In a flurry of media yesterday it was announced by the CEO of US Postal Service (aka the Postmaster General) Patrick Donahoe that beginning in August the USPS would stop delivering mail on Saturdays.
Wait, WHAT? That is right, the USPS plans to illegally stop delivering mail to your home or business on saturdays.
Why would they do this? That is not a simple answer.
The USPS is a very special government entity. They collect no money from taxes and are completely self funded. This means the entire postal service is paid for by selling stamps. They are like a private company with one big catch, everything they do is mandated by Congress.
You may have heard different, or you may have heard the Post Office is going bankrupt. There is a little truth to both of those statements. The employees of the USPS are federal employees and are covered under the Federal Employee’s Retirement System (FERs). In fact the USPS is the single largest section of the federal workforce with over 800,000 employees currently. In 2006, President Bush signed into a law a bill that forced the USPS to PRE-PAY their retirement contributions. Basically the USPS has to PRE-PAY the retirement system for the next 75 years in the next 10 years. This equates to about $5 Billion dollars a years in over payments.
In what is being called a solution to the ‘funding problems’ the USPS released a statement:
“The United States Postal Service announced plans today to transition to a new delivery schedule during the week of Aug. 5, 2013 that includes package delivery Monday through Saturday, and mail delivery Monday through Friday. The Postal Service expects to generate cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually, once the plan is fully implemented.”
Even without a legislative fix to correct the true problem in the USPS, this $2 billion dollars in savings would not be enough to ‘save the USPS from bankruptcy’.
National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredic Rolando condemned the actions in his statement.
“The National Association of Letter Carriers has tried time and again to work with Postal Service management to pursue growth measures and cost savings, but it has become clear that the Postal Service leadership’s only strategy is to gut the unique postal network that provides us with the world’s most affordable delivery service, and to eliminate the services on which Americans depend.”
The statement from USPS CEO Donahoe drew criticism from many in New Hampshire including Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.
“Congresswoman Shea-Porter has asked to be added as a cosponsor to H.Res 30, which expresses the sense of the House that the Postal Service should maintain six-day delivery.”
“The US Postal Service is a vital resource for communities throughout our state and our country,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “Eliminating Saturday mail-delivery does not adequately address the issues facing the United States Postal Service. This is the wrong approach because the Postal Service will lose vital business and consumers will be hurt.”
Congresswoman Annie Kuster has been a long time supporter of the NH Association of Letter Carriers. She sent us this statement.
“I am very disappointed by the Postal Service’s decision, and am opposed to the cancellation of Saturday mail service. That’s why I’m a cosponsor of H.Res. 30, bipartisan legislation supporting 6-day delivery. Instead of cutting jobs and services, the Postal Service needs sensible reform to fix the onerous pre-funding requirement for future retiree health benefits, boost innovation and efficiency, reduce costs, and provide new and improved services to New Hampshire communities.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen also responded to the news with this statement.
“I’m disappointed by today’s announcement from the U.S. Postal Service,” Shaheen said yesterday. “I hope the USPS continues to understand the importance of its six-day-a-week package delivery, which many Americans rely on for crucial needs like prescription medications.”
This plan to stop delivering mail and still continue to deliver packages on Saturday is very confusing especially to those who actually deliver the mail. Wayne Altiserio, president of the New Hampshire State Association of Letter Carriers told the Eagle Tribune:
“(The USPS) is stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime. If you’re going to go there with a package, why not bring the mail, too? We have a lot of packages we’re already delivering.”
What are we to do? If we do nothing then we will continue to see the erosion of the USPS until there will be nothing left of the most trusted government agency who process and deliver 40% of the worlds mail every day. We must take action!
Go to Save America’s Postal Service petition and sign up to preserve six day delivery.
Contact your Congressional Representative and tell them to stop forcing the USPS to pre-fund their retirement system and preserve six day delivery.
Then show you friends and family that you support the USPS. Click this link to share the image below on Facebook (or click here to tweet)
via Save Americas Postal Service (Facebook)