(Hartford, CT) — Attorney General William Tong today joined a group of 21 attorneys general and two cities calling on the Postal Regulatory Commission to oppose Postmaster General DeJoy’s efforts to increase delivery times for First-Class Mail and other essential postal services. The proposed changes could impact up to 96 percent of ZIP codes in the United States. Forty percent of all First-Class mail in the United States will be slowed down by these proposed changes.
“DeJoy’s so-called cost-saving measures have been a disaster for Connecticut families and must be stopped. The Postal Regulatory Commission must restore the reliable and essential service we all have long enjoyed,” said Attorney General Tong. “Last year, we successfully sued USPS to protect the timely delivery of ballots ahead of the November election. DeJoy’s latest plan would increase delivery times for forty percent of First-Class Mail, whether it is paychecks, holiday cards, or election materials. This is a terrible plan for families, businesses, and for the functioning of our government.”
The attorneys general submitted a statement of position to the Postal Regulatory Commission, an independent federal agency that provides transparency and accountability of the U. S. Postal Service’s operations, to urge the USPS to focus its attention on improving from the mistakes of the previous year, not implementing changes that would further degrade service:
“One year ago, the Postal Service implemented a series of purported cost-saving initiatives that had a devastating effect on mail service. Those initiatives, which included drastic changes to USPS’s policies with respect to extra and late trips, were implemented virtually overnight without any prior input from the Commission. Mail delivery across the nation slowed, and Americans who depended on the Postal Service for the delivery of prescription medication, paychecks, and other necessities were left stranded. The increased delays also made it more difficult for the States to perform a variety of essential functions and provide critical services to their residents…Regrettably, it appears that the Postal Service is poised to repeat many of these mistakes.”
The statement of position reminded the Postal Regulatory Commission of the obligations and benefits of the USPS, including its commitment to prompt, reliable service of necessary, life-saving goods to all residents of Connecticut.
The proposed service standards would slow down mail delivery for a significant portion of First-Class mail, and which would significantly hinder the USPS’s mission to provide reliable service. This change would hinder the state and federal government in delivering essential services in a timely manner, including providing public assistance to low-income individuals and families, running driver’s licensing and child welfare programs, and administering elections.
The group also acknowledged the difficulties put upon postal service workers by these cuts, and how critical it is for the Commission to prevent further changes after a disastrous year, writing:
“Indeed, the events of the past year caution strongly against imposing sweeping changes of the type the Postal Service proposes. The Postal Service has faced enormous challenges as a result of the pandemic, and postal employees have performed their jobs admirably under incredible strain…The Postal Service has already once imposed sweeping changes in the face of these unprecedented challenges, and the result was disastrous. As the Inspector General found, the July 2020 cost-saving initiatives were implemented without adequate planning and were poorly communicated, leading to a rapid decline in service from which the Postal Service has not fully recovered…The Postal Service should abandon its current effort and refocus its energies on fixing its ongoing performance deficiencies.”
The statement of position was led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and New York Attorney General Letitia James and joined by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia. The attorneys general were also joined by the City of New York, and the City and County of San Francisco.