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Senator Bernie Sanders Statement on Postal Service Bill

bernieWASHINGTON, Aug. 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders today issued the following statement on a Postal Service reform bill introduced late Thursday in the Senate that could end Saturday and door-to-door mail delivery and close mail processing plants:

“While I have a great deal of respect for Sens. Carper and Coburn, the Postal Service bill that they introduced is significantly weaker than the bill that passed the Senate last year with 62 votes. That makes no sense. Over a short period of time, the Carper-Coburn bill will allow the Postal Service to shut down over half of the mail processing plants in this country, end Saturday delivery and even deliver mail fewer than 5 days a week.

“In the midst of a severe recession, this bill would lead to the elimination of tens of thousands of decent-paying jobs – many of them held by military veterans. That is why I have introduced the Postal Service Protection Act with 28 cosponsors, a bill that would sustain the Postal Service, avert unnecessary closures and save American jobs. Similar legislation introduced in the House by Rep. DeFazio now has 166 cosponsors.

“The Postal Service is an institution of enormous importance to the American people. It must be preserved and protected. About 80 percent of the financial problems of the Postal Service are the result of an unprecedented and onerous mandate that forces it to pay 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period.

“While we all understand that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems today and that changes need to be made, providing fewer services and poorer quality is not the way to save the Postal Service. That is why I am strongly opposed to this legislation.”

  • Sherry Jo Jones

    Thanks for speaking the truth.

  • Ryan

    There is a smart one in wash.!!!!!

  • don

    THE POST OFFICE sends people to other plants and a year or two later tell them that the plant they are now in is closing. Why spend all that money to up to to move people and have to do it all over again in a couple of years that is just nuts

    • lucy

      We had a plant to close and now because our mail is processed 2 hrs away we get our mail 2 hrs later in the mornings. We have hrly PD people waiting on truck everyday. We have carriers walking delivering mail after dark. I’m a SSA and I would not walk the streets where there are gangs, drug deals and shootings after dark. That’s where they could fire me or take my job and shove it. I was supposed to go regular but because of plant closing , a regular came from the closing plant and took position and Im still a ptf.

      • Jimee77

        Lucy, there are hundreds of openings for FTR (I am assuming city carrier, since you are “delivering after dark” and a PTF. Go on e reassign and transfer into one. You might have to move offices, but you don’t want to still be part time if this bill passes and eliminates Saturday delivery and door to door delivery. You will be a PTF forever.

        • Mail Handler

          PTF’s were supposed to be eliminated in all the union contracts as a trade off with the creation of CCA’s, PSE’s, and MHA’s.

        • lucy

          No I am a SSA and distribution clerk. I was speaking of city carriers in our area my daughter is one but all their ptf have been made reg. My union president said if he made me a reg then they would have to post the job and any reg that are still at the plant that’s closing would be able to apply and get it over me.

    • redrider204

      another stupid idea …OIC s really why take a postmaster out of his/her office put them somewhere else pay mileage, phone and everything else to them and then in turn have to do the same to have someone cover their job…how stupid can you get?? never understood why they couldn’t just have a pool of managers that could be used to do this and say ok you want the job here it is get to it not all this mileage and cell phones and blackberries and everything else …theres a phone on your desk next to the computer use them!

  • Moe

    They can up with a perfect plan, and even give us back the overfunding suprplus, but until they replace and refigure our out of whack, overstaffed and unqualified management system, we will still be in trouble.

    • Postal Manager

      Moe,
      With comments like you just wrote. Your probably one of the lazy Postal workers that managers have to chase around to their job. If the union was there to protect the hard working employees; which there are many; you could reduce the management staff. But the managers and union reps spent most of their day wasting their time with employees like you who don’t deserve to have a job in the company.

      • JV

        Most of the management types I’ve seen for 30 years mostly leave the bad workers in craft alone and put more and more work on the better ones.

        • Bozoshoes

          Define “Better Ones”

        • Jimee77

          The worst thing for morale is to watch your supervisor play solitaire and talk to his girlfriend on the phone all day, and then have him chew you out because you “went 10 minutes over on the street”. If management wants to monitor the vital few delinquents who don’t do anything all day, they just need to turn their desks so they face each other, in my experience.

      • redrider204

        wish we had a manager like you in our office…I realize you are all on the down side of the hill but if the true workers were given respect production and moral would come back around…too many managers tend to whip the lead horse while letting too many others hang out in the pasture

      • Kaw

        I have been a city carrier for 27 years
        With DPS and volume cuts my street time is 7 hours
        The problem is prefunding of health care and way too many supervisors most of them have NEVER DELIVERED a route
        Most routes are between 650-900 deliveries
        End prefunding and let the post office set their own prices
        Allow us to be competitive and we will be solvant
        Fire the Post Mastermaster General and get Issa out of office

        Kaw

  • adavids

    5 day is the way!!

    • pokeybird

      @adavids…you are an asshole!

      • san

        and u are braINWASHED AND BLIND

    • Sj Thompson

      “end Saturday delivery and even deliver mail FEWER THAN 5 DAYS A WEEK.” Think about it stupid.

    • san

      there is no choice..if we dont go to 5 days a week we will cutting a lot of routes and getting rid of carriers that way..i cant see why folks cant see that..the union is going to have us all out of work..they are so damn stupid

  • for America

    Yes, finally one Senator who understands his job! The Postal Service is very important to American. Most American’s do not stop to think about how the service supports a lot of AMERICAN jobs. The government is the reason the Postal Service is in the mess it is in. Relieve us of the payment, make headquarters stream line upper management and give back the Post Offices in the rural areas (which bring in revenue). Wake up American, we need save AMERICAN Jobs!!

  • Brett

    The postal service is in dire straights and needs Congressional help now! Laying off thousands of people and cutting Saturday delivery will not help much. Maybe giving an early out and eliminating the penalty there is for retiring before age 56 would let people to retire early

    • Bozoshoes

      Here we go again! It is NOT a Penalty. You collect for a longer period of time, therefore, you get less because your going to live to the same age. But you will get paid for a longer period. Why doesn’t anybody seem to understand this? where you sleeping in Math class?

  • Kurt Heubusch

    sounds good there senator, but can you get the others to listen?

    • Jimee77

      I predict he will get lots of support from the 1/3 of Senators up for reelection in the next cycle and the other 2/3rds will follow the herd.

  • Metro Issues :: Lou

    I personally wouldn’t mind no longer receiving bills and junk mail on Saturday, as long as package delivery is preserved.

    That said, what we need to see is a rollback on the 2006 “reforms” that have been really wrecking the USPS.

    • redrider204

      what difference does it make if you get first class mail bbm or a package on a Saturday??? we have become way to impatient since tracking

      • Metro Issues :: Lou

        Because I look forward to packages. Hello? And who are you to judge?

        • redrider204

          Not judging…just cannot understand how they think having people come in to deliver packages only and not flats and letters will make that big of a savings…seems rather ridiculous to do one but not the other…I can’t justify the theory

    • Jimee77

      Unfortunately, the junk mail is subsidizing the package services. The USPS can “afford” to go to your house even if you live out in the sticks to deliver 1 package, because they drop $1.50 in mail at every mailbox along the way. UPS and FedEX can’t, which is why they pay the USPS to deliver the last mile of a large (and growing) percentage of their deliveries. In fact. FedEx and UPS are the USPS’s biggest customers atm, I believe.

    • Watchwatuwish4

      The plan was to keep Saturday Package deliver. But now they said it would only be for three years. Then an end to that to.

  • Hanging Tough

    Offer an early out for those 50 years and older with 20 or more years of service. You can replace them with younger, faster people at almost 1/2 the cost. They will be new, and you can indoctrinate them any way you want. It would be a great money saving move for the postal service.

    • redrider204

      im sorry the low wage employees we are getting generally (not always) tend to give us what we pay for…we are our own biggest problem…we have become complacent and disheartened by too many layers of backstabbing management…we have to go back to earning our paychecks and not collecting them and showing these politicians we are worth saving…we need managers to listen to the hands-on workers and get our ideas how to become more efficient with our decreased numbers…as a 32 year employee I have always prided myself on the job I do because God knows management will not …they just want more from me while accepting that joe-shmoe isn’t going to do any more than he has to because he knows “hes gonna get paid anyway” well joe wake up and smell the coffee the end is near and you are part of the problem…

    • chuck

      And get rid of all the useless upper managers who do nothing but harass supervisors and count beans all day. What is the ratio of workers to managers right now….you don’t want to know because it is the root of most of the 80% labor cost we keep hearing about. New workers who are younger are not the answer….most of them don’t know what a hard days work is today. Sure an older worker will not do what a manager asks all the time because they want blood but that doesn’t make them slower….just wiser! All the productivity gains the last few years are from long time workers..not runners.

    • APSEWU Prez

      hey asshole, it takes experienced managers to train those replacements….of which we have NONE.

      • saint

        w
        Why the name calling? Bad day? Wow, you must hate life, to get this worked up to use profanity. I feel sorry for your family .

    • Jimee77

      But you can’t collect PO retirement until you are 57. Will the buyout let people start taking their annuities at 50? If you are in FERS you can’t afford to retire until you can take Social Security anyway. There is no buyout that can bridge that gap and still be profitable for the PO. Even at the $15 an hour new hires are making. Also, the PO can’t really hire many more of those CCAs since they are almost at their quota, unless they want to start promoting people to regular. I don’t think this is a plan. A TSP isn’t built to last from age 50 and up, either. Not to mention the cost of retiree health benefits between retirement and Medicare that you would incur. I am sure it would look GREAT on your local budget in your PO, but it would blow up the retiree costs.

  • sam

    see if ups or fed-ex will deliver a letter on Saturday for 46 cents. I doubt it. usps won,t lose that business to them on Saturday or any other day.

    • redrider204

      the American public needs a wake up call – all they see is people like Issa badmouthing us …they need to realize what life will be like with out the postal service going to each and every door every day…no other company is ever going to be able to do what we do for 46 cents…they are not going to bother with the people in the rural areas…we are the only one to do this job let alone the sanctity of the mail…

  • Joe mac

    I have 35 yrs of service. It’s time to end sat delivery. Mail volume is very low in my office and it is time make real changes to save the po

    • san

      amen..that is why everything has to change..there is no volume..not because of the prefunding

    • RacerRay

      If volume is that low in your office, maybe it should go to 4 day!!

      • Joemac

        Racerray sounds like a nalc member who just goes along with what ever he is told. Think for yourself my friend my office is not the only one with declining vol. major changes need to b made

  • doug

    end saturday delivery now ,there is a resaon ups and fedex is profitable they dont deliver on saturdays,the american people and the workers dont want saturday mail

    • RacerRay

      UPS and FedEx DO deliver on Saturdays and speak for yourself when you say “carriers” don’t want Saturday mail. Those of us that care for our fellow workers want to keep their jobs.

      • sam

        For a dollar or less. call them and see how long they laugh at you.

        • RacerRay

          WHO mentioned price? The statement was made that UPS and FedEx don’t deliver on Saturday on Saturdays! They do!!!!!!!!!

          • san

            they deliver for the folks who paid for it

          • RacerRay

            They still DO DELIVER ON SATURDAYS!!

      • san

        close on saturdays and put all boxes to curb..no one should have this expensive special service..it should of stopped years ago

        • RacerRay

          WHY? Putting boxes off the house to the curb saves not one cent. $4 a gallon for fuel. Much more vehicle maintenance, brakes, transmissions, tires, etc. And if you cut the lawns it is faster to walk it. And if you are in older neighbor hoods that have smaller 33 of 45 foot lots and allow vehicles to park on street it will take longer in dismounts than walking.

          • san

            u r totally out of it..and wrong

      • Todd

        They do provide a special (meaning you pay more) delivery on Saturdays, I believe also Sundays and holidays including Christmas, but you do pay extra for it!

    • lorkoos

      Doh! FEDEX does indeed deliver on Saturdays via their “home delivery”. Stop spreading ignorant misinformation.

      • Joe carrier

        And under the new system so would the usps. Packages, box mail and window service would still be available….oh, and the only carriers that don’t want to end Saturday delivery are the OT Mongers. Others don’t care.

        We should also go to evaluated route pay ( like the rural carriers) but…could u imagine a city carrier having to take ALL thier mail AND be back in time!?

        • RacerRay

          WRONG AGAIN! I am not an “OT MONGER” but care about the huge loss of more good paying jobs amongst friends and coworkers. You must be a Republican…. And as a city carrier for 37 years I would love evaluated routes!! Case everything and be gone. GREAT!

  • lorkoos

    It’s hard to call a nation civilized if it doesn’t have a functioning postal service. What has been done (and has been done) to the USPS is crime against the American public.

  • Ron Barber

    Thank God we have someone that understands what is being done not only to the workers of the USPS but also to the public that it serves!!!

  • steve

    When a private company fails it goes out of business. When government fails it just keeps failing.

    • Lunamomma

      When a private company fails it claims bankruptcy. And all their debts are forgiven, including loans from the Fed. That takes taxpayer money and it can get drawn out for years! When a SERVICE that touches 200,000,000 people’s lives in this country and is currently NOT BEING SUPPORTED BY TAXPAYERS, we try to help PRESERVE IT.

    • idk

      Lunamonmma is correct Steve. Consider this, you take 500K+ people out of work and you would have Americans living off state and federal subsidies. Your tax dollar. Being that the PO operates under no tax dollars, you should be supportive of these job’s and the service it provides.

    • kofi

      Steve, are you talking about those PRIVATE entities that
      were designated as “too big to fail” and then bailed out with OUR tax dollars? The same entities that are bigger today than they were when they were first identified as “too big to fail?”

    • marc zazeela

      Postal Service is not a government entity. They are not supported by taxpayer dollars. Until Congress interfered in 2006, mandating the pension prefunding requirement, the USPS was profitable.

      Get the facts before making comments founded on speculation.

      • postalnews

        Actually, the USPS is and always has been a “government entity”. While it isn’t financed by the taxpayer, it is “an independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States” under Title 39 § 201.

        But the important point here is that the USPS hasn’t “failed”. Congress has decided to require it to make payments that it can’t afford. But it was that very same Congress that established the USPS and set the ground rules that now make it insolvent.

        The USPS didn’t create the problem, and neither did the unions- Congress did it, and Congress needs to fix it.

        Just as soon as they get back from their latest vacation…

        • marc zazeela

          Thanks for the clarification.

  • Barton Taube

    Close the sucker down. It is not my responsibility as a tax payer to provide unnecessary jobs and busy work at taxpayers’ expense to create jobs for people when the jobs are not necessary even though some of those unnecessary positions are held by veterans. Postal carriers are currently doing little more that what the Boy Scouts did some years ago when they went door to door delivering handbills and circulars. To a certain extend the postal service stole jobs from Boy Scouts that are now being handled be vets.
    Something akin to yanking candy out of a defenseless baby’s mouth.

    • Jeff Brown

      You are right Barton. It is not your responsibility as a tax payer to fund the postal service. In fact NONE of your tax dollars fund the agency. It is not taxpayer funded. Its revenue is solely derived from products and services:):):):)

      • san

        and there is no product to service

    • SamSam

      Barton as a tax payer it never was your responsibility to provide jobs. It is your responsibility to make sure you are correct in your assumptions. The Postal Service does not receive tax dollars as a means of support, the USPS is self supporting check the facts. The USPS unlike any other business is mandated to pay into a retirement system for possible FUTURE employees in an amount to fund 75 years in advance. This prefunding is not for the current employees they pay their own, it is for employees NOT hired or BORN yet. A business that is forced to payout 5.5 billion a year to fund a “retirement program 75 years in advance is not going to show profit. This is money the Fed has been taking since the enactment of the law, audits show a substantial overpayment into the fund and the surplus where is it ????? You state that these were the same jobs the Boy Scouts were doing? Again check the facts, the Scouts never delivered mail, packages or sold postage. By all means lets give jobs to the scouts and pay them minimum wage, no benefits and no recourse for on the job injuries, no protection for deliveries to pedophiles, kidnappers, rapists and the like. The Scouts no longer go door to door selling for these exact same reasons. By all means put the kiddies out there to deliver to the towns and cities…but who is going to bring the mail to them and help the little old ladies cross the street? Maybe you?

  • san

    this guy is totally out of touch with what is going on…there is no damn mail folks..what part of that dont you all understand

  • abernahi

    In the era of the internet, the USPS needs to reinvent itself; offer email service that is completely free of spam for instance, and this can be done with a careful controlled system.