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US Post Office Considering Closing Several Office and Withdrawing Employee Health and Retirement Plans–Money Issues

Posted Aug 11 2011 9:04pm

This debate has been going on for a long time and stopping Saturday deliveries was one that was also frequently discussed too.  The current contract does not permit layoffs and that’s a tough one but it hasn’t stopped any body else of late it seems.  The bad part is losing health and retirement benefits.  I occasionally chat with my postman and they have already done some of that and changed when Pacificare no longer offered the current contract here in California and they had to change.  I’m guessing like the rest of us a new option or options will appear for some kind of insurance but it would be no doubt not what they may have now.  On the other side of the coin relative to drugs,  CVS is worried about prescription deliveries.  BD

In an attempt to stem its financial hemorrhaging, the U.S. Postal Service is seeking to reduce its workforce by 20 percent, including through layoffs now prohibited by union contracts. USPS also wants to withdraw its employees from the health and retirement plans that cover federal staffers and create its own benefit programs for postal employees.

This major restructuring of the Postal Service’s relationship with its workforce would need congressional approval and would face fierce opposition from postal unions. But if approved, eliminating contract provisions that prevent layoffs and quitting the federal employee health and retirement programs could have ramifications for workers across the government and throughout the national’s labor movement.

Two members of Congress who have introduced separate postal reform bills were non-committal on the USPS plan.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) said “he is particularly interested in learning whether these proposals would be fair to employees and effective in reducing the Postal Service’s costs.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) , chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said: “These new ideas from the Postal Service are worth exploring. Options for reform and cost savings that will protect taxpayers from paying for a bailout, now or in the future, need to be on the table.”

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