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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:14 AM

Postal Service $15.9 Billion Loss Highlights Urgent Need for Legislative Reform in Congressional La

Source: USPS

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service ended the 2012 fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2011 – Sept. 30, 2012) with a record net loss of $15.9 billion, compared to a net loss of $5.1 billion for the same period last year. The loss included expenses of $11.1 billion related to two payments to prefund retiree health benefits. The Postal Service, which is uniquely required by law to prefund these obligations, was forced to default on these payments.

Resolving the prefunding requirement, which made up 70 percent of the net loss, and providing more commercial flexibility to allow the Postal Service to manage its business, are among legislative changes needed for USPS to fully implement its business plan to return to financial stability.

“It’s critical that Congress do its part and pass comprehensive legislation before they adjourn this year to move the Postal Service further down the path toward financial health,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick Donahoe. “We continue to do our part to grow revenue and reduce expenses by making our operations more efficient and by providing our customers with new and expanded services to meet their mailing and shipping needs. Additionally, through the expanded use of technology, including better use of digital tools and mobile technology, we are providing business mailers with new opportunities to connect with customers in a more individualized way.”

Besides resolving the accelerated schedule to prefund retiree health benefits and allowing the Postal Service the flexibility to sponsor its own healthcare program for employees and retirees, the Postal Service Business Plan includes these other actions that require legislative action:

Allowing the Postal Service to determine delivery frequency
Allowing the Postal Service to offer non-postal products and services
Developing a more streamlined governance model for the Postal Service that would allow for quicker pricing and product decisions
Instructing arbitrators that, during labor negotiations, they must take into account the financial condition of the Postal Service when rendering decisions
Resolving the overfunding of the Postal Service’s obligation to the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS).

Read more: http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2012/pr12_131.htm



Washington Post has more in its Federal Diary column: Postal Service reports $15.9 billion loss but record-high worker productivity.

12 replies, 2023 views

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Reply Postal Service $15.9 Billion Loss Highlights Urgent Need for Legislative Reform in Congressional La (Original post)
alp227 Nov 2012 OP
Occulus Nov 2012 #1
elleng Nov 2012 #2
Occulus Nov 2012 #6
elleng Nov 2012 #7
magellan Nov 2012 #9
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #4
Born Free Nov 2012 #10
wtmusic Nov 2012 #3
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #5
dipsydoodle Nov 2012 #8
diabeticman Nov 2012 #11
bucolic_frolic Nov 2012 #12

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:38 AM

1. Can we limit replies on this thread to current USPS employees and their family members?

I say this because I've seen these threads before and, as a current USPS employee, the vast majority of DUers really don't know jack about the USPS....

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Response to Occulus (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:46 AM

2. I'm sure we don't, but what can you tell us that might be useful?

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Response to elleng (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:07 AM

6. I've tried. More than once.

What I had to say didn't appear to be particularly helpful.

Besides, I just got home from work, at one of the Processing & Distribution Centers slated for closure. I don't really want to describe how trucking mail an additional hour to hour and a half will crush local delivery times, especially when my coworkers are proving the mail processing studIES incorrect by processing more than a million pieces of mail by 4AM. That's three hours from now, as of this writing.

Three things:

1) Lose the prefunding requirement. The USPS can now pay for the health benefits of retirees who haven't been born yet. I think the USPS has paid more than efuckingnough.

2) Let the USPS set the price of stamps and sell non-postal items. If you want us to run like a business, let us.

3) Make management positions a merit-based award. Too many postal managers haven't ever done the jobs they manage, and it shows.


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Response to Occulus (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 01:13 AM

7. Thanks. All sound perfectly reasonable, and should be quite helpful,

to DU and more importantly, to the general public AND to Congress.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:45 AM

9. +1000 n/t

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Response to Occulus (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:48 AM

4. The problem is not most of the posters who want to honestly learn

but the three, two, one talking points that will surely come.

Frefunding needs to go... that is for starters.

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Response to Occulus (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 05:33 AM

10. http://www.savethepostoffice.com/

There is some good information at http://www.savethepostoffice.com/

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:48 AM

3. The price of a first-class stamp needs to double

It's amazing to me that the USPS hasn't gone broke years ago.

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Response to wtmusic (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 12:49 AM

5. Talk to Congress, they need to authorize it

the USPS cannot do it without Congress.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 04:38 AM

8. Its there for the overall benefit of your public

and as such need not necessarily make a profit - just run at an acceptable loss.

Our UK equivalent, the Royal Mail , often runs at a loss.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:06 AM

11. Okay I'm not a USPS member BUT I do like the service and us it A LOT. May I make

a humble suggestion... How about making ALL that junk mail--You know the stuff Credit card offers, offers from local car dealer ship fliers from store X and Y etc... I did a little research project of my own making. I collected all my mail for 1 month. Ads and the like I'd classify as junk mail in one pile and bills, letters and even packages I got for that month I placed in another pile. The end of the month I counted. there was a 3 to 1 ratio. 3 pieces of junk mail to one piece of "Real" Mail.

Not only do the Bush era bull crap requiriments needs to be eliminated BUT I honstly think junk mail should NOT receive something like bulk rate.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:16 AM

12. The Postmaster General is now a CEO???

Some of these Business Plan ideas don't make sense to me

Non-postal products and services? My local post office lobby is
filled with merchandise that didn't work out. Every once in awhile
they clean out the old in a FREE bin. So I have doubts the USPS
will be very adept at determining what products to offer that the
public will buy

The USPS has gotten away from serving the public, and tries to
price gouge the public. The other week I plunked down a 3 ounce
package on the postal scale and the USPS employee tried to offer
me Express Mail, Overnight, Priority. I offered the 3 ounce
first class rate and she said yes. Wonder how many little old ladies
are scared in to overnight at holiday season for fear their package
won't make it by Christmas?

Quicker pricing decisions? Is this like how they've tried to reduce
first class mail into Priority Mail? 13 ounces is now a one pound
Priority Mail rate because that's the law. 13 ounces is something like $3.48
Priority is $4.90 online, $5.15 at the counter. These little tricks of
pricing are not a winning formula for the public.

My Post Box has gone from about $35 to $70 a year.

I knew they were trouble when they started offering the Forever Stamps.
Desperate for short term cash. Now the public has billions of them to send
their mail, the revenue was booked 4 years ago, no additional revenue from
those stamps is forthcoming, but the costs of the services have to be
delivered.

Postmaster General CEO has not righted the USPS ship, the USPS is closer
to bankruptcy. Give him flexibility and the public will really be turned off by
the new pricing.

Time for Congress to put the USPS on an austerity plan to deliver the services
it is required by law to offer, that is delivering the mail. All this fancy
products, services, packaging, is just not producing from my point of view.
Five lines of Express/Priority/Padded/Generic/International packaging.
Forever stamps
Advertising on TV
Wrapping, Tape, cartoon product lines
And why all the New Post Offices at a time when they close others?
My local PO has a man come in once a week I think it is, to shake out
the carpets and vacuum the lobby. The Postmistress can't vacuum?
The public needs flexibility when mailing. I've been basically forbidden to mail
from one PO because I filled the outside Drop Box with packages that had
a different origination zip. It's a drop box, I mailed the mail.

The USPS needs streamlining, austerity. It needs to listen to its employees.
Every post office is unique. The postmasters/mistresses have ideas about
how to operate efficiently. The "CEO" should listen to them before he
pushes for higher rates yet again.

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