Northeast Times

Thanks for the support

U.S. Postal Ser­vice em­ploy­ees like Rep. Allyson Schwartz and her back­ing of a House bill that could help save jobs.

There was an old-fash­ioned uni­on rally on Frank­ford Av­en­ue on Tues­day. Signs were car­ried and slo­gans were chanted as more than 20 postal work­ers walked back and forth in front of U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s dis­trict of­fice.

The mem­bers of the Amer­ic­an Postal Work­ers Uni­on, Loc­al 7048, were on the 7200 block of Frank­ford Ave. to thank the con­gress­wo­man for her sup­port of a bill they be­lieve would help the U.S. Postal Ser­vice pay its own way and, there­fore, pre­serve their jobs.

Joe Quin­lan, the loc­al’s polit­ic­al dir­ect­or, said House bill HR1351, if en­acted, would stop what he called $75 bil­lion in over­pay­ments to the postal ser­vice’s pen­sion fund. Put­ting that money aside, which was ordered by a 2006 law, amounts to “pre­fund­ing” the postal ser­vice’s pen­sion for up to 75 years in the fu­ture, leav­ing no money to meet cur­rent op­er­at­ing ex­penses, Quin­lan said. 

The cur­rent pen­sion reg­u­la­tions, he said, ac­tu­ally pay for postal work­ers who aren’t even born. HR 1351 re­moves that re­quire­ment, he ad­ded. 

AP­WU mem­bers, along with mem­bers of the Na­tion­al Postal Mail Hand­lers Uni­on, the Na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Let­ter Car­ri­ers and the Na­tion­al Rur­al Let­ter Car­ri­ers As­so­ci­ation, co­ordin­ated demon­stra­tions out­side every con­gres­sion­al of­fice in the coun­try on Tues­day, Quin­lan said. Mem­bers of his loc­al were plan­ning to rally later in the day out­side the Lang­horne of­fice of U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8th dist.), while let­ter car­ri­ers were slated to be out­side Schwartz’s of­fice later Tues­day af­ter­noon.

The con­gress­wo­man’s of­fice re­leased a state­ment on her pen­sion stance: “Both in this con­gres­sion­al term and in past con­gres­sion­al terms, Con­gress­wo­man Schwartz has signed on to le­gis­la­tion to en­able great­er flex­ib­il­ity re­gard­ing pen­sion costs. She knows that we must im­prove the fin­an­cial health of the postal ser­vice, and that by modi­fy­ing the meth­od­o­logy used for meet­ing its pen­sion costs un­der the Civil Ser­vice Re­tire­ment Sys­tem, the postal ser­vice can meet its cur­rent ob­lig­a­tions. For many years, the postal ser­vice has been over­pay­ing this ex­pense, and modi­fy­ing the meth­od­o­logy would help provide flex­ib­il­ity to meet oth­er needs.”

Vince Tar­ducci, pres­id­ent of Loc­al 7048, said 216 House mem­bers from both parties sup­port HR 1351, but that more back­ing is needed to get the meas­ure out of com­mit­tee for a full House vote. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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