backtop


Print 52 comment(s) - last by jRaskell.. on Dec 7 at 5:20 PM


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



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Need to make cuts.
By SixSpeedSamurai on 12/5/2011 1:47:42 PM , Rating: 2
They should bring their benefits system inline with most Americans. Their cushy benefits cost a lot, I think if government employees had social security, the system would be changed pronto.




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.


RE: Need to make cuts.
By nocturne_81 on 12/5/2011 8:10:30 PM , Rating: 3
What cushy benefits are you referring to? Do you have any figures to back that statement up?

Our local Post Office employs 2 full-time counterpeople, 6 part-time deliverers, and about as many part-time sorters. One of our counter people a Navy vet from the Korean War, and a bit slow (the reason he got the job), and judging by the way he lives (house, car, clothes) I have a hard time believing he makes more than 12 dollars an hour. I also know for a fact that sorters make 8-10 dollars an hour. Full-time employees contribute half the amount their medical benefits cost, as well as being matched 1:1 in retirement contributions. Part-timers.. get no benefits whatsoever.

In contrast, at the UPS plant about 5 miles away.. I knew a part-time sorter there that claimed to get 18 dollars an hour and full medical. From what I've heard of FedEx, it's about the same. Is that you are referring to as the industry standards?


Don't care
By Motoman on 12/5/2011 1:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
..."DVD by mail may not last forever..."

Yes it will. People can survive getting a DVD in 2 days instead of one. Especially for those people who have no access at all to broadband internet. Which I'm guessing is around 20-25% of the population of the US.

At any rate, the USPS *needs* to radically downsize and cut costs. The current status of that organization is that it is wildly disproportionately-sized compared to it's workload. Massive facility closures and layoffs are needed...as are cutbacks in service (like, no Saturday delivery) and rises in cost (what, you're not going to mail your grandma a birthday card because it costs $.50 instead of $.45?).

Times have changed. USPS needs to change to match.




RE: Don't care
By kingmotley on 12/5/2011 1:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
Makes absolutely no difference to be at all regarding Netflix. What would kill netflix for me would be that my mailman no longer picks up the movies from my mailbox. That would kill my subscription pretty quick. An extra day or two won't affect me enough for me to even notice. If it does, I'll just increase my sub by 1 more disc out at a time to cover the extra 1 day.


RE: Don't care
By nafhan on 12/5/2011 2:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think they were referring to these changes when they made that statement. I am pretty sure that DVD by mail WILL go away at some point. Netflix was just reassuring current customers that this postal service change won't be what causes it to go away, and that there are no immediate plans to do away with DVD's by mail.


RE: Don't care
By danjw1 on 12/5/2011 3:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is Congress won't let them. Congress doesn't want them to cut down on delivery/pickup days, they don't want them to shutdown any post offices either. So the Post Office is up a creak with no paddle. We will see if Congress decides to allow them to slow down delivery service, but I am doubting it.


RE: Don't care
By Motoman on 12/5/2011 11:32:02 PM , Rating: 1
That's like saying Congress won't let the sun rise in the east tomorrow. They can "not let" stuff happen all they want to - bankrupt is bankrupt.


USPS sucks
By mattclary on 12/5/2011 4:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
I ordered something from Newegg that had free USPS shipping. Tracking, for what it's worth, shows me where it's at. I can see the package has been in my home town since last Friday.

Had the package been shipped via UPS or Fedex, within 18 hours of it hitting town, it would have been in my hand.




RE: USPS sucks
By V-Money on 12/5/2011 8:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
If its been in your hometown then why not just pick it up if its that important to you?

As for your scenario, I've had bad experiences with all of them, but UPS has always been the worst. They always deliver ridiculously late in the day (at everywhere I've ever lived, SC, CT, and in CA.) and they have a habit of randomly missing their deadlines, I've had next-day shipping take weeks before, and I've had more than my fair share of "shipment delayed due to weather conditions"...as I watch Fed-ex deliver me packages...and stand outside in slightly wet weather.


RE: USPS sucks
By Skywalker123 on 12/6/2011 5:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
I had the same experience with a package. Why can't the P.O. deliver it? My package was 25 miles away, I have to wait a week or drive 25 miles to pick it up? I've rarely had problems with UPS or Fedex, nothing compared to the Snail Office


RE: USPS sucks
By mattclary on 12/6/2011 8:20:09 AM , Rating: 2
I have no freaking idea where I would go to get it. It's not like they emailed me and said "It's here and available for pickup".

Date/Time Event Name
Dec 5 2011 11:35AM Received by the local post office
Dec 2 2011 11:10AM Shipment Acceptance at PO
Dec 2 2011 11:08AM Shipment Acceptance at PO
Dec 1 2011 12:51PM Shipment Info Received by Post Office


Redbox's reaction:
By quiksilvr on 12/5/2011 1:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
Contact your Congress Critters!
By danjw1 on 12/5/2011 3:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
The Post Office can't keep going the way it has. But, Congress keeps telling them they can't do what they need to do to cut costs. The only way that will change, is if people start telling their members of Congress that they can't keep stopping them from cutting costs.




Missing the point..
By nocturne_81 on 12/5/2011 7:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
The USPS is not a business -- it's a service, one entirely necessary in it's current form. It shouldn't matter if they can attain a profit (as sought from all the other more privatized areas of our government such as the DMV) -- what matters is that they provide a high level of services to the citizens that pay for it.




Numbers are wrong
By mydogfarted on 12/6/2011 9:49:25 AM , Rating: 2
First Class postage MAY deliver in 1-3 days, but that isn't their service model. While anecdotal, my family business located in the NYC metro area sees average first class deliveries in 3-5 days, often a week to the west coast. The only thing we see in 1-3 days is Priority, which costs us 3x as much - even using flat rate packaging.




By Beenthere on 12/5/2011 4:36:33 PM , Rating: 1
You don't really think the criminals in DC give a rats azz about the postal service do you? They will pander to whatever view gets them re-elected.




the end of an era
By bond007taz on 12/6/2011 10:29:20 AM , Rating: 1
I think the time for the USPS has come to an end - it is a bloated organization that needs to go away - a real company could do better but the politicians dont want to stop the USPS entitlement program




Quantum math in action
By augiem on 12/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: Quantum math in action
By DNAgent on 12/5/2011 4:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
...careful, no one round up when Augiem's around.

Oh wait, YOU rounded that "less than 1 percent" up when you shouldn't have.


RE: Quantum math in action
By augiem on 12/6/2011 12:11:03 AM , Rating: 2
Careful, nobody make a joke when DNAgent is around.


RE: Quantum math in action
By augiem on 12/6/2011 12:33:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh wait, YOU rounded that "less than 1 percent" up when you shouldn't have.


Oh really? And where does it say < 0.5% so I have to round down? YOU are reading into it just as much as I am.

The real point: USPS loses a lot of mail. The figures add up to 100% with no accouting for all the lost mail.


USPS missed the boat
By One43637 on 12/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: USPS missed the boat
By abscode on 12/5/2011 2:26:19 PM , Rating: 5
Congress is more responsible for the post 2005 "financial sink hole" by requiring the USPS to pre-fund both their retirement program and their health plan well beyond what is required by other federal agencies including the military. The income from stamp and other user fees is greater than USPS annual operating costs if the prepaid benefits are lowered to S&P averages -- which is still greater than other federal agencies.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2011 3:09:40 PM , Rating: 1
So your argument is that its a bad thing for them to insure they have enough money to pay for their lavish retirement benefits? Would you rather they kick paying for those things down the road like the rest of the government, ultimately resulting in tax payers bailing it out when they can't afford the benefits?

Exactly what will happen in coming years to Social Security and federal pension systems. Far too high of benefits without enough being contributed both by the government and the employees themselves to pay for them.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Stuka on 12/5/2011 3:31:37 PM , Rating: 3
Why should 20000 employees have full retirement benefits at the expense of 2000 employees who are now jobless? Those numbers are not accurate, but the point is. All unions have fought for exorbitant benefits for themselves knowing that the cost is some of their buddies have no job at all, and in the long run, possibly no company at all. See: UAW; they have strangulated the auto industry to the point of the government bailing them out with taxpayer money. So, in essence, Uncle Sam paid UAW pensions with MY social security money. Why can't the USPS have a 401k plan like every other non-trade business in the country?? Why must they have full retirement benefits??


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Motoman on 12/5/2011 7:04:52 PM , Rating: 1
I think the better question is why government workers have any pension plans outside of social security anyway.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By nocturne_81 on 12/5/2011 7:50:15 PM , Rating: 4
Are you serious?! Social Security is not a retirement plan -- it's a very small level of reassurance, which should never account for more than a third of your total retirement income. If you are planning for your SS benefits to let you live comfortably in your later years, you are going to be sadly mistaken.

Furthermore, I'm really getting tired of the ridiculous notion that all government employees (not appointees) have incredible medical and retirement benefits. Practically every government agency operates just like any other companies do in this regard -- create or hire an entity to manage a gathered pool of retirement benefits. According to your employee contract (varies by region, branch, locality, or even person to person -- just like any company), you pay a specified portion of your retirement benefit payments. Often you may be matched 1:1 by the employer, though in exchange for less pay. You may get full medical benefits, though in exchange for less pay -- just like any other company.

I myself worked for the state of Ohio for 3 years.. I paid 100% of my retirement benefit payments, and received no medical benefits as I had a 'part-time' position (even though I was working 60hrs a week) -- which if you knew better, is the case with most actual government jobs.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By LordSojar on 12/6/2011 5:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
Nocturne_81...

Yes, these guys are serious. Most of them are so delusional that they'd sooner destroy 95% of the government agencies to save some ill conceived notion of "tax payer money", where private industry would them rape and pillage all of society because there are so few companies with a code of ethics anymore that goes beyond the simple law.

I really hope they do succeed in getting rid of the NHTSA, EPA, etc... then we can all die happy capitalists at the ripe old age of 30 from our cars spontaneously exploding when a shopping cart dings it or from the water we cook our yummy spaghetti in being laced with arsenic, mercury and all matter of other things, so long as those socialist organizations aren't around, it's a-ok!

Everyone is trying to be "more like the Founding Fathers" in that they want to take us back to the late 1790s and early 1800s, when America was so "great". NHTSA won't be around to require seatbelts in our horse carriages either! HOORAY


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Skywalker123 on 12/6/2011 5:47:11 AM , Rating: 1
Oh, no! We won't have an agency to make us wear seat belts! Whatever will we do?


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Motoman on 12/6/2011 9:19:58 AM , Rating: 2
No, you're both wrong. Although the government is clearly vastly larger than it should be, but anyway...

quote:
Are you serious?! Social Security is not a retirement plan


Yes it is. And it's billed as "good enough" for workers who can't afford anything else...either by getting jobs with supplemental plans, or by managing their own IRAs etc. It's actually more than a retirement plan, as SS includes disability and unemployment benefits, so it's actually both an insurance policy and retirement plan.

My point is that if SS is in trouble, why are all these government agencies funding secondary retirement systems instead of, you know, working to ensure the continued viability of SS?

Ultimately, I don't want SS to go away. I want it to be strengthened and made healthy for the benefit of all Americans. And that won't happen when even the government itself doesn't support it.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Schrag4 on 12/6/2011 9:27:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
...then we can all die happy capitalists at the ripe old age of 30 from our cars spontaneously exploding when a shopping cart dings it ...


That's funny, because the EPA is working quite hard to make all cars death traps.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Breathless on 12/6/2011 9:56:40 AM , Rating: 2
I would rather die a happy capitalist then a miserable socialist.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Chaser on 12/6/2011 10:48:24 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I myself worked for the state of Ohio for 3 years.. I paid 100% of my
First of all most people that refer to outlandish benefits are usually talking about Federal employees. Not the local yokel state job you landed. So you're generalizing just as much as the people you are accusing.

Anyone that wasn't born under a rock is well aware of the financial abuses of the Federal government especially when it comes to benefits and also from so called "public unions" of several states employees too. New Jersey and Wisconsin, such as state teacher tenures (pensions) come to mind if you happen to watch TV news once in a while?


RE: USPS missed the boat
By room200 on 12/5/2011 8:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
Because you saw what happened to all the 65 year olds who were ready to retire in 2008; they can't afford to retire because the market crashed. The banks nearly ruined the American economy; they don't have unions to blame. We bailed them out. 401k's are a rip-off.


RE: USPS missed the boat
By Spuke on 12/5/2011 3:55:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Exactly what will happen in coming years to Social Security and federal pension systems.
Federal pension system? Since when?


RE: USPS missed the boat
By nocturne_81 on 12/5/2011 7:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly! Where do these guys get the assumption that the federal government (or any governmental agency for that matter) don't want to screw their own employees over as much as possible, just like any company or corporation?!?!

The only good gov't jobs are the ones you get appointed (or born) into..


RE: USPS missed the boat
By FITCamaro on 12/5/2011 10:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
Are you contesting that there is a federal pension system or that its under funded?


"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki