USPS Asks To Eliminate Saturday Delivery – Congress Still Has Questions


Since 1983, Congress has annually included a rider in appropriations bills requiring the Postal Service to deliver mail six days a week. This paper examines the main developments since early 2009, when the Postal Service requested authority to eliminate the sixth delivery day.

• The Service has fleshed out the details of its five-day-a-week delivery plan.

• It has updated its estimate of the expected net savings: $3.1 billion yearly based on 2009 data and $40 billion over the next 10 years.
• The Service recently asked its regulator, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), for an advisory opinion on five-day delivery, and the PRC expects to issue its findings in the Fall.
• Plunging mail volume and huge losses in 2009 and 2010 intensify the sense of urgency.
• Studies commissioned by the Service predict that a continuing mail volume decline and a shift away from highly profitable first class mail will produce monumental deficits over the next 10 years unless the Service implements major changes. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study concurs that the Postal Service’s current business model is not financially sustainable.
• The Service has developed a 10-year business plan (the “Action Plan”) in which five-day delivery is a key element, expected to close about one-third of the residual 10-year deficit.

The Postal Service has sensibly cast five-day street delivery in terms of trade-offs. Do the benefits of six-day delivery justify the costs? Would dropping Saturday delivery be less harmful than other policy alternatives? The Postal Service claims that five-day delivery would be among the least painful options for postal customers.

Alternatives to five-day delivery are hiking postal rates or in other ways boosting revenue, cutting costs beyond the savings contemplated in the 10-year plan, deferring costs (a temporary measure), borrowing (another temporary measure), or obtaining money from Congress (ultimately taxpayers).

The most attractive alternative, which would save more than enough to allow six-day delivery to continue, would be bringing postal wages and benefits more into line with those in the private sector and quickly rationalizing the Service’s nationwide network of processing facilities.

Congress did not allow the Service to eliminate Saturday delivery last year and will probably not permit it this year. However, unless mail volume rebounds strongly (a longshot but not impossible), five-day delivery may be a matter of when, not if.

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12 thoughts on “USPS Asks To Eliminate Saturday Delivery – Congress Still Has Questions

  1. I agree with going to 5 days. Another option with the decreased days would be to charge for COA. What a waste. People throw in COAs left and right. Canada charges 20 bucks. Even if we charged a qtr of that, we would eliminate alot of the freeloaders that just do the COA for the hell of it.

  2. In the few years I have been with the postal service as a Rural carrier I have seen nothing short of a sinking ship. I started working thinking I would have a career job, but now I am beginning to wonder. I have watched management walk in and walk out wondering why in the world are they getting paid to do that…and lets not even get started on the “millage pay” they are getting. I have watched “inspectors” follow NEW employees around trying to find there every fault… heaven forbid they put the mail in the box wrong… rather than just letting us do our jobs. Its sad…. Some days I go to work and I have 90% junk mail to 10% first class. Many of those days are Saturday. If congress doesn’t eleminate Saturday… postage will go up… small post offices will start closing (so you can drive further to do your mailing) and distribution centers will start closing…resulting in your mail going twice as far to next available center… which means it will take 3-5 more days to get to its destination. I guarentee that if Saturday is NOT eliminated… the customers will be the ones to suffer for it in a worse way. If Saturdays ARE eliminated…. the employees are the ones taking the hit…not the customers and I have always been taught the customers come first. Maybe I am cutting my own throat by saying it…. but Saturday needs to go… I think in the long run it will possibly save my job even more, because they simply can’t continue like they are going. Cut Saturdays, Cut unnessesary management, and raise junk mail prices. Leave first class alone….they are the customers who actually care! Sending a letter is a dieing art and most customers I have that send letters by mail mostly depend on that to keep in touch with there family and friends. We can’t keep raising first class postage rates…. set the price and be done with it!! Trust me… elimination of Saturdays will be keeping the customer first in the long run b/c the postal service will find other ways to cut costs and it WILL be at the customers expense. I hope congress can see that!

  3. It’s not gonna happen, too many rep’s are against it, 230 last count I think? Hasn’t been hardly any talk about it in the last few months since potter was embarrassed by one of the rep’s in front of all of the members of the house.

  4. I say cut the peon’s salaries in half. do away with vacation time and let people work off the clock. This will make the post office salvageable

  5. I do take a great interest in the private counterpart comparable to my letter carrier job. I don’t know if they are talking about the Fedex or the UPS guy. Both of them make more money than I do (and I’m at top pay for 31 years of service). By the way, neither of them deliver on Saturday. Enough said

  6. It was the Repuglicans who authored and passed the 2006 Postal Accountability Act. They’re the ones with the long history of antiunion bias. It’s Bush’s Board of Governors and Potter who’s pushing this. If this President doesn’t help us we are done.

  7. # RedRidingHood
    I think the Dems have been in power since 06 and this president has done nothing for us.or will he

  8. # RedRidingHood
    I think the Dems have been in power since 06 and this president has done anything for us.or will he

  9. I guess if congress did what is best for us they would have saved the horse and buggy industry, 8-track tapes,black and white tv etc
    Wake up times have changed. Although times have changed there will be a need for sometime to offer postal services. Make it bigger and offer more services in a dying market or make it lean and mean to better fit todays needs.
    Congress is controlled by lobbist and unions whom intrest is keeping cheaper mail rates and jobs, but not logic.
    Bulk mail does not pay its weight unless delivered with first class mail, which has deciled dramaticaly. Raise rates on junk mail to encourage smarter mailings rather than blanketing a community with mail niether wanted or appreciated. So many times I showed up with someones mail and they hold their trash can out for it.
    Is Saturday delivery needed? I have heard from my patrons and not one not one cared. I have been with the postal service 28 years and served the same route 13 years a mix of residential and small business.Surveys have been done and they also show a majority of patrons would much rather cut one day of service compared to large rate increases. Will congress listen, sure to the lobbyist and unions not us. Their intrest is not saving the post office.

    1) lessen the size of government by any means possible.
    2) maximize benefits to business by any means possible.
    3) minimize constraints on business and commerce by any means possible.

    With this AGENDA in mind, what stance would you think that the GOP takes
    regarding “solutions” to the current revenue short fall of the USPS?

    It has always been the position of the GOP that “government services” are
    more “efficiently” provided by the “private sector”….this has been their MANTRA
    and it continues to be today….THE COMMERCE CLASS AND THE GOP have
    been arguing and actively lobbying for decades to scrap large portions of
    US Government operations and give them to the PRIVATE SECTOR….and
    their activities today regarding the USPS are CLASSIC GOP POLITICS as
    usual…..THEIR recommendations include amending legislation to allow the
    PERMANENT RESTRUCTURING of the Postal service(elimination of delivery
    days to be determined by USPS Management and elimination/modification of
    DELIVERY STANDARDS)….Changing the COLLECTIVE BARGAINING STRUCTURE of the USPS regarding it’s workers…..and allowing the PRIVATE
    SECTOR to enter into the bailiwick of the USPS(relaxing the Postal Exclusivity
    Statute to certain mail classes).

    Each argument that has been put forth by AGENDA DRIVEN GOP has been
    refuted, but they are relentless in their PUSH TO PRIVATIZE.

    The PMG continues to utilize fraudulent ” future deficit estimates”…(the
    INFAMOUS $238 BILLION OVER TEN YEARS number that he subsequently
    said “…that’s just a number” during testimony of PRC).

    GOP LEADERSHIP(Sen.Coburn) continues to lie about Postal Collective
    Bargaining and WAGE COMPARABILITY to the Private Sector….The FACT IS
    during every collective bargaining series for DECADES, both the USPS AND
    THE EXCLUSIVE UNIONS have had extensive testimony FROM ECONOMISTS
    regarding the economic aspects of the exclusive agreements….Arbitrators
    have always considered the ECONOMIC ASPECTS of the parties.

    The AMERICAN WORKER has been taking it on the chin from the BUSINESS/
    COMMERCE CLASS for decades….they have had their jobs EXPORTED to
    foreign countries while their CORPORATE BOSSES reap a TAX CREDIT and
    other government provided INCENTIVES for having put them into the lines
    of the UNEMPLOYED. Corporations have relentlessly consolidated and moved
    operations to LOW COST LABOR STATES, again with local and state
    government TAX INCENTIVES….and sometimes, the record shows that these
    jobs themselves ARE SHIPPED OVERSEAS TO CHINA….and once again, the

    There absolutely must be an end to this RACE TO THE BOTTOM OF WAGE
    If there is not…..we as a COUNTRY ARE FINISHED.

  11. PMG POTTER flat out lied at the hearings to the PRC and he is lying to the public! why is he not being held accountable for the LIES? He should be FIRED!! and Put in JAIL!! right along with everyone who helped him come up with these lies and false numbers (cooking the books) The U S P S is so TOP HEAVY that is the biggest problem! Not to mention if Potter continues to “CUT SERVICE”, HOW DO WE INCREASE REVENUE? It don’t take a rocket scientist to see what the problem is!!! FIRE HIM NOW!!!!!!

  12. The craft employees do not receive a large increase. For the last four or five years the have received one or one and a half percent increase. Management which is over staffed except for the bottom Supervisors and postmasters have received in some cases five to ten percent. That is not to mention the guy that received an 85,000 signing bonus and an 85,000 retention bonus. Most postal workers hired after 1983 pay into social security and a small pension fund. They also have a thrift savings plan like a 401 that they can contribute to.

    postmaster general Jack Potter’s base salary rose from $186,000 in 2007 to more than $260,000 in 2008. On top of that, he received a “performance” bonus of $135,000. Between Potter’s salary, bonuses, retirement benefits and other perks, total compensation was more than $850,000.

    He says he has to cut service because the Post office is losing money but the top managers keep getting big bonuses

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