Rep. Hinchey Leads 111 House Members Against Post Office Closures

USPS Relying on Flawed Data for Closure Plan

Maurice_HincheyWashington, DC - Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and 110 other U.S. House members today called on Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to institute a moratorium on United States Postal Service (USPS) discontinuance studies, which will determine if more than 3,600 post offices and other retail facilities should be closed. In a letter signed by the bipartisan group, Hinchey cited a Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) report that points to deep flaws with the data used by the USPS to determine which postal facilities should be considered for closure.

“The data the U.S. Postal Service used to select which post offices it would consider for closure was incomplete, inaccurate and inappropriately targeted rural post offices,” said Hinchey. “I’m calling on the Postmaster General to halt all discontinuance studies. Unless they start operating with better information, they could do more harm than good.”

The House members outlined several problems cited by the PRC’s report on the USPS Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI), including:

  • Incomplete data for all Post Offices, branches and stations. Currently, the USPS does not have inclusive data for every individual office, branch or station, which makes it impossible to accurately calculate cost savings from proposed closures.
  • Inaccurate representations of usage and revenues for all Post Offices, branches and stations. For example, revenue measurements do not include transactions such as post office box visits, exceptional dispatch for local periodicals, or alternate revenue transactions such as business mail or returns.
  • Estimates of the distance between postal facilities that are undergoing a discontinuance study and others nearby that would be required to absorb the consumer base use geographical distance rather than actual driving distance. While the discontinuance study may address this issue, the RAOI needs to provide this information at a preliminary stage so accurate assessments can be used to inform which Post Offices, branches or station are eligible for a discontinuance study.
  • The low workload and revenue screen included in the RAOI disproportionately targets rural post offices for discontinuance studies. Targeting rural post offices for discontinuance studies clearly violates 39 U.S.C. 101(b), which maintains that the USPS is required to provide effective and regular postal service to rural communities.

The letter is cosigned by Representatives Michael Grimm, Gary Ackerman, Jason Altmire, Joe Baca, Karen Bass, Shelley Berkley, Sanford Bishop, Tim Bishop, Earl Blumenauer, Madeline Bordallo, Robert Brady, Bruce Braley, G.K. Butterfield, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Russ Carnahan, John Carney, Judy Chu, David Cicilline, Yvette D. Clarke, Hansen Clarke, Wm. Lacy Clay, Emmanual Cleaver, Steve Cohen, Gerry Connolly, John Conyers Jr., Mark Critz, Peter DeFazio, Rosa DeLauro, Ted Deutch, Mike Doyle, Donna Edwards, Keith Ellison, Eliot Engel, Bob Filner, Barney Frank, Charlie Gonzalez, Al Green, Gene Green, Raul Grijalva, Michael Grimm, Luis Gutierrez, Alcee Hastings, Brian Higgins, Jim Himes, Mazie Hirono, Tim Holden, Rush Holt, Jesse Jackson Jr., Sheila Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Marcy Kaptur, William Keating, Dale Kildee, Ron Kind, Larry Kissell, Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, John Lewis, David Loebsack, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Ben Ray Lujan, Carolyn Maloney, Doris Matsui, Carolyn McCarthy, Betty McCollum, Jim McDermott, James McGovern, Mike McIntyre, David McKinley, Jerry McNerney, Mike Michaud, Brad Miller, Gwen Moore, John Olver, Bill Owens, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Donald M Payne, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, Pedro Pierluisi, Chellie Pingree, Nick Rahall, Charles Rangel, Silvestre Reyes, Laura Richardson, Steve Rothman, Bobby Rush, Tim Ryan, Loretta Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Bobby Scott, Jose Serrano, Terri Sewell, Heath Shuler, Albio Sires, Louise Slaughter, Fortney Pete Stark, Betty Sutton, Bennie G. Thompson, Mike Thompson, Paul Tonko, Ed Towns, Maxine Waters, Peter Welch, Lynn Woolsey and John Yarmuth.

The full text of the  letter follows:

Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010

Dear Mr. Donahoe:

We understand that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is facing acute financial difficulties, and as a result, has made the decision to begin the process of closing thousands of postal facilities. We share your concern about the solvency of the USPS and its future as our nation’s postal service.

Recently however, the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) reviewed the Postal Service’s Retail Access Optimization Initiative (RAOI), which is being used as the basis for the possible closure of more than 3,600 post offices and other retail facilities, and found serious flaws with the analysis that call into question the USPS’s current consolidations plans. We share the concerns of the PRC, and ask for you to place a moratorium on the USPS’s current discontinuance studies until the USPS resolves the numerous problems the PRC identified in the RAIO. These include:

• Incomplete data for all Post Offices, branches and stations. Currently, the USPS does not have inclusive data for every individual office, branch or station, which makes it impossible to accurately calculate cost savings from proposed closures.

• Inaccurate representations of usage and revenues for all Post Offices, branches and stations. For example, revenue measurements do not include transactions such as post office box visits, exceptional dispatch for local periodicals, or alternate revenue transactions such as business mail or returns.

• Estimates of the distance between postal facilities that are undergoing a discontinuance study and others nearby that would be required to absorb the consumer base use geographical distance rather than actual driving distance. While the discontinuance study may address this issue, the RAOI needs to provide this information at a preliminary stage so accurate assessments can be used to inform which Post Offices, branches or station are eligible for a discontinuance study.

• The low workload and revenue screen included in the RAOI disproportionately targets rural post offices for discontinuance studies. Targeting rural post offices for discontinuance studies clearly violates 39 U.S.C. 101(b), which maintains that the USPS is required to provide effective and regular postal service to rural communities.

We strongly urge you to rectify these issues within the RAOI before proceeding with any discontinuance studies or closures. The closure of Post Offices, stations, and branches will undoubtedly affect communities and lead to the loss of middle class jobs. We remain dedicated to protecting our nation’s postal service and ensuring that all communities are adequately served by the USPS.

Sincerely,

Maurice D. Hinchey

Member of Congress

10 thoughts on “Rep. Hinchey Leads 111 House Members Against Post Office Closures

  1. Donahoe and the USPS is just like the rest of the government, they know what they’re gonna do, and they are going to DO IT, NO MATTER WHAT! This is all lip-service by our politicians because they have really screwed up and sat on their hands for years now, refusing to do anything. Now it is election year and Obama and all the rest of them are cow-towing to everyone, trying to ensure votes. It is such BS! These people have screwed up so much it is truly unbelievable, and now they are doing whatever they think they have to do to try to keep those freaking votes so they can stay in office! I still say we should vote them ALL OUT OF OFFICE! None of them, not one, has done anything for the American public, and even less for the US postal worker! Leave them in there and we’re going to get more of what we are already getting…which is SCREWED! Every time you turn around, they are taking this or that away from the hardworking postal employee, who has labored for years to try to make a good living. I still ask you, what have THEY changed about their high-style of living? NOTHING!!! Absolutely nothing! But they sure are making sure they are going to stick it to us, steal away our retirements, steal away our wages and benefits, steal away our livelihoods! It is getting so bad and so ridiculous that I just want to puke! I sure never heard them demand anything like this from those auto workers they bailed out. Nor did they wait for years to bail out the banks or the auto workers. We have become the scapegoats of the governmental politicians. I guess they figure if they dog us enough, all the private sector citizens will applaud them. We mean nothing to them, NOTHING! Open your eyes and see the truth that is right in front of you. GM and Chrysler, AIG and Wall Street mean more to these politicians than the lowly US postal worker. Our shear numbers could speak for us, but there are too many employees in the USPS who just go along with the unions, thus, the Democrats, to ever make happen what needs to happen. We need to vote them all out. That’s what needs to be done. They already take for granted that this won’t happen, taking us for granted, no matter what they do to us.

  2. Play politics keep all of them open. Who is going to pay? Decreasing revenue CAN Ner cost at present. . CRAFT AND MANAGEMENT UNIONS AS WEL AS
    POLITICAL PLAYING POLITICANS HAVE NO CONCERN FOR THE USPS LONG HAUL AS COST MUST BE REDUCED TO OFFSET CONTINUED DECREASE IN REVENUE AS VOLUME WILL CONTINUE TO DECLINE. sUPPLY OF POSTAL SERVICES EXCEEDS THE DEMAND WHICH RESULTS IN NEGATIVE RETURN BUT PER POLITICS, UNIONS AND PRESSURE GROUPS aMERICANS DESERVE THE SERVICES THEY ARE NOW RECEIVING REGARDLESS OF THE COST OR NEED.

  3. Call Your Senators:
    202-224-3121
    (Capitol Switchboard)
    [Click here for direct #s]
    Tell them you Support

    S. 1789 with the amendments to preserve 6 day delivery and stop the Closing

    of thosands of Post Offices nationwide.

    The U.S. Senate soon will likely debate the 21st Century Postal Reform Act (S. 1789), bill offering Early Retirement Incentives.
    As president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, I understand that
    S. 1789 should be amended, Congress should approve this bill ,S.1789.
    Fredric V. Rolando is the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers
    incentives to be combined.
    1. 25,000 cash.
    2. 3 years added on to your FERS retirement.
    3. 2 years added on to your CSRS retirement.

    GOOGLE……….U.S. SENATE………Choose your “SENATOR HOME” State. Look for the area in which to write and send your comments.
    S.1789 is the last hope for anyone wanting the Early Retirement Incentives.

    The NALC, APWU , and Obama Support the buyouts.

  4. Hey there Congressman Hinchley you and the other 109 ” WHINERS ” want any cheese with that whine?

  5. This is a right decision these senators are requesting, but at the same time there are several proposed H.R. bills that will help keep the Postal Service finanical stable. Such as first and foremost H.R. 1351 Bill by Rep. Lynch; proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders, De Fazzio, and others that would return the retiree pre-fund overpayment money back to the Postal Service. This amount is not only the FERS overpayment of $11 billion dollars, but also between $50 and $75 billion dollars overpayment to CRS retiree pre-fund payment. This is what needs to be voted on and passed also. Stop taliking and start voting yes!!

  6. The APWU is urging union members to contact their senators and representatives to express their views on three bills that would have a Positive effect effect on postal employees, as all Employees will be offered Early Retirement Incentives with the Refund of the prefund.

    S.1789 is our best bet for Early Retirement Incentives.

  7. I will add to my previous post that representatives from Sen. Graham, Demint and Rep. Mulvaney office’s did come to listen to members of the town during a recent meeting about the closing of our Post Office. I would ask that you get in contact with them for their support on your efforts and we will also be in contact with them to get on board with you and the others. Thank you for helping to save the SMALL town Post Office, which in most cases IS the heart of rural America. And one of the reasons I gave 23 1/2 years of service to this great country.

  8. I live in the town of Ruby, SC and our Post Office is in the process of being “evaluated” for closing. It bothers me that on all these web sites we are not listed as being closed. Any idea on how I can get us added to these lists and getting Washington to see us as well?

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