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Postal workers alliance sends letter to Issa opposing latest reform proposal

The four unions representing rank and file postal workers have sent the following letter to Darrel Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member:

alliance

Dear Mr. Issa and Mr. Cummings:

We write to share our views on the hearing held on April 8, 2014 on the President’s proposals in the FY 2015 budget regarding the U.S. Postal Service. We write on behalf of nearly 500,000 postal employees who live and work in every Congressional District in America and who belong to our unions. We respectfully request that this letter be included in the record of the hearing. Read the rest of this entry »

Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive May 10

Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America collect the goodness and compassion of their postal customers, who participate in the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive — the largest one-day food drive in the nation.

Led by letter carriers represented by the National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO), with help from rural letter carriers, other postal employees and other volunteers, the drive has delivered more than one billion pounds of food the past 20 years.

Carriers collect non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes and in post offices and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters. Nearly 1,500 NALC branches in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands are involved.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rolando: Postal Service needs real reform

From the National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALC-LOGOApril, 8, 2014–Following today’s House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the Obama administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the United States Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando released the following statement:

Today’s hearing focused on the Obama administration’s proposals to slash postal services, proposals that were first developed during the Biden-Cantor deficit reduction talks in 2011 and have been included in the four budgets released since. Portions of these proposals are included in H.R. 2748.

But we are not dealing with the same Postal Service we were when H.R. 2748 and the administration’s budget proposals were originally crafted. The proposals did not make sense in 2011 because they never offered a real solution to the Postal Service’s financial challenges, which were largely created by Congress.

The proposals make even less sense now: The Postal Service has returned to operational profitability and is capturing a growing share of the booming e-commerce market. USPS had an operating profit of $623 million in 2013 and in the first quarter of 2014 alone reported black ink of $1.1 billion.

Congress should focus on unchaining USPS from the retiree health pre-funding burden–which is required of no other public or private entity–and freeing the agency to grow and innovate. Discussing job-killing proposals that degrade or dismantle our invaluable postal networks is not the conversation we should be having.

It’s time to move forward with innovative solutions that allow the Postal Service to evolve and use its established network to serve the nation’s communication and e-commerce needs.

It’s time to start thinking about how we bolster service for tens of millions of businesses and households that have come to rely on door-to-door delivery, six days a week.

It’s time to discuss how to position the Postal Service to build successful partnerships with more American businesses, like Amazon has in moving toward seven-day delivery.

It’s no longer 2009. The Postal Service’s employees have done their part to help the Postal Service bounce back from the Great Recession as some 200,000 jobs have been eliminated. In fact, the service cuts have gone too far, all to pay for a misguided pre-funding policy.

Now it’s time for Congress to strengthen the postal recovery, not cripple the Postal Service with even more destructive service and job cuts.

Read more: Rolando: Postal Service needs real reform.

NALC: Memorandums of understanding extended, modified

NALC-LOGONALC and the Postal Service have agreed on extensions and modifications of three memorandums of understanding. The first, Re: Full-time Regular Opportunities – City Letter Carrier Craft (M-01834), extends the August 30, 2013 MOU Re: Residual Vacancies – City Letter Carrier Craft (M-01824) through May 31, 2014 and, effective June 1, 2014, incorporates changes to the process for filling full-time regular opportunities in the city letter carrier craft. For detailed information on the changes to the process, click here.

The second, Re: Sunday Delivery – City Carrier Assistant Staffing (M-01835) extends the agreement that city carrier assistants who served as city carrier TEs directly before their initial CCA appointment will not serve a probationary period when converted to full-time career status during the term of this MOU, and continues the process of jointly monitoring on a weekly basis at the national level the necessary CCA resources during the implementation of the MOU Re: Residual Vacancies – City Letter Carrier Craft (M-01824), the MOU Re: Full-time Regular Opportunities – City Letter Carrier Craft (M-01834) and the Sunday parcel delivery test.

The third, Re: Signing Overtime Lists (M-01836), continues to allow the installation head and branch president or their designees to mutually elect to develop a process that allows employees who transfer from another installation or part-time flexibles and CCAs converted to full-time status after the two week period for signing the overtime desired lists to place their names on either the overtime desired list or work assignment list.

All three MOUs are effective through March 31, 2015.

For the current list of city letter carrier positions available for transfer under the provisions of M-01834, click here. These positions have been posted in e

Postal unions form alliance to preserve America’s postal service

proclamation

March 11, 2014–Declaring that “the U.S. Postal Service is under unprecedented attack,” the four postal unions have formed an alliance to fight back to preserve America’s postal service for the benefit of the public.

“A congressionally manufactured financial crisis drains the USPS of vital resources,” the union presidents wrote in a proclamation (PDF). “Six-day delivery is under constant threat of elimination. The reduction of service standards and the elimination of half of the nation’s mail processing centers have slowed service and wiped out tens of thousands of good jobs. Post offices in cities and small towns are being sold or closed or having their hours cut back.

“Corporate privatizers seek to gain control over larger segments of postal operations–and to get their hands on the Postal Service’s $65 billion of annual revenue. The postmaster general’s policies of subcontracting and degrading service are fueling the privatization drive,” the proclamation declared.

“We stand with the people of our country in defense of their right to a universal postal service operated in the public interest.”

The goal of the alliance is to enlist public support in preserving the national treasure that is the U.S. Postal Service. The USPS is based in the Constitution, provides Americans with the world’s most affordable delivery network, and is operationally profitable without using a dime of taxpayer money.

The proclamation was signed by National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando, American Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein, National Postal Mail Handlers Union John Hegarty and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association President Jeanette Dwyer.

Read more: Postal unions form alliance; Declaration promises joint efforts.

NALC: USPS’ ‘highly encouraging’ quarterly report reveals $765M profit

NALC-LOGO

Feb. 7, 2014–Today, the U.S. Postal Service released its financial report for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2014, which covers the last three months of 2013.

Here is NALC President Fredric Rolando’s statement about today’s report:

Today’s Postal Service figures for the first quarter of 2014 are highly encouraging and show why the postal network must be maintained and strengthened, not degraded.

The announced operating profit of $765 million for the first quarter is dramatic in itself–and it continues the operating profitability that began last year.

The Postal Service’s unmatched networks and outstanding employees have made these striking results possible. And these trends augur well for the future, because they reflect the opportunities increasingly presented by the Internet and by an improving economy. Package revenues resulting from online shopping rose by more than 14 percent this quarter–more than offsetting the small decline in letter revenue.

This quarter’s $765 million operating profit compares with the $100 million from the first quarter of 2013–another sign of improving postal finances.

In light of these results, lawmakers should strengthen the postal network while addressing the remaining problem: the congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree benefits, required of no other public or private entity in the country. Degrading the network and reducing services to the public and businesses would jeopardize the postal turnaround.

Senate committee set to continue mark-up of S. 1486

From the National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALC-LOGOFeb. 4, 2014–On Jan. 29, the Senate committee with Postal Service oversight, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, spent nearly three hours in a mark-up meeting to debate a handful of proposed amendments to S. 1486.

After that first session stalled, committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) announced that the mark-up would resume on Thursday, Feb. 6.

“Unfortunately, none of the proposed amendments to S. 1486 will fix the fundamental flaws with the bill,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said, “and at least one amendment–on rate-setting–would make the bill worse.”

As written, S. 1486 would facilitate the end of door delivery and the elimination of Saturday delivery, therefore destroying tens of thousands of letter carrier jobs. It also would endanger all postal jobs by slowing service and driving business away from the Postal Service.

“I am disappointed that the committee will seek to advance this flawed legislation,” Rolando said. “We will continue to fight for the kind of reform that will strengthen the Postal Service without slashing service or attacking hard-working postal employees.”

Round 1

One of the first amendments considered after the first mark-up meeting came to order on Jan. 29, from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), called for an immediate end to six-day delivery. It was easily defeated on a voice vote.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) proposed an amendment calling on the Postal Service to declare bankruptcy and reorganize. In the senator’s vision of reorganization, collective-bargaining agreements between USPS and its employee unions would be renegotiated, while existing no-layoff protections and the ability to bargain over wages would be banned. The committee voted down the Paul amendment 11 to 4.

An amendment offered by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) called for the removal of the bill’s unfair provisions regarding injured workers. As written, S. 1486 imposes cruel and discriminatory reforms to the Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) that would leave injured federal workers with the worst long-term injuries vulnerable to impoverishment when they reach Social Security retirement age. This FECA language was originally proposed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) under last Congress’ postal bill, S. 1789. Collins no longer serves on the oversight committee, but the language was still carried over into S. 1486.

Tester’s amendment failed, and the FECA reform language was retained. However, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), the committee’s ranking member, admitted that the language was reflective of the last Congress’ priorities, and he said that even if it made it into the final bill, he believed it would be removed during House-Senate conference committee negotiations. Tester disagreed, saying that he was hearing that the House would likely follow the Senate’s lead on the matter and leave the language in the bill, untouched.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) raised some concerns over the new bill’s call to transfer rate-setting authority from the Postal Regulatory Commission the Postal Board of Governors, effectively giving complete rate-setting ability to the Postal Service with greatly reduced oversight. She also raised concerns about a revised price index system.

Following a great deal of back-and-forth discussion on the matter, Baldwin’s concerns were noted and her amendment was held over for future consideration.

Four postal unions express ‘strong opposition’ to Senate bill

Jan. 27, 2014–The four postal unions–the National Association of Letter Carriers, the American Postal Workers Union, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union–sent on Jan. 27 a joint letter to members of the Senate committee with U.S. Postal Service oversight, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, expressing “strong opposition” to an amended version of Senate bill S. 1486 and urging senators to oppose the bill when it is considered by the committee on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Click here to read the letter.

The substitute bill was issued on Jan. 23 by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), the authors of the original bill, and it retains many of the negative features of the original bill and adds new provisions “that are totally unfair and unnecessary,” the letter says. One of the new provisions requires the USPS to pre-fund $17 billion in future workers’ compensation expenses.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nalcrest: Unique Retirement Community Celebrates 50th Anniversary

nalcrestNALCREST, Fla., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nalcrest, the nationally unique retirement community located in Central Florida, will mark its 50th anniversary this week with a series of events.

Housed on 150 acres between Tampa and Vero Beach, 10 miles east of Lake Wales, the modern and picturesque retirement community for active senior citizens offers a place for retired letter carriers from across the nation to move to after finishing their jobs with the United States Postal Service.

Over the past couple of years, its unique nature has prompted a page one story in the Wall Street Journal, coverage by a TV network, a visit from National Geographic Magazine, and various reports by foreign media outlets.

The 50th celebration this weekend includes a variety of interesting events, including the Nalcrest historical display available for viewing Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In addition, the Nalcrest Eagles softball team will play at 10 a.m. Saturday against the Executive Council of the National Association of Letter Carriers, which owns and operates Nalcrest. At 2 p.m. there will be a memorial ceremony at the Nalcrest Veterans/Armed Services venue (one-quarter of all letter carriers are military veterans and a dozen current Nalcrest residents served in World War II). An evening candle-lighting ceremony will be held around the Nalcrest lagoon.

Sunday, from 8 a.m-11:30 a.m., a special U.S. Postal Service Nalcrest commemorative cancellation postmark will be available to have stamped envelopes postmarked. At 9:30 a.m., a parade will be held around the Nalcrest Property perimeter road (1.7 miles). And starting at noon, the Nalcrest 50th Anniversary Celebration will be held in the Nalcrest Auditorium, with invited speakers and the NALC Executive Council.

Nalcrest, home to 700 people, contains 500 apartments in 66 buildings. It includes a pool, fire station, post office and automotive center. http://www.nalc.org/nalc/members/nalcrest.html

NALC tells carriers: Don’t put yourself in danger!

From the National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALC-LOGODon’t put yourself in danger: On Jan. 3, the Postal Service issued mandatory safety talks to be given to all employees regarding protection from cold temperatures. Click here to find the documents that management was to provide you through these stand up talks. If management has not provided these safety talks, advise your supervisor, shop steward, branch officers or, if necessary, your national business agent. Bottom line: Do not put yourself in danger.