State Wire: Workers say Postal Service Reform Act first step to strengthen agency
John Flattery, president of the American Postal Workers Union Central Mass Area Local, said this was a great opportunity for the agency.
“We’ve been understaffed,” Flattery said. “They didn’t try to hire, to fill a lot of positions because we were constantly short of loans. So taking that requirement away is huge.”
The bill also requires Postal Service retirees to enroll in Medicare, instead of retaining the federal employee health benefit plan. Flattery said Congress should monitor whether this change increases costs for retiring agency employees.
Flattery added that while this is a good first step, service standards need to be improved – especially with the mail slowdowns that have occurred during the pandemic, and that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has made changes.
“It disappointed me that we didn’t improve the standard of service,” Flattery said. “Now they say, what was late isn’t late anymore because we changed the definition of late. That’s what frustrates employees. I’ve been here 35 years.”
The bill would also allow the Postal Service to provide non-postal goods and services to other government agencies, or to partner with state, local or tribal governments to provide these services to the public – such as the banking or selling hunting or fishing licenses or public transit passes. .
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