The Postal Wire


Postal News Roundup

Making Your Voice Heard

FEDweek - “So far only a few things have happened legislatively that would affect federal employees and retirees despite many proposals from the White House and Congress to curb benefits in various ways (e.g. raising retirement contributions, reducing annuities and COLAs, shifting more FEHB premium costs to enrollees, etc.). For most of us, this “lack of accomplishment” is good news. So what are employees and retirees to do to keep their benefits in tact? My opinion is they should support organizations that represent federal employees that are working to protect their benefits. Among others, I’m talking about union, trade and professional groups. For example, those that represent federal employees in numerous agencies, such as the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), and National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE). Or more specialized ones, such as the Association of Civilian Technicians (ACT), National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), or National Weather Service Employees (NWSEO). And there are postal employee unions and professional groups, such as the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), National Association of Postal Supervisors of the United States (NAPUS), National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) and National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA).”

Delivering the Best Customer Experience

USPS Office of Inspector General - Report # RARC-WP-18-003 - “The Postal Service could make the delivery survey more representative of the general population and validate the survey’s scale to ensure its accuracy. Survey results showed dissatisfaction is highest among small and medium business customers, centralized delivery recipients, and 25-34 year olds. Customers most frequently commented on misdelivery, delivery time, delivery location, and parcel safety or condition. Field management uses survey responses to troubleshoot local problems. A headquarters review would address systemic concerns through macro changes to policies and procedures.”

USPS Employees Prepare For Busiest Day of Year at Sorting Center

WABI - “As Christmas draws near millions of letters and packages are being sent all across the globe. Ever wonder how your gifts arrive at the right place at the right time? We got a tour behind the scenes at the U.S. Postal Service Mail Processing Facility in Hampden…”

Postal Service is in the midst of 'busiest' time

The San Diego Union-Tribune - “The U.S. Postal Service's employees have geared up for their busiest time of the year. Unlike in the past, Postal Service officials in San Diego are not anticipating a specific day when lines at local post offices will be longer than the typical holiday wait times, according to spokeswoman Eva M. Jackson.”

Guilford contractor pleads guilty to submitting false claim to USPS

New Haven Register - “A Guilford contractor waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty Tuesday in New Haven federal court to submitting false documents to the U.S. Postal Service. According to court documents and statements made in court, Marcel Van Wolvelaerd, 62, owns and operates CableComm LLC. According to a press release from the U.S. attorney's office, from approximately 2007 through 2014, the U.S. Postal Service contracted with CableComm to perform repair and maintenance work at various USPS facilities.”

GOP Labor Lawyer Said to Be Tapped to Run Union-Auditing Office

Bloomberg BNA - “The fiscally hamstrung office enforces the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The agencies priorities haven't crystallized this year, but the OLMS drew criticism under prior Republican administrations for perceived labor movement harassment.”

The Myth Of Trump's Economic Populism, As Proved By The Tax Bill

NPR - “Once upon a time, there was a group of conservative intellectuals who were agnostic about Donald Trump. They were not "Never Trumpers," but they weren't Trump superfans either. They thought Trumpism might offer something new for the GOP. Since Trump wasn't tied to the orthodoxies of either party he could, theoretically, offer a more populist path toward the future for Republicans. Conservative writer Henry Olsen, at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, looked to the tax plan to reflect this new vision, but it wasn't there….The tax bill provided an opportunity for President Trump to show his priorities. But so much of it is traditionally Republican and doesn't offer the kind of help for the working class he promised… Olsen expected the tax plan to include some of Trump's populist campaign promises — that the rich would pay more, the forgotten working class would pay less, and special interest loopholes like the carried-interest provision for hedge-fund managers would be gone. But the tax bill ended up instead being traditionally Republican in its focus on cutting taxes for the well-to-do but barely touching the working class and not helping the middle class to a significant degree.”

Republicans Say They Have a Deal on Tax Bill

The New York Times - “House and Senate negotiators reach agreement, appear on track to send bill to President Trump by Christmas…”

Treasury Taps Federal Pensions, TSP G Fund Investments to Avoid Debt Default - “The Treasury Department has suspended investments into federal employees' pensions, as the government butts up against its statutory borrowing limit. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the step as part of the measures he is permitted to take to delay the government defaulting on its debt. In addition to the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, Mnuchin said in his letter to congressional leadership that Treasury will also suspend investments in the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund.”

Pennsylvania House rejects bill targeting unions' political activity - “In a defeat for conservatives and a win for union solidarity, the Republican-controlled Legislature has rejected a bill that would have weakened labor’s political footing. Senate Bill 166, which the House shot down Tuesday night in a 102-90 vote, would have prohibited state, county and local governments from using their payroll systems to let workers make voluntarily contributions to their respective union’s political action committees. The bill would have applied to teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public sector union members after their current contracts expire. The bill only targeted the extra PAC money deductions, not union dues.”

The shrinking role of unions helps shed light on an economic trend that is puzzling Fed officials

Business Insider - “A decline in union membership and activism helps explain why US inflation and wages have remained subdued despite a prolonged economic recovery. Low inflation gives the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for longer, particularly if it wants to see workers' wages rise.  US inflation has undershot the Fed's 2% target for 100 of the 104 months since the start of the financial crisis, according to Capital Economics.”