National Postal Mail Handlers Union - Unity · Democracy · Strength - Division of LIUNA - AFL-CIO

National Postal Mail Handlers Union A Division of LIUNA (AFL-CIO)

Media Center / News

Apr 10

USPS Board of Governors Issues Statement on Congressional Continuing Resolution

(April 10, 2013) -- Earlier today, the Board of Governors of the U.S. Postal Service announced that it will comply with the Continuing Resolution recently passed by Congress, and will delay implementation of any new delivery schedule, including its proposed five-day schedule that previously was announced for implementation on August 5, 2013. That announcement presumably will maintain the traditional six-day delivery schedule unless and until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to alter that schedule. The NPMHU applauds this decision, which essentially was forced upon the Board of Governors by Congressional adoption of the new Continuing Resolution, and by the need to eliminate ongoing uncertainties for USPS customers.

In the same announcement, the Board of Governors also stated that other methods of dealing with its “worsening financial condition” would be pursued. To the extent that the Board has directed management to evaluate further options to increase revenue, including an exigent rate increase to raise revenues across current Postal Service product categories and products not currently covering their costs, the NPMHU will support the Postal Service in that rate request. To the extent, however, that the Board is directing management to “reope[n] negotiations with the postal unions (and consultations with management associations) to lower total workforce costs,” the pursuit of such an alternative is unlikely to be successful. It has been less than two months since the NPMHU and the Postal Service received their arbitrated 2011 National Agreement, and the various reductions in wage and benefit costs included in the Fishgold Arbitration Award still have not been implemented. The Award makes clear, moreover, that all mail handlers represented by the NPMHU already have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to USPS workforce savings during the four and one-half years covered by this National Agreement. Thus, while the NPMHU will always listen to management proposals, and will always give careful consideration to reasonable proposals, the reopening of contracts is unlikely to provide the Postal Service with additional financial relief.

Rather, it is now time for Congress to act, and to act quickly, so that the USPS is relieved of unwarranted payments into the Retiree Health Benefits Fund, so that USPS overpayments into the federal retirement systems are returned to the Postal Service, and so that the Postal Service is allowed to seek and obtain new business. The American public believes that the Postal Service is a unique institution that deserves to be preserved, and the Congress should act accordingly.



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