Today, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation designed to give the United States Postal Service (USPS) additional flexibility to modernize its business operations. The Save and Strengthen our Post Offices Act also includes provisions to ensure greater fairness for postal employees in any future negotiations on health benefits, and to allow the USPS to use its $5.6 billion in overpayments to its retirement system to pay down its debts.
"The Post Office is an integral part of our American culture," said Rep. Baca. "Hundreds of millions of American families and businesses rely on the Postal Service everyday for both personal and professional needs. I am proud to introduce this responsible legislation, which can serve as an important first step in giving the USPS the flexibility and autonomy it needs to modernize and adopt new business models that allow it to thrive."
The Save and Strengthen our Post Offices Act includes key provisions that support the USPS by:
· Requiring the USPS to use its $5.6 billion in surplus contributions to the Federal Employees Retirement System to repay the debts incurred by the USPS, and to make required payments to retiree health and pension funds;
· Requiring the USPS to work with the postal employees' bargaining representative to create a Postal Service Health Benefits Program, should the USPS decide to opt out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; and
· Allowing the USPS to offer non-postal services in areas where they are not readily provided by the private sector.
"The Republican mandate that has forced the USPS to pre-fund its future retiree and health benefits is patently unfair," continued Rep. Baca. "This responsible legislation would finally give the USPS the flexibility to use its $5.6 billion in overpayments to pay down its debt. And by giving collective bargaining units a voice at the table during any future negotiations over health benefit policies, my bill also helps to ensure that none of our postal employees are thrown under the bus after years of service to the American people."