Stamp Price Hike Part Of Postal Service Plan To Cut lLosses

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A nickel boost in the first-class stamp price to 50 cents is part of the U.S. Postal Service's latest plan to stop bleeding red ink.

The Postal Service released the 5-year business plan to Congress late Thursday in part to push Congress to pass legislation to help them get through ongoing financial woes. Due in large part to declining first-class mail volume, the service recorded a $3.3 billion loss in the final three months of last year, which is usually a profitable period.

The Postal Service says that, if nothing is done, it faces $18 billion in losses by 2015. Lawmakers have been working on different plans for months, but all of them have controversial aspects and are stalled.

The U.S. Postal Service's plan would save about $20 billion over the next five years, although it needs Congress to act to achieve about $10 billion in savings.

Nearly all the ideas in the five-year plan have been proposed before, except for the big first-class stamp boost. Raising the price of the stamp to 50 cents from 45 cents now could yield $1 billion a year in new revenue, according to the plan.

Among previously offered proposals, home delivery would be cut to five days a week from six, and thousands of post offices and mail processing plants would be closed. The service would slow the delivery of first class mail by a day.

The agency also proposes bypassing a federal law that requires that it to prefund retiree health care. It would also create a new health care plan for employees to be run by the Postal Service.

The plan would also reduce the number of employees by 155,000 by 2016, mostly through pushing some of the 283,000 eligible to retire.

Postal Service pleads for help as losses continue

"The plan we have developed requires a combination of aggressive cost reduction, rethinking the way we manage our healthcare costs, and comprehensive legislation to reform the business model of the Postal Service," said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

However, most of the cost-cutting measures the Postal Service is pushing for are controversial, and have opponents in Congress and among employee unions.

The National Association of Letter Carriers vowed to study the new business plan but decried moves to cut Saturday delivery, downsize networks and slow delivery.

"Charging more for reduced service is not a rational plan for any business, including the U.S. Postal Service," said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

The union also noted that almost all of the $3.3 billion in red ink the Postal Service recorded in the quarter resulted from the $3.1 billion owed to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. The union wants Congress to dispense with the 2006 mandate that required prefunding those benefits.

In December, the Postal Service announced a plan to shut up to 250 mail processing plants and cut 28,000 jobs nationwide, but later delayed the closures until May 15. The plan released Friday makes clear the Postal Service intends to push forward with proposed cuts if Congress doesn't act.

Postal Service policy consultant Alan Robinson noted that the new business plan includes an "aggressive schedule" for cutting employees and services, in his blog the Courier Express and Postal Observer.

The plan to cut mail facilities soon after the May 15 moratorium "represents a clear example of the Postal Service taking an action that will generate substantial political heat that in previous years it would have deferred," Robinson wrote.

As for when Congress might act, experts say they don't expect progress until March at the earliest.

"This is a dire situation, but it is not hopeless," said Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who runs the subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service. "We can save the Postal Service for future generations -- and without further burdening taxpayers -- if we act decisively and strategically."

The Postal Service is chartered as a government enterprise and its business model is supposed to be self-sufficient. But it has borrowed $12.9 billion from Treasury in recent years to stave off cash crunches.
 

Rx God
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3 days a week of delivery is enough. Mon/ Weds/ Fri.

50 cent stamps will reduce the FCM volume even more.

The USPS is sort of like the milkman,..... no longer viable.

employee morale is horrible.

former USPS employee here.
 

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Work for ups here they are slave drivers too.We are only a number to them.push more work everyday!
 

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If they would stop paying Postal Workers such ridiculous rates, maybe they wouldn't have financial troubles...

this!!!!!

My mother in law is a postal worker. No College, No computer skills, no skills of anykind and she pulls in 60k a year, and I live in a very affordable area...

not to mention retirement, benefits are really good.

Its amazing how much power this union has. It's literally killing themselves. They are guaranteed X amount of hours.

It's an easy job, well maybe not the mailman that actually delivers. from what I hear its long hours and tough, plus in more rural areas you have to use your own car. But otherwise, its mostly easy jobs.

My sister works at 9-1-1 dispatch, its extremely stressful. they have to be well trained and knowledgable. She makes 13$/hr.

IMO they are horribly underpaid, but really this is what most post office positions should pay. 10-18 an hour, but that's it.

the union has destroyed the post office financially and i say this with several close friends
 

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I think its a great move to go from 6 days a week delivery to 5. I just dont know why they would cut out saturday. saturday UPS and Fedex dont run/ people that have to send something are forced to go to USPS.

stop delivery on Tuesday or Wednesday
 

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Working at the post office is one of those jobs that pays too much and whenever I go to the post office they act angry and treat you like a child.

And they give most of the jobs to certain types of people if you know what I mean.
 

Oh boy!
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Working at the post office is one of those jobs that pays too much and whenever I go to the post office they act angry and treat you like a child.

And they give most of the jobs to certain types of people if you know what I mean.

The last time I went to the post office was in 2007. The guy behind the counter gave me instructions to something that weren't clear so I said "ok, you say it's over there..." and then he interrupted me and said "well if you would have been listening you would have known I told you it was there". I reported him to his Supervisor and she said there was nothing she could do since she wasn't there. I asked her "what part of 'well if you would have been listening' is acceptable?" She then said she couldn't do anything because they are government employees.

The few odd times I've needed to mail something I go to the mail place down the street and do my business there. Sure it eventually goes to the post office but at least I don't have to put up with their bullshit.
 

Rx God
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Working at the post office is one of those jobs that pays too much and whenever I go to the post office they act angry and treat you like a child.

And they give most of the jobs to certain types of people if you know what I mean.

Lots of veterans because they get 5-10 extra points on the exam.
 

Rx God
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The 5 weeks of vacation is nice too !


http://www.postalemployeenetwork.com/usps-benefits-info.htm
POSTAL BENEFITS
USPS EMPLOYEE BENEFITS:
Annual Leave | Sick Leave | FMLA | USPS Holidays | Benefits Summary

Please Note:
All links were correct at the time of posting. Please notify us concerning dead links - please include the name of the benefit or source. Contact PEN
LEAVE INFORMATION
Covered by the USPS leave program are:
a. Full-time career employees.
b. Part-time regular career employees.
c. Part-time flexible career employees.
d. To the extent provided in the USPS National Rural Letter Carriers' Association ( NRLCA) National Agreement, temporary employees assigned to rural carrier duties.

Note: Transitional employees are not covered by the leave program, but do earn leave as specified in their union's national agreement.

Not covered by the leave program are:

a. Postmaster relief/leave replacements, noncareer officers in charge, and other temporary employees except as described in 511.31d.
b. Casual employees.
c. Individuals who work on a fee or contract basis, such as job cleaners.
ANNUAL LEAVE:
How Much Leave Does Full-time Employees Earn?

  • Less than 3 years USPS service.
    You earn: 13 days per year <4 hours per pay period>
  • With 3-15 years USPS service.
    You earn: 20 days per year. <about 6 hours per pay period>
  • With 15 or more years service.
    You earn: 26 days per year. <8 hours per pay period>
Note: Prior military service does count toward years service with USPS, but if you are retired from the military certain conditions apply to count any of your service time toward earning annual leave. Ask your Human Resources office to compute this time for you.
LWOP, leave without pay, does affect your annual leave earnings. Consult your Human Resources office concerning this.
How Much Leave Can I Takeover Each Year?
 

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LOL @ the time off. My mother in law is ALWAYS at the max at the end of the year, takes weeks at time so she doesnt lose it...

I think you can only carry over 300 hours of vacation time, shell have around 400+ at the end of every year.
 

There's no such thing as leftover crack
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If they would stop paying Postal Workers such ridiculous rates, maybe they wouldn't have financial troubles...

Hache Man, I don't mean to pick on you. Did you or any others even read the article. It's not overly emphasized, but the single reason the losses are massive is because, as stated in the article

"The agency also proposes bypassing a federal law that requires that it to prefund retiree health care. It would also create a new health care plan for employees to be run by the Postal Service."

Another paragraph says:
"The union also noted that almost all of the $3.3 billion in red ink the Postal Service recorded in the quarter resulted from the $3.1 billion owed to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. The union wants Congress to dispense with the 2006 mandate that required prefunding those benefits."

The article does mention the 2006 law. Expanding on that, it's worth noting that during the lame duck session (following the Nov 2006 election that went very badly for republicans where they lost their house majority), Republican leadership proposed and passed this bill that was essentially designed to destroy the Post office. The article doesn't specifically mention that the bill that was passed requires the Postal Service to pay for 75 years worth of health and retirement benefits within the window of the next 10 years.

Unfortunately, reading the replies in this thread, the public is basically clueless and is what people like Tom Delay (2006 outgoing house majority leader) and Dennis Hastert (2006 outgoing Speaker of the house) were counting on. It's debatable, but the law was put in place to kill the postal service in order to lead it to be eventually privatized. Without this requirement and allowing the Postal service to fund health and retirement benefits on an annual basis, the Postal service would be in adequate shape and this thread would never exist.

Can anyone think of any business that's required to fund health and retirement benefits for employees that haven't been born yet? Does anyone think a business that has a requirement like this is likely to survive and prosper?

The answers are NO and NO.

For those that don't think it's a requirement to be uninformed, here's a link to an article that will allow you to be more educated on the matter.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/sep/27/no-headline---picket/
 

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So for 50 cents I can put something in a box in front of my house in maine,a person will come to home and pick it up, take it to an airport, fly it to San Diego and 4 days latter put it in a box in front of my brothers house.

hmmmmm

seems pretty cheap to me.
 

hacheman@therx.com
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Hache Man, I don't mean to pick on you. Did you or any others even read the article. It's not overly emphasized, but the single reason the losses are massive is because, as stated in the article

"The agency also proposes bypassing a federal law that requires that it to prefund retiree health care. It would also create a new health care plan for employees to be run by the Postal Service."

Another paragraph says:
"The union also noted that almost all of the $3.3 billion in red ink the Postal Service recorded in the quarter resulted from the $3.1 billion owed to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. The union wants Congress to dispense with the 2006 mandate that required prefunding those benefits."

The article does mention the 2006 law. Expanding on that, it's worth noting that during the lame duck session (following the Nov 2006 election that went very badly for republicans where they lost their house majority), Republican leadership proposed and passed this bill that was essentially designed to destroy the Post office. The article doesn't specifically mention that the bill that was passed requires the Postal Service to pay for 75 years worth of health and retirement benefits within the window of the next 10 years.

Unfortunately, reading the replies in this thread, the public is basically clueless and is what people like Tom Delay (2006 outgoing house majority leader) and Dennis Hastert (2006 outgoing Speaker of the house) were counting on. It's debatable, but the law was put in place to kill the postal service in order to lead it to be eventually privatized. Without this requirement and allowing the Postal service to fund health and retirement benefits on an annual basis, the Postal service would be in adequate shape and this thread would never exist.

Can anyone think of any business that's required to fund health and retirement benefits for employees that haven't been born yet? Does anyone think a business that has a requirement like this is likely to survive and prosper?

The answers are NO and NO.

For those that don't think it's a requirement to be uninformed, here's a link to an article that will allow you to be more educated on the matter.

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/sep/27/no-headline---picket/




Shorty I admit I didn't reall all of the details, and it's probably not right questioning someone elses income.

I was just basing it on the 3-4 people I know very well who are Postal Workers and what they make vs what they actually do.
 

Rx God
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I think its a great move to go from 6 days a week delivery to 5. I just dont know why they would cut out saturday. saturday UPS and Fedex dont run/ people that have to send something are forced to go to USPS.

stop delivery on Tuesday or Wednesday

A lot of places are closed on Saturday like law offices, doctors, offices in general or they close at noon. There isn't a lot you can do with something you receive on Sat until Mon anyway.

The post office does deliver on Sunday, but only express mail. One carrier on OT can cover like 100 routes of Sunday mail delivery,

If I had something really important to send, I'd use Fedex over USPS, so mon/wed/fri delivery would work for me, but not the NALC.

The requirement of pre- funding the pensions/ benies is tough, however a LOT of postal workers are over 50, quite a few 20 year military guys in there double dipping.

I used to work with a legally blind mailhandler that would pull 40 hours of OT a week and make 100k+, he had to hold a package an inch from his nose to read the zipcode....he always walked next to a wall. His wife would drop him off at like 9pm pick him up around noon the next day, while he made more than the postmaster just being there.

carriers don't have an easy job, unloading trailers at 3 am as a mailhandler is no picnic either, but USPS workers are overpaid in general.

It is not a pleasant work environment, way too many bosses. The best job there is custodian....nobody bothers you. You better be a deaf veteran to get that job !
 

I'll be in the Bar..With my head on the Bar
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Shorty are you a union fan or did you just read their side of the story??????? Unfunded pensions are killing damn near every state budget in every state......Now its becoming a huge problem for the Federal Reserve, ooops i mean the money printers, ooops i mean the Kremiln......
 

There's no such thing as leftover crack
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Shorty I admit I didn't reall all of the details, and it's probably not right questioning someone elses income.

I was just basing it on the 3-4 people I know very well who are Postal Workers and what they make vs what they actually do.

Hopefully, at a minimum, you and others reading realize their salaries aren't the cause for the postal service having billions of red ink and now have a better idea what the cause is.
Whether or not they are overpaid is a whole separate and unrelated issue.

I could have taken any number of quotes from this thread to bring light to the real issue. I want to reiterate that this wasn't a jab at you. However, I find it disconcerting how uninformed the general public is and that their are forces at work to keep the public uninformed.
 

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