USPS Plan Will Hasten Demise of a Still-Vital Institution

Degrading Mail Service Will Hurt, Not Help, USPS

“The Postal Service plan will hasten the demise of the USPS,” APWU President Cliff Guffey said in response to the agency’s announcement that it would seek an advisory opinion from the Postal Regulatory Commission on plans to eliminate next-day delivery of first-class mail and periodicals.

“The USPS should be modernizing and striving to remain relevant in the digital age, not reducing service to the American people,” he said. “Degrading service is a direct consequence of Postal Service plans to eliminate half of its mail processing centers,” said Guffey.

“Dismantling the Postal Service’s processing and distribution network will devastate mail service, damage the economy, and drive customers away,” Guffey said. “The USPS network is still a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure and destroying it will hurt, not help, the Postal Service.”

“Congress must take the necessary steps to protect the Postal Service. Unfortunately, bills currently pending in the House and Senate would result in drastic cuts to the USPS network and service,” the union president said.

H.R. 2309, which was approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, would require the USPS to make a minimum of $3 billion worth of cuts in post offices and mail processing facilities within two years.

S. 1789, which was approved by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, would give the USPS short-term financial relief, but, because it fails to adequately address the cause of the Postal Service’s financial difficulties, also would force the agency to dismantle its retail and mail-processing network,” the union president said.

The immediate cause of the USPS financial crisis is a mandate in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the healthcare benefits for future retirees. No other government agency or private company bears this burden, which costs the Postal Service approximately $5.5 billion annually, and forces the USPS to pay a 75-year liability in just 10 years.

In addition, the Postal Service has overfunded its pension accounts. The USPS has overpaid into the Federal Employees Retirement System by more than $11 billion. Two independent actuarial studies have concluded that the agency has overfunded the Civil Service Retirement System by billions of dollars as well.

To save the USPS and protect mail service to the American people,Congress must address these fundamental issues. H.R. 1351, which was sponsored by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), would make drastic cutbacks in service unnecessary. Although the bill has more than 220 co-sponsors, it was rejected by the House committee when the panel approved H.R. 2309. The Lynch bill would permit the Postal Service to apply billions of dollars in pension overpayments to the requirement to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees.

Eliminating half of the nation’s mail processing facilities will severely impact the communities where they are located. Mail service will decline, and the economy of affected cities and towns will be hurt at a time when we can least afford it: Jobs and revenue will be lost, and a community cohesion and stability will be harmed, Guffey pointed out. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

via USPS Plan Will Hasten Demise of a Still-Vital Institution; Degrading Mail Service Will Hurt, Not Help, USPS.

  • Scout

    Dear Cliff I am a clerk and I am working in hell right now.You are not listening to your clerk paying clients so what makes you think that the USPS is listening to you.They are breaking the contract every day and you guys are doing nothing about it so why should we give a shit any more.

  • georgeb

    usps closed 7 districts saved 1 billion a year close 35 districts save 5 billion ayear then usps will have 35 districts same as ups

  • tvraniak

    Close the Areas. Continue to close plants that are a duplication of effort and have hidden costs of moving mail just to justify their equipment. Where feasible, utilize the excess equipment in smaller facilities along with excessed employees. Go back to processing local mail as close to home as possible. Districts should be reviewed for overlapping territories and combined where feasible. Mail Processing should no longer be a seperate entity and be brought back under the responsiblity of each District Manager where they operate. The Districts are more aware of their customers needs, situations, and enviroment at they pertain to their mail. then the Areas ever were or will be. The Districts also have the ability to react quicker to changes. With the loss of over 200,000 employees, revamp HDQ’s. They have yet been asked to do more with less at the very top. We continue to increase our VP positions. Lastly, make Congress pay the full cost of the OIG and return money since 1996 back to the USPS. This was a Congressional mandate and as such should have been paid by Congress. They currently operate as the pervious Postal Inspection Service which was part of the original Postal service. This is clearly a duplication of effort. The OIG was set up to monitor the whole Postal Service, not be in it’s day to day operation. Somewhere the fox began monitoring the hen house.

  • Karen Ardoin

    We need to keep the pressure on our Senators and Representatives to do the right thing and restore our overpayments to both retirement systems, even if it makes the deficit look worse. That is the only way to make the Post Office viable again.

  • Customer in Colorado

    It may be a good idea to consolidate post offices and distribution centers but only if it speeds delivery. The Postal Service’s finances (Conressional requirements for prefunding, etc.) is a drain on operations and puts the Postal Service in the pickle it finds itself today. Cut out the crap of prefinancing anything, refund the postal overpayments to the US Treasury in the name of retirement/benefits. This actualy is a very strong company if the government-haters would stop their tactics of killing it.