In Meeting With PMG, Sen. Brown Pushes To Minimize Ohio Closures, Preserve Rural Post Offices, And Maintain Six Day Delivery

Nine Ohio Processing Centers—Akron, Athens, Canton, Chillicothe, Dayton, Ironton, Steubenville, Toledo and Youngstown—Targeted for Closure Under USPS Proposal; Brown is a Cosponsor of the Postal Service Protection Act, Which Would Help the U.S. Postal Service Return to Fiscal Solvency

March 8, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With proposed U.S. Postal Service (USPS) office closures looming, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met today with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to push the USPS to minimize the closure of processing centers and postal offices in Ohio, preserve rural post offices, and maintain six-day mail delivery.

“The local post office is more than just a place for Ohioans to drop off mail. In many communities, especially rural towns, they serve as town centers—and they provide good jobs for local residents,” Brown said. “The closure of dozens of postal processing centers and post offices would be devastating for thousands of Ohioans and could have a serious impact on local economies. I urge Postmaster Donahoe to do all he can to minimize closures in Ohio and maintain six-day delivery as Congress works on legislation to bring the USPS back to fiscal solvency.”

Brown is a cosponsor of the Postal Service Protection Act, which preserves Saturday mail delivery, restricts the closure of rural and urban post offices, and protects mail processing facilities to ensure maintenance of timely service. The legislation would address the most immediate financial problem facing the postal service by eliminating the unique requirement that the postal service pre-fund 75 years worth of future retiree health benefits in just 10 years. This mandate costs USPS between $5.4 and $5.8 billion per year, accounting for the Postal Service’s $20 billion in losses from 2007-2008.

Recently, the USPS announced plans to close nine Mail & Processing Distribution Centers (P&DC) in Ohio despite a moratorium aimed at preventing consolidation until Congress passes postal reform legislation, Brown called on the USPS to halt consolidation.  In December 2011, the U.S. Senate and USPS agreed to a five-month moratorium on closing postal facilities, providing Congress more time to enact postal reform legislation. Under the terms, the Postal Service would use the time to study the impact of proposed closures on service and costs and to solicit community input. Last month, Brown sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to call for quick action to save jobs and maintain service for Ohio families and small businesses.

One hundred and twenty post offices and ten mail processing facilities were initially targeted for closure in Ohio, and Brown has sent multiple letters to Postmaster General Patrick Donohue outlining concerns with the closures, which could lead to significant job losses, delayed mail, and deteriorated service. Brown has also sent representatives to public hearings across Ohio in recent months to stand with local residents in opposition to these closures.

According to studies by the Hay Group and the Segal Company, the postal service has overpaid at least $50 billion into its pension plans. Because of these overpayments, USPS has been forced to subsidize retirement accounts for the entire Federal government. This bill would allow USPS to recover these pension overpayments to both fund its retiree health benefits and cover its operational expenses

Specifically, the Postal Service Protection Act would:

  • Fix the immediate fiscal problem of the postal service by allowing the postal service to recover the overpayments it made to its retirement programs. Additionally, this bill would allow the postal service to recover the overpayments that it has made to its pension plans.
  • Establish new ways the Post Office can generate revenue, by ending the prohibition on USPS providing non-postal services, such as:

•    Providing notary services, new media services, issuance of licenses (drivers licenses, hunting licenses, fishing licenses)
•    Contracting with state and local agencies to provide services
•    Shipping wine and beer
•    Encouraging innovative ways to address the shift toward electronic mail and away from hard-copy mail

  • Prevent the closure of rural post offices by giving the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) binding authority to prevent closures based on the effect on the community and the effect on employees. Right now, the Postal Regulatory Commission only has the authority to review a decision to close, but it does not have any binding authority to prevent the closure, even if it finds it was flawed. The bill would also ensure more transparency in the closure process by requiring USPS to inform the communities that are being studied for closure
  • Protect six-day delivery
  • Protect mail-processing facilities by ensuring strict standards for delivering first-class mail delivery on time that would make it more difficult to close area mail processing facilities.

8 thoughts on “In Meeting With PMG, Sen. Brown Pushes To Minimize Ohio Closures, Preserve Rural Post Offices, And Maintain Six Day Delivery

  1. Too bad , Texas postal workers and other states do not have thier senators and their congressmen fighting for thier cause to save their citizens jobs and keep the postal Service solvent! This is definitely the problem Texans hard working postal workers are dealing with! We have no political help! Rep. Bill Flores believe helping the Postal Service current finanical state would be a bailout! One can see how clueless he is! Bill Flores I guess has never read that the Postal Service is one of the only Federal agencies that is a non – profit organization, and only function through profits made through postage and mailing by the citizens and customers of this great country; not one cent of taxpayers money! Don’t even mention our great Texas senators; they could care less! They can’t feel the many Texas citizens plight that will either have to commute over two hundred miles a day to work in another city, move to another city or even worse, may have to resign thieir position! Now that’s keeping Texas citizens employed and out of the unemployment line! (Yeah right)! So Texas, this year when you go to the poles, vote for someone who care about your jobs and livlihood also!

  2. Donahoe will listen before the whole usps goes belly up, as his own salary will depend on it as well as the thousands of employees. He likes his steaks just like the rest of the L’enfant plaza jokers.

  3. you’re out of your freakin’ mind, Senator Brow,. nobody wants 6 day delivery. only your democratic moronic colleagues and the NALC/APWU thugs. the general public, most small businesses, the regular carriers, and even Obama want 5 days. you’re wasting everyone’s time. shut up!

  4. DREAM ON! Congress will never stop the pre-funding!!!! Who do you think is paying the retirement costs of all government employees. The Post Office has been the cash cow of the federal government since 1971. Overpayments to the retirement system is somewhere around 80 billion dollars. No post office employee has gone into the civil service retirement system in about 25 years yet the post office is still required to pay into that system after it being fully funded. NO INTEREST has been made on any of the overpayments made by the post office. WHY!!!! The MONEY is already gone! The writing was on the wall when President Bush number two let the CEOs of UPS,FEDEX, and the CEO of the largest bulk mailer in the US determine the direction and policy of the USPS! NO hidden agenda there! What does Donahue think is gonna happen when he closes post offices on saturdays and UPS starts saturday delivery?

  5. The only work that should be contracted out at the Post office Processing Plants is Management.

    Let a contract management team bid on a contract for a Postal District. Let them enforce the contract and get the mail out. Set the minimum contract price at half what they pay supervisors now and then have them get 25% of the savings they make.

    College grads wth some real leadership experience (not postal) will have this “Charter” District at the top of the charts in a year. No one who does not work at the Postal Service Plant can imagine the fraud waste and abuse that happens on a daily basis due soely to bad management. The only reason there is mail in your mail box is thanks to about 70% of the employees who really care and get things done besides the obstacles thrown in front of them by management. Management is all about protecting and rewarding their friends and punishing their enemies. They come up from the 30% of craft who never come to work and when they do, they never do any work. None of the 70% of good employees would ever think of becoming part of management. They have too much pride in what they do. Supervisor jobs sit vacant until one of the 30% stumbles back to work and someone fills out the application for them.

    The three supervisors we have at our plant: One guy came directly from being a failed carrier. One came directly from her janitor job and one came directly from her two hour a week job as a rural carrier relief. One might be able to reeducate the janitor. Oh, and the maintenace supervisor is a failed customer service and failed operations supervisor who has no maintenance experience. God Help us.

  6. Sherrod Brown is one of the few politicians in washington that represents the middle class, and the ability to strive for something reasonable and good. Bernie Sanders is also a true progressive. Trouble is the Koch Brothers will just spend millions at every turn. The republicans are taking this country back to the civil war days, they spew the same lingo as radical islamists.

    senator brown wasted his time talking with knucklehead donahoe

    he might as well talked to the oak tree in his back yard, the response
    will be the same. as for the post office being “allowed” to enter other
    businesses such as notaries etc. anyone that proposes such a thing
    has no clue of what the problems are at the post office. in my humble opinion, the post office is run by a bunch of incompetent bureaucrats that are not held accountable by congress and/or the office of the inspector general for much of their waste, fraud, and incompetence. giving the idiots in charge of the post office another “business” to manage will not help because postal management dosen’t possess the skills to
    successfully operate a lemonade stand, much less anything else. the post office survived this long because they have a monopoly on delivering the mail. when forced to compete, the lack of smart, competent management at the usps rears its ugly head and leads to failure!

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