Postmaster General Briefing
July 14, 2009
On Tuesday, July 14, 2009, Louis Atkins, NAPS Executive Vice President, represented NAPS at a briefing with Postmaster General Jack Potter. Also in attendance were the leaders of all of the craft unions and the other two management associations.
Postmaster General Potter briefed the attendees on the current situation facing the Postal Service:
Continued losses in volume are crippling the finances of the Postal Service. Between 2008 through 2010, the Postal Service expects that it could lose as much as 25 – 30 billion pieces of mail volume. Every time the Postal Service loses a billion pieces of mail, the Postal Service looses $ 360 million dollars in revenue at current rates.
Employees need to know that the Postal Service has already taken steps to bring our Health Benefits in line with the rest of the federal government by the agreements that were reached with the unions and management association in the last round of pay agreements by increasing the employee contribution by 1% each year.
There are no plans to have any new equipment deployments in the near future. Right now the Postal Service has enough equipment power to process all of the world’s originating mail in just six hours time.
The “Summer Sale” was explained to the attendees. Mailers who use this opportunity will be required to maintain their expected volume of mailings through October, 2009 to earn a rebate on summer mailings. Customers who simply advance their mailing cycle will not get the discount rebate.
PMG Potter then provided information on the Postal Service’s strategies for FY 2010 and beyond:
• The Postal Service needs to continue to cut costs
• Grow the Business
• Protect Liquidity
Key Strategies are expected to include:
• Continued freeze on hiring
• Additional Tour compressions
• Restructuring Delivery Routes
• Continued integration of Network Distribution Centers
• Flat Sequencing
• Station and Branch consolidations
• Further reductions in administrative positions
The Postal Service continues to stress that relief from the passage of HR 22 alone will not bring the Postal Service the financial relief that it needs and the implementation of five-day delivery is vital to the future solvency of the Postal Service.
Although there has been much discussion of the change to five day delivery, and that the change must have congressional approval and a change to the current law, it now appears that Saturday would be the day that delivery would be eliminated. In a five-day proposal, retail units would remain open on Saturday to provide service to customers.
Post Office boxes and Caller Service would also be maintained under the Postal Service’s plan. Remittance mailers could use Post Office boxes and/or Caller Service to maintain their cash flow.
Under the Postal Service’s proposal, there would be no delivery or collection of mail for city routes, rural routes or contract routes. Express Mail would continue to be delivered as it is currently.
• Mail processing would process originating mail Monday – Friday.
• Mail processing for destinating street addresses processed Monday – Friday.
• Mail processing for destinating PO Boxes and Callers Monday – Saturday.
• Mail processing for destinating remittance mail Monday – Sunday
The Postal Service is also considering options to increase the sale of non-postal items in retail units. As these plans are finalized there will be information provided to employees and the public.
PMG Potter stated that the new Priority Mail initiative with flat rate boxes is performing well and helping us improve our revenue. Employees should tell everyone they know about the benefits of the flat rate boxes’