March 2012

     pushpin[March 21st]

Survey Reveals USPS Plans Would Cost Over $5 Billion
excerpted from SaveThePostoffice.com

While hearings before the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) are usually pretty mundane events, something totally unexpected happened today. The Postal Service revealed something it's been hiding for months — the projected revenue losses its consolidation plan could cause. The numbers are something to behold.

Gregory Whiteman, Manager of Market Research at the Postal Service, was answering questions about market research commissioned last summer to determine how much revenue might be lost if the Postal Service reduced service standards and slowed down First-Class mail.

The results of this first round of research will officially be released tomorrow morning, but at the hearing, Mr. Whiteman revealed that the research showed that mail volumes would drop by 7.7%. That translates into $5.2 billion in gross revenue losses, and $1.9 billion in net contribution losses (the contribution loss figures in lower costs for lower volumes). We've also learned that the research shows a whopping 10.3% loss in First-Class mail volume.

Losses like that would wipe out nearly all of the $2.6 billion in cost savings the Network Rationalization plan hopes to achieve. Given that the AMP studies suggest cost savings might be far less than $2.6 billion, the consolidation plan could easily end up losing more money than it saves.

These new numbers provide circumstantial evidence that when the Postal Service saw the results of what we now know as the Phase-1 research back in late September or early October, it realized the numbers were devastating to their case for the consolidation plan. It ordered the market research firm to stop the research before finalizing the numbers, and it began work on a new research survey, apparently designed to elicit better, less damaging results.

Read the entire article at SaveThePostoffice.com

     pushpin[March 15th]

USPS Hasn't Considered Combined Effect of Proposed Changes
excerpted from APWU News Bulletin 08-2012

In a document filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the Postal Service declared that it "has conducted no 'combined impact' analysis" of the proposals. The USPS filed the document in response to an APWU motion that sought to compel the Postal Service to provide testimony about how it weighed the cumulative effect of the pending changes.

In its March 2 motion, the APWU said the combined impact is relevant to the PRC's evaluation of the Postal Service's proposal to degrade service standards. The commission is currently considering the proposal, which would eliminate overnight delivery, extend two-day delivery to three days, and generally delay mail delivery.

The USPS reply reveals that in 2011, "the Postal Service initiated — but abandoned without completing —a market research project intended to evaluate customer response, thus impacts upon volume" of "a grand amalgam of service change concepts and financial challenges."

The PRC is expected to issue a non-binding advisory opinion in August, but a moratorium on the consolidation of 223 mail processing centers and the closure of 3,600 post offices expires on May 15. The moratorium is intended to give Congress time to address the USPS crisis without drastic cuts in service or the elimination of tens of thousands of jobs.

Read the entire article at APWU.org

     pushpin[March 5th]

Postal Service may RIF up to 2,000; Buyouts, Early Outs also expected
excerpted from FederalTimes.com

As many as 2,000 U.S. Postal Service employees could face a reduction-in-force under the mail carrier's plans to close more than 220 mail processing plants, a spokesman said. Those affected would generally be white-collar executives, supervisors and administrators who lack union representation. The jobs involved would be among 30,000 career positions the Postal Service plans to eliminate through the downsizing by late next year.

Postal spokesman Mark Saunders cautioned that the agency won't know the number of employees actually leaving until "much later in the process." In addition, the Postal Service is holding off on any plant and post office closings until mid-May, even as some lawmakers are pressing for a longer delay.

So far, USPS officials have acknowledged they are considering a voluntary early retirement program. But Louis Atkins, president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors, said Friday that he expected the agency to offer buyouts and early retirements within the next month to bargaining unit and white-collar employees.

In general, Atkins said, the offers will be restricted to employees working in processing plants, post offices or other positions. He had no details on the scope of the buyout package, but said that eligibility for early retirement would be limited to employees of any age with a minimum of 25 years service or are at least age 50 with 20 years service. In each category, employees would see a 2 percent reduction in their expected pensions for each year they are under age 55 or 30 years of experience, Atkins said.

Read the entire article by Sean Reilly at FederalTimes.com

        pushpin[March 1st]

Scholarships Available to PMAPWU Members

APWU Vocational Scholarship

The APWU E.C. Hallbeck Memorial Scholarship

You may also visit the APWU's Scholarship Programs webpage where the various scholarships are discussed.

John T. Boxler Scholarship

Patrick McShane Memorial Scholarship

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