NALC's Legislative and Political Action Department lobbies Congress to help letter carriers and the Postal Service. It also coordinates NALC's grass-roots political action program, which is run by member volunteers.
FERS Sick Leave Reimbursement Moves Forward
Employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) would receive credit for unused sick leave towards their retirement annuities under a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last night. Added as a provision of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, HR 1108, the bill would treat unused sick leave similarly to that of employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).
Introduced by Rep. James Moran, D-VA, long a champion of retirement fairness for FERS employees, the bill would provide credit towards retirement annuities for 75% of sick leave for those retiring within the first three years of enactment, and full credit for those retiring after three years. “Our current use-it-or-lose-it sick leave system for FERS employees hurts productivity and increases training costs,” said Moran. As passed last night, the bill is more generous than Moran’s previous proposal, HR 5573, which would have paid FERS employees a lump-sum upon retirement for unused sick leave up to $10,000.
The bill, which faces a veto-threat from President Bush, was passed by a veto-proof margin of 326-102 (find out how your Member of Congress voted here. It now heads to the Senate, where a spokeswoman for Sen. Edward Kennedy said “We’re hopeful it’ll move in the fall,” after Congress returns from its August recess. However, the current Senate bill does not contain the FERS sick leave provision, and the ultimate fate of the provision may be decided in a House-Senate conference committee if the Senate is able to pass its version of the bill.
“NALC has worked closely with friends on Capitol Hill to make sure that hard-working letter carriers are rewarded for doing the right thing and coming to work as they near retirement,” President Young said. “As the Senate starts considering the bill, I will call on letter carriers in every corner of the country to call and email their Senators to encourage them to support this provision.”
lso in the bill are provisions that would automatically enroll new Federal employees in the Thrift Savings Plan’s G Fund and add a Roth 401(k) option for all Thrift Savings Plan Participants. The text of the bill can be found here.
Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) hearing held on November 6, 2007
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) held a hearing on the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) on Tuesday, Nov. 6, before the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, which Kerry chairs. Kerry is a co-sponsor of S. 206, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2007, which would repeal both the GPO and WEP. Kerry said that Postal Service employees are “heavily impacted” by the provisions, and also said, “Those affected be these exemptions are people that we, as a country, value enormously: they teach our kids, they keep our streets safe, they deliver our mail, and they protect our homes from fires. We owe them a fair shake and a secure retirement.” Tuesday’s hearing was seen as a positive step for federal retirees, as legislation to repeal the GPO or the WEP must first pass through Sen. Kerry’s subcommittee.
NALC President William H. Young makes a point during testimony February 24, 2004 before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on postal reform.
One witness at the hearing was Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), also a co-sponsor of S. 206. She said “These two provisions have enormous financial implications for many of our teachers, police officers, firefighters, postal workers and other public employees. Given their important responsibilities, it is simply unfair to penalize them when it comes to their Social Security benefits.”
S. 206, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), currently has 34 co-sponsors. Feinstein issued a statement urging Senate Finance Committee members to approve S. 206, saying “Nearly one million federal, state, and municipal public employees are unfairly held to a different standard when it comes to their retirement benefits.”
S. 206 has a sister bill in the House, H.R. 82, introduced by Rep. Howard Berman (R-CA). That measure currently has 333 co-sponsors.
NALC supports attempts to repeal or substantially revise both provisions and will continue to work with lawmakers to encourage action on the bill, although most experts agree such a bill would almost certainly be vetoed by President Bush. There are NALC Fact sheets on both the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset . More information about the hearing, including a webcast and statements from each witness, can be found by clicking here .
NALC fights contracting out on Capitol Hill
Letter carriers from across the country have descended on Washington to lead NALC’s campaign to stop the Postal Service’s reckless drive to contract out the delivery of mail.
On March 28, 2007, Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-13) introduced a non-binding resolution (H.R. 282) expressing the Sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Postal Service should discontinue the practice of contracting out mail delivery services. Hundreds of congressional representatives have signed onto the resolution as cosponsors, showing their support for letter carriers as we continue to move forward toward a binding legislative proposal to address this issue. To see if your representative is a cosponsor of H. Res 282, click here, and under Browse Bill by Sponsor click on Albio Sires, click on H.R. 282, then click on Cosponsors to see if your member of Congress is listed. If you do not see your representative listed, we encourage you to read through our Fact Sheets and call your representative’s Washington office and ask them to support H.R. 282.
On May 24, 2007, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced S. 1457, Mail Delivery Protection Act of 2007. The bill will limit the Postal Service’s ability to contract out mail delivery to only those places where there are less than one delivery points per mile. At the time of its introduction S. 1457 had six cosponsors including Senators Casey (D-PA), Baucus (D-MT), Bingaman (D-NM), Murray (D-WA), Leahy (D-VT), Kerry (D-MA), Tester (D-MT), and Dorgan (D-ND). Follow the above directions to search for S. 1457 to continue to monitor the bill sponsors. We encourage you to reach out to your senators and ask for their support on S. 1457.
Find Your Elected Officials
Contribute to COLCPE NALC's political action fund helps elect friends of letter carriers (For NALC members only)
Active and retired members can contribute automatically from their bank account via Electronic Fund TransferInstructions
NALC e-Activist Sign-up Kiosks
available by clicking on the arrow at right
Branches can now sign up large numbers of members to the NALC e-Activist Network at Branch meetings, training sessions or events by using NALC e-Activist Network Signup Kiosks.
Set up an NALC e-Activist Kiosk at a branch meeting, training session or event and make the process even easier for members by asking a branch "techie" to stand by, answer questions and help members go through the online process.
With a minimum of effort, your branch will be signing up legions of new NALC e-Activists and swelling the ranks of NALC's cyber-activist strike force. President Young and the NALC Executive Council thank you for your efforts to create this network of NALC Activists. More information and tips