Saturday, April 6, 2013

5 Myths of Saturday Mail Delivery

Misunderstandings abound regarding the U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to end Saturday delivery of all mail except parcels later this year. Here some of the most common myths:

1) Congress recently put a stop to the plan. That’s the story told by the news media, Congress, and the Government Accountability Office, but it’s not necessarily true. Congress did indeed put the requirement to continue six-day mail delivery into a recently approved appropriations bill. But the USPS’s Office of Inspector General says that if the Postal Service merely refuses the pittance in such appropriations (which are mostly for free mail for the blind), it would not be blocked from ending Saturday delivery. And it’s not even clear whether USPS’s plan – which would continue Saturday delivery of certain types of mail – would violate the legislation.

2) Ending Saturday delivery would save USPS $2 billion per year. Even the Postal Service talks about $2 billion in savings, but in reality its position is that its profitability (cost savings minus lost revenue) would grow by $2 billion. The calculations have been subject to debate and competing interpretations, partly because of different assumptions about how much business would be lost. Also, the $2 billion estimate was for full cessation of Saturday delivery, not for the latest plan to have mostly non-career employees delivering profitable parcels on Saturday.

3) The loss of customers would hurt the Postal Service. Actually, it could be a blessing. The customers who care most about Saturday delivery are daily newspapers and certain weekly publications; few other mailers care so much about getting delivery on a specific day of the week. Newspapers may be USPS’s most unprofitable product because they are often inefficiently prepared for mailing, can be difficult to sort, and sometimes get special treatment. Even highly presorted and dropshipped weekly magazines – though not as unprofitable as USPS alleges – are no big money maker. And most will survive without Saturday delivery.

4) Letter carriers oppose ending Saturday delivery. Yes, the main carrier’s union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, is vehemently opposed to the Postal Service’s plan. But many rank-and-file carriers would be happy to get Saturdays off. The NALC is “fighting a battle the majority of its members do not want,” writes Tom Wakefield, a city carrier and NALC member who runs PostalMag.com.“Five-day would be such a benefit to letter carriers. Today, because of shortages of letter carriers in many districts, many, many carriers are being mandated to work on their days off against their wishes, often with less than 24 hours notice,” adds Wakefield, mirroring frequent comments by rank-and-file carriers to Dead Tree Edition and other sites. “Today, the ‘daily grind’ is stretched to six days, with a Sunday off and one day during the week for many carriers. Five-day would allow two days off in a row and the daily grind would only be five days.” Many carriers are also hoping that five-day delivery would cause USPS to thin its carrier ranks by offering retirement incentives.

5) Ending Saturday delivery is the key to saving the Postal Service. No one who has looked at USPS’s finances believes five-day delivery is a cure-all, regardless of their position on the Postal Service’s plan. Because of declining mail volumes, $2 billion alone is not enough turn around the Postal Service even if the accounting games with postal pensions and “pre-funded” retiree benefits are corrected. More cost cuts or, less likely, significant new revenue sources are needed to keep USPS afloat.

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49 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is probably the first article I've read that seems to make business sense.

Anonymous said...

this is the most fair and simply-stated article about the post office i've ever read.....i've read wakefields article and he is on target .... ( to be fair i am a postmaster, mult-generational employee and have other realatives who are carriers)

@dryMAILman said...

6?) Our workers' compensation deficit is fixed. In reality the workers' compensation deficit keeps doubling. If we try to deliver 7 days worth of mail in 5 or 4 days, it won't be long before this number hits $34 billion--although some might reasonably argue that a mail delivery operation with a $17 billion dollar workers' compensation deficit should be delivering mail zero days a week.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe most carriers support a 5 day delivery schedule. Also the overtime Monday or Tuesday after a holiday would be through the roof. Mail would sit on workroom floors for days backing up the system. It is difficult to get all the mail delivered in 6 days in some places. Cutting service to 5 day is just the start of a bigger plan. I support a 6 day delivery schedule.

Anonymous said...

There are so many false statements in this article. The Post Office lies about numbers all the time. When you factor in the overtiime that is goint to be needed to delever extra mail on Monday, and if there is a holiday in there, Carriers will be out till 7 or 8 at night. Ours are already out till 6 or later on heavy days. And most people I know, want Saturday deliveries. Not just for newspapers and magazines. How about medicine, contracts, parts, checks....Talk to the real people out there, and you will find a completly different view.

Anonymous said...

Finally someone that makes sense! I am a letter carrier and HOPE we go to five day. We are short handed at our office and rarely get our days off, so it would be wonderful to be guaranteed two days off in a row. And I might FINALLY get to go to some family functions!

Anonymous said...

After putting in for a Saturday off giving the proper 30 day notice, and getting denied, I will be missing my granddaughters birthday party. I say good by Saturdays. I missed to many family events thru the years.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering will people signed up to be a city letter carrier did they not know that they delivered mail SIX days a week? My family is aware that I can work on Saturdays and family functions are scheduled on Sunday so that I will be able to attend.

Anonymous said...

you wont be out late after all the boxes are at the curb...can hardly wait

Anonymous said...

if you want to work on saturday you will need to work elsewhere

Anonymous said...

this all should of been done years ago..we have no business walking up to peoples house and putting mail in their damn house

Anonymous said...

this article is so true its scary

Anonymous said...

I do keep reading the comment column and what's wrong with these fellow co-workers..."I miss my daughters,grandaughters party"...stop complaining...you choose this job..if do you dont want to keep doing this job ..just retire or take an early retirement and enjoy your parties,family functions or walking to people DAMN houses...Let the young people take over...

Anonymous said...

I don't think most of the carriers support the 5 day delivery...and those who are agree with it..I would like to see them when the Postmaster General announce in 3,4 or 5 years later that they are going to 4 or 3 days delivery....we need to stop that NOW.! before it's too late...

Anonymous said...

Many people rely on Saturday delivery for medicine, documents, newspapers, magazines, etc. in rural communities. Most elderly people don't have computers much less facebook or twitter accounts.
I believe the unions stance is if the postmaster general is allowed to go to five day delivery what's next three day delivery, two day delivery? Five day delivery would eliminate jobs period! This country certainly doesn't need that. Not with many military veterans seeking employment after serving their country and being employed by the U.S. Postal Service.
All of the talk about the postal service being bankrupt is all smoke and mirrors leading to privatization. Most letter carriers support 6 day delivery because they know it will affect jobs being eliminated. The only ones who are vocal and support 5 day delivery are the selfish ones who just think about themselves and don't care about the future of the postal service.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget... sick leave usage will skyrocket if carriers can't use their day off to visit the doc.

Anonymous said...

The P.O. should end Park and loop door to door delivery. It's the most time consuming and wasteful means of delivery. Installing ndcbu's in each neighborhood would be initially pricey but would realize savings and increase on-street productivity.
City carriers waste a LOT of time walking from house to house.

Anonymous said...

The po needs this. They will go five day come august. And I hope there a retirement incentive for supervisors.

Roy NJ said...

Most carriers want 6 day.The problem is some carriers dont want the overtime.However thts a staffing issue which leads to billions of dollars nation wide of grievances.Staff offices properly = no overtime or double time and that saves money.Buy out older carriers hire new ones for half the pay and no benifits for a year thats saves billions as well.That makes sense so the USPS wont do it,but most importantly end the pre-funding

Anonymous said...

Are you a full time carrier or an rca? Also, are you on the work relief list and get overtime for working satudays? What if they did go to 5 day delivery and regular carriers got auxilliary help from their subs on overburdened days?

Anonymous said...

Those who argue that Mondays mail will be burdensome make that assumption based on the current distribution plan. Yes, I knew that working Saturdays was a requirement when I started. So what! My pay was around $ 9.00 an hour. I knew that when I started. That does not stop me from wanting Saturdays off. Those that want to work on Saturday, get a part time job when we go to 5 day!

Anonymous said...

five day all yhe way. union wants to hire people to take away the overtime.which means more dues for them. does any of the fat cats in the union work on sat,

JBKLYN said...

I am carrier for almost 20 years, do you know what you're talking about. There are 10 carriers in my office who's position would be eliminated as soon as no Saturday goes into affect. One of those carriers isn't me, but in my situation my overtime would be drastically cut and the mail volume would increase for those five days. My office which is a FSS office had a number of routes cut because of FSS. The decreased office time that began because of FSS, created a number of ridiculous routes that was all based on a six day delivery plan. You tell me, what shall we do now when these routes are over burdoned and we go to five day with what we have here now. Then everything that was done here was all a waste of time, is it really a myth, maybe not to you. You won't be the one carrying the mail on your shoulder.

Anonymous said...

That arguement, that 5 day delivery would lead to 4 day, then 3 day, that the union loves to make over and over again, just doesn't hold water. Just remember, the union has their OWN agenda, and that's to keep the status quo, as far as their dues money rolling in is concerned. Furthermore, like a lot of carriers have mentioned, short staffing, including in MY office has lead to working my N/S day more often than not, especially during prime-time vacation period (i.e., summertime).

herman said...

CUT SATURDAY NALC MEMBER 30YR

Anonymous said...

For those carriers who have a business route, like me, Mondays are very heavy delivery days with a minimum of 1 hour OT required. But at least we get to case the mail on Saturday that will go out on Monday - a head start.

If 5 day delivery is implemented, Mondays on business routes will be a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

For all the ones on here talking about customers needing their medicine on Saturday. USPS said medicine will be delivered it is a parcel. To those who say what's next 4 day or even 3 day delivery. That is nothing more than a scare tactic. All these comments saying how heavy the mail will be on Monday or after a holiday without Saturday delivery it's absoulutely not possible to go to 4 or 3 day delivery. 5 day will be here to stay.

Anonymous said...

Yes they do work some Saturdays. But if the "fat cats" as you call them, is such an easy job why don't you become a union official and quit your bitching

Anonymous said...

Tom Wakefield does not speak for or represent letter carriers. KEEP 6 DAY.... 26 yr letter carrier and NALC Proud.

Anonymous said...

What planet are you from? Boxes at the curb don't make it any faster! Not especially when the postal service will give you more deliveries! We have carriers with 1,000 deliveries not making the truck on a daily basis you idiot!

Anonymous said...

AMEN To that!!! I only work as an area Steward in the rural craft, which means I'm like a local Steward in offices where there is no Steward, and even that is hard to keep up with cause i still carry my route. I get calls every day and am working some nights till 1 am doing paperwork and research so i can make sure the grievant is represented well.it is definitely a thankless job, but i do it cause i want to help people not to become a"fat cat"!

Anonymous said...

I'm a rural carrier but I agree this article is spot on! Generally, the one's that are for 6 day delivery are not the full-time carriers but the part-time flex or relief carriers. The unions are there to represent all members and that's a conflict in this fight. Most of the regular carriers I know would love to have Saturday off. The unions position is pissing a lot of regulars off. I for one will be dropping my union membership this summer because they no longer represent my interest. Canada has been five day since 1969 and the sooner we get there the better off both the carriers that remain and the postal service will be. Now, if only the politicians would get out of the way.

Anonymous said...

read the message

ESTIMATE SAVINGS
in any business you can not
raise your prices cut service
and delay service if this
were to happen where you shop
would you go elsewhwre
yes

Anonymous said...

If the Postal Service eliminate Saturday delivery, it is doubtful that they will offer early retirement incentives to further thin the workforce. Instead, it it is more likely they will go to another round of involuntary transferring of Career carriers to new job locations up to 800 miles away (maybe more), thus forcing additional "attrition" due to those who just can't make such moves (because they have families, homes, etc.). Meanwhile, the USPS will keep all of the new non-career CCA employees who are making only 15.00 to 16.00 an hour.

Jeffrey Simmons, ET - 10 said...

First new 'news' dt has had in 3 weeks and it's this crock. I'll address all the supposed 'carriers' out there first. You know how it is on a holiday week? Imagine getting slammed with that EVERY Monday. Now imagine an actual holiday week... You may only be working 5 days a week, but you'll still be working LLV loads of overtime.

The havoc this will wreak at processing facilities already overburdened with mail from closed facilities will be epic. To the rest of you who think this is such a great idea, as the author of this obviously does, you don't have the first clue.

Anonymous said...

Just like the woman in the movie From The Hip. CUT CUT CUT.

All you 6 day'ers have no valid reason to keep 6 day.

If the REST OF THE WORLD gets by with 5 days, no reason we can't either!

Anonymous said...

Five Day, All the Way! The majority of the carriers in my office are all for it!

Anonymous said...

Given a choice I would love to have saturdays off! yeas, I knew what I was in for when I started. But I didn't know that I would be forced to work overtime so that I couldn't continue school.You might say "oh then why didn't you quit". You know this work environment. Your fellow carriers do just as much to convince you that you're too much of an idiot to do anything else as management does. Postal workers are like crabs in a bucket.

Anonymous said...

just to let everyone know. when we have a holiday we will work that saturday to make it up. thats how they are going to do it

Anonymous said...

One Thing that has not been mentioned,M-F schedule means if you have to go to a doctor more sick leave will be used by carriers including me i have 2500 hrs as of 4/8/2013 and i don't call in very much one boss said we would have to work split shifts or change doctors and find one who works sat yeah good luck

rdear said...

Bless your heart for having to work on Sat. if you are a regular carrier. I know it hurts to get paid for working that day & then getting a paid day off! So let's just work 5 days & be out late at the start of the week. And just think how wonderful the day after a holiday will be. We can call one of the few subs that got to stay & ask them to work. Wait a minute! There are no subs now for sure. Because who would want to work & not be guaranteed a day of work at all? Stop the "O I missed this & that" please! Every carrier knows that it's part of it. Has anyone thought of the subs that worked for years that might now be out of a job? I guess it really don't matter as long as you make it to little Tommy's first sneezing contest. We have all missed things, suck it up, stop thinking of yourself, & be happy you have a good job. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Just LOVE the way some of these so called "union" honchos tell the rest of us to either quit/who cares about your family functions/ the sky will fall if we go to 5 day/ we won't be able to go to the doctors' office/ jobs will be cut/ we won't be able to carry all that mail (as if there was enough volume to do that NOW). And the most incredible lie of ALL: "Most carriers support 6 day". Why don't you union monkeys spend some time OPPOSING the new GPS/harassment tool the PO is foisting upon the carriers instead of keeping the union 6 day plantation going for those of us who UNLIKE the connected and the union honchos DO NOT get to see our families/ catch a rest/break. I suggest getting out of this sorry excuse of a union just to let them know that Lincoln did indeed free the slaves......

Anonymous said...

Other postal services in the western world deliver 5 days. I cant count the number of times I walk up a flight of stairs with ONE bulk piece of mail on tuesday, and then again on wednesday. Consolidating delivery days makes sense. The subs can help with OT on the heavy days. Today started a week of vacation for me. My Boss CALLED MY HOUSE and asked me to work. Understaffing is rampant nationwide. 5 day is the only way regardless what rolondo say...

Anonymous said...

Can't make the truck with 1000 curbside deliveries...wow..I walk a 1000 deliveries and make a truck...go to 5 day and curbside delivery nationwide.

anonymous said...

You mention that medicine will be delivered Saturday's because it's a parcel... Will that medicine bottle be placed on the porch where the wind can blow it away? Or in the mailbox? If there is no Saturday delivery who will look in the box? Does that mean every customer has to look in their box every Sat anyway?

anonymous said...

None has mentioned that the clerk's will still be getting overtime. Some of them make as much in OT as their wage. How much could the PO save if OT was cut? No needed to go to 5 day delivery to save money.

Jeffrey Simmons, ET - 10 said...

http://www.sunherald.com/2013/04/10/4584131/postal-service-backs-down-on-cutting.html#emlnl=Breaking_News

Suck on that, 'anonymous'. That would be to every one of you supposed carriers who support 5-day delivery but not enough to leave your actual name in your posts...

Anonymous said...

No I don't think think every customer will have to look in their box on Saturday! They have Saturday delivery now and DON'T look in their boxes! On Mondays, we find Saturday mail still sitting, because customers have a life and DON'T bother making the trip to their mailbox to look for one article of bulk mail!

Enough Said! 5 days is enough!

Anonymous said...

http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-facts/#H2

check out the decrease in postal volume. With the decrease, there should be a no issues with no saturday delivery,