e-Team Report, Aug. 26, 2011

Share this article

What Cannot be Won at the Bargaining Table by the Postal Service, Could be Changed on Capitol Hill

By now you have read what the USPS has asked Congress to allow it to do in order to help alleviate their money problems. They are looking to lay off 120,000 USPS employees, remove USPS employees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHBP) and withdraw from both CSRS and FERS retirement programs. These employees currently have a no layoff provision in their contract. In the last round of contract negotiations with the APWU sacrifices were made in order for APWU members to continue to have the no layoff provision in our contract. Our negotiated protection from layoffs, our retirement and our healthcare can all be altered by Congress with the passage of one bill. 

Just this week many more articles came out that focused on the Postal Service’s proposal to Congress. To read what Joe Davidson of the Washington Post writes this week in his article titled “What Postal Service can’t win from labor unions it hopes to get from Congress” click here.

When Congress comes back into session right after Labor Day both Houses of Congress are going to be looking at revamping the Postal Service and/or fixing billions in FERS and CSRS overpayments which have been made by the Postal Service. Many bills have already been introduced in both Houses of Congress taking aim at overhauling the Postal Service while others look to allow access to billions in overpayments made by the Postal Service into both FERS and CSRS retirement funds. Multiple legislators have polarizing views as to how to fix the Postal Service and the USPS’s financial problems. 

The APWU is asking our members to reach out and urge their member of Congress to cosponsor and support Congressman Lynch’s H.R. 1351, which will let the USPS use billions of dollars in CSRS and FERS overpayments to meet its financial obligations. Unlike, other bills that address the pension overpayments, H.R. 1351 will not attack the rights of workers to collectively bargain.

Also, tell your member of Congress to oppose Congressman Issa’s H.R. 2309. Rep. Darrell Issa’s H.R. 2309 does not correct the massive USPS overpayments to its CSRS and FERS pension accounts. Congressman Issa’s bill will wage an attack on current negotiated wages, benefits, and protection against layoffs of postal workers.

What can you do to help? Contact your member of Congress today! You can reach your member of Congress by calling the Capitol Hill switchboard today at (202) 224-3121 or to find your member of congress click here. If you have not already sent a quick message to your member of congress asking them to cosponsor H.R. 1351 and oppose H.R. 2309 take action today by clicking both of the links below. To send your member of congress a quick message asking them to cosponsor and support H.R. 1351 please click here. To send a quick message to your member of congress asking them to oppose Congressman Issa’s H.R. 2309 please click here.


There is a Solution other than Withdrawing from Federal Benefit Plans

Multiple articles in recent weeks have cited what “must” be done in order to fix the Postal Service’s financial situation. Many of these types of articles lay out points which they believe are the problem with the current setup of the postal service. The following article is one example that points out problems with the current situation the Postal Service is in. However, the article does not mention what we talked about above, the billions of dollars in overpayments that have been made into both FERS and CSRS retirement funds. Many articles have cited the only fix for the postal service is to withdraw from FEHBP, FERS and CSRS and allow them to manage their own retirement and healthcare benefits. This is another reason why we MUST contact our legislators to let them know we support H.R. 1351. To read the article in the International Business Times please click here.

League of Women Voters Files Suit in WI; PA Secretary of Commonwealth Backs Voter ID Bill at Statehouse

Again this week battles over voter ID bills in state legislatures are making news. In Wisconsin the League of Women Voters is in the process of preparing to file suit against the state’s new voter ID requirements. This is a battle to decide if the new law violates the state’s constitution. To read more about the new battle in Wisconsin click here.

This week Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth, Carol Aichele came out in favor of the controversial state voter ID legislation. As of this week the state’s voter ID legislation has already passed the State House and is still awaiting a further movement in the Pennsylvania Senate. 

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.