(This article first appeared on the Web News Article #: 53-2017)
This week the White House released their budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, as they do every fiscal year. There are a number of disturbing provisions which will directly affect postal workers and postal services for the American people.
The White House’s budget proposes $46 billion in “savings” to the Postal Service by a reduction in the methods of delivery. This could include cutting the number of delivery days and a further reduction in service standards.
The budget further calls for an increase of 6% employee pension contributions into the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) – 1% a year for each of the next six years. This would result in a pay-cut of thousands of dollars a year for each FERS postal employee.
The budget also proposes eliminating Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) on FERS retirement benefits, reducing COLA on current civil service retirees and a change in calculating future retirement benefits from the current “high three” average to a “high five” year formula. In addition, the proposal advocates doing away with the social security supplement currently covering the gap in FERS benefits for those who retire before they are eligible for social security benefits.
Each of these proposals would be to the severe detriment of hard working postal employees, both active and retired.
Will Devastate Working Families
Contrary to President Trump’s campaign promises to elevate workers and protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits, the proposed budget contains a number of extreme cuts which will deeply affect tens of millions of working families. These include massive cuts to social security disability benefits, Medicaid coverage, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the student loan program. The budget proposal shrinks all these essential programs while lowering the taxes for corporate America and the wealthy elite.
“This budget proposal is Robin Hood in reverse,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “It robs from the workers to give more and more to the wealthy. Taken in their entirety, these are draconian attacks on hard working postal workers and our families.”
Ultimately, Congress sets the federal government’s budget. However, the White House’s budget proposal is a reflection of the spending priorities of the Trump administration. The APWU, working with our sister unions and many allies, will vigorously oppose actions by Congress to allow these cuts to vital government programs as well as any attempts to undermine postal services and the well-being of postal workers and postal retirees.
“No postal worker cast a vote in the last presidential election to cut postal services and worker benefits,” Dimondstein continued. “I am confident, that our members of all political persuasions will stand up and fight back against these new assaults on postal workers and all working folks.”