Posts tagged ‘Congress’

houseLogoPrintA spending bill to keep government agencies open appears poised to clear Congress this week, though the final iteration of the measure remains unclear.

Lawmakers in the House debated the continuing resolution, which would fund agencies and avoid a government shutdown until Dec. 11, at length on Tuesday, with members of both parties agreeing the stopgap measure was poor practice but unfortunately necessary.

The measure avoids more controversial provisions, such as addressing the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to close 82 facilities nationwide in 2015. A majority of senators and 160 House representatives wrote to their respective appropriations committees asking that any spending bill delay closures for one year.

Government Executive

houseLogoPrintA large body of Members of the House of Representatives — 160 strong — today called upon House appropriations leaders to include in the stopgap funding bill a one-year moratorium on the closure of the 82 mail processing facilities that are slated for consolidation by USPS, beginning January 2015. The 82 plants are located in 37 states.

The sizable contingent of House members made their appeal for the moratorium in a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) and others.  Continue reading ‘160 House Members Urge USPS Plant Closure Moratorium’ »

apwulogo213Why Congress Can’t Get It Done

Why can’t Congress get anything done on postal reform? It seems I’m asked that question all the time – in conversations at conferences and conventions, in letters, phone calls and email correspondence.

In part, the answer is a lack of understanding by members of Congress about how the USPS works and how much authority the legislature has ceded to the Postmaster General. He has slowed down America’s mail and entered into “partnerships” with private industry that undermine the public Postal Service without congressional consent. Continue reading ‘Why can’t Congress get anything done on postal reform?’ »

jimfalveyrolando2014

Jim Falvey and NALC National President Fredric Rolando

Portland Communities and Postal Workers United
Our President Jim Falvey made it into the Big O (Oregonian, the newpaper of record in Oregon).  He called the editor and argued for an “In Response” opportunity and got it.  This exchange started with a series of articles on the visit of the Deputy PMG, our protest and Portland Communities and Postal Workers United’s  press release.  Keep fighting for that free media!  Keep those cards and letters coming!
Solidarity!
Jamie Partridge
503-752-5112

Congress has created Postal Service crisis: Guest opinion

Guest Columnist on August 28,2014
By Jim Falvey  (President, NALC Branch #82 (Portland Oregon)

Thanks to The Oregonian for again engaging the debate about the future of the U.S. Postal Service. While Congress is certainly key to a long-term solution to USPS woes, the current postal management is using a phony financial crisis to dismantle the largest, most efficient, reliable and affordable communications and delivery system in the world. Continue reading ‘NALC Branch President Jim Falvey: Congress has created Postal Service crisis’ »

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

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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’ »