USPS Floats Big Cuts to Employee Pay, Leave and Benefits

Postal Service Floats Big Cuts to Employee Pay, Leave and Benefits
New postal workers would no longer earn a pension under preliminary business plan.
July 2, 2019
U.S. Postal Service
Retirement Benefits
Eric Katz
Senior Correspondent
The U.S. Postal Service, facing pressure from Congress to propose initiatives to ensure the agency’s long-term viability, is floating a business plan that would include significant cuts to employees’ take-home pay and benefits.

USPS included a hike to the employee contribution level for pensions in a first draft of a 10-year business plan presented to lawmakers and stakeholders, according to multiple people who were briefed on it, as well as phasing out pensions altogether for new hires in favor of a defined-contribution system only. The Postal Service is looking to cut the amount of paid time off employees receive by merging annual and sick leave and pitched a popular proposal with demonstrated bipartisan backing to require all postal retirees to enroll in Medicare as their primary insurance provider.

The mailing agency suggested it resume closures of mail processing plants, according to those briefed by management, a controversial practice it has used to reduce its vast physical footprint and shed workers. USPS stopped closing the facilities amid congressional pushback and intensifying talks for a legislative overhaul to the agency. Last year, the Postal Service inspector general found the agency realized just 5% of its projected savings from the consolidation plan.

USPS told those briefed on its plan that it was still subject to change. At a hearing in April, lawmakers grilled Postmaster General Megan Brennan on why the agency had failed to produce a 10-year business plan and indicated they would not move forward on legislative reforms USPS has said it desperately needs without first viewing the document. The details of the business plan were first reported by HuffPost.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee and helped usher an overhaul bill through the panel in the last Congress, said he planned to set a July deadline for the business plan and Brennan promised to meet it.

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APWU National Presidents Conference discourages sharing on social media

Save the APWU·Thursday, March 21, 2019
(Photo credit: Samuel Wood, President, Southwest Florida APWU Local)
Those in attendance at the APWU National Presidents Conference allegedly voted to impose a ban from those in attendance from posting the events of the conference on social media. Our source reports this motion was made by Omar Fernandez President, APWU State of Vermont. We will work to find additional sources to confirm Mr. Fernandez made this motion. However, one would believe it might be as there is almost no information on social media about the National Presidents Conference.
From recent NPC reports shared via email and APWU websites at the local level one would be led to believe this was due to heated debate over an alleged violation of the APWU Constitution by APWU National President Mark Dimondstein.
From what I can tell from sources mentioned above President Dimondstein was asked about his alleged violation of the APWU Constitution for failing to utilize the APWU National Craft Directors to extend mandated by the constitution during the negotiating process for the union’s national labor contract. I personally will use the term alleged because the APWU is a very secretive organization that does not promote transparency. If this is found to be true one would wonder what the penalties of such actions are? Will there be a formal investigation and what are the procedures for holding such an investigation?
I have made telephone calls, sent emails and texts to those in attendance to learn more about the social media ban. Supposedly the ban was imposed so members of the locals could learn of the events of the conference from their local officers before finding out about them on social media. I totally agree with this ban. One wouldn’t want to learn via social media their union was facing a lawsuit for failing to represent their members in contract negotiations via social media. For the sake of full transparency, I personally know of no such pending legal action against the APWU. However, the thought has entered my mind maybe this was one of their fears.

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Statement by Mark Dimondstein President, American Postal Workers Union on White House Postal Task Force on the Postal Service Report

December 5, 2018

12/04/2018 – If the White House Task Force on the Postal Service’s report was assigned a ZIP Code it would be 00000. This poorly conceived report makes many of its recommendations based on myth and misinformation that instead of improving mail services, would deliver higher prices and less service for the public.

The facts are: The public Postal Service serves each and every person. According to recent surveys by Gallup and the Pew Research Center, it enjoys the highest level of satisfaction and trust of any government service or agency. The United States has the lowest postage rates in the industrialized world. USPS doesn’t take a penny in tax dollars and under the universal service mandate delivers to 157 million addresses six days a week at affordable prices.

This report calls for slashing universal service. Recommendations would slow down service, reduce delivery days and privatize large portions of the public Postal Service. Most of the report’s recommendations, if implemented, would hurt business and individuals alike.

No institution is better suited for the ecommerce revolution than the USPS. This is why some on Wall Street and their enablers on this task force want to position the Postal Service for sale to private interests. The recommendations of the task force are not in the public interest. Our union will continue to strongly advocate for a robust public Postal Service and the rights of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated public servants who move the mail every day.

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