The U.S. Postal Service’s forthcoming cutbacks at thousands of post offices have gotten a qualified thumbs up from an independent overseer.
In an advisory opinion released today, the five-member Postal Regulatory Commission said that the Post Office Structure Plan, or POStPlan, makes sense from a public policy perspective, but added a few recommendations, such as giving local customers a clear choice between keeping an individual post office open with reduced hours or closing it altogether and providing replacement delivery service.
Under the plan, announced in May, the Postal Service intends to reduce customer service “window” hours to as little as two hours a day at some 13,000 mostly rural post offices in hopes of eventually saving about $500 million annually.
The commission’s opinion is non-binding (in fact, the Postal Service is already winding up a buyout and early retirement deal for postmasters that’s linked to the plan), but its endorsement is further evidence that this approach is a much easier sell than the Postal Service’s now discarded strategy of closing up to 3,700 post offices.
“Given the difficult financial reality facing the Postal Service, I am relieved that the Postal Regulatory Commission has approved the Postal Service’s initial cost-cutting measures,” Sen Tom Carper, D-Del., said in a statement, adding that he is “grateful” that the panel acted expeditiously.
“I will be carefully reviewing the recommendations offered by the commissioners and plan to closely monitor the Postal Service’s implementation of its plan to ensure that it’s done appropriately,” Carper, who heads the Senate subcommittee with responsibility for the mail carrier, continued. “That being said, the hard truth is that cost-saving efforts of this scale are not enough on their own to fundamentally fix the Postal Service’s financial problems. ”
August 23rd, 2012 at 10:59 pm
When will the mail clerks, sorters, and other lower paid workers get their early retirement and buyout offers????
bob b Says:
August 25th, 2012 at 8:54 am
I know a woman who was a “clerk” at the Post Office for 30 years. She’s now retired with $75,000 year pension plus paid healthcare until she hits 65 (5 years). The pension is for the rest of her life. What’s wrong with this picture? She says she”s earned it because she’s “paid in” but it will never come close to the amount she’ll collect if she lives past 80 – all taxpayers dollars!!!!!
August 26th, 2012 at 11:23 am
Retired from USPS 10 years ago. Retiring was best thing I ever did. (My wife says it was the second best thing I ever did).
August 28th, 2012 at 12:34 pm
Bob some one is pulling your leg. After 30 years the pension would be 56% of a $55000 salary and pay for their health plan starting now. This is 2012 and you can verify by using the internet for reference. These facts along with her working salary is in the public domain.app.com. And yes she paid into it.If she gets more it is an annuity she also paid for.Have a nice life.
Martin Kiepke Says:
August 28th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
I am a retired postal maintenance worker and I know that at 30 years of service under CSRS you are only entitled to 56% of base pay. Out of that 56% you would have to pay for survivor benefits and health insurance premiums. Lucky if she gets $21,000 per year.
Roy Bartnek Says:
August 31st, 2012 at 10:03 am
I retired 3 years ago as a letter carrier with 34 years service time. That gave me 64 percent, 2 percent for each year worked past 30 years is added on. I had a base pay of 54k, when I retired that went down to a little over 32k for my retirement, before deductions. No way did that person receive 75k with 30 years.
August 31st, 2012 at 5:36 pm
Really think people should not be so bitter about people having incentive and working for a retirement . He had the same opportunity and choices as everyone else when it came to having a job .Sad that people like Bob b. can bash hard working people andhave such bitternessthat he didnot make the same choices – It is not like he could not have chosen post office work – There is nothing wrong with hard working people retiring and if you find bitterness in that vote for Obama again he seems to have the need to give handouts to whoever wants them – I save my bitterness for the people who collect money off the gvt. for no work at all – and there are many !
September 2nd, 2012 at 7:15 pm
If all the rumor and misinformation could be stopped then we could have a reasonable and sane conversation. I for one wish to have facts and data that is not skewed in order for all US Citizens can make logical and informed decisions. The so called entitlements that USPS employees receive for retirement for performing a service that is instrumental to this United States and is earned has been attacked by the Right in politics and has been vilified by anti-union extremist. Look at the retirement system and you will find out that the managerial and supervisory positions have bled the USPS coffers by allowing pay for job searching and interviews, perdiems and other financial allowances on top of a salary that is positively unearned by the 100,000 management employees who take 2/3 of the so called labor cost that is always blamed on the workroom floor employees who strive to deliver the mail everyday in spite of managements unprofessionalism and lack of knowledge of postal operations. The only thing management does for itself is learn to do enough paperwork to protect themselves with forms and data that is manufactured to skew information in the favor of management but often lacks ethical and truthful information.