The National Postal Mail Handlers Union and its allies have worked for well over a decade to bring comprehensive, bipartisan postal reform to the halls of Congress. This work resulted in the Postal Service Reform Act of 2022, H.R. 3076. As my NPMHU brothers and sisters remember, the bill passed with overwhelming support in the House of Representatives by a vote of 342-92 on February 8. The Senate followed suit, and passed it on March 8, with 79 Senators voting in favor of it.
The Postal Service Reform Act repeals the burdensome 2006 mandate for the USPS to prefund its retiree healthcare benefits and aligns retiree healthcare with the best practices in the private sector that lower premiums for NPMHU members and our fellow postal employees as well as safeguarding benefits. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the legislation will save the federal government over $1.5 billion over the next ten years.
Senators Gary Peters and Rob Portman worked tirelessly and fervently with Democratic and Republican members alike to reach consensus on this important and necessary legislation. I am grateful for their work, as well as that of Representatives Carolyn Maloney and James Comer, who ushered H.R. 3076 through the House.
I look forward to President Biden signing this bill into law, and providing the Postal Service with much needed fiscal stability.
Following years of debate to build consensus, it is time to pass this vital and carefully constructed legislation, a bipartisan compromise bill that will bring financial stability to the Postal Service.
The legislation includes key provisions of importance to the men and women who are the backbone of the Postal Service. First, H.R. 3076 eliminates the mandate that the Postal Service pre-fund its retiree health care benefits decades in advance, a requirement asked of no other public or private agency. Second, this legislation adopts private-sector best practice by maximizing the integration of postal annuitants into Medicare—a program to which the Postal Service and its workers have contributed more than $34 billion.
Additionally, the legislation benefits the public by codifying the mandate to provide six-day mail delivery, which has been required by an Appropriation rider since the 1980s. Some 159 million business and residential customers rely on six-day delivery.
The Postal Service is a vital public institution, self-sustaining and non-taxpayer-funded. Enactment of this legislation will restore and strengthen its financial stability, allowing it to improve service and respond to the evolving needs of American businesses and the families it serves.
After more than a decade of working with our union brothers and sisters, postal management, Democrats, and Republicans, the NPMHU is pleased to announce that the House of Representatives passed the Postal Service Reform Act, H.R. 3076, on February 8, 2022.
Because of dedicated and collaborative work between and among stakeholders, we are now one step closer to fiscal stability for the United States Postal Service.
While the bill is narrow in scope, it addresses the largest financial burdens of the USPS.
First, it repeals the 2006 mandate requiring the Postal Service to prefund its retiree healthcare benefits. No other private sector business or federal agency uses this practice, and it is the cause of annual losses of $5 billion a year for over a decade. In the 116th Congress, members of the House passed a standalone bill to address this onerous issue.
Second, it provides Medicare integration for future postal retirees and their annuitants. The majority of postal retirees already participate in Medicare, and postal employees have contributed $34 billion to the program since 1983. USPS estimates integration as well as the repeal of the prefunding mandate would generate savings of $40 billion over ten years.
Additionally, H.R. 3076 helps to stabilize service and provide avenues for revenue growth by codifying six-day delivery and allowing for agreements with state, local, and tribal governments to provide noncommercial services. Furthermore, the bill offers greater transparency to postal customers to ensure that service meets the demands of American households and businesses.
This bill does not fix every problem with the Postal Service. But it shows the dedicated work of elected officials, recognizing the value of the Postal Service and its dedicated workforce.
I urge the Senate to now act, and take up the House-passed legislation, to protect the viability of this invaluable institution.
The NPMHU National office sent a letter to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, letting them know of our support, and they also sent a joint letter with the other Postal Unions to members of the House asking them to vote yes on this important legislation.
As you are aware, H.R. 3076 would repeal the mandate for USPS to prefund its retiree healthcare benefits; require future retirees to enroll in Medicare when eligible; codify six-day delivery; and, offer greater transparency on operations. It is estimated the legislation would create a savings of $458 million over the next ten years.
We ask you to reach out to your representatives, let them know you support this legislation, and they should vote “YES” next week.
You can find a prepared letter at the NPMHU Action center, https://npmhu.quorum.us/, with this message. Please share this request and link with your local members and encourage them to participate as soon as possible since it’s such a tight schedule.
While participating in these grassroots efforts, please keep in mind the restrictions that are imposed by the Hatch Act. Postal and federal employees are allowed to participate in a wide range of political activities. However, no political activity can be done while on postal property or on postal time. This includes using the NPMHU Action Center.
As complete resolution of the case, the Parties agreed that the Safety Ambassador program will be discontinued. Formal notification of the discontinuation will be provided to the NPMHU by Labor Relations, Policies and Programs. In addition, all materials concerning the Safety Ambassador Program will be removed from circulation.
- MOU – Temporary Expanded Sick Leave for Dependent Care During COVID – 19
- MOU – Temporary Exception Period – COVID – 19 * Revised March 19, 2021
- Liberal Changes of Schedule and Leave Letter dated March 23, 2020.
- MOU – Temporary Additional Leave for MHAs – Newly hired MHAs, hired after the signing of this agreement, will be permitted to use up to 80 hours of paid leave for the reasons provided for in the original March 18, 2020 MOU – Temporary Paid Leave for MHAs, it does not provide an additional 80 hours for existing MHAs. Those MHAs already hired prior to the signing of this extension who only used a portion or none of the 80 hours leave from the original MOU, will be entitled to utilize the remainder of the 80 hours that was left over.
- Re: Reappointment Opportunities for MHAs Separated for Lack of Work** Revised December 20, 2021
- Temporary Extension on Step 3 and Arbitration Appeals
Linked below is an arbitration decision issued by National RI-399 Arbitrator Joseph Sharnoff with regard to the Advanced Facer Canceller System. It is extremely long – 164 single-spaced pages – and thus extremely difficult to describe.
The arbitrator rejected the claims filed the NPMHU, and upheld the Postal Service’s revised jurisdictional determination for the Operator position on the AFCS Legacy Machines. In short, however, the decision rejects the jurisdictional disputes filed by both the APWU and the NPMHU, and upholds the positions taken by USPS management in all respects.
Unfortunately, of most importance to the NPMHU, Arbitrator Sharnoff has concluded that the Postal Service did not abuse its discretion or act arbitrarily when it shifted the operator position on the AFCS-200 to the clerk craft in 2012. Sharnoff summed up his rationale using the following words:
The Arbitrator finds, in light of the above considerations, that the USPS’s craft determination in 2012, for the Operator position on the AFCS 200, in favor of the Clerk Craft, reasonably was based on appropriate considerations, including the information known to the USPS officials at the time, and was consistent with the RI-399 Guidelines, previous Jurisdictional Arbitration Awards, and the Parties’ respective CBAs. The Arbitrator is not persuaded that it has been demonstrated by the NPMHU that this craft determination was arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, based on discriminatory or other improper considerations, or otherwise was contrary to the USPS’s exercise of discretion to make such determinations under the RI-399 Guidelines. Accordingly, the claim that the craft determination for the Operator position in favor of the Clerk Craft is denied.
At risk of stating the obvious, it is worth pointing out that under the principles of Regional Instruction (RI-399), not one time in the history of jurisdictional disputes, has an arbitrator issued a ruling that required the United States Postal Service to reverse their initial or revised jurisdictional determination.
The parties have agreed to a new Memorandum of Understanding regarding the COVID-19 Test Kit Fulfillment Pilot MHA Retention Lists. In this MOU, the parties have agreed that MHAs hired specifically for the COVID-19 test kit fulfillment pilot outlined in the January 12, 2022, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may be canvassed from a retention list of another installation. However, MHAs on the retention list of the bid cluster/installation with the annex will be exhausted prior to canvassing from another installation or utilizing employees from another craft.
If hired as a result of this canvas, the MHA will retain his/her spot on the retention list of their original installation for a period of no more than two (2) years from the date of their separation and will retain their original relative standing date if reappointed. If the MHA declines to return to the original installation during that two (2) year period, he/she will be removed from the retention list.
The MHA will begin a new relative standing date at the new installation. If the MHA is separated for lack of work from the new installation, he/she will also be included on the retention list of the new installation for a period of no more than two (2) years from the date of separation from the new installation. If the MHA is still on the retention list of the original installation, he/she will be included on the retention lists of both installations.