Natan Sheyer
Legislative Chair
Sergeant-at-Arms
Outlook May/ June 2019

Moving Forward

would like to congratulate the Charles Heege/Pascual Ortiz team on another three-year term. I look forward to keeping Branch 36 active and retired members up-to-date on postal legislation from Capitol Hill. Knowledge is power!

I would also like to share with you, greetings from our New York State Delegates, who attended the yearly lobby trip in pursuit of educating our House and Senate members on our current postal issues and priority resolutions in Washington, D.C.

On April 28, 2019, the House of Representatives introduced the bipartisan bill, the USPS Fairness Act (H.R. -2382). This bill would repeal the mandate, which the USPS Pre-Fund and decade’s worth of health benefits for its future retirees enacted, through the Postal Accountability Act (PAEA) on December 8, 2006. This mandate manufactured a financial crisis in an otherwise profitable agency. Currently, we have 75 co-sponsors in the House. The NALC, along with the Letter Carrier District Liaisons across the country, are moving forward to urge their House Members to co-sponsor this bill. The NALC hopes that this bill will come out on the House Floor for a vote this year and we can turn our focus on a new postal reform bill.

We also have made progress on co-sponsors for the other 5 priority resolutions: H.Res-23; H.Res-54; H.Res-60; H.Res-33; and S.Res- 99. Fact sheets can be found on these resolutions at NALC.org under the Government Affair link. These resolutions are the expression of the House and Senate on how they would vote, should such legislation be introduced for the postal service. During the House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearings on the financial condition of the postal service, held on April 30, 2019, NALC President Fredric Rolando encouraged the committee to move forward to fill the remaining seven vacancies on the Postal Board of Governors and to implement the ten-year review by the Postal Regulatory Committee on the postal financial condition. We currently only have two on the Board. Those solutions along with the repeal of the Pre-Fund would put the Postal Service on the path to financial stability

On a local note, from the election of November 2018, the State Assembly and the New York Senate are now under the control of the Democratic Party with progressive members elected that are looking to make some reforms. One of the reforms was signed early this year by Governor Andrew Cuomo for early voting with some reforms and should increase the voting percentage. Counties are required to allow New Yorkers to vote in person up to 10 days prior to an election. All state primaries will be held in June. These reforms will allow 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register when they sign up for a driving permit and be automatically registered and transferred to the county rolls when they turn 18 years old.

We are fortunate to have a PAC (Political Action Campaign) which gives us a foot in the door and voice in Congress. Our PAC money is distributed across the party line to members of Congress, who support letter carriers on postal issues. The NALC is urging members to get involved and sign up for payroll deduction, which will allow better use of the money during election year.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate brothers Harold Hillard and Pat McNally on their retirement as officers of Branch 36. Thank you both for all your advice and experience which you have shared with me over the years. Be well and I will look forward to seeing you in attendance at our meetings.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy summer. Remember, get involved!

Outlook March / April 2019
Spring Forward
The first session of the 116th Congress (2019-2020) is currently underway. We are faced with the typical and all too familiar challenges of working with the Republican Party in Congress.

We have a duty to continue to build alliances with the men and women on both sides of the aisle to proactively find champions for our causes. We do so by maintaining contact with our Representatives in Congress and by persuading them to co-sponsor the House Resolution Bills and the Senate Resolutions which are very important in defending our postal issues.

Currently there are five priority resolutions that were introduced in the 116th Congress:
H.Res-23 ... Protect Door Delivery;
H.Res-54 ... Keep Six-day Mail Delivery;
H.Res-60 ... Restoring Service Standard;
H.Res-33 ... Opposing Privatization of the Postal Service;
S.Res-99 ... Opposing Privatization of the Postal Service.
All these resolutions reached a bi-partisan majority of co-sponsors in the previous Congress (115th) and currently are building their co-sponsors.

H.Res-33 Anti Privatization of the Postal Service already has bi-partisan support with 221 co-sponsors. 218 votes is a majority in the House.

Congress finally passed the 2019 fiscal budget that ends 9/30/20 and the White House released the Proposal Budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins 10/01/2019. The proposed budget once again attacks workers, calls for deep cuts to salaries, cuts current and future health and retirement benefits. It also follows the White House Postal Task Force Report of December 2018 that calls for the elimination of Union Collective Bargaining Rights over pay, creating a postal employee pay scale as per the Federal workforce, which changes to the Postal Service’s model. All those changes and more are currently on the table and being discussed during the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Letter carriers need to stay alert as the NALC fights against those harmful proposals. I will keep you updated as we move along.

We will be faced with some turbulent times along the journey. We will need to be vigilant and pay close attention to the upcoming legislation on postal issues. When you are called upon by the NALC Legislation to call your Representatives or Senators to vote on a bill or to reject a bill, do so! Your voice counts.

Please continue to contribute to LCPF (Letter Carrier Political Fund) our fight is not over; we can make it through this together.

Happy and Healthy Holiday Season to You and your Families!

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