Rural carriers react to Senate postal reform bill

Alexandria, VA, November 3, 2011—NRLCA President Jeanette P. Dwyer has issued the following statement responding to legislation introduced in the United States Senate, S. 1789, the “21st Century Postal Service Act of 2011.” The bill was introduced by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), along with Subcommittee Chairman of the Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security Tom Carper (D-DE) and Ranking Member Scott Brown (R-MA). The postal legislation would affect rural mail delivery nationwide.

“The bipartisan postal legislation introduce today is a commendable attempt to help the ailing Postal Service. For years the NRLCA has advocated the need to fix the Postal Service’s financial condition by restructuring its payments for the Future Retirees Health Benefits Fund and by returning the overpayment of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). This newly introduced Senate bill would fix these two financial burdens, which the NRLCA believes will set the Postal Service back on firm financial footing.

“However, there are provisions in this bill the NRLCA cannot support. First, the legislation would allow the Postal Service to eliminate Saturday delivery after two years of enactment if specific criteria are meant. The NRLCA firmly believes any reduction in mail delivery will severely harm the Postal Service and deprive its customers of essential services. In addition, the Senate legislation would interfere with collective bargaining, unfairly tilting the process in favor of the Postal Service. We believe collecting bargaining has benefitted the NRLCA and the Postal Service for well over 40 years and Congress should not interfere with this time-honored process.

“I look forward to continue working with Senate and House members on this and other postal legislation to find common ground that will benefit both the nation’s postal customers, the NRLCA, and the Postal Service.”