For fifteen years, the United States Postal Service has been obligated to prefund its retiree healthcare costs at 100%. This mandate resulted in the annual loss of $5 billion over a decade and has been the primary cause of financial deficits since 2013. Because of these losses, the Postal Service faced cuts in services and cannot focus on revenue growth.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic added to this financial instability. The USPS faced losses in revenue due to a drop in first class mail as well as increased costs associated with protecting the health and safety of the dedicated workforce during this global health crisis. But the pandemic also proved to Americans how it is necessary to support sustainable Postal Service.
Recognizing the problems of this undue burden and the financial limitations it creates, Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Colin Allred (D-TX-32), and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) and Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 695/S. 145) to repeal the prefunding mandate. The House passed this important legislation in the 116th Congress with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 309-106.
These bills are the first step towards creating a sustainable Postal Service. NPMHU endorses this important legislation and will continue to work with Congress to develop postal reform legislation that addresses the USPS’ financial shortcoming and protects its workforce.
Source: National Postal Mail Handlers Union