The National Association of Letter Carriers issued the following statement in response to the postal reform bill introduced by Senator Tom Carper:
In conjunction with a Senate subcommittee hearing held May 17 on the financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service, Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) introduced a new version of the Postal Operations Sustainment and Transformation Act.
The POST Act, introduced as Senate bill S. 1010, would fairly resolve the pension and retiree health pre-funding burdens that have crippled the Postal Serviceâ€™s finances in recent years. It would require the Office of Personnel Management to fairly calculate the postal surpluses in the CSRS and FERS pension plans and allow the USPS to use the recovered funds to pay the heavy cost of pre-funding future retiree health. The bill would also provide greater freedom to use the USPSâ€™s networks to offer new products and services to generate new revenue, including the delivery of beer and wine and the provision of services for state and local governments.
NALC strongly supports the POST Actâ€™s retirement cost provisions and the new commercial freedoms it offers. These provisions would restore the long-term viability of the Postal Service. Unfortunately, the bill is marred by two provisions that we cannot supportâ€”the elimination of six-day mail delivery service and the addition of pro-management changes to the law governing collective bargaining disputes. The bill would allow the USPS to unilaterally cut the number of delivery days from six to fiveâ€”or even to four or three daysâ€”without congressional authorization. And it would permanently mandate the consideration of three pro-management instructions to interest arbitrators (with no balancing worker considerations) before issuing an award to resolve contract impasses in the future. We believe that the delivery frequency provision is unwise and that the arbitration changes are both unfair and unnecessary.
The Carper billâ€™s introduction follows the introduction of a similar bill by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), The Postal Service Improvement Act of 2011, or S. 353, earlier this year. The Collins bill includes the core retirement cost reforms in the Carper bill. NALC believes a narrow finance bill that enjoys the broad support of the postal industry and wide bipartisan backing in Congress has the best chance of enactment. We look forward to working with Sens. Carper and Collins in the Senate and with a growing bipartisan group in the House that has endorsed the Lynch bill, H.R. 1351, to ensure the continued provision of universal postal services.