NAPS Leg/Reg Update – March 9, 2012
Postal Supervisors: Congress is Causing the Postal Service’s Problems
A new survey by the National Association of Postal Supervisors shows that managers and supervisors in the United States Postal Service believe that Congress is the foremost problem standing in the way of the Postal Service, either because Congress has interfered too much in postal affairs, or failed to enact necessary reforms to fix the Postal Service’s financial crisis.
Postal reform legislation remains stalled in Congress and the Postal Service, as a result, is preparing to reduce mail service to households and businesses and close thousands of post offices and mail processing plants later this summer.
The continuing lack of action on Capitol Hill on postal reform legislation has triggered high levels of concern by postal managers about the future of mail service and considerable anxiety about their own job future, the NAPS survey shows.
“The nation cannot afford to wait any longer for Congress to act,” NAPS President Louis Atkins warned. Atkins said that six-hundred members of the National Association of Postal Supervisors will visit Capitol Hill on March 13 and 14 to press House and Senate lawmakers to enact sensible postal reform legislation.
The NAPS survey, conducted among more than 2,000 postal managers, supervisors and postmasters, shows that the greatest number of respondents – 34 percent — believes Congress is the foremost problem facing the Postal Service, among an array of challenges. Given that attitude, one in three survey respondents described themselves as “not at all confident” in the future of the Postal Service and 86 percent reflected anxiety about their employment future. Smaller numbers cited leadership failure by top USPS management officials (19 percent) and bad management practices (17 percent) as their greatest concern. Only four percent identified the internet as the greatest problem currently facing the Postal Service.
A sizable majority of postal managers were worried about Postal Service plans to eliminate overnight delivery of First Class Mail and reduce delivery standards. Sixty-six percent feared those plans would hurt the Postal Service in the long run. A strong majority (71 percent) favored an alternative approach, growing in popularity on Capitol Hill, that would preserve current delivery standards and keep more mail processing facilities open, while cutting costs through reductions in operations and personnel.
For the past two years, the United States Postal Service has suffered more than $13 billion in losses, triggered largely by a Congressional mandate, imposed in 2006, requiring the Postal Service to prefund its future retiree health benefits. No other federal entity is required to prefund future retiree health benefits.
The NAPS survey was conducted among more than two-thousand postal managers, supervisors and postmasters from February 26 to March 7. Nearly 30,000 active and retired postal supervisors, managers and postmasters belong to the National Association of Postal Supervisors.