Levin to Postmaster General: Show Me the Data

WASHINGTON – In a letter to the postmaster general, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., today asked for additional information about the U.S. Postal Service’s plans for the potential consolidation of mail processing facilities in Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw beginning this summer.

“You have provided an estimate of the annual savings from each closure and consolidation but no data on how these figures were reached,” Levin wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “In order to better understand how the Postal Service reached its conclusions, please provide me with an unredacted copy of each Area Mail Processing Study (AMP) conducted for the facilities in Michigan.”

Levin’s letter follows.

February 24, 2012

The Honorable Patrick Donahoe
Postmaster General
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:

I am writing regarding your correspondence dated February 23, 2012, which notified me of the potential consolidation of mail processing facilities in Michigan beginning in the summer of 2012.

The impacted facilities in Michigan are in Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw. You have provided an estimate of the annual savings from each closure and consolidation but no data on how these figures were reached. In order to better understand how the Postal Service reached its conclusions, please provide me with an unredacted copy of each Area Mail Processing Study (AMP) conducted for the facilities in Michigan.

During the public meetings relative to these proposals, members of the public asked questions and raised concern about these possible closures. I would appreciate knowing how the Postal Service addressed issues raised by the public and how public comment was considered during the AMP process.

As you provide this information, I am particularly interested in receiving answers to the following questions:

1. How many jobs will be eliminated at each facility?

2. Of those jobs, how many will be transferred to other facilities?

3. What is the distance of each transfer?

4. What are the additional projected savings and additional projected costs for each facility?

According to your letter, these consolidations are contingent on the issuance of a final rule revising first class mail standards. The Postal Service filed a request for an advisory opinion with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding these revised standards on December 5, 2011. The PRC has opened a Docket to consider this request and is expected to issue an advisory opinion this summer. I have heard from my constituents that the Postal Service intends to proceed with these closures immediately following the expiration of the closure moratorium on May 15th. The Postal Service had agreed to this moratorium to allow Congress the time to consider postal reform legislation. I would appreciate your assurance that the Postal Service will wait until after the advisory opinion of the PRC has been issued before taking any steps relative to any mail processing facility closure.

While I fully understand the serious nature of the Postal Service’s current financial situation and the need to take action, I am concerned that the Postal Service not take action that would erode the universal service obligation and want to analyze the conclusions of the Postal Service relative to claimed savings.

Should you have any questions, please contact Harold Chase of my staff at (202) 224-9125. Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Carl Levin

via Carl Levin – United States Senator for Michigan: Newsroom – Press Releases.

  • Cheryl Culver

    Thank you for getting involved. I hope its not, too little too late.

  • Ronnie

    Congress has sat on their butts too long…they cannot do anything for anyone because they are only concerned about getting re-elected…the whole bumch needs to be voted out…USPS must do what they can within the parameters that they are able to operate under…if Congress will not act, the USPS must act…

  • Sue Kachnic

    Dear Carl,
    Sorry, the decision has already been made. We will go ahead with the closures despite any moratorium we have agreed to on May 15. Congress set this in motion 6 years ago and it acts to slowly to stop it’s proceeding. Your letter is simply an worthless formality.
    Yours, Patrick

  • Scout

    Senator should be pushing Congress to solve this problem instead of sending letters to PMG,because he will not get a reply to his letter.Now the Senator can see what a craft employee feels like waiting for answers.

  • Scout

    VOTE THEM IN THEN VOTE THEM OUT! It is our only power of the people.If we let them only serve one term, then we can prove we have the power of their future.

  • Just a stupid voter

    Too little too late. Just another senator pretending to do something. How about fixing the problems congress caused orignially, senator?

  • bob

    Re: The USPS financial report
    for the first quarter of FY 2012

    Feb. 9, 2012 — Statement by Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, on the USPS financial report for the first quarter of FY 2012:

    Despite the headline on its press release, the U.S. Postal Service announced today a net operating profit of $200 million delivering the mail in the first quarter of FY 2012—an impressive achievement given the current economy. (Postal Service Chief Financial Officer Joe Corbett announced this profit on a conference call with reporters today.)

    As the USPS notes, its performance was boosted by record employee productivity and by “stronger-than expected holiday shopping activity, driven by strong growth in online merchandise sales”—up 7 percent over the first quarter of the previous year. That shows the potential for growth offered by the Internet.

    The record productivity and the strong growth in the shipping business show that the Postal Service can be a successful organization if freed from the unwarranted and uniquely onerous pre-funding burden placed on it by Congress.

    The operational profit turns into red ink only when an external factor unrelated to mail delivery is considered—the 2006 congressional mandate that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund its future retiree health benefits over the next 75 years within a decade. That, along with a non-cash actuarial adjustment to the Postal Service’s workers’ compensation costs, is entirely responsible for the $3.3 billion “loss.” The pre-funding alone accounts for $3.1 billion of the quarter’s “loss.”

    These results reveal the need for Congress to remove the crushing burden of the pre-funding payments, which the USPS is compelled to make, as its press release notes, “at rates not assessed any other entity in the United States.”

    Congress created this problem, and Congress can fix it. We urge lawmakers to address the pre-funding issue, as is called for in H.R. 1351, which now has a bipartisan House majority of 228 co-sponsors.

  • kingfisher552

    You want to see the data used by the PMG to arrive at his decisions? The Ouija Board.

  • Richard

    As a postal employee for 37 yrs. I have seen it all. But this p.m.g. is the worst in my career.Anyone can see he has no regard for the people who do the work every day.We know that our jobs could be in jeopardy but this guy continues to preach gloom and doom.Instead of trying to scare us why don’t you cut the usless fat cats and we all know there are plenty. Problem solved.

  • mary

    To little to late. Just figure out how to solve the problem in Congress. Stop the 75 year prepayment. Offer early outs to everyone that’s qualified not just management and clerks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Get the money back from the previous Postmaster his golden parachute when he retired. Consolidate small offices shred management way overstaffed at all levels. Eliminate Saturday Delivery.

  • cb196

    Congress needs to stop writing letters and start doing something. All they’er worried about is the 2012 elections.

  • Nutzy

    Another thing get rid of 36 of the 37 Vice Presidents. They make more than Cabnet secretaries.

  • joe

    congress has the power to fix this.. they are the ones who caused the problem

  • bob komar

    Senator Levin,to obtain the data on po closings and consolidations from the pmg it will be a dirty job! first get a pair of rubber gloves ask the pmg to bend over and THERE!!!! your HON. Senator Levin is where the data can be extracted!(reduce the pre-payment and hire REAL BUSINESS PEOPLE to RUN THIS SHOW)

  • bill

    Senator Levin its time to pass some legislation to end the prefunding mandate.

  • Beast

    Election jargon at its finest. Levin hasn’t done a single thing to urge a better business model for the USPS. Now, when it’s going to hit home, he publicly sends a letter to the PMG demanding data? Senator Levin, if you want to show your constituents that you a really interested in preserving service and jobs in Michigan, actions speak louder than words. Press for improvements to S.1789 as 27 other sentors have done. Enough with the smoke and mirrors, DO SOMETHING!!

  • sundawg

    USPS should stop boo-hooing about e-mail and start promoting online order shipping and Security of the Mail, also delivery to every address. Wish SOMEBODY would step up to the plate to promote everything that is taken for granted by the general public. Why can’t THAT grab the National Headlines?
    I think lowering delivery standards is COMPLETELY THE WRONG WAY TO GO!!!

    I ordered a t-shirt from Crazy Shirts in Hawaii on a Tuesday morning . I received it Thursday noon – SW Michigan – FedEx.
    And USPS wants 2-3 days to get a letter across town? IT’S JUST FOOLISH!! When left in place we could easily compete in that -or any-arena.

    Granted, I’m biased. My plant is on the schedule to close. And we have some of the highest numbers in the District (as fake as they may be). I guess I just keep hoping that SOMEBODY will step in…cooler heads will prevail…And I keep thinking about not only US, USPS employees, but the businesses around the plant. The grocery store, the gas stations, McDonald’s, Arby’s, Wendy’s…the township and county board members, WHERE WERE THEY for the public input meeting? I’d bet it’s the same around every plant USPS intends to close…

    AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!!!

  • stressed out

    Just wondering…does PMG Donahue plan to be around to see his “5-year plan” to conclusion?
    I doubt it! Could all this “savings” he will attain by the massive closings be to help fund the “golden parachute” ie. pay for performance (that’s postal talk for a “non-bonus” bonus)… he will have “earned” for his achievements, when he hits his “high 3” earnings? Last year it was $134K. I could sure use a 50% non-bonus bonus over and above my current pay. Oh, and we have not even discussed “perks”. Just google it. Last year PMG’s total take-salary,pay-for-performance (non-bonus), and perks totaled in the neighborhood of $800,000. And then we can go to the 38 or so Vice presidents…
    Duh…How much savings could we see if we eliminated HALF of THOSE JOBS??? Something to think about.

  • donieray

    congress is doing nothing but letting the PMG do is thing like close processing plants !!! these sen. don’t care and u are kidding your self and wasting time by writting to them we should have left those dem in office no we wanted the repubs. becareful what UUUU wish for UU just might get it!!!!!!

  • DGA

    Please remember our seniors who don’t use a computer and still write letters and love to do so Please revamp the Express Mail Service and stop offering a money back guarantee for failed pieces especially when FEDEX flies our mail and storms are most like around the HUBS Please offer an incentive package and VERA now so the hard workers of this company can retire with grace and dignity We want our pensions too just like the PMG OR let all the employees buy the PO and own it ourself and hire and fire who we want We need to buy shares in the PO and put it on the stock market MMMM More money and investment OH Yeah if Trump buys the old PO on Pennsylvania Ave in Wash DC will the PO make any money off of that real estate transaction If he does please make that public