Category: L.T.S. Materials

Postal News – Statements from the Postal Service Board of Governors and the Postmaster General on Today’s Senate Action

April 25, 2012

The following statements are in response to today’s vote by the U.S. Senate to approve S 1789, the 21st Century Postal Reform Act.

Statement of the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service

The Board, in working with management, has spent the past two years preparing a comprehensive business plan to make the Postal Service viable so it would not become a liability to the American people. This plan was validated by outside experts. We stand behind this plan, and we are convinced it is the right approach.

Unfortunately, action by the Senate today falls far short of the Postal Service’s plan. We are disappointed that the Senate’s bill would not enable the Postal Service to return to financial viability. A strong Postal Service is important to the health of the entire mailing industry and the Postal Service’s ability to finance universal service for the American public. Given volume losses we have experienced over the past five years along with expected future trends, it is totally inappropriate in these economic times to keep unneeded facilities open. There is simply not enough mail in our system today. It is also inappropriate to delay the implementation of 5-day delivery when the vast majority of the American people support this change. Failure to act on these changes will ensure that the Postal Service’s losses will continue to mount.

We remain hopeful that Congress will ultimately produce legislation that will enable the Postal Service to return to financial viability.

Click here for complete statement.

USPS Plans for Workforce Cuts as Senate Expected to Take Up Reform Bill

This week the Senate is expected to take up legislation to reform the Postal Service. The bill (S.1789) could close post offices, end Saturday deliveries and return funds the Postal Service as pre-paid for retiree health benefits.

USPS already has started considering how it would operate with a slimmed-down workforce. Tony Vegliante, chief human capital officer for the Postal Service, said there are three ways it is trying to reduce the number of employees: Attrition, control hiring and voluntary separation incentives.

Click here for complete article.

-Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio 

Testimony Presented by NAPS President Louis Atkins to the US Senate – September 6, 2011

Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.  My testimony expresses the views of the three management associations that represent the 75,000 managers, postmasters, supervisors and other non-bargaining unit employees of the United States Postal Service.  Those management organizations are the National Association of Postal Supervisors, the National Association of Postmasters of the United States and the National League of Postmasters.

Without question, the United States Postal Service is in a desperate financial situation.  It has never reached this state of affairs since its creation as a self-supporting government establishment in 1970.  It is only weeks away from being unable to meet the 2006 financial obligation that Congress and the Administration imposed on it.  As a result, it will default on that payment.

Download the complete testimony here.

21st Century Postal Service Act (P-21) Summary

??The P21 Act saves money with critical workforce-related reforms.

Buyouts and Retirement Incentives

The bill would give the Postmaster General access to the money the United States Postal Service (the Postal Service or USPS) has overpaid into one of its pension funds (FERS) and use it to offer buyouts or retirement incentives to reduce the active postal workforce by 100,000 or more employees over the next several years. The incentives could include either a cash buyout of up to $25,000 (the cap for federal worker buyouts) or credited service years toward retirement annuity: up to one year for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees and up to two for FERS employees. Any funds remaining after the Postal Service has completed this incentive program may be used to repay debt and meet obligations related to workers’ compensation, pensions, and retiree health. USPS has estimated that reducing its workforce by 100,000 would save up to $8 billion annually.

Download the full Summary here.

Where Are We Now? What Comes Next?

NAPS Leg/Reg Update – October 20, 2011

Two recent events have triggered questions from NAPS members about the chances of Congress passing legislation that helps the Postal Service and deals with its financial problems.

The first involved the Government Accountability Office’s finding that the OPM complied with federal law in determining how much USPS should pay for its CSRS pension obligations, undermining the transfer of additional assets to USPS. The second event involved the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s approval of a new version of the Issa-Ross postal reform legislation, H.R. 2309. NAPS continues to oppose the legislation as approved by the House Committee.

These two events have prompted questions about the GAO report, the future of H.R. 1351 and what it means for legislation on Capitol Hill to save the Postal Service. Here are the answers to some of those questions:

What did GAO really find? Did GAO conclude that the Postal Service did not overpay its pension obligations?

The GAO found only that OPM’s actions in calculating how much the Postal Service owed for its CSRS obligations were “consistent with the law,” regardless of the fairness of the allocation of CSRS payments between the Postal Service and the Treasury.

Does GAO’s finding mean that the Postal Service will not receive a refund for any overpayment of its CSRS obligations?

The GAO finding will make it much more difficult for the Postal Service to receive a refund of any overpayment of its CSRS obligations. Even before the GAO finding, significant political and budget-scoring barriers were making it difficult to convince Congress to provide a refund of CSRS assets to the Postal Service. The White House also has registered deficit-based concerns and only supports the return of overpaid FERS assets to the Postal Service, not overpaid CSRS assets.

Does GAO’s finding mean that H.R. 1351 is dead?

We always knew that getting H.R. 1351 approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives was going to be difficult. Many House Republicans have resisted H.R. 1351 because of its impact on the federal deficit. In the Senate, however, pending postal bills introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (S. 1010) and Sen. Susan Collins (S. 353) would deal with the overpayment issue, just as H.R. 1351 does. They require OPM to recalculate the Postal Service’s CSRS payments since 1971 using a different method more fair and favorable to the Postal Service. But now, the GAO report will make it more difficult to secure Senate approval of the Carper or Collins bills with inclusion of the CSRS recalculation provisions. Sen. Carper has suggested setting aside the CSRS issue to craft a bill with greater chances of approval by the Senate.

Does all of this mean that our efforts to get Congress to pass H.R. 1351 are for naught?

By no means! GAO’s finding does not suggest that our lobbying efforts, including the Save America’s Postal Service Rally on September 27, have been worthless. Just the opposite, in fact. These actions have elevated public attention to show exactly why the Postal Service’s finances are what they are and the impact of the burdensome retiree health prefunding payments.

The schedule governing these massive retiree health prefunding payments must be changed by Congress. This is the same situation a bank and homeowner face when the bank revises its mortgage payment schedule because the homeowner faces financial difficulties and the threat of foreclosure. The revision of the retiree health payment obligations is just the same, and remains an important focus of H.R. 1351 and the Carper and Collins bills. NAPS continues to urge Congress to revise the retiree health payment schedule to restore the Postal Service’s near-term financial stability, while addressing its longer-term business model needs.

When will H.R. 2309 be brought to the House floor? When will the Senate begin to move a bill?

The House Republican leadership has not announced its schedule for bringing H.R. 2309 to a floor vote.

In the Senate, efforts are underway in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to craft a bipartisan measure more sensible than H.R. 2309. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Collins (R-ME), the top Democrat and Republican on the Committee, have indicated their intent to recommend the package that emerges to the House-Senate deficit reduction supercommittee for inclusion in its package of recommendations. NAPS will continue to keep you advised of further developments.

Bruce Moyer
Legislative Counsel to NAPS

Message from Senator Charles E. Schumer

Dear Mr. Roma:

Thank you for your letter regarding horse slaughter and the humane treatment of horses. I share your concern for these wonderful animals and you will be happy to know that I co-sponsored the S. 727, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, a bill which would prevent the slaughtered of horses for human consumption.

Animal welfare is personally important to me. In the 110th Congress, I cosponsored several bills to protect companion animals: S. 714, the Pet Safety and Protection Act; S. 1880, which would make dog-fighting a federal crime; and S. 2439, which would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track animal-cruelty crimes nationwide. Provisions very similar to the Pet Safety and dog-fighting bills were included in the 2007 farm bill, and I am happy to report that they are now law. I also strongly supported the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which passed the Senate in April and is now federal law and I have pushed the Appropriations Committee to provide funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop plans for evacuating pets during emergencies, such as should have happened in Hurricane Katrina. In addition, I was proud to support the passage of P.L. 106-152, a law banning the interstate trade in “crush videos.” Under this law, it is illegal to engage in the interstate commercial distribution of materials depicting animal cruelty, specifically the crushing of small animals by women wearing high-heeled shoes.

Although I am proud of the accomplishments made on behalf of animal welfare so far, I am aware that there are still many animal welfare issues remaining to be addressed. Rest assured that I remain strongly committed to protecting animal welfare.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. If I may be of further assistance on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/webform.cfm . Thank you.

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