June 21, 2018
USPS responds to administration plan
The Postal Service has issued a statement regarding a Trump administration proposal to reorganize some federal agencies.
The proposal, part of a report the administration released June 21, recommends restructuring and possibly privatizing USPS.
“The consistent position of the Postal Service has been that our flawed business model is the root cause of our financial instability because it imposes significant costs on us without giving us adequate business flexibility to enable us to pay for them. It is important that potential reforms to fix our business model be developed and then considered by the president and Congress in an open and transparent manner that fully analyzes the interests of America’s consumers and businesses,” Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan said.
“Ultimately, it will be for Congress to decide whether the best path to financial sustainability is to preserve the Postal Service’s status as a government institution focused on our mission of public service, while giving us more authority to meet our responsibilities, or whether a profit-maximizing corporate model is preferable. We will continue to work with all parties, including the Presidential Task Force established to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the Postal Service, to address these significant public policy issues.”
NALC's statement on OMB's proposal to privatize the Postal Service
NALC President Fredric Rolando criticized the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service, which was released today.
“This report takes direct aim at numerous agencies including USPS under the guise of reforming and restructuring for the 21st century,” President Rolando said. “The White House is making very clear that privatization of the Postal Service is its goal, despite the fact that the stakeholder meetings with the White House Postal Task Force are ongoing.
“NALC has long been committed to working with all of the stakeholders and not one has floated the idea of privatization except private shippers, who would love nothing more than to see the Postal Service dismantled.
“NALC had high hopes in engaging with this administration and its Postal Task Force to address the underlying issues facing the Postal Service, which stem from the 2006 mandate to pre-fund retiree health benefits. The NALC along with the other postal employee unions provided recommendations to the Task Force. We were hopeful that this administration was seeking real solutions to stabilize this agency with an 88 percent approval rating where veterans make up over 25 percent of its workforce.
“Now that we know that this administration and its Task Force will make recommendations on reforms to achieve OMB’s privatization goals, NALC will work tirelessly with other stakeholders and Congress to oppose this faulty privatization plan every step of the way to preserve this public service."
UPMA: President Trump Proposes Postal Privatization
Today, President Donald Trump proposed to restructure the United States Postal Service, converting it "from a Government agency into a privately-held corporation." In a document entitled, Delivering Government Solutions for the 21st Century, (click on title to see report) the Executive Office to the President heralded European postal privatization efforts as an example for U.S. postal reform. The report is 132 pages long and the postal proposal is located on pages 68 through 70. The White House asserts: "A private operation would be incentivized to innovate and improve services to Americans in every community." The document suggests a variety of private models for the Postal Service. It is important to note that these foreign private postal operations have failed to deliver the quality and certainty that Americans expect and deserve.
It appears that the Presidential Task Force on the Postal System continues its deliberations, notwithstanding the White House proposal. Nevertheless, it is deeply troubling that the postal privatization proposal has been released about 50 days prior to the date on which the Task Force is instructed to present its findings to the President, and two Task Force members -- the Director of OMB and the Director of OPM -- have had a major role in developing the White House document. Therefore, it is essential that UPMA members urge their Representatives and Senators to reject the President's ill-conceived postal privatization plan, which undermines universal, affordable, high-quality and trusted mail service.
NRLCA: Administration Releases Proposal to Privatize USPS
On June 21, 2018, the Administration released a wide-ranging proposal to overhaul the federal government. Included in the government overhaul is a proposal to privatize the United States Postal Service. The Administration states their “proposal would restructure the United States Postal System to return it to a sustainable business model or prepare it for future conversion from a Government Agency into a privately-held corporation.”
The privatization proposal recommends significant cuts to service, employee benefits, and labor that would help a privately-held Postal Service better manage expenses; “A private postal operator that delivers mail fewer days per week and to more central locations (not door delivery) would operate at substantially lower costs. A private entity would also have greater ability to adjust product pricing in response to changes in demand or operating costs. Freeing USPS to more fully negotiate pay and benefits rather than prescribing participation in costly Federal personnel benefits programs and allowing it to follow private sector practices in compensation and labor relations, could further reduce costs.”
On April 12, President Trump signed an Executive Order to review the sustainability and viability of the Postal Service and make legislative recommendations. When the NRLCA met with members of the Task Force, the idea of privation never came up. The Task Force’s report is scheduled to be released on August 10. With the release of this most recent recommendation to privatize the Postal Service, we have a good idea on what the Task Force is going to recommend.
The NRLCA fully opposes privatizing the Postal Service, and will continue to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to pass meaningful postal reform legislation, and make sure this privatization proposal to dismantle an American institution fails.
Please contact your member of Congress and urge them to oppose the privatization of the United States Postal Service.
You can view the Administration’s Reform Plan to Reorganization Recommendations here:
APWU: White House Plan to Privatize the Postal Service
06/21/2018 - The White House proposal on restructuring the federal government released today, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” delivered nothing but misinformation and, if implemented, would end regular mail and package services at an affordable cost to 157 million addresses every day. Furthermore, the White House plan is an attack on many federal agencies and the public services they provide.
The White House’s plan states, “Like many European nations the United States could privatize its postal operator…” What’s left unsaid is European nations charge substantially more for mail services delivered in a much smaller area. They also regularly raise the cost of delivery. For example, the cost of sending a letter in the United Kingdom has increased 80 percent over the past decade. By comparison, the U.S. has the lowest postage rates in the industrialized world.
Eliminating the universal service obligation, as the plan suggests, would hurt business and individuals alike, and would be a dagger aimed at the heart of rural America and undermine e-commerce.
The draconian plan uses “burdening the taxpayers” as justification to promote the privatization of the U.S. Postal Service when the truth is USPS is self-supporting and receives no tax dollars for postal operations.
And, while letter mail volumes are lower, package delivery is up substantially. No institution is better suited for the e-commerce revolution than USPS. The public postal service serves each and every person and belongs to the people of this country. According to recent surveys by Gallup and the Pew Research Center, it enjoys the highest level of satisfaction and trust of any government service or agency, rating the highest among young people.
Privatizing the Postal Service is not in the public interest or the interest of postal workers and would be nothing more than a raid by corporate pirates on a national treasure.
This outrageous White House plan should be a wake-up call to every postal worker and APWU member. The threats of postal privatization, the threats to decent union jobs, the threats to good services, are real.
The American Postal Workers Union stands with the people of the country and our many allies in the ongoing fight to ensure a vibrant public Postal Service for generations to come.
More information and calls for action will be forthcoming.
NAPS: Trump Administration Proposes USPS Restructuring, Privatization
Yesterday, on the 517th day of Donald Trump's presidency, his Administration called for the restructuring and ultimate privatization of the United States Postal Service. In a wide-ranging plan to reorganize parts of the federal government, the Office of Management and Budget proposed the creation of a "sustainable business model" for the Postal Service that eventually leads to its sale to the private sector. The 132-page OMB blueprint, called "Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century," also proposes the restructuring of other government departments and agencies, with many actions requiring Congressional approval.
NAPS President Brian Wagner responded to the Administration's proposal in a statement, questioning postal privatization and calling upon Congress to enact pending legislation that will put the Postal Service on a firmer financial footing. "Privatization is not the answer," Wagner said. "The privatization of America's post offices will put at risk prompt, affordable service to many Americans, especially in rural areas. The Postal Service can become great again if Congress satisfies its legislative responsibilities and enacts the necessary reforms already backed by the postal stakeholder community." Postmaster General Megan Brennan also commented in press reports that it would be up to Congress to determine whether privatizing the agency was the best course, pointing out that the agency's "flawed business model" remained the core problem.
The Administration's plan would aim to improve the Postal Service's finances and operations first, then prepare for privatization, likely either through sale or public offering. According to the plan, the Administration proposes to "restructure USPS by aligning revenues and expenses to restore a sustainable business model and possibly prepare it for future conversion from a Government agency into a privately-held corporation."
"USPS can no longer support the obligations created by its enormous infrastructure and personnel requirements," OMB said. "USPS already has over $100 billion in unfunded liabilities, a substantial capital investment backlog, has posted losses for over a decade, and has no clear path to profitability without reform. A new model that adequately finances USPS while meeting the needs of rural and urban communities, large mailers, and small businesses is needed."
The "fix it then privatize it" approach proposed by the Administration signals the difficulties of attracting support for privatization from Congress and the American public. The Postal Service remains the most trusted institution in the federal government. Private sector venture capitalists are likely to be skeptical of buying an enterprise with billions of dollars in debt and with increasing delivery network demands. Nor will logistics competitors like UPS have much of an appetite for buying the Postal Service and taking on last mile responsibilities, without the power to charge more and deliver less. And in Congress, rural lawmakers, particularly Republicans, will be skeptical about privatization, given its impact upon service to their constituents.
Further details on the Administration's proposal are expected to be revealed in the report of the President's task force on the postal system, expected by August 10. With the November midterm elections approaching, little time in this Congress remains for consideration of the Administration's restructuring proposals. Going into those elections, the proposals will represent a sign of the Administration's political commitment toward cutting the size of government and running it more like a business.
NPMHU REBUFFS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PROPOSAL TO PRIVATIZE POSTAL SERVICE
The Trump Administration on June 21, 2018 released its so-called Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations – formally entitled the Office of Management and Budget’s Report on Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century. The plan includes various Trump proposals for reorganizing the federal government. Buried deep in the Report is the President’s plan to restructure the Postal Service into a “sustainable business model” and thereby “prepare it for future conversion . . . into a privately held corporation.”
“The plan itself is unsustainable,” said NPMHU President Paul Hogrogian after reading through the 128-page report. “It starts by noting that public trust in the federal government has declined over the last decade, but then proposes to dismantle the most trusted component of that government – the Postal Service – and move it into the private sector.” “The inevitable result of such privatization,” said Hogrogian, “would be to destroy universal postal services for every American,” which has been a mainstay of the nation’s systems for communications and commerce ever since the Founding Fathers put the Post Office into the U.S. Constitution. If postal services were privatized, as the Trump Administration envisions, many Americans would lose their daily access to postal services, and the cost of those services for other Americans would increase greatly.
To be sure, the Postal Service currently faces a difficult financial situation, principally caused by the mandatory pre-funding of retiree benefits ordered by Congress in 2006. But there is legislation currently pending in Congress and proposed rules already issued by the Postal Regulatory Commission to address USPS finances. Taken together, these proposals provide a roadmap for sustaining the Postal Service as the cherished American institution that it always has been. Policymakers and others interested in how to ensure the future of the Postal Service should take the time needed to read the materials that all four major postal unions recently submitted to the White House Task Force on the USPS. That joint submission is linked here:
- Workforce Submission to the White House Task Force on the USPS (white paper)
- An Executive Summary of the Workforce Submission
- Policy Options for Eliminating or Reducing the Prefunding Burden (summary chart)
- History of Postal Reform Legislation
- Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century - Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations
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