PMG Potter’s Response To White House On Pilot Test For Five-Day Delivery

Excerpts from PMG John Potter letter regarding Pilot test on Five-Day Delivery:

From an operational standpoint a pilot test conducted on a regional basis would increase some of our costs in the short term. For example, we either would have to make manual changes to mail processing sorting schemes and payroll or utilize information technology to program such changes for a limited time or geographic area. We believe that our information technology programming changes, estimated to cost $10 million-$12 million for a national, full-time implementation, would grow significantly to accommodate a test, as would administrative costs if we decided to forego programming changes in favor of performing manual processing for the defined test period. We also would have to communicate the pilot’s parameters to the public and employees. During such a test we would be unable to make the permanent, necessary changes to our delivery workforce, transportation networks, and mail processing operations that would yield the projected $3.1 billion savings. The largest financial impact of a pilot would be the fact that many career employees in the pilot area would have to be paid not to work or be relocated, white many of our non-career and part-time employees would see their wages reduced or eliminated. Any savings in wages that the Postal Service would realize during the test would immediately disappear at the test’s conclusion.

It may be helpful for me to offer a distinct example of the internal challenges that a test would present. In City Letter Carrier operations, full -time, regular City Carriers generally are assigned to a single delivery route that they service five days per week. These Carriers are scheduled to have Sunday off as well as one other day of the week. A category of full-time Carriers, known as Carrier Technicians. also are scheduled to work five days per week; but instead of servicing the same route each day, they cover the day off- and the route–of five different carriers. The five-day delivery proposal anticipates the reduction of approximately 25,000 full-time City Carrier assignments and $2.2 billion in annual savings in City Carrier operations. The savings are generated primarily by the fact that under a five-day delivery model, regular Carriers assigned to a single route would have Saturday and Sunday off, eliminating the need for the Carrier Technician and Relief Carrier assignments. We plan to transition full-time Carrier Technician assignments into Carrier positions (that cover a single route) that become available through attrition (a significant percentage of our current workforce is eligible for retirement between now and 2014). Under a pilot test we would be unable to carry out this Carrier alignment, and during the test itself, we would have a surplus of Letter Carriers for whom we would have to find productive work within their craft, and if unsuccessful, pay them to perform no work because our contract with the National Association of Letter Carriers guarantees full-time, regular Carriers a 40-hour work week. Under our national proposal for five-day delivery we Intend to preserve the employment of our career City Carriers.

read letter from Postmaster General John Potter submitted to the Postal Regulatory Commission

14 thoughts on “PMG Potter’s Response To White House On Pilot Test For Five-Day Delivery

  1. Mike…if only congress would return our money. That will never happen. I would bet that they are sorely irritated that the Service is not playing the part of “cashcow”. And I have no reservations about giving upper management, from “Infant Plaza” on down, a whole lotta paycuts.
    It is absurdly odd that they have made no overt adjustments to their ranks, in either pay/beny or demotions.
    After several adjustments to my route, volume has still dropped. And lo! the computer module doth speaketh. I won’t argue with it. However, these same managers will be hard to find if and when volume does increase and extra-time is required.
    Pendulums swing, even in a broken free-market economy. To keep us viable, to keep us endeared to our public, I would hope we can take our lumps and not beg “bailout”. I just find it amusing when someone takes a minute to deliver a single piece of mail to one stop.
    Way-upper management has taken the Service and made it a “Serve Us”. I truly hope we survive without privatization but since when has congress ever listened? Even when we ask them to give us bakc our due.

  2. The top postal managers have padded their “Washington home office” for the last few years, while they have cut hourly jobs across the country. One example that sticks out to me was hiring 3 “speech writers” since 2008 and their wages averaged over $100,000 each per year. This is stupid, they are not being held accountable! How many lawyers do they need? They have too many on their books! Too many chiefs is very correct, get rid of 50% of them. In the last month or so, the “Washington home office” has grown from approximately 2,200 to over 2,500 employees. They are out of control!

  3. Responders to PMG Potter’s absurd, questionable justifications for reducing mail delivery days, say the crux of the issue in various ways; basically that SERVICE is the U.S. Postal Service’s ONLY product, which begs the question…How does reducing the USPS’s only product translate into a sound business decision?

    “Postal Proud” presents a solution suggesting that postal labor and management work together, not against one another. Oh, if only that were possible! Great solution, but naive. Employee Involvement/Quality Of Worklife programs to promote “jointness” failed miserably. That was ‘company unionism’ wrapped in a pretty package. To believe that the lion and the lamb can lie down together is a myth. USPS management proves this to be true every day in the USPS,from the top to the workroom floor, and further verified in soon to be negotiated labor agreements with postal labor. Not coincidentally that PMG Potter’s plea of poverty comes at the same time as contract talks.

    And, the numbers keep changing from L’Efant Plaza. $238 Billion deficit over 10 years? Now, the $75B overfunding of future retiree health benefits is ‘only’ $50B? The USPS CEO and his cronies mirror the tactics of Wall St. CEO’s.

    Lost in the smoke and mirrors is what the USPS, by law, is required to provide every American…SERVICE! I’m a rural patron. I look forward to my 6-day delivery service for both my incoming and outgoing mail. My meds are via the U.S. Mails and depend on their timely receipt. I life 12 miles from the nearest post office, so renting a P.O. box isn’t practical.

    But, I have a question. How is it a CEO of the largest delivery service industry in the world can have the longevity of PMG Potter, and is running the organization into the ground, is paid the big bucks plus “incentives” for failure? Wall St. mentality all over again.

    I firmly believe that it’s managment’s design to destroy the USPS from within, has been their mission since the ’70’s & ’80’s, with the intent to open the door for privatization.

  4. So lets review:
    The Postal Service eliminates X amount of jobs saving ?$ amount of money.
    Lets make it simple if this happens:
    The Postal Customers get less service and who is to say it will end with 5 days. Who is to say it wouldn’t later be reduced to 4? Maybe twice a week? Wow what a concept. The one Government controlled establishment that we could depend on is now getting the AXE! What the heck?
    We bail out automakers and who knows what and where else the Fed bails out!
    At least the Postal Service is that, a SERVICE. Where is their Bail Out?
    So lets say the Postal Service gets what they want and get rid of those employees and leave them jobless? So who pays that unemployment and at what price to the American Public. We get less customer service and now we as tax payers pay the wages that the Postal service has saved? What is saved. Nothing!!
    Look at the writing on the wall. It’s nothing more than a shift of how you pay.
    You can continue to use the services offered by the Postal Service and continue to get Carrier service 6 days a week or you can let them have there way and still pay through our increased taxes in order to support and retain those displaced Postal Workers.

    You know many of my friends, family and neighbors have loved ones in the military. I am sure they don’t mind waiting another day to get a letter from over seas. Maybe that Service Person in the Military doesn’t mind waiting another day to get that package that the carrier would have picked up on Saturday. Maybe we won’t mind waiting on the medicines we have been waiting to be delivered or that check or that gift etc etc. !!
    I think you all see the problem here. Why oh why would a business look at reducing customer service when that is the very thing that keeps it going.
    The Postal Service could serve their customer much better by reducing cost in many other ways. Reduce useless supervision, reduce wasteful spending on higher level “Bonuses”.
    Hello Postal Service: Listen to your customers and give them what they want. A good “trusted” product at a good price when and where they need it.

    Oh one more thing: You probably already know that the Postal Service has been trying to privatize many of their services. Sounds like a good thing at first but lets look at the BIG picture.

    Postal Service employees are required to agree to a background check and receive many hours of training and continued training during their employment.
    So who do you think will be handling your mail at those contract stations like the ones in Convenience stores etc?? What background checks are required? Hummmm!! Who can now handle your mail? A felon maybe? Who knows, it just depends on whom the manager hires.
    Please Please Please America WAKE UP!!
    Don’t let the Postal Service slide this by with promises and stories of how great it will be and how much money it will save. See the BIG PICTURE! Think about it and raise Hell to your Postal officials, Congressmen, Senators and let your friends, neighbors and family know to do the same.
    Don’t let this happen to those Postal employees who have given you delivery 6 days a week.
    Don’t let this happen to you by letting someone take away something that is so important.
    Remember today your carrier service and then what, your Post Office?
    Say NO!!!

  5. 5 Day delivery would effect and cause more cuts in employment in all crafts and all sections. Customer service would be cut and customer expectations would be unfullfilled. Millions of people and businesses depend and rely on the USPS.
    The postal service is regulated by Congress to provide service, and has the status of a private business to provide for itself- but not as a business to reap windfall profits from the customer or public as other private companies do.
    You cannot apply other business models to the USPS because we are a one of a kind operation and service. Other private companies and business would love to gain our operations and cut service and delivery standards in order to reap hugh profits at the expense of the citizens.
    The postal service problems come from executive management mistakes. Purchasing million dollar machinery all across the country to take the place of employees; which now set idle- never to repay for themselves. Discounts granted to hugh mailers that exceed the cost savings. The USPS could do the work cheaper itself. $75 Billion dollar overpayment? Now the number has been reduced to $50 Billion dollars by a different accounting agency? $25 Billion just given to someone or something? But no matter the final amount tally- were in the BILLIONS! Who makes BILLION dollar mistakes, and no accountability!!!
    The USPS is viable, the most trusted agency of our government, the most hardworking and trusted workforce of any company; and must keep its service standards,employees, and committment to the public. In order to survive- the USPS must cut overhead in the workforce from the top down; not the bottom up. They must reclaim work and kill the outsourcing which has led to profits by others instead of the USPS! The USPS must reclaim the monies that have been given away through error, and they must hold accountable those who took the actions that led to the problems.
    Mr. Potter- you are the head of the USPS- who do you hold accountable?

  6. Robert… I have no idea what you mean 4 hours worth of product. I always have at least 8hrs of work on a Saturday. Usually more cause were always short 8-10 routes cause they are not replacing retired carriers. Hey even if its Saturday, I still have to stop at every house. Besides no sat. delivery would not solve the problem…congress needs to give us our 75 billion back.

  7. When is everyone going to quit bickering about the issues that face the Postal Service and start working together???? There always has to be a person to blame. Management blames Unions and lazy craft employees that they can’t get rid of and craft blames management for all the financial woes and thinks they are better off without leadership. Well everyone better lighten up and wake up. Things have to change and uncomfortable decisions have to be made everyday. You talk about how much money people are overpaid, but have you ever once thought about the responsibility that person has. They are on the clock 24/7 unlike the greedy OT hounds of the Unions. And yes management makes some really stupid decisions that we all shake our heads and wonder WTF but if we don’t come up with solutions by working together we aren’t going to be around because bottom line is, if they ever privatize the Postal Service, 50% of us will be out of jobs, both management and craft. Think about it, there are plenty of people that need a job! Do what is right to save ours!

  8. And I think .44cents from Flordia to California is a Great Deal… or even .50 cents. Can you drive it there cheaper? Believe it or not in the rural area, They know when their are going to recieve important peices of mail and what day they are coming. Think about this. Since we don’t deliver to certian rural addresses, these people already have free P.O. boxes and can pick up their mail anytime they want. The argument that people in rural areas would suffer is propoganda because if you are expecting medicine and we don’t deliver, what difference does it make wheather you live in the rural or city areas. Neither one is getting delivered!
    Think about it.

  9. Walmart open 24hr, yes but are there tellers at 2:00 in the morning ? The only line is self service. What world are you people living in. All these big companies do is cut service. From the banks to the retail stores to gas stations all you get is do it yourself. They even have self check out at Home Depot. When you call a 1-800 number do you get a person or a recording? If you want 24hr’s, the Postal Service has APC’s (Automated Postal Centers) that are open 24hr. Cut it out acting like everywhere else you go there are an army of people waiting to serve you. All big business do is cut service so they can employ less people. Hello!

  10. If the Postal service isnot suported with tax dollars what happens when there is a
    deficit? Who pays?

  11. How can you serve the customers when your windows are closed the hours when your customers are able to get to the Post Office and delivery is not made when your customers are expecting important checks or information? It does not take a rocket scientist to see that when you do not give the customers the service or the convience they will find some other way to get what they need. A private business would not operate this way. Walmart is open 24 hrs in many areas. “Convience Stores” are convient. I do agree that money is what we need to operate but why not get it from areas that do not produce the product or service…many upper level management positions could be consolidated….just a thought. Too many cheifs not enough indians, is the way I see it.

  12. The Postal Service is a business! The monies we make is our survival! Tell me how many businesses you have walked into on a daily or weekly basis that have empty shelves and several full time employees doing very little to nothing?Tell me how many businesses can survive if they do not have a product. People have found other means! Match the model of the business to the new century. In the electronic age, paper pushers are just not that needed. There isn’t any reason that mail can’t be delivered during the M-F week anywhere in the US. And that includes medicine, papers, and checks.
    At the very least, if the Service is required to continue Saturday delivery, then perhaps it should allow part-time staff to effect this business day as it wouldn’t require a full eight hour day to deliver four hours worth of product.

  13. When will somebody wake up and “FIRE” PMG POTTER? It don’t take a blind person to see he is trying to DESTROY the USPS, and so far it’s working!!! I don’t understand how he has kept his job for as long as has! Just who in the hell is he really working for???? NOT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC (PEOPLE)

  14. Five day weeks are a terrible anti-service idea. Go for service, bring in customers, remember we’re a public service and stop playing like you’re private businessmen, because in the US Postal Service, you’re not.

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