USPS mulls delivery, office cuts to save itself by ProQuest

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USPS mulls delivery, office cuts to save itself
by cara Wood                                         first introduced in January 2009. It would           Union support for other planned cuts to            delivery weeks because mail volumes are
: Mailers, US Postal Service officials and           allow the USPS to contribute its share for        work hours, delivery weeks and network                down so drastically. The NLP has proposed
legislators have been keeping a close eye            annuitants’ health benefits out of the Postal     distribution centers has faced a lot of scru-         making PO Boxes available for Saturday
on the agency’s attempts to rescue itself            Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, rather      tiny in recent weeks. In early July, a letter         delivery or caller service for those who need
from a pending financial crisis at the end of        than adding to the pre-existing fund.             was sent to the White House on behalf of              Saturday mail. The USPS’ five-day delivery
this fiscal year. The USPS reportedly loses             It’s estimated this measure would pro-         the American Postal Workers Union, the                study states there would be no collection of
$20 million per day. Proposals currently on          vide about $2.5 billion in relief for the next    National Rural Letter Carriers Association,           rural, contract or city route mail, and remit-
the table include cutting delivery to five           three years — not the full eight for which        the National Association of Letter Carri-             tance mail would be made available through
days per week, consolidating branches and            the bill originally called. If enacted, the       ers and the National Postal Mail Handlers             PO Boxes and caller service.
receiving relief from the government to fund                                                           Union requesting a bailout beyond the relief             As with all other proposals, Congress
future retirees’ health benefits.                                                                      from HR 22. Representatives, including                must approve this adjustment before it is
   In an open letter to members of the                      totaL MaiLing service                      Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), chairman                passed. For now, mailers must await the
National League of Postmasters (NLP)                        revenue decLine (Q2)                       of the House Oversight and Government                 expected public surveys, including a Gallup
on July 20, NLP president Charley Mapa                                   11%                           Reform subcommittee, were skeptical of the            poll, on all of these matters before more
acknowledged that an unpublicized meeting                                                              likelihood of a full bailout. “There’s little         formal USPS requests are filed. The Federal
about the financial health of the USPS with                       2008 net Loss                        appetite [in the White House] for another             Register will post scheduled meetings as
postal officials and Postmaster General John                           $2.8B                           bailout,” Lynch says.                                 they are announced. l
Potter took place earlier this month.                                                                     The USPS is on schedule to cut more
   “In a year when the nation’s largest finan-                     net Loss                            than $6 billion in expenses during 2009,                     iMPortant dateS
cial institutions and our largest automobile                     end of Q2 2009                        largely due to a reduction in work hours,                   for CoMMentinG on
manufacturers needed billions and billions                             $707M                           Potter says.                                               PoStal ConSolidation
of dollars of bailout money from the federal                                                              The Postal Regulatory Commission will
government… the Postal Service would                                                                   hold a pre-hearing conference on July 30               July 28 requests Due
have been profitable [by more than $2 bil-           USPS would still have a $4 billion deficit        to hear public views on the USPS’ July 2               July 30 Hearing at 9:30 am
lion] had it not been for this obligation [to        in 2009. On July 10, a consideration com-         proposal to close some of its retail stations          in the commission’s hearing room
fund retirees],” Mapa’s letter said. He added        mittee was held by the Subcommittee on            and branches. Dallas, Hawaii, Las Vegas and            “Station and Branch optimization and
that the USPS is the only government entity          Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the           Cleveland ar
								
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