An Urgent Call To Attend USPS “Public Input Meetings”

Attend United States Postal Service Public Input Meetings to Insure a First Class Stamp Receives First Class Service

For Immediate Release 11/7/2011 Contact Clint Burelson, President 360-970-2965

Statement by Clint Burelson, APWU  President, Olympia, Washington

The United States Postal Service (USPS) will soon be holding “public input meetings” regarding their proposals to close and/or consolidate mail processing plants all across the country. The Postal Service admits that if they are allowed to proceed with consolidating mail processing operations, the first class mail that is currently delivered the next day will instead take two to three days. The Postal Service does not intend to reduce the cost of a first class stamp to match the reduction in service. The delay in service problems will be even greater for those in rural areas. This is a dramatic, inappropriate, and unnecessary reduction of service to the American people.

In addition, the Postal Service and corporate owned media are not properly reporting the severity of the reduction of service associated with the consolidations and/or the real reasons for the USPS’s financial condition, which is not as bad as advertised. It is therefore important that regular citizens, small businesses, non-profit organizations and local government spread the word and attend these important public input meetings to express their opposition to the consolidation of mail processing plants, the elimination of overnight first class delivery, and any further dismantling of the United States Postal Service.

In Washington State, the Postal Service plans to consolidate mail processing operations in the Olympia, Tacoma, and Everett plants to the Seattle Plant. Such changes will reduce service in all of Washington State and the entire country. The upcoming “public input meetings” for Washington State consolidations are scheduled as follows:

Public Input Meeting Regarding Closing of the Everett Plant

November 10 (Thursday) 6:00 p.m., at PUD Building on 2320 California St., Everett WA

Public Input Meeting Regarding Closing of the Tacoma Plant

November 17 (Thursday), 5:30 p.m. at Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S, Tacoma WA

Public Input Meeting Regarding Closing of the Olympia Plant

November 18 (Friday) 6:00 p.m. at the Phoenix Inn Suites
415 Capitol Way North, Olympia WA

The public can also send written comments now and for as long as 15 days after the public input meeting to the following address:

Manager, Consumer and Industry Contact
Seattle District
PO Box 90306
Seattle, WA 98109

For those in other cities, please check for the dates, times, and locations of the public meetings and the address for the written comments.

Possible Harmful Effects of the Elimination of First Class Service for a First Class Stamp

The drastic reduction of service associated with the consolidations is unnecessary and could cause harm as follows:

  • A first class stamp will be devalued by the loss of first class service
  • The proposal is a rate hike since local overnight delivery will now be at express rates
  • Workers, their families and communities will be devastated by loss/transfer of jobs
  • Checks, other income, and critical time-sensitive documents could be delayed
  • Individuals might not receive their medications when needed
  • Mortgage and other bill payments could be delayed causing late charges or worse
  • Election results could be negatively affected by the delay in mail
  • Small local businesses and non-profits could see further delay in their local mailings
  • Delay in service will be greater following a holiday
  • The delay in service problems will be even greater for those in rural areas
  • Mail processing plants and post offices will be harder to get back once taken away

Postal Service Financial Situation is a False and Manufactured Crisis

The Post Office receives no tax dollars to fund its operating expenses and the financial situation at the USPS is a false and manufactured crisis, primarily caused by: (1) Excessive discounts to large mailers like Time Warner, Bank of America, etc., (2) The 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) legislation, which set unrealistic price caps and mandated prefunding of retiree health benefits for employees who have not even been born, and (3) overpayments to retirement programs – Over 50 billion to CSRS and 6.9 billion to FERS.

The finances of the Post Office could easily be fixed simply by a more realistic retiree healthcare prefunding requirement. The 2006 PAEA legislation required the Postal Service to prefund the health care benefits of possible employees 75 years in advance. As if that was not bad enough, Congress required that all of the prefunding had to be completed within 10 years. Congress created the problem and Congress could easily fix it. However, corporate wealth heavily influences congressional legislation and therefore the easy fix is not being implemented.

In addition to adjusting the prefunding of retiree healthcare benefits, the American public should insure that retirement overpayments are returned to the USPS, undo the corporate takeover of the Postal Service, end large corporate mailer discounts, improve pricing methods to encourage the free flow of ideas, and improve service to the American people. The Constitution establishes post offices and postal roads that should serve the American public and not corporate interests.

Large Discounts to the Large Mailers

Large mailers receive generous discounts for preparing the mail for entry into the Postal Service. The discounts/subsidies to large corporations are so generous that a whole industry of private sector low wage, non-union, postal work has been created. Moreover, the discounts have caused a revenue problem for the Postal Service. According to an article appearing on 10/11/2011 in the Wall Street Journal (a conservative business newspaper),

“First-class mail accounted for 50%, or $34 billion, of the postal service’s total revenue in the 2010 fiscal year. Advertising mail had higher volumes but brought in $17.3 billion, or only 26% of total revenue, due to hefty discounts and lower rates.”

According to a recent (7/6/11) report by the Office of Inspector General, 60% of first class mail and a whopping 80% of standard (advertising) mail are currently presorted and drop shipped by private mailers. The OIG report concludes that the private sorting of the mail and drop shipping is so vast that the large mailers no longer need nor desire as many processing plants. However, the same is not true for the millions of people whose mail travels through these plants.

Consolidation Benefits Corporations at Expense of the American Public

The OIG report later indicates that the same large mailers are “open to relaxing the existing service standards in exchange for achieving substantial economies.” Of course, what this means is that service to the American people is reduced and the large mailers get the benefits.

Then Postmaster General John Potter, giving the keynote address to the big mailers on 4/3/2006 at the National Postal Forum, reminded them how they benefit by consolidation.

“Second, we need the industry’s cooperation as we streamline our networks — whether it’s our transportation networks or our processing networks. From your standpoint, it will mean fewer places to drop your mailings and enable you to maximize worksharing discounts. This is not something that will happen overnight. Rather, it will be an evolutionary process that will enable all of us to transition smoothly.”

At the time, the Postmaster General was telling the large mailers to be patient because the Postal Service’s attempts to quickly consolidate plants in 2005 met opposition from local postal workers and their communities fighting to keep service. However, now the large mailers and the USPS have regrouped and are using a manufactured “crisis” to claim financial woes and justify drastic changes such as consolidation and the reduction of service all in the name of, “saving the Post Office.”

The need for the mail processing centers and post offices still exist for regular citizens, non-profits, and small businesses who rely on the existing system to conveniently send and receive mail in a timely manner. The USPS acknowledges that closing these facilities means the elimination of overnight delivery for first class mail. There is no need for a first class stamp to receive second class service. Spread the word of the public input meeting in your area to insure a first class stamp receives first class service and living wage jobs are kept in your local community.

For more information contact: Clint Burelson – or 360-970-2965

10 thoughts on “An Urgent Call To Attend USPS “Public Input Meetings”

  1. geez…….look at all those high paid idiots sitting there ughhhh. Geez, the USPS has been around for how long? yeah ….where else can grandma mail a letter for 44 cents to her grandkids ? or even receive her social security check? you cut jobs and there goes your accurate delivery…..postal workers are being killed with injuries due to slave driver supervisors trying to get the mail out…..usps is being sued by millions like $240 yeah not by disgruntal workers but by abused workers…..thats why by law an employee is not allowed to take pics of how hard they really work. Machines can read the adress on the mail in 1 second ….so why can’t the employees…yeah. Thats right I work with the USPS going on 30 yrs w/tendonitis wrist, elbows, arms, legs, you name it. Why not congress and usps agree to an early retirement w/incentives. You’ll have A LOT of employees taking this offer!!! yeah! Sure then hire those less qualified and pay them less. At least you you can hire more employees….and not have 1 employee now whos doing 3-person job and suffering of pain. Then you’ll still be able to keep the small post offices for grandma to receive her social security check. By consolidating all into 1 plant your throwing money away on transportation and delay of mail! If you own the building (which is rare) keep it and stop paying leases ### years on these large buildings (by all means close shop there). All these years after NIXON why are you big wigs still leasing large plants and not investing. FED EX and UPS owns there own bldgs, planes, and usps pays them to fly there mail. Come on use you head. Get rid of the leases and buy your own building then you can consolidate the correct way, why waste money on transportation, OFFER EARLY RETIREMENT w/GREAT incentives; i’m pretty sure (over 100,000) will take it, then…you can hire (more) new contract workers for less. Then you can have 3 or 4 people serving customers at a station instead of 1.

  2. With all the decisions that have been coming down from upper management, I think it’s fair to say that they are trying to sabotage the postal service. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like there’s been a better opportunity for them to privatize us than right now. Contact your local congress people and representatives and make sure they hear your dissatisfaction with what’s going on, especially with all the bills being negotiated in congress currently. Oh yeah, don’t forget to fight management whenever possible

  3. The USPS has proven over and over that they do not really care about the public’s opinion. They have these meetings because they have to. I wouldn’t waste my time with the USPS. Contact your members of congress. I realize that may be a waste too, but if enough people do contact their reps then their MIGHT be a response from congress. Chances the USPS will care are 0%!

  4. Sounds like a real pelicandope. People want jobs that can bring them out proverty not put them in proverty shit for brain.

    You sound like another corporate interests group wanting to get rich of the backs of the american workers. Go fuck yourself! hows that for truth justice and the american way?

    The cost of everything keeps going up each time you go to buy food, this up by eight cents or this product now up by five cents more.

    Word is 2012 gas will go even higher they want us to pay more for our health care and retirements on and on it goes, But our pay? No we get some smuck like you, I say ratified this (middle finger) pelicandope

  5. Someone let congress in on this little secret

    The Constitution establishes post offices and postal roads that should serve the American public and not corporate interests.

  6. I know how to stop the closing of post offices, under new clerk craft contract all new clerks coming in make 14.00 and only work 30 hours. 167000 clerks now making 28 and working 40 hours. replace them and save 13 bil a years what are you waiting for. If this was gates co he would have done it when that contract was ratified idiopts do it

  7. The more you hear the less sense it makes. One point is clear to me. If our future is based on anything coming out of postal headquarters in DC we are done!
    What mail is going to be delayed 3 days?? I thought the mail volumes were dropping to record lows? I thought we we had FSS machines, 85% of our letters are DPS’d (it was supposed to be 94% daily). Letter Carriers have been casing faster than the minimun standards allowed on a daily basis for years.
    Maybe the postal service should invest thousands of dollars we don’t have on machines and man hours that have a camera and pedometer to see if they can shave a couple of seconds off the carriers time in the office. I thought that was what the delivery supervisor was paid to do. Maybe their doing this to get rid of the delivery supervisor position. But then would the postmaster be able to handle all of the “other” duties the supervisor has? If you think the little scooter with the camera and pedometer is a little far fetched I can tell you it’s already being used in our area.

  8. IF the postal service is serious about saving money they would cut the wages up upper management and the PMG. None of them touch the mail, therefore they are not needed. Cutting service, and consolidating will not help the situation. They are so full of BS they believe all the lies they are telling. So many things could be done, but the people we have in charge are too stupid to come up with it. They only promote the “idiots” that will do as they say, not the people who are qualified. You know after all these years, some of those idiots have actually made it to the upper tiers. I wouldn’t doubt the present PMG is one of those idiots. Some of the incredibly stupid ideas he’s presenting shows it.

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