I want to start my report by providing a brief report on the financial condition of the United States Postal Service. It is projected that the USPS will have an overall operating deficit of 1.5 billion dollars for Quarter 1 of FY2019.
First Class Mail continues to decline, 2.8% decline for Q1 of FY2019. On a positive note, we experienced a slight increase in Package/Parcel Mail totaling a 5.4%, but the very concerning part is that the growth rate in parcels for the Postal Service continues to decline year after year.
2019, Q1 +5.4%
Of most concern, is the Presidential Task Force on the Postal Service enacted by President Trump’s Executive order. In their findings they recommend that the Postal Service transition to Privatization, proposed elimination of collective bargaining, consolidations and reduced wages and benefits for postal employees. Of huge concern are the Executive Orders by President Trump that are applicable to some Federal Agencies which include, limitation on paid official union time, making it easier to discipline and terminate federal workers through the elimination of due process rights.
As most know, in 2006 the Postal Service was directed by Congress to pre-fund employee’s retirement/health contribution by 5.5 billion dollars per year. The Postal Service is the only federal agency required to contribute such a big number. This requirement places the Postal Service in the RED (losses) year after year for the last several years. If it was not for this huge monetary requirement, the Postal Service would be making a financial profit.
These are some of the reasons that on Monday, June 3, 2019 through Thursday, June 6, 2019, Treasurer Art Aguilar and I traveled to Washington DC to attend the 2019 NPMHU Legislative Conference. We had several meetings with Members of Congress to seek their support for H.R. 2382 which is new legislation known as the USPS Fairness Act. If enacted, this bill would repeal the mandate that USPS pre-fund decade’s worth of health benefits for its future retirees. This would help solve the most pressing financial problem facing the Postal Service.
We were successful in meeting with five members of Congress and to explain our postal issues. Treasurer Art Aguilar and I met with Congressman Ruben Gallegos, Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Congressman Greg Stanton, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick and we even met with NM Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. We lobbied members of Congress that are worker-friendly, Union-friendly, and Postal-friendly to stop any and all attempts to outsource, to subcontract and to privatize the Postal Service. To support our union agenda as well as the other three unions to save the Postal Service and all of the families who depend on the United States Postal Service.
President Local 320 NPMHU