NALC statement on OIG’s report regarding USPS financial services

The U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report today on “The Road Ahead for Postal Financial Services.” Below is a statement from Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers:

NALC-LOGOThe OIG’s report contains interesting observations and recommendations on ways the Postal Service can begin to serve the needs of 68 million adults in this country who have either no access or only limited access to basic financial services.

Of particular interest are services that the Postal Service could immediately pursue since it already has the authority to provide such services as money orders, post-office-to-post-office money transfers, bill payment, check cashing, international remittances and automatic teller machine (ATM) access. These basic services would give a much-needed option to those with no alternative available in their communities.

Because post offices are located everywhere—urban centers, suburbs and rural America; not simply located according to profit models—they are a ready-made network for people to come to, to obtain affordable financial services administered by highly trained, experienced and trusted public servants. This infrastructure includes more than 30,000 post offices and is the largest, best-distributed physical network in the country.

This model has been successful in many other countries and has the potential, according to the OIG, to generate at least $1.1 billion of revenue annually, which would allow the Postal Service to continue its innovative efforts.

The OIG’s recommendations are a good place to start, and we urge the Postal Service to take steps to immediately pursue these opportunities to fill the unmet needs of those in underserved communities.

Source: NALC statement on OIG’s report regarding USPS financial services | National Association of Letter Carriers AFL-CIO

Chaffetz Committee to investigate whether USPS uses mail network savings to subsidize package delivery

jason_chaffetzJason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, apparently thinks the US Postal Service might be using money saved from service cutbacks in its “market dominant” products (e.g. first class mail) to finance expansion of its package delivery business and other “competitive” services. Under the 2006 PAEA law, competitive products have to pay their own way, and the USPS is required to pay the equivalent of corporate income tax on competitive revenues. Those “tax” payments are then supposed to help support the postal service’s market dominant, “universal service” products.

Chaffetz suggests the USPS might be doing just the opposite. In a letter to Postmaster General Megan Brennan, Chaffetz points out that the USPS has said as much in its own public staements, pointing to a faq published on the Network Rationalization site that says cost savings from plant consolidations and other cutbacks “should better position the Postal Service to make the needed investment in package processing and other automation equipment, and in our delivery fleet, which will help us to grow our package business” Continue reading

What Are They Trying to Hide? USPS Buries Performance Report

05/13/2015 – The Postal Service’s second quarter performance scores are in – but you wouldn’t know it from looking at their website.

Instead of posting a press release bragging about on-time delivery scores – as management typically does – the results are tucked away at the bottom of the Postal Regulatory Commission’s daily filings page and buried on an obscure page on the USPS website.

So what exactly is the Postal Service trying to hide?

The results are bad – very bad.

The APWU has not yet had the chance to fully analyze the official, published reports, but we know from an analysis of preliminary results that on-time delivery of first-class mail dropped dramatically in early 2015 compared to the same period in 2014.

According to an April 27 Washington Post article titled, “It’s not just you: Letters really are taking longer to get delivered:”

  • A decision by the Postal Service this past January to abandon overnight mail delivery is causing severe delays in mail delivery.
  • “Preliminary internal data shows that the Postal Service did not meet even its lower targets for first-class mail during the first seven weeks of 2015, with letters that are supposed to take three days … arriving on time just 54 percent to 63 percent of the time.”

Despite the terrible performance scores, postal management is pushing ahead with plans to close and consolidate mail processing centers, which will further devastate mail delivery throughout the country.

The APWU is standing up and fighting back! During contract negotiations, the APWU has made the unprecedented move of bringing consumer issues to the bargaining table, insisting that quality service is crucial to maintaining a strong public Postal Service.

In addition to proposals that would protect good, stable jobs, postal workers are demanding extended hours at post offices, shorter wait time in line for customers, an end to the closure of mail sorting centers, restoration of prompt mail delivery, and the addition of new services, including postal banking.

“We need everyone to contact their members of Congress and ask them to stop further consolidations and closures and to restore high service standards,” said APWU Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy.