Hurry Up and Wait : The Postal Service Mantra

A guest blog by VOCAL RCA

According to a story by Bernie Becker, a writer at “The Hill”, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa has recently made some revisions to his postal reform bill to gain bi-partisan support; however there is no update on when there will be any voting done, on this or any measure, anytime soon.

Congress is currently focusing its’ attention on several controversies that have recently roadblocked any timely chance of urgently needed postal reform. Issa’s new bill would allow the Postal Service to recalculate its’ future retiree health obligations. Currently the United States Postal Service is paying up to 75 years of retiree health costs in a ten year time frame that started in 2006. The reason for the payment is due to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that was passed, during a lame duck session in Congress, that same year. Issa’s bill still has a lot of detrimental proposals in it as well. Postal unions and some members of Congress do not agree that the new bill, reduces delivery days to six days of package delivery and eliminates Saturday letter delivery, gets rid of the no layoff labor clause, and increases the number of cluster box units(CBU’s) and reduces door to door, or mailbox delivery.

While postal workers struggle to tackle daily operations with a 20% workforce decrease, Congress is putting postal reform on hold. The Postal Service is due to run out of money by September 30th. With the workforce decrease, many postal workers, especially rural carriers, hurry to come to work and sort mail that is waiting at their case but still has to wait for understaffed clerks to sort packages and process late arriving “Express Mail”. While postal employees wait on Congress to initiate postal reform, the United States Postal Service might be beyond repair by that point.

Vocal RCA is a Rural Carrier Associate

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