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Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe  (Source: federaltimes.com)
The U.S. Postal Service plans to slow first-class mail delivery and close 250 mail processing centers come March

The U.S. Postal Service has announced that it will make about $3 billion in reductions next spring in order to climb out of the red, which is expected to affect first-class mail delivery and those who use it such as Netflix and Gamefly.

After five years of being in the red, the U.S. Postal Service is taking action to reduce costs while waiting for Congress to allow it to raise stamp prices, reduce health care/labor costs, and reduce delivery to five days per week.

Despite having to wait on Congress for such larger aspects of authority regarding cost reduction, the U.S. Postal Service is an independent agency of government that does not receive tax money, thus enabling it to make smaller-scale decisions of its own.

The U.S. Postal Service has decided to make its cuts in first-class mail delivery, which will slow delivery and eliminate next-day USPS delivery.

First-class mail is currently delivered to homes and businesses within one to three days in the continental U.S. Forty-two percent of first-class mail arrives the following day while 27 percent arrives in two days and 31 percent arrives in three days. Less than 1 percent arrives in four to five days. With the cuts in progress taking place, 51 percent of first-class mail would arrive in two days while much of the remainder would arrive in three days.

In addition to slowed mail delivery, 250 mail processing centers and 3,700 local post offices will close if the cuts are finalized, which would eliminate about 100,000 postal employees. This would save the U.S. Postal Service $6.5 billion annually.

These changes are currently awaiting advisory opinion from the independent Postal Regulatory Commission in March 2012, but Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe has said that the cuts are urgent and will be put into action come March after the opinion is released.

The U.S. Postal Service is expected to have a loss of $14.1 billion next year. According to Donahoe, it must make $20 billion in cuts by 2015 in order to climb back into the black.

The U.S. Postal Service has already made a few announcements in regards to changes, such as a 1-cent increase in first-class mail to 45 cents starting January 22. It also announced in September the possibility of closing the processing centers, and it received 4,400 public comments where many opposed the idea. State legislators and small-town mayors were on the list of opposition, while companies like AT&T strongly urged the U.S. Postal Service to educate the public about any changes so that there is no confusion or delinquent payments when it sends its monthly billing statements. DVD-by-mail companies like Netflix and Gamefly will also be affected, since these services depend on timely DVD delivery. Customers will likely cancel such services if they feel they are not getting their money's worth.

"DVD by mail may not last forever, but we want it to last as long as possible," said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Many who oppose the U.S. Postal Service's approach say that these cuts will likely make its situation worse by pushing customers to internet services instead such as online bill payment.

Source: Yahoo News



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RE: Need to make cuts.
By room200 on 12/5/2011 2:42:43 PM , Rating: 1
They don't have to. These are good jobs with good benefits that you don't pay for if you don't want to. Despite what people are telling you, Americans shouldn't have to work in THIS country for Chinese wages.

The entire budget for USPS is paid for by revenue from stamps and other postal services. They don't need to make a profit, and as a matter of fact, they aren't supposed to. Don't like the price they charge? Use one of the private companies like UPS or Fed Ex and see what they charge you. The only thing that keeps UPS and Fed Ex prices anything close to reasonable is the fact that you have USPS to compete with them. If USPS disappears, see what it costs you to ship something.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By The Raven on 12/5/2011 3:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
These are good jobs with good benefits that you don't pay for if you don't want to.
This article is regarding Americans opinions that they no longer want to pay for these high-paying gigs. No we didn't HAVE to pay for them. And here we are.
quote:
Despite what people are telling you, Americans shouldn't have to work in THIS country for Chinese wages.
No you don't HAVE to get paid Chinese wages. You can always get better jobs. But at the same time you are not guaranteed anything like these postal jobs either (since they are very far from anything Chinese).
quote:
The only thing that keeps UPS and Fed Ex prices anything close to reasonable is the fact that you have USPS to compete with them. If USPS disappears, see what it costs you to ship something.
It will pretty much cost you the same price as now for packages. Maybe even better than the USPS since the USPS is currently running as a monopoly (budget level shipping). UPS, FedEx and DHL are all competing against each other for most of their business. The USPS has a stranglehold on plain old letters.

I'm not proposing we go one way or the other, but as far as your claim that if the USPS went away then UPS and FedEx rates would rise is crazy since they compete with themselves already.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By room200 on 12/5/2011 8:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
So, what do they get paid?


RE: Need to make cuts.
By christojojo on 12/6/2011 10:19:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
quote: The only thing that keeps UPS and Fed Ex prices anything close to reasonable is the fact that you have USPS to compete with them. If USPS disappears, see what it costs you to ship something. It will pretty much cost you the same price as now for packages. Maybe even better than the USPS since the USPS is currently running as a monopoly (budget level shipping). UPS, FedEx and DHL are all competing against each other for most of their business. The USPS has a stranglehold on plain old letters.


Seriously the USPS has a disadvantage. They are regulated by politics, that quasi independent stuff is primarily smoke and mirrors with many hands in the coffers and less able to be scrutinized by the public with a few rare other exceptions. (I worked as a mailman (yes I delivered mail and I am a man (for those sexists out there)) for 12 years and hated it.

The postal service MUST deliver to ALL destination. Private businesses like Fedex and UPS do not. I know for a fact that UPS and Fedex used to drop off delivery to the USPS for destinations they did not want to deliver for cost effective reasons. Which is fine. The problem with saying the world would be better without the government in this service is a bit myopic. In some cases it would make sense but others we are cutting of some of our society. I don't think the world will be hurt by a 5 day delivery cycle, but I think that the USA needs to keep all its citizens in touch no matter the distance.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By Dr of crap on 12/5/2011 3:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree to a point.
My brother just retired from the USPS. He had banked over a year of sick time that he added on to his years of service.
What company lets their employees bank/carry forward a year of sick time, let alone vacation?

They do need to get into the real world. Like reducing this and no Saturday delivery.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By nocturne_81 on 12/5/2011 8:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
Umm... any company that gives ST/PT/PTT.. it's always given in the contract as part of your income, and if you've been working there a lifetime your contract is probably locked in. The least I've ever gotten when leaving any company was a check for all my hours of untaken sick and personal time.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By wempa on 12/6/2011 3:10:57 PM , Rating: 2
A year of accumulated sick time ? What companies allow you to keep rolling over and accumulating such a large amount of sick/vacataion days ? In every case that I've seen, the company provides a set number of vacation/sick days and allows only a certain amount to be rolled over. Being able to save up a year's worth of unused sick days is ridiculous, plain and simple.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By Wererat on 12/7/2011 9:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
There really are only two choices:
1. Allow sick time to accumulate (basically a reward for not being ill, or a cushion in case of serious injury/illness); or

2. Cap sick time, which limits expenses on that end but guarantees that every employee with 2 brain cells will miraculously get "ill" rather than lose those hours.

My last company had something worse; no sick time limit at all, but part of your pay depended on being "100% billable" which means on the job or using annual. Missing even one hour meant three months of the 'bonus.' Therefore, nobody could afford to take any of their unlimited sick time!


RE: Need to make cuts.
By jRaskell on 12/7/2011 5:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
Those aren't the only two choices.

My employer doesn't offer sick time, or really vacation time for that matter. It's all rolled up into Personal Time Off (PTO). The yearly PTO we get is roughly the going vacation rate + half the going sick time rate, or more specifically, 3 weeks a year for new employs, plus 1 week for every 5 years of employment up to a max 6 weeks a year at 15 years of employment. There's also no annual cutoff, but a cap equal to 1.5 times your anuual accumulation (9 weeks total at 15 years). You accumulate PTO with each paycheck, at a rate that is your yearly PTO divided by 26 (we get paid bi-weekly)

There are no penalties or bonuses associated with anything. If you hit your cap, you stop accumulating until you take some of it off. If you're somebody that gets sick a lot, it may not be an ideal plan for you, but for somebody like me that sometimes goes several years without taking a sick day, it's all just extra vacation time. I keep my accumulated PTO at around 4-5 weeks as well (maybe let it accumulate up to 6-7 weeks if I'm planning a long vacation or multiple near future vacations)


RE: Need to make cuts.
By omnicronx on 12/5/2011 3:36:01 PM , Rating: 2
What a sense of entitlement..

If you want a high paying job with good benefits, earn it..

All he said is that their benefits should be cut closer to the industry average. Its not the job of the tax payer to keep people employed at good wages and benefits.

It is the job of the government to provide services as efficiently as possible.

Want to see what happens on the extremist end when government employee self entitlement hits its maximum? Take a visit to Greece, tell me how it is working out for them.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By room200 on 12/5/2011 8:58:38 PM , Rating: 2
I get it; let's give them just enough retirement and insurance so they can't afford to live and get good medical care so I end up having to subsidize themANYWAY.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By phatboye on 12/5/2011 9:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Its not the job of the tax payer to keep people employed at good wages and benefits.


Can you please tell me what tax payer funds are being used to employ USPS workers.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By rudder on 12/6/2011 10:21:07 AM , Rating: 2
If the USPS operates in the black, no taxpayer funds are involved (well a little but not enough to make a difference). However, where do you think the money comes from for the USPS to be able to operate in the red for so long?


RE: Need to make cuts.
By xti on 12/5/2011 6:15:18 PM , Rating: 2
what the hell? u think UPS and FedEx make their money off of sending grandma's letters? No, They are busy moving around every major corporations products around the world.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By Solandri on 12/5/2011 9:07:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The entire budget for USPS is paid for by revenue from stamps and other postal services. They don't need to make a profit, and as a matter of fact, they aren't supposed to.

While they technically don't need to make a profit, they do need to not operate at a loss. So to remain solvent they either need to be making exactly as much money as they spend, or... they need to be making a profit.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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