Postmasters President: Closing Small Offices Is A Measure To Make Senior USPS Managers Look Good

May 17, 2011 – LEAGUE President Mark Strong testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security. Mark joined the Postmaster Pat Donahoe and five other panelists to give testimony on the financial condition of the post office as well as addressing Senator Carper’s bill as well as the Collins bill.

Included in Mark’s comments was testimony on the overfunding of the pension funds as well as the prefunding of the retiree health benefits being at the source of the Postal Services financial condition. During his oral testimony Mark told the Senate Committee that “no business of any type, in any part of the country, could afford to pay a 5 Billion dollar supplemental annual income tax that its competitors do not pay, and remain viable”.

Marks remarks also covered the issue of closing of small post offices. Small office closings are one of those cost savings measures that are popular to some mid-level postal officials because they can look good with the impression that they are driving large cost out of the system. He further mentioned that Post Offices and Postmasters..…are the glue the binds rural America together. Something some urbanites have a hard time understanding but it is the truth, not rhetoric and not exaggerated.

Jack Jameson
Executive Vice President

Closing of Small Post Offices
There appears to be renewed interest in some sectors in closing small rural post offices, an interest that is too often simplistically tied to the notion of closing excess facilities to drive excess capacity out of the system. This interest has arisen despite the fact that small rural post offices are the keystone of many rural communities, and the fact that closing post offices saves the Postal Service very little money. According to PRC data the total net cost of the 10,000 smallest Post Offices—more than one-third of all Post Offices in the United States—is less than seven tenths of one percent (0.7%) of the total cost of the United States Postal Service. The League just recently re-verified that data with the Commission’s staff.

Thus, closing post offices is not a cost savings measure of any serious import, no matter how anyone spins it. It is one of those ―cost saving‖ measures that is popular with senior postal managers who wish to ―look good‖ and give the impression that they are driving costs out of thesystem, without really doing so. In order to drive costs out of the system, one needs to focus on increasing efficiency in the administration of the system (less reports, more hands-on work) and on driving out any excess capacity in the processing and transportation network. The breadth and scope of the delivery network turns more on the number of delivery points in an area, rather than on the number of pieces delivered. The number of pieces delivered goes to the number of routes that exist, and our members have worked with their carriers in very productive ways throughout the recession, in order to consolidate and increase productivity in that area.

Closing post offices, like the closing of Borders Bookstores or Blockbuster outlets, can seem like a fast way to cut costs, but it carries significant hidden costs. First, unlike other stores, post offices are not just retail outlets; they are part of a nationwide receipt and delivery network. This receipt and delivery network depends upon the existence of these rural offices, and without them there will be gaps in coverage of delivery and postal services.

Small post offices should not be closed, and indeed cannot be closed without doing serious damage to rural America and the image of the federal government in those areas.

Postmasters President Strong Testimony To Senate

source: National League Of Postmasters

7 thoughts on “Postmasters President: Closing Small Offices Is A Measure To Make Senior USPS Managers Look Good

  1. If rural post ofices are only 0.7 percent of total operating budget why the big deal ? I do not see how closing them will save money May be there are too many chiefs and not enough you know workers

  2. Pat, No it is not essential. 5 days would work out fine. People have gotten too spoiled into thinking they are:”entitled” to get 6 days delivery. If the money is not there, why spend more than you have to. If it was your business and you owned it, you would shut your mouth totally because you know spending more than you have is not what you want to do, but when it comes to spending someone elses money or goverment who doesnt know how to save money, but spend more to make more, etc. you whine and complain that others are making good valid points.

  3. Bernard
    You are a fool! Saturday Mail delivery is essential for many business. There are many millions of people including senior citizens in rural areas who don’t give two shits about all the technological crap that is out there. Maybe in 25 years your logic will make sense.
    Also just for fun you should try to carry a mail route someday. You would quit. You would not be able to handle it and you would be crying for more money!

  4. We need to keep rural offices OPEN and provide to those communities.

    5 Day delivery is the key to our future……..whether you like it or not.

    We also need to eliminate the VAST overhead costs in our system we HAVE way to much fat above the local post office level. If you arent touching the mail, selling, delivering transporting YOU are costing us way too much money now!

  5. .P. S….Bernard,,,,,why don’t u admit that u work for private enterprizes who want to take over the lucatrative ends of the post office..

    get ur facts straight tell the truth….u are pathtethic……Ben Franklin the first pmg




  6. Why don’t u postmasters have the balls to tell those in order u that they are wrong and file lawsuits and injunctions to teach them a lesson.
    get some balls and be brave and stand up to them or at the very least


  7. Congress should have had fortitude to close many of them years ago as they contribute to losses and are not needed,. Universal mail service will continue but wasted cost must be eliminated. Sat. route mail delivery is a wasted cost as the mail delivered on not essential in affecting American life. The majority is bulk standard mail; parcels that are delivered are not essential to a time factor or would be expedited.same as FED X or UPS operates. USPS must operate cost effective such as eliminating a non needed service as Sat. delivery. This would idle 190,000+ vehicles eliminating increasing fuel cost as well as delivery personnel cost.
    Congress should do its job and take action to operate in product and service decline resulting in decrease of revenue which states operations that are presently provided must be revamped. Offices must be closed and deliver days reduced. USPS no longer keeps people and business connected as technological advances has created the INTERNET, FACEBOOK, TEXTING, SMART PHONES AND NEW APPS COMMING ON LINE, POSTAL SERVICE HAS BEEN REPLACED BY INTERNET; E MAIL IS INSTANT AND DOES NOT REQUIRE PURCHASING A POSTAGE STAMP AND WAITING A 1-2 DELIVERY TIME FRAME.
    Congress should do its job and ignore politics and pressure groups whose only interest is selfish self interest.

Comments are closed.