Comparison of USPS Separation Incentives offered Postmasters and Mail Handlers

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The following chart illustrates some basic information comparing separation information for Postmasters and Mail Handlers.  As the chart shows the primary difference is the size of the incentive.  Right now Postmasters that have been offered incentives have a clearer understanding than mail handlers about both the risks they face if they decide to stay and the benefits and risks of leaving. Both Postmasters and mail handlers need to get clear information about the Postal Service’s plans for restructuring Post Offices and processing facilities.   Postmasters that were offered incentives face a potential final RIF date in 2014.  There does not appear to be a similar date for mail handlers. Finally, employees who [...] Read more »

Is Poor Service Causing the USPS to lose Standard Mail Customers?

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For the First six months of the Postal Service’s fiscal year Standard Mail volume revenue is down 5.1% on a 6.2% in volume. While it is easy to blame the decline on a shift in advertising expenditures from away from mail advertising, the simultaneous release of Standard mail service performance data raises a different question. Is the postal Service losing customers because its print communications delivery product is not good enough to allow advertisers to coordinate their print advertising campaigns with advertising using other modes? The following table provides the percentage of Standard Mail Regular that meets the Postal Service’s service commitment for both destination entry and end-to-end. In five [...] Read more »

Why Capital Constraints Kill Alternative Fuel Vehicles at the USPS

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Reuters today has a story on the problems the Postal Service is having trying to improve the fuel efficiency of not only its 212,000 vehicles but also the thousands of vehicles operated by the trucking companies that provide most inter-facility transportation. This story came just a few days following a story in Zacks Equity Research talking about what FedEx is doing to improve its fuel efficiency and a press release from United Parcel Service describing its decision to purchase 100 all electric vehicles in California Both stories and the press release illustrate that there is an advantage of making a switch but making the switch requires a significant up front [...] Read more »

Mailhandler and Other USPS Separation Incentives

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The Postal Service has now announced separation incentives to the second group of employees in a month. Just as was the case with postmasters, the Postal Service is offering these incentives to all mail handlers including employees that would not be eligible to retire under either normal or voluntary early retirement conditions. However, the decision facing mail handlers is different as they have less information about what jobs will be available after August 31, 2012 than postmasters did when their early retirement announcement was made. Why is the Postal Service offering the Incentive to All Mail Handlers? The Postal Service’s separation incentive to Mail Handlers is broader than what might [...] Read more »

USPS Retail Database Needs More Frequent Updates

The Postal Service moved my local Post Office on 2nd Avenue Silver Spring between one and two weeks ago..   News stories about a potential move were announced in February when the Postal Service sold the 2nd Street Post Office to Insight Property Group  with the date of sale dependent of the the Postal Service finding a new location for both the retail and delivery operations. I leaned about the move when I drove by the new location and saw the U.S. Postal Service sign.  I checked on the Postal Service’s website today and it still identified the old, closed location, 8616 2nd Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910-9997, as the location of my nearest [...] Read more »

A Long Term Vision for the USPS

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Over the past week, the Postal Service announced significant changes in its business focus and management structure that could have significant impact on its ability to both serve customer needs and improve its financial position. The changes that the Postal Service is making suggests a vision for the Postal Service that goes beyond traditional postal services could include many non-traditional ways of meeting needs of its communication and parcel delivery customers. Competing Visions for the Future of the U.S. Postal Service The Postal Service’s vision for the future of a national postal operator in the United States is not the only one competing for attention. Congress has two distinct visions [...] Read more »

Separation Incentives for Postmasters and Other Postal Employees

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This week the Postal Service announced an early retirement incentives for Postmasters as part of its restructuring of rural retail service. This announcement will likely be the first of a set of early retirement incentive announcements that the Postal Service that the Postal Service makes in the next few weeks as it follows through with its plans to restructure First Class mail service standards and plant operating plans. Expected Announcements of Operating Changes and Facility Closures The Postal Service will announce on Thursday, May 17th, its plans for operating plan changes and facility closures that will occur this summer. The Federal Times has reported that in a press conference held [...] Read more »

USPS Lithium Battery Restrictions Hurts American Businesses

Over the past week, Postal Service restrictions on shipping electronic devices such as cell phones, mpc players, tablets and laptops that contain lithium batteries have attracted significant interest on Russian language websites and among Russian language twitter users.  The Postal Service will ban shipping consumer electronic devices (i.e. smart phones, tablets, laptops, and hearing aids among other items) starting May 16th due to UPU and international aviation bans of shipping lithium ion batteries  on commercial aircraft.  The last day for standard airmail international shipments is this  Friday, May 4.  As private sector carriers, DHL, FedEx and United Parcel Service, are not subject to the band they will continue to handle these shipments internationally.   However, [...] Read more »

Rural Post Office Plan Saves Money By Cutting Labor Hours and Compensation

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Today the Postal Service announced a major restructuring of how it provides retail services in rural communities.  The change will affect some 17,728 Post Offices.  While most news reports focused on the cuts in hours, the plan also makes major savings by replacing career Postmasters with lower paid part-time employees.  This plan is likely to remove rural Post Offices as a political roadblock to postal reform. The Postal Service’s plan, known as PostPlan, has four elements that dramatically restructure management of both rural and urban Post Offices.  However, the impact is likely greatest in rural post offices that only have one retail window.   There are three major types of changes [...] Read more »

Postal Service’s New Plan for Rural Post Offices Coming Today

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H.R. 2309 has been on a slow track in the House of Representatives since the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the bill on January 17, 2012.  It took the House Rules committee two months until it marked up provisions under its jurisdiction on March 29.   Since then there has been no word about floor action even with the end of the moratorium on facility closures approaching. Senate Votes Shows That Future of Rural Service Will Determine Future of Postal Reform In the Senate, the coalition that passed S. 1789, the 21st Century Act of 2012 represented a coalition of Democrats and mostly rural-state Republicans.  In particular, all Republican Senators from Alaska, Arkansas, [...] Read more »