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PMG tells employees he doesn’t want to privatize USPS

From USPS News Link:

The news media, blogs and social media often comment that some Postal Service initiatives — or recommendations in pending legislation — are steps toward privatizing the organization.

No one is planning to privatize USPS.

“USPS is doing all it can to grow business, not sell it off,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “Initiatives like business and retail partnerships will benefit employees by helping build growth and financial stability into the future.”

Retail alliances — where USPS sells products and services through Approved Shippers, Contract Postal Units, or Village Post Offices —  give customers more choices where and when they can purchase postal products and services.

These relationships also secure the long-term future of the Postal Service — a goal all stakeholders want. “These partnerships provide greater value and convenience for our current customers and also will attract new customers,” said Donahoe. “This is good for the organization and for our employees.”

Donahoe said USPS is doing what any business that wants to survive and prosper does — adapting to a rapidly changing marketplace and meeting customer needs. “If we don’t adjust, we’ll become another outdated 20th century business — stuck with a rigid business model that doesn’t work,” he said.

Read more: USPS News Link Story – USPS sets the record straight.

Video: PMG’s State of the Business Message for Employees

A message to all employees of the United States Postal Service from Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.

Senator Tester: Donahoe “wants to privatize” USPS

testerSenator Jon Tester (D-MT) has been an outspoken critic of USPS service cuts. In today’s Washington Post he takes aim at the PMG’s actions in shutting down processing facilities and outsourcing retail operations to Staples:

“What I see this postmaster general doing is shutting down post offices, then saying let Staples do it,” Tester said. “Well, guess what: I don’t have a Staples.” Tester farms wheat outside Big Sandy, Mont., which has 600 residents.

And then Tester gets to the heart of the issue, suggesting that the PMG’s actions are part of a scheme to privatize the USPS:

Donahoe “can say whatever he wants,” Tester said, “but I think he wants to privatize. And I think there’s plenty of people in Congress who agree with that. I don’t.”

Read more: Staples’ selling postal products without USPS workers brings complaints of privatization – The Washington Post.

PMG thanks employees for “banner” holiday season

From USPOS News Link:

Preliminary figures from the just-concluded holiday shipping season indicate USPS — and its customers — enjoyed a banner holiday season.

During the period Dec. 1-25, USPS processed 19 percent more packages than during the same period in 2012. Almost every day during that period, the Postal Service processed higher numbers of parcels than on the corresponding day during last year’s holiday shipping season.

“I want to especially thank our employees across the country,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “They made this holiday season a special time to remember for our customers. Major customers told me they were pleased with the levels of high service they received from our employees. The dedication and resolve of our employees is commendable and helps to justify the trust our customers have in our ability to deliver.”

Several news organizations posted stories about USPS employees who braved harsh winter conditions and worked through the weekend of Dec. 21-22 and on Christmas Day to deliver heavier-than-ever volumes of packages. St. Petersburg, FL Letter Carrier Michael FitzGerald told ABC News, “A lot more stuff, a lot more, almost everything is [Priority Mail] now.”

FitzGerald was heartened by his customers’ reaction for his work delivering mail and parcels the Sunday before Dec. 25 and on Christmas Day. “It’s always gratifying,” he said. “It’s nice to see how happy our customers looked.”

With Christmas Day comes the advent of the holiday returns season. Returns feature flat rates using Priority Mail flat rate boxes, free package pickup, online label printing, tracking, and more.

Business customers can use Priority Mail Returns Service, First-Class Package Return Service, or Ground Return Service to help their customers make returns easier. The usps.com website has more information.

“We want to finish the season by successfully processing the returns we receive,” said Donahoe. “I’m confident we’ll give our customers the same high levels of service we delivered earlier this month.”

Read more: USPS News Link Story – ‘A special time to remember’.

Video: PMG optimistic, sees more staffing cuts, 7 day package delivery in ZIPs that can “support” it

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.

Read more: Why the Postmaster General Says He’s an Optimist Despite Red Ink – WSJ.com.

Video: PMG’s State of the Postal Service Message

A message to all employees of the United States Postal Service from Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe.

Video: PMG’s “State of the Postal Service”

The PMG talks about alternative health plan proposals for postal workers and retirees.

Video: Postmaster General talks about revenue, 5 day and DonahoeCare

Postmaster General Pat Donahoe appeared on Fox Business Channel to talk about the USPS’s financial woes:


Postmaster General: Looking at plan to generate additional funds | Fox Business Video.

PMG Tells Senate: Postal Service in Midst of Financial Disaster, Liquidity Remains Dangerously Low

Postmaster-General-DonahoeWASHINGTON — Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told a U.S. Senate committee today that the U.S. Postal Service is in the midst of a financial disaster and that its cash liquidity remains dangerously low.

Donahoe is seeking legislation that will enable the Postal Service to act with speed and flexibility in the mailing and shipping marketplace and help it close a $20 billion budget gap by 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Fed unions say DonahoeCare would “destabilize the FEHBP and raise costs for federal employees, retirees, and their families”

Postmaster General Pat Donahoe’s proposal to yank postal workers (excluding himself and a few other privileged folks) out of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program has drawn the ire of three unions that represent non- postal federal workers.

The National Treasury Employees Union, American Federation of Government Employees, and the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association have jointly sent a letter to members of the Senate committee that oversees the USPS criticizing the Senate bill, S.1486, that would authorize Donahoe to proceed with his plan.

The unions note that the bill would

“allow the United States Postal Service (USPS) to cherry pick the largest areas of cost savings from FEHBP, which will destabilize the FEHBP and raise costs for federal employees, retirees, and their families. The Office of Personnel Management has estimated that as a result of these provisions, premium increases for employees and retirees remaining in the FEHBP would be 2 percent across the board and could be as high as 35 percent for some plans.”

Read the rest of this entry »