"We've also been in pretty close discussions with them over the last month," Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman told MyPrintResource.com.
It just so happens that the Postal Service revealed its "workforce optimization" plan, including cuts of 220,000 career employees and rescinding of no-layoff clauses in union contracts, exactly a month ago. (See Donahoe's Downsizing Plan for USPS Yields Huge PR Coup for more on how the proposal has drawn attention to USPS's financial plight.) The White House revealed last week that it is finally developing its own plan to prevent USPS from becoming insolvent.
"We are in the process of having intense discussions now with the Administration about what the content of that plan will be," Stroman said during the 11-minute interview from the floor of Graph Expo, a major printing trade show. Several meetings with the Administration are scheduled for this week, he added.
Other highlights of the interview included:
Ending the Medicare subsidy: "We are the second biggest payer into Medicare and yet our retirees don’t use Medicare. They use the existing federal government retirement healthcare system. We are not reaping any benefits" from the Medicare payments. USPS wants it retirees to rely mostly on Medicare, with "a postal healthcare system as a backstop."
More post-office closure studies: Once it decides on the fate of about 3,700 underperforming post offices, USPS will begin studying whether to close another 4,000 post offices.
Lower costs, better service: By shutting thousands of post offices and providing more services via privately owned stores, the Postal Service can both save money and improve customer access. "Our customers want access to postal products on a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour basis." It will provide that through "village post offices" in retail stores. "We have a tremendous relationship with Office Depot" and are negotiating deals with other major retailers.
On price increases: "One of the things we have seen in ongoing discussions with the print industry is that the industry itself is functioning with very close profit margins. We have been very concerned that we not raise prices too high because you just drive people out of the business," which ends up hurting the Postal Service.