Senate Poised to Act on Destructive Postal Bill

Fredric Rolando, President
National Association of Letter Carriers

As the Senate reconvenes in Washington, the NALC is closely monitoring expected Senate action for this and the coming weeks. With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announcing late last week that he would be delaying a floor vote for the controversial anti-piracy bills pending before Congress, the Senate schedule now has unexpected floor time that will need to be filled. All indications are that the leadership plans on moving S. 1789, the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2011, as early as next week. S. 1789, in its current form, is unacceptable to the NALC and to many stakeholders and customers throughout the country.

The bill as reported out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs fell short of achieving the many needed reforms to ensure a vibrant Postal Service for the future.

The legislation:

  • Allows for five-day delivery in two years’ time if the Postal Service is not turning a profit, but fails to give the Postal Service any flexibility to achieve that profit.
  • Phases out door-to-door delivery in favor of curbside and centralized delivery.
  • Fails to recoup the $55 billion to $75 billion in CSRS pension surplus funds.
  • Does not go far enough in restructuring the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund.
  • Includes an anti-labor provision that would direct arbitrators to take into special consideration the financial condition of the Postal Service before rendering a decision.
  • Unfairly attacks injured postal workers by removing them from the OWCP rolls and forcing them into retirement without implementing a formula that would make these people whole. The reduction in compensation would be severe.

Please call Sen. Kay Hagen at (202) 224-6342 and ask her to oppose S. 1789 in its current form. The legislation is deeply flawed and needs significant changes before the Senate should consider passage of this bill.

Changes to the bill should include provisions from S. 1853, The Postal Service Protection Act of 2011. This bill takes the necessary steps by addressing the issues laid out above to strengthen the Postal Service while maintaining the excellent level of service Americans have come to expect, preserving middle-class jobs and creating new opportunities for the Postal Service moving forward.

Again, please call Sen. Hagen as soon as possible and urge her to delay action on S. 1789 as drafted. We expect the Senate to pass legislation that protects senior citizens, rural communities, small businesses and others and we hope to be at the table as those discussions are held.

Thank you in advance for your urgent action.

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