GOP bill would eliminate union representation and other protections for new postal workers

A bill introduced by GOP congressman Todd Rokita of Indiana would eliminate civil service protections, including the right to union representation for all new federal employees, including new postal workers.

A key provision of Rokita’s “Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency (PAGE) Act” states:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any employee in the civil service (as that term is defined in section 2101 of title 5, United States Code) hired on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act shall be hired on an at-will basis. Such an employee may be removed or suspended, without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.

The bill also says that

The term “employee” has the meaning given such term in section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, and includes any officer or employee of the United States Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission.

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said “Giving political appointees and the managers who serve them free reign to punish workers without cause, while removing the checks and balances that keep everyone honest, is the antithesis of accountability.”

In addition, the bill would

  • Deny any pay adjustment whatsoever to workers who fail to receive a performance rating above “fully successful” in a new, management-designed rating system that would inevitably allow subjectivity, favoritism, and politics to influence ratings.
  • Allow the government to deny earned pensions to any current or future employee who is convicted of a felony.
  • Eliminate an employee’s right to representation at the worksite by no longer allowing union representatives to resolve disputes, address issues of discrimination or retaliation, or propose improvements in the workplace during the workday.
  • Allow agencies to continue workplace investigations even after employees have quit or retired.
  • Allow political appointees to demote career executives and reduce their pay without cause.

Source: AFGE: House Bill Touting Government Accountability, Efficiency Does Neither

 

  • Nanette Folsom

    So it begins…..

  • Bob D

    Goodbye Middle class.

  • Hikerloser

    I know lots of Postal employees that are republicans. I hope this affects them directly and that they see the folly of their thinking.

  • Jim Dorin

    Here is the truth. The post office is in trouble only because it had a requirement put on it by President Bush and his congress that NO OTHER business has ever had put on it and no other business could possibly survive if it had that requirement put on it. The Post Office is required to prefund their retirement healthcare 75 years into the future. Why do this to them? One, to put such a burden on them that it would cause the need to break up and privatize, making some people very rich. Two, when broken up, the pension fund money could then be used as a piggy bank for other things. Three, so the anti union people could say, “you see what the unions did to the post office!” People should start realizing they are being played like fiddles and tricked into hating their middle class neighbor, while some rich guys are walking away with the whole store. Wake up and smell the house burning down.

  • Ross Anthony Ceppetelli

    We all know conservatives aren’t for the post office. Democrats are so abhorent we vote republican despite the obvious reason not to.

  • Catherine

    Yep

  • Tom Burnett

    The middle class was at its most robust in this country when union membership — with its job protections — was high.

  • Jamie Schecter

    This new proposal is not surprising coming from Rokita. He is your basic sociopath Republican without an ounce of compassion for others. For him, it is all about his biases and agenda.

    fwiw….I will continue to ship via USPS whenever possible. In fact, I shipped something yesterday. Total convenience that I was able to schedule and have it picked up at my door for far less than private carriers.

    I am going to write my elected officials today to complain about this ridiculous bill.

  • DutchS

    Well, for 50+ years, people have been complaining about the way unions coddled incompetent or dishonest workers. And for 50+ years, others have blown off those complaints in the smug belief nobody would ever be able to do anything about it. Well guess what. You know, 90% of this could have been avoided if people had simply corrected problems when they were first pointed out, instead of letting them grow until the anger level boiled over.

  • DutchS

    Totally true. And why couldn’t other businesses do it? They had fully funded pensions and let them dissolve.

  • Cheer Up

    The rise in spree and mass killings coincides with the decline of unions.

    When people feel abused they take matters into their own hands, that’s a fact of nature. Unions provide an outlet to ameliorate workplace problems/violence before it happens.

    The country is less safe without unions.

  • GAILNY

    Unfortunately, unions are a necessary evil otherwise we’d be just like third world countries that pay their workers 50 cents an hour with 7 day work weeks and no holidays. In other words, slave labor. On the flip side, yes their are people who exploit these rights that come with union protection. A day’s work for a day’s pay is fair for both sides but a**holes exist on both sides and ruin it for the good, on both sides.

  • John Doe

    “Allow the government to deny earned pensions to any current or future employee who is convicted of a felony.”

    This provision is straight up theft especially in the Southern states where such an extreme number of violations are categorized as felonies. No other region has as many “felonies.” Of course, its a great way to sustain business for for-profit prisons when there is a wave of Gray Crime driven by gross poverty.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    I’m SO hoping that all the folks who voted these criminals into office are those who get hit worst by their depredations.

  • Ladychief

    This is very scary. Thank goodness I am retiring this year. With a bill like this very few people will retire especially from the USPS. At least if you are one the real workers: Carriers, Clerks, Man handlers work the butts off and are constantly hassled by management. If this bill were to pass none of us would ever retire. They would just fire us if we got sick, got hurt, grew old, didn’t like the way we looked, refused to perform an unsafe act, the list goes on and on. WOW, how crazy this would be, but don’t worry congressman Todd Rokita retirement can never be taken away from him.

  • Carol Rohrer

    I think it is a push to try to get the Post Office to go under so that the Feds can take it back over and get their hands on the 70 Billion dollar retirement/healthcare fund

  • Anxietous

    So all of the current employees will be grandfathered in? Meaning only new hires will be subject to this demeaning state of existence? Yeah, THAT’s a great way to have a happy and harmonious workplace. If you do the same job as the guy next to you, but he can’t get fired and gets a pension? Like they wouldn’t realize this and get pissed? People are envious creatures.

  • allyn4u

    According to govtrack.us this bill (HR 6278) is dead. Since it was introduced in the 114th Congress (last year), “Legislation not enacted by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.” The sad part is it could be re-introduced, and given the rationale that Republicans are empowered by their majorities in Congress, they would probably tweak this bill to make it harsher for the working (wo)man. Heavy sigh.

  • postalnews

    You’re correct that the bill introduced last session is “dead”, but so was the repeal of Obamacare. …

  • Eric Domejean

    Sounds like good old seniority at work again.