MAY 13, 2015
Local 302 attendees at the 2015 Legislative Conference were as follows. Ernie Grijalva, Juanita Contreras, Kimberly Garcia, Dean DeLuna, Thomas Mayes, Melinda Simental, Ed Lenzer, Joaquin Aranda, and Joel Gonzales.
The first day of the Conference was very informative. Key Speakers included General President of LIUNA- Terry O’Sullivan; AFL-CIO National President- Richard Trumka; NPMHU Legislative and Political Director- Robert Losi; Congresswoman Rosa Delauro (D-CT) sponsor of H.R. 784; Congressman Gerald Connolly; Senator Jon Tester (D-Mt); Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY); Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Ma) addressed the attendees on the second day of the Conference and discussed postal banking in depth. She also mentioned that the USPS can implement basic postal banking without any authorization from Congress, since it already has the authority to do so.
The main elements discussed during the Conference were the 82 pending closures and consolidations of postal facilities across the Country, and the recent reductions to the delivery service standards of first class, and other mail classifications. In order to be able to close these facilities, the USPS needed to change the overnight delivery standards of local 1st class mail, since the original standards would be impossible to meet once the closures were implemented. Since the service standard changes were made, delivery of mail all over the country has been delayed. In many areas 3 to 5 day mail deliveries were delayed 30 to 40%
The USPS has had a steady growth in revenue for nearly 3 years in almost all classes of mail. Since the volume of mail and postal revenue is increasing, it makes no sense to continue the path of reduction and destruction the USPS is currently on. Both H. Res. 54 and H.R. 784 were introduced in the House of Representatives. Both of these pieces of legislation are designed to return delivery service standards to what they were, before the USPS began reducing them. The legislation is needed to help keep the USPS competitive, and to slow down, or prevent more closures and consolidations. The USPS will lose much of the revenue it has recently gained if delivery standards continue to decline, delaying more and more mail.
If you have not done so, please contact your Congressional Representative and urge him or her to co-sponsor H. Res. 54, and H.R. 784. You can find out if they are already a co-sponsor at the Legislative Center on the NPMHU website, or at congress.gov.
Local 302 attendees had 14 scheduled appointments with our Congressional Representatives for May 13, 2015. Information was dropped off at a handful of the offices that were not on the appointment schedule as well. We even managed a photo op with Senator Boxer. This is her last term in office since she will be retiring in 2016. We talked at length about postal growth in revenue, the ill-sighted proposed closures and consolidations, and the negative impact the reduction of service standards has caused in the delay of mail delivery all over the country. Overall the Conference was a success, with many members of Congress showing their support for H.Res. 54 and H.R. 784. Local 302 is continuing to follow-up with our members of Congress who have not signed on to these key pieces of legislation. Some Representatives have let us know that they will be adding their names to the list of co-sponsors on both bills.
As of this report, USPS has announced a temporary moratorium on further closures and consolidations. The postal service will be retaining North Bay, Redding, and Eureka for the time being. We feel that this change in action, however temporary, has been due in part to the effort on the part of all 4 unions to educate and inform Congressional Representatives and the public, and also from the support of many in Congress who are putting the pressure on the postal service elites to do the right thing and protect the USPS and its service to the people of the United States.
We will continue our efforts to “save the postal service”, and will do everything we can to stop the dismantling and destruction of one of the last great institutions that provides good service to every American, and provides our employees with decent “middle class” careers.
NPMHU Local 302