Statement by President Louis M. Atkins
National Association of Postal Supervisors
This morning the United States Postal Service announced that it would end Saturday delivery of First Class Mail while maintaining Saturday delivery of parcels and keeping open Post Offices with established Saturday hours. The Postal Service believes that these actions will result in cost savings of approximately $2 billion annually.
The National Association of Postal Supervisors has consistently warned in the past that moving to Five-Day delivery should be the last resort for the Postal Service after all other responsible options have been exhausted. That is because the success of our nation’s postal system has been built upon timely, reliable and affordable service to all points around the country. Actions that compromise the timeliness and reliability of our postal system will only hasten further problems, not solve current ones. Moreover, moving to five-day delivery is inconsistent with current law.
Today’s announcement underscores the fact that it is time for the Congress to act swiftly and pass comprehensive Postal Reform legislation. Sensible Postal Reform should address the core financial issues of the Postal Service without unduly harming service. This should include shifting the Postal Service’s retiree health benefit payment schedule to a more sustainable approach than the current 10-year plan. This unique and burdensome mandate drains the USPS of between $5.4 and $5.8 billion a year in valuable operating capital. Adjusting the payment schedule would create cost savings that could address the Postal Service’s current operating deficit, along with other cost-savings measures. In addition, the Postal Service should be given greater latitude to determine how it prices its products and services and offer non-postal products that reflect the realities of today’s marketplace.
The power to initiate these alternatives, however, lies in the hands of the United States Congress. During the last Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives were unable to reach an agreement on legislation that would have stabilized the finances of the Postal Service. The failure to act has led us to this point. It is time for the Congress to act.
NAPS will continue to work with Congress and the Postal Service to reach solutions that benefit all Americans and permit the USPS to perform its indispensable role into the 21st Century.