Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Comments to PRC Favor 5-Day Delivery

A majority of the people who contacted the Postal Regulatory Commission in April and May about ending Saturday mail delivery favor the proposed change, the commission revealed today.

The commissions’s staff categorized 2,116 comments as “OK with change in service” and 1,691 as “opposed to change in service,” according to a report released today. Nearly 10% of the respondents favored delivery of four or fewer days.

Public opinion polls also indicate a slight majority of people favor eliminating a day of delivery rather than raising postage rates to address the Postal Service’s financial problems. Still, the 56%-44% edge for five-day service in the PRC comments is surprising.

After all, postal workers who might lose their jobs and certain businesses that depend upon Saturday delivery have huge incentives to take the trouble of contacting the commission. It's almost always easier to rally people around maintaining a public service and saving jobs than it is to get them excited about cutting costs.

The opposition to five-day delivery seems better organized and passionate than the proponents, as evidenced by a union announcement that nearly half the House of Representatives has signed a non-binding resolution supporting six-day delivery. It shouldn't be hard for postal unions that oppose the change to rally thousands of members to contact the PRC.

Perhaps June's statistics will tell a different story.


Jim T said...

At first thought I had a negative reaction to dropping Saturday delivery. That was for personal reasons. I usually time my Netflix to deliver on Saturday. But if Saturday delivery is dropped, I’d change my habit and adjust. Just like I adjusted when our afternoon edition of the newspaper was discontinued.

However, I wonder if the PO will make an exception during the holiday season. I think they would be putting themselves at a distinct competitive disadvantage if there was no exception made during this obviously busy season. With more and more purchases being made online, they need to stay involved in that market. Many of my Amazon purchases arrive via the USPS.

Anonymous said...

Is it surprising that politicans would back six day delivery? After all the union wants it and spends big money to lobby them. Seems like all you have to do is follow the money when it comes to politics.
I have heard very little about five vs. six and the effect on the postal service's blue collar workers or do we care?

Early Cuyler said...

Did you ask everyone in America or just a very small percentage? Exactly!! Unless you ask every freaking person your survey is meaningless.

johnd said...

Can you trust the PRC. Why cut service to the public by closing post offices and cutting delivery. Start by cutting all the excess at the top. They have more presidents and vice president that could be cut. I think they have a president and vice president for cleaning the bathrooms. Then start working your way down. Example. I worked for the Postal Service for over 30 years, over 27 as a supervisor. It seemed like they would have more upper management jobs and less workers. In the plant I worked at they would have one supervisor for every twenty two workers. They had a manager for every six to eight supervisors. They had a manager for every four or five of those managers. They had a manager for them. Besides that they had more managers in support groups then those working the mail!

Drewk86a said...

Polls show that 56% favro 5-day delivery over rate increases? I wonder what that number would be if they were, correctly, informed that there will be 5-day delivery and rate increases.

The USPS will raise rates whether Saturday delivery is dropped or not.

Also, most people fail to realize that the USPS does not have financial problems. The single (pr. only) thing draining USPS coffers is the unprecedented requirement, imposed by Congress, to pre-fund retiree health benefits for employees who have not even been hired yet. The USPS is required to pay $5.5+ billion every year for the next six years into this fund. No other corporation, industry, or government agency is strapped with this capital siphoning mandate. Only the USPS.

Anonymous said...

The previous poster was correct....aday would be dropped AND postage will continue to go up, can you tell these dimwits JANUARY 2011! Already a done deal...

Anonymous said...

Originally I was for 5 day delivery because it would be nice to have all weekends off. However after further considering the impact I am now against it. First and most important is the medicine by mail that many people get, with no Saturday delivery they may not get it til the following Monday or Tuesday if Monday were a Holiday. Second is alot of cost savings would be lost with the amount of overtime needed to catch up the mail after Sunday. In the long run the amount of savings versus disruptions in service would not be worth it.

Anonymous said...

Why do you think the postal service is better than any other job? There have been a lot of businesses cut back or closed and a lot of people without a job. Be thankful that you can at least work 5 days and quit being greedy!

Anonymous said...

I am a alcoholic who works for the post office as a letter carrier. It would be nice to be off on saturday so I could drink all day long saturday and sunday and then call in sick monday through Wednesday and have the union protect me from any disciplinary action that may be imposed upon me by postal management. that is the union mantra

Anonymous said...

Eliminating service is never good because it hurts customers and as mentioned earlier stamps are going up anyway so that's a double slap in the face. Get rid of the bloated management and continue to provide the SERVICE you are paid to do.

George Hayduke said...

Folks, why do you all think that Saturdays will be cut? It will be a weekday. There are too many mailers that need to be delivered on Saturday. Five day delivery does not mean Saturday is the day that will be cut.

Volume trends are not the main cause of the deficit currently facing the system. Rather the deficit is the result of peculiar accounting rules imposed by Congress in 2006. Congress is requiring a degree of pre-funding of future retiree health benefits that has no parallel in the private sector.

It is easy to show that the deficit that the Postal Service has been running the last few years is not primarily the result of the decline in the volume of mail. While mail volume did drop from 208 billion pieces delivered in 2000 to 177 billion pieces last year, a decline of 14.1 percent, the number of people employed by the postal service has fallen even more sharply. In 2000 the system employed 787,500 workers. Last year it employed 623,100, a drop of 20.1 percent.

The cause of the shortfall has been the requirement put in place by Congress in 2006 that the Postal Service pre-fund 80 percent (up from 50 percent at present) of retiree health care benefits. The rule required that they reach this funding level in ten years. The Postal Service spent $12.4 billion to reach this pre-funding target over the last three years, an amount considerably larger than its $11.7 billion shortfall over this period.

There are other accounting issues that have also been used against the Postal Service. For example, the Inspector General of the Postal Service concluded in a January report that the USPS was overcharged $75 billion by the government for pension liabilities when the Office of Personnel Management calculated its obligations from the time it became an independent company instead of a government agency. The Postal Service was also prevented by the Bush administration from applying for the employer subsidies available under Medicare Part D to businesses that provide drug coverage for retired workers.

The Postal Service should be run as a self-supporting business, however it also has to be treated fairly. Congress should have an independent assessment of the key accounting issues. Some degree of pre-funding of health benefits is appropriate, but the measure should be constructed in a way that is consistent with projections used elsewhere in the public and private sector. And, the Post Office should be put on a level playing field with private businesses in other areas, such as its ability to receive Medicare Part D subsidies.

Also, the timing of any funding requirement is crucial; 75-year liabilities do not have to be funded overnight. Keeping people employed through the recession should be a high priority for Congress, even if that means overcoming its hostility to the Postal Service.

Rich Schulze said...

The postal service pays 5.5 billion into congress every year to prefund retirement for future hires and you call the post office feeble? Charge UPS and Fed Ex with that every year and see what happens to their bottom line. Mandate those companies deliver door to door six days a week, whether they have packages or not and see what happens to their productivity and your rates when they start having to pay fuel costs for the added workload.

Jim Kitzmiller said...

Associated Mail & Parcel Centers (AMPC) has been actively involved in suggesting solutions to a possible 5-day delivery situation. Read more at www.ampc.org/blog.

Anonymous said...

(Awaiting AMPC.org Moderator approval)

5-Day delivery will not be beneficial in the long run for the country. USPS has faced many challenges in the past and the current recession and the advent of technological changes in communications are no different. Instead of focusing on the unfair $5 billion/year retirement pre-funding requirement, current USPS upper management has instead advocated saving $2.5 billion by reducing service to the American people.

PMG Potter has been involved in a political ploy to sell out the Postal Service. He refuses to discuss the unfair work-share discounts offered to large mailers and presents a bleak and questionable outlook of postal finances for the next 10 years. Postal Headquarters have even manipulated the survey questions presented to the American people and used the 'tainted' data to their advantage.

Regardless of all the hoopla USPS remains one of the most efficient and least expensive postal services in the world. It processes over 40% of the world's mail and carries a heavier load per full-time employee than any other industrialized nation despite its vast geography an monumental challenges.

5-Day delivery is not a better move for the majority of all stakeholders and the best future for USPS.

For more information on postal affairs and current news please visit:

- http://www.postalemployeenetwork.com
- http://www.postalnews.com/
- http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/


Anonymous said...

Deliver only priority parcels and medicine on Saturdays.A "skeleton crew" could take care of that.This would give the junior employees some hours.I doubt most people realize "part timers" in the postal service have been working 40 +hours weekly for decades.