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politics

Video: Stabilizing the U.S. Postal Service

USPS is losing $5 billion per year. Now, a bill in the Senate could help the loss, but cause major changes for other federal workers.

Joe Davidson, Federal Diary columnist with The Washington Post, discussed how Congress plans to stabilize the USPS, with Capital Insider.

Read more: Stabilizing the U.S. Postal Service – Capital Insider | WJLA.com.

Senator Announces Postal Service Improvements across North Dakota

My Approved PortraitsGrand Forks, ND- U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today announced that, as a result of her recent meeting with United States Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, the United States Postal Service (USPS) will be introducing Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) devices in six locations across North Dakota this week.

At her recent meeting with Donahoe, Heitkamp received commitments from USPS to improve mail delivery and standards in North Dakota. These included the implementation of mPOS devices, which allow USPS employees to process many simple transactions away from the counter, making it more convenient and efficient for customers to complete transactions.

“It’s no secret that mail delivery and service standards need to be improved in North Dakota and this is a positive step forward,” said Heitkamp. “Anything we can do to make the Postal Service work better for North Dakotans is a welcome development. The commitments I received from Postmaster General Donahoe are critical for folks across the state and I will keep pressing USPS to continue to follow through so that all the hard-working North Dakotans I hear from every day have the mail delivery and service standards they deserve.”

The new point of sale technology will be introduced in the following locations this week:

-          Bismarck – 220 E Rosser Ave, Room 112

-          Dickinson – 15 1st St. E

-          Fargo – 657 2nd Ave N

-          Minot – 117 5th Ave SW

-          Watford City – 212 2nd St. NE

-          Williston – 120 E Broadway

Heitkamp previously called on North Dakotans to share their stories as part of her Fix My Mail grassroots effort if they encountered extensive delivery times or had to deal with other problems with their postal service. Heitkamp will continue to present the stories to the USPS Postmaster General and the GAO. More than 100 North Dakotans have submitted stories to Heitkamp. Click here to submit stories.

In February, Heitkamp helped advance comprehensive postal reform out of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee after the panel adopted key changes she made to the legislation that will improve mail service in rural communities throughout North Dakota.

Video: APWU President discusses Staples deal on The Ed Show

A new partnership between the U.S. Postal Service and corporate giant Staples could be detrimental to union workers. Ed Schultz and Mark Dimondstein discuss the impact.

That’s not ‘easy,’ at least not for unions | MSNBC.

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 »

Maine Congressman Calls on Speaker Boehner to Bring Postal Reform Legislation to the Floor after Recess

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Mike Michaud is calling on Speaker John Boehner to prioritize legislation that would promote the stability and sustainability of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Rep. Michaud has sent a letter to the Speaker urging him to take action following the April recess. If Speaker Boehner refuses to act, postal facility hours will be cut, service standards will be reduced, and thousands of postal jobs will be lost. Read the rest of this entry »

OMB Deputy Director testifies at Issa postal reform hearing

TESTIMONY OF BRIAN C. DEESE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET BEFORE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM

April 8, 2014

omb-logoMr. Chairman, Ranking Member Cummings, and members of the Committee, thank you for your invitation to discuss the President’s proposal for reform of the U.S. Postal Service.

The Administration recognizes the value the Postal Service adds to the Nation’s commerce and communications, and its essential role in stitching together the vast expanse of our country and connecting America with the global economy. For years the Postal Service has ranked among the most trusted Federal agencies, and it provides reliable and affordable universal service to millions of Americans. Read the rest of this entry »

APWU: Staples Deal Still a Secret — But Hearing Reveals Disturbing Truths

APWU Web News Article #061-14, April 7, 2014

The Postal Service and Staples are working overtime to keep the details of their sweetheart deal a secret, but a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board — and documents the USPS was forced to provide to the APWU — have revealed some disturbing truths.

“Staples and postal management are perpetrating a fraud on the American people,” said Clint Burelson, APWU Clerk Craft director. “They are promoting the deal as though taking your mail to Staples is the same as taking it to the Post Office.

“It’s not,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

House GOP Budget Would Cut Compensation for Postal Workers

From Government Executive:

Paul_Ryan_official_portrait

The House Republican budget considered in committee Wednesday would require U.S. Postal Service employees to pay more for health care, using that reform and others to save $19 billion over 10 years.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., targeted USPS employees in his budget blueprint as part of a larger effort to find cuts through the federal workforce. Ryan’s plan would also impose pension contribution hikes on all federal employees and reduce the size of the workforce through attrition measures.

Read more: House GOP Budget Would Cut Compensation for Postal Workers – Pay & Benefits – GovExec.com.

APWU: Based on a Falsehood, Ryan Budget Would Plunder Postal Service

APWU Web News Article #058-14, April 1, 2014

apwulogoThe postal provisions in the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on April 1 are a “thinly-veiled attempt to plunder the Postal Service — to slash service, cut workers’ benefits, and render our great national treasure ripe for privatization,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

They’re also based on a fallacy, Dimondstein points out: The USPS did not have “an operating loss of $1 billion” in fiscal year 2013, as Rep. Ryan asserts.

“In fact, the Postal Service had an operating surplus of $600 million in fiscal year 2013. The Postal Service’s losses are the result of a manufactured crisis — the legislative requirement that forces the USPS to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees 75 years in advance and within a 10-year period,” Dimondstein said. Read the rest of this entry »

Fox News personality attacks DOJ for not prosecuting USPS credit card abusers

Celebrating The Arts In American Dinner Party With Distinguished Women In Media Presented By Landmark Technology Inc. And The Creative Coalition - ArrivalsIt probably won’t come as a surprise that Fox News is livid about reports that USPS managers misused government travel cards. Last night the network’s reigning outrage queen, Scientologist Greta Van Susteren, went off on the Attorney General for not immediately sending those managers to Guantanamo:

For reasons not totally unclear to me, Holder and the Justice Department are not prosecuting the postal service manager who got caught stealing $35,000. She is using her government credit card for gambling, rental cars, personal things and each wrongful use of her credit card is a separate felony.

Now Greta is supposedly an actual lawyer, so you’d think she’d do a little research before going off on a tantrum, even on Fox News, but she obviously didn’t bother this time.

So let’s help Greta understand this one:

  1. First of all, no one was “caught stealing” anything. As we’ve pointed out before, government travel cards are issued in the name of the cardholder, NOT the US Postal Service. If some idiot manager uses his government travel card for “personal things”, it’s the idiot manager who gets billed and is responsible for making payment, NOT the USPS or “the taxpayer”.
  2. Greta asks “And one other thing, why is the government issuing credit cards? That is so crazy.” Actually Greta, the government doesn’t issue the credit cards- Citibank does. Of course, I suppose you could make the case that Citibank and the rest of its Wall Street buddies pretty much run the government in this country, so Greta’s confusion is understandable.
  3. So Greta, how do you guys at Fox News handle travel expenses? “We use our own credit cards and submit receipts showing legitimate expenses and that we get reimbursed. That way, no stealing.” Hey great idea! But that’s pretty much what happens at the USPS too, except for the business about “using our own credit cards”. Of course Greta probably likes using her own credit card, because that way she gets perks like rebates, frequent flier miles, etc. I somehow doubt that Greta flies coach!

As we’ve said before, postal employees who abuse government travel cards don’t deserve to work for the USPS- and if they actually have broken any laws, they should be prosecuted (although lawyer Greta doesn’t explain exactly what law makes every instance of credit card misuse “a separate felony”.) . But it would be nice if we could stick to the facts instead of making up phony scandals just so extremists with an axe to grind can rant and rave about them.

Read more: Greta: Attorney General Eric Holder, prosecute government credit card abuse or resign | Off the Record | On the Record | Fox News.