April 17, 2013 — NALC President Fredric Rolando was among those called to testify today on Capitol Hill before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Postal Service’s financial situation.
The hearing began with several representatives accusing Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Mickey Barnett of backing away from USPS’s announced plan to reduce the number of delivery days each week from six to five beginning in August because of intense pressure from postal unions.
But under closer questioning from lawmakers, Barnett and Government Accountability Office Comptroller General Gene Dodaro made it clear that the decision not to unilaterally reduce the delivery schedule resulted from the need to follow the law, which calls for a six-day delivery schedule.
Rolando said that on the merits, eliminating Saturday delivery would be a costly mistake that would not only make it harder for the Postal Service to grow the business but also would cost money by driving away customers.
Testifying alongside Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on the second panel, President Rolando said it was not necessary to reopen postal union contracts in search of cost savings. “Renegotiating contracts is unnecessary,” the president said, “because our recently arbitrated agreement allows us to look for ways to work with the Postal Service to find cost reductions, in health care expenses and in an improved route adjustment process.
“Before we start make changes to the workforce or to the delivery schedule,” Rolando said, “we need to focus on deciding what Postal Service’s mission is.“
Committee members should focus on finding ways to strengthen the Postal Service for the future, not on slashing services and dismantling the universal network, he said.
“I don’t see where this is a partisan issue,” he told the committee. “This is America’s Postal Service.”