Should The Post Office Keep Saturday Mail?By: Chris Crum - April 14, 2013
There has been talk of the United States Postal Service ending Saturday mail delivery for years now. In recent months it appeared to be getting closer to reality.
Do you want to see Saturday mail stay, or is it better off as a thing of the past? Let us know in the comments.
Congress recently passed a resolution that the USPS claims gives it no choice but to backtrack on getting rid of Saturday mail. The new schedule (which would have seen packages continue to be delivered on Saturdays) was set to take effect in early August. Now it remains to be seen how long we’ll be able to enjoy Saturday mail.
The USPS says the plan would have saved about $2 billion a year, and would help restore the USPS to financial stability as it continues to face obstacles of the era (digital and otherwise). At least the USPS (as far as we know) is still launching a clothing line.
Rep. Darrell Issa has scheduled a hearing for next week to analyze the “motivations” for the move. He’s quoted by The Washington Times:
“The Postal Service’s decision to first pursue modified Saturday delivery and then renege on its cost-cutting plan has seriously set back efforts to advance postal reform legislation,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “This hearing will allow us to review a wide variety of options to bring the troubled agency back from insolvency.”
Rep. Blake Farenthold, who chairs the House subcommittee that oversees the USPS, disagrees with the approach the Post Office is taking now. Chron reports:
Farenthold disagreed with the board’s assessment, saying that he thinks the language in place does not bar cutting Saturday deliveries.
“Contrary to the Board of Governors’ decision, blaming a congressional mandate for preventing implementation of modified Saturday delivery, I believe that the modified 6-day delivery met all congressional requirements for moving forward,” Farenthold said in a hearing on Wednesday.
Following is the USPS’s full statement:
The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service met April 9 and discussed the Continuing Resolution recently passed by Congress to fund government operations. By including restrictive language in the Continuing Resolution, Congress has prohibited implementation of a new national delivery schedule for mail and packages, which would consist of package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday, and which would have taken effect the week of Aug. 5, 2013.
Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule. The Board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time. The Board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly.
The Board continues to support the transition to a new national delivery schedule. Such a transition will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost savings and is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability. According to numerous polls, this new delivery schedule is widely supported by the American public. Our new delivery schedule is also supported by the Administration and some members of Congress.
To restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability, the Postal Service requires the flexibility to reduce costs and generate new revenues to close an ever widening budgetary gap. It is not possible for the Postal Service to meet significant cost reduction goals without changing its delivery schedule – any rational analysis of our current financial condition and business options leads to this conclusion. Delaying responsible changes to the Postal Service business model only increases the potential that the Postal Service may become a burden to the American taxpayer, which is avoidable.
Given these extreme circumstances and the worsening financial condition of the Postal Service, the Board has directed management to seek a reopening of negotiations with the postal unions and consultations with management associations to lower total workforce costs, and to take administrative actions necessary to reduce costs. The Board has also asked management to evaluate further options to increase revenue, including an exigent rate increase to raise revenues across current Postal Service product categories and products not currently covering their costs.
The Board continues to support the Postal Service’s five-year business plan and the legislative goals identified in that plan, which will return the Postal Service to financial solvency. The Board additionally urges Congress to quickly pass comprehensive postal legislation, including provisions that would affirmatively provide the Postal Service with the ability to establish an appropriate national delivery schedule.
Do you agree with the USPS? Should the post office keep Saturday mail? Tell us what you think.