Senate committee reports out S. 1486, 9 to 1

Feb. 6, 2014—The Senate committee with Postal Service oversight, the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, finished on Feb. 6 its mark-up of the modified Carper-Coburn postal bill, S. 1486, and approved the measure by a vote of 9 to 1.

As written, S. 1486 would facilitate the end of door delivery and the elimination of Saturday delivery, thereby destroying tens of thousands of letter carrier jobs. It also would jeopardize the Postal Service’s comeback by slowing service and driving away business.

NALC President Fredric Rolando has issued the following statement on today's Senate committee action.....More

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After Contentious Debate, Senate Panel Delays Postal Reform Vote
The Senate failed on Tuesday to move forward with its revised plan to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service, delaying a committee vote after a series of potential amendments threatened to derail the bill.

The most significant sticking point during the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee markup arose when lawmakers discussed  how the postal bill -- introduced by Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom-Coburn, R-Okla., the respective chairman and ranking member of the committee -- would deal with postal rates in the future. While the Carper-Coburn bill would keep in place the recent emergency rate hike and allow USPS to determine its own pricing starting in 2017, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., led the charge on behalf of several Democrats who believe the agency should retain tighter oversight of its pricing structures...more...

NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF LETTER CARRIERS ENDORSES BILL DE BLASIO FOR MAYOR 
Brooklyn, NY — 
The New York State Association of Letter Carriers today endorsed Public Advocate and Democrat Bill de Blasio for Mayor. NYSALC represents 26,000 letter carriers in New York State, including 20,000 members in New York City alone.

“The New York State Association of Letter Carriers is proud to endorse Bill de Blasio for Mayor of New York City,” said NYSALC President George T. Mangold. “Bill has shown a true understanding of the problems facing working  families and union members in New York City. He is the boldest progressive in this race, and from education to policing to housing to health care, Bill de Blasio is the only candidate who will chart a new course for after 12 years of the Bloomberg era.  And he will be a staunch ally in our efforts to save the USPS for all New Yorkers, and the businesses and residents who depend on it.” 

“I was proud to stand with the Letter Carriers Association members as they fought to maintain 6-day delivery and door-to-door delivery, and I’m proud to receive their endorsement today,” said Bill de Blasio. “Today we’re living a Tale of Two Cities, where too many middle and working-class New Yorkers struggle to find decent health care, affordable housing, and strong schools for their children in their neighborhoods. We need a tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay for early education and after-school programs, and expanded affordable housing units across the five boroughs.  I’m honored to have the Letter Carriers Association members join our effort to bring these reforms to City Hall next year.”
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Statement of NALC President Fredric Rolando on Postmaster General Pat Donahoe’s plan to eliminate Saturday mail delivery

Feb. 6, 2013 -- Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plan to end Saturday delivery is a disastrous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers. It would be particularly harmful to small businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled and others who depend on Saturday delivery for commerce and communication.

Slowing mail service and degrading our unmatchable last-mile delivery network are not the answers to the Postal Service’s financial problems. If the Postmaster General is unwilling or unable to develop a smart growth strategy that serves the nearly 50% of business mailers that want to keep six-day service, and if he arrogantly thinks he is above the law or has the right to decide policy matters that should be left to Congress, it is time for him to step down

This maneuver by Mr. Donahoe flouts the will of Congress, as expressed annually over the past 30 years in legislation that mandates six-day delivery, which remains in effect today. In the last Congress, which ended in January, a bi-partisan majority of Representatives co-sponsored legislation backing the continuation of Saturday delivery.

This misguided and counterproductive decision is in keeping with the Postmaster General’s slash-and-shrink approach to dealing with the Postal Service’s financial challenges. Instead of offering a real business plan to tap the full potential of this essential American institution, he is offering a plan that will doom USPS to failure

The National Association of Letter Carriers has tried time and again to work with Postal Service management to pursue growth measures and cost savings, but it has become clear that the Postal Service leadership’s only strategy is to gut the unique postal network that provides us with the world’s most affordable delivery service, and to eliminate the services on which Americans depend.

America’s letter carriers condemn this reckless plan in the strongest terms. We call for the immediate removal of the postmaster general, who has lost the confidence of the men and women who deliver for America every day. And we urge Congress to develop a real reform plan that gives the Postal Service the freedom to grow and innovate in the digital era.

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473 test for CCA positions--- URGENT

After going back and forth with management, they have agreed that exam scores are good for six years. This means that TE”s who have taken the 473 test within the last six years and are happy with their scores do not have to take it again. If they take it again, the latest score will be used. Those TE’s taking the exam must do so within seven days of applying. We are trying to get an extension for applying since the system seems to be overloaded.

Thanks
Charlie Heege
President
NALC Branch 36

Arbitration board issues award
Sets terms of the 2011-2016 National Agreement;
‘NALC achieves its major goals,’ Rolando says

Jan. 11, 2013 –The three-person board of arbitrators has issued a final and binding award that sets the terms of a four-and-a-half-year collective-bargaining agreement between the National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service, NALC President Fredric Rolando announced on Jan. 11.....MORE

NALC President Emeritus Vincent R. Sombrotto

It is with deep sadness and heavy heart that I share the passing of NALC President Emeritus Vince R. Sombrotto.Vince passed away yesterday Jan. 10, 2013 from a long illness. Attached are the funeral arrangements
.Branch 36 headquarters will be closed on Monday for Vince’s funeral.
Charlie Heege
President
NALC Branch 36

Congress Struggles to Deliver Solution to Postal Problem It Created
Unless Congress acts to fix a massive financial crisis it created, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will default on a $5.5 billion pension payment to the U.S. Treasury due on August 1, as well as another $5.6 billion payment due on September 30. The USPS has less than $1 billion cash on hand. Ironically, the USPS Inspector General’s office issued a report in June showing that the Postal Service has overpaid its pension obligations by $13.1 billion, but the Treasury cannot refund the money or even credit the agency for it.......MORE
Shyam Das named arbitration chair for next NALC-USPS pact

The NALC and the Postal Service have agreed upon the selection of National Arbitrator Shyam Das as chairman of the three-person arbitration board that will set the terms of the next collective-bargaining agreement between the union and the USPS.......MORE

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April 12 Demonstrations to Save America’s Postal Service
On April 12, the National Association of Letter Carriers will hold “Save America’s Postal Service” demonstrations outside of Senate offices across the country. They are designed to put pressure on each senator to oppose S. 1789.

S. 1789 likely will be brought up in the Senate following the Easter recess, the week that follows the April 12 demonstrations. The timing and impact of these events will be critical in helping us to stop S. 1789 and save America’s Postal Service.

If S. 1789 were to pass, the bill would hurt the Postal Service by:

  • Putting an end to six-day mail delivery in two years.
  • Phasing out door-to-door mail delivery.
  • Failing to fully address the Postal Service’s pre-funding requirement.
  • Not addressing the overpayment into the CSRS pension fund.

These events are meant to engage the public through the use of speeches, handouts and demonstrations to make our voices heard.

The Postal Service has a wide variety of supporters, many of whom may wish to participate in your “Save America’s Postal Service” demonstration, including small-business owners who use the mail to advertise, veterans groups, local elected officials, labor union members, faith leaders, and progressive allies who have concerns for the plight of working men and women.

Branch 36 Save the Postal Service Rally & Membership Meeting
Thursday April 12th , 2012 at 4:30 PM sharp
U.S. Senators Offices Schumer & Gillibrand
780 Third Ave (48th St)
New York, NY 10017

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USPS 5 Year Business Plan to Profitability.......read
NALC reacts to USPS 'business plan' announcement.........read
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Obama Proposes Postage Increase, End to Saturday Delivery..........read
NALC statement................read
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Contract talks extended into the new year: The National Association of Letter Carriers and the U.S. Postal Service have agreed to extend the current round of contract negotiations until Jan. 20, 2012. The extension will allow the parties to continue to work on the important economic, health care, workplace and other contractual issues being discussed. “We are encouraged that progress is still being made and we want to take all the time necessary to reach an agreement that serves the interests of America’s city letter carriers,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “We are committed to achieving a win-win contract at this crucial time in the history of the Postal Service.”

Bronx, N.Y., workers, community fight to save postal jobs

Members of the South Bronx Community Congress joined postal workers on the steps of the Bronx General Post Office at 149th Street and the Grand Concourse on May 23 to demand that officials of the United States Postal Service suspend plans to move Bronx mail-processing services to Manhattan.....MORE

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Savings from 5-day mail delivery are exaggerated, commission finds

Ending most Saturday mail delivery would save the U.S. Postal Service far less money than the agency is predicting, a five-member oversight body concluded in an advisory opinion released Thursday.

In the long-awaited opinion, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) stopped short of taking a pro or con position on the Postal Service's bid to go to five-day delivery. But its analysis concluded that the move would save a net of $1.7 billion annually, well below the Postal Service's $3.1 billion estimate. The proposed change would also cause an average of 25 percent of first-class and Priority Mail to be delayed by two days and particularly hurt customers in rural and other remote areas, the PRC found.

"A decision to change the existing patterns of postal communications and delivery should be made with care," Commission Chairwoman Ruth Goldway said in a news release.

In a statement, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe defended the $3.1 billion savings estimate, saying it was based on extensive market research.

"We remain convinced of our findings," he said.

The ultimate decision rests with Congress, which every year since 1984 has added language to appropriations legislation prohibiting any shift from six-day delivery. But the commission's analysis likely will arm Capitol Hill critics of the Postal Service's bid to curtail service.

"Sure it will," said Tony Conway, executive director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, which has "reluctantly" endorsed the five-day plan as an alternative to raising postage rates. "Not only are the savings less," Conway said, "it also suggests that other elements of the proposal could be suspect, too."

The advisory opinion "raises many of the same questions that I have posed over and over," one such critic, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in a statement. "These consequences simply must be addressed before consideration of such a significant service reduction." Under the USPS plan, post offices would stay open Saturdays and mail delivery to post office boxes would continue, but delivery to street addresses and mail pickup from the standard blue collection boxes would end.

"We'd like to keep six days; the problem is we can't afford it," Donahoe told Federal Times editors and reporters earlier this month. The Postal Service last year lost a record $8.5 billion and expects to run out of cash by this September if it has to make a legally required $5.5 billion pre-payment for retiree health care.

By law, the Postal Service must ask the PRC to weigh in on any proposal that would have a national effect on service. It filed the request for the advisory opinion last March.

Police investigate postal carrier robberies

BRONX (WABC) -- Police in the Bronx are investigating the robberies of four postal carriers. The suspects, who are said to be either black or Hispanic, display a weapon and forcibly throw the mail carrier to the ground, and then steal their property.

Incident #1 happened in University Heights on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 11:15 a.m. at 175 Zeiser Place.

Incident #2 happened in Mt. Eden on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. at 1340 Morris Avenue.

Incident #3 happened in Mt. Eden on Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 2:15 p.m. at 200 Marcy Place.

Incident #4 happened in the Concourse section on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 12:45 p.m. at 265 McClellan Street.

The sketch provided is from the fourth incident. The suspect there is described as a black man, age 18-22, approx. 5'6" in height, 175lbs, with black hair, and wearing a dark jacket.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

You can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting your tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

(Copyright ©2011 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

APWU, USPS Reach Tentative Agreement on New Contract

more...

The Real Fact and Figures Behind the Postal Service

Myths about the U.S. Postal Service fly fast and far these days. For instance, you have may have heard that there are 36,000 post offices in the U.S., which is more retail outlets than Wal-Mart, Starbucks and McDonald's combined. In addition, many of these post offices are labeled "money losers."

These statements, made more to shock than inform, are not accurate. Let's look at the facts....MORE

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Senator: Panel will block mail delivery cut
(AP) – 1 day ago

WASHINGTON — Sen. Jon Tester says the lawmakers who oversee the budget of the post office will block a proposal to reduce mail deliveries to five days a week.

The Montana Democrat said eliminating Saturday deliveries would be a hardship on people living in rural areas without producing major savings for the Postal Service.

The post office has proposed the change as one of several steps to reduce its expected $7 billion loss this year.

The agency also wants to raise rates starting in January, to close or consolidate offices and to avoid annual prepayments for future retiree health care costs.

The Postal Service does not receive tax funds for its operations, but must follow the direction of Congress, which annually stipulates that services cannot be cut without its permission.

Tester, a member of the Senate Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, said in a statement Wednesday that he was able to assure that provision will be continued.

Associated Press writer Matt Gouras in Helena, Mont. contributed to this story

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Branch 36's Day at Citifield is June 27th
Still a few tickets left call the branch at 212-239-3901
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Branch 36 Family Picnic
Aug 1, 2010
At FDR State Park
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Branch 36 Dinner Dance
Nov 14, 2010
Honoring Denis Rhoden & Windfred Jenkins
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"The US Postal Service would have shown a net profit of $76 million
in April had it not been for the $458 million charge for future retiree health benefits (RHBTF) imposed by Congress. Unaudited financial results released yesterday show that for the fiscal year to date, the USPS has lost $2.3 billion. Without the RHBTF charge, the USPS would be showing a net profit of over $1 billion, despite the continuing decline in mail volume.....More
5-Day the Wrong Way
The Postal Service laid out a wide-ranging—some would say radical—plan in March for coping with its current economic problems and future business challenges. It featured headline-grabbing initiatives, such as eliminating Saturday mail delivery, and more mundane, nuts-and-bolts proposals, like streamlining the regulatory process....MORE
USPS move to five-day delivery isn't a done deal

While labor costs are a major cause of financial woes at the Postal Service, five-day mail delivery and further workforce reductions are not certainties, officials told lawmakers on Thursday....more

Letter Carriers union assails Postal Service for lobbying public to end Saturday delivery
Rolando says only Congress can authorize cutback NALC launches "5-Day is the Wrong Way" website to keep public informed.....more

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In announcing Saturday service cuts, Postal Service turns to e-mail

The U.S. Postal Service this week used e-mail as the means to inform regulators of its plans to cut Saturday mail delivery, a move that might seem to go against the grain for an agency tasked with delivering snail mail.

Postmaster General John E. Potter told reporters that the Postal Regulatory Commission requires him to submit his plans electronically. But the whole thing seems about as silly as auto executives flying to Washington to talk up the viability of the auto industry. (Oh wait, that actually happened...)

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Branch 36 Officers Reelected by Acclamation No need for election. One petition per office was received by Tony Ortiz.
Shelia Mitchell Election Chair
President......................................Charlie Heege
Executive Vice-President...............John Springman
1st Vice Pres./Treasurer................Harold Hillard
2nd Vice Pres./Fin. Sec'y...............Pat McNally
Recording Secretary.......................Tony Ortiz
Director of Retirees.........................Joe Ramos
Editor of The Outlook.....................Orlando Gonzalez
Director of City Delivery.................Howie Arotsky
Health Benefits Rep........................Tom Nelson
Compensation Officer.....................Sonny Guadalupe
Mutual Benefits Rep........................Nori Amill
Sergeant-at-Arms............................Eugene Spry
Trustee............................................Curtis Jewel
Trustee............................................Pascual Ortiz
Trustee............................................Gregg Levy
Trustee............................................Mike D'Angelo
Trustee............................................Frank Perez
Trustee............................................Mike Kelly
Trustee............................................Rasul Muhammad
Director of Education......................Kathy Kirton
Director of Safety and Health.........David Velazquez

$75 billion over-charge for pension liabilities

The USPS Office of Inspector General strengthens the NALC's case that the Office of Personnel Management badly miscalculated—by $75 billion—the postal surplus in the Civil Service Retirement Fund...more
Rolando Elevated to Letter Carriers’ Presidency

WASHINGTON - Fredric V. Rolando assumed the presidency of the 300,000-member National Association of Letter Carriers (AFL-CIO) today, following the retirement of William H. Young after more than 6 1/2 years as head of the postal union.

Rolando, 56, a member of Sarasota, Florida NALC Branch 2148, moved up from his position as the union’s executive vice president under terms of the union’s constitution.

The new president began his postal career 31 years ago as a letter carrier in South Miami, Florida. Holder of a degree in criminology and psychology from Florida International University, he became active in the union because of what he said was the antagonistic way management treated letter carriers.

Recently, Rolando has focused on working with officials of the U.S. Postal Service to restructure delivery routes of mail carriers in a manner that protected their contractual rights as employees while allowing the Postal Service to have flexibility to meet the financial challenges posed by changing communications technology and the economic crisis.

He was first elected to national office as Director of City Delivery by acclamation at the 2002 NALC Convention in Philadelphia, having been appointed to that post in February 2002 by former President Vincent R. Sombrotto to fill a vacancy.

As a member of South Florida Branch 1071, his first union post was as a shop steward in South Miami where he worked. When Rolando relocated to Sarasota in 1984, he soon became chief steward there, and in 1988 was elected president of Sarasota Branch 2148. Rolando later served as director of education for the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers and as a full-time Regional Administrative Assistant for NALC’s Atlanta Region before coming to Washington as a national officer.

Rolando and his wife, Jolene, currently reside in Fredericksburg, Virginia. They have two daughters and two sons.
FEHBP belated Open Season permitted! OPM has mandated that federal agencies accept Open Season changes until January 31, 2009. You now have extra time to consider coming home to the NALC's Health Benefit Plan....more
NALC-USPS Reach New Agreement On Expedited Route Adjustments
Contract Delivery Halted, New Work for City Carriers
Moratorium on Contracting Out Extended 3 Years!
NALC Bulletin M01694 M01695
Early out’ details
Early out’ details: The Postal Service has set February 28, 2009, as the retirement date for city carriers offered a Voluntary Early Retirement under the authorization approved by the Office of Personnel Management. The application process for eligible carriers will begin in October. MORE
ARBITRATOR BROWN RULES IN FAVOR OF BRANCH 36 PERTAINING TO ITEM 2-B OF THE BRONX AND MANHATTAN LOCALS.
Award Summary: The contractual provision (2-B) under challenge in this case has not been proven to impose an unreasonable burden on the Postal Service; the Service's request that it be replaced is rejected. The grievance is dismissed.

The current language in Item 2-B remains the same. Management and the NALC must mutually agree to schedule changes that require a Carrier to work additional Saturdays during the course of a year.

Management tried to have the above language removed and be able to change schedules without an agreement.

Read the whole 16 page arbitration
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Postal Service Announces VER Timeline For Letter Carriers

Headquarters / Headquarters-Related EAS & PCES; Motor Vehicle; Maintenance (excluding Electronic Technicians); Rural Carriers; City Carriers

The Postal Service recently received approval from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to offer voluntary early retirement to eligible employees nationwide.

Automation and technological advances coupled with mail volume reductions has the Postal Service continuing to look for ways to voluntarily reduce its workforce while maintaining excellent customer service.........more

OPM opposes proposal for 4-day workweek

The Office of Personnel Management is strongly objecting to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s proposal to convert the federal government to a four-day workweek,

Federal Times has learned.
A four-day workweek would hurt the government’s ability to deliver essential services to the public, weaken national security safeguards, and hurt recruitment and retention efforts, acting OPM Director Michael Hager said in an......more
OPM approves early outs for letter carriers
OPM approves early outs for letter carriers: The Office of Personnel Management has informed the Postal Service that it may offer voluntary early retirement to members of the city letter carrier craft. NALC President William H. Young said details of an early retirement agreement are being worked out and will be released once finalized
COLA reaches record high

The next regular cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) under the 2006-2011 National Agreement will be $1,498 annually, based on the Consumer Price Index for July. The COLA, effective the pay period beginning August 30 (pay date September 19), is the third of eight COLAs included in the 2006-2011 contract.

The new COLA is equivalent to 72 cents per hour, or $57.60 per pay period.

 
 




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