Friday, October 06, 2006

Post Office overhaul

The Washington Post is reporting that "some administration officials and some lobbyists think the postal overhaul could be dead, not only for this year but for two or three years, if control of Congress shifts in next month's congressional elections."

Reporter Stephen Barr writes, "Efforts to overhaul operations of the Postal Service have been underway in Congress for a decade as big mailers have pleaded for a new rate structure that makes it easier for them to predict postage increases. The financial health of the Postal Service also has become a concern, as Americans expand their use of the Internet, e-mail and cellphones and send fewer first-class letters, an important source of revenue for the post office."

Some of the proposed changes involve multibillion-dollar budget issues, such as how to handle costs for pensions and retiree health care.

But according to Barr,"... the bill stalled on a relatively modest provision that would require a three-day waiting period before injured postal workers could begin accruing workers' compensation benefits. Employees would be expected to use vacation or sick leave for the first three days they were out of work and would be reimbursed for that time if they were unable to return after 14 days..."

The article quotes National Association of Letter Carriers spokesman Drew Von Bergen as saying the proposed workers' compensation change "would put postal employees in a different classification than other federal employees."

Under current law, injured federal employees receive "continuation of pay" for up to 45 days, and if their disability continues for more than that, they can receive additional compensation for lost wages after three days in a non-paid status.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM