Category: News

Federal Times – USPS wants single health plan for employees, retirees

The U.S. Postal Service wants to create a new, single health care plan for its employees.

Tony Vegliante, the Postal Service’s chief human resources officer and executive vice president, said in an interview Wednesday that concentrating roughly a million postal employees and retirees in a single insurance provider would yield true economies of scale and hold down health care costs for the financially flailing agency.

Postal employees and retirees now get their health insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), which offers hundreds of national, regional and local health plans to choose from. The Postal Service recently proposed pulling out of federal health and pension plans and starting its own as a way to cut costs.

Vegliante said FEHBP has “watered down” its negotiating position by dividing 8 million federal and postal employees and retirees among more than 200 plans.

“I don’t see any benefit we’d be deprived of,” Vegliante told Federal Times. “In fact, I see the opposite effect. There’s 207 plans in FEHB — there’s no economy of scale there. I don’t know where the leverage is.”

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NAPS Executive Board Teleconference Minutes – September 19, 2011

Louis Atkins

Before beginning the telecom regarding the September 27, 2011 Legislative Rally for support of HR 1351, President Atkins informed the Executive Board that NAPS takes prided in the success of getting every impacted NAPS member in the latest RIF a job, who wanted one.

President Atkins also mentioned that NAPS supports President Obama’s Budget Plan as it relates to the USPS, except for the President’s plan that reduces mail delivery from six to five days. NAPS still contends that 6-day delivery should be the last resort, since there are other legislative options to get the monies owed the USPS due to overfunding.

Download complete minutes here.

Sales Meeting – September 23, 2011

President Atkins thanked Mr. Rucker for agreeing to participate in a meeting on Sales with NAPS. We moved into the prepared agenda that was provided to the Postal Service in advance of the meeting:

Agenda Item 1:

On August 4, 2011, NAPS sent a proposal to the Postmaster General that, if implemented, would transfer the current Sales group from a headquarters reporting structure to a structure that would report to the District at the local level.

This proposal was referred to the Vice President, Sales and the Chief Human Resource Officer for review. What is the status of your review of this proposal?

We have received information that now there are two Postal Service Areas that are conducting “pilots” where detailed employees, (not headquarters employees) will be used to receive leads that will be contacted via telephone. A determination will be made by the individuals making the calls if a sale can be completed by the call or whether the sale will be given to District employees or Headquarters Sales employees.

With this pilot be expanded nationally? Will this cause redundancy in harvesting Sales? Won’t this impact the Sales goals of Headquarters employees and cause in-fighting between three groups reporting to two or three different structures? This pilot indicates to NAPS that we should place Sales under postal Districts.

Download full minutes here.

Bipartisan Postal Bill Introduced in Senate

NAPS Leg/Reg Update – November 3, 2011

Four key Democratic and Republican Senate lawmakers on Wednesday announced the introduction of compromise legislation that they say will “save the United States Postal Service from financial disaster and put it on the road toward financial stability.” The bill is The 21st Century Postal Service Act, (S. 1789). For a copy of the bill and other background information, click here.

The bill was introduced by the four Senators with leadership roles for overseeing the Postal Service — Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE), and Ranking Member Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).

The bill is on a fast track for committee approval, with a markup scheduled by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for next Wednesday, November 9. Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins have indicated they plan to submit their legislative proposal to the deficit reduction supercommittee for potential inclusion in that panel’s recommended legislation to Congress, due November 23.

Major Provisions

The 21st Century Postal Service Act would:

* Require OPM to refund $7 billion in overpaid FERS payments to USPS. Those funds may be used by USPS for buyouts to employees to help reduce its workforce. According to USPS, $2 billion in buyouts will help it reduce its workforce by as many as 100,000 employees over the next three years, reaching $8 billion a year in savings.

* Recalibrate the USPS pre-funding requirements for its retiree health benefits by reamortizing those payments over 40 years.

* Authorize USPS to create a new USPS health care plan outside FEHBP, if USPS and all unions agreed to its terms. USPS estimates a new healthcare plan could cut costs roughly in half, while maintaining “adequate” benefits.

* Delay the start-up of five-day-a-week mail delivery for two years if USPS completes studies and develops remedies for customers who may be affected disproportionately by the change in service.

* Expand curbside service through delivery to neighborhood cluster boxes, eliminating door deliveries.

* Overhaul the federal workers comp program, bringing it in line with most state programs and requiring future disabled federal workers upon reaching retirement age to shift from disability to retirement benefits.

House Action

In the House, floor time has not yet been scheduled for a postal bill (H.R. 2309) introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) that would make sweeping and controversial changes to the Postal Service, creating a master control board, closing thousands of post offices and cutting Saturday service. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has proposed a similar version of that bill in the Senate.

Bruce Moyer
Legislative Counsel to NAPS

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