Senate Appropriations Committee Actions Could Slow USPS Actions

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The Washington Post has reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the finance and general government appropriations bill that 1) retained maintained the requirement that the Postal Service provide 6-day delivery and 2) prohibited the Postal Service from close small post offices in FY 2013 and prohibited closure of mail processing facilities before 2014 and not until a study by the USPS Inspector General. The appropriations bill sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and raised objections from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who argued that the Appropriations Committee action effectively picked apart S.1789, a bill that she cosponsored, which the Senate had recently passed. The Associated Press reports the Senate [...] 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 »

S.1789 Is Unlikely To Save Overnight First Class Mail As We Know It

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Section 201 of S.1789, The 21st Century Postal Reform Act, purports to save overnight delivery.  However, a closer look at the language of this section of the bill shows that an overnight delivery commitment will truly be available to fewer customers than most members of the Senate think.  In particular, First Class single-piece mailers will see little benefit from the delivery standard provisions in S.1789 that were designed to ensure overnight service as they are unlikely to tender their mail to the Postal Service before the critical entry time required to ensure delivery overnight. The Geographic Reach of Overnight Service is Now Significantly Less The current S.1789 limits next day service to [...] Read more »

What Happened to USPS Early Out Notices?

Pat Donahoe

Boy did I blow it.  I thought the Postal Service was actually going to implement its network optimization on the schedule they told mailers, unions, and management associations.   That schedule would have required beginning the process last week in order for the Postal Service to implement the service standard change in late may and start reassigning employees in late June.  Now, it looks like the Postal Service has blinked.  What is unclear is for how long.   The Postal Service continues to state that the Network Optimization Initiative is the core of its business plan.   Pat Donahoe testimony today before the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and Labor Policy of the Committee [...] Read more »

Politics, Network Optimization and Early Retirement

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As Senator Susan Collins’ speech on the Senate floor indicated, the Postal Service’s announcements that it is going ahead with its network optimization plan shortly after the moratorium expires on May 15th has created some significant political blowback. While this has not changed the Postal Service’s public statements on network optimization, the Postal Service has its network support staff developing staffing plans for a range of scenarios based on how the political winds blow. Scenario 1 – The Postal Service Follows its Publicly Announced Plan Under this plan, the Postal Service changes its service standards starting on Saturday, May 19, 2012. The Postal Service will announce the change on or [...] Read more »

Optimized Postal Service Infrastructure

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The Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General recently asked me alonge with Cliff Guffey, President of the American Postal Workers Union, John Callen, Director of Ursa Major Associates, LLC, to answer this question: What would an optimized Postal Service infrastructure look like in the 21st century and beyond? The other two authors took very different approaches to answering the question. Cliff Guffey – presents a vision for a vibrant competitive Postal infrastructure.  His post presents a vision of a postal infrastructure that maintains many characteristics of the existing United States Postal Service John Callen - argues that the Postal Service should be limited to what it can do better than the private [...] Read more »

Nearly one-third of APWU Mail Processing Jobs Cut in Eastern Area

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Looking at the APWU job cuts as a proportion of total APWU jobs by craft shows the extent of the impact on individual employees and provides some idea as to the impact on mail handlers, supervisors, managers and administrative personnel. and The projected job cuts that the Postal Service provided the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) shows that three Areas will see mail processing jobs cut by more than 20% with the Eastern Area seeing job cuts of nearly one-third.   Information on maintenance crafts suggests that the consolidation is expected to reduce maintenance employees  by nearly 20% by over 80% in two areas with over 56% of  nationwide. The following table [...] Read more »

Impact of USPS Consolidations on Employees

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Last week, the Postal Service provided employees significantly more information regarding the scale of the changes coming to its operations and for many employees whether the facility they now work at will remain open. While this information has provided employees with some indication as to what lies ahead, the details as to what will happen to individual employees remain sketchy. The following set of questions and answers provide information contained in the Postal Service’s “Our Future Network” website, presentations to Postal Unions, bulletins of Postal management associations and press reports from both national and local news sources. When Will the Postal Service Start to Make Changes? Based on information provided [...] Read more »

The Postal Service Business Plan: the Result of Choosing a Government Business Model

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The Postal Service today presented a 5-year business plan that it calls a Plan for Profitability. The plan represents the impact of the investment bank Evercore partners and clearly indicates that Evercore was required to develop a plan that maintained the financial and market restrictions of a quasi-governmental Postal Service. Therefore the plan differs significantly from successful plans for profitability of most foreign postal administrations. The two key differences are 1) the plan does not include an infusion of capital, mostly coming from private sector; and 2) the plan does not include the commercial freedom to fully exploit the value of the Postal Service brand or its human, physical or [...] Read more »

Relevance of PRC Decision In Network Optimization Review

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Right now the Postal Service has committed to Congress to hold off closing postal facilities and implementing Network Optimization Initiative (NOI) until mid-May. This date is two months before the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) will close the record on the Postal Service’s NOI proposal and between three to five months before the Commission publishes its opinion. The difference in time between when the Postal Service promised Congress that it would implement Network Optimization Imitative and when the Commission will issue raises an interesting question. Does the Postal Service have to wait for the Commission’s decision to act? Some believe that the Postal Service does not have the legal obligation to [...] Read more »