e-Team Report, April 26, 2012

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Postal Reform Passes First Hurdle - The Senate

APWU e-TEAM member,

Yesterday, the Senate passed an amended version of the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) by a vote of 62-37. Even though this piece of legislation is far from perfect, the amended version that passed the Senate today was far better than when originally introduced. 

The bill will provide the USPS, which is facing imminent collapse, with short-term financial relief, by returning $11 billion in USPS overpayments to federal pension funds to the Postal Service. This money was paid by USPS customers, workers, and the Postal Service. The bill also will provide some protection for service standards for a minimum of three years However, S.1789 will also have devastating consequences for the thousands of postal and federal employees who were injured on the job and who receive compensation from the Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP).

The battle now moves forward to the U.S. House of Representatives.

To read more on the APWU’s website please, click here.

Thank you to those of you who took time to write, call, and e-mail both of your Senators in regard to S. 1789!

Below is a list of some of the amendments that were voted on today before final passage of the bill.

Senator Casey’s (D-PA) amendment (#2042) to maintain current delivery time for market-dominant products for four years failed to garner enough votes to pass. This amendment, that the APWU greatly supported, failed by a vote of 44-54.

Senator Paul’s (R-KY) amendment (#2039) to eliminate collective bargaining for postal workers failed by a vote of 23-76.

Senator Manchin’s (D-WV) amendment (#2079) to impose a two-year moratorium on any postal facility and post office closures failed to pass. This amendment failed by a vote of 43-53. 

Senator Landreiu’s (D-LA) amendment (#2072) to determine the impact of certain postal facility closures or consolidations on small businesses passed. This amendment, which the APWU supported, passed by a voice vote.

Senator Pryor’s (D-AR) amendment (#2036) to express the sense of the Senate to place a moratorium on postal facility closures and consolidation until enactment was passed by a voice vote. 

Senator Rockefeller’s (D-WV) amendment (#2074) to ensure that the Postal Service Health Benefits Program will be comparable to the FEHBP passed with a voice vote.

Senator Schumer’s (D-NY) amendment (#2050) would maintain door delivery point services for those who currently have door service. The APWU supported this amendment which passed with a voice vote.

Another amendment (#2071) the APWU supported was passed with a voice vote. This amendment was brought forward by Senator Warner (D-VA) and would require reporting regarding retirement processing and modernization.

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