National Association of Letter Carriers News Feed http://www.nalc.org/rss/ National Association of Letter Carriers News Feed Wed, 1 Oct 2014 05:00:00 +0000 AMPS en hourly 1 POSTAL FACTS: MAY 21, 2018 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-may-21-2018 Tue, 22 May 2018 08:36:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-may-21-2018 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.

USPS cash hurdle

New York PostNALC President Fredric Rolando’s letter to the editor in the New York Post on May 20 rebuts a business column over issues of postal finances, including the pre-funding burden and operating profits. The newspaper is the fourth-largest daily newspaper in the country.

Click here to read a scan of Rolando’s letter.

]]>
Food drive collection results forms due by June 9 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/food-drive-collection-results-forms-due-by-june-9 Thu, 17 May 2018 13:53:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/food-drive-collection-results-forms-due-by-june-9 Branch collection results forms are due at NALC Headquarters by June 9. You can download and print the form from here.

A final national total for the drive is scheduled to be announced shortly after that; a detailed report on the drive, including branch-by-branch results, will appear in The Postal Record.

]]>
OPM proposes retirement changes https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/opm-proposes-retirement-changes Wed, 16 May 2018 08:18:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/opm-proposes-retirement-changes On May 4, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Jeff Pon sent a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan making four legislative recommendations that, if enacted, would require current and future federal employees to make larger pension contributions, and also would scale back retirement benefits for current retirees. The proposals would mainly affect Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) employees; Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) participants would be affected to a lesser extent.

OPM’s proposals reflect the White House’s last two budget requests, which called for:

  • Increasing FERS federal employee pension contributions to 7.25 percent. Currently, there are three tiers of FERS pensions, with newly hired postal and federal workers in 2013 and 2014 paying more of the contributions (3.1 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively) into the FERS retirement system with no corresponding benefit increase. This proposal would call for all current and future FERS participants to contribute 1 percent more toward their annuities each year until they are contributing 7.25 percent of their basic pay into the pension. This increase comes without any corresponding pension increase, representing a significant pay cut for postal and federal employees.
  • Replacing the high-3 with the high-5. This would significantly cut the retirement annuity of postal and federal employees.
  • Eliminating and reducing the federal retiree COLA. This would eliminate the COLA for FERS participants and cut the COLA for CSRS participants, preventing postal and federal retiree pensions from keeping pace with inflation.
  • Eliminating the FERS annuity supplement. This proposal would take away the possibility for many postal and federal workers to retire before the age of 62. It also needlessly harms firefighters, law enforcement officers and others who must retire before age 62.

The White House has called on Congress to adopt these changes and while it has yet to do so, these proposals can come up throughout the remainder of the 115th Congress, so letter carriers should be prepared.

“These proposals are nothing but a blatant attack on postal and federal workers,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We will do everything in our power to prevent Congress from putting the burden of paying for federal spending on the backs of letter carriers, other federal employees and retirees.”

]]>
NALC statement on USPS Q2 financial report for FY 2018 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-statement-on-usps-q2-financial-report-for-fy-2018 Fri, 11 May 2018 13:40:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-statement-on-usps-q2-financial-report-for-fy-2018 NALC President Fredric Rolando’s statement on the May 11 release of the U.S. Postal Service’s financial statement for the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, covering the months of January, February and March of 2018:

Today’s USPS quarterly financial report shows the Postal Service’s underlying business strength while also indicating the need to address external matters beyond USPS control.

For the first six months of FY 2018, the Postal Service is close to breaking even – showing a year-to-date operating loss of $302 million. Without the exigent stamp price rollback, the half-year would have an impressive operating profit of about $700 million. These figures, of course, involve only earned revenue; by law, USPS gets no taxpayer money for its operations.

This reflects USPS’ vitality and its importance to the public and our economy – as well as the need to resolve key public policy issues. In April 2016, the price of a stamp was rolled back by two cents, reducing postal revenue by about $2 billion a year. That was the first rollback of stamp prices since 1919 and it makes little financial sense because the Postal Service already has the industrial world’s lowest rates.

Fortunately, the Postal Regulatory Commission is in the midst of a legally mandated review of the postage rate-setting system. At present, USPS is constricted in its ability to adjust rates by no more than the Consumer Price Index, but the CPI is an economy-wide measurement of consumer goods and services that doesn’t fit a transportation and delivery provider. The PRC has the ability to correct this mismatch and relieve the resulting financial pressure.

Meanwhile, Congress should address the pre-funding burden it imposed in 2006, which requires USPS -- alone among all public and private entities -- to prefund future retiree healthcare benefits decades into the future. Without that $1.9 billion cost for the first six months of FY 2018 and the $1 billion cost of the price rollback, USPS would have a net profit of more than $1 billion.

Fixing the external financial burdens posed by the price rollback and pre-funding will allow USPS – which is based in the Constitution and which enjoys broad public and political support – to continue providing Americans and their businesses with the industrial world’s most-affordable delivery network.

]]>
Notice to prospective candidates in the 2018 NALC election https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/notice-to-prospective-candidates-in-the-2018-nalc-election Tue, 03 Apr 2018 10:46:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/notice-to-prospective-candidates-in-the-2018-nalc-election In accordance with federal law, NALC has arranged for Kelly Press to handle requests by candidates for national office in the 2018 NALC election to distribute campaign literature by e-mail.

Kelly Press will be responsible for receiving campaign material from candidates and managing the distribution of this material by email.  Candidates may begin email distributions on April 16, 2018.  Any candidate(s) wishing to arrange distribution of campaign literature by email, at his/her own expense, must contact Edeline M. Jean or Gary Locke, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, at 301-386-8285 or 301-583-5300.

Kelly Press will advise candidates of the cost of e-mail campaign literature. Payments must be in the form of a USPS Money Order or Certified Check prior to e-mail transmittance. Kelly Press requires five business days advance notice for set-up, preparation and formatting of e-mail campaign literature.

Members will have the option of unsubscribing from receipt of campaign literature before or any time after distribution of campaign literature begins.  Each candidate email will contain a link allowing recipients to unsubscribe from receiving future candidate emails. 

Candidates in the 2018 election may elect to send e-mails to: (1) all e-mail addresses in NALC’s current and archived databases; or (2) to email addresses that can be identified as being within specific National Business Agent regions.  NALC’s email databases consist mostly of members who provided their e-mail address to NALC when signing up for the e-Activist program.  There are approximately 70,000 email addresses in these current and archived e-Activist databases.  Candidates should be aware that NALC is no longer using these email addresses to communicate with members, except for those e-Activists who requested to continue receiving messaging by email.

Candidates should also be aware that the archived database includes a list of approximately 9,400 non-e-Activist addresses which has never been used by NALC to disseminate information to its members.  Candidates should discuss with Kelly Press whether to include this list in their email distributions.

Finally, candidates should check the May issue of The Postal Record for additional information on convention displays and purchasing advertisements in The Postal Record.

]]>
POSTAL FACTS: May 15, 2018 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-may-15-2018 Tue, 15 May 2018 13:46:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-may-15-2018 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.

Coverage of the Postal Service's quarterly report

Media coverage of the May 11 USPS quarterly financial report focused on the numbers but also on the rise in packages and the need for postal reform. The postmaster general and NALC president Fredric Rolando were widely quoted. Below are links to some of the reports:

]]>
Notice of nominations for NALC national officers https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/notice-of-nominations-for-nalc-national-officers Mon, 07 May 2018 14:30:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/notice-of-nominations-for-nalc-national-officers Nominations for national officers of the National Association of Letter Carriers, AFL-CIO, will be held on Wednesday, July 18, at the national convention in Detroit. The notice of nominations and additional information for those campaigning for NALC national office was run in the May issue of The Postal Record, available by clicking here.

]]>
NALC president appoints trustee and national business agent https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-president-appoints-trustee-and-national-business-agent Fri, 04 May 2018 12:43:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/nalc-president-appoints-trustee-and-national-business-agent Javier BernalPresident Fredric Rolando has appointed Javier Bernal as national business agent (NBA) for Region 10 (New Mexico and Texas) to fill the vacancy left by Kathy Baldwin, who is retiring. His appointment is effective May 14.

After serving in the Navy from 1978 to 1982, Bernal joined the Postal Service as a clerk in 1983. He switched to the letter-carrier craft in 1988 and became a steward in 1991. In 2007, Bernal was certified as a member of the dispute resolution team (DRT) and became an arbitration advocate. He also served on the route count and inspection team for Houston-area offices. Bernal graduated from Leadership Academy Class 7 in 2009. Later that year, when Baldwin was appointed to be Region 10 NBA, President Rolando appointed Bernal to replace her as regional administrative assistant (RAA). He held this position until his appointment as NBA.

Mack JulionAlso, President Rolando has appointed Chicago Branch 11 President Mack I. Julion as a national trustee to fill the vacancy left by Randall Keller, who retired. His appointment is effective May 21.

Julion joined the Postal Service as a letter carrier in 1997. He became a steward in 2001 and was elected sergeant-at-arms and auditor of Branch 11 in 2005. Julion also is
an arbitration advocate and intervention specialist. He graduated from Leadership Academy’s Class 2 in 2006. In 2008, then-NALC president William H. Young appointed Julion to the post of regional administrative assistant (RAA) for Region 3 (Illinois). The next year, Branch 11 elected Julion as branch president.

]]>
POSTAL FACTS: May 10, 2018 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-may-10-2018 Thu, 10 May 2018 13:25:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-may-10-2018 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.

Clarifying Misinformation About The US Postal Service

NALC President Fredric Rolando’s op-ed in The Daily Caller on May 9 rebuts a commentary piece over issues of postal finances, retiree health benefits, Medicare and taxpayer money. The Washington-based Daily Caller is one of the country's leading conservative news sites.

Click here to read Rolando’s op-ed.

The very noble reason these mail carriers dyed their hair blue

Yahoo did a colorful story, so to speak, on just how far some dedicated Idaho letter carriers in Boise are going to making the food drive a success. The carriers are dying their hair blue to promote the drive.

Click here to read the article on Yahoo Finance.

]]>
2016-2019 NALC-USPS National Agreement https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/2016-2019-national-agreement Fri, 04 May 2018 09:42:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/2016-2019-national-agreement The 2016-2019 NALC-USPS National Agreement is now available online by clicking here. The PDF includes bookmarks and hyperlinks to make navigating the document easier. Printed copies will be available in the coming weeks.

]]>
CCA back pay update https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/cca-back-pay-update-4-30-18 Mon, 30 Apr 2018 16:11:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/cca-back-pay-update-4-30-18 The Postal Service has confirmed that the approximately 6,000 former CCAs who did not receive their back pay for time worked as a CCA during the back pay period on February 23 will receive this payment in their May 4 paychecks.

As reported on April 4, the NALC filed a national level grievance asking for additional compensation for carriers due to the unreasonable delay.  This grievance is still pending at the national level. For more information, click here.

]]>
A soaring federal deficit spells danger for letter carriers https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/a-soaring-federal-deficit-spells-danger-for-letter-carriers Thu, 03 May 2018 11:34:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/a-soaring-federal-deficit-spells-danger-for-letter-carriers On Monday, April 24, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation released a report on the 2017 tax bill and its effect on U.S. taxpayers. The press stories focused on the winners and losers from the tax cuts – most notably, that 87 percent of the tax cuts go to corporations and the wealthy, and that millionaires stand to reap $17 billion from the legislation in 2018 alone. 

But the bigger news for letter carriers came from another source on Capitol Hill last week. On April 17, the Congressional Budget Office issued its latest budget outlook. It found that the federal budget deficit is exploding, thanks mostly to the 2017 tax cut, but also due to the 2018 spending bill adopted earlier this year.  The CBO says that the deficit will rise to more than $1 trillion in 2020 and by an additional 50 percent by 2028. This means that budget-cut proposals aimed at our retirement and health benefits are much more likely to be pushed (see: https://www.nalc.org/government-affairs/legislative-updates/white-house-fy-2019-budget-proposal).

 Federal deficit projection

Deficits are not inherently bad. It depends on the circumstances and what the government does with the borrowed money. When the economy is in deep recession (as in 2008-2010), deficits can speed an economic recovery and lessen the pain of unemployment by putting people to work.  Much the same applies if the funds are used to improve our infrastructure, as productivity rises and the future capacity of our economy increases.  But when the economy is at full employment or resources are directed to wealthy households and companies sitting on record un-invested cash balances (as is happening now), the deficits can do more harm than good. Inflation can result – or, as we see now, inequality can rise.

According to a study by Americans for Tax Fairness, companies are spending 37 times more on stock buy-backs (sending cash to shareholders) than they are on wage increases or one-time bonuses (see https://americansfortaxfairness.org/key-facts-american-corporations-really-trump-tax-cuts/).   

So while letter carriers can certainly enjoy the modest tax cuts we get this year, the cost of those tax cuts could be high. We must be ready to defend our benefits and jobs from the deficit-reduction fights that are sure to come next.

]]>
President issues executive order to evaluate USPS finances https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/president-issues-executive-order-to-evaluate-usps-finances Thu, 12 Apr 2018 16:00:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/president-issues-executive-order-to-evaluate-usps-finances Today, President Trump issued an executive order (viewable here) to form a task force charged with evaluating the finances of the U.S. Postal Service including pricing, policies and workforce costs.

The task force has been instructed to regularly consult with the postmaster general and chair of the Postal Regulatory Commission, and will be comprised of department and agency heads or their designees, including chair of the task force Steven Mnuchin (Secretary of the Treasury), Mick Mulvaney (Director of the Office of Management and Budget), Jeff Pon (Director of the Office of Personnel Management) and any other department and agency head the chair may designate.

In a report due no later than Aug. 10, 2018, the task force will provide a “thorough evaluation of the operations and finance of the USPS, including:

  • the expansion and pricing of the package delivery market and the USPS's role in competitive markets;
  • the decline in mail volume and its implications for USPS self-financing and the USPS monopoly over letter delivery and mailboxes;
  • the definition of the "universal service obligation" in light of changes in technology, e-commerce, marketing practices, and customer needs;
  • the USPS role in the U.S. economy and in rural areas, communities, and small towns; and
  • the state of the USPS business model, workforce, operations, costs, and pricing.”

Once the evaluation is completed, the task force will develop recommendations on administrative and legislative reforms to USPS. According to the executive order, recommendations will consider the views of the USPS workforce and industry.

“NALC is hopeful that the inclusion of the Postal Service workforce in this evaluation and report will provide NALC the opportunity to provide input throughout the process,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

“We know that 90 percent of the Postal Service’s losses are not due to improper pricing, but are the direct result of the 2006 congressional mandate to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance – an onerous burden that no other private or public entity in America is required to carry. NALC looks forward to working with the administration and Congress to address this issue and to restore financial stability to the agency while protecting the employees and the universal network that is so critical to Americans and their businesses, large and small.”

]]>
“It’s the pre-funding, stupid!” https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/its-the-prefunding-stupid Tue, 01 May 2018 14:13:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/its-the-prefunding-stupid The famous mantra of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign was: “It’s the economy, stupid!” It was adopted to urge people to stay focused on the most important issue facing the country. 

We need that same kind of focus right now when it comes to the debate over the future of the U.S. Postal Service: It’s the pre-funding, stupid.

So much of the recent press coverage of the Postal Service has focused on Amazon packages, falling letter mail volume and postal retirement costs, but the real driver of postal finances is the congressional mandate to prefund retiree health premiums decades in advance. That 2006 mandate accounts for some 90 percent of recorded losses since the measure went into effect in 2007. That should be the focus in Congress, in the media and in the new White House task force on the USPS.

Many reporters and commentators get the basics wrong. Yes, letter mail volume has declined as a result of the internet. But we still deliver nearly 500 million such letters every day and the USPS has cut costs, adapted and raised productivity to record levels – even as it has facilitated a boom in e-commerce deliveries from hundreds of thousands of merchants (including Amazon). And no, the problem is not with postal “pension costs.” Too many reporters get this wrong: Our pension funds are better funded than most private plans – even though we are forced to invest all the funds in low-yielding Treasury bonds. 

The real issue is pre-funding future retiree health benefits. This has cost us between $5.5 and $5.8 billion per year since 2007. No other enterprise has to do it.  The key to strengthening the Postal Service is ending or reforming this mandate. There are many ways to do it (see the President's Message from the May issue of The Postal Record), but all parties involved in the debate over the Postal Service need to stay focused on this central issue.

As NALC members, you can do your part by spreading this message far and wide: It’s time for Congress to relieve the pre-funding burden.

]]>
POSTAL FACTS: April 27. 2018 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-april-27-2018 Fri, 27 Apr 2018 13:51:00 -0500 https://www.nalc.org/news/nalc-updates/postal-facts-april-27-2018 What reporters and commentators are writing and saying about the Postal Service, and how NALC members and leaders are making their voices heard.

The Postal Service is operating at a profit

NALC President Fredric Rolando’s letter to the editor today in The Washington Post rebuts an editorial and explains postal finances as well as needed public policy fixes.

Click here to read Rolando’s letter.

Postal hero Robert Korba

Several media outlets in New York ran stories on New City CCA Robert Korba, who noticed a man in distress while delivering a package and performed CPR. You can read the reports from Fios1, MidHudsonNews.com, Clarkstown Daily Voice, NBC4 New York, the New City Patch and the Hudson Valley Post below:

Click here to read the article on Fios1.
Click here to read the article on MidHudsonNews.com.
Click here to read the article on Clarkstown Daily Voice.
Click here to read the article on NBC4 New York.
Click here to read the article on New City Patch.
Click here to read the article on Hudson Valley Post.

Local mail carriers rescue elderly Pekin women

The (Peoria) Journal Star, Illinois’ fourth-largest paper and second biggest outside Chicago, ran a story about Ralph Presbrey and Chris Swenson, two Pekin letter carriers who rescued customers while on their routes.

Click here to read the article on the Journal News.

]]>