Skip to comments.In Defiance of Senate Democrats, USPS Will Begin Office Closures
Posted on 05/18/2012 7:47:48 AM PDT by Kaslin
The U.S. Postal Service will begin closing local offices and processing centers this summer as part of a downsizing plan that would put the USPS on more sound financial footing. There's still a long way to go, but this is good preliminary news.
At a news briefing, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said the agency's mail processing network had simply become too big, given declining first-class mail volume and mounting debt. It will now consolidate nearly 250 plants as originally proposed, including 48 this summer, but will stretch out the remainder over a longer time frame in 2013 and 2014.
"To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload," Donahoe said. Failure to do so, he stressed, would "create a fiscal hole that the Postal Service will not be able to climb out of."
Under the modified approach, up to 140 processing centers will be consolidated by next February _ roughly 48 in August and about 90 next January and February. Closings would be suspended during the Postal Service's busy election and holiday mail season. Another 89 closings would occur in 2014.
The consolidations are initially expected to reduce postal staff by 13,000 and save the struggling mail agency roughly $1.2 billion annually. By the time the full round of cuts is implemented by late 2014, the post office will have 28,000 fewer employees with estimated annual savings of $2.1 billion.
The fact is that the USPS will be totally bankrupt by the end of the year and, despite this, legislators have been intransigent in their opposition. This year, more than half of Democrats in the Senate have announced their opposition to any bill that would result in closures, service cuts or job losses.
In spite of the massive roadblocks in Congress and the urgency of the problem, legislators recently wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe asking for more time for COngress to get their act together and pass a reform bill.
It's obvious that reform isn't coming from Congress. It's a good thing that Donohoe is moving forward with closing offices across the country. The USPS is a purveyor of a communications medium suited for the 20th century, and it needs to evolve or face complete bankruptcy.
I wrote about USPS reform for the May issue of Townhall Magazine, in which I outlined Donohoe's broader outlines for the agency:
In remarks to Congress in September 2011, Donahoe laid out the short-term plan to get the agency on its way to viability. This included the shuttering of over half of the agencys 500 processing centers, the elimination of 35,000 Postal Service jobs and a review of 15,000 post offices that could be subject to closing. Donahoe also laid out the desire that the Postal Service have more autonomous control over its mail schedule to cut back on Saturday deliveries and save billions of dollars every year.
There's a long way to go in getting the Post Office to a sustainable structure, but this is a good start.
Defiance?......more like a Reality Check........................
If the USPS is a “private enterprise” and not a government entity as some would claim, then what difference does it make what Senate Democrats say? (Oh, that’s right - it’s not really a “private enterprise”.)
They need to lay-off half of all employees involved in the physical handling of mail, and their supervisory structure.
Then, switch all customers to an every-other-day delivery schedule - Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday.
The only exceptions would be commercial customers that get enough mail that it would take more than one truck to deliver their mail if delivered every-other-day.
I see lots of small post offices located in towns of 500 or less, within a few miles of post offices in larger towns. The post office can be replaced by contracting with the local store, etc, generating income rather than costing income.
You see what they’re closing in Michigan, little post offices. They took all the overstaffed urban offices off the list.
LOL! The USPS has never been in the black
The problem lies in pensions, unions,retirements, & benefits, all of which are well above what a business model can sustain.
But...but...but...going back to efficient and sensible methods, like the old General Store as a focal point for a community, would be "going backwards". Can't have them pesky, old-time, common sense methodologies/philosophies creeping into the "modern world again.
see lots of small post offices located in towns of 500 or less, within a few miles of post offices in larger towns. The post office can be replaced by contracting with the local store, etc, generating income rather than costing income.
I lived in a very small town approx. 20 miles from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Our post office was run by a woman out of her dry goods store. My parents had no problem with that. Oh, and the only switchboard/telephone operator in town was also the town’s beautician who gave me the most horrific first and last perm of my life!
“Defiance” = “35,000 more going on to the unemployment rolls before the election”
I believe they have been 5 or 6 years ago for maybe a year or two.
I can remember one such "Post Office" in a local Rexall Drug Store...in New York City.
No union guaranteed benefits for any private or publiic employees can be fulfilled. That is the cold, hard truth.
Europe is grappling with this reality now, observe how those "gub'mint employees" are handling their reality for a glimpse coming to a city or town near you.
Bulk mail has bloated the USPS as much as anything. Stick to first class mail, break the union, drastically lower the pay scale and benefits. Ultimately the only way to ensure the USPS stays viable.
Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe will not last in that position. He’s got balls.
This year, more than half of Democrats in the Senate have announced their opposition to any bill that would result in closures, service cuts or job losses.
Guess they will treat it like Amtrak that hasn’t made a profit in 41 years,let the tax payer foot the bill.
If I go to the Post Office, there will be a line out the door, 2 or 3 people working the counter, and 5 more in the background, milling about, seemingly doing nothing. No multitasking allowed, it's not in the contract. Plenty of room for streamlining.