A Stunning Admission: USPS Hasn’t Considered Combined Effect of Proposed Changes

In response to a motion filed by the APWU, the Postal Service admitted March 9 that it has not considered the combined effect of several of its major proposals, including plans to:

  • Degrade service standards; end overnight delivery for first-class mail and periodicals, and slow mail delivery in general;
  • Consolidate more than 220 mail processing facilities;
  • Close 3,600 post offices;
  • Eliminate Saturday mail delivery, and
  • Raise postage rates.

In a document [PDF] filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the Postal Service declared that it “has conducted no ‘combined impact’ analysis” of the proposals. The USPS filed the document in response to an APWU motion that sought to compel the Postal Service to provide testimony about how it weighed the cumulative effect of the pending changes.

The APWU motion [PDF] to the PRC asserted that the combined effect of the changes will be greater than the sum of their parts. Together they will de-value postal products, undermine customer loyalty, reduce demand for postal services, and increase USPS financial problems.

‘Gross Negligence’

APWU President Cliff Guffey expressed shock and outrage at the USPS admission. “This is gross negligence,” he said. “The PRC — and Congress — should demand an explanation from postal management about why such a vital analysis has not been done.

“Congress must act now to stop the Postal Service from implementing massive service cuts that will delay mail, kill jobs, and hurt the economy.”

“I encourage locals facing consolidations and closures to make sure their legislators are aware of the Postal Service’s outrageous failure to consider the combined effects of USPS plans to impose drastic cuts in service,” Guffey said.

Relevant to PRC Proceedings

In its March 2 motion, the APWU said the combined impact is relevant to the PRC’s evaluation of the Postal Service’s proposal to degrade service standards. The commission is currently considering the proposal, which would eliminate overnight delivery, extend two-day delivery to three days, and generally delay mail delivery.

The union provided a hypothetical example: Assume a first-class letter is mailed on a Thursday to a destination with an overnight service standard. If no changes are made to the present processing network or service standards, the letter would arrive at its destination on Friday, the next day. If overnight delivery is eliminated, the letter may not arrive until Saturday, two days later. If Saturday delivery is eliminated as well, then the letter would not arrive until Monday, four days later, at the earliest. “In this simple example, the combined influence of the two initiatives would create a larger negative impact on service than either initiative would cause in isolation,” the union wrote.

The USPS reply reveals that in 2011, “the Postal Service initiated — but abandoned without completing — a market research project intended to evaluate customer response, thus impacts upon volume” of “a grand amalgam of service change concepts and financial challenges.”

The PRC is expected to issue a non-binding advisory opinion in August, but a moratorium on the consolidation of 223 mail processing centers and the closure of 3,600 post offices expires on May 15. The moratorium is intended to give Congress time to address the USPS crisis without drastic cuts in service or the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs.

  • Spr Vsr

    As if we expected anything else.

  • postman

    wow, everytime i read one of these stories im amazed. hopefully one day the usps will once again be a job that your proud to have. one of these days they are goin to realize the chain of command has to many links. district manager, mpoo, postmasters and the long list of supervisors. we have about five to ten that rotate out of our small office. id hate to see what goes on in a bigger city. oh yeah and not to mention our mpoo just rolled up in a brand new ford car the other day. sounds like money well spent.

  • kingofprussia mailman

    Stick your head in the sand and hope everything is fine…typical postal mismanagment. I wonder if management is proud of how they messed Ben Franklin’s baby. I hope this place is around when I retire.

  • jo

    For many years many suspect jobs were given to “friends”.Nobody should now be surprised that management is filled with people who aren’t up to the job.The chickens have come home to roost in so many ways.It is now too late to fix this mess from within.R.I.P.P.O..

  • kingpin

    If congress wants to save the postal service there going to have to extend the moratorium.

  • jo

    The P.O. hasn’t nearly the money that the private sector has to hire the right people.Why don’t managers in the P.O. go into the real world to make real money?We have always known the answer to that.We now need to partially privatize to attract the right people.

  • ron robinson

    It’s becoming more clearer everyday to all that postal management are the new form of terrorist to america. It is out to destroy the postal service and not to save it. Their continuing ludicrous proposals without analyzing the impact of the so called changes is down right irresponsible. What is the drive of postal management? You cannot save something if your in the process of destroying it!

  • tony

    That new ford car was one that Obama bought when he spent part of the money to help the economy. It was not bought by the PO.

  • Bob

    The problem is the committee that oversees the USPS is doing more to sink the USPS then save it. And the current HQ postal management is failing to understand that reducing service standards and reducing both retail locations and window service hours is driving customers to alternate ways to do business.


    i doubt any postal craft worker that has been paying attention is the least bit surprised that
    no study was conducted estimating the loss of business from donahoe’s failed leadership! donahoe and his service slashing policies already have costs the post office billions in lost or
    unattained revenue. futhermore, i find it amazing that more people don’t seem interested that donahoe is breaking the law when he insists that he will consolidate the p &dc and THEREFORE REDUCE SERVICE STANDARDS BEFORE THE PRC HAS TAKEN TESTIMONY, HELD HEARINGS, AND ISSUED THEIR NON-BINDING OPINION ON THE SERVICE REDUCTION!!!!!! donahoe just appears to do whatever the hell he wants without being accountable to anyone. the law requires the prc to issue an opinion before major changes in service standards can be implemented. why not follow the law????

  • stressed out

    There is so much talk about not being able to replace top “management”. With so many top executives in the country laid off from their jobs and not being able to find a new job because of being over-qualified, get rid of the PMG and all the vice-presidents and most of the management teams, I’m sure there would be a substantial number of more than qualified applicants!!! (Sorry, I’m not management–I got carried away with the one-sentence paragraph)

  • bob komar

    When is Someone(CONGRESS) going to WAKE UP and do something to save the PO? Not by giving us a BAILOUT ..BUT WHAT IS OWED!!!!!..the OVER PAYMENTS,then RID the PO of the MORONIC LEADERSHIP that does not have a CLUE HOW TO MAKE $.. there have been MANY IDEAS GIVEN by the CRAFT that are IGNORED.. CHARGE MIN. FOR HOLD MAIL..CHARGE MIN. to FWD CHANGE OF ADDRESSES!.. instead the DOPES at le’enfant want to sell ornaments..cards(can’t compete with HALLMARK!)

  • kingfisher552

    Is anyone really surprised? The workers (not management) at USPS are not .These idiots have not the foggiest idea what they are doing. But, why should they? Management has been allowed to ruin the organization, and bring it to it’s present state. Oh yes, Congress carries a share of the blame, to be sure. But Potter/Donahue and their kind just keep trucking along.

  • jo

    Stressed out is right.Real management in management positions.What a concept!

  • TFO

    How does the PMG justify his salary? He should be fired!!!!!!

  • postman

    oh well i guess that makes replacing a car that was fine with a new shinny car allright then. sounds like tony is in upper management. im sure we could use that money elsewhere. i really doubt there was something saying make sure this money gets used for mpoo covert street spying.