The Associated Press and various news sources reported over the weekend that Postmaster General Pat Donahoe plans to push forward with his plan to reduce service standards for US Mail.
The announcement followed public town hall meetings in many locations across the country including Lynchburg and Roanoke.
At these meetings, Postal employees and customers spoke out overwhelmingly against the proposed changes. The proposed changes include closing over 250 mail processing facilities across the country and eliminating overnight service for First Class Mail.
Additional changes in the works include the closure of almost 4,000 Post Offices in communities across the country. Another 4,000 offices are being reviewed for possible closure after the first round.
As with previous announcements made regarding Postal changes, employees found out via the news on television or the internet. No mention was made to Postal employees before the announcement was made to mailers and the press.
For employees and customers, it feels as though their voices haven’t been heard. At many of the public meetings, hundreds of people turned out and none favored the proposals.
But this is the step that the Postmaster General feels is necessary in order to “return to profitability.”
The savings that Postal Service hopes to gain with these changes will be facility rental fees, costs of maintaining buildings, sale of some properties, reduction in vehicles, and reduction in the number of employees.
Closures of Postal facilities will likely result in Postal job losses and Postal layoffs for as many as 120,000 current employees. However, reducing employees by layoffs is forbidden under the current contract which the Postal Service signed in May 2011.
Only time will tell if the savings will match the projections. In the meantime, employees wait to learn their fate. Will there be jobs somewhere? Nobody knows at this time.
Some facts you may not know about the Postal Service
- USPS receives no tax dollars for it’s operations, relying on postage and fees
- USPS is under a Universal Service Obligation to provide uniform service to all Americans at a uniform price
- USPS handles more than 40% of the world’s mail
- USPS was not intended to be a money making venture but rather a service to the American people as spelled out in the US Constitution
- USPS is required to prefund retirement and health care costs for employees up to 75 years in advance
- USPS is the nation’s second largest civilian employer
- USPS delivers mail to more than 42,000 ZIP codes in the United States
- USPS processes and delivers more than 177 billion pieces of mail annually
- USPS serves seven million customers daily at retail locations
- USPS provides ‘last mile’ delivery service for many packages sent via UPS and Fed-Ex to locations including rural addresses and Post Office boxes
- USPS is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, nearly 151 million homes, businesses, and Post Office boxes
- USPS currently employs approximately 574,000 career employees but hopes to reduce that number to about 350,000 through layoffs and attrition
- USPS employees pledge $38 million annually through the Combined Federal Campaign for various charities
- The mail carrier is the only person some elderly people who live alone see on a regular basis
- Postal mail carriers have been heros to and saved the lives of many injured people who have fallen inside their homes
- USPS serves those in rural communities, the poor, those without vehicles or computer access, those living in inner cities, and the rest of the American population equally
- USPS delivers mail to every address using every means possible including planes, trains, boats, trucks, cars, ferries, helicopters, subways, float planes, hovercrafts, snowmobiles, bicycle, feet, and even mules
- Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General, appointed in 1775
- Most Postal workers are hard-working people like you who are proud of their company and proud of the service they provide
Many of these Postal facts are taken from information at www.usps.com.