Chartered 1889, Serving the Bronx and Manhattan




Freedom to Vote Act introduced in Senate


Today, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Freedom to Vote Act (S. 2747), a bill to expand voting rights and reduce the influence of big money in politics. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Raphael Warnock (D-GA).
The bill includes several measures to address voter access and election administration. The bill would ensure that all voters could request a mail-in ballot, improve the delivery of election mail, and apply minimum standards to ensure drop boxes are available and accessible to all voters. Additionally, the legislation would implement automatic voter registration, make Election Day a federal holiday, allow same day voter registration, and expand early voting.
The bill also includes measures to improve election integrity through the protection of election records, infrastructure, and ballot tabulation. It would also task the Election Assistance Commission with developing training and recruitment programs for non-partisan election officials. The bill would prohibit partisan gerrymandering and would require super PACs and other organizations that spend money in elections to disclose donors.
“With the Freedom to Vote Act, the entire voting rights working group, including Senators Manchin and Merkley, is united behind legislation that will set basic national standards to make sure all Americans can cast their ballots in the way that works best for them, regardless of what zip code they live in,” Senator Klobuchar said. “This bill will ensure Americans can request a mail-in ballot, have at least 15 days of early voting, and can register to vote on Election Day.”
Overall, S. 2747 is a scaled-back, narrower voting rights package than the For the People Act (H.R. 1/S. 1), which passed in the House earlier this year but was blocked by Senate Republicans. The Freedom to Vote Act has the majority support; however, without the backing of any Republican Senators, it is unlikely to receive the 60 votes needed to bypass the Senate filibuster. NALC will continue to monitor this legislation.


Executive orders require COVID-19 vaccines for federal employees and contractors


On Sept. 9, President Biden issued two executive orders regarding COVID-19 vaccines. One requires all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the other requires all federal contractors to be vaccinated.
In addition to these executive orders, President Biden also announced that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require their workers to be fully vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week.
“If we raise our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masking and expanded testing, and identify people who are infected, we can and we will turn the tide on COVID-19,” President Biden said.
Currently, it is unclear how the executive orders and emergency rule will affect letter carriers and the Postal Service. As more information becomes available, NALC will review and bargain over any rulings that affect our members.


Backpay and COLA update


Most eligible city letter carriers will receive retroactive pay pursuant to the 2019-2023 National Agreement on their August 20 paychecks. Backpay for some former city carrier assistants that were converted to career status between November 23, 2019 and April 9, 2021 must be calculated manually, resulting in a delay in payment. This issue was discovered during a recent quality check of the process. We are discussing the issue with representatives from USPS Headquarters. As soon as additional information is available, it will be posted here on the NALC website.
Backpay is calculated for all paid hours between November 23, 2019 (the date of the first general wage increase in the Agreement) and April 9, 2021 (the day before new pay rates were implemented as explained here). The following pay increases will be included in the retroactive pay from the effective date indicated for each:
For career city carriers:

  • 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 23, 2019
  • $166 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 29, 2020
  • $188 Cost of Living Adjustment effective August 29, 2020
  • 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 21, 2020
  • $416 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 27, 2021

*Cost of living increases referenced above are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement.
For City Carrier Assistants:
  • 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 23, 2019
  • 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 21, 2020

*City carrier assistants receive the additional 1.0% increases referenced above in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.
Retired and separated employees that worked during the backpay period will be paid by check mailed to their last work location. Retroactive pay adjustments for now retired letter carriers may result in adjustments to annuities. The Office of Personnel Management will make any necessary annuity adjustments.
Fourth COLA is $1,934
The fourth regular Cost of Living Adjustment under the 2019-2023 National Agreement will be $1,934 annually for letter carriers in Table 1 and at Step O of Table 2. Cost of living increases are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement. This adjustment will be effective August 28 and reflected in paychecks dated September 17.
City carrier assistants will receive additional 1.0% increases effective November 20, 2021 and November 19, 2022 in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.
The new pay rates can be seen in the new letter carrier pay schedule available here.


Liz Shuler elected as AFL-CIO president


This morning, in a special meeting of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer and Acting President Liz Shuler was elected by acclamation to serve out the term of President Richard Trumka, who passed away on Aug. 5.
“NALC congratulates President Liz Shuler on her selection as President of the AFL-CIO,” said NALC President Fredric Rolando, who also serves as a Vice-President of the AFL-CIO Executive Council. “Liz has been a dominating force in bringing power and diversity to the labor movement. In this time of loss, she will bring a steady hand, strength and forward momentum in fulfilling the priorities of organized labor.”
Shuler becomes the first woman president of the AFL-CIO, the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Also by acclamation, United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond was elected to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.
Shuler grew up in a union household—her father, Lance, was a power lineman and longtime member of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 125 at Portland General Electric and her late mother, Joyce, worked as an estimator in the company’s service and design department. In 1993, Shuler was hired as an organizer at Local 125. When energy giant Enron Corp. tried to muscle electricity deregulation through the Oregon Legislature, Shuler worked with a broad-based coalition of labor, community and environmental activists to challenge and ultimately overcome Enron’s powerhouse lobbying campaign, a victory that sparked her passion for mobilizing workers to make change even when faced with overwhelming odds.
In 1998, Ed Hill, then-secretary-treasurer of the IBEW, assigned Shuler to California where she mobilized IBEW members to help defeat Prop. 226, the so-called paycheck protection initiative that threatened to silence union members in the political process. That victory prompted John J. Barry, then president of the IBEW, to hire her as an international representative in the union’s Political/Legislative Affairs Department in Washington, DC. In that role, Shuler ran grassroots political mobilization efforts and lobbied Congress on a range of issues important to working families. In 2004, she was promoted to assistant to the international president, where she served President Hill, who had succeeded to that position, in driving the agenda of the nearly 1-million member union.
In 2009, she joined forces with Trumka, becoming the first woman elected to the position of secretary-treasurer at an AFL-CIO convention and the youngest woman ever on the federation’s Executive Council. As secretary-treasurer, she also served as the chief financial officer, turning deficits into surpluses and steering the federation through multiple fiscal crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to her stewardship of the federation’s finances, Shuler led the AFL-CIO’s initiatives on the future of work, retirement security, the clean energy economy, public safety reform, workforce development, and empowering women and young workers. She is committed to busting myths about labor, leveraging the labor movement’s diversity for innovative approaches to social justice and making the benefits of a union voice on the job available to working people everywhere.
Redmond has been a USW member since 1973, when he went to work at Reynolds Metals Co. in Chicago. He became active in his local union almost immediately, serving as shop steward and eventually vice president. He served three terms as local president.
For decades, Redmond served the USW in various staff and leadership roles, assisting local unions, developing and conducting training programs, and bargaining contracts.
As international vice president for human affairs, Redmond oversaw the Civil and Human Rights Department, as well as the union’s shipbuilding, health care and public sector bargaining, and worked with USW allies across the country in responding to attacks on voting rights and in combating economic inequality. Redmond has a long history of leadership on various boards, including the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. In 2021, Redmond was elected president of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, a prestigious international post.
“I’ve worked with Liz Shuler and Fred Redmond for many years and fully support their election. I know they will continue Rich’s tireless fight standing up for working families.”
The terms of the three executive officers run through June 2022, when delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia will elect leaders for new four-year terms.


Backpay and COLA update


Most eligible city letter carriers will receive retroactive pay pursuant to the 2019-2023 National Agreement on their August 20 paychecks. Backpay for some former city carrier assistants that were converted to career status between November 23, 2019 and April 9, 2021 must be calculated manually, resulting in a delay in payment. This issue was discovered during a recent quality check of the process. We are discussing the issue with representatives from USPS Headquarters. As soon as additional information is available, it will be posted here on the NALC's website.
Backpay is calculated for all paid hours between November 23, 2019 (the date of the first general wage increase in the Agreement) and April 9, 2021 (the day before new pay rates were implemented as explained here). The following pay increases will be included in the retroactive pay from the effective date indicated for each:
For career city carriers:

  • 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 23, 2019
  • $166 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 29, 2020
  • $188 Cost of Living Adjustment effective August 29, 2020
  • 1.1% General Wage Increase effective November 21, 2020
  • $416 Cost of Living Adjustment effective February 27, 2021
*Cost of living increases referenced above are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement.
For City Carrier Assistants:

  • 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 23, 2019
  • 1.1% General Wage Increase and additional 1.0% increase effective November 21, 2020
*City carrier assistants receive the additional 1.0% increases referenced above in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.
Retired and separated employees that worked during the backpay period will be paid by check mailed to their last work location. Retroactive pay adjustments for now retired letter carriers may result in adjustments to annuities. The Office of Personnel Management will make any necessary annuity adjustments.
Fourth COLA is $1,934
The fourth regular Cost of Living Adjustment under the 2019-2023 National Agreement will be $1,934 annually for letter carriers in Table 1 and at Step O of Table 2. Cost of living increases are paid proportionally to city carriers in Table 2 in accordance with Article 9.3.E of the National Agreement. This adjustment will be effective August 28 and reflected in paychecks dated September 17.
City carrier assistants will receive additional 1.0% increases effective November 20, 2021 and November 19, 2022 in lieu of cost of living adjustments pursuant to Article 9.7 of the National Agreement.
The new pay rates can be seen in the new letter carrier pay schedule available here.


Statement from NALC President Fredric V. Rolando on Postal Service's FY 2021 Q3 Financial Report


The postal revenue increase over the same quarter last year makes two things clear. The first is how much the American people and their businesses rely on the Postal Service. During the pandemic, letter carriers have helped tens of millions of Americans shelter safely at home, while also helping them vote safely from home. Secondly, even with the demonstrated strength of the postal business model, USPS reported a net loss, which drives home the need for postal reform to address the artificial red ink caused by the 2006 congressional mandate that the USPS--alone among all U.S. companies and agencies--pre-fund future retiree benefits.


Four National-Level Grievances Settled


A settlement (M-01954) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q01N-4C-C 07098868 concerning the assignment of deliveries to Contract Delivery Service (CDS) prior to the effective date of the 2006 collective bargaining agreement. The parties agree to close this interpretive case without prejudice to the position of either party in this or any other matter. Any grievance held pending the outcome of case Q01N-4Q-C 07098868 will be processed in accordance with Article 15 of the National Agreement.
A settlement (M-01955) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q16N-4Q-C 19234222 concerning whether the collective bargaining agreement was violated when the implementation of Arbitrator Goldberg's award in Case No. Q15C-4Q-C 17397250 was delayed while the decision was challenged in federal court. The parties agree that no national interpretive issue is presented in this case. United States District Court Case No. 1: 18-cv-02553 (CJN) was dismissed by a Stipulation of Dismissal between the Postal Service and the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) on April 23, 2021. In light of the stipulation, the Postal Service will implement the Goldberg award and revise the PS Form 3971, Request for or Notification of Absence and Section 514.4 of the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM). Accordingly, the parties mutually agree to close this interpretive case without prejudice to the position of either party in this or any other matter.
A settlement (M-01956) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q16N-4Q-C 19000209 concerning the assignment of in-growth deliveries on Highway Contract Routes (HCR) in protected offices. After reviewing this matter, the parties mutually agree to close this interpretive case without prejudice to the position of either party in this or any other matter.
A settlement (M-01957) has been reached between NALC and USPS regarding national-level grievance Q16N-4Q-C 20356310 concerning the Postal Service's unilateral implementation of the delivery initiative called Post Office Sortation Equipment Reconciliation (SER). The SER delivery initiative began July 31, 2020 and has concluded. The parties agree all changes to city letter carrier cases or configurations, including those resulting from the SER initiative, must comply with the appropriate provisions of the collective bargaining agreement and relevant handbook and manual provisions unless otherwise agreed upon by the national parties. Any grievance held pending the outcome of this national case will be processed in accordance with this understanding. The above-referenced agreement constitutes a full and complete settlement of grievance number O16N-4Q-C 20356310. This Agreement is made without prejudice to the parties' position in this or any other matter and may only be cited to enforce its terms.
These four settlements can be found in NALC’s Materials Reference System.


2021 JCAM released


An electronic version of the 2021 USPS-NALC Joint Contract Administration Manual (JCAM) has been released and is available under Workplace Issues in the resources section of our website.
The NALC are working with USPS on the project of jointly printing hard copies. This process will take at least a few months to complete, so please be patient. In the meantime, NALC wanted to get the new JCAM out to you as soon as possible. The NALC will let you know when hard copies become available.


Congress Completes Work on Fifth COVID-Relief Package, President to Sign

See original article here.


"The House of Representatives once again passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319), following Senate passage Saturday, by a vote of 221-211. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Biden this week to provide a fifth round of COVID-relief to the American people.
The House vote comes after the Senate stripped a provision that would have changed the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. In addition, the Senate made minor changes to the House-passed legislation, which required another vote by the House. Unfortunately, every House Republican opposed the legislation along with Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), the lone Democrat who opposed the measure.
Of critical importance to letter carriers are two key provisions that NALC successfully lobbied for including:

  • Establishes an Emergency Federal Employee Leave Fund for federal and postal employees. Most letter carriers are familiar with the COVID-19 related leave provisions from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that were in effect in 2020, but expired on Dec. 31. This bill provides up to 600 hours of paid leave for each full-time employee or a proportional equivalent for part-time employees at a capped rate of $35 per hour and no more than $1,400 per week. The bill also carries forward the same COVID-related reasons for using the leave that were included in the FFCRA but adds new reasons, such as getting vaccinated. While the FFCRA required leave be paid at only 2/3 rate for certain reasons, this bill contains no such reduction in the rate the leave is paid. A $570 million fund is included to pay for the leave.
  • Workers’ compensation language that presumes a positive COVID-19 diagnosis for postal (and federal) employees as work-related. The presumption would authorize benefits such as medical, disability and survivor benefits for workers who contracted COVID-19 in the three-year period beginning January 27, 2020 and ending January 27, 2023.
The bill also provides $1,400 in direct relief payments for individuals making under $75,000 (phased out at $80,000) and joint filers making $150,000, with $1,400 per dependent child.
We expect the Department of Labor to issue guidance on the leave and workers compensation provisions in the near future. NALC will work with the Postal Service on implementation of the leave provisions and will provide updates as more information becomes available."


Membership Ratifies New NALC-USPS Collective Bargaining Agreement

See original article here.


"The active membership of the National Association of Letter Carriers has overwhelmingly ratified the tentative 2019-2023 National Agreement with the United States Postal Service. Over 94% of participating eligible members voted to accept the tentative agreement that was announced on November 25. The vote to ratify was 60,111 to accept the agreement versus 3,341 to reject it, as reported by NALC’s Ballot Committee chairman Delano Wilson of Silver Spring, MD Branch 2611. The fifteen-member Ballot Committee monitored and observed the dispatch, receipt, and tabulation of the Ratification Ballot conducted by an independent company, MOSAIC of Cheverly, MD.
NALC will officially notify USPS of the March 8 ratification date.
Information on back pay and the implementation of the new contract will be released as soon as possible.
The new contract covers a 44-month term from September 20, 2019, to May 20, 2023."


CCA Conversion Update


15 CCAs will be converted to Career Employees on February 27th, 2021.
11 carriers in Manhattan.
4 carriers in the Bronx


Contract Ratification Update


The NALC has been sending ballots to all members as of mid-January. These ballots will be returned and submitted in the mail. Make sure to submit your ballot by the end of January. Reach out to Branch 36 Officers if you do not receive a ballot in the mail or if you have any questions about the process.


"NALC, USPS reach tentative National Agreement Statement from President Rolando:"


"...In the meantime, the interest arbitration proceeding has been suspended pending the results of the membership ratification vote.
The 2019 National Agreement will last 44 months, covering the period from September 20, 2019, to May 20, 2023. The agreement provides four annual general wage increases and seven cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). In addition, effective Nov. 19, 2022, a new top step (Step P) will be added to the career letter carrier pay scales, which will be $444 annually greater than Step O. The agreement also provides for the automatic conversion of city carrier assistants (CCAs) to career status no later than after 24 months of relative standing, providing full fringe benefits and peace of mind to non-career carriers. It also maintains existing protections against subcontract-ing and layoffs.
We have summarized the major features of the contract in the NALC Bulletin which will be sent to stations and offices throughout the country. Full details about the tentative agreement, along with projected pay charts, other contractual changes, and information about new and amended memorandums of under¬standing (MOUs), will be presented in the December issue of The Postal Record. They will also be distributed through the union’s electronic platforms in the days to come. The NALC Executive Council unanimously recommends approval of the tentative agreement."
For more information visit NALC.org


Families First Coronavirus Response Act Impact on Retirement and Thrift Savings Plan


The NALC has received notification from the Postal Service that leave taken under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is not eligible for retirement and Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) deductions. This is in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Personnel Management which oversees both benefits.
Those that have taken leave under the FFCRA will be issued refunds by the Postal Service for any retirement and TSP contributions which will be reflected on your October 2nd, 2020 paycheck.
Leave used under the FFCRA (Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act Expansion) will not impact creditable service time towards retirement eligibility. This leave does not impact the High-3 Average Salary calculation used for an annuity computation. The annuity calculation for full-time career employees will not be impacted.
However, use of FFCRA leave for part-time career employees will have an impact on annuity calculations. Annuities with a part-time career component are prorated based on the hours worked when compared to a full-time position. Leave taken under FFCRA is not considered basic pay and is treated similarly to periods of Leave Without Pay (LWOP), which does not increase the total hours worked for the part-time component calculation. NALC members may contact the NALC retirement department with questions regarding part-time career service.
Carriers that wish to, may change their election of FFCRA leave to a different type of leave (such as sick or annual) to keep their retirement and TSP contributions. To avoid a refund, all requests must be entered in AdjustPay before September 11th, 2020.
All TSP eligible employees may change their TSP election at any time during the year.
The FFCRA will expire December 31st, 2020, and any unused leave will be forfeit.
The Postal Service Mandatory Stand-Up Talk dated August 27, 2020 regarding this refund can be found here.


President Fredric v. Rolando on Joint National Election Task Force

NALC article here


Today, I am pleased to announce that the NALC will begin working with the Postal Service in a joint labor management task force to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus with regard to handling election mail. Formation of the task force comes as a result of my initial meeting with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, where I suggested that we create a joint labor management task force to meet these specific challenges and work together in response to the public health crisis that is expected to dramatically expand the role of mail voting during the upcoming national election. Meetings of the joint task force on election mail will likely begin within the next two weeks.
Nearly one quarter of all ballots cast in 2016 involved mailed out ballots, a level that could double this year as voters look for safe ways to vote in the midst of the pandemic. Although the Postal Service and its employees have always given election and political mail the highest priority and greatest care, the current crisis calls for extraordinary efforts to serve America’s voters. The task force will work to establish special protocols ahead of the national election to ensure the expedited handling of all political and election mail, particularly for mailed out ballots. In a statement today announcing the parties’ commitment to joining the task force, the PMG also suspended several recent operational initiatives, some of which were causing the delay or non-delivery of mail, in order to assure the public that there would not be any impact on election mail. This was an important step in addressing any perception that these initiatives were intended to negatively impact our quality of service during the election.
In our work with the National Election Task Force, NALC intends to advocate special training programs as well as external communications initiatives to assure the public and our election board partners that they can rely on the Postal Service to deliver exceptional service.
Our goal is to give every American voter who chooses to return their ballots by mail the assurance that their ballots will be counted, consistent with state and local election board regulations. In the face of the worst public health crisis in more than 100 years -- and in cooperation with the other unions and employee organizations -- NALC is committed to raising the Postal Service’s performance by going above and beyond to help Americans vote safely during this crisis.
This task force, along with our legislative efforts and our task force on city delivery, provides another tool for NALC to enhance the value of the Postal Service and to advocate for the public good.


PGM Slams the Breaks on Service Changes During the Election

Post Master General releases statement to employees


Post Master General's statement to employees


Shop Steward Quarterly Seminar


In late June, shop stewards attended online virtual training for grievances. More online virtual trainings are to come with the next shop steward quarterly seminar.


CCA Rap Session


On March 14th, 2020 approximately 220 CCAs will be converted to full time regular carriers. Branch 36 will host a Rap Session on Sunday March 15th @1pm – 4pm in The Percy T. McRae Meeting Hall in the Vincent R. Sombrotto Building. All CCAs are welcome. The branch will cover all essential information including any general inquiries. RSVP to the branch. We hope to see you all!


House Votes to End Controversial USPS Payments for Future Retirees' Health Care


Postal Service applauds effort, but says more steps are needed to avoid financial collapse

The House on Wednesday voted to end the U.S. Postal Service’s mandatory payments toward the health benefits for future retirees, advancing a measure that would eliminate a controversial requirement the cash-strapped mailing agency has defaulted on for years.

Congress first established the prefunding mandate in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the last major legislative overhaul of the Postal Service, and the requirement has hampered the agency ever since. Shortly after the law’s passage, the recession hit and mail volume began to decline precipitously. That trend has continued to this day, leaving USPS without the financial means to make the annual payments and forcing it to default on them while absorbing the losses on its balance sheet.

The Postal Service has lost money for 13 consecutive years and a majority of those losses stemmed from the prefunding requirement. In fiscal 2019, for example, 83% of the $8.8 billion the agency lost came from payments into its retiree pension fund and retiree health benefits fund. Critics of the mandate include a range of Republicans, Democrats, mailers and labor unions. They have estimated the law requires USPS to fund the benefits for retirees up to 75 years in the future, an obligation virtually no other government entities face.

Despite repeated bipartisan efforts, Congress has for years failed to repeal the mandate and reamortize the balance of USPS’ liabilities over a 40-year period as part of a larger postal overhaul effort. Wednesday’s vote marked the first time lawmakers pulled that provision into a standalone measure, as stakeholders have preferred to keep it as a bargaining chip to bring diverse views together for larger, compromise postal reform legislation.

"It gives them no flexibility, it gives them no additional cash flow," said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who has helped push previous bipartisan postal reform efforts, on the House floor Wednesday. "I cannot support his bill because it does not do what we need to do, which is address the problem today. This just kicks the can down the road."

Other lawmakers suggested Congress should not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., went a step further in making his case against prefunding.

"This is part of the effort by some who literally have a jihad against the Postal Service," the congressman said.

The USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382) had more than 300 cosponsors, including more than five-dozen Republicans. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., has introduced a companion bill (S. 2965) in the Senate with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. The measure would eliminate the requirement going forward and forgive all payments on which USPS has defaulted.

Postal management has long called for the reform as one of the key tenets of any legislative effort to put the agency on better financial footing. Dave Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, praised the legislation's intentions on Wednesday, while making clear it was only a first step for the changes the agency requires.

“This elimination of a requirement faced by no other public or private entity would improve our balance sheet and reduce our future reported losses,” Partenheimer said. “The Postal Service believes H.R. 2382 would be an important part of the legislative and regulatory changes—along with substantial self-help efforts by the Postal Service—that are necessary to secure our long-term financial stability.”

He added, however, it would not address the liquidity crisis that “will literally threaten our ability to deliver mail” in the next few years. The Postal Service pledged to work with Congress to craft a plan to make additional legislative changes. In addition to the prefunding repeal, lawmakers have looked to tweak the Postal Service’s delivery standards, enable larger price increases and establish new streams of revenue to reverse the mailing agency's slide.


Helen Amill


Outlook July/August 2021



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