How Congress Manufactured a Postal Crisis—And How to Fix it

In 2006, Congress passed a law that imposed extraordinary costs on the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) required the USPS to create a $72 billion fund to pay for the cost of its post-retirement health care costs, 75 years into the future. This burden applies to no other federal agency or private corporation.

If the costs of this retiree health care mandate were removed from the USPS financial statements, the Post Office would have reported operating profits in each of the last six years. This extraordinary mandate created a financial “crisis” that has been used to justify harmful service cuts and even calls for postal privatization. Additional cuts in service and privatization would be devastating for millions of postal workers and customers.

In its December 2018 report, President Trump’s Task Force on the United States Postal Service reaffirmed current rules related to postal retiree health benefits, calling it “part of a mandate for postal self-sustainability.” However, the Task Force also recognized that the aggressive and accelerated timetable for funding the mandate has proved unworkable. They call for past deficits to be “restructured with the payments re-amortized with new actuarial calculation based on the population of employees at or near retirement age.”

While this would have a modest positive effect by spreading payments over a longer period of time, it does little to address the underlying problem caused by USPS being burdened with a mandate that no other federal agency or private corporation faces.


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A little history from a 27 year Postal employee: In the years leading up to 2006, the NALC, APWU, NRLCA, NPMHU, NAPAS,NAPS & USPS lobbied Congress incessantly to pass PAEA. The current issues with Postal sustainability were clearly brought on by the USPS and it’s Unions. You reap what you sow.

You are not totally correct!the only union that supported the PAEA was the NALC,then led by a fool,Bill Young.Not sure all of the management organizations supported it either,but the one that mattered,PMG Jackpot Potter,who was setting up his golden parachute did.

so it’s a bit late for the blame game… we need a fix.
why can’t the fools monitoring our reverse/speed/delivery points/left turns, etc. be given a real job in delivery!?
I see now the 2 newly proposed regulators are focused on job performance – I hope they start at the top and stay there, cuz us lower level delivery folks are working our tails off to get things done RIGHT!!!

Perhaps I am wrong, but wasn’t the $5.5 billion “healthcare” scam of that 2006 bill dropped in at the last second, without knowledge or a chance to review by most Congressional members – let alone any union officials?

There is no problem with this plan. The problem is Post Masters, and all levels of management wastes tens of millions a year. One area of waste is paying CDS contracts two or three pay checks a month during peak season. They make tens of thousands of dollars in extra trips. Get this, for the contract irregularity of a full vehicle. The Post Service in my district is allowing contractors or the employees of contractors to create the additional/or exceptional service requiring additional payments. The USPS is allowing itself to be scammed. The contractor owns the route he should be… Read more »

I know a guy who contracts and half the time he hauls an empty trailer.
It’s insane what the PO does… pockets are very deep !