From the National Association of Postal Supervisors:
Today the Postal Service formally announced that they would be conducting a study of the current mail processing network with the goal of eliminating about half of the processing facilities in the distribution network.
National Association of Postal Supervisors President Louis Atkins stated that “the current processing network employed by the Postal Service provides for overnight delivery of First Class Mail in virtually every corner of the country.
Today, if you mail a letter across town or to a destination that is within a distance of 60 miles or so from the point where you mailed your letter, that letter will be delivered the next day. The Postal Service measures their performance on this delivery and this year they are delivering this type of mail on time at a 96.3% success rate”. This important overnight service will be lost if the Postal Service’s plans are implemented to drastically cut the network capabilities they now have in place.
Atkins added: “We are now in this financial crisis because the Postal Service has a requirement to pre-fund future retiree health benefits in a plan that is so bizarre that they are actually setting money aside for employees who will retire seventy-five years in the future. We are setting aside funds for people’s retirement that are not even born yet! ”.
Many employee groups and the mailing community have pointed out that the Postal Service has been overpaying both of the retirement systems that provide annuities to postal employees to the tune of $55 to $75 billion dollars. Those within the postal community have sought to have these overpayments used to satisfy the pre-funding requirements that were mandated by the last Postal Reorganization Bill that was passed in 2006.
Because of stalled legislation in the United States Congress that could easily correct the current financial struggles of the Postal Service, they have had to resort to making drastic reductions in the number of post offices and other operational changes to try to balance the costs of running the Post Office in line with revenue.
Atkins, who was a career postal employee and former postal manager, is sympathetic to the dilemma facing the Postal Service. He understands that no one in the leadership of the Postal Service relishes the idea of dismantling the institution that has served this country, even before the country was founded.
“Since the Congress cannot take the responsibility that they have to resolve this serious problem, the Postal Service is attempting to do it on their own. We have already cut 1,000’s of positions and closed administrative offices, all of which did not affect the customer. These changes will be the first to be directly felt by the mailing community and the American public”, said Atkins.
Congress could resolve this problem by passing HR 1351, a bill that has already received wide support from both democrats and some republicans. Atkins stated that the Postal Service is an American institution that works for all Americans and there should be bi-partisan support in
the Congress to keep the Postal Service in good health.
NAPS members will be joining with the members of the four major employee unions on September 27th to highlight our mutual efforts to convince the Congress to pass HR 1351 in this session of Congress. NAPS members, along with the employees they manage, will be making personal visits to local offices of every member of the Congress to deliver petitions and the message to act immediately on the passage of HR 1351