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In Senate Testimony, Guffey Blasts Carper-Coburn Bill; Bill is ‘Fatally Flawed;’ Penalizes Workers, Cuts Service

APWU News Bulletin 17-2013, Sept. 19, 2013 | PDF

APWU President Cliff Guffey told a Senate panel on Sept. 19 that the postal bill introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is “fatally flawed.”

APWU President Cliff Guffey testified before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Sept. 19, 2013.

APWU President Cliff Guffey testified before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Sept. 19.

The bill (S. 1486 [PDF]) “fails to correct the cause of the Postal Service’s financial crisis — the mandate in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) that requires the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees,” Guffey said. [full written testimony (PDF)] | [five-minute opening statement (PDF)]

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NALC: Few surprises in first of two hearings on S. 1486

NALC-LOGOSept. 19, 2013—The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which has Postal Service oversight, held the first of two hearings today on the flawed postal bill, S. 1486, introduced by committee chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and ranking member Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).

“If passed, this bill would set the Postal Service on downward spiral,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “by calling for the slow dismantling of Postal Service’s retail, mail processing and last-mile delivery networks that are crucial for the booming e-commerce sector, while maintaining the misguided 2006 postal reform law mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefit costs decades in advance.”

Today’s 2½-hour hearing focused mainly on rates and revenue. Among those called to testify before today’s hearing were Postmaster General Patrick Donahue, Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway, USPS Inspector General David Williams, American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Jeanette Dwyer.

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Guffey to Testify on USPS Network Before Ross Subcommittee

APWU President Cliff Guffey will testify before a House Subcommittee on June 15 about the retail and mail processing network of the Postal Service. The hearing will be broadcast on the committee’s Web site beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The hearing will focus on the “extent that these networks need to be right-sized to meet diminishing mail volume,” said Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy.

Rep. Ross called the hearing to examine whether “the Postal Service has excess mail processing infrastructure, whether the Postal Service is moving fast enough to right-size that network, options for creating a modern processing network, and the growth of alternative access to postal services.”

He has been an outspoken critic of the USPS and postal employees. At an April 5 House hearing, he blamed labor costs for the Postal Service’s financial problems, and recently said the Postal Service should have more freedom to close facilities.

“To save the Postal Service, legislators must repeal the unique and unreasonable mandate that requires the USPS to pre-fund future retiree health benefits,” Guffey said.

Instead of cutting service, Guffey said, the Postal Service must expand its services to fill needs emerging because of digital communications.

“It would be tragic to dismantle the postal retail infrastructure and lose the opportunity to improve the postal services that millions of Americans rely on,” he said.

The APWU President urged members to focus on legislative action. “It is critical that members contact their U.S. representatives and seek support for measures that will get the USPS back on track to fiscal solvency.”