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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:19 AM

Postmaster takes case for five-day mail delivery to skeptical senators

Source: Washington Post

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe took his controversial plan for five-day mail delivery before a congressional hearing Wednesday, where he told senators that the Postal Service “needs your help.”

...

As he has before, Donahoe pleaded with Congress, this time the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to approve comprehensive postal reform legislation. Now, more than before, it looks as though Congress will do so.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told the Senate panel that after two months of negotiations, “we are close, very close” to agreement on a bipartisan, bicameral bill.

Without some assistance from Congress, said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate committee, “the Postal Service will drift toward insolvency and, eventually, the point at which it must shut its doors. . . . We have never been closer to losing the Postal Service.”

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/postmaster-takes-case-for-five-day-mail-delivery-to-skeptical-senators/2013/02/13/21287d54-7617-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_singlePage.html

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Reply Postmaster takes case for five-day mail delivery to skeptical senators (Original post)
alp227 Feb 2013 OP
ReRe Feb 2013 #1
elleng Feb 2013 #2
happyslug Feb 2013 #11
elleng Feb 2013 #14
suffragette Feb 2013 #3
elleng Feb 2013 #4
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2013 #6
elleng Feb 2013 #12
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2013 #16
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2013 #7
Nay Feb 2013 #8
elleng Feb 2013 #13
ReRe Feb 2013 #5
SemperEadem Feb 2013 #9
Gregorian Feb 2013 #10
PATRICK Feb 2013 #15
Hard Assets Feb 2013 #17

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:51 AM

1. You have to click and read the whole article...

... The above is only half of it. I think I see where it's going though. Looks to me like the Postmaster General is sidling up with the Corporatizers. Is the PM Gen appointed by the President? I need to stop and go take a look at this guy's history. If his position is an appointment, did GWB appoint him? Thanks for posting this WP article, alp227. Will be back to this thread after I've done some reading.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:41 AM

2. appointed by a Board of Governors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postmaster_General

Seems to me I recall head of Postal Workers' Union has had open disputes with Donahoe, arguing that this guy is more a corp. person than a people/union person.

'After repeatedly urging Congress to end the six-day requirement, Donahoe said postal officials had determined that he could take that action without congressional approval.

Moving to five-day delivery would close just 10 percent of the postal budget gap, Donahoe said, yet the controversy surrounding it stole the focus from other important financial issues.

Among them is a controversial proposal to move postal employees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which serves all federal workers, to a health insurance program run by the USPS.

Donahoe presented an updated health insurance proposal, but it received little attention compared with his five-day delivery plan.'

Sounds like more bad news to me, as USPS running its own health insurance program would put postal workers' health insurance in as much jeopardy as their jobs AND likely wouldn't be a good program without the leverage to negotiate like FEHBP.

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:29 AM

11. Something wrong about your statement as to health Insurance

Letter Carriers are covered by their own UNION insurance:
http://www.nalc.org/depart/hbp/news/CONTACT/index.html

One is eligible for the NAtional Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Medical Coverage if one is a member of NALC AND eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program;

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/indian-tribes/plan-information/plan-codes/2013/brochures/71-009i.pdf

The NALC Health Insurance had a clause for years that Children below age 22 who are living with their grandparents. were covered by the Insurance of their grandparent if the grandparent was working as a Letter Carrier for the USPS (and if the intervening Parent was NOT present in the home of the Grandparents). The present insurance has expanded that term to mean any "Foster Child" who is below age 26 AND if the insured provide documentation of the Insured "substantial support of the child and sign a certification stating that your foster child meets all the requirements" (The change was due to various changes in Federal Law as to coverage over the last 10 years).

http://www.nalc.org/depart/hbp/Benefits/BROCHURE/2013/RI%2071-009.pdf

The existence of the NALC Health Insurance program predates the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program which was only started in 1960 and thus had a longer existence and remains the preferred Health Insurance among Letter Carriers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Employees_Health_Benefits_Program

My point is that the Postal Service has several different health insurance programs, many run by the various unions that work for the Postal Service as oppose to one health insurance program for the Postal Service or Federal Employees in General.

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Response to happyslug (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:42 PM

14. Interesting. Thanks.

Info about changing health program was from one of the links cited to in the OP; not sure which one.

Hope its fair to assume the union plans will continue, and hope the employees like them.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:52 AM

3. Some good research and links in this thread from last year

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Response to suffragette (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:02 AM

4. Sounds like one money-saver would be to dispose of some of the members of the Board of Governors,

and reduce Postmaster General's pay.

The Postmaster General is second-highest paid U.S. government official, based on publicly available salary information, after the President of the United States.

makes $276,840.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Postmaster_General


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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:51 AM

6. Brilliant, not. Cut pay and drive out the talent to non-governmental corporations.

$275 K is a pittance compared to what the man could make outside of government.

Get real.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:30 PM

12. He's an administrator,

'outside of government' gets similar for a dime a dozen, and if he really likes his job, and really wants USPS to survive, he should happily accept a pay cut.

Get real.

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Response to elleng (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:51 PM

16. Nope. He's effectively a CEO. You should accept a pay cut.

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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:54 AM

7. Instead, repeal the ridiculously onerous pension requirement imposed by Republicans:


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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:41 AM

8. Amen.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:31 PM

13. Not instead, but in addition to.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:37 AM

5. OK...

Here's the bombshell. THE PM Gen and his Deputy (or vice) PM Gen are indeed appointed by the USPS Board of Govs. BUT, the President does appoint the governors of the board. The majority of the Board of Governors were appointed by George W Bush. Looks like one was appointed by PO. There's normally 11 members on the Board (which includes the PM Gen and Deputy PM Gen). But right now, there are two vacancies on the Board of Governors. What I didn't see was if the appointees have to be confirmed by the Senate before taking office. If so, then they are probably a couple appointments that McConnell is holding up on PO. (How convenient. )

So, this adds up now:
*Majority of Board of Governors of the USPS were appointed by GWB,
*Repubs Issa and Coburn are for reducing the days to 5
*Bernie Sanders is against it (keeping the days at 6)
*And the Dems want it to stay the same (at 6 days.)

Sounds like PM Gen Donahoe jumped the gun, taking things into his own hands. Dems are not happy that he did this. Looks suspect to them, and frankly, looks fishy to me too. The USPS looks like it's on the verge of being a victim of Corporatization, unless Dems can pull a rabbit out of their hat. And I think they ran out of rabbits when Reid made that secret broken deal with Mitch McConnell. Thanks, Harry.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:29 AM

9. If not every household has a computer or internet

Last edited Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:25 PM - Edit history (1)

because it's too expensive, then how do these people propose bills be paid? Internet would then have to be offered free of charge in all areas of the country without exception and it would have to be offered for free in order to be able to do business as the post office has been in place to do.

I am totally against losing the Post Office or cutting back on services. As evidenced by the long lines I had to stand in every time I go to one, there shouldn't be any solvency problems.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:25 AM

10. What angers me most is that this is NOT the will of the people.

We are not being represented by our so-called representatives. But the lobbyists are.

My mailman and I were talking about this again yesterday, as I'm furious about this bullshit. He says they've been talking about limited weekend services. Maybe first class and parcels only.

Americans ought to be very upset about this. It's not what we the people want.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:57 PM

15. The Board of Governors

is appinted to their staggered terms by the current president. Hence Obama, this term, supposedly if the Congress and Senate deign to let him, gets to turn it away from the current Bush majority. The majority gets to appoint the Postmaster General and deputy(who also become voting members). Hence the maladroit corporate tool we currently have, the former Bush tool having booked with his bonuses before the last dirty attempt to rape the system happens on schedule. The Rates Commission also was disempowered from interfering in the plan. Somehow raising the really low rates is as taboo as "raising taxes" -and manufacturing a funding debt out of thin air- in the GOP created financial crisis is something we just shouldn't think about.

Interference in postal revenues and any slush pile effect on all these pre-funded overstocks should privatization happen effectively is a sneaky stamp tax which supposedly was one of the irksome ploys of the Crown in the 1770's.

The real story is the unique revenue paid infrastructure that succeeds in supporting a large modest success story for hundreds of thousands of public servants, despite unwarranted low rates for large mailers, purposeful postal mismanagement(so long as the union workforce is hit) and handicaps of incredible magnitude urged on by K Street and their toy Reps in Congress.

The ironic proof of how a microcosm of unintentional socialism can thrive under weird constraints and in a hostile business/political complex might have been one astute story in this mess but no establishment figure wants to point this out.

Vastly understated is the unique and as yet irreplaceable infrastructure that the USPService still is. You cannot, either on a local or national level reach everyone for sure without. No one. It serves all community and government and business. It is not itself allowed to be a business. They try like hell to stop it serving.
Or has the brains to, more likely.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:59 PM

17. Remove the 75 year mandate in pension payment in 10 years.

 

They are now entering the 7th year of this illegal move to show that USPS needs to be privatized. The 2006 Republicans needs to be sentenced to 100 years in prison doing nothing but sorting postal mail for the USPS.

There, profit made, and once the mandate is removed, then USPS will show profitability and sustain the Saturday service.

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