New delivery schedule will strengthen USPS

On Feb. 24, three opinions penned by postal employees were published in opposition to the six-day package/five-day mail delivery announcement by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. I’d like to respond to some of the claims made.

The letters suggest fixing the retiree health benefits issue alone would solve all of the financial woes of the Postal Service. While it is true the prefunding obligation has resulted in a severe financial strain to postal operations and must be addressed legislatively, it is not the only encumbrance. Americans have told us with their purchasing choices how they wish to use their postal system. As consumers replace letters and cards with online bill-paying, tax-filing and socializing, first-class mail volumes continue to decline exponentially. Taking no action or maintaining the status quo is not a viable solution in the changing environment.

The Postal Service developed the new delivery schedule (six days for packages, five days for mail) by working with customers to understand their delivery needs, and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings. This new delivery schedule reflects the strong growth of our package business, and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mailing habits.

News surveys around the nation as well as those conducted by the Postal Service consistently show 70 percent to 80 percent of Americans support the new delivery schedule. Most understand embracing this change is necessary for the preservation of our postal system.

The Postal Service is simply taking a responsible and reasonable step toward returning the organization to financial stability. Americans value the mail they receive, but as survey research clearly illustrates, they are willing to adjust to a new delivery schedule to help strengthen the financial footing of the Postal Service.

Kathleen M. Burns

WNY District Manager

U.S. Postal Service