Posts tagged ‘Congress’

NPMHU_logoThe primary message of an NPMHU-endorsed August 15, 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter by Congressman David Joyce sent to all House members is to Support the Preservation of First-Class Mail Delivery Standards. In response to the United States Postal Service’s plans to close 82 mail processing facilities throughout 37 states in January of 2015, Representative Joyce writes, “[w]e ask you to support our efforts in obtaining a one-year moratorium on the closure of these 82 processing facilities and the preservation of First-Class mail delivery standards while Congress continues to work on comprehensive postal reform.” The letter highlights the degradation of mail service, and the possible elimination of up to 15,000 Postal Service jobs. It is hoped that this one-year moratorium will give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively into the future. Continue reading ‘Dear Colleague Letter Sent to All House Members Seeking Moratorium on Postal Closures’ »

stroman2014How bad is the outlook for the Postal Service? Ronald Stroman, deputy postmaster general, doesn’t hesitate.

We’re defaulting on our retiree health benefit obligations, he explains.

We owe the Treasury $15 billion, he says.

First class mail volume is declining about 4 percent a year, he notes.

The Post Office should spend about $10 billion to upgrade its fleet of delivery vehicles and improve its sorting equipment to reflect the growing importance of package delivery, he adds.

It’s not a pretty picture. It helps explain why the Postal Service is talking about unspecified new products it expects to roll out and upgrades such as next-generation postboxes, which could hold packages for customer pickup.

(To the question, “Will you deliver groceries?,” Stroman said he couldn’t say.)

The hulking problem that looms over the Postal Service is the Congressionally imposed requirement that it prepay its retirees’ pensions and health benefits. On paper, this is why the Postal Service reports quarterly losses in the $2 billion range.

Postal Service’s bleak financial picture requires Congressional action, deputy postmaster general says

nrphase

page 1 of current facilities scheduled for consolidation or closure starting in January 2015

Stop Service Cuts and Plant Consolidations
Tell Your Congressman: Sign the Letter!

A bipartisan group in the House of Representatives – five Republicans and five Democrats – has drafted a letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee calling for a one-year moratorium on Postal Service plans to close mail processing plants and slow down mail delivery.

The letter’s authors are attempting to gather as many co-signers as possible before sending it to committee leaders.

APWU President Mark Dimondstein is asking union members and supporters to urge their U.S. representatives to sign the letter. “Union members around the country stepped over the last several weeks and persuaded half of the Senate to sign a similar letter,” he said. “We must make a strong effort to get House members to sign this letter as well.” Continue reading ‘APWU: Bipartisan Group in House calling for moratorium on USPS cuts and closures’ »

caps.h40by Don Cheney, retired Local APWU President

I would like to commend the postal employees in Cape Girardeau, Missouri for speaking out on the delay of their customers’ First-Class Mail. Federal Lawmakers call for action on delayed mail claims. Some of it was caused by the collection time of mail being moved up from 5 pm to 1:30 pm to allow for its transportation from Cape Girardeau to St. Louis. I find Vern Davidson’s quotes disturbing, “Postal Inspectors and OIG say, ‘We do not investigate service standard issues.’ A postal supervisor told me, ’‘We just have to pretend that mail isn’t here.’” Postal Service claims of no delayed First-Class Mail are a matter of public concern when there IS delayed mail, regardless of the cause or whether it is intentional.

Todd Kleffman, a reporter for The Advocate Messenger in Danville, KY, wrote recently, “It was impossible to learn how postal employees feel about the changes and how they impact the customers and communities they serve. Employees at the post offices in the area affected by reduced hours are prohibited from speaking with the media.” A restriction against speaking with the media exists only during work hours. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that posting comments online and in social media outside of work hours are protected speech. Even if It Enrages Your Boss, Social Net Speech Is Protected Continue reading ‘Postal Employees Have Free Speech Rights’ »

Senate50 Senators Tell Appropriations Committee: ‘Stop Postal Service Cuts and Plant Closures’

08/14/2014 – Half of the U.S. Senate has called for a one-year moratorium on Postal Service plans to close mail processing plants and slow down mail delivery.

An Aug. 14 signed by 50 senators said Congress should block a proposal by Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe to close as many as 82 mail processing plants; slow mail service, and eliminate up to 15,000 jobs. The letter urged leaders of a key committee to include a one-year ban on the cuts as part of must-pass legislation to keep the government running into the new fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

“This one-year moratorium will give Congress the time it needs to enact the comprehensive postal reforms that are necessary for the Postal Service to function effectively into the future,” the senators wrote in a letter to Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Richard Shelby (R-LA), the chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Continue reading ‘50 U.S. Senators Call for 1-Year Moratorium on USPS ‘Cuts and Plant Closures’’ »

donahoemadThe Postal Service needs help from Congress to stop the red ink, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told CNBC on Wednesday.

Despite an increase in package revenues and an emergency price hike that took effect in January, the agency said Monday it lost $2 billion in the second quarter.

“The problem we face … is we are required by law to prefund retiree health benefits to the tune of about $5.7 billion a year. And we don’t have enough money to make that up right now. And that’s the bulk of the losses,” Donahoe said in a “Squawk Box” interview. Continue reading ‘Video: Postmaster General blames Congress for $2 Billion loss’ »

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS LOGOAug. 11, 2014—Statement from National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric V. Rolando, on today’s U.S. Postal Service report for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2014:

The figures released today by the Postal Service show an operating profit of slightly more than $1 billion for the first three quarters of Fiscal Year 2014, continuing the operating profitability that began in October 2012. The third quarter saw mail revenue increase by $424 million.

This performance is driven by two underlying trends. As the economy improves, letter mail revenue is growing. And as more people shop online, package revenue is skyrocketing. The Internet is now a net positive for USPS, auguring well for the future as e-commerce grows. In the third quarter, which the Postal Service’s CFO called “a very good quarter in a lot of ways,” package revenue rose 6.6 percent, standard mail revenue rose 5.1 percent and first-class mail revenue was up 3.2 percent.

The red ink at USPS is attributable to non-mail factors—chiefly the 2006 congressional mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health benefits, something no other public or private entity is required to do. That annual $5.6 billion annual charge accounts for most of the “losses.” The other factor this quarter was an adjustment in workers’ compensation interest rates, which the CFO called “a technical fair-value adjustment’ just on paper.”

Given the positive mail trends, it would be irresponsible to degrade services to Americans and their businesses, which would drive away mail—and revenue—and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks. Lawmakers need to preserve and strengthen the profitable postal networks—which are the future of the USPS as it increasingly delivers not just six but seven days a week—while fixing the pre-funding fiasco.

Continue reading ‘NALC: Congress needs to preserve and strengthen USPS while fixing pre-funding’ »

usps2013Shipping and Package Services Revenue Up 6.6 Percent

· January Price Increase Offsets Continued Volume Loss in First-Class Mail, Driving All Mail Revenue Up $424 Million

· Need for Comprehensive Legislation Remains Urgent

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service ended the June 30, 2014, quarter with a net loss of $2.0 billion, compared to a net loss of $740 million for the same period last year. The Postal Service has recorded a loss in 21 of the last 23 quarters, the excepted quarters being the two in which Congress rescheduled the Retiree Health Benefits prefunding payments. Continue reading ‘USPS Reports 2.0 Percent Revenue Increase, $2.0 Billion Loss in Quarter 3’ »

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS LOGOJuly 16, 2014—The full House of Representatives voted Wednesday to preserve six-day mail delivery appropriations language by passing H.R. 5016, the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bill.

The base bill was introduced last month without the six-day provision, which has been part of appropriations bills for decades. But following extensive lobbying efforts nationwide, that language was successfully reinserted into the bill that was approved on June 25 by the House Appropriations Committee, thanks to an amendment co-sponsored by Reps. José Serrano (D-NY) and Tom Latham (R-IA).

Additionally, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) last-ditch attempt to remove the language during the House rules process was defeated earlier this month.

“Today’s victory is a major one for the NALC and our activists who have pressured lawmakers—and continue to pressure them—to support six-day mail delivery,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

Six-day mail clears major hurdle.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Chairman Issa, speaks with Rep. Cummings at Capitol Hill in WashingtonJuly 9, 2014 – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, can’t seem to give up his quest to eliminate Saturday mail delivery.

On July 8, upset that the House Appropriations Committee restored protection for six-day delivery to a funding bill, the California Republican tried to employ a parliamentary maneuver to derail the measure.

In a message to House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), Issa claimed jurisdiction over all issues related to the Postal Service, and asserted that the six-day delivery provision should be subject to a House Rule that prohibits “legislation” in general appropriations bills. Continue reading ‘Issa Tries to Derail Six-Day Delivery – Again!’ »