Must add in the caveat -- I, personally, don't know anything about the way the postal service works, so can't contribute personally to this discussion except by pinging a person (muawiyah) who does know, a lot
Add to that the necessary additional Staff to cover Sick Leave and Vacation time and the cost is astronomical.
All scheduled Mail Routes must be completed, requiring the same number of Staff to be out on the road every day. The Logistics require inflated “stand by” Staffing, there is no way around it without disrupting required service levels.
Getting rid of Saturday Delivery would be a big first step, but it won't completely stop the hemorrhaging.
Somebody had in mind that they needed such a body to keep USPS from raising prices too high ~ Bwahahahaha ~ in the end ~ that's now ~ the PRC has acted to keep USPS from raising prices sufficiently to recover costs.
The PRC also has the authority to prevent USPS from closing down a post office for failure to make a profit. That's in the law. So, when USPS, by law, cannot and is not supposed to make a profit, they can never close down a post office unless, literally, it burns to the ground.
My proposal was to do an end run around the law by evacuating selected buildings and then lending them to fire departments FOR PRACTICE! A fire starting team of well practiced professionals would arrive and begin burning the building in a safe manner. Firemen would come in and train in a safe live fire environment.
Once burned that post office could be closed.
BTW, I proposed that only in emulation of the Fairfax County dilapidated building disposal program ~ they cleared the immediate area of a number of buildings that'd been caved in when we had a 4 foot snowfall several years back.
It worked great ~ everything from a residential garage to a large Circuit City retail building with a large warehouse facility, then an old steak joint, a ChiChi's and a Bob's Big Boy! I feel much safer with a well trained body of firemen in the community; the right of the community and its firemen to dispose of old nasty buildings should never be abridged by being overly concerned over how high the flames might get.
Then, back to the Postal Service, we needed to get rid of 28,000 unneeded post offices as early as 1976. Then, too, rural route service needed improved by a massive restructuring of the head-out offices, and the extension of rural delivery to small towns. Finally, with a regular program of following up on personnel requirements as modern automation and computer equipment was installed, they would never have OVERHIRED and would not now need to lay anyone off.