As many Americans are still impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and members of Congress realized previous COVID related legislation was not as impactful as was intended, the House of Representatives introduced the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800) on Tuesday, May 12. Previous COVID-19 bills did not include assistance to the Postal Service, despite the USPS’ warnings of revenue loss due to the pandemic and the health risks employees take while on the job. The HEROES Act moves to provide some financial aid and hazard pay in order to get the Postal Service through this crisis.
Explicitly, the bill provides for $25 billion to make up for lost revenue, with priority given to the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE). Additionally, the bill removes certain borrowing restrictions imposed on the Postal Service from the Department of Treasury.
Directly impacting NPMHU members, the HEROES Act would grant pandemic premium pay for all postal employees. Acknowledging that these men and women, as essential workers are placing themselves and their families at a greater risk of contracting the coronavirus, the bill calls for an additional $13.00 an hour for time worked from January 27, 2020 until 60 days after the pandemic ends. While nothing can fully make up for the physical and mental stress employees are facing, the NPMHU hopes this assistance will provide some ease to members.
The House will vote on the bill this Friday, May 15. Once passed, it will move to the Senate for approval. As the NPMHU has seen minimum support for the Postal Service from Senators, the Union needs to ensure that Senators understand the vital importance of the Postal Service and its impact on every American household. If you have not yet done so, please contact your Senators, letting them know you support the Postal Service, and financial relief for it needs to remain in the HEROES Act. Senators can be reached directly through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.