Senator Levin to Postmaster General: Show Me the Data

Friday, February 24, 2012

WASHINGTON – In a letter to the postmaster general, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., today asked for additional information about the U.S. Postal Service’s plans for the potential consolidation of mail processing facilities in Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw beginning this summer.

“You have provided an estimate of the annual savings from each closure and consolidation but no data on how these figures were reached,” Levin wrote to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “In order to better understand how the Postal Service reached its conclusions, please provide me with an unredacted copy of each Area Mail Processing Study (AMP) conducted for the facilities in Michigan.”

Levin’s letter follows. Download the letter to the Postmaster General [PDF].

February 24, 2012

The Honorable Patrick Donahoe
Postmaster General
U.S. Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260-0010

Dear Postmaster General Donahoe:

I am writing regarding your correspondence dated February 23, 2012, which notified me of the potential consolidation of mail processing facilities in Michigan beginning in the summer of 2012.

The impacted facilities in Michigan are in Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw. You have provided an estimate of the annual savings from each closure and consolidation but no data on how these figures were reached. In order to better understand how the Postal Service reached its conclusions, please provide me with an unredacted copy of each Area Mail Processing Study (AMP) conducted for the facilities in Michigan.

During the public meetings relative to these proposals, members of the public asked questions and raised concern about these possible closures. I would appreciate knowing how the Postal Service addressed issues raised by the public and how public comment was considered during the AMP process.

As you provide this information, I am particularly interested in receiving answers to the following questions:

  • 1. How many jobs will be eliminated at each facility?
  • 2. Of those jobs, how many will be transferred to other facilities?
  • 3. What is the distance of each transfer?
  • 4. What are the additional projected savings and additional projected costs for each facility?

According to your letter, these consolidations are contingent on the issuance of a final rule revising first class mail standards. The Postal Service filed a request for an advisory opinion with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) regarding these revised standards on December 5, 2011. The PRC has opened a Docket to consider this request and is expected to issue an advisory opinion this summer. I have heard from my constituents that the Postal Service intends to proceed with these closures immediately following the expiration of the closure moratorium on May 15th. The Postal Service had agreed to this moratorium to allow Congress the time to consider postal reform legislation. I would appreciate your assurance that the Postal Service will wait until after the advisory opinion of the PRC has been issued before taking any steps relative to any mail processing facility closure.

While I fully understand the serious nature of the Postal Service’s current financial situation and the need to take action, I am concerned that the Postal Service not take action that would erode the universal service obligation and want to analyze the conclusions of the Postal Service relative to claimed savings.

Should you have any questions, please contact Harold Chase of my staff at (202) 224-9125. Thank you for your assistance.


Carl Levin

12 thoughts on “Senator Levin to Postmaster General: Show Me the Data

  1. What difference does it make? They manipulate the data to sustantiate their lies, it’s been done for years and it’s not gonna change now!

  2. I have been a 204-b over the years and in the past 11 months the required new paperwork that has been implemented is unbelievable. It seems that the high level management is creating new positions to save their friends from being let go. Of course all I hear now is that this new paperwork is for the betterment of customer service, but reality is, it is more time being spent doing unnecessary paperwork, while I could be more focus on supervising the employees. The USPS stands for united states postal service, but Washington is changing our name to USPC united states postal Company. We are a government department, not corporation with CEO.

  3. About time we’re getting action from some Senators. USPS plans include arbitrary determinations on which cities will have next day delivery and which ones will not. How can a single entity make such decisions affecting communities? Cities selected to keep processing plants have next day delivery potential while others simply lose out. Plan to streamline network, i.e., do away with some cities next day delivery will force public to pay premium express rates to get mail across town. Current cost .45 cents. Costs to public after implementation, $18.00.

  4. Sorry, Sen. Levin, you will receive no data to back up the studies, and the public’s opinion means absolutely nothing. The USPS will do what they want to do, regardless; believe me, I know firsthand.

  5. No decent incentives to get older workers to retire. Job and plant consolidations that make NO sense. Will equal OLDER employees staying and newer less expensive workers let go. They are closing our PD&C May 15th, reducing the Clerks to 40 from 257 and STILL having the same amount of management staffingf. I guess they couldn’t get people to work at a 1 manger to 4 emplyees ratio BUT JUST MAYBE 2 managers for each clerk will dothe job!

  6. gmoney, you hit it right on the head! Although there is more to it as well. During the duration of my career, I’ve seen and heard the PO always state they have numbers to show the drop in volume and other financial; losses. I’ve always asked where is the break down for each individual facility. They only provide the totals. For years they’ve taken a perfectly good operating and effiecient facility and broke it apart, consolidated into other bad or poor ones in hopes that that would fix the problem, only to create a burden on the customer to travel farther to get there mail or send some out. The first thing I noticed in my first years of service, was thet the PO ALWAYS does everything ass backwards when it comes to managerial and financial decisions. We have a PMG with 37+ VP’s, continuous use of outside agency’s to give advise and opinions. This man praises us for doing such a great job during a bad time, yet at the same time he pleads with us to understand that what he/they are doing is for our good. He stated in his last state of the PO (stand up talk on video) that the monies from the overpayment to futur emp. health care isn’t there! So Mr. PMG, WHERE IS IT???? So Mr. PMG, Where exactly is the loss of mail volume / money??? So far I’ve only heard the man talk about cuts, cuts, close and consolidate, more cuts.

    I, like the Senator, see the same thing. The OIG, Inspection Service and many other internal/external groups have also stated that the decisions made by the PO are in reverse of what is actually needed to be done. When asked each and every time to produce the actual figures, the PO adimintly puffs up it’s mighty chest and says I fear no one, therefore I listen to no one.

    Truly the simple fix is to eliminate the overpayment. Go back to the way it’s always been. Prior to 2006, we had always maintained a decent profit. Any CEO in any corporation of this size, with the losses of this magnitude, would be held accountable by high standards and made to stand on the carpet.

    See the big problem in the mgt side of it, is the fact that you have no need for business sense, leadership capabil;ities nor any real qualifications to be a puppet! Nopw if we had people with real business sense, we would have a chance. Since my career of 16 years started, I’ve heard the same old BS about how email and the interenet are the cause for our demise, the declining service to our customers has been on the rise fior all these years. 16 years later they still use the same line.

    We are ata loss, yet we still contract out for new machines and software for computers at millions of dollars each year. These ideas usually are swept under the carpet when a failure. Did you know that not too many years ago, the PO dished out 1.2 million dollars to a company to reasearch and develope the website the PO has today?? 1.2 MILLION!!!!!

    The Senator is well within his right to ask for the infromation needed to make a smart decision on any given bill in legislation!

    Mr. PMG, do us a favor. LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET THE F@$K OUT OF THE WAY!!

  7. My facility is one of the overall few that has been “dissaproved for study”. It DOES seem that we now, as in the past, have that proverbial Golden Horseshoe stuck where we need it. I’m grateful, but I suspect that in several months, when those ubiquitous start time changes come, my colleagues will bemoan that which is largely insignificant; we could be toiling in those newly-minted halls of Scarborough (oops, did I give it away?), or remaining firmly entrenched at our Alma Mater…one from which we have truly never gradutated. I would so rather stay a pleeb forever, under said auspices.

  8. Even if Congress gives the USPS the pre-funding money back, I think USPS will
    still go forward with the closures & consolidations. This has been their agenda for awhile now.

  9. I think Congress also needs to ask for a breakdown of the number of jobs to be lost, ie: how many carriers, clerks, support personnel, management. Personally, I feel that if the job doesn’t involve physically touching the mail at least 3/4 days a week, the job should be gone. We’re in the business of delivering mail. How is it gonna be delivered if all the jobs lost are carriers and clerks?

    Secondly, Congress should also ask what steps have been taken to save money, other than cutting jobs. I know in the office I work in, not a damn thing has been done to save money. In fact, since the current postmaster and supervisors have been here, we’re making more OT and penalty time than we have in the previous 14 years I’ve been here. Because of the District Manager and POOM, rather than pay a clerk 8 hours OT, they’d rather pay 35 carriers2-3 hours OT each. This happens on average 3-4 days a week, especially on Saturdays. I agree with gmoney, get rid of half the management and you’d save money.

  10. Well, well it, it seems that Congress is about ready to do something about our situation. Too bad the fire had to be started before they will get off their asses and act. This was a move by the Postal Service to get the “Do nothing Congress” to do something. Brilliant!

  11. Gmoney…I couldn’t have said it any better. Congress needs to do their job and repeal the mandate imposed on USPS I. 2006!!!

  12. Just another Senator falling for the scare tactics of the PMG…Because they have not done their homework… what kind of staff has he hired…don’t they realise that this is all political play to get congress to act and give us our 5b a year back? did you know that there is really nothing wrong with the P.O. if you get rid of our prefunding can anybody in America say It in real English….DO AWAY WITH OUR PREFUNDING AND WE WILL BE PROFITABLE….(P.S. GET RID OF HALF THE MGMT AND WE WILL BE IN THE BLACK GUARANTEED)….G-MAN

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