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Rolando: Results reconfirm the steady improvement in USPS’ finances

NALC-LOGOFrom the National Association of Letter Carriers:

Following today’s release of the U.S. Postal Service’s financial statement for the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2014, which covers January, February and March, NALC President Fredric Rolando released the following statement:

The Postal Service today reported a quarterly operating profit of $261 million, which brings the operating profit for the first half of fiscal 2014 to more than $1 billion. Driving the quarterly performance were the 8 percent jump in package revenue and—in a turnaround—the 1.6 percent increase in letter revenue.

These results reconfirm the steady improvement in the finances of the Postal Service, which has been operating at a profit since October 2012. Rising online shopping has sparked a jump in package revenue, while a gradually rebounding economy has stabilized mail revenue. That’s why the USPS forecasts a $1.1 billion operating profit this year.

Given these positive trends, it would be irresponsible to degrade services to the public, which would drive away mail—and revenue—and stop the postal turnaround in its tracks. Lawmakers shouldn’t dismantle the postal network that is profitable in meeting the needs of an evolving society.

Instead, legislators should address the factor that is causing 100 percent of the losses—the congressional mandate that the Postal Service, alone among all public agencies and private companies, be required to pre-fund future retiree health benefits.

We will be glad to work with lawmakers and the postmaster general to develop a comprehensive plan that strengthens the existing networks while addressing the unfair pre-funding obligation so the Postal Service, which is based in the Constitution, can continue to provide Americans with the world’s most affordable and efficient delivery network without a dime of taxpayer money.

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National Review thinks postal workers should earn less than they did 36 years ago- and be grateful…

The National Review, that bastion of traditional entitled conservatism, founded by the quintessential erudite elitist William F. Buckley, has weighed in on the Stop Staples campaign. The Review thinks that postal workers should be attacking their union rather than USPS management or Staples.

That in itself tells you a lot about the right wing mindset. They have a problem with democracy, and can’t quite grasp the idea that postal workers belong to unions by choice, and they elect the union leadership (or as the right wingers like to call them, “union bosses”). So telling workers to attack their unions is the same as telling them to attack themselves.

Here’s how the Review explains why postal workers should apparently be lobbying to slash their own pay:

Consumers benefit from having more options, and the Postal Service may also save, if a recent internal memo is any indication. The memo estimated that private-sector retailers could offer the same mail services for less than a third the cost, which gives a bracingly clear picture of how inflated mail workers’ pay has become. The memo also added that “the [Staples] pilot will be used to determine if lower costs can be realized with retail partner labor instead of the labor traditionally associated with retail windows at Post Offices.”

So as far as the heirs of Bill Buckley are concerned, postal workers wages are incredibly “inflated”? Really? A level five clerk at top step makes around $52,000 a year. That works out to $25 an hour. I’d love to see the writers at the National Review try to survive on that. Read More

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Postal workers alliance sends letter to Issa opposing latest reform proposal

The four unions representing rank and file postal workers have sent the following letter to Darrel Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Elijah Cummings, the Ranking Member:

alliance

Dear Mr. Issa and Mr. Cummings:

We write to share our views on the hearing held on April 8, 2014 on the President’s proposals in the FY 2015 budget regarding the U.S. Postal Service. We write on behalf of nearly 500,000 postal employees who live and work in every Congressional District in America and who belong to our unions. We respectfully request that this letter be included in the record of the hearing. Read More

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Maine Congressman Calls on Speaker Boehner to Bring Postal Reform Legislation to the Floor after Recess

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Mike Michaud is calling on Speaker John Boehner to prioritize legislation that would promote the stability and sustainability of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Rep. Michaud has sent a letter to the Speaker urging him to take action following the April recess. If Speaker Boehner refuses to act, postal facility hours will be cut, service standards will be reduced, and thousands of postal jobs will be lost. Read More

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Rolando: Postal Service needs real reform

From the National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALC-LOGOApril, 8, 2014–Following today’s House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the Obama administration’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the United States Postal Service, National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando released the following statement:

Today’s hearing focused on the Obama administration’s proposals to slash postal services, proposals that were first developed during the Biden-Cantor deficit reduction talks in 2011 and have been included in the four budgets released since. Portions of these proposals are included in H.R. 2748.

But we are not dealing with the same Postal Service we were when H.R. 2748 and the administration’s budget proposals were originally crafted. The proposals did not make sense in 2011 because they never offered a real solution to the Postal Service’s financial challenges, which were largely created by Congress.

The proposals make even less sense now: The Postal Service has returned to operational profitability and is capturing a growing share of the booming e-commerce market. USPS had an operating profit of $623 million in 2013 and in the first quarter of 2014 alone reported black ink of $1.1 billion.

Congress should focus on unchaining USPS from the retiree health pre-funding burden–which is required of no other public or private entity–and freeing the agency to grow and innovate. Discussing job-killing proposals that degrade or dismantle our invaluable postal networks is not the conversation we should be having.

It’s time to move forward with innovative solutions that allow the Postal Service to evolve and use its established network to serve the nation’s communication and e-commerce needs.

It’s time to start thinking about how we bolster service for tens of millions of businesses and households that have come to rely on door-to-door delivery, six days a week.

It’s time to discuss how to position the Postal Service to build successful partnerships with more American businesses, like Amazon has in moving toward seven-day delivery.

It’s no longer 2009. The Postal Service’s employees have done their part to help the Postal Service bounce back from the Great Recession as some 200,000 jobs have been eliminated. In fact, the service cuts have gone too far, all to pay for a misguided pre-funding policy.

Now it’s time for Congress to strengthen the postal recovery, not cripple the Postal Service with even more destructive service and job cuts.

Read more: Rolando: Postal Service needs real reform.