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NALC responds to PMG’s workroom floor video

NALC-LOGOAug. 30, 2013—Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe issued a video message on Aug. 14 that was played on the workroom floor. The video provided an assessment of developments in Washington on the legislative front and addressed the subject of a separate Postal Service health plan.

“In both cases, what the PMG did not say was more important than what he did say,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

On postal legislation, Donahoe said in the video that he was encouraged by the introduction of S. 1486 by Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), which followed the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s passage of Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) postal bill in the House.

But what the PMG failed to note was that neither bill provides a real solution to the postal financial crisis. In fact, both bills would continue the mandate to massively pre-fund retiree health benefits (after a brief moratorium), and both would pay for that mandate by slashing service and jobs.

Both bills also call for elimination of Saturday and door delivery, at the cost of nearly 100,000 postal jobs, and for slower mail service, which would drive even more business away and deepen the USPS’ financial crisis.

“The PMG’s comment that there are some positive aspects in both bills is bizarrely beside the point,” Rolando remarked. “Sure, there are a number of individual provisions in the bills that are good in isolation—but both bills would hasten the destructive downsizing and service cuts we’ve faced for years, and both would attack the collective-bargaining rights of postal employees.

“Mr. Donahoe should be demanding much, much better from Congress,” the president said.

The postmaster general also talked about the issue of health benefits and his plan to create a separate Postal Service health plan, either inside or outside of the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). He mentioned that he is working with the unions on this issue—but he failed to make clear that neither the NALC, nor the other postal unions, will support any plan that involves leaving FEHBP.

And although Donahoe rightly focused on the importance of taking full advantage of Medicare benefits as a way to reduce the Postal Service’s costs for retiree health benefits—indeed, it is crucial for reducing the crushing cost of pre-funding—he did not mention that fully integrating those benefits into Medicare can be easily achieved within FEHBP.

“NALC is committed to working with the Postal Service on reducing health care costs for both employees and the agency,” Rolando said. “But we are insisting that any legislative changes in this area be proposed as part of a broader reform package to be offered as an alternative to the destructive bills now before the House and Senate.”

Such a package, the president said, would reject service cuts and measures aimed at undermining the collective-bargaining rights and living standards of city carriers and other postal employees, and would focus instead on mutually acceptable reforms on health care, pension valuations, pre-funding, new products, pricing and governance provisions.

Visit the Legislation and Politics section of the NALC website for fact sheets and talking points on the bills.

  • SWEETSWOO

    This is a fake financial crisis.. the USPS is using it as a tool to eliminate good benefit’s and pay for it’s employees

  • John Doe

    The PMG is at fault for the entire mail decrease. He claims he has lost revenue in the past years. This is his fault for allowing the company by the name of Red Plum (formally ADVO) to advertise every week at a HUGE discount since before 2006. Now this is the time the PMG started his rant on mail loss revenue. . In last weeks Red Plum it weighed over 13 ounces. It was stacked full of advertising we used to deliver. 13 ounces should have been paid $1.96 per issue. Instead Red Plum is paying pennies to have these delivered. I counted over 60 different advertisers that used to mail their advertising. Now they use Red Plum. What does that mean? In our office that would be a revenue of 240 mailings in a month. At the bulk rate of 14 cents and our city size that is a loss of over 1 millions dollars a month.Now that is just our city. Multiply that by the nation and you can see the Post Office would be alive and well had it not been for the PMG allowing Red Plum to get out of control with their advertising. Red Plum also has to pay their bill directly to Washington D.C. due to Red Plum consistently bounces checks for the payment. Which also means there is no Quality control in local office how much they are getting paid or how big of a flyer. Red Plum is getting richer ever week and the Post Office is loosing every week delivering these flyers that cost overtime to deliver due to the size. You tell me why the Post Office is loosing money. The PMG is allowing companies to run the post office by giving them such large discounts and claiming he needs to raise the cost for the general public. Quit giving discounts and have everyone pay the same. There is an old saying “if you build it they will come” . There should be another saying “if they want to advertise they will pay”. No company will make it without advertising. Start charging everyone the same.

    • robinduncan

      Gosh so well put!!!!

    • JBM

      Eliminate standard mail altogether. Charge First Class rates for advertisements, then people like me that don’t ever want any of it can write “Refused” on it and it will actually be returned to the mailer and, presumably, they will stop sending their junk mail to save themselves money. I absolutely HATE junk mail of any kind, but the post office expects customers to do the work of removing their own names or addresses from mailing lists. They will not accept any request for “First Class mail ONLY” delivery like they did in “the good old days”. I.went through the trouble to call Red Plum and tell them to remove my address from their mailing list and they courteously removed my address right then and there. Unfortunately, the ever-changing carriers that deliver my mail anytime between 10:00AM and 7:00PM don’t bother to read the addresses on the mail, so I still find the Red Plum bundle of useless junk crammed into my mailbox. Calling the local office to complain seems petty and it doesn’t do any good anyway. I know the future of the Postal Service is delivering parcels and junk mail, but why do the customers have to suffer? If I have to install a curbside box or walk down the street to get my mail, it would be even more enraging when I find 99.99% of the time there’s just advertisements and the neighbor’s mail. I wish I could completely eliminate mail delivery–do everything online and have packages delivered by FedEX or UPS–then just let the carrier walk past my house everyday.

      • 204B

        The USPS isn’t losing standard mail volume, unlike first class,so they must maintain the the volume and presorting discounts to keep that business, however the rates must be raised so that they aren’t losing money on it like they are now.

  • tradarcher50

    Hey NALC.. You don’t seem to care about the 130,000 people who were NRP”d. Quit pissing in the wind

    • tradarcher50

      You have no idea. Look up the “Source”

    • tradarcher50

      jesrf…you check the facts, I know the facts. The fact is the only reason the NRP changed it’s name is because of the 130,000 stong class action suit. The only employees brought back were the ones on OWCP and they were mostly brought back to just get them off of OWCP. Most of them were again released. Read McConnell vs USPS and learn something.

  • vegas

    The union is closed today, Saturday. Hypocrites!

  • queen

    take down your mailbox then you won’t get mail. if you have a cluster box, put in a change of address and the standard mail won’t get forwarded to you. it is such a burden to have to recycle.