Baucus Introduces Bill to Aid Cash-Strapped Postal Service, Keep Remote Rural Offices Open

(Washington, D.C.) – Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus introduced a bill today to address the most serious financial burden threatening to push the Postal Service into default. At the same time, the bill also prevents the Postal Service from closing the most remote rural Post Offices.

"The Postal Service has serious budget troubles to tackle, and Congress has a responsibility to play its part. This bill provides the life preserver the Postal Service needs to stay above water while we work together to find longer-term solutions to preserve the postal services and jobs Montanans depend on," Baucus said.

Baucus’ bill builds on legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by adding the protection for rural offices. Postal workers recently rallied in support of the House bill at Post Offices across Montana.

Baucus’ Bill does two things:

1. Prevents the Postal Service from closing any Post Office where another office is not available within 10 miles

The Postal Service has claimed that nationwide 90 percent of the post offices they are studying for closure are within 10 miles of another post office. Baucus has pointed out that among the 85 rural Montana offices the Post Office is studying, approximately 90 percent are actually farther than 10 miles from another office. And in some cases the next nearest office is also being studied for closure.

2. Provide the Postal Service approximately $7 billion in financial relief to avoid default this year

The Postal Service is currently required to pre-fund it’s retiree health benefits. Postmaster Patrick Donahoe has said the upcoming $5.5 billion payment threatens to push the Postal Service into default. At the same time, it is estimated the Postal Service has overpaid into another retirement fund, the Federal Employee Retirement System, by approximately $6.9 billion. Baucus’ bill would require the Office of Personnel Management to calculate the exact overpayment the Postal Service has made and use that money to cover the Postal Service’s current payment into the retiree health benefits fund and ease the burden of next year’s payment. Baucus also supported a provision in the recently passed Continuing Resolution to delay the immediate health benefits payment while Congress works towards a longer-term solution.

Full text of Baucus’ bill is available HERE.

  • Tampa Steve

    The Issa/Ross bill is fatal to the USPS and the economy. Why is it that these two morons along with McCain, want to destroy the Service, ruin the economy and place thousands of workers on unemployment? It will effect every aspect of the nation.

  • firedonabloe

    Senator Baucus, I am a carrier from Seattle. There is only 1 fix for this scam to destroy our postal service. Fire Donahoe and do an audit of postal management. Management’s actions without congressional approval have proven to us all their motives. This needs immediate action from the white house or our Postal service will be stolen by the privatizers. Just look at the Netherlands last year when their postal service privatized. Now they have 3 different postal companies. 1 delivers 1 day a week, 1 2 days a week and the last 3 days a week to half as many stops and many places have no mail at all. We need action right now before it’s too late. Fire all management and let the crafts who work the mail manage our own peers. It can be done!

  • firedonabloe

    But let’s add to this idea. Move all the managers in the postal service to Issa’s district and let the carriers, clerks and mail handlers run the rest. Issa’s post office will close the 1st day because management fired all their workers to save their own salaries

  • firedonabloe

    Create a new t6 position for daily operations and have the 6 most senior carriers switch off every day. This way we will be managed by our peers and not make work inbred micro- managers. The current management scam has no accountability and think the postal service needs them. WE DON’T! The other crafts can do the same.
    Eliminate 110,000 managers equals 7 billion 150 million dollars in savings. Create 10k new t6’s to replace management costs only 500 million. It can be done. This is what our union should be pushing for. Then we won’t have to negotiate with a middle man like we are with management. It will be with an arbitrator. It goes to arbitration every contract anyway.

  • firedonabloe

    Just as long as the arbitrators are regulated by the NLRB or the PRC and not a phony commission to stall the government action in their favor. Just like Issa’s kill our Postal service commission. I have been watching H.R. 1351,s progress every day and can’t help but wonder why with 222 cosponsors it has seen no action for over a week now. Why hasn’t the bill been reported by committee while the Issa Ross bill H.R.. 2309 has 1 cosponsor and is further along? Or is 2309 just to run out the clock on 1351. Our American voters will not stand for this and will remember this in 2012.

  • Vader

    What short memories. We tried “self managed” units in the 90’s and it was a complete failure. You have to have a work ethic for that to work…

  • Ted Shackleford

    It doesn’t say anything about Saturday delivery.

  • firedonabloe

    Hey Vader, Where was this? It’s a total lie. The only self managed routes are low bidder hiway contract routes that were stopped because of theft by the subcontracted carriers that were paid $3 an hour and had to pay their own gas. Nice try mr manager.

  • firedonabloe

    You have to have a living wage to care about your postal customers. Management dosn’t seem to have this work ethic. Why is this true?

  • Tampa Steve

    I an count on both hands the number of supervisors and managers who truly cared about our mission and the employees. The rest either “played the game” or were crappy craft employees who didn’t want to do the real work to meet the needs of our customers.

  • firedonabloe

    Say the average pay for the 110,000 managers nationwide is $65,000. This is $7150000000. 7 BILLION 150 Million DOLLORS a year. Donabloe says we are losing 8 billion and have to lay off 220,000 workers. The OIG and postal inspectors work for management and target mainly the workers. They are fully aware this is going on but do nothing. $65,000 is a low average not including the bonuses and perk they give themselves. This figure could easily be beyond 15 billion. FIRE THEM ALL OR AT LEAST SOMEONE INVESTIGATE IT, PLEASE!!! We just want to work and make it to retirement.

  • cb196

    Vader, You are 100 percent correct. I have been a letter carrier for 32 years, (don’t have the age to retire or I would have.) Most carriers in the big cities don’t have work ethics. They have 300 stops and can’t get there routes finished on time. There would be a war between the hard workers and the slackers. The slackers hollar at the fast workers to slow down your making us look bad and the hard workers are hollaring at the slackers saying no wonder we are going out of buisness. It would never work. What we do need is if you can’t do the job you should be fired, not be promoted to a higher position. All Government jobs are so screwed up.

  • firedonabloe

    cb196, If you are a carrier with 32 years you will be the one managing the so called hard workers and the so called slakers. If you even are a carrier for this long then you remember reference volume. 8 hours volume for 8 hours pay. This is what YOU would be enforcing. The so called hard workers would be kissing YOUR ass for more overtime. RIGHT MR MANAGER!

  • Lionsdan

    firedonabloe, You worry to much.

  • mike

    Don’t forget about all the management that sat around for like 6 months till September and did nothing but get paid since all thier districts closed earlier this year nobody has even metioned that.

  • Tampa Steve

    Nothing will happen until they get the authority to lay off employees. They can move us, but guess what? We’re still getting paid. Let management stress all they want. Go in every day, work hard and go home. Leave your problems at the door…. both coming and going.

  • routechecker01

    Go to evaluated routes. Eliminates the 5-10% slacker carriers. Eliminates #1 grievance ot. Gets rid of alot of supervisors. This would reward good carriers and motivate uninspired carriers. Right now system is setup to reward bad performers and punish good performers. Carriers make sure you tell that to your congressman.

  • Doogie Hauser

    Well in our plant we have approx 20 clerks, mailhandlers on T3, we have 4 managers/supervisors and usually 1 ET. But the ET is lucky as 3 of teh management team there will come and watch him work wile the machine is down. They may even help him by pushing every button they can find.. Im sure they deserve thier 60-90K a year for thier hard work.. And unfortunately, I am that ET way too often..

  • routechecker01

    Good to go.

  • firedonabloe

    No, we all don’t worry enough. It’s time for action. Before it’s too late. Even if H.R. 1351 gets signed into law by Obama do you really think this will stop management’s privatizing and their violations of the contract? No they will continue to pay their salaries with our jobs. Look around you! They are doing all this without any approval on a daily continuing plan. If it isn’t stopped soon there will be no more USPS. You can pick up your mail at Wal-Mart.

  • firedonabloe

    Please ask the PMG why management has increased 28% while the craft has decreased 20% since 2000. Carriers and clerks and all the craft workers are sick and tired of paying management’s salaries with our jobs. Why is 20% of the USPS sub-contracted? Already 1 in 5 postal jobs have been privatized. It needs to stop, NOW!! Seattle is in a battle right now to save our mailrooms which are foot routes. Seattle management seems to think that giving 44 routes in downtown Seattle a vehicle and converting high rise buildings to a park and loop route will save money. WHERE? HOW? Every single postal customer in downtown Seattle is against this insane plan. Management is still steamrolling it through. Help Us!!

  • firedonabloe

    No, this insane plan will only breed more inbred make work micro managers. It will force Seattle downtown business customers to pay a $1700 will call fee every 6 months to pick up their own mail. The idiot manager who planned this scam retired Oct 1st. If they manage like this then even H.R. 1351 won’t be enough to save our postal service.

  • firedonabloe

    Last Action: H.R. 2309

    Sep 21, 2011: House Oversight and Government Reform: Ordered to be Reported in the Nature of a Substitute (Amended) by Voice Vote.
    This is another voice vote that started all of this like in 2006. This delays any action on H.R. 1351. Yea, our elected officials have our backs. Vote them all out in 2012!

  • lady postal worker

    Really, the fact that the managers don’t care is true. I am a seventeen year veteran in the carrier craft. When I first started there was one boss who adequately managed 45 routes. Then computers came in to play. They hired 3 more supervisors to man the same amount of routes go figure! My boss now sits on her *** all day and reads or listens to music on the radio. We get zero direction from her and basically manage ourselves (with the exception of a few slackers). We know what needs to be done and how to do it efficiently. Funny the slackers get the easiest work they take six hours to do four hours and take extended lunches to the tune of an hour and a half and pretty much do whatever they please. The workers on the other hand get more demands and are told “you weren’t ask to work that way!” and are pulled into the office about stupid crap. We have the potential to save money and our postmaster listens to our suggestions and does the opposite. It’s like she wants the postal service to sink. I just don’t get it. We don’t need micro managing we need to seriously bring back EI(employee involvement) and the suggestion box. Only this time listen we work here and we know how things should be done. Oh yea and the bosses should punch a clock if anyone is stealing it’s not the carriers. Our times are accurate we punch the clock. The last two offices I have worked in the bosses are there less than thirty hours a week and come and go as they please. Monitor them!!