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Postmaster General Donahoe told a Senate committee on Feb. 13, 2013, that the U.S. Postal Service’s financial problems are more urgent than ever and will continue to get worse until Congress takes action to reform its business model.
Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Donahoe said the USPS will continue to take aggressive steps to increase revenue and reduce operating expenses, but needs legislative changes from Congress to help return the Postal Service to long-term financial stability.
“To preserve our mission to provide secure, reliable, and affordable universal delivery service, the Postal Service needs urgent reform to its business model,” stated Donahoe. “The American people deserve a financially healthy Postal Service. We will continue to work together with Congress to achieve that goal.”
Specifically, the Postal Service is seeking legislative provisions that would:
- Require the Postal Service to sponsor its own health care plan
- Reform the USPS business model to remove restrictions that prevent the Postal Service from responding to the demands of the marketplace, and to enable it to compete much more effectively in a dynamic business environment
- Transition the Postal Service to a new workforce based on a redefined “employee of the future.” This would include a personal retirement contribution plan for employees joining the Postal Service after 2015 – versus a defined benefit plan
- Provide a proper calculation of its Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) surplus based upon data specific to the postal workforce, and then allow those funds to reduce the debt of the Postal Service
- Avoid restrictions on the announced move to a six-day package, five-day mail delivery schedule.
The Postal Service needs the help of Congress to close a $20 billion budget gap.
A full written testimony of the Postmaster General’s oral testimony before the committee is available here.
Since that hearing, the USPS released the results of a new survey showing 80 percent of Americans support the new six-day package, five-day mail delivery schedule recently announced that the USPS intends to implement the week of Aug. 5, 2013.
“These survey results illustrate the strong public support for our new delivery schedule in communities across the country,” said Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe. “The American public understands the financial challenges of the Postal Service and supports this new delivery schedule as a prudent, responsible and reasonable approach to address our urgent financial situation.”
The survey, conducted between Feb. 8-11, 2013, shows consistently high support for the new delivery schedule among urban, suburban, and rural communities as well as among all age groups and income levels.
Respondents were asked: Do you support the decision of the Postal Service to begin delivering mail five days per week and packages six days per week, including continuing package delivery on Saturdays?
Support rose to 85 percent among all respondents when asked if they would support the new delivery schedule if it helped stabilize the financial situation of the Postal Service. The survey included responses from 1,002 U.S. residents ages 18 and over and has a margin of error of ± 3.1 percent.
To download a copy of the complete survey, click here.