Washington, DC – June 25, 2014 – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano succeeded in restoring language to an annual appropriations bill requiring the United States Postal Service to maintain six day delivery. The bipartisan amendment, which Congressman Serrano sponsored with Congressman Tom Latham (R-IA), passed and was added to the fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. Continue reading
NEW BRITAIN, Conn.(WTNH)– Seven New Britain postal workers accused of collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in unemployment benefits are facing larceny and fraud charges.
The state of Connecticut is cracking down on unemployment fraud in general. They say they have made 60-70 arrest since they started their sting operation but now that the are looking at postal workers. They say some may be working together to milk the system.
The mug shots of these seven alleged scammers look like a dysfunctional Brady Bunch minus two, but the way they became a bunch was due to a high tech investigation
“Sometimes just computer cross matches are done one database, that’s employers reporting that they paid wages to certain people. We had people who were collecting wages and then they just cross match and those names come up for us to investigate,” said Marcia Pillsbury, Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney.
The National Association of Letter Carriers is telling its members that Saturday mail delivery is “on the chopping block” in Congress this week as the House of Representatives considers an appropriations bill that, for the first time in over thirty years, does not mandate six day delivery:
Last week, the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations subcommittee introduced its appropriations bill. For the first time since 1983, the longstanding language mandating the Postal Service to deliver six days a week is not part of the underlying bill.
The ranking member on the committee, Rep. José Serrano (D-NY), is planning to offer an amendment to restore this vital provision. This coming Wednesday, June 25, at 10 am, the full Appropriations Committee will “mark up” the measure—that is, it will consider and debate amendments to the bill.
Australia Post could be given the OK to end the everyday delivery of standard mail and introduce a two-tiered pricing system as early as year’s end, under reforms being considered by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Turnbull is expected to present a rescue package for Australia Post, including three-day-a-week delivery for standard mail, to federal cabinet within months.
Mr Turnbull is also actively considering allowing the company to introduce a two-tiered pricing system, similar to Britain’s second-class mail service, for non-urgent letter deliveries. Customers wanting speedier letter delivery would pay more than the standard rate.
Safeguards for disadvantaged Australians, including pensioners, would be included in the reform package.
June 16, 2014—The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker,” Glenn Kessler, has challenged on his blog the statement by NALC that the Postal Service’s plan to end Saturday would eliminate 80,000 jobs.
Sadly, Kessler has made a hash of it.
Kessler argues that the NALC’s statement is misleading, because the data our statement relies on is from a 2010 Postal Service presentation about a 2009 study (he posted slides from that presentation). Kessler also argues that fewer jobs would be lost, that many of those are part-time jobs, that most of the job loss would be through attrition rather than layoffs, and that the NALC is relying on an outdated study.
As you might have guessed, the surprise defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has resulted in the dismissal of his bizarre plan to have the US Postal Service finance the nation’s highway program for a year. The plan was supported by Postmaster General Pat Donahoe.
House leaders are setting aside a plan to finance a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund with cutbacks in U.S. Postal Service operations after a late barrage of opposition from rank-and-file members.
“The proposal to end six-day [mail delivery] was not well received by a large portion of the Republican conference and appears to be dead,” said a senior House Republican aide. “Other, more viable options are now being considered.”
House Republican aides said the plan collapsed after Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary election in Virginia on Tuesday night. Cantor had been behind the idea from the start, they said.
June 14, 2014—Earlier this week, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe recklessly endorsed the House of Representative’ leadership’s outrageous ploy to use massive job and service cuts in the Postal Service to “pay for” a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund, which will run out of money in August if Congress fails to raise the gas tax that normally funds it or to come up with an alternative source of revenue.
The proposal, the brainchild of the outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), would use the alleged saving of eliminating Saturday mail delivery to offset the cost of a temporary injection of taxpayer funds into the trust fund to keep highway maintenance and construction projects going for a few more months.
The plan, which appears to have failed to gain enough support to advance in the House, was widely panned in Washington as a transparent gimmick that relied on averting a hypothetical taxpayer bailout of the Postal Service in the future. It was also a massive failure of leadership. Our nation deserves a serious long-term solution to our highway infrastructure crisis, but the House of Representatives refuses to govern.
NALC President Fredric Rolando denounced the PMG’s move and issued the following statement:
“Mr. Donahoe’s action may be the most irresponsible thing any Postmaster General has done since the creation of the Postal Service in 1970. If allowed to succeed, this budget gimmick would have set a terrible precedent for the Postal Service. Why raise taxes or reduce spending at taxpayer-funded agencies, when you can pay for pet projects with legislated service cuts at the Postal Service? Need a new aircraft carrier? Slash post office hours. Want a new fleet of planes to fight forest fires? Raise postage rates. The PMG recklessly risked undoing all the hard work we did in the late 1980s to get the Postal Service off-budget, to shield the Postal Service and ratepayers from scheming politicians like Rep. Cantor. The PMG owes every postal employee and every postage rate-payer an apology.”
The Postal Service did not just offer rhetorical support for the House GOP plan. It spent the week distributing grossly misleading “fact sheets” to Congress about the effects of eliminating Saturday delivery.
The NALC and our allies in the other unions and in both parties in Congress fought back with fact sheets and communications of our own.
There was never any support in the Senate for the Cantor highway trust fund proposal, and according to a story by Congressional Quarterly, opposition in the House now seems to have killed the idea altogether.
But President Rolando warned NALC members to remain vigilant:
“We may have defeated this gimmick, but we must also ensure that the six-day mandate is renewed in next year’s House appropriation bill. The next few weeks will be decisive on this front as well; we will need every member to fight to save the Postal Service from politicians who want to dismantle it. It’s a shame that postmaster general has made common cause with the dismantlers instead of working with us and other stakeholders to advance consensus reforms that will strengthen the Postal Service, not weaken it.”
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers has released a preliminary list of where community mailboxes will be installed in Winnipeg this summer and fall.
Two parts of northwest Winnipeg, specifically homes whose postal codes start with R2P and R2V will be among the first in the country to switch from door-to-door deliver to community mailboxes in the fall.
Ben Zorn, the CUPW’s local president in Winnipeg, said the union received the addresses as part of a much larger document, and they worked to extract the points.
“This is the information that Canada Post has provided to the union for the purposes of identifying letter carrier routes so presumably these would be the places,” he said. “What we see the most is that particularly in the older grid neighbourhoods is that they are on side streets along the sides of people’s properties.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree are calling on Speaker John Boehner to abandon a proposal to temporarily address the impending shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund by eliminating Saturday mail delivery. In a letter to the Speaker, Michaud and Pingree say it is irresponsible to try to address one job crisis by creating another. Speaker Boehner is pushing the measure despite a majority of the House supporting H.Res. 30, which expresses the importance of continuing six-day mail delivery for working families, in particular.
Reps. Michaud and Pingree said of Speaker Boehner’s proposal:
“A reliable, six-day mail delivery schedule is incredibly important to Maine residents, particularly those in rural areas. Businesses, senior citizens, and families all rely on six-day service for the timely delivery of paychecks, Social Security benefits, goods and other essential items. We all support taking immediate action to shore up the Highway Trust Fund, but we have a responsibility for Mainers and for the American people to work together and come up with a solution that doesn’t harm people. Suspending mail delivery on Saturdays is not that solution.”
The full text of Michaud and Pingree’s letter is available below:
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, the Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner:
We write to urge you to abandon your proposal to temporarily shore up the Highway Trust Fund by eliminating most Saturday mail deliveries. Doing so would disproportionately affect rural communities and businesses across the nation that depend on reliable and timely mail delivery. Instead, we urge you to work in a bipartisan manner to find sustainable revenues to provide for the long term health of the trust fund.
Legitimate disagreements exist among Members of Congress as to the future of the Postal Service. Businesses, senior citizens, and families alike rely on six-day service for the timely delivery of paychecks, Social Security benefits, goods, and other essential items. A bipartisan majority of the House has already recognized this fact by cosponsoring H.Res.30, which expresses the importance of continuing six-day mail deliveries to working families.
We also recognize the urgent need to address the Highway Trust Fund shortfall and that without a solution this summer, thousands of infrastructure projects throughout the nation will be stalled. The job losses and economic impacts would be devastating. However, fixing one job crisis with a job-killing partisan proposal is not a viable solution.
The recent passage of WRRDA by an overwhelming bipartisan majority showed that transportation and infrastructure does not have to be a partisan issue. Given the opportunity, Members can come together to solve difficult issues for the American people. We urge you to drop your proposal and work across the aisle to find a viable solution for the Highway Trust Fund shortfall.
Statement of NAPS President Louis M. Atkins On the Proposal of Rep. Darrell Issa to End Door Delivery of Mail
The managers, postmasters and supervisors who comprise the membership of the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) manage the vast majority of the 160 million daily deliveries to homes and businesses across the country, six days a week. They know the financial costs and physical challenges of bringing mail to the customer’s door; they also understand the benefits of door delivery and what it means to customers and their loyalty to the Postal Service.
That is why NAPS opposes the proposal of Rep. Darrell Issa to fundamentally change the way mail is delivered to many Americans. There is wide consensus that comprehensive postal reform requires, first and foremost, realigning the retiree health prefunding payments schedule, which has been a massive burden upon the finances of the Postal Service. Rep. Issa’s proposal does nothing to address that burden.
Moreover, Rep. Issa’s proposal heads in the wrong direction; it provides no funding for the Postal Service’s purchase and installation of hundreds of thousands of curbside and centralized delivery boxes, nor the funding to provide for right-of-way placement of those boxes. These up-front costs will only drag down the Postal Service’s finances further.
At the current time, all new residential development construction provides for the installation of centralized mail delivery, and there are voluntary provisions for the conversion of door and curb delivery to centralized delivery. This should remain the governing approach until Congress musters the will to undertake comprehensive postal reform.