During today’s U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors meeting, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced his retirement from USPS, effective in February. He will be replaced by Megan Brennan, who currently is the Postal Service’s chief operating officer.
The chairman of the Board of Governors initially announced Donahoe’s retirement, as well as the succession plans. The outgoing PMG then took the floor to make a few comments.
The Board of Governors meeting was called to announce the annual financial results for the Postal Service, and once again the results were positive: USPS had an operating profit of $1.4 billion for the year, more than quadrupling last year’s figure. Letter revenue was up and package deliveries rose by a record 9.1 percent.
Outside the meeting, postal employees and union leaders held a rally to protest the Donahoe’s plan to close 82 mail processing plants around the country starting in January—a destructive move that would slow the mail and drive customers away. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) were among the speakers at the L’Enfant Plaza rally. Similar rallies also were held in dozens of communities across the country on Friday.
Here is NALC President Fredric Rolando’s statement on Donahoe’s announcement and on today’s financial report:
We wish Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe well in the future, and we congratulate his replacement, Megan Brennan. We look forward to working with her. We hope that in addition to a new name, this change also involves a vision for the future that will enable the Postal Service to continue to adapt and to serve Americans and their businesses.
Today’s annual USPS financial report reinforces the point that the postal networks are thriving—profitable this year by $1.4 billion after what USPS called its best quarterly and annual performance in many years—and that dismantling the networks is precisely the wrong thing to do.
The USPS report shows that letter revenue rose as the economy improves, while package revenue skyrocketed by 9.1 percent, the biggest increase on record. That reflects growing online shopping, which makes the Internet a net positive for USPS—auguring well for the future.
Proposals that involve slowing the mail by closing processing plants, and degrading service by ending Saturday and door-to-door delivery or reducing post office hours, are nonsensical. Dismantling postal networks that have returned to profitability and that provide Americans and their businesses with the world’s most efficient and affordable delivery service would hurt the public.
By driving away mail and revenue, a shrink-to-survive approach also would destroy an agency that is based in the Constitution and has an 80 percent positive rating from the public.
Lawmakers should strengthen the networks while addressing the onerous pre-funding of future retiree health benefits imposed by a lame-duck Congress in 2006. This burden, required of no other entity, is essentially the red ink, and addressing it would strengthen the Postal Service moving forward.
Today’s news, including the continued financial improvement, provides an opportunity to move forward with constructive reform that all stakeholders can buy into.