Sen. Carper Statement on Most Recent USPS Financial Losses

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service, released the following reaction to the announcement that the U.S. Postal Service lost $3.1 billion this quarter:

"While today’s announcement that the U.S. Postal Service lost $3.1 billion in the last three months is disappointing, it does not come as a surprise. Our troubled economy – coupled with the continued migration to electronic forms of communication – is putting the future of the Postal Service in jeopardy, and it’s happening faster than expected. Putting the Postal Service back on stronger financial footing is something I’ve been trying to do for a long time now, and my comprehensive postal reform bill takes the necessary steps to help keep the Postal Service solvent.

"My bill, the Postal Operations Sustainment and Transformation (POST) Act of 2011, would give the Postal Service the room it needs to manage itself and avoid becoming the latest victim of Congressional gridlock. It would also address the Postal Service’s massive overpayments to the older Civil Service Retirement System and would ensure that the Postal Service has the resources it needs to meet its future retiree health care obligations. My bill requires all parties – postal management, employees and customers – to make sacrifices. It also gets Congress out of the way by providing the flexibility and tools necessary to address the problems plaguing the Postal Service in an effective way.

"The U.S. Postal Service is sinking quickly, and if we do nothing, we face a future without the valuable services the Postal Service provides. We have the opportunity to keep it afloat, but we must act now. I urge Congress and the Administration to join me in pushing for this much-needed reform so we can prevent the Postal Service from going broke by the end of the year."

  • dougie

    5 day delivery should be implemented. It would have the least impact on the customer and maybe they wouldn’t have to close as many offices. Can’t we just try it?

  • NALC

    Speaking for all members of the NATIONAL ASSOCICATION OF LETTER CASING I hear by express my opinion that we SHOULD go to 5 Day delivery and drop Saturday.

  • jeff

    everyone is saying,,, lets just go to 5 day delivery, while noone is thinking about the impact of jobs that would cut. It would also be a blow on the economy. Last time I checked, and I am a city carrier, there would be upwards of 30 thousand jobs lost.

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  • mike

    I got an idea? I hope congress canp hear this one. I am a 28 year carrier. I have talked to a lot of my customers on my route. Most could care less about saturday delivery. Saying that. How about a test. ? A test to see if the elimination of Saturday delivery is cost effective? Here it is folks. Take one Saturday delivery across the board, as a test. And see how it works. It’s a no brainer. If its a big savings and all works well. Then? Dah. Let’s go with it. Save the post office you guys. Or is it to hard to figure out.? If it doesn’t’ prove cost effective. Then drop the issue. Quit screwing around. And get the job done. Or no one will have a job. Mike.

  • J C

    6 day needs to stay. Get rid of one useless management person per office, then see how good the employees can do their job without tripping over all the supervisors arguing how to screw up another day.

  • alberto

    I agree with JC. Fewer supervisors required. However the only way that would be possible would be if all carriers worked the way Rural Carriers do. No offense to my brother and sister City Carriers, but the truth iswe hardly see supervisors in my office. All that we need them for is to make a schedule, answer customer calls, perform a mail count every year or two, and submit our work hours to payroll. We are efficient because we work on an “evaluated pay system.” Believe me, city carriers would love it. They tried it about ten years ago in Ft Myers, FL. With the incentive to hustle, carriers got paid for eight hours pay regardless of how long it took to do their route. Bottom line was, my
    buddies were on the golf course by 2:00 in the afternoon. Seriously! Senator, something to consider!

  • Rick

    Postal management accounts for 56% of the UPSP budget, the total ratio of management to people that actually move the mail is close to 1 manager per 4 or 5 employees. Postal management to this day is rife with cronyism and incompetence. No aptitude or ability to supervise is needed, just the interest in making more money than the people that actually work. It’s the way of our government, more non-productive jobs than productive. Even faced with making a mistake about anything, management will continue with the mistake rather than admit they are wrong. Management knowingly and willingly violates employee rights, even though they know the grievance will end up costing the USPS money… keep costing your employer money in a real business and see how long you keep your job.

  • Buck Wheat

    J C… need a reality check. How about we go looking behind strip malls and in bars for carriers being the best they can be and get rid of them. Don’t worry J C, we’ll save you for last. ; )

  • Steven

    How come 5 days is working fine for the rest of the world but spoiled Americans need 6 ? Answer me that Riddler. Seriously, At this juncture Saturday delivery is not needed . What about our environment. Think of the savings by curtailing car pollution and actually saving millions of gallons of gas and oil every week.

  • max

    as a letter carrier for 25 years i say tell management to get out of the way and let us do our jobs, keep 6 days delivery and get rid of unnessessary managers who muck up the works everyday while waiting for a phone call befoe they act on anything.

  • HMMMmmm…

    Reality Check……If something is not done to stop the bleeding of funds internally and externally we the people of the United States will lose the rights granted to us by the Constitution.
    I don’t give a hoot who it is or what party they belong to, get the problem solved and don’t wait for the bridge to collapse before trying to support it.
    If you don’t know what to do then ask for some help. Theres plenty of smart people that have not ran for polictical offices.
    5 day delivery will work without job loss. Changes to the structure will occur sooner or later. better sooner while we have a chance to save the PO then after it fails.

  • Postal Retiree

    5 day delivery is a no brainer, volume warrants it, saves lots of money, most jobs could be saved with decent retirement incentives. Also, how about making roving Post Masters i.e., 1 Post Master for 3-4 (level 16 and below) Post Offices within 30 mile radius and let a Part Time Regular Clerk do the work, maybe some could be PTF Carriers that loose hours from going to 5 day delivery.

  • Wow

    I am glad we have carriers that like to screw around and try to get away with “screwing management”. If it wasn’t for them there would not be a need for management. The USPS has already tried letting carriers manage themselves many times and it has always failed. Thank you for the job security!

  • JT

    They have to go to 5 day delivery. Some may(will) lose jobs, hours or both. But if they dont do it everyone will be out of work in a few years. Dumping supervisors is not the answer it will not reduce enough costs. They have to get those vehicles off the road and get everyone working 40 hours…not 44, 42 hours. Rural carriers are getting done in 6 hours but getting paid for 8.4 hours per day. RCA’s covering Union reps routes 3 and 4 times a week is ridiculous.

  • cmc

    How about we use just one year of the overpayment into the civil service retirement system as the means to fund a retirement incentive.

  • FW

    Quit bashing each other and quit bashing management. This situation was all set in motion with the PAEA of 2006 which saddled the USPS with the pre-funding requirement that costs nearly $6billion every year. If not for this ludicrous requirement, the USPS would have operated in the black to the tune of $800 million over tha last 4 years. Saturday delivery? What I hear from those who do not want it is they want to be off on Saturday. As a clerk in the P&DC I work Sat and SUN. The routes, bid assignments and infrastructure of the USPS is set up to run 6 days. the $3 Billion in savings is a farce according to the OIG and the PRC. Oh yea but let’s close 3700 post offices and save $200 million of the $9 Billion debt WOW a wopping 2% + of the total debt but costing towns their post office and thousands their jobs. Wake up. Congress Must give the USPS relief from pre-funding and allow a payback of the overpayments to the pension funds. If we give up Sat FedEX and UPS will gobble up the customers and we will never see them again.

  • Joe

    I’ve been a letter carrier for 28 years and I have seen a lot. Delivery operations are more efficient now than ever before. Yes there is some mismanagement and some workers who don’t carry their load. But the biggest threat to the USPS as I see it is top heavy management. Far too many managers who don’t seem to have much to do. Email and online bill pay has cut deeply into profits to be sure. But increases in productivity have been able to make up for much of that loss in revenue.
    The current economic situation in the country has had it’s impact on USPS as well as increased costs for fuel. I think cutting to 5 days per week delivery is inevitable. Also congress really does need to get out of the way to allow rate changes and flexibility to adapt quickly to changing situations.
    Prepaying for retiree benefits is the quickest and easiest way to right the ship in the short term. Why does congress demand this from USPS and no one else?

  • leroy

    Yep five day is better than NO day delivery. cause we failed to act soon enough!

  • Tom

    5 day is okay. But most people are home on Saturday and want delivery on that day. Drop Wednesday, that’s the thinnest day of the week for mail.

  • Troy J.

    First I say to all, lets get our overpayment money back from CSRS and FERS. Then we can talk about cutting Saturday. Remember, you must first crawl, before you can walk, then run. Cutting Sat. Delivery first is just like running before you learned how to walk. Don’t cut your own paycheck first to satisfy the super rich. The super rich won’t cut their funds for you. Junk mail leads to more pay, while no mail leads to no pay. Support your fellow co-workers who work for the USPS, not the U.S. SENATE OR U.S. HOUSE OF REP.

  • Maggie

    As a rural carrier who has been cut back in hours to where I now HAVE work 6 days a week…. GET RID OF SATURDAY!!! Its a huge waste of money on the postal service part. I have noticed in local offices that when mail is mis-delivered to a nearby office from the truck… the management hops right in there cars and runs around to all these offices picking up 1 or 2 pieces that could just be put on the next truck coming through. The post office is paying gas mileage for this non-sense!!! Now to me this is express mail service at a first class rate?? Not to mention MY postmaster is off on assignment who knows where and has been for over a year so we have a “fill in” coming from TWICE as far everyday and getting mileage for that!! Management is OUT OF CONTROL and you can’t tell me that 1 postmaster couldn’t run 2 or 3 small offices easy… Theres to many cooks in this kitchen and now they are paying for it. Saturdays wont hurt the customers as much as rate increases will… they also need to consider allowing rural carriers to have help on days like after a holiday if they did eliminate Saturdays….just saying.

  • Troy Faurot

    The problem is not in how many days we deliver, nor is it the amount of post offices we have open. The problem is in the huge discounts we give to bulk mailers. In 2010 We delivered 171 Billion pieces of mail, Yet we brought in only 67Billion in revenue. This means the average piece of mail gave us 39cents of revenue. The real disturbing thing about this figure is that the 39 cents doesnt account for revenue from PO Box rentals and Packaging supply sales. The HUGE discounts need to stop!!!I can give at least 1 example I recently was throwing mail in the PO box section of my Post Office and there was a flat that I would guess weighed at least 8 OZ. the postage on the meter was presorted standard of 9.7 cents now if a 1 oz flat costs the public 88 cents how can we justify sending an 8 oz flat for 9.7. No business that does their job 171 billion times a year should be hurting for money. Think about How long it took McDonalds to sell 1 billion hamburgers, and yet we are struggling. Would McDonalds prepare our burgers for us for a penny a piece if we brought in the buns for them and said we wanted 100,000. I don’t think so! The other problem with closing offices and eliminating a delivery day is those people are still guaranteed jobs due to our great UNION’s negotiations. How is paying overtime on monday to deliver the mail from Saturday and making the carriers from a closed office drive further to deliver the mailgoing to save the Postal Service money? It is not’ it’s going to cost them more!
    Your Brother In Solidarity
    Troy Faurot APWU Local 6 Salt Lake City

  • Time to stand together

    The problem started a long time ago. Its funny the employees who pay for the mistakes always start with the light and limited duty. I read that the NRP process ended January 2011 but now the are calling it ELM 546 same rules different name. Instead of blaming one problem for the Postal Service going under (if its really true) a real committe should be formed check the boards figures, make sure this is not just a farce to get rid of people who just won’t retire because they have no life other than the post office, and getting rid of injured on duty and light duty workers veterans and civillians. Solve the problem or let the workers figure it out instead of gettin rid of trained employees and hiring ones that you don’t have to worry about giving benefits to. Postal workers who have been put out under NRP or ELM 546 or whatever write to your congressman, senator, and the President of the United States if you have to tell them what you think and how this is affecting you.