OopsPlan: The Postal Service forgets to count PMRs

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When the Postal Service presented POStPlan to the Postal Regulatory Commission in May, it would not put a number on how much the plan would save, but the USPS press release said $500 million a year.  The Commission asked the Postal Service to provide the calculations that led to this estimate, and the Postal Service submitted a spreadsheet showing how much it … Read More

Reducing hours at post offices: A history of transparency problems

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POStPlan, the Postal Service’s plan to reduce hours at 13,000 post offices, was not invented out of thin air.  The Postal Service has been reducing hours at post offices for many years.  But try getting any information from the Postal Service about the scope or effects of those reductions. In 2004, the GAO issued a report about efforts to optimize … Read More

Thousands of postmasters head for the exit, others play musical chairs

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Some preliminary numbers are circulating on how the Special Incentive Offers are going.  About 45,000 mail handlers were offered $15,000 to retire, and as of June 22, the original deadline, 2,800 had decided to accept (2,500 optional and 260 VER).   The response is somewhat less than projections based on previous offers.  It’s a different story for postmasters, however, and … Read More

Opportunity knocks: The Postal Service invites postmasters to replace themselves

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The Postal Service has notified postmasters considering retirement that they’re welcome to apply for a job as a Postmaster Relief (PMR).  It’s “an opportunity to continue to serve postal customers” — and an opportunity to earn $11.76 an hour. Who could pass up an opportunity like that?  Who wouldn’t want to give up a good-paying full-time job, transition into retirement a … Read More

Busy week at the PRC: The union complains, the Postal Service shares numbers, and the senator sends a letter

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It was a busy week at the Postal Regulatory Commission.  On Wednesday and Thursday, the Commission heard cross-examination from witnesses challenging the Postal Service’s Network Rationalization plan to close over 200 processing plants.  The APWU has also filed a complaint about the plan as well as a motion for an emergency order seeking to prevent the Postal Service from implementing the service … Read More

Free the Post Office

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BY MARK JAMISON The United States Postal Service has abandoned the American people.  At the direction of its Board of Governors and through the efforts of its primary officer, the Postmaster General, it has abandoned its mission of service and its basic responsibilities to the citizens of this country. In place of an uplifting vision of binding the nation together, … Read More

How the West was won: The PMG’s trip to Montana

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In April of this year, as the moratorium on post office closings was coming to an end and thousands of communities were anxiously awaiting the verdict on their post office, the Postmaster General took some time out of his busy schedule to fly to Montana, just to talk with a few regular folks about the closings.  The motive for the … Read More

Network Consolidation: New plan, same old story

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On Monday the Postal Service will make the changes in service standards official by publishing the Final Rule in the Federal Register.  As we’ve been told since September, delivery of First-Class mail and periodicals will be slowing down — but not as soon as initially planned.  [UPDATE: The Final Rule was not published until later in the week.  An Advance … Read More

What are people — and the Post Office — for?

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BY MARK JAMISON It’s likely that I will be the last postmaster to serve the town of Webster, North Carolina.  The first postmaster, Allen Fisher, began his term in 1857, shortly after Jackson County was founded and Webster became the county seat.  The names of the postmasters that follow read like a county census.  In a rural mountain county that … Read More

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse: The Postal Service has a new plan for the post office

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After a year and a half spent threatening to close thousands of rural post offices, the Postal Service has suddenly changed course.  Instead of closing small post offices, the Postal Service has come up with a way to make them irrelevant.   The Postal Service’s new plan — awkwardly named  "Post Office Structure Plan," or POStPlan — will reduce the hours … Read More