PIA Backs, USPS Pans Senate Postal Reform Bill
WASHINGTON, DC—Not everyone is in agreement as to the potential effectiveness of S 1789, the 21st Century Postal Reform Act. The Senate loved it, as evidenced by Wednesday's 62-37 bipartisan vote that, among other things, makes cuts to workers' compensation benefits, transitions delivery from door to curbside in some instances, and tables eliminating Saturday delivery for two years.
The Printing Industries of America (PIA) is pleased with the bill, but USPS management and the Board of Governors aren't quite so happy.
Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO of the USPS, feels the Senate bill does not allow the Postal Service to return to profitability or reconcile its staff and facilities in accordance with mail volume. "Today, the Postal Service incurs a daily loss of $25 million and has a debt of more than $13 billion. Based on our initial analysis of the legislation passed, losses would continue in both the short and long term. If this bill were to become law, the Postal Service would be back before the Congress within a few years requesting additional legislative reform," he said in a release.
"The Postal Service does not seek to be a burden to the American taxpayer, and we believe such an outcome is entirely avoidable. The Postal Service has advanced a comprehensive five-year plan that would enable revenue generation and achieve cost reductions of $20 billion by 2015—restoring the Postal Service to long-term profitability."
Meanwhile, the PIA noted that the bill refunds the USPS billions of dollars in overpayments to the Federal Employees Retirement System, streamlines its structure and operations, adjusts an onerous retiree pre-funding requirement, and seeks compromise solutions on controversial issues like facility closures and Saturday mail delivery.
A separate postal reform bill is pending in the U.S. House of Representatives.