Shuler: Keep post offices open, postal workers employed
Full announcement below:
Yesterday U.S. Representative Heath Shuler sent a letter to United States Postal Service (USPS) Postmaster General Pat Donahoe expressing concern for and opposition to proposed plans that would terminate 120,000 postal employees and close nearly 3,700 postal facilities throughout the country.
“The plans under consideration by the U.S. Postal Service would put a devastating number of postal employees out of work, especially in rural communities like those across Western North Carolina,” said Rep. Shuler. “Now is the time to keep and create jobs, not take them away. I strongly urge the USPS to explore alternative viable options to achieve fiscal solvency before taking drastic action that will ultimately hurt both postal workers and their taxpaying customers.”
In the wake of struggling to meet its financial obligations, the USPS has proposed significant personnel and facility cuts to achieve fiscal solvency. Alternate proposals on the table would create a framework for long-term fiscal solvency without major reductions to employees, facilities, and delivery service. Rep. Shuler is a cosponsor of one such proposal, H.R. 1351, which would reform the USPS retirement system to make up for its current $5.5 billion pension payment shortfall while still protecting USPS retirees.
See the text of the letter below:
September 14, 2011
Mr. Pat Donahoe
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20044-0961
Dear Postmaster Donahoe,
I write to express my concern for and opposition to plans being discussed by the United States Postal Service (USPS) that would result in the termination of 120,000 postal employees by 2015, as well as the USPS’s suggestion to close nearly 3,700 postal facilities throughout the country, many in rural areas. Such closures would put a devastating number of postal employees out of work. This is the time to create jobs, not take them away.
Neither postal employees nor Americans should bear the brunt of policy disagreements between the USPS and the federal government. Frankly, they deserve more.
Though I fully appreciate the immediacy of this situation, the USPS has other options that it can explore before taking such drastic actions that will ultimately hurt both postal workers and their taxpaying customers. For example, it would behoove the USPS to first review the forthcoming plan from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) designed to create a USPS framework for fiscal solvency.
I urge you to exercise abundant caution before taking additional steps prior to the OPM framework proposal. Cogent action is necessary to ensure the USPS does not inflict devastating job losses or facility closures.
Member of Congress