Federal Manager's Daily Report

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee is continuing

a series of hearings on Postal Service reform prior to

introducing legislation.

The Postal Service has over 730,000 career employees

and is the foundation of a $900 billion mailing industry

employing nine million Americans, said Chairman Susan

Collins. She said the Postal Service faces the challenge

of a declining core business, first-class mail, which

pays for two-thirds of institutional costs.

The hearing focused on workforce reforms that could give

management and employee unions the authority to negotiate

wages and benefits, establish a performance-based pay

system for all employees, and authorize a new Postal

Regulatory Board to ensure compensation on par with the

private sector.

Senator Collins said that rightsizing the Postal Service

does not have to mean layoffs because 47 percent of the

current career Postal employees will be eligible for

retirement by 2010 and that proper management reforms

could minimize negative impact to them.

The hearing follows reports by the General Accounting

Office calling for immediate reform to avert a drastic

financial bailout or huge postage rate increases.