combination of higher fees on airline tickets, changes in natural resource programs, measures to reduce “waste, fraud and abuse” in other federal programs, and increased contributions for federal-postal employee pension programs.

In addition, the spending limits in the Budget Control Act of 2011 were modestly increased from the damaging sequestration levels that have slowed the nation’s economic recovery.

Under the budget deal, federal and postal employees hired after Dec. 31, 2013, will be required to contribute 4.4 percent of their basic pay for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) pension benefits, 1.3 percent above the 3.1 percent contribution rate for federal employees hired after 2011 and 3.6 percent above those hired before 2012. Benefits will not be raised in return for the higher contributions, since agency contributions will be reduced by the 1.3 percent.

Although totally unjustified and unfair, the increase in pension contributions for new hires was adopted after weeks of negotiations in which Ryan pushed for a proposal included in the House-passed budget: an increase of 5.5 percent in pension contributions for all federal and postal employees (present and future).

President Rolando thanked Murray for seeking to minimize the effect of this, but he criticized the hit on federal employees as unfair and irrational. “Once again, Congress has singled out federal and postal employees for deficit reduction, even though our community has been repeatedly targeted in the past and we have contributed more than our fair share,” Rolando said. “There is now an irrational three-tier pension system for FERS employees, where different groups of employees will pay different amounts

in payroll contributions, yet receive the same level of benefits. That’s totally unacceptable.”

Two other provisions affecting federal employees were included in the package. One would authorize the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to expand the choice of Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) plans to include “self plus one” in addition to the current “self only” and “self & family” plans. NALC is studying this change.

Another provision supported by all federal unions would put a cap on excessive executive salaries for federal contractors: Companies with federal contracts would no longer be able to charge the federal government for salaries that exceed $487,000 annually.

NALC joined an all-out push to save Saturday delivery for the American people and worked to prevent a massive 5.5 percent pay cut for letter carriers. We led a coalition to inform Congress, set up a toll-free phone line to connect letter carriers with their representatives in the House, and used our e-Activist Network to deliver thousands of messages to senators and representatives. We also worked with our allies, organized by Delivering for America and the Federal-Postal Coalition of unions. These allies included the other postal unions—APWU, NRLCA and NPMHU—and thousands of small-business owners, veterans, rural residents and senior citizens.

“I thank all of our allies and all of the NALC members who helped,” Rolando said. “I urge members who didn’t do their part this time to do so next time—and believe me, with the fight over postal reform just starting, there will be a next time.

“We will vigorously oppose any legislation that will lead to the elimination of Saturday mail delivery,” he said.

The budget deal reached by the chairmen of the Senate and House budget committees is expected to face a vote in the House of Representatives on Friday and in the Senate next week. In the days ahead, NALC will work to remove from the proposed deal the increased pension contributions for future employees.

12 thoughts on “NALC: Budget negotiators reject Saturday delivery cut, unfairly target future federal employees

  1. RIGHT YOU ARE GUEST DELIVERY IN THE DARK IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN SATURDAY DELIVERY. NOBODY WILL DIE IF PATRONS DONT GET A PIZZA COUPON ON SATURDAY!!!! COME ON ROLANDO GET TOGETHER WITH MANAGEMENT AND PUT A STOP DELIVERING IN THE DARK IT IS DANGEROUS. I REPEAT DELIVERING AFTER DARK WAS A VERY RARE OCCURANCE. NOW IT HAPPENS ON A DALIY BASIS. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES… HERE’S GOOD IDEA START PEOPLE EARLIER, HAVE PTF(cca)HELP ON THE ROAD TO GET PEOPLE BACK BEFORE SUNSET. WOW I MUST BE A A REALLY SMART GUY TO FIGURE THAT OUT….STOP THE MADNESS.. BY THE WAY IF YOU WHATCH THE NEW USPS TV COMMERCIALS THEY SHOW CARRIERS WALKING UP STAIRS IN THE DARK, THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT SEEM NORMAL, VERY TRICKY I MUST ADMIT.. DON’T FALL FOR THIS PROPAGANDA. IF THEY TELL YOU THAT THEY DO IT IN ALASKA TELL THEM “ARENT WE LUCKY THAT WE DONT HAVE TO” “THEY DONT HAVE A CHOICE WE DO” IF ITS DARK AND YOU CANT SEE BRING THE MAIL BACK AND FILL OUT THE PROPER FORM TELL MANAGEMENT THAT YOU FEEL IN DANGER AND IT IS NOT SAFE. MAYBE YOUR STEWARD WILL BACK YOU UP…. NOT!!!
    5 DAY RIGHT WAY… AFTER DARK…. NO!!!! WAY!!!!

  2. Way to go Rolando. Keep fighting the Saturday thing instead of what is truly important, which is delivery after dark. This idiot is way out of touch

  3. Kudos to fed up and get real…couldn’t agree with you more! Union says scabs are stealers ….oh really? Well how many of the articles out there about carriers who are stealing are union people? Hmmmmmm not getting enough salary that you have to steal! As far as getting rid of Saturday delivery, Canada hasn’t delivered mail on Saturday since 1969 and will be going to curbside within 5 years! Ending Saturday delivery will not be the end of the world!

  4. FedUp nailed it…..Unions only fighting for their cozy ride on the backs of the working men & women of the USPS. They proved that, when they “preserved” Saturday delivery but threw new hires under the bus with added pension cost, along with greater contributions to their health benefits…anyone paying attention would have noticed that the Union will do anything, make any concession, to maintain their dues paying head count at the expense of current and future employees, not to mention the unnecessary eventual rise in mail cost that will ultimately lead to the privatization of the USPS. Piecemeal which will preclude any meaningful wage strength…….THE END IS NEAR !!!!!!!

  5. When I started 25+ yrs ago it was very rare to work after dark now it is common place. The NALC should make this a priority and stop this madness. I heard Greenwich CT carriers where out till almost 12am recently is that a professional organization? I think not. Come on Fred STOP THIS NOW BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE DIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. @FEDUP,
    First of all, you need to SHUT UP, and then go an by ones of my SAWNDSICHES.
    That is all i haves to sat todays… EAT SADWNICHES…. all day, and penis for dezerts….
    @FEDUP,
    you post to muches…

  7. Oh yeah, just look at the auto industry and what the union fought for there…ohhhhh, that’s right, they crumbled out of business to save that one job and now there is NO BUSINESS!

  8. You are right about one thing…I am NOT a union member because I have a high work ethic and care about the real issue (saving the post office) not just one job. I see the truth every day that all we deliver is advertisements and don’t have enough mail to deliver throughout a 6 day work week.

    What’s wrong with cutting Sat junk mail and continuing at least the “important” mail that brings in revenue (parcels/first class/priority). Offer an early out to the carriers who can go and who also are getting the high dollar that we “deserved” back when ALL we used to deliver was first class and it was a necessity, not a convenience as it has now become??? If you would open your mind and see that any other business has to change and adjust with the times. All the union sees is that it would lose members and members equal dues. Do you really think they care about you as an individual? No, Rolando only cares about his salary, and that comes from member dues.

    Call me a scab all you want, and try to tell me that I am “taking” what the union “gave” me and “worked” for. I work harder than any member EVERY day, and save the PO money every day by doing above and beyond…and all the union people hate me b/c I am a good worker and they tell me “I’m making them look bad.” Yea, you got me collective bargaining which means I’m working my ass off and getting paid the same amount as the lazy union slug “fighting” for more lazy slugs’ jobs!!!!

    So go sell it somewhere else, Scott. Your banter is falling on deaf ears here.

  9. Fed-Up is obviously a scab who is only interested in his Saturday off so he can watch football. Listen up: tens of thousands of people will preserve their jobs now, and all you can do is bitch about it? It’s obvious you don’t care about anybody but your own selfish ass.
    And here’s a hearty kiss our ass to PMG Donohoe, who was at the helm of this sinking ship by trying to make our services less accessible and ignoring the wishes of the public we are mandated by the Constitution to serve. Maybe this slap in your face will bring you down to size a little bit. Now, maybe you can do something right for the first time and adjust plant and office times so people will get mail at a reasonable time and carriers won’t die delivering mail after dark. In this respect, the NALC was wrong in refusing to hold the USPS to any degree of responsibility for the death of the CCA carrier in Maryland. While it’s true they couldn’t foresee the tragedy and certainly wouldn’t have wanted it to happen, their idiotic management made the risk much higher. Therefore, at least a percentage of the guilt rests squarely on their shoulders.
    Giving more to pensions would be better if the returns were more, but unless I’ve misread it, it will amount to a pay cut because new hirees won’t see a proper return reflecting the larger investment. Why Congress hates federal employees is unknown – why don’t they slash their own retirement packages? Fat chance of that happening.

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