I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my Brother and Sister
Letter Carriers from Texas for allowing me the great honor to serve as
your Vice President for the Texas State Association of Letter Carriers
for the past 6 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and
have done my very best to serve the interests of Letter Carriers in our
During the last two years, we have been witness to some of the most
trying times for this great Union. Our Postmaster General continues to
advocate slashing services and dismantling the universal network in his
shrink-to-survive vision for the United States Postal Service. The
elimination of a day, or DAYS of mail delivery would lead to a death
spiral this company could not recover from.
We are VERY fortunate to have the leadership we have at the National
level – President Rolando and our team of National Officers have been
all over this country – on television, radio, newspapers, and the
internet – bringing the truth to the American people.
While the United States of America is the BODY, it is the United States
Postal Service that is the arteries and veins that give life to this
As all of you know, President Rolando and our National officers
mobilized rank in file carriers in a manner we have never seen before.
The nationwide informational picket regarding the elimination of
Saturday delivery convinced a large number of carriers that have
otherwise been disengaged from union activities to finally get involved
and participate in the activities - We need to keep that momentum going.
The American public heard us and convinced Congress to step away from
the disastrous plan to eliminate days of delivery and close America’s
Post offices. However, we are not out of the woods yet – not by a long
As a NALC leader for quite a few years, I have written numerous articles
about the need to get the majority of carriers involved rather
than the usual few we see year after year. I am disappointed to find
that my words and articles have not been as effective as I hoped. Don’t
think for a moment that I do not appreciate our Union Activists – we
could not survive as an organization without you. (*IF YOU ARE READING
THIS, THEN YOU ARE A Union Activist).
For the past 6 years as your TSALC Vice President, I have tried hard to
make a difference in getting more carriers involved in the union and the
political process. The whims of Congress and more specifically, the
INACTION of Congress greatly affect our jobs as letter carriers. I have
continuously strived to convince Congressional representatives how
voting our way for their own benefit, as well as for the
benefit of their constituents. I only learned how naïve I was.
I learned that our elected representatives go to Washington D. C.
agreeing with EVERYTHING you say back in Texas, and then vote opposite
what they pledge. It is very hard to spend so much time and effort
lobbying for letter carrier issues, believing all the promises, only to
be left at the alter when it comes time for the vote.
Another example of frustration that comes with this job is by looking at
how the President of the United States has dealt with letter carrier
issues. President Barack Obama benefited greatly from the all the NALC
“releases” and NALC activists that worked tirelessly in his campaigns;
fighting for his historic election and re-election; yet he continues to
support the elimination of 6 day delivery and has steadfastly refused to
take Executive action to correct the pre-funding issues that have been
devastating for the Postal Service.
Yes, the job is very often frustrating and you don’t have a lot of
satisfaction when you can’t get more carriers involved or convince law
makers to vote your way; but the job has rewards too. I am so lucky to
have met and worked with letter carriers all over the state, as well as
from around the country – WAY too many to list. It is also very
exciting to meet with people we all see on the news everyday – I make a
lot of them mad because they don’t want to hear the truth, but that is
what y’all elected me to do – represent letter carrier interests.
After much reflection and thought I have decided that I have a personal
need to spend more time with my family. This will also allow others
willing to take on the challenges I have described an opportunity to
fight the good fight.
I will not be seeking re-election for a fourth term as your TSALC Vice
President; it has been an honor and a privilege serving you!
As sad as it makes me, I will not be attending the 107th
TSALC Convention because I want to share memories of mountains with my
grandson the same way I did with my daughter. This was a very hard
decision for me to make, but as many of you KNOW, some opportunities
occur only once in a lifetime. Lord knows that I have missed my share.
My heart and soul are with you - I pray you have a successful convention
and enjoyable time in Waco. Please support your new slate of TSALC
Officers and work to expand the work that has just begun.
Bradley K. Ramey (Brad)
First of all, I want to thank all our members who showed up at the NALC
“Day of Action” rally, especially those of you that brought friends,
family, and citizens concerned about preserving and saving the United
States Postal Service. The events were widely covered by news media
around the country and hopefully sent a message to our so-called
Postmaster General that America does NOT want reduced service through
the elimination of delivery days.
I say days, because IF the PMG is allowed to thumb his nose at Congress
and defy the Federal law that requires 6-Days of mail delivery, what
would stop him from eliminating additional days of delivery once he
finds out his estimate on cost savings was wrong (surprised?).
The Postal Service claims the elimination of one delivery day will save
the Post Office $2 billion in operating expenses. However, Postal
Service estimates are based on faulty data (surprised?) that does not
take into consideration the additional losses in mail volume that would
absolutely occur as a result of cuts in service. A more realistic
calculation on what would happen with the elimination of Saturday
delivery is actually a net LOSS in revenue – possibly as
much as $5.3 billion. (idiots!)
I like to call those of you that take the time to read TSALC Officer
Reports “the choir” – you are ALWAYS there for the NALC, you contribute
to COLCPE, you are an e-Activist, you vote, and you are truly concerned
about the letter carrier craft. You are also the ones that we ask over
and over again to do more – call your Congressional representatives,
write letters, attend town hall meetings, and get involved in the
I know it is not fair, others ought to be helping, but for
whatever reason they don’t. Micky and I are ALWAYS seeking advice and
suggestions on how to motivate the rank and file carrier – so don’t
hesitate to call us, e-mail us, or stop us at NALC functions and offer
your ideas on how to get through to the vast majority of carriers that
are not aware of the threats to our jobs that we currently face.
Here are some quick talking points about important legislation that
directly affects the future of our jobs to offer rank and file members –
the carriers you case mail beside, eat lunch with, and socialize with
H. Res. 30 – Expressing a sense of the House that the United States
Postal Service should take all appropriate measures to ensure the
continuation of its six-day mail delivery service.
H. Res. 30 currently has 155 co-sponsors in the House of
Representatives, but only 7 Congressional representatives from Texas
have signed on. Please take time to thank Pete Gallego (TX-23), Henry
Cuellar (TX-28), Gene Green (TX-29), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Marc
Veasey (TX-33), Filemon Vega (TX-34), and Lloyd Doggett (TX-35) for
co-sponsoring H. Res. 30, and for supporting letter carriers. If you do
not see your Congressional rep here, PLEASE ask them to become a
co-sponsor – write, e-mail, or phone call!
S. 316 and H. R. 630 are both titled “The Postal Service Protection
Act”. Passage of this legislation would go a long way in restoring the
USPS’s ability to once again operate as an independent and financially
Passage of S. 316 and H. R. 630 would eliminate the USPS’s unique and
unfairly burdensome pre-funding requirement that requires the Postal
Service to pay between $5.4 and $5.8 billion each year into employee
With regards to those payments – according to the OIG and PRC, the
Postal Service has overpaid $50 to $75 billion into its CSRS pension
fund. S. 316 and H. R. 630 allow the Postal Service to recover
overpayments by transferring CSRS assets to the Postal Service Retirees
Health Benefit fund – this money came from ratepayers and employee
contributions – NOT TAXPAYER FUNDS (as some Congressional
“professionals” mistakenly believe!)
These bills include a proposal by President Obama to return any surplus
in the postal portion of the FERS pension fund as well.
THESE MEASURES WOULD HAVE NO EFFECT ON ANY CURRENT OR
FUTURE FEDERAL RETIREE’S ANNUITY BENEFITS!
If passed, S. 316 and H. R. 630 would establish permanent legislation
that would require the Postal Service to deliver mail 6 days a
week. The legislation also calls for an end to prohibiting the Postal
Service from providing other services – notary services, the
issuance of licenses, banking services, state and local government
services, and allow our company to begin shipping wine and beer.
This legislation would create strict standards for delivery of First
Class mail that would hopefully bring back many mailing customers, as
well as make it much more difficult for the USPS to close mail
processing facilities and local offices.
This is good legislation that would go a long way to ensuring a stable
Postal Service in the future. The squeaky wheel gets attention, so
let’s be that squeaky wheel by getting friends, family and neighbors to
let Congress know the Postal Service is broken – but there IS an answer!
PASS S. 316 AND H.R. 630 – SAVE THE POSTAL SERVICE!!!
TSALC Vice President
4th Quarter Report
First off, I
hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is well on their way to
preparing for the Christmas Season. We have so much to be thankful
for. Also, I want to thank all who worked so hard for NALC’s endorsed
candidates in this year’s elections - the new Congress will be much
better for letter carriers and working people than the current Congress.
e-Activist message reminds us the current Congress still has work
to do before it adjourns and we have no time to rest. The lame-duck
session of the 112th Congress began talks about Postal Reform and the
looming “Fiscal Cliff” before the holiday break and it’s clear that both
active and retired letter carriers still have a lot on the line. Budget
talks could adversely affect the Postal Service, our retirement, and
health benefits are now taking place between President Obama and the
leaders of Congress. It has been reported that the chairmen and ranking
members of our committees in the House and Senate are meeting behind
closed doors to negotiate a “compromise” postal reform bill that could
be attached to must pass legislation such as Hurricane Sandy Relief and
voted on before the end of the year.
strongly opposes action on postal reform during the lame-duck session of
Congress. Both of the House and Senate bills, H.R. 2309 and S. 1789, are
deeply flawed measures designed to downsize (Senate) or dismantle
(House) the USPS—at a cost of tens of thousands of our jobs.
indicate that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the retiring chairman of the
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is
proposing to immediately suspend letter mail delivery on Saturday but
retain parcel delivery six days a week.
“compromise,” it would eliminate 25,000 city carrier jobs and drive more
business away from the Postal Service by undermining the value of our
service. Moreover, stand-alone parcel delivery would not be generally
profitable on Saturdays if parcels were not delivered along with letters
and flats. This is not a compromise at all, nor would it secure the
future of the Postal Service since it does not address the crushing
retiree health pre-funding burden.
Rolando has asked us to Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard now at
(202) 224-3121 and ask for your representatives.
you can communicate with your member of Congress immediately is
to visit the Delivering for America website
and sign the petition.
Tell them to
oppose any action on postal reform until next year; we oppose the
adoption of any backroom deal designed to slash service and destroy jobs
at the Postal Service and tell them that federal and postal employees
already have sacrificed over the past four years with pay freezes and
other job cuts.
Also tell them
that they should oppose in the fiscal cliff negotiations any discussion
of cuts to federal pensions and health benefits. Please urge your
co-workers who are not e-Activists to make these calls as well.
In closing I
want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Bottom of the Barrel
“Bottom of the Barrel” – the place where the
lowest quality things can be found. A good example would be where Texas
stands in e-Activist numbers – Bottom of the Barrel.
President Rolando came to our NBA School held in
Houston Texas over the President’s Day Holiday weekend and informed
those in attendance that our Sister State, New Mexico had a higher
percentage of letter carriers signed up for e-Activist than Texas – as
does most of the other States in this country. Texas is LAST or near
last and neither is acceptable. I am pretty competitive, so I went to
the microphone and asked all in attendance to take 10 sign up forms back
to their stations and sign up the rank and file carrier that comes to
work, does their job, but does not get too involved in all of this
legislative stuff. We NEED to increase our e-Activist numbers and get
our participation up when it comes to dealing with Congress!
Folks, you have hopefully been reading about the
proposals in Congress to pay for unemployment extensions and other
programs on the backs of letter carriers – reducing our benefits while
increasing our bi-weekly contributions SHOULD have gotten everyone’s
The ONLY good legislation with the possibility of
consideration is S. 1853 and H.R. 3591: The Postal Service Protection
Act. If passed as is (almost never happens), the law would eliminate
the future retiree health benefit pre-funding requirement, return CSRS
and FERS overpayments to the Postal Service, protect six-day mail
delivery, establish new revenue for the Post Office, prevent the closure
of rural post offices, as well as protect mail processing facilities.
This is an easy sell, whether you are a Democrat,
Independent, or a Republican – no one wants to see the mail slow down
further, reduced service, or post office closures – especially in areas
of the country where our service means the most to Americans.
If your State Board and the few e-Activists we
have are the only ones making calls, writing letters, and sending
e-mails to our Congressmen and Senators, then our legislative
representatives are not going to think very many people care about this
But if you and EVERY letter carrier on your
workroom floor are calling, calling, calling – the legislative people
that represent us in Congress are going to believe that this issue is
VERY important to their constituency and will hopefully begin to support
our cause. That is the way it works – money or popular support from the
constituency equals VOTES.
Want proof of the effectiveness of e-Activist? As
a result of President Rolando asking e-Activists to write, call, and
e-mail every member of the House of Representatives to sign on as
co-sponsors for HR137, a sense of the House to support six-day mail
delivery, the NALC achieved a MAJORITY of the members signing on as
co-sponsors in support of six-day mail delivery. Does that mean we won
or achieved our objective? NO, in fact President Obama has
expressed support to allow the Postal Service to reduce delivery days on
several occasions recently meaning one thing – THE FIGHT NEVER ENDS!
As one of your elected leaders, I have the
experience and responsibility to let each of you know to the best of my
ability that we need a BIGGER boat – we NEED more e-Activists in TEXAS!
If you are reading this on the TSALC.net website,
you are likely already an e-Activist and I am asking that you PLEASE get
this message out to the workroom floor. We are not doing anything
contrary to Postal rules and regulations if you ask for 2 minutes to
read this letter or create your own plea for assistance by asking letter
carriers help preserve our jobs and benefits.
I am going to try something new and ask all branch
newsletter editors to print this letter in your branch newsletter – feel
free to edit it for space, or even reword it to make it fit your
particular membership. Hopefully, our e-Activist numbers will rise soon
and we will no longer be classified as “Bottom of the Barrel”!
Network is now open only to active and retired NALC members with valid
Postal Record numbers. Once Headquarters receives your e-Activist
sign-up, either online or by the postcard in the Postal Record, and once
they verify your NALC membership, we will send you an e-mail that
confirms your network membership.
President Rolando sends out a special message to the entire network at
the beginning of each month.
The NALC will
mail letters to e-Activists whose e-mail addresses get marked as
undeliverable. These letters will contain instructions for going online
and providing the network with a working e-mail address.
Together we can take Texas from worst to first!
writing today in support of our National President, Fredric V. Rolando
and to applaud his response to the outrageous tactics recently used by
Postmaster General Donahoe and Management team members from the United
States Postal Service.
time where JOBS are the number one topic in America, and may very well
be the one subject that can pull this economy out of and away from
another full blown recession – the Postmaster General Donahoe and the
United States Postal Service are proposing to eliminate as many as
220,000 Postal Service jobs. OUTRAGEOUS!
PMG idiot – I’ve got an idea – let’s start with the thousands and
thousands of unnecessary MANAGEMENT positions that pay way more than the
jobs of employees that actually touch and move the mail. Manager of
Fluff, Supervisor of Breaks and Lunch, Postmaster of Putting your Feet
Up on the Desk While Reading the Paper, and my favorite – Complement
Coordinator – You look good today! – Did you lose weight? – Love what
you are doing with your hair! RIF those positions, THEN we’ll see where
we are at financially.
next bright idea these cretins came up with was to eliminate both
retirement systems and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan because
– wait for it – THE POST OFFICE COULD RUN THESE PROGRAMS BETTER!!! (LMAO)
Postal Office proposal is to substitute a “postal
management-controlled plan” that would provide retirees with lower
pension benefits. What a good idea – let’s save the Postal Service by
reducing the benefits of all those rich retirees. These guys are good.
about – IF you are going to lobbying Congress (like you are NOT supposed
to) why don’t you morons lobby Congress for support of H.R. 1351 and
other legislation that will relieve the Postal Service’s pre-funding
obligations, correct overpayments, and put the Postal Service back on
sound financial footing.
of doing the right thing and doing the hard work that is needed to
accomplish goals necessary to save good paying middle class jobs, the
Postal Service has sensed blood in the water with regards to public
opinion and Congressional attitudes regarding government labor unions,
our pay, and our benefits. They seized this opportunity to lobby
Congress for help with these horrible labor unions that are bringing
down the Postal Service right after signing a binding agreement with the
APWU and the week before bargaining was to begin with the NALC –
goes beyond bad faith as President Rolando labeled it – this strikes at
the heart of being able to believe in whether or not we can sign an
agreement with these scally-wags and believe they won’t try and change
the terms or have the contract rescinded by Congressional action.
good is an agreement bargained for in good faith if one side can lobby
Congress to overturn it?
the actions of the United States Postal Service and Postmaster General
Donawhore are unprecedented. I have worked for the Postal Service
nearly 32 years, stayed active both politically and in the Union during
most of that time. I’ve witnessed numerous negotiations for National
Agreements with a half dozen or more Postmaster Generals. I have NEVER
experienced what we are witnessing right now. If EVER there was a time
to get involved to save your job, the time is NOW.
NEED to call your Congressman’s office and ask for support and
co-sponsorship or H. R. 1351. Then, write a letter asking your
Congressman for support and co-sponsorship of H. R. 1351. Then send an
e-mail to your Congressman asking for support of H. R. 1351. Then a fax,
and then - start all over again. Keep doing it until you get the
desired result – then thank him or her!
every carrier on your workroom floor do this. Do they want their jobs?
Get your spouse, your kids, your parents, your aunts, uncles and cousins
to do it. Get your neighbors, your church members, and members of clubs
to do it.
squeaky wheel is the one that gets attention – let’s fill every minute
of every Texas Congressional office time up with dealing with H. R.
DO THIS PEOPLE! GET EVERYONE IN YOUR OFFICE INVOLVED IN SAVING THEIR
JOB – ALL OF OUR JOBS – AND LET’S DO IT NOW!
President of the Texas State Association of Letter Carriers
Recently, I met with a
number of NALC Activists to brain storm ideas about how to gain support
for H. R. 1351. One of the ideas was to write a letter to the Editor of
your local newspaper. I committed to doing that and recently sent the
following letter to the publisher of the Pasadena Citizen, as well as
several other community papers.
I thought I would re-produce
that letter for activists that read this forum and ask you to consider
taking what I have written and use it as a template for your own letter
to the Editor.
With the difficult financial
situation facing the United States Postal Service, many local and
national publications have been reporting on the Postal Service’s desire
for a tax payer bailout.
While it is true that the
Postal Service has to solve its financial problems, the solution is
not a taxpayer bailout in spite of what some members of the media
have written about.
I hope to set the record
straight once and for all. The USPS is required to grossly pre-fund its
future retiree health benefits benefit obligations. These payments,
while legally mandated, are unfair. No other organization in the
nation, public, private, or Fortune 500, is required by law to pre-fund
for future retiree health benefits. The obligation puts the Postal
Service at a disadvantage compared to our competitors, who are not
required by law to pre-fund. The Postal Service is not looking to skirt
any obligations; current retiree health benefits are already 99% funded,
and future retiree health benefits are over 40% pre-funded for the next
80 years! No private sector company or corporation can make this
The United States Postal
Service has overpaid the Civil Service Retirement System fund between
$50-75 Billion (according to two separate studies) over the last several
decades due to an error made in calculations made in determining our
yearly payment obligations during the Reagan years. The immediate
solution is to return the overpayment to the Postal Service and relieve
the USPS of their pre-funding obligations.
Essentially, fixing these two
issues would place the Postal Service back on sound financial footing.
It is now up to Congress to make the necessary changes, H.R. 1351; a
bill introduced by Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) would solve these
The solution is NOT a
taxpayer bailout, but passing legislation in Congress to give the Postal
Service the financial flexibility it needs and deserves to prevent a
rate increase and protect 6-day delivery service.”
The information in this
letter can also be used to write a letter or send your Congressman an
e-mail asking him or her to co-sponsor H. R. 1351.
My e-mail is listed on the
officer’s page, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any
questions or if I can be of any assistance to your or your branch.
Bradley K. Ramey
Vice President of the Texas
State Association of Letter Carriers
Convention – Tyler, TX
As usual, let me take this
opportunity to thank all of my Brother and Sister Letter Carriers from
Texas for allowing me the great honor to serve as Vice President of the
Texas State Association of Letter Carriers for my second full term. I
have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and have done my best to serve
the interests of Letter Carriers in our great State.
Recently, many of us were
shocked by the audacious attacks on public sector Unions that took place
in State legislatures all over this country. Evidently, someone,
somewhere suddenly decided that State workers were all overpaid
specifically because their right to collectively bargain for their pay
The move to eliminate State
worker rights through the enactment of anti-Union legislation is well
underway in Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Nevada, and Ohio. Anti-Union
forces have waited for decades for the opportunity to turn public
sentiment against workers who have gained the right to collectively
bargain for living wages and benefits. A good example is teacher
We all KNOW how overpaid
teachers are, so many states (Texas, for example), have decided to
balance the budget by slashing funds to school districts. Governor
Perry declined Federal education funds because he wants to be the Queen
of the Tea Party (don’t believe me, look at his hair – I’m just
saying). So now many states (Texas included) are laying off teachers,
increasing class size, and increasing State college tuitions, all to the
detriment of our children and grandchildren.
The teacher Unions used
to be a formidable force. However, after being targeted as “the
problem “by political pundits, their members are being eliminated
district by district. The justification for these layoffs and
reductions in force are as bogus as the State Representatives and State
Senators voting for this action. Poor performers, overpaid, too old,
failed to teach to the test, etc.
The real reason for
this attack is to break the teacher’s Unions – with no regard for our
children and grandchildren.
So, first we saw Wisconsin
aggressively attacking notoriously overpaid public workers – you know,
Police and Fire Fighters – then the workers responsible for educating
our children and grandchildren. Can anyone reading this guess who is
The jump from State to
Federal Unions is not a great big one. The general public can be easily
swayed into believing Unions are corrupt and have an unfair advantage
over private sector workers because we have negotiated agreements
achieved through our right to collectively bargain with our employers.
Letter Carrier’s right to
collective bargaining can be easily changed to collective begging by
Congress. The simple omission or addition of just a few words to law
could end our jobs and/or our right to bargain for wages and benefits.
THAT is why President Young changed the focus of State Associations to
In my 4 years as Vice
President I have taken upon myself to meet both of our US Senators and
many of the Congressional Representatives from Texas. Many of them know
me by name, several dislike me because they know I represent a labor
Union, but I am proud to say that most of them respect me and my passion
for representing Letter Carriers.
Representing Letter Carriers
is such a gratifying job – almost everyone loves and brags about their
Letter Carrier and often has a story to tell about something nice
their Letter Carrier has done. This includes Congressmen, Senators,
and many of the staff personnel we talk to. Maintaining a working
relationship with the individuals mentioned above is essential.
My goal during this next
term is to do my best to ensure our State Board and Congressional
District liaisons are communicating the NALC agenda with each
Congressional member, and that we increase participation among the rank
We attend meeting after
meeting all over this State. Generally, we see the same faces at each
meeting, you know, the ones that are active in the NALC, the ones that
donate to COLCPE through payroll deduction, our e-Activists, and those
that show up when we call for volunteers to block walk, stuff envelopes,
and phone bank.
Our goal should be to tap
that until now untapped source of rank and file Letter Carriers who do
not read these messages, do not attend local Branch meetings, do not
write their representatives in Congress asking for support on issues
that affect our jobs.
I am asking for YOUR
help – LET’S GET THE WORD OUT!
This article is being
written 3 weeks prior to our State Association trip to lobby for Letter
Carrier interests in Washington D. C. We need the rank and file Letter
Carrier to support our efforts.
First of all, we need to
have ALL our members to contact friends, family, neighbors, and those
casing mail on each side of you about the importance of maintaining 6
DELIVERY IS NOT THE ANSWER TO SAVING THE POSTAL SERVICE!
Letter Carriers can help us
by contacting their Congressional representatives and asking for them to
co-sponsor H. Res. 137. The fact is reducing delivery days would
NOT equate to increasing business or revenue. The Postal Service is
unique in our 6 day delivery system and would LOSE business, reduce
revenue, and create new competition IF Congress were to vote to
eliminate 6 day delivery.
This is an easy sell to rank
and file carriers – all T-6’s would have their positions eliminated and
most of carrier positions would have to be posted for bid. Thousands of
junior full-time regular carriers would have to select jobs from a list
outside their current installation.
We will also be talking to
our Texas Congressional delegation about HR-1262 and HR-1351. These are
proposed laws that, if enacted, would correct an unfair overcharge to
the Postal Service’s Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and Federal
Employee’s Retirement System (FERS) by the Office of Personnel
Management (OPM). In addition to correcting these overcharges, House
Resolution 1262 would increase revenue by selling non-postal products in
retail locations, increase postal facilities and non-postal facilities
to increase convenience to customers, provided all employees remain USPS
employees, pursue new marketing strategies to attract new business and
increase mail volume (vote by mail, for example), and replace our
current vehicle fleet with Electronic Motor Vehicles.
HR-1351 calls on the OPM to
re-calculate overpayments made to CSRS, (estimated to be between $54 and
$74 BILLION) and overpayments made to FERS. This is a “just the right
thing to do” bill that all of our representatives should co-sponsor IF
they care about this country and maintaining a viable Postal Service.
I am asking EACH of you to
take a few minutes, visit our NALC.org website, click on Departments,
then click on Legislation and Politics. Read about our position, and
then TAKE ACTION!
YOU can help your State
Board, your co-workers, and YOURSELF by getting involved and getting
everyone you can think of by motivating friends, family, neighbors,
co-workers, club members, church family, and community contacts into
calling upon your Congressional representatives about the importance of
ensuring the United States Postal Service survives and thrives.
I am entering my 32nd
year as a Letter Carrier. I worry about what the future holds for my
Brother and Sister Carriers just beginning their careers. So few of
these new Carriers seem to care about the past and all that we have
endured – they don’t join the Union, and if they do, they don’t attend
Union meetings for the most part.
I find myself constantly
thinking about how hard it will be for new carriers to survive 7 to 10
hours of street time for 30 years. I also think about who is going to
replace those of us who have been in representative roles for all of
We need to not only get our
rank and file active politically, but we also need to get busy finding,
fostering, and mentoring our replacements to ensure we have competent
representation well into the future.
In closing, I hope that we
have a successful 106th State Convention and I really look
forward to seeing y’all in Tyler!
Bradley K. Ramey
First off – let me say that I am not receiving any
feedback from reports the Board members and Officers are submitting to
this website. That concerns me because I’m left to wonder about the
effectiveness (or lack thereof) of our Texas State Association of Letter
Carriers website. IF you read this, please take a second of your time
and send me an e-mail to my personal e-mail address –
– and just acknowledge you read my
article and visit the site. Thank You in advance for that!
Next, let me say that I see the handwriting on the
wall that should scare EVERY letter carrier – Union member and non-Union
member. Politicians have decided the best way to balance budgets is by
eliminating State worker’s rights to collectively bargain for wages,
benefits, and job security. This includes Teachers, Police Officers,
Fire Fighters, Highway Workers – Working Class People the rich cannot do
without, but want to pay as little as possible. This is NOT just a
Wisconsin issue – similar measures are being considered in Indiana,
Nevada, Florida, and numerous other states. How long before it will
spread to states deeply in debt like Texas, New York, and California?
Once this plague of an idea takes root and begins
to grow within state, county, and local government, how long will it be
before this populist idea is taken up at the National level? Think about
Letter Carriers make a damn good living thanks to
collective bargaining. Our wages and benefits are among the best you
could find in the labor market. Sure, we work very hard for those wages
and benefits, but how does the media, television, and films portray
Letter Carriers? We are portrayed as jokes, losers, characters without
wit, and lazy workers looking to scam our way through another day.
How easy would it be to convince politicians
Letter Carriers are overpaid and have too many benefits all as a result
of collective bargaining? If you think for a second that is a hard sell
when you pit us against money for the military, national security,
education, crime prevention, highways, energy, the environment, farmers,
small businesses, job creation, immigration, space exploration, and
hundreds of special interests – Believe me, losing our right to
collective bargaining is very much a reality.
At one time not too long ago, our Union had to BEG
Congress for pennies of a raise. Letter Carriers were working full-time
(40 hours) and still qualified for food stamps and welfare.
YES, our job is hard and getting harder! After FSS,
carriers will be on the street most of their 8 hours day – 10 or more if
they on the ODL. Compare that to the 4-5 hours office time, 3-4 hours
street time I had when I hired on.
So, our jobs are definitely going to get harder,
our right to bargain for a fair wage and benefits with our employer may
be taken away by politicians because it is becoming the politically
correct thing to do, and YOU plan on working for the Post Office how
Don’t you think it might be time to get involved
and work together to turn this thing around? We need:
Carrier in Texas to support COLCPE - $5 per pay period through payroll
deduction. If you give GREAT, help us sign EVERYONE up!
Carrier in Texas to sign up as an e-activist – IT COSTS NOTHING! No
spam, no overwhelming amount of e-mail – just up to date information
about your job and requests for calls to action.
Volunteer to help
us elect politicians that support us – we call it Carrier Corps.
Sign EVERY letter
Carrier up as a member – Regular, PTF, TE – We should ALL be tired of
paying non-members way!
IF you have ANY questions about COLCPE,
e-activist, or Carrier Corps call or e-mail any officer or Board member
– that information is listed under the Officers page on TSALC.net.
PS Please don’t forget to e-mail me @
if you read this – Thanks!
The $68,000 Question
The Office of
Personnel and Management (OPM) states the average letter carrier
currently makes a little over $68,000 a year with salary and benefits.
That is a pretty comfortable living for most folks.
I would like for
each of you to take a few minutes and look on-line, in want-ads, or any
source you choose - Try and find a job that pays anywhere near what we
make in salary and benefits. Pretend for a few minutes this job was
ending in 2 weeks and you HAVE to find another job.
Most of you won’t
do what I am asking, so I will tell you what I found. NOTHING
comparable to what we have. Sure I could find some work for $10 - $15
an hour with no sick leave, no vacation, no health benefits, and no
retirement plan – Brothers and Sisters, it is scary to think about
looking for work in this economy!
This article is
being written prior to knowing the results of the election
November 2nd but I have a bad feeling. If we lose friends in
Congress that support letter carrier and control Post Office issues our
jobs may be in jeopardy.
talked at length during the National Convention about the impact letter
carriers would feel if the decision was made to reduce delivery from 6
days to 5 days a week.
Business Agent, Kathy Baldwin allowed for a significant amount of time
devoted to the importance of legislation and activism at her recent NBA
School in Irving Texas. Our TSALC State President told carriers that he
estimates we would lose 2,977 carrier jobs in Texas alone.
Vice President spoke at the training and informed carriers that if we
fail to maintain support we have in Congress we will be having REunions,
not UNIONS. He stressed the point that 1 in 17 letter carriers in the
state of Texas give $5 in payroll deduction to COLCPE.
cole-sep) is an acronym for the Committee on Letter Carriers Political
Education and is our federally registered Political Action Committee
(PAC). COLCPE is non-partisan and supports both Democrats and
Republicans. In 2003, contributions were almost equally divided between
Republicans and Democrats the support our interests in Congress.
QUESTION IS – WHY AREN’T YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP $5 PER PAYDAY TO HELP
SAVE YOUR JOB?
A HOSTILE Congress
could end our jobs early next year. Why stop with 5 day delivery? If
reducing delivery days to 5 saves 7 Billion Dollars, then 4 day delivery
would save 14 Billion, right? Pretty soon, we will have an all
part-time work force – we wouldn’t be working enough hours in a week to
be considered full-time. Then, there goes your benefits as you pay more
and more for health benefits and earn less and less sick leave, annual
leave, and retirement. Giving $5 a pay day looks a little better
now, doesn’t it? PLEASE TAKE A FEW MINUTES AND CHOSE THE METHOD THAT
BEST SUITS YOU BY GOING TO NALC.ORG, CLICK ON DEPARTMENTS, CLICK ON
LEGISLATION AND POLITICAL ACTION, THEN CONTRIBUTE TO COLCPE IN THE UPPER
RIGHT HAND CORNER. THANK YOU!
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
Active members can contribute directly from their paychecks via
Retired members can
contribute directly from their OPM annuities.
Branches giving group
contributions should use this
COLCPE contribution form.
great place to hold a National Convention! Delegates were blessed with
WONDERFUL weather – what a great break that was from the hottest Texas
Summer in 120 years.
newly elected National President, Fred Rolando, did an exceptional job
conducting the convention. Many of the delegates referred to the
Convention as the Comedy Showcase. I found Fred’s sense of humor in
conducting business entertaining – there were no boring parts to this
convention. Even the guest speakers were more entertaining than
did something very unusual during this convention – he held a mini Rap
Session on contract issues during the convention that allowed input and
suggestions from delegates attending the National Convention. A
consensus was reached that the NALC continue to bargain independently,
allowing our negotiations to focus on carrier rights and
benefits rather than general craft worker concerns.
attended 3 workshops that focused on legislation. The legislative
department did an outstanding job of putting together classes for
Congressional District Liaisons (CDLs), the mid-term elections, and the
NALC’s legislative focus.
the attention during the workshops and convention was on 3 topics –
Making sure letter carriers contact the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)
regarding the importance of maintaining 6 days of mail delivery, H.R.
5746, and H. Res. 173.
have not contacted the PRC, I encourage you, your coworkers, your
family, and your friends to go on nalc.org, click on the departments
tab, then select Legislation and Political Action. The opening page
will guide users through the simple process of providing input to the
PRC about what a disaster reducing mail delivery to 5 days would be.
5746 is known as the United States Postal Service’s CSRS Obligation
Modification Act of 2010. Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) is
chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal
Service, and District of Columbia. He is the first member of Congress
to author legislation that addresses a decades old accounting error that
led the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to overcharge the Postal
Service billions of dollars for payments into the Civil Service
Retirement System (CSRS).
173 expresses a “sense of the House of Representatives” that the United
States Postal Service take all appropriate measures to ensure the
continuation of 6-day mail delivery. As of this writing, H. Res. 173
has 240 cosponsors (12 from Texas), and H. R. 5746 has 51 cosponsors
with ONLY one cosponsor from Texas (Gene Green from PASADENA).
consider taking a few minutes of time to contact the PRC and your
Congressional representatives - The job you will be saving may be your
own, so don’t procrastinate – do it NOW!
Fraternally Submitted by,
was only the second legislative trip to Washington DC that I have had
the privilege to make with the TSALC delegation. Last time the big
issue was contracting Post Office work out to the private sector, and we
were successful in getting sufficientsupport from our friends in
Congress to get the Postal Service to back off that topic and get back
to the bargaining table.
time, an even more serious topic was on the front burner – the Postal
Service’s plan to reduce the number of days that we deliver mail.
Before our group left for Washington, the Postal Service was trying to
save money by suggesting that we reduce the number of delivery days to
5. Since we have been back, PMG Potter has insinuated that we could
even go to 4 days of delivery, eliminating street deliveries on
Saturdays and Tuesdays!
Republican House member Sam Graves from Missouri presented House
Resolution 173, a sense of the House of Representatives that the Postal
Service do all that they can to ensure continuation of 6-day delivery.
When your Texas delegation left for Washington DC, we had ZERO Texas
House members signed up as co-sponsors of H. Res 173, so our goal was to
visit with as many Representatives as possible and convince them that we
needed their support by adding their names as co-sponsors. As of this
writing, we talked 8 of our representatives in the House into signing on
as co-sponsors, bringing the total at this time to 180 members of the
House of Representatives supporting this very important sense of the
many of you know, the Postal Service cannot reduce the level of service
we provide below 1983 levels because of language written into an
appropriations bill that guarantees the Postal Service millions of
dollars in repayment for free postage for non-profits and federal
and when the Postal Service realizes that we have overwhelming support
from Congress for the continuation of 6-day delivery, we believe they
will back away from the idea as they did on the contracting out issue.
are way more than 8 members of the United States House of
Representatives from Texas, so we need your help! PLEASE contact your
representative and ask them to please co-sponsor H. Res 173 – so far the
following House members are current co-sponsors:
Hall, TX 4th Sheila
Jackson-Lee, TX 18th
Hinojosa, TX 15th Ciro Rodriguez,
Doggett, TX 25th Solomon
Ortiz, TX 27th
Green, TX 9th Gene
Green, TX 29th
very pleased to have received a letter from United States Senator Kay
Bailey-Hutchinson expressing support for the continuation of 6-day
delivery by the United States Postal Service. Additionally, I was able
to have a short conversation with our other Texas Senator, John Cornyn,
about the money aspect of having 75 billion in overpayments made by the
Postal Service to the U.S. Treasury for prefunding retiree benefits
returned to our agency.
Postal Service currently is $10.2 Billion in the red, and returning the
$75 billion in overpayments discovered after an OIG audit would put us
back in the black. Additionally, we need congressional support to
reduce or eliminate the $5.4 billion we are expected to pay each year
that led to the over payments.
of these financial corrections would eliminate the need to reduce days
of delivery and save thousands of jobs. This is not a hard sell folks!
Please take the short amount of time it takes to contact your
congressional representative – letter, phone call, e-mail – and
encourage them to co-sponsor H. Res 173!
anyone has any questions or needs any assistance, please do not hesitate
to contact me – (832) 878-1165 or
Bradley K. Ramey (Brad)
People Just Don’t Get It
about a month, your Texas legislative delegation will be making one of
the most important trips we’ve ever made to our Nation’s Capitol. We
are currently scheduling appointments with Congressional representatives
so that we can solicit support for legislation critical to maintaining
and hopefully improving our jobs.
of the most immediate issues we will be addressing is the importance of
receiving support on maintaining six-day delivery.
President Obama’s stand on six-day delivery was revealed when he
included the same language used by every President since 1984 in his
budget submission. In setting the amount in the budget for “revenue
Foregone” – the amount paid to the USPS to cover costs for free and
reduced mail – the spending plan says payments to the Postal Service
will be made “provided that six-day delivery and rural delivery of mail
continue at not less than the 1983 level”.
other words, despite what you hear from management and the media, a move
to 5-day delivery is not the certainty some would have you believe.
Reducing delivery from 6 days to 5 will take “an act of Congress” –
would like to thank our NBA Kathy Baldwin for providing me with the most
current information discussed at the State Chair Training last month.
Kathy was able to attend some of the training, but the NALC Executive
Council was in session, so most of her time was occupied by those
issue is extremely important to the security of our jobs, but some
people just don’t get it!
goodness President Obama gets it! He clearly understands that
eliminating Saturday delivery would open the door for competitors to
come pouring in – possibly even creating new competitors. Once
the Postal Service loses enough business, we will become incapable in
providing universal service to all addresses in America. The Postal
Service we work for will have to evolve into something much less than
what it is now. If you don’t think that will affect your job then you
need to think again.
President Rolando gets it! His focus for some time now has been to find
a way to help save the Post Office from itself. President Rolando has
worked hard to make sure members of the House and Senate are aware of
the $75 Billion overpayment the OIG says the Postal Service was charged
for pension liabilities. When questioned by the media about the
overpayment, PMG Potter responded that we would not need to go to 5-day
delivery if the Postal Service could recover this money.
NBA gets it! Kathy didn’t have to spend her “time off” making visits to
member of Congress soliciting support for the NALC’s position on
maintaining 6-day delivery, but she did. While State Chairs from all
over the country were storming Capitol Hill, our NBA acted on behalf of
letter carriers from Texas.
mentioned to her that President Morris wanted to appoint a Congressional
District Liaison from her Congressional District, and she stepped up and
volunteered. I understand Micky appointed Kathy as a CDL on April 9th
and she will be travelling with us to Washington in May.
now has our current NBA and our past NBA, Gene Goodwin, working for you
as Congressional District Liaisons. So, I guess Gene gets it too!
doesn’t get it?
of the members from Congress don’t get it. Some of the Congressional
Representatives the State Chairs met with mistakenly believed that the
NALC was in support of a move to 5-day delivery! We’re gonna
have to educate them, folks! We’re going to make our trip to
Washington, but all of you could really help prepare the playing field
by making some phone calls and sending some e-mails. Our message is
simple – Elimination of 6-day delivery will place FREE universal
delivery to every address in America in dire jeopardy!
them know that we believe our jobs and secure mail delivery to their
constituents are at stake. Let them know that we need their support on
me, this is a much easier sell than soliciting support for Universal
Health Care or the Employee Free Choice Act.
else doesn’t get it?
of our fellow letter carriers don’t get it. I hear about letter
carriers (probably non-members) talking on the workroom floor
about how great it would be to have Saturday and Sunday off like most
everyone does. You need to ask them if having Saturday and Sunday off
would be worth all of the changes to our jobs 5-day delivery would
off, tell them to say good bye to their T-6, because the Higher Level
paid Carrier Technician positions would no longer be necessary. Right
off the bat, the first week of 5-day delivery the highest paid top 20%
of letter carrier positions would be eliminated. In many places this
would create a need to excess junior regulars to jobs outside your
Because we no lay off protection in our National Agreement, the Post
office would have to get rid of TEs, reduce PTF hours, and find
positions for excess full-time regulars. And, you can bet our no lay
off protection would be a hot topic at next year’s contract
negotiations. If we have to go before an arbitrator, you can bet that
the Postal Service would have all kinds of neat charts and graphs
showing how they have too many letter carriers and need the right to lay
employees off as needed.
UNION would be greatly impacted and likely less effective as a
representative organization. Reduced membership would result in reduced
income for the NALC. Ask your coworkers if the Union will be more
effective or less effective with fewer members and less money.
few of you who have taken the time to read this quarterly report need to
spread the word and make sure EVERYONE gets it! You can do this in a
variety of ways:
Increase your contribution to COLCPE or talk others into giving
Become an e-Activist and talk coworkers into joining us
Volunteer time to help get letter carrier friendly representatives
elected by becoming a Carrier Corps Member
your coworkers, friends, family members, and even your neighbors to call
or e-mail your representatives in Congress about the importance of
maintaining 6-day delivery.
TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS THAT YOU GET IT!
I invited Mayor Bill White
to address the membership at the TSALC Convention last summer and he
spoke to the membership about his intention to run for the United States
Senate seat that Kay Bailey-Hutchinson was stepping down from. The
membership unanimously endorsed Mayor White and the Mayor has sent
notice of his appreciation to me for our support.
Senator Hutchinson has
since announced that she is going to remain in her seat so that she can
continue to represent her friends that run the big medical insurance
companies – protecting them from what she calls “a Government take-over”
of the Health Care Industry. I don’t how many of you have seen her
commercials where she is crying about having to do the job she was
elected to do at her own “Political Peril” – she makes me physically
The top Democrat planning
a run against Governor Good Hair, Tom Schieffer, decided against make a
run for Governor, leaving the Democratic Party in Texas without a
promising candidate for the position. In his stepping down speech, Mr.
Schieffer endorsed Mayor Bill White for Governor – a shock to Bill White
and his campaign since the plan is to run for United States Senator.
Evidently, this got Bill
and his staff to thinking about the similarities between the Chief
Executive of one of the largest cities in the country and Chief
Executive of the State.
Bill is seeking advice
from his supporters, and I urge you to contact him before December 4th
– that is when he plans to make the decision. You can send him a
personal message @ billwhitefortexas.com.
Personally, I will support
whatever decision he makes. Bill supports the middle class and will be
a good friend to letter carriers. Whether he is elected Governor or
Senator, he plans to:
Help struggling homeowners and making homeownership more available
for credit worthy buyers
Reform the Tax Code to promote more savings by and investment in
middle class families
Work to reduce deficits so that our children and grandchildren don’t
have to pay our debts
Diversify our sources of energy
Cut Electric Bills
Reduce Gasoline Bills
Create Flex Work Hours to reduce fuel consumption by avoiding
Focus on education
Attack Waste in spending and energy consumption
Strengthen the Economy
Protect the Environment
These are the items Bill
talked to all of us about at the Convention. Bill has a long track
record of innovation and action as Mayor of Houston – he now needs our
help to represent us at the State or National level. I have talked with
Bill and promised him that he can count on Letter Carriers.
Please contact one of your
State Officers, Board Members, or Branch Officers to find out what you
can do to help us get our TSALC endorsed candidate elected. No matter
which job Bill runs for, he will be the underdog.
Quarter 3, 2009
The times, they are a changin’…
First of all, I would like to thank all of you for re-electing me to
serve Texas as Vice President for another term. I look forward to the
legislative challenges we face, as well as confronting the always uphill
struggle in getting labor friendly representatives elected in a “Red”
Now, let me address “the changin’” part I alluded to in the opening…
As you all know, President William H. Young decided to retire on July 3,
2009, and effective July 4th people all over this country
celebrated as Brother Fredric V. Rolando became this organization’s 18th
President. President Young was at the helm during much of the
automation changes and revolution in the grievance-arbitration process,
as well as heavily involved in some of the best negotiated contracts
letter carrier have ever had. Letter carrier income and benefits have
increased significantly directly because of Bill Young’s involvement. I
know I speak for all of the TSALC Board as well as Texas letter carriers
when I wish Bill good health and lots of happiness as he enjoys a well
Our former TSALC President, Director of City Delivery, and NALC Vice
President - Gary Mullins – has now ascended to the position of NALC
Executive Vice President. As a group we could not be more proud of
Gary, personally I say about time! Gary has served Texas letter
carriers longer than most have even worked for the Postal Service (he
started carrying mail in 1971). I am proud to call Gary my friend and
congratulate him for deciding to stay on and assist his friend Fred
I feel very fortunate to have been selected by Gary Mullins to attend
arbitration training some years ago when I met Fred Rolando for the
first time. Letter carriers can rest assured that this great
organization could not be in better hands. I was amazed at Fred’s
talents during the arbitration training we went through. I can honestly
say that we had some of the best and brightest in that class, and Fred
Rolando was among the stars that were certified ready for arbitration
after the week long training.
I also would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sister Kathy
Baldwin from Beaumont Branch 842 on her appointment to replace outgoing
National Business Agent Gene Goodwin. She represents women well as our
first female letter carrier to rise to the level of National Business
Agent in NALC Region 10. I know that she is proud of that
Kathy has always supported this State organization and will have the
support of the State Board as we work together to represent letter
carrier in the State of Texas.
I want to personally thank Gene for all he has done for me over the
years and wish Gene and outgoing State Treasurer Elisabeth Goodwin all
the best retirement represents. After all of the years these two have
devoted to letter carrier outstanding representation, they deserve
nothing but wonderful years in retirement.
Region 10 is very lucky to have the talent and experience Ken Claxton
brings to the table as out senior Regional Administrative Assistant.
Ken never hesitates to take the bull by the horns and deal directly with
the toughest problems. He is not afraid to travel directly to the
various locations letter carriers are dealing with the worst management.
NALC Region 10 also had a recent newly appointed Regional Administrative
Assistant made by President Rolando, Javier Bernal from Houston Branch
283. I have known Javier for several years as we all struggled for
justice when management decided to adjust carrier routes without
including time for many of the daily duties letter carriers are required
to perform. Javier was heavily involved in getting a large number of
routes put back in to Houston Stations. Javier was also named as out
District Lead person for the current alternate route adjustment program
and oversaw the work we “DEATS” did in the District. Congratulations
With the experience and knowledge Fred and Gary possess, Kathy’s desire
to try new and better ideas out in Region 10, Ken’s strength and
devotion, and Javier’s drive - we could not be in a better position with
regards to the leadership we have in the NALC. Please join me in
congratulating and supporting our new leadership team.
On the legislative front, as of this writing, the NALC is seeking to
strike and amendment on Senate Bill 1507 that interferes with postal
collective bargaining. Essentially, the language in the amendment has
the effect of giving short-term financial conditions for the Postal
Service preeminence over other relevant factors. This would put a thumb
on the scale in favor of postal management in the next round of
bargaining and cannot be tolerated.
The amendment is not necessary since arbitration boards already take
postal finances into account. Without listing other specific
considerations, this language would be prejudicial to the NALC’s
economic arguments that favor letter carriers.
Please visit NALC.org, click the tab “Departments”, then under
departments click legislation and politics to learn more about what you
can do to help yourself and your family, as well as receive timely
updates on legislation that affects your job.