, Salem, MA

February 21, 2013

Letter: Postal Service has plan for recovery

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The Salem News’ recent comments regarding the U.S. Postal Service (“Postal decision hits most loyal customers,” Feb. 14) are misleading and made without any factual research. Comments that the Postal Service has lacked foresight and has not addressed many of the core problems facing the mailing industry are untrue. I would like to refer to the Postal Service’s five-year business plan issued in February 2012, highlighting several key areas.

1.@text1: The Postal Service continues to endure unsustainable losses due to several factors: electronic diversion of mail combined with a weak economy, declining mail volume, price increases are capped, universal service obligations (i.e., delivery points, retail locations, six-day delivery and labor costs);

2. @text1:The USPS’ business plan is based upon several restructuring objectives that benefit all stakeholders: Preserve mission to provide secure reliable and affordable universal delivery service; further economic growth and enhance commerce; implement comprehensive transformation for a long-term sustainable financial future; protect U.S. taxpayers (avoid federal funding and appropriations); and fairness to employees and customers.

3. @text1:Key factors in attaining $20 billion of annual savings over the next five years of which $10 billion require legislative action are:

Health-savings reform projects more than $7 billion of annual savings from the adoption of a USPS-administered plan (including elimination of prefunding and transfer of retirees into USPS plan);

Address reduced network density: Service levels to five-day delivery and align facilities network with actual volume, along with consolidation of local post office;

Revenue management: Legislative change allowing the USPS to set prices at cost-effective rates based on service delivered;

Reduction of 155,000 full-time employees by 2016 without any layoffs.

The Salem News, like many others, has chosen to criticize the Postal Service and has taken the view that they are entitled to have their cake and eat it, too. I also remember when the Record American newspaper had a morning and evening edition, and what has happened to the number of Salem News home subscription customers. The underlying fact is the American public has changed how they communicate and use today’s media.

The Postal Service has a plan to remain viable but will need congressional cooperation to achieve their goals. The proposed changes are necessary and actually will have little impact on the public. The alternative is to appease everybody and go back under the control of Congress, further increasing the nation’s debt, which is one thing that we all can agree that we absolutely do not need.

Neil Crean

CEO, Massachusetts Postal Employees Credit Union