Congressman Issa’s summary of his new “reform” bill

Darrell-Issa-007Darrell Issa has proposed a modified version of the postal “reform” bill he introduced last session, but was unable to convince the members of his own party to support. Here is Issa’s summary of his new peoposal:

In order to solicit broad stakeholder input on the Postal Reform Act of 2013 prior to introduction, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is posting a discussion draft of new legislation along with several summary documents. Feedback can be sent directly to OGRPostalReform@mail.house.gov.

Key Documents:
Discussion Draft Text of Postal Reform Act of 2013
Postal Reform Act Highlights
PRA Discussion Draft Section by Section Summary
PRA Changes 2011 to 2013

Highlights:

  • Prevents Taxpayer Bailouts.  Right now the Postal Service is hurtling toward complete insolvency.  If USPS cannot pay its bills, the American taxpayer will almost certainly be asked to pick up the tab. This plan will give the Postal Service new tools to cut costs and restructure its finances, while ensuring it has the capital necessary to do so.
  • Allows the Postal Service to Shift to a Modified-Saturday Delivery Schedule.  The Postal Reform Act will allow the Postal Service to maintain Saturday delivery of packages and medicine while phasing out the Saturday delivery of mail- like bills and advertisements.  According to Ipsos, this change is supported by 80 percent of the American people.  It will save at least $2 billion annually.
  • Offers an Affordable Payment Plan for Retiree Health Care Benefits.  The legislation will restructure the Postal Service’s plan to fully fund its retiree health care benefit.  Starting in 2014, all future payments will be based strictly on an actuarial calculation designed to achieve full funding in 2056. Past due prefunding payments are covered in the restructured payment plan.
  • Brings New Leadership in to Manage the Postal Service During Restructuring.  The legislation will replace the current part-time Board of Governors with a temporary panel of 5 full-time executives that have a clear mandate to turn around the agency and implement cost-cutting reforms.  Once the Postal Service is able to earn a profit and has a path forward to ensure it can meet its obligations to its retirees, the temporary panel dissolves and the Board of Governors is reconstituted.
  • Modernizes Mail Delivery.  The legislation will begin to standardize how mail is received around the nation by phasing out the expensive “to the door” delivery of mail, which only a quarter of addresses receive today, in favor of curbside and secure clusterbox delivery – the delivery modes more than 70 percent of the nation already receive.  This will save $4 billion or more annually.
  • Normalizes Rates.  With mail volume in a long-term decline, the legislation will phase out many special rates for certain customers that force the Postal Service to actually charge certain customers less than the true cost of delivery, while preserving the ability of non-profits to fundraise and communicate in an economical manner.
  • Ends Special Treatment for Political Parties.  The legislation immediately eliminates the ability of the national and state political committees to use the non-profit mail rate.
  • Normalizes Pay & Benefits.  The legislation requires postal workers to pay the same premium contribution that other federal workers now pay for health and life insurance benefits and clarifies the existing compensation parity required to exist between postal and private sector workers.
  • Enables Postal Service to Pursue New Revenue.  The Postal Reform Act allows USPS to sell advertising space on vehicles and facilities and offer state and local services, such as the sale of fishing licenses.
  • Uses Surpluses in Pension Accounts to Help Address Other Employee Benefit Costs.  The legislation will create a permanent mechanism that ensures projected surpluses in the Postal Service’s pension system do not go to fund operating losses at the Postal Service, but instead protect other benefits already earned by its employees.
  • Subjects Postal Workers to Same Reduction in Force Regime as other Federal Workers.  No-layoff clauses are prospectively barred in Postal Service collective bargaining agreements.  Postal employees would be subject to the same Reduction-in-Force authority as the rest of the federal workforce.  Any employees who lose their job due to current restructuring will have preferential hiring status among Postal Service contractors.

 

  • RandyF

    Ok, so now this guy wants Postal Workers to be Federal Employees? Ok, that’s cool. Now we can enjoy those “bonus” holidays that the rest of the fed gets when major holidays fall on a Thursday or Tuesday. For that, we are not feds.

    Doesn’t look at all like just another anti-worker, anti-union piece of claptrap legislation to me. Maybe he might get more than the one or two co-sponsors that his last piece of crap mustered.

    • LiamSkye

      Well, no, he just wants postal workers to pay more for their benefits and not enjoy the other benefits of being regular federal employees.

      • Michael Thielke

        Isaa do the math, where you going to save $4 billion by installing cluster boxes. First of all you have to buy them for the whole country. That will cost zillions. Then you get a contractor who will over charge you to put them it. At present, the contractor is charging about $1100 to install each unit.. Where is the savings? Maybe you got stock in the manufacturing company and the over charging contractor. duh duh. Issa you don’t pay for health care, you got a lot of perks that the taxpayers are paying for. If if a politician resigns, ie. Wiener, Wu they still get $50,000 a year. Why don’t you cut their pension and some of your perks.

  • san

    i would ad to offer city carriers an evaluated route like the rurals and take any refund money to offer early outs

    • tbird1

      sure if the rural route is evaluated for 6 hr and you can do it in 4 that’s 2 hrs of free money to rural carrier for doing nothing, city have to actually work to get paid or use annual leave to get paid if they want to leave early. does that make sense?

      • Jenn Miller

        Because you can take half days, we rurals can’t! Oh and after your 8 hours are you bringing or towing your vehicle home to get fixed?? Didn’t think so! In the last year in a half I have worked, yet not gotten paid 3 separate times, and a zero check doesn’t work when I was there and then you wait numerous pay periods to get it fixed! If only I had a LLV I wouldn’t have to wait on ema when My boss messes up. Also you probably have a sub? I haven’t for over 8 Months so, You should whine some more, I have to keep at least 2 vehicles at all times, I’ve worked for USPS for 16 years and I have never taken a break during the day, how much do you milk the employer???

  • benny

    80% of the american people approve?…could swear he told that same lie last time

    • sa

      its more like 95

    • chuck

      Its what ever flavor of the day with him to get someone to agree with him. He’s acually stalling every plan that comes up because he knows its going under with the current laws inplace that rule how usps can do business. He wins either way! He Hates usps

    • san

      its more like 95%

  • Ray R

    How about just dissolving the postal service now and letting FedEx or UPS pick up the pieces? No reason the taxpayers should be on the hook for this lousy service, anyway.

    • schnufus

      UPS is gonna be on strike soon. Won’t that be a mess.

      • Ray R

        Service will still probably be better than what the USPS provides now.

        • Michael Cruise

          You’re a clown. There isn’t anything serious about you.

          • Ray R

            Actually, quite the opposite. However, if I’ve provided you with something to mull over while giving you a laugh, then my job is done here.

          • chuck

            You probaly failed the postal exam and are now bitter!

        • chuck

          I’ll bet your favorite person is Rush on fox

    • Michael Cruise

      You speak for yourself and not the majority of Americans. I’ve never had a problem with USPS service but, then, I don’t have a political agenda in all of this. Privatization only ever ends up costing citizens more.

      • Ray R

        See above. I suspect I represent a younger generation that really doesn’t see much of a need for “snail mail.”

        • chuck

          Then put your money where your mouth is and take it down. Pay fedex and ups…

        • common sense

          I suspect the people who spent $65 billion last year do see a need for it. If you don’t, then don’t use it. It’s pretty simple- even a child should be able to figure that one out!

    • Mailman

      Dear Ray, you would be AMAZED at the packages that FED EX and UPS pay the USPS to deliver. They do this because we can do it cheaper. Google surepost and smartpost.

      • Ray R

        See above. I don’t mind paying more for better service. I certainly don’t enjoying paying to receive misdirected mail.

        • chuck

          Just take it down…and shove it you know where!!!

        • common sense

          When did you pay to receive misdirected mail?

    • tbird1

      as your avatar assumes your very patriotic, do you believe in the constitution? it says there has to be a postal service, you should check it out for yourself sometime, i’m not making it up. what makes it lousy, you can’t buy stock in it?

      • Ray R

        Article 1, Section 8. However, while the Congress is empowered to establish post roads and post offices, it is not a requirement. It is simply given the ability to do so. When the postal union tried to prevent the Post Office department from being turned into the USPS in 1970 (which, ironically, stemmed from the postal strike earlier that year), the Supreme Court agreed that the mail was not required to be delivered nor publicly subsidized. It was strictly a Congressional prerogative.

        As to what makes it lousy, I’m not sure if it’s a culture problem, a managerial problem, or both. I do know that as rates have climbed, the service has deteriorated. Quite frankly, the only mail I receive nowadays is either junk and the odd package sent from a supplier who is too cheap to use UPS or FedEx. Yet it’s odd; my mailbox is constantly filled with mail for my neighbors, for people in other towns and people who moved years ago. I just simply hand-deliver the mail for my neighbors and shove the rest into the drop box a block over. I’ve also had packages lost by my friends at the USPS, untraceable since their records simply indicate it was delivered. In one case, I was notified by the sender that my package was delivered and the USPS said they had left a delivery notice and I could simply bring it to the local post office to claim my box. Of course, the delivery attempt was made to the wrong address and I didn’t have the claim ticket. I did eventually get my package – after it was returned to the sender, and they re-shipped it via UPS.

        Of course, the service is suffering simply because most correspondence is now handled electronically. I can’t remember the last time I got a bill in the mail or sent a check via post. The only people I know who complain about the potential loss of post offices or cutbacks in services are old enough to receive Social Security or politicians. Quite frankly, if the USPS were finally cut off completely from the government and not run as a Frankenstein experiment, and the rates went up as a result but service improved commensurately, I’d welcome that.

        • chuck

          just take your mailbox down…you don’t have to have one!

    • chuck

      Oh…and ray…maybe you ought to check this guy issa out. He stole cars (daddy got him off probaly) and two companys he bought he 4x the insurance on them and then they burned to the ground and guess who made a killing on that deal. This is of course your republican friend

    • KYunionman

      Ray,
      The USPS has not used taxpayers dollars since 1970

  • Posthead

    He wants USPS employees to pay more for health benefits but give them an inferior health plan and not offer them the same federal health plan choices as other federal employees. Huh?

    • uspsRetiree

      Did I miss something? I didn’t read anything about pulling the USPS out of the FEHB Plan. They would have access to all the same plans just pay what other federal employees and retirees pay.

  • Posthead

    I applaud congressman Issa for recognizing that overpayments in USPS employee pension funds should be used for employee benefits and not to be used to pay down postal service debts because thos over payments came from employee pay checks.

  • Jesse B.

    Please USPS!! Save yourselves some money and eliminate Saturday letter mail delivery. Eliminate standard letter mail (junk mail) completely! Make every mailer pay First Class rates and see how quickly the unsolicited contacts stop. Even if I put a sign “NO JUNK MAIL–FIRST CLASS ONLY” on my mailbox and a trash can with a sign “FOR JUNK MAIL” the carrier wouldn’t be able to put the junk mail in the can. They’re forced to deliver it to the mailbox, I’m forced to go to my mailbox repeatedly each day to see if there’s any important mail, only to find “Occupant” and “Resident” and “Postal Customer” crap. If advertisers had to send their ads (for services and products that I will never want or use) via First Class I could write “REFUSED” on it and it would go back to them and they would probably take my address off their mailing list to save money. Whenever I can get a phone number or website to tell the senders to stop sending their ads, I’ll do that or return their ad at my own (First Class) expense by mail. I’ve done what I can, but then the many various carriers that deliver to my house at all different times of the day frequently just deliver the junk mail for the next guy’s address to me anyway. If I only had to go through that routine five days a week, that would be some improvement. Actually, as some comments have suggested, eliminate regular letter delivery on Wednesday as well. Customers could always use Express Mail if their letters are so important, and that would bring more money back to the USPS.

    • chuck

      And you should shut your tv off when ever commercials come on also,close your eyes at all the signs all over,shut the radio off in your car when musics not on…Oh…pay your bills on the internet because you get FREE internet too right.

      • Greg

        You can control commercials, it’s called DVR and the other examples you gave are all choices that a consumer CHOOSES to have. Junk mail is a joke that’s forced on the consumer.

        • common sense

          No one forces you to have a mailbox. You CHOSE to have one. If you don’t like what’s in it, remove it!

          • Greg

            I want my mailbox. There are certain things I want to receive but I as well as a large number of others don’t want junk delivered.

    • Carrier

      Advertisers wouldn’t use us if they paid first class rates, or it would significantly decrease “junk” mail, wouldn’t it? Then the homeless guys that put flyers on your doorknob would get to deliver them.

    • QuestionU

      Jesse, as much as you disdain bulk business mail, the USPS not only avails its delivery services to you as “receiver,” but more accurately serves those who actually SEND/PAY FOR the delivery. USPS responsibility is to deliver mail for those who pay for its service; NOT to decide what to do with mail unwanted by the receiver. That’s YOUR responsibility.

  • adavids

    5-day is the way

  • Posthead

    The postmaster and other republican leaders are pushing to remove USPS employees from the federal health benefits plans and give them an inferior postal run plan. And still have them pay the same as other federal employees. Isn,t that discriminatory?

  • ChristineIam

    Congress is trying to dismantle the #USPS, one regulation at a time. “For-Profit”, for them, is their only concern.

  • Kurt Heubusch

    I guesas mr.issa doesn’t understand the collective bargaining system.we are NOT federal workers.

    • onesimus71

      Of course we are federal workers. The joke was postal “restructuring” to turn the postal service into a “non-government entity.” Worked okay for thirty years or so. The last ten, not so much. If we were NOT federal workers, a lot of us would be out of a job right now. No private sector business can sustain these losses.

  • postal worker bruce

    When you get rid of the no layoff clause, also allow the abilty to strike at the same time. Comparing us to Federal Workers who dont have to turn a profit…ever? Sure…. put us back on the Federal Budget.

  • mikey

    by by saturday delivery,its not needed

  • san

    keep the no lay off and this all sounds great ..lets get those boxes to the curb asap

  • Rno

    Just give back the money you have stealing from this cash cow for Years!!No need for your B.S.

  • Don

    Direct Mail Advertising has become the most effective form of advertising today. This sector is growing. Rates should be adjusted to strike a better balance between volume discounts and the true cost of delivery.