Darrell Issa has held countless hearings and made numerous statements about his concept of postal “reform”, but he’s never actually gotten around to producing a bill that even his own GOP colleagues would support.
Is he finally going to come up with one? Maybe, according to Postcom:
Word has it that House Government Oversight and Reform Committtee chairman Darrell Issa will be convening his full committee next Wednesday for a hearing on postal reform. Word also has it that his plan is to move to markup the week thereafter.
The Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), in its continuous effort to support Congress in passing comprehensive, postal reform, has released a white paper outlining nine legislative principles. These principles reflect what our membership believe need to be the cornerstone of any meaningful, postal reform. Our membership represents the diverse industry in which we serve, consisting of direct marketing firms, businesses, printers, lettershops, suppliers, logistic companies, parcel delivery firms and others who either use or support the use of mail and parcels for business communication and commerce.
- Principle One: The Postal Service should be allowed to develop and propose a health benefits program that may be separate and distinct from the current FEHBP health insurance program provided it meets the needs and garners the support of those who work for the Postal Service.
- Principle Two: The Postal Service should be allowed to develop a defined contribution retirement plan of its own in lieu of the current retirement plan provided under the FERS program.
- Principle Three: Arbitrators called in to address management-labor disputes that cannot be settled by collective bargaining should be Instructed to ensure that the consideration of the fiscal position and the marketplace challenges facing the Postal Service have been taken into sufficient account.
- Principle Four: Congress should authorize the return to the Postal Service any funds that have been contributed to and are being held in excess of the amount that’s needed to ensure the adequate and timely funding of the Postal Service’s obligation to support its employees’ participation and benefits under the FERS program.
- Principle Five: Congress should direct that the current requirement for the Postal Service to pre-fund the health retirement benefits of its employees and retirees under the CSRS program be re-amortized for complete funding over a more actuarially justified period of time in lieu of the 10 years currently mandated under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006.
- Principle Six: Congress should reform the rules governing eligibility for Workers Compensation to ensure that workers whose age otherwise would qualify them for retirement-related benefits have their future compensation and benefits provided in accord with those retirement programs in lieu of continued coverage under Workers Compensation.
- Principle Seven: Congress should retain in postal law the requirement that annual increases in prices for market-dominant postal services (those services covered by any statutory monopoly or for which the Postal Service benefits from a position of market dominance in the provision of the service) can be no greater than the annual increase in general prices as determined under the Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI-U).-2
- Principle Eight: The Postal Service should be permitted to make modification in its days of delivery, network and services, if deemed essential to its fiscal viability and in alignment with its universal service obligation.
- Principle Nine: The Postal Service should be empowered with greater flexibility in the design and offering of new products and services provided that those products and services do not result in demonstrable harm to private sector businesses that already provide such services, and do not permit the Postal Service to unfairly compete with the mailing and fulfillment services industry.
The Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service have decided to delay the USPS’ plans to change the frequency of general mail delivery from six to five days, while continuing to provide retails, expedited, and package delivery services. The postal Board has directed postal management to re-evaluate several aspects of its operations, including its contracts and agreements with labor and its postal pricing plans.
Regarding the latter, the Board specifically has asked postal management to evaluate the possible need to call for and implement postal rate increases that exceed the inflation-based limits provided for in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Inflation-based limits to postal rate increases has been considered a key hallmark of PAEA, and has been credited for stimulating recent reductions in overall postal costs and enhancing postal operating and cost-efficiency. Read More
The Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom), the industry leading representative of those who use mail and those who support others in the use of mail for business communication and commerce, Board of Directors met last week to discuss matters facing the mailing industry.
It elected seven new Directors to its Board:
- Mike Brigham, Toshiba International Corporation
- Heidi Gapinski, FedEx SmartPost
- Keith Kellison, United Parcel Service
- Chris Lien, Bell and Howell
- Thomas Lloyd, Capital One
- Cheryl O’Day, Discover Financial Services
- Bob Schimek, Satori Software
The Board, in its normal course of business, passed two resolutions:
- Board of Directors resolve that the President be directed, with General Counsel, to follow and monitor any developments dealing with patents filed by the Postal Service dealing with the Intelligent Mail barcode and report back to the Board if any action is needed.
- Board of Directors resolve that the PostCom staff develop comments to the hybrid business model white paper published by the National Academy of Public Administration.
“PostCom met to discuss how mail works and still is a vital part of the American economic infrastructure. Indeed, it’s as valuable to the nation as are good roads, reliable and cost-efficient transportation, working telephones, and dependable electrical power and gas. In the coming year, we need to re-double our efforts to make sure this message is hear loud and clear by our nation’s policy makers. This is the year we need to make sure that Congress and the President fully appreciate the economic power and utility that a vibrant mail system has to offer. It will be the focus of what we do at PostCom,” said PostCom President, Gene Del Polito.
The US Postal Service Board of Governors meets in closed session beginning at 10 AM this morning, and according to Postcom, they’re expected to announce a 2.1% hike in the price of postage: