Legislative Priorities and the Fight Ahead!

Judy Beard

July 13, 2022

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2022 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Service Standards/Appropriations

Returning USPS to its 2012 Service Standards remains a top priority of the APWU. In the 117th Congress, both the House and the Senate held hearings on USPS's declining service standards and invited APWU members to testify on the importance of returning USPS to its 2012 standards.

Your Legislative and Political Department continues to meet with lawmakers on the importance of preserving a fast, reliable, and accessible post offi ce. We fought for, and won, language in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 which was signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022. The language requires the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to conduct a study that investigates and examines the benefi ts for USPS to return to its 2012 standards. This language has laid the groundwork for future fights to restore the speed of mail service that the American public deserves.

We will keep the APWU membership apprised of the results of this study, which must be completed within a year.

WEP/GPO Repeal

APWU continues our fight to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset. This law has robbed many of our CSRS retirees of their rightful Social Security earnings. There are several bills under consideration that would repeal WEP and GPO. President Dimondstein and I have met with lawmakers who have introduced some of the legislation and they have assured us that the fi ght to repeal is far from over and that support to take action is bipartisan. We are committed to build more support by working with other affected unions and organizations whose members are affected.

Voting by Mail Our Work Continues!

At the recent National AFL-CIO convention which took place in Philadelphia June 12-15, I had the privilege of participating on a two-person panel, along with Lori Augino, Executive Director of the National Vote at Home Institute that focused on the importance of voting by mail. I highlighted the work done by postal workers during the 2020 election to process 65 million ballots (almost double the number in 2016) as well as the success of the national election task force established between the USPS and the postal unions. That work was so valuable to our country that we were able to achieve a continuation of the Task Force in our recent collective bargaining agreement. The work our members did during the 2020 election is a prime example of democracy in action. The role postal workers play in the electoral process has been recognized all across the labor movement and throughout our communities. We will continue to work with our partners at the National Vote at Home Institute to advocate for national vote by mail.

2022 Midterm Elections

We are quickly approaching what may prove to be one of the most consequential elections for the labor movement. As voters go to the polls in November to cast their ballots, they will be making the decision of whether or not to elect lawmakers who stand with the working people of the country. The APWU will work to not only ensure pro-labor candidates are elected but that ballot initiatives and referendums that would enhance the lives of working people are passed. We encourage all of our members to get involved with voter engagement and empower people to exercise their right to vote.

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