In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe expressed optimism about the agency’s future, and pointed to reductions in staffing and expenses the USPS had achieved despite the lack of Congressional action. He also appeared to confirm fears that the USPS might provide higher levels of service to some affluent communities, even as it reduces services across the country.
He told the WSJ that the USPS had reduced staffing by 200,000 employees since 2006. While accepting that labor costs account for 80 percent of postal service expenses (and that “it will always be that high”), he pointed to the fact that twenty percent of the current staff are non-career part time workers. Curiously, he suggested later in the interview that the percentage would drop in the future, telling the interviewer that the USPS “in the near term” required about 400,000 career emplyees, and 60,000 non-career. That works out to a non-career percentage of 13%.
Continued staffing and cost reductions would depend on Congressional action to allow the USPS to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, but the PMG promised “package delivery seven days a week in ZIP codes that can support Sunday”.
Donahoe also said that while the USPS would continue to seek partnerships with the private sector, he doesn’t think it should be privatized.