OPM backs postal payment of workers' military retirement benefits

A Bush administration official Tuesday challenged some of the changes called for by the President's Commission on the Postal Service, while postal union representatives questioned the need for any large-scale change.

Testifying before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Office of Personnel Management Deputy Director Dan Blair said he disagrees with the commission's recommendation that the responsibility for funding Civil Service Retirement benefits for military service, which were shifted to the postal service last year, be returned to the Treasury Department.

Blair said directly funding military retirement benefits for postal workers offers the Postal Service the "direct benefit" of attracting and retaining veterans.

Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she is "not inclined to agree with the administration" on permanently establishing the military retirement benefits, estimated at $27 billion, as a Postal Service responsibility.

"Whoever bears that cost is going to be presented with a pretty hefty bill," Collins said.

In an interview Monday, Collins said she is "very reluctant" to consider a reform bill that fails to transfer the military retirement funding responsibility back to Treasury.

Blair said the administration supports many of the commission's recommendations, particularly the proposal to shift postal employees to a pay-for-performance system.

Postal union representatives rejected most of the commission's recommendations altogether.

National Association of Letter Carriers President Bill Young focused on the commission's proposed changes to the collective bargaining process, including strict timetables and a mandatory mediation-arbitration process.

"The system we have now is not perfect -- indeed, no system is perfect. But the parties have learned how to work together within the current framework, and the process has worked well for all concerned," Young said.

He added that any legitimate changes to the collective bargaining process must originate from postal labor or management, not from Congress or the White House.

National Rural Letter Carriers' Association president Dale Holton said the commission's recommendation that postal retirement and health benefits could be subject to collective bargaining is overly ambitious, and that the postal service is unprepared to manage those benefits, which currently are included in federal benefits programs.

The union representatives did agree with the plan to transfer military retirement funding back to Treasury.

Meanwhile, a new lobby group of 150 businesses and organizations sent letters Tuesday urging members of Congress to support extensive postal overhaul efforts. The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service includes some of the postal service's largest customers.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.