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NAPS: Senate Could Take Up Postal Measure Soon

From the National Association of Postal Supervisors:

Senate Could Take Up Postal Measure Soon

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has told his Democratic colleagues that he intends to schedule floor time in February for the consideration of comprehensive postal reform legislation.  The Senate returns next week from its month-long holiday recess to begin the new session. The House returned this week.

According to Senate staff, Reid’s scheduling plan looks to Senate action on postal reform before mid-February.  It envisions postal reform as the second item of business in the new session, following Senate action on internet piracy legislation. Reid intends to bring the internet legislation to the floor next week, but growing controversy over the legislation is generating significant opposition, potentially scrambling Reid’s scheduling plans.

Meanwhile, the bipartisan team of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) are readying a postal legislative package for floor action.  Their bill, S. 1789, was approved as amended on November 9 by the Senate Commitee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.  A number of other Senators are likely to offer further amendments when the bill comes to the floor.

Also, action on the payroll tax holiday legislation, which the Congress extended for only two months in December, will also occupy Senate (and House) floor time in February.  Because differing versions were approved by the two chambers, Senate and House conferees will begin to meet next week to start to hammer out the differences.  The current extension expires on February 29.  A crucial part of the House-approved approach toward financing the payroll tax holiday, which NAPS opposes, would increase the FERS and CSRS retirement contributions of current postal and federal employees by 1.5 percent over the next three years.  It also would extend the two-year federal employee pay freeze by an additional year.

Growing Critism of USPS Plant Consolidation on Capitol Hill

In other developments, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), became one of the  latest members of Congress to go on record against the proposed closure of up to 252 of about 461 mail processing facilities.  The USPS plant consolidation plan, which would eliminate nearly 30,000 jobs, has unleashed a flood of criticism from Washington lawmakers.

“This plan has profoundly negative implications for timely and  reliable mail service in northern, western and eastern Maine, a  geographically vast and rural area of our state,” Snowe said in a news  release after visiting an eastern Maine processing and distribution  facility that employs 183 people and is slated for consolidation with  another plant.  She described herself as “unpersuaded” by the merits of the USPS plant consolidation plan, and believes it would “disproportionately slow down mail  delivery to rural areas of Maine.”

Sentiments like these prompted the Postal Service last month to impose a moratorium on  closings of all processing plants and post offices until mid-May,  although closure and consolidation studies will proceed.  The Postal Service is also pursuing a change in service standards that will drop  overnight delivery of first-class mail.  NAPS opposes the proposed change in service standards and has intervened in the Postal Regulatory Commission’s review of the change.  NAPS also favors “right-sizing” of the postal plant network, rather than closure of as significant a number of plants as USPS plans in order to save costs.

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Bruce Moyer

Legislative Counsel to NAPS

  • Annonymus

    Instead of ripping the organization apart all top leadership salaries should be scrutinized for reduction, along with the political leaders as well. Since they seem to be interested only in their personal gain, I doubt it will ever happen.

    USPS has so many departments that are nonessential to the core function. After 35 years I see corruption At the top has hurt us the most.

  • jo

    Any decision on the post office must take into account the fact that there are still too many in management with far too much downtime.Too many “friends” were given suspect jobs and with the tanked economy,the internet and the pre funding,the house of cards fell and the chickens came home to roost.The workers are the scapegoats as usual.This must be told because the postal gag order prevents current workers from speaking out on such important issues.

  • unforgiven

    Get off the hate management bandwagon, currently the real problem is congress. The reality is that it doesn’t matter if the Senate considers postal legislation to fix the problem unless Darrel Issa drops dead from the evil in his heart and is replaced by a politician of higher standards(which is almost anyone else in Congress, sad to say).

  • georgeb

    the post officce cant stop employees from speaking off the clock

  • Martin Jarmulowicz

    How much do you want to bet that the mail volume will bounce back after all the union contracts are settled?
    With the USPS delivering outside vendors parcels via Parcel Select services it is adding to our volume of parcels, this saves UPS and FedEx from having to pay there employees or use there vehicles to deliver and it gets them universal service and with the return service, the post office makes as much on a parcel as it would if it took it over the window and put it in its system. Reducing the work force via VOE is not only a good solution it looks needed, after returning to a P &DC on Tour 1 after 6 years at an AO, alot of the work force look like the walking dead, by us out and lets move on.

  • Hotchie

    yeah Martin, The big mailers are putting their own profits and business growth on the back burner just to screw the working man. Millions of Americans are opting for online bill pay just temporarily until our contracts are settled. Walking dead? try BRAINDEAD…

  • Hmmm

    When USPS struck in 1970s and the army was brought in to move the mail, things ground to a halt because the soldiers did not know the mail sorting schemes. Carriers were expected to be able to sort their routes for delivery each morning in the office. Then slowly the mail sorting machines became faster and smarter. Now two people can sort more mail than can be delivered in a day. Carriers only have to work in mail received that is not in delivery sequence. Face it, the professional and knowledgeable employee at USPS has been obsoleted. There is now a need for minimum wage folks to carry out the prepped mail and bring back what is awaiting collection. This is the future of the service if it is to survive. The USPS does not exist to provide access to the middle class or employment opportunities for any particular group. It exists to process mail and as the need for that service shrinks, so must the business.

  • Fed Up Clerk

    I know…..why don’t we take all of the offices that are closed daily for lunch and open them back up for business. I stood in our office today and watched as 10-15 customers came to the door wanting to use our services. Some with arm loads of parcels. Our office has been closed for lunch for 8-9 years now, and customers still yank on our door like this on a daily basis. The Postmaster sits in the office listening to it every day. Isn’t that lost revenue? Not to mention customer satisfaction that the Postal Service claims to care about? Come on!! How can a business make money when they’re closed?? I just don’t understand…………..

  • Nutzy

    The Senate needs to look at the 37 vice presidents and their salary which is more than A cabinet secretary plus bonuses.Also the golden parachute The last PMG took.Not to mention the current incompent PMG.I do not think he would get paid in the private sector.Shutting down to make gains.This guy is clueless!!!