More Postal Reform is Necessary for Industry

By Lucie Naphin

WASHINGTON, DC—In my role as government relations director for RR Donnelley, I have spent the past several months traveling back and forth to Capitol Hill, advocating on behalf of our customers in an effort to pass legislation through Congress that would allow the United States Postal Service (USPS) to recoup funds it overpaid to its Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS).

This legislation is critically important to our customers’ businesses; with the passing of the Postal Civil Service Retirement System Funding Reform Act of 2003, the USPS will save an estimated $2.9 billion in 2003 and $2.8 billion in 2004.

Had the USPS not been able to access the surplus funds, it would likely have already filed its next rate case on April 1, 2003. However, with the passing of the reform act, the Postal Service has promised to delay its next rate increase until the year 2006.

In addition to providing the industry with an unprecedented ability to forecast future postage expenses, the resulting averted expenses could serve as just the shot in the arm that the mailing industry needs to get business back on track.

The passing of this bill represents a huge victory for mailers everywhere, and is one from which we can draw a lesson with immediate implications.

The mailing industry has pulled together to speak as one voice on this issue like never before. Countless trade organizations, labor unions and private industry rallied their members to write or otherwise reach out to their legislators in support of this legislation.

One of the best examples of this was the Mailing Industry CEO Council. This group, which is composed of 18 CEOs from across the mailing industry, including RR Donnelley, lobbied Congress relentlessly over the past several months to make sure that the economic benefit of rate stability was heard and fully understood.

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