Postal Reform Talking Points and Key Messages

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 10/09/19 Postal Reform Talking Points and Key Messages
The Following are Postal Reform Talking Points and Key Messages followed by House and Senate call scripts for use while contacting your US House Representative or US Senators.  A draft letter on the importance of Postal Reform and value of the US Postal Service is included.  A Word version can be downloaded at the bottom of this article.

Talking Points and Key Messages

Postal Reform is important because it will:

  • Address the biggest threats to keeping the Postal Service fiscally solvent and fiscally responsible.
  • Begin to address the mandatory prefunding burden of USPS;
  • Prevent further post office hour reductions, reclassifications or closures;
  • Allow the Postal Service to undertake postal product and service innovation;
  • Promote postal pricing that more accurately reflects the true costs of mail acceptance, processing and delivery;
  • Enhance a universal, accessible and affordable governmental postal system;
  • Begin a transition of postal employee retirement health benefits to Medicare with an opt-out;
  • Determine an accurate calculation of the USPS’ pension liability;
  • Reform the USPS governance structure to improve decision making; and
  • Allow investment in USPS business practices, facilities and vehicles.

Call Script

House Script:

I am calling from (city/state) and I am a member of the United Postmasters and Managers of America.  Could I speak to the staff person who handles Postal issues?

I’m calling to urge Congress(wo)man to support an unintroduced, but upcoming bill that will reform the United States Postal Service.  We need your support when the bill is introduced to keep a bipartisan consensus that will maintain this vital institution and service to every American home and business.

This bi-partisan bill being drafted by House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Maloney (D-NY) will take many important steps that UPMA’s members support.  Congress must act so the Postal Service can survive as an independently operated service to all Americans.  This Postal Reform bill is the result of a thorough policy analysis and significant bipartisan engagement by the sponsors to address a problem that Congress created and gets more dire the longer Congress allows the status quo to continue.

I hope the Congress(wo)man will contact Rep. Maloney to ask about cosponsoring and passing a Postal Reform plan.

Senate Script:

I am calling from (city/state) and I am a member of the United Postmasters and Managers of America.  Could I speak to the staff person who handles Postal issues?

I am calling from (city/state) and I am a member of the United Postmasters and Managers of America.  I’m calling to urge Senator ____ to support reach out to Senators Moran, Blunt, Peters and Carper and say they want to cosponsor their Postal Reform bill and to get it introduced as soon as possible.

It is urgent for to act so the Postal Service can survive as an independently operated service to all Americans.  This Postal Reform bill is the result of a thorough policy analysis and significant bipartisan engagement by the sponsors to address a problem that Congress created and gets more dire the longer Congress allows the status quo to continue.

I hope the Senator will support us and reach out to cosponsor the bill.

Draft Letter

The Honorable ____

____ Office Building

Washington, DC

Dear _____

The United States Postal Service dates to 1775 when Benjamin Franklin was named the first Postmaster General by the Continental Congress.  Today, the United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) represents more than 24,000 active and retired postmasters and senior managers for the United States Postal Service (USPS). As the Postal Service delivers to every home and every business daily, Postmasters are in every state and every Congressional district. It is not hyperbole to say that the USPS touches every single American and that it serves an irreplaceable role that is as critical today as it was at the founding of our country.

I am and writing as the (Title) in the (State) Chapter of UPMA.  UPMA members supervise the delivery of over 500 million pieces of mail every day to 159 million households and businesses of all sizes in the United States.  Yet the Postal Service is not without its challenges.  Those challenges cannot be addressed by the Postal Service and its employees alone. 

Over the history of the USPS we have witnessed major changes in how Americans communicate and in what they expect of their Postal Service. In the past, letters were the primary form of communication between people, bills were sent through the mail, and receiving a package likely meant you were getting a gift. Today, much of the nation’s communication is via email or text, many of our bills are paid electronically, and the package you are expecting is more likely than not a household staple ordered from a private company on the internet, not a cherished gift.

The USPS and the employees who have worked for the USPS throughout its history have always managed change. From stagecoaches to planes to automated sorting and being “the last mile delivery” for many other shipping companies, the Postal Service has adapted to serve American businesses and consumers. Postmasters like a challenge, but the challenge the Postal Service is facing now is unprecedented. 

The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) required that the USPS pre-fund the entire sum of its future retiree health benefits. Congress imposed this requirement solely on the USPS and not on any other Federal agency or private companies. This requirement is the leading cause of the fiscal challenges faced by the USPS today. Without this requirement, the Postal Service would operate at even or a small net loss, rather than the record losses we have been seeing every year.

The USPS is required to pay $5.4 billion annually to pre-fund future retiree healthcare costs, and this sum comprises more than 90 percent of the Postal Service’s annual loss. The Postal Service’s ability to move forward and thrive in a changing marketplace requires that this issue be addressed equitably; ensuring that postal retirement is secure and consistent with other government and private employers.

Through the legislative relief the Postal Service can continue to deliver for the American people and remain independently funded and sustainable.  Mail delivery is already a net revenue generator for the USPS. The core business, which is delivering letters and packages, is already efficient, effective, and profitable. Expanding the markets in which the USPS can provide these services would generate new revenue without creating any significant new risks. This type of change is preferable to authorizing entirely new services that would require the USPS to create new infrastructures before generating any new net revenues.

The history of the Postal Service is the history of the United States. We have the opportunity to preserve and improve this fundamental national service. The time for reform is now, and we believe that this can be done.

UPMA urges you to contact (Rep. Maloney and Rep. Connolly/Senators Moran, Blunt, Carper and Peters) to cosponsor and move through the (House/Senate) a Postal Reform bill as quickly as possible. 

If you or your staff have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our National office via President, Mr. Daniel Heins at (703) 683-9027 or dheins@unitedpma.org.

We appreciate your consideration and hope to gain your support.

Best,

Postal Reform Talking Points Key Messages November 26, 2019 - (WORD)