NALC’s Shocking Reversal on Centralized and Curbside Delivery


For many years the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) has been vehemently opposed to U.S. Postal Service efforts to convert letter carrier walking routes to curbside or centralized delivery for homes and businesses. Here’s what NALC President Rolando stated in 2013 for example:

“Depriving Americans of the door-to-door delivery they rely on is a losing proposition that enjoys little support among the public. Even the postmaster general recently testified to Congress that it arouses widespread concern. Ending door-to-door delivery for tens of millions of Americans would particularly harm small businesses as well as the elderly and people who live in areas with extreme weather. And it’s counterproductive financially, because—as is the case with the proposal to eliminate Saturday delivery-degrading service would drive mail out of the system and reduce revenue. And cutting service doesn’t even address the Postal Service’s financial problems, which aren’t caused by mail delivery. Almost all of its red ink stems from the 2006 congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree health benefits—something no other public agency or private company is required to do. Lawmakers should fix the problems they created, not make counterproductive reductions in service to America’s businesses and residents. There are many opportunities, such as the boom in package deliveries from the expanding e‑commerce market mentioned today, ready to be tapped if lawmakers act responsibly.”

In February 2017 H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017 was introduced containing language that would require the incremental conversion to centralized delivery of business addresses identified by the Postal Service and the voluntary conversion to centralized or cluster box delivery of residential addresses identified by the Postal Service where 40% of the residents consent to conversion.

Shockingly, Rolando (and the other three postal unions) have stated their support for the bill. In testimony before a House subcommittee hearing on reforming the Postal Service, Rolando treated the conversion as a mere footnote:

“With regard to the proposed policy of providing all new addresses with curbline or centralized delivery, we’d suggest giving the Postal Service the flexibility to make sensible exceptions to the policy if it is more efficient or financially beneficial to do so. Again a modest tweak in the language in Section 202 could accomplish this.”

What’s behind the sudden reversal? Many in the postal industry are calling H.R. 756 a compromise bill in that no one entity is getting everything they wanted. But if NALC is making this compromise, what are they getting in return? In online postal employee message boards, employees are beginning to grumble that NALC is selling them out on the health benefits portion of the bill that would take employees out of the general FEHBP risk pool and segregate them into a postal-only risk pool. Time will tell if this is the case.

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  • IIlIIl111

    The old folks are going to LOVE that!!

  • David C

    A well written and unbiased presentation of the issue. This latest version of postal reform finally addresses the glaring book keeping concers of the USPS and it’s dependants. However it does almost nothing to address the grave injustice called OWCP or modernize a USPS that is trapped in the 1970s. The accounting games are nice and they buy a little time, but until politics takes a backseat to reality and true reform occurs, the USPS will remain on a fast track toward insolvency.

  • hollywood

    Your opinion only fool .

  • postal worker bruce

    This will certainly screw retirees.

  • ET-10 Simmons

    David C is obviously a shill for the bulk mailing industry, a USPS Corporate troll, or an uninformed ignoramus who believes everything he hears from taxpayer ‘watchdog’ groups. I’d address the fallacies in every single thing (excluding OWCP) he said, but what’s the point? He either knows the truth and is content to propagate lies in his own self interest, or is incapable of discerning fact from fiction. Whichever it is, my time is better spent elsewhere…

  • ET-10 Simmons

    All of them. This is retroactive and would force all current as well as future postal retirees into Medicare Parts A, B, and D. Kind of makes you wonder why we spent the last 10 years nearly bankrupting ourselves putting over $30 Billion into the PSRHBP in the first place… Nice little piggy bank for the government as all of it ended up in the US Treasury even though 100% was generated from the sale of postage and postal products.

  • ET-10 Simmons

    This ‘old folk’ who will retire in less than 6 years isn’t too thrilled about having over $1600+/yr extra forced onto me for my retiree health benefits. Very reminiscent of the AHCA the right is so up in arms over. I’m sure by 2022 it’ll be much more than $1600 extra, though.

  • Jeffrey Shane Hudson

    It never cease to amaze me when some one stop carrying mail, they forget the unique aspects of the job and where they come from. Why hasn’t the mess with the FSS machines, the incompentance of management, the drop in pride and quality of work, the rise of abuse and intimidation by management to make numbers and the continuation to keep taking away from the carriers to fulfill managers wish list addressed. And, I would love to see how the three unions fall into line with this B.S., because I haven’t heard anything about this at the union meetings, so show me the money!

  • perk1329

    you’ll get some of that $1600 back. the bill requires the fehb insurers to reduce their premiums to account for the costs shifted to Medicare b. I say “some” because unless the insurers add retiree rates the reductions will probably also go to those still working.