Will the POSt, Processing Network Plans Provide An Easier Path toward House Action on Postal Reform?

From the National Association of Postal Supervisors:

The Postal Service’s announcement last Thursday regarding its modified, two-phase plan to consolidate its mail processing network, coupled with its May 9 POStPlan to keep rural post offices open (but with limited operating hours), is likely to move the House of Representatives closer to bringing postal legislation to the floor some time in June.  Until now, House Republican leaders have been unable to find enough votes within their own party to assure passage of the controversial Issa-Ross postal legislation, H.R. 2309.

Closures of post offices and mail processing plants are radioactive issues for Washington lawmakers in an election year, with thousands of jobs and significant local interests in jeopardy.  But the Postal Service’s recent announcements, significantly downsizing its original plans, have softened the breadth and negative political impact of closures.  Far less facilities will be immediately closed than the Postal Service originally announced.  Many lawmakers, particularly Republicans with rural districts, are breathing a sigh of relief that their post offices will remain open, albeit with reduced operating hours.  Significant numbers of House Members and Senators are similarly relieved that mail processing plants in their districts and states are not among the 40 mail processing plants that will be closed between now and early next year, or the additional 89 to come next year, after the November election.

These events are likely to give Republican House leaders enough confidence to bring a modified version of the Issa-Ross postal  legislation, H.R. 2309, to the floor next month.  How much the Issa-Ross measure will be modified still remains uncertain.  If the House acts and approves a postal measure next month, House and Senate negotiators potentially could iron out the differences between their bills over the summer, opening the way for Congressional approval of a final postal reform measure by early October, before the start of the election recess.  A lot of very troubling questions yet remain, however.

The Issa-Ross bill and the Senate-approved measure are dramatically different in their fundamental views of the Postal Service itself and what is necessary to put the troubled enterprise back on its feet.  Finding compromise could be especially difficult for House and Senate conferees, especially in the ramp-up to the November elections, when a failing government institution like the Postal Service could become a popular target for many Republicans.

In the meantime, the clock toward financial armageddon for the Postal Service continues to tick.  Without Congressional intervention, the Postal Service will be unable to make the twin $5.5 billion retiree health prefunding payments for 2011 and 2012 that are due in early August and late September.  Even worse, the Postal Service may run out of cash and find itself unable to meet its payroll by later this fall.

It is critical that the House of Representatives act immediately and pass sensible postal reform legislation.  NAPS supports the Senate-approved bill and is urging its members to contact their House lawmakers to ask them to support the Senate bill.  SEND THAT MESSAGE TO YOUR HOUSE LAWMAKER TODAY BY CLICKING HERE.

NAPS Welcomes USPS announcement on rural post offices

Statement by President Louis M. Atkins, National Association of Postal Supervisors:

The announcement by the Postal Service on May 9, 2012 that they were adjusting their plans on post office closings and their decision to maintain service for post offices throughout the country was indeed welcome news to NAPS.

Our concern from the time the Postal Service announced their original closure plans was that their plans were too aggressive and that the proposed changes could deny many citizens, particularly in those in rural America, from the opportunity to continue to have postal services in their local communities.

From the information the Postal Service has provided about continuation of service throughout the country, we believe that both business mailers and local communities now have the certainty of the Postal Service will continuing to maintain universal service throughout the country.

The Postal Service has served the mailing of every corner of the United States, from colonial times up to today. The announcement by the Postal Service will ensure that this obligation to serve the American public will continue into the future.

Our organization will continue to support the provisions of S1789 that received bipartisan support in the United States Senate and urge that the House of Representatives embrace the changes that are outlined in the Senate bill and complete a legislative initiative that supports the health and prosperity of the United States Postal Service.

False Start for Postal Reform in the Senate

NAPS Leg/Reg Update – March 26, 2012

It looked like a cinch that postal reform would be coming to the Senate floor this week. Now it doesn’t.

That’s because Senate lawmakers on both sides decided Monday that they’d rather score points telling their constitutents back home over the approaching two-week recess what they’ve done to bring down gasoline prices, rather than what they did to save the ailing Postal Service.

Democrats originally thought that Republicans would resist taking up legislation (S 2204) that would roll back tax preferences for large oil companies. Instead, Republicans reflected eagerness for an election year debate on gasoline prices, and supported a procedural motion on Monday evening to take up the oil bill, which could take up the rest of this week. That would effectively sideline postal legislation (S. 1789) until after lawmakers return from the two-week recess, which occurs on April 16. Stay tuned ….

Meanwhile, on Tuesday the House postal oversight subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Can a USPS-Run Health Plan Solve Its Financial Crisis?” The Postal Service has proposed establishing a separate health plan outside of FEHBP that it says would save $7B per year. The health plan is part of a broad five-year business plan (the “Plan to Profitability”) released by the Postal Service last month. Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe, along with FEBHP expert Walton Francis will testify at Tuesday’s hearing. To watch the hearing live (which begins at 10 am EDST) or a replay, click here.

NAPS wooing postmasters?

From NAPUS President Bob Rapoza:

NAPUS President, Bob Rapoza has issued a message to NAPUS members in response to a mass mailing that was sent to Postmasters this week from the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS,) inviting Postmasters to join the supervisory organization. The Postal Service does not recognize NAPS as a representative for Postmasters in the consultative process for planning and developing pay policies and schedules, fringe benefit programs, and other programs relating to Postmasters.

For more on President Rapoza’s comments, click http://www.napus.org/president-rapozas-updates/

USPS, Supervisors fail to reach agreement on pay package

The National Association of Postal Supervisors and the United States Postal Service concluded Pay Consultations on February 29, 2012 without reaching an agreement. The resident officers participated in a teleconference with the national executive board where the executive board was briefed on the offers presented by the Postal Service and the subject was discussed at length.

In accordance with provisions of Title 39, NAPS will file their intention to exercise their rights to Fact Finding. NAPS believe that we presented reasonable proposals for pay and benefits. The proposals by the Postal Service did not address important issues for our members.

We will provide further information to our membership when it becomes available. The resident officers appreciate the feedback and words of support that have been sent to us through phone calls and emails from our members.

via The National Association of Postal Supervisors.