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Federal Employees News Digest : May 20, 2013
May 20, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 42 7 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued from page 6 issue before. In 2011, OPM and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a joint memorandum on the federal gender pay gap; and in 2010, President Obama established a National Equal Pay Task Force, which brought together OPM, EEOC, the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice to address the issue. According to a 2009 Government Accountability Office report, the gen- der pay gap has been narrowing over the last few decades. From 1988 to 2007, the gap for federal employees declined from 28 cents to 11 cents on the dollar, the study concluded. In that report, GAO said that once it controlled for other factors---such as occupations, experience and education levels---about 7 cents of the gap remains unexplained. To see the memo, go to: www.white- house.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/10/ presidential-memorandum-advancing- pay-equality-federal-government-and-le. USPS posts $1.9 Billion Q2 loss The U.S. Postal Service this month recorded a net loss of $1.9 billion in its second fiscal quarter. Total mail volume declined to 38.8 billion pieces compared to 39.4 billion pieces in same quarter the prior fiscal year, USPS reported. First-class mail revenue dropped 2.7 percent on a volume decline of 4.1 percent, compared to the previous year's quarter. There were bright spots in the report- ing period, however. Compared to the same quarter in fiscal 2012, standard mail revenue grew 2.4 percent on a 1 percent volume increase, and shipping and package revenue jumped 9.3 percent on a gain in volume of 6.2 percent. Growth in those two businesses drove a $121 million increase in year-over- year operating revenue, which reached $16.3 billion---a 0.7 percent increase. USPS also reported lower operating expenses compared to the prior year's quarter---$18.2 billion in the second fiscal quarter of 2013 compared to $19.4 billion the prior year. USPS said decrease reflected the prior year's accrual for an additional retiree health benefit prefunding payment, as well as reduced work hours in 2013. PMG renews call for reform Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe once again called on Congress to pass reform legislation that would stem ongoing losses and put USPS back on firm financial footing. "To return the Postal Service to solven- cy requires a comprehensive approach, which is reflected in our updated Five- Year Business Plan," he said in a state- ment. "The plan provides an achievable roadmap to restore financial stability and preserve affordable mail service for the American public. The major elements of the plan must be pursued and executed within a short window of opportunity to avoid unsustainable losses and poten- tially becoming a long-term burden to the American taxpayer." The plan calls for creation of a sepa- rate USPS health care plan to resolve the retiree health plan prepayment issue, a refund of a large Federal Employees Retirement System overpayment, a switch to a six-day package/five-day mail delivery schedule, creation of a streamlined governance model, institu- tion of a defined contribution retire- ment plan for future postal employees, and a number of other changes. ‘No surprise’ Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) said the report "shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone." "While this quarter's losses are less compared to the $3.2 billion lost this time last year, a $1.9 billion dollar loss is nothing to celebrate," Carper said in a statement. "The reality is that any finan- cial loss at this rate is unsustainable and threatens the Postal Service's long-term viability. As I've said time and time again, Congress and the administration need to come to agreement on compre- hensive legislation that reforms, right- sizes and modernizes this American institution." The committee's ranking member, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said that the results "demonstrate why postal reform is imperative." "While reform is necessary," Coburn said in a statement, "the Postal Service should not wait on a parochial-minded Congress and must immediately take steps within its control to secure addi- tional revenue and achieve cost sav- ings, including potential action to secure additional revenue through price increases." To see the financial results, go to: http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/finan- cials/financial-conditions-results-reports/ fy2013-q2.pdf. See Carper's and Coburn's statements at: www.carper.senate.gov/ public/index.cfm/2013/5/chairman-carp- er-ranking-member-coburn-statement- on-latest-usps-financial-losses. ••• In Brief WPEA covers cases pending in 2012, OSC says The provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act apply to cases that were pending at the time the bill became law, according to a legal brief filed by the Office of Special Counsel. OSC filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in which OSC main- tains that the WPEA, which clarifies the scope of protected whistleblowing for federal employees, should apply to cases pending at the time of its passage. OSC filed the brief in the matter of Kerr v. Salazar. In that case, Leslie A. Kerr, for- mer manager of the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, alleged that continued on page 9
May 13, 2013
May 27, 2013