Tester, Schatz reintroduce bill to strengthen postal workers rights

(U.S. SENATE)-Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) today reintroduced legislation to strengthen labor rights for American postal workers.

The Postal Employee Appeal Rights Amendment Act provides approximately 7,500 mid-level managers at the U.S. Postal Service the right to appeal adverse actions such as removals, suspensions, reductions in pay, and furloughs to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Currently, these group of managers do not share the same benefit other supervisors, postmasters, and management personal have to appeal labor disputes to the MSPB.

“The Postal Service is critical for folks around the country who count on timely delivery every single day,” Tester said. “When we strengthen the working conditions for postal workers we improve overall employee morale-boosting the quality of delivery standards and saving ratepayer money.”

“Our postal workers are some of the hardest working people in the country, and they all deserve fair employee rights.” Schatz said. “Our legislation will clarify the intent of the Postal Employee Appeal Rights Act of 1987 and ensure that all postal managers are able to appeal personnel matters before a neutral third-party.

“Approximately 7,500 USPS mid-level management employees do not possess the right to appeal adverse personnel actions to the Merit Systems Protection Board, despite the intent of Congress to confer such rights to most USPS management personnel through legislation passed in 1987. Said Louis M. Atkins, President of the National Association of Postal Supervisors. “Federal appellate court and MSPB interpretations of the law passed by Congress have narrowly limited the coverage of MSPB appeal rights. This has resulted in unfairness to USPS employees, created unnecessary costs, and in some cases, prevented the disclosure of fraud, waste and abuse. NAPS supports this legislation that serves to correct this due process issue.”

The Merit Systems Protection Board is a, non-partisan, judicial labor relations board in charge of overseeing working conditions for federal employees.

Tester has been a long-time advocate for comprehensive postal reform and last month met with incoming Postmaster General Megan Brennan to identify areas to improve postal delivery standards for rural and urban America.