On February 12, 2009 NAPUS filed reply comments with the Postal Regulatory Commission in response to a document that the Commission Public Representative submitted in early February. In this February 2cd document, the Representative suggested that the USPS privatize “most of the Postal Service’s tens of thousands of retail offices…”. NAPUS questioned the wisdom of privatization, in which the PRC’s own analysis concluded that only $586 million would be saved with the closure of every small Post Office. NAPUS believes that such action would compromise universal service to rural areas, without doing much to improve the economic sustainability of the United States Postal Service.
More from NAPUS on same issue…
NAPUS filed Reply Comments with the Postal Regulatory Commission, in response to a document that the Commission Public Representative submitted in early February. The link to NAPUS’ comments at the PRC website is http://www.prc.gov/Docs/62/62263/ACR2008ReplyComment.pdf.
In the February 2 document, the Representative suggested that the USPS privatize “most of the Postal Service’s tens of thousands of retail offices …” The PRC proceeding, in which the Public Representative was participating, concerned the Postal Service’s 2008 Annual Compliance Report.
In our reply comments, we took a multi-pronged approach to rebut the Public Representative’s position. Based upon the extensive hearing record produced by PRC, as part of its Universal Service Obligation and the final report, NAPUS challenged the Representative’s credibility as actually representing the “public.” The PRC found that Post Offices are vital to the universal service network. In our reply comments, we pointed out that privatizing Post Offices would be contrary to established law, which maintains that closing or consolidating post offices solely for economic reasons is prohibited. A privatized retail facility can be closed or consolidated without community input or prior notification. Finally, we questioned the wisdom of privatization, in light of the fact the PRC’s own analysis concluded that only $586 million would be saved with the closure of every small Post Office. NAPUS believes that such a draconian action would compromise universal service to rural areas, without doing much to improve the economic sustainability of the USPS.
Conclusion of NAPUS comments filed with PRC
Post Offices are the bedrock of the United States Postal Service’s universal service obligation. Our Founding Fathers recognized this fact, when they explicitly referenced the establishment of Post Offices in the U.S. Constitution. In our times, far-flung towns across this Nation understand the economic and societal importance of their Post Offices, sustaining their viability and sense of community. A facility without protection against arbitrary termination, devoid of qualified postal management, and lacking essential postal services to which communities are entitled fails to satisfy this Nation’s obligation to provide universal mail service. In sum, post office privatization does not reflect the public’s views about the Postal Service. Yes, now is the time for action. Enough is enough! Now that the management associations have vehemently spoken out against the individual and organizational bullying of employees, I believe, it is critical that the management associations also work in concert with the four national postal unions to help ensure that dramatic and lasting action is implemented to improve the postal culture. One way of making this a reality is for the three management associations and four union organizations to reach agreement on how to enlist the support of Congress to reform the postal culture and then act on it. Congress will be more apt to listen and act quickly if they all “speak” with one voice.