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Postal Service Offers Employees Buyouts to Quit

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 3:36 p.m. ET
The Postal Service is offering up to $450 million to employees if they will agree to quit their jobs, it announced Tuesday, the latest effort by the financially struggling agency to reduce its costs amid a sharp decline in mail volume.

Up to 30,000 employees can take the $15,000 bonus, which the Postal Service describes as a way to save up to $500 million during the next fiscal year, which begins in October.

The offer is available to Post Office retail clerks, distribution center mail handlers and clerks, and motor vehicle technicians. Letter carriers are not eligible, since the Postal Service is targeting only areas where it has an excess of workers, and the number of addresses grows on average by 1.5 million each year, according to the agency.

Eligible employees would receive $10,000 this October and $5,000 in October 2010. The offer extends to employees already eligible for retirement that have not chosen to do so, those already eligible for an early retirement program that began last year and any full-time, part-time regular or part-time flexible employees willing to voluntarily resign.

Employees have until Sept. 25 to make their decision. Departures will be staggered depending on need, with the first wave of employees leaving Oct. 31.

"The ongoing declining mail volume has left us with difficulties with keeping work resources in step with the declining mail volume," spokesman Yvonne Yoerger said, since less mail means less of a need for workers. Mail volume has dropped 12.6 percent so far this year, meaning that it now delivers an average of 4.1 pieces of mail to each address, down from 5.9 pieces in 2000. Advances in automation technology have also reduced the need for employees, Yoerger said.

The Postal Service negotiated the deal with the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union.

"We have to have a balance between work hours and volume. We had more people than we have mail, and there had to be an adjustment," said APWU President William Burrus. Though he helped negotiate the agreement, he said he had hoped for a higher bonus amount.

Burrus said he would not try to sway union members toward taking the deal or rejecting it.

"I’ve got a very intelligent cadre of employees that I represent, and I would not put myself on a plateau and try to sell them anything. I offer it to them for their consideration," he said.

A spokesman for NPMHU declined to comment on the agreement.

The Postal Service lost $2.4 billion during its third quarter and forecasts a $7 billion year-end loss, according to figures released earlier this month. The financial woes can be tied in large measure to roughly $7 billion in mandated payments to fund current and future retiree health benefits. Postal officials say they will not make the payments for future retiree benefits if it faces an expected cash shortfall next month.

The decision to offer buyouts comes amid several other cost-cutting moves. The Postal Service may close about 300 post offices across the country, mostly in dense urban areas, while selling off other expensive, but underused, retail locations. It has already cut more than 100 million work hours this year, equal to 57,000 positions. It mandated a nationwide hiring freeze and salary freeze for top executives, stopped post office construction projects and closed six regional offices.

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 25, 2009; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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This is the same agency that Obama uses an example of what the 'government option' is going to be for his health care plan. I think he picked a good example. Compare to FedEx and UPS.

Posted by: Magnolia99 | August 25, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

They can ease their budget even more by hiring local people to distribute non-addressed mail (a.k.a. junk).
ie why send a letter carrier to deliver junk mail, when a day laborer can do it for much less. I am sure you all have seen people distributing locally produced newspapers,using day help.
They can then reduce the number of letter carriers on the road, bring them into the office and lay off more office help, depending on union agreements. Of course we need to do this humanely and remembering our moral commitments to people, but surely it is feasible

Posted by: sbijanki | August 25, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that postal service employees have much better health insurance coverage than FedEx or UPS employees. If someone out there has facts I'd be curious.

Posted by: spidey103 | August 25, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I offer for consideration by writer -Magnolia99 that Obama only said that Fed Ex and UPS have competed favorably and done wonderfully coexisting with a Fed. owned corporation. He of course was referring to private enterprise Ins. companies competing with the so-called fed. owned public option. It would be similar to Medicare management, with the addition of receiving and managing premiums. What's so difficult about that! (IRS, although distatesful to many, does seem to have an efficient system of collecting revenues by April 15 of every year!!)

Posted by: sbijanki | August 25, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Let's see: As a post office employee I can stay "Retired-in-Place" for decades more drawing a salary well above the US norm, while getting constant salary increases, generous, gold-plated health benefits and a good 3-4 hours of sleep during every working day with NO CHANCE of getting fired thanks to my all-powerful union - OR - I can get $15,000 and kiss all that goodbye.

Gee, that's a really tough one!

Posted by: LoonyLeft | August 25, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Comparing the post office to fed ex and ups is like comparing apples and oranges. The only way to really compare the three is just look at package shipping and priority mail--not daily regular mail delivery.

I think those who tried to recommend which post offices to close didn't analyze the situation in detail. The ignore geographical and surrounding terrain and they ignored customer traffic in the locations.

The local postmaster in the area I live has haulted any closures in the area because they neglected the surrounding community of who used it. For example one post office that was recommended was something the surround community would walk to. This area is a heavy retiree community. The post office argued their was one near by, but it involved going up and down steep hills for the elderly.

The fact is their are areas in the country where new post offices do need to be built or expanded because of developments.

If they want to drop a day of postal delivery, that is fine as long as they either (1) extend post office hours to be open longer than roughly 8:00am-5:00pm, like have some days where they are open at 7am, or close at 7 or 8 pm, (2) have Staurday post office hours where people can come to mail packages, or (3) have a designated post office in a metor area open on weeekends. An example is the Merrifield location.

If they don't do any of these choice you will likely see revenue drop from shipping packages from the post office to UPS or Fedex.

Posted by: djp98374 | August 25, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The financial woes can be tied in large measure to roughly $7 billion in mandated payments to fund current and future retiree health benefits.

Maybe Obama is right.

Posted by: hjoseph77 | August 25, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Yes, let's see. I can send a letter to the Midwest, gets there in 2 or 3 days, for less than 50 cents. UPS or FedEx? Closer to $20.

Posted by: imisssiskel | August 25, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

snail mail is going to go the way of the buggy, newspapers, and textbooks. It's only a matter of time.

Posted by: steven7753 | August 25, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I recently read where the P.O. pension doesn't have the money to pay retirement checks after September - thus, the bean counters got busy prior to the brass going hat-in-hand back to Congress for cash.

Posted by: BluePelican | August 25, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

2 day business to Chicago from DC via FedEx is $7. And if the postal service didn't have a government monopoly on bulk mail, I'm sure FedEx or UPS would charge far less with far greater reliability.

Posted by: mvlissides | August 25, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Another, really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS.

Posted by: hclark1 | August 25, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

It's not just the Post Office, our entire economy began to bleed MONEY! just as soon as the Bush Cabal went to war in Iraq for OIL! based on a LIE! and a bunch of SECRET! deals with Capital Hills corporate masters.

Yeah, a lot of MONEY! went in the gas tanks of every vehicle in this nation be it private or public and those same corporate minions that visited this con upon "We the People" as we were taken to the cleanerts at the pump didn't go unnoticed.

Our streets have been paved with "black gold."

[sarcasm on] "It's all Obama's fault! [sarcasm off]

Posted by: BenAMarine | August 25, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Another, really - really bad day for the DEMOCRUDS.

Posted by: hclark1 | August 25, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the Post Office should seriously look at closing some Post Offices. Not every little town needs a Post Office. Look at FedEx and UPS, do they have a depot in every small town, no. They may have areas where packages may be dropped off (grocery stores, Kinko's, etc) but all packages are taken to a more central location where they can be handled more efficiently.

Posted by: ahashburn | August 25, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I see a lot of "uninformed" comments about the Post Office in response to this article. I worked for them 10 years, it was the worst 10 years of my life, despite the, (for now)excellent health benefits. I was a letter carrier first, then a Supervisor for just over 3 years. Every day was a day of stress, mainly because of the archaic management style used by upper level management; ie., manage them through threats, intimidation & discipline. Want someone to go "postal"?,.. threaten them with discipline on top of personal problems which may include loss of home, family/spouse, car, whatever and some will react wrongly. I will submit to you that's the root cause of a lot of these incidents which the Postal Service will never admit to. I was once caught by my (old school)Postmaster praising an employee for busting their butt and was called in to her office and admonished for doing so.

To the comment about having "local" people deliver junk mail,.. there is a process called the "sanctity of the mail" to which All postal employees are held. Hiring contract workers means that these people are NOT held to the standards regular Postal employees are. The result is stolen identities, checks, credit cards etc..

Of all the ideas I have seen to reduce costs I have yet to see one that reduces the number of management staff in place, including higher up management. These people are protecting their jobs!! They are the onces wit the highest salaries and I can tell you the roles are FAT! Someone needs to look at that and expose it for what it is...

Posted by: Royedw1 | August 25, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

FedEx and UPS aren't allowed to compete for regular mail, the US postal service is given a legal monopoly to deliver mail, the problem is that monopoly covers less and less items as people stop sending mail.

Comparing it to health care is a joke. No one is suggesting a government monopoly in Healthcare. (Apart from Medicare, which is virtual monopoly for 65+, but Republicans are saying that's a public plan they love).

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | August 25, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I clerked at the PO for 40 years. In that time I encountered one employee who actually took a 2-3 hour nap every single day. She was my last supervisor before I retired two years ago.

The health benefits postal employees get are not "gold-plated" generous. They are the same plans available to all federal workers but, in some cases, our unions have negotiated that the employer pay a slightly higher portion of the premium. I feel they could serve as a good model for what all workers should be getting. They are not anything like the "cadillac" plans so common in the higher paid segments of the private sector.

The Postal Service is going through hard times in both the short and long run. The recently announced buyout is a wise plan to reduce the workforce. But in the long run other moves will be necessary. I hope that instead of a slow and gradual dismantling of this venerable institution we could find ways to let it evolve in the electronic age by allowing it to enter some of the less competitive of the newer markets, such as electronic communications.

Delivering e-mail to all citizens could be read as a modern implementation of the Postal Service's constitutional mandate. Extend that just a bit further and the USPS could be delivering broadband internet and cable television service to the entire country at a price based on cost.

Posted by: anreed04 | August 25, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Post Office: MUST deliver to every known address in the USA - or in the world. And most every address gets something every day. FedEx UPS: Only delivers to addresses when needed -- maybe .5% of total addresses in the USA on any given day.
Post Office: Must have a presense in every single town anywhere in the USA: The private firms forces people to go to a central place to drop off / pick up most every time. Shift cost (time) to end users in lieu of convenience.
PO can save lots of money: go back to the 1930 method before RFD - Rural Free Delivery - make EVERY person go to a town some 30 to 60 miles away to get their mail and only deliver it twice a week to anyone / any business living in any metro type area. They may have to build a few wharehouses to store mail between deliveries, but it saves money in the long term.
As for medical costs - the Gov't usually pays 2/3 of the premium and the employee pays 1/3. Now under any GOVT "free" plan the GOVT pays ALL - now where does that $1,200 a month to support "free" health care come from? ALL of us. So you would have to figure that anyone who makes over 60K a year must pay for his / her family and start to pay for someone ELSE's family too in Federal taxes. Doing ANY sort of REAL math (not congressional) it means that a family grossing above $120,000 would have to pay 24,000 a year in health taxes in order to pay for those earning less, and those who get a gross income above that will have to pay 3 to 5 times the basic $12,000 a year of a simple health plan cost to pay for all those who will earn below 60K in order to provide that "free" health coverage. The costs are directly to the PEOPLE - forget businesses to pay. If you want it free-you just have to ensure that people making above 4x poverty level will have to pay for the 70% of the people who WILL get it free. Simple math. Medicare/Medicade only BARELY works since EVERYONE pays into it and they expect most people to DIE before they can use it - but they guessed wrong on average age of dieing so either you UP the taxes to support it or raise the age before you quality - thus getting more people to die before getting the "benefits". THIS IS BY DESIGN. Social Security is the same premise: people paying in NOW support those getting benefits NOW with the expectation that 85% of the people will die before collecting anything. They just did not account for lifespan going up as much as it has.
As for the Post Office - you can get rid of them and then pay $4.00 to send a letter via UPS FedEx - since they have NO obligation to delivery to all places unblike the Post Office. And if 60 miles out of the way - you WILL pay extra to get it there - just like now when you use them.


Posted by: TomPhilo | August 25, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse


USPS should have been sold to FedEx when they made an offer......

Posted by: UpAndOver | August 25, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

USPS has the same healthplan as the fed employees. They even pay less. when they retire, they pay what the rest of the feds do.

Posted by: pvogel88 | August 25, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I ONLY use the USPS system for national and international mail and I have yet to have anything lost or not make it to its destination in the time promised. Some weeks I send out more that 30 packages a week. I use first Class, First Class Intl, Priority and Express as well as the slower book rate and parcel post. I have a local Post Office, I live in a rural area, where I know most of the retail clerks by name and I know my letter carrier. They treat me as an individual and we have great communication at the Post Office and on the street or grocery or flea market...
where ever we run into each other.
Occasionally I receive deliveryies from UPS and Fedex: items left in the rain without plastic, items nearly opened and rarely do I even see the delivery person after he knocks on the door and runs to his van.... I yell Thank You and rarely am I acknowledged.
I am a USPS supporter! The USPS is a valuable part of history and yes it needs to change with the times, but I believe it is the best delivery system going.

Posted by: dranda | August 25, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

The republicans dont remember history. The post comes to us from olde english times, when the king mailed letters to his generals. When fed ex and ups take over, a letter to california from DC will coat 8$

Posted by: pvogel88 | August 25, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I don't get this. If a business has too many employees, it lays off the employees it doesn't need. Perhaps it provides some severance, but not usually.

What is it about the USPS that causes them to spend $450M to right size the organization? Is it the union contracts?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 25, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Also the republicans health plan is all about the mighty profit!! Kaching! They dont care if you die in horrible pain, as long as they take all your money

Posted by: pvogel88 | August 25, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I like your idea anreed04.... the USPS as a delivery system of Broadband to communities. The Cable companies need the competition in my area.

Posted by: dranda | August 25, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Who even NEEDS mail delivered 6 days a week? Why not 3 days a can cut your staffing needs by a significant least in the "carrier" dept...

I have also never been opposed to hiking stamps up to 50 cents or higher...60-65 cents......especially on JUNK MAIL...bulk or not!!!
Stamp prices have only gone up 15 cents since the Elvis stamps were issued in 1993. That's an average of less than a penny a year. How could ANY company make a profit at that rate, subsidized by the airlines or not?

As it goes...I, like many folks, only mail out 2-3 "letters" a's ALL ELECTRONIC otherwise...The USPS really should just be competive in the package delivery part of the operations w/ the letter/postage part as the small niche which it has become.

Posted by: Paul_in_DC2 | August 25, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I guess after they spend the 15k on a nice vacation and a few dinners, they can get food stamps, free bus passes and free health care, what's not to like?
But our prez is so cool, did I mention that he likes to play basketball! What a great leader.....that's sarcasm for you gov't employees

Posted by: steveiev | August 25, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I'd be a little bit more sympathetic if they could deliver registered mail in a timely fashion. Tried to get a parking pass to a football game. Sent around December 19th, showed up around Jan 6. The game was, of course, Jan 1st. The funny thing is that it was claimed to be delivered to our po where it promptly dissapeared. When I call, of course, everyone blows me off. Isn't the registered part to help track it? I guess not. Same thing happened w/ another ticket a couple years ago, I tell people NOT to use registered mail, gets here in a timely manner in a plain white envelope. I'm pretty sure the mail wasn't delivered for a couple days around XMAS.

No sympathy here. The PO is past its usefulness.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | August 25, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Why doesn't the government admit they can't run the postl service and turn it over to FedEX and UPS who has shown them how to deliever packages and make money--they could do the same with the mail.they have people running their companies who kinow how to manage which the postal service doesn't and haven't had for years

Posted by: LDTRPT25 | August 25, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Can we have a little perspective here? The USPS delivers over 200 billion pieces of mail every year to almost 150 million mailboxes in every corner of the country - urban, rural, rich, poor. We all get our mail and we get it pretty darned fast. That dwarfs all other delivery services combined - and it's all secured, thank you very much. The USPS had revenues of almost $75 billion last year (FedEx made about $35 billion, UPS made about $48 billion - and both of them have been losing money, too). The USPS receives no tax money but a first class stamp costs less than 50 cents. They make a little money some years and fall a little short others. So, yes, when the economy collapses and corporations go bankrupt and less stuff is mailed then the USPS loses projected revenue, just like everyone else. But the USPS is huge - the scale of everything is much bigger than most private companies even dream of. And since their revenues are so high, a 10% loss for them (not bad compared to a lot of companies these days) will represent...oh, about $7 billion. And since they hired staff to help during the boom times, they need to cut staff now. And they are doing it in a responsible manner that honors previous commitments to long-time workers (the people eligible for retirement). And we disapprove of the Postal Service because why?

Posted by: IncomingTide | August 25, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The post office ROCKS! Please do not job out our mail to fed ex and ups.

I have a confession to make. I use priority mail boxes for storage in my garage and attic. I can't be the only one. Also, I use priority mail boxes to send stuff fed ex. My bad. Quit giving this stuff away!! ups and fed ex don't.

You could save millions, maybe billions. Get your heads out of the 20th century.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | August 25, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Back in 1994, we received $25,000 for Buyouts. Today, the amount should be $40,000 based on the time value of money.

Posted by: FutureJumps | August 25, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with the writer regarding management. I work in a office where, when all of the city and rural carriers have exited the building for their daily delivery which is approximately 10:00 am. There are only 4 and sometimes only 5 clerks on duty. there are Two Supervisors and One Postmaster supervising our little crew. They really don't know what to do with themselves. We are all Postal veterans and we pretty much supervise ourselves. Somebody needs to know about this. Money problems?, "Come On"

Posted by: jacobiadams | August 25, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"This is the same agency that Obama uses an example of what the 'government option' is going to be for his health care plan. I think he picked a good example. Compare to FedEx and UPS."

Okay, will do:

Fedex laying off workers -

So far UPS seems to be doing better, and has only laid off 3 workers recently. They also seem to have avoided - for now - the pilot furloughs that they were considering:

In general it's pretty silly to argue that the Post Office is so far behind UPS and FedEx, considering that UPS and FedEx don't compete with USPS in their core business -- mailing letters. It's also silly to use these steps by the Postal Service as an example of how bad government management is compared to the private sector. The private sector, as you may be aware, kind of collapsed this past 2 years.

Posted by: pointillicist | August 25, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand all of the hostility towards the USPS. The letter carriers we've had are decent people, and I'd hate to see our local post office closed.

I can't imagine FEDEX or UPS being willing to deliver letters for less that 50 cents each. If cost control like that is the sort of performance that results from a "government option" then we definitely need one for health care.

Posted by: hithere2 | August 25, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't get this. If a business has too many employees, it lays off the employees it doesn't need. Perhaps it provides some severance, but not usually.

What is it about the USPS that causes them to spend $450M to right size the organization? Is it the union contracts?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 25, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Couldn't agree more!!
What makes them so special??
Maybe this is a look at the "core" problem??

Posted by: thornegp1 | August 25, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I send checks for bills to Michigan often and when they are out the door here in DC on Monday, they are cashed by the bank on Friday. That's five freaking business days, that's to Michigan in two days and clearing the bank in two days. That's pretty damn efficient for 42 freaking cents.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | August 25, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Its traditional for mail volume to drop during a recession, and unlike other recessions, any business involved in advertising are all down. This is not about a porley managed business. It serves a purpose and is still the best way to send a package. PERIOD. When the recession is over, I HOPE SOME DAY, they will retrn to profit as they always do, which is good for a service industry where labor is the big factor. Nothing else is as cheap to send a package or pictures. Way cheaper then a computer, DSL, and computer virsus. Still only 44 cents. That makes cents if your on a tight recession income.

Posted by: patco1234567 | August 25, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

If they cut residential deliveries back to three days a week split between MWF neighborhoods and TTF neighborhoods I don't think that would be a bad thing. There must be plenty like me who wouldn't even notice. Heck, I could get one delivery a week and get by nicely.

Posted by: brewstercounty | August 25, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

The bottom line is more lost jobs,that is all I read lately. Just were are these citizens going to find jobs to support their families. Naturally we have our idiots who's only comment is their overpaid, what kind of benefits do they have, etc, nothing about the trickle down effect. mm mm

Posted by: shipfreakbo214 | August 25, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Might the Postal Service be the first of many large gov't agencies to be privatized. Dismateling Department of Transportation and returning the funds to the states and/or the DOE might the government so large as to function like a large monoply. The size of government needs to be reduced.

Posted by: vaincre | August 25, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps we should allow FedEx and UPS to deliver 1st class mail. They are forbidden to do so now. This could be an easy fix, maybe.

Posted by: Dionysis | August 25, 2009 10:03 PM | Report abuse

The financial woes can be tied in large measure to roughly $7 billion in mandated payments to fund current and future retiree health benefits. This is one of those exceedingly stupid statements. In the normal business world companies are also obligated to pay into the retirement and health benefits funds. It is a normal business expense. Now that suddenly is the culprit?
That expense was there for many years and is no surprise. It is more an indication of poor management.
We have someone with no car industry experience in charge of Government Motors.
It looks like we have someone with no delivery experience in charge of the Postal Services.
We have already experienced that politicians cannot run a business (See Fanny and Freddy) but our government seems to be determined to do just that. It sounds like the sources of the problems are political pay offs.

Posted by: duif100 | August 25, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm just wondering who will be doing all of the work when retail location employees are slimmed down. Slow doesn't begin to describe 90% of the post office retail location employees I have ever encountered. My favorites are the ones with the 9 inch finger nails painted like a modern art masterpiece. They can't use the touch screens unless they have a pencil with an eraser, and they seem to lose that between each customer. Then there is the 2 minute lumber to the back shelf ten feet away. All of this accompanied by rude facial expressions and gum snapping.

Posted by: PMMM | August 26, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I am a U.S. Postal worker- and let me clear a few things up here. We have never asked for a bail out. All we want is H.R 22 to pass to put more $ back in the P.O.coffers.And this is because we are mandated to pre-fund up to 10 yrs- where as every other co. in America has to pre-pay by many less yrs.We still want to pre-fund- just not so many yrs ahead-
As to address other issues- We are paid a decent living wage-and we have decent health insurance-I still pay a chunk of my premium and it doesn't cover dental-I have to get a supplement- and that doesn't even cover it all. We are by no means poorly paid-but none of my co-workers own mansions.
As for the unions- their job is to make sure we are paid this decent living wage- ,that we are are not being put into unsafe enviroments, and to make sure Management adheres to a contract that both parties agreed to.
As for laying off workers- they can-any employee under 6 yrs of service can be. Mngmt just hasn't wanted to do this yet- That's why there offering buyouts.
I could go on- the bottom line is, yes, we are suffering because the economy- but we are trying to solve our problems within.
As of service- I do my best to serve my customers-and I feel embaressed when we have a few bad apples that make us look bad-but we deliver all over the world-every address-everyday- for a reasonable rate-Also would you want a contracted out person to deliver your checks or medicine?- It was tried by Mngnt a few yrs ago to cut costs-down in Florida-These contracted out firms- had mail being missdeivered and dumped and some just took it home- so that little experiment was dropped.
The face of your regular letter carrier is important to make sure you get your mail deliverd correctly and in timely manner.
Not to mention- I personally have elderly people on my route and more that once have I had to call an ambulace or alert a neighbor because they had fallen- or worse. Do you also know we have an agreement to distibute meds in case of a biological emergency? We may even be doing the Census next year to save the Gov't $. We do alot more than just deliver the nations mail.
Am I blowing my own horn?- yes -because I am proud to be a Unites States Letter Carrier.
Thank You

Posted by: schulte3 | August 26, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think we are missing the point.
-There is the current situation with excellent men and women serving diligently in the USPS. The wages they receive etc are a legitimate result of the negotiations that the USPS conducts.
Nobody is knocking them, their honesty, their civility or their efficiency.
-The future situation needs to be different because we live in a different technological domain where internet and other forces are changing the way we communicate. How and when are not easy questions, but, if 50% of the middle class receives first class mail only 1-2 times a week, where will the USPS get its revenue to pay its employees at 44c first class mail! The model of the USPS breaks down and it becomes not-viable and we are seeing that. Its not just the recession that is drying up revenues.
:For ex. T-Mobile says it will charge $1.50 for sending paper bills. So, therefore 90% of its customers will switch to electronic distribution. Assume they send 20million bills a month. 90% is 18million*44c =$7,920,000 in REDUCED revenues per month to the USPS.(Or approx $95Million/year!!!) Add on ATT, Sprint, Comcast,SS, etc. You get the picture
-The alternatives are FEdex, UPS (also I am sure Fedex, UPS employees will gladly help a person in trouble on their route!!) and a modified, skinny,competing USPS that charges anywhere from $5-$6 for first class mail.I would pay that if I needed something sent physically. IT would be cheaper than Fedex or UPS too!

Posted by: sbijanki | August 26, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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