U.S. Postal Service board says it will continue to push for service cuts in order to trim costs
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A plan by the U.S. Postal Service to cut Saturday mail deliveries has been blocked by Congress. “Restrictive language” in the budget prohibits the service cuts, according to a statement from the Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service.
The new delivery schedule, which which would consist of package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday, and which would have taken effect the week of Aug. 5, 2013.
“Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule,” the postal service wrote in it statement.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) said he was encouraged by the announcement.
“The U.S. Postal Service needs to change the way it does business to achieve sustainability, but as it continues cutting costs, it is important that it does so in a way that will keep the agency competitive with other delivery services,” Udall said. “Coloradans from across the state, businesses and postal workers have told me that ending Saturday service could blunt their competitive edge and force local newspapers and other business like Netflix, Amazon, direct mailers and mail-service pharmacies to turn to the U.S. Postal Service’s competitors.”
The postal service board will keep pushing for the cuts, saying that they would result in annual savings of $2 billion. The proposed delivery schedule is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability, according to the board’s statement, which said polls show public support for the change.
In the meantime, the postal service said it will seek to reopen talks with the postal unions and consultations with management associations to lower total workforce costs, and to take administrative actions necessary to reduce costs. The Board has also asked management to evaluate further options to increase revenue, including an exigent rate increase to raise revenues across current Postal Service product categories and products not currently covering their costs.
Udall was part of a push in January urging the U.S. Postal Service to reconsider its decision, which would have hurt businesses, rural consumers and others who rely on a six-day delivery schedule.