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Udall Applauds USPS Decision to Continue Saturday Delivery

on April 14, 2013 - 10:05am
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall commended the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) announcement Wednesday that it will not go through with plans to eliminate Saturday delivery.
 
USPS' decision comes in response to congressional protest and legislative action by Udall and others to ban a reduction in services.
 
"The continuation of Saturday delivery is a win for the countless Americans who rely on mail services,” Udall said. "The Postal Service is facing serious financial problems, but they will not be solved by cutting the essential services that the business community, the elderly and rural residents depend on."
 
Feb. 15, Udall led a group of 24 other senators in challenging the postmaster general’s authority to discontinue Saturday mail delivery later this year without congressional approval.
 
In the letter, the senators acknowledged the financial challenges the Postal Service is facing and urged him to work with Congress to address these problems through bipartisan reform, such as the Senate legislation passed last year.
 
They also pointed out that a shift to five-day service could lead to further declines in mail volume and revenues, worsening the U.S. Postal Service’s overall condition.
 
In 2012, Udall introduced an amendment to the 21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012 that would protect the Postal Service's six-day service.
 
Statement from the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors

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.

Source: USPS.com

 

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