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National Politics Now Include the Postal Service!
By Dioenis D. Perez
Vice President of Long Island, NY, Branch 202 and Postmaster of Syosset
It's already October. A couple major events affecting each Postal Service employee and the America public have taken place. The other major event is less than a month away.
I’m talking about COVID-19. Is it getting better or worse? Is the USPS all in—still keeping its employees safe—or has this waned? What did the Aug. 24 testimony by
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to the House Oversight and Reform Committee reveal about the direction the USPS is headed?
Election Day is Nov. 3. Are national politics still a questionable factor in the USPS providing service to the American public?
Never, in my 32 years of service, have I seen how politics are playing such a huge role in the USPS. Politics always have had a small role with the unions and management associations looking for better pay and benefits, while contributing money to political allies on the Hill to promote their agendas every year, but this is entirely different.
This is a game changer. Politics are affecting the “service” throughout the nation. Will it continue through the election process? I hope not. I recall a time when willful delay of mail placed you on removal status. Do we have a double standard now?
I’m amazed that postal leadership is not objecting to the delayed mail status and what this means to the American public. Preventing late-leaving trucks will adversely affect our timely mail delivery. Delayed mail is something that never was tolerated in the history of the USPS. Now it is. This is politics, folks, plain and simple; it’s not business.
I understand saving $200 million due to late-leaving trucks is an issue. However, before this policy was implemented, the USPS needed to figure out what it is. Are we a governmental business or a governmental service? We cannot be both.
I never heard of a governmental business. If there is one, it’s required by law to break even and not make a profit. Governments earn their revenue through taxing businesses and people—not by earning profits. Therefore, we can’t become a postal business. It’s that simple!
From the USPS Board of Governors meeting on Aug. 7, I learned the $10 billion loan to the USPS from the Treasury department has to be paid back, with interest. No mention of payment terms or timelines was disclosed; it sounded like a Donald Trump loan.
As a reminder to USPS Headquarters leadership, since FY08, the USPS has been paying the Office of Personnel Management $5.6 billion a year until it couldn’t prefund future retiree health care any longer. What if your credit card company told you, “You are being charged $1 million on your credit card during your lifetime. Please enclose the $1 million in your next bill payment. It’s the responsible thing to do.” This doesn’t seem quite right, does it?Well, that is what your government leaders have done to the USPS—politics!
The next attack is on the EAS complement in every AO and mail plant. Without EAS employees, the USPS’ success is not a given on any day. Solving the USPS budget deficit shouldn’t come from cutting back on EAS employees. We are not the problem with the USPS budget or its savings.
EAS employees are the foundation to building a successful service. We are the ones who make it all work and achieve the service standards. USPS Headquarters needs to start understanding this and start looking into its own mirrors first and ask what contributions they have made to the Postal Service to save money. Not politics—just the facts!