By Robert Harding
U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei praised the U.S. Postal Service's decision to not proceed with plans to end Saturday mail delivery.
Maffei, D-DeWitt, opposed the Postal Service's proposal and participated in a rally calling on the USPS to keep six-day mail delivery. He also cosponsored a House resolution asking the U.S. Postal Service to keep the six-day delivery schedule and urged the postmaster general not to eliminate Saturday delivery.
"I applaud the decision to continue Saturday delivery," Maffei said in a statement Wednesday. "It is an important service for the community and for seniors in central New York. The Postal Service should continue to look for ways to address its financial challenges and cut costs other than ending Saturday delivery."
The U.S. Postal Service announced plans in February to cut Saturday mail delivery. While area residents said they understood the decision and prior national polling showed most Americans support cutting Saturday delivery, some members of Congress asked the Postal Service to back down from their plans.
According to an Associated Press story from February, the U.S. Postal Service estimated it would save $2 billion a year by cutting Saturday mail delivery. While mail delivery would have been impacted, the Postal Service would continue with a six-day schedule for package delivery.
Here is the statement from the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors announcing the decision to keep Saturday mail delivery:
The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service met April 9 and discussed the Continuing Resolution recently passed by Congress to fund government operations. By including restrictive language in the Continuing Resolution, Congress has prohibited implementation of a new national delivery schedule for mail and packages, which would consist of package delivery Monday through Saturday and mail delivery Monday through Friday, and which would have taken effect the week of Aug. 5, 2013.
Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule. The Board believes that Congress has left it with no choice but to delay this implementation at this time. The Board also wants to ensure that customers of the Postal Service are not unduly burdened by ongoing uncertainties and are able to adjust their business plans accordingly.
The Board continues to support the transition to a new national delivery schedule. Such a transition will generate approximately $2 billion in annual cost savings and is a necessary part of a larger five-year business plan to restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability. According to numerous polls, this new delivery schedule is widely supported by the American public. Our new delivery schedule is also supported by the Administration and some members of Congress.
To restore the Postal Service to long-term financial stability, the Postal Service requires the flexibility to reduce costs and generate new revenues to close an ever widening budgetary gap. It is not possible for the Postal Service to meet significant cost reduction goals without changing its delivery schedule -- any rational analysis of our current financial condition and business options leads to this conclusion. Delaying responsible changes to the Postal Service business model only increases the potential that the Postal Service may become a burden to the American taxpayer, which is avoidable.
Given these extreme circumstances and the worsening financial condition of the Postal Service, the Board has directed management to seek a reopening of negotiations with the postal unions and consultations with management associations to lower total workforce costs, and to take administrative actions necessary to reduce costs. The Board has also asked management to evaluate further options to increase revenue, including an exigent rate increase to raise revenues across current Postal Service product categories and products not currently covering their costs.
The Board continues to support the Postal Service's five-year business plan and the legislative goals identified in that plan, which will return the Postal Service to financial solvency. The Board additionally urges Congress to quickly pass comprehensive postal legislation, including provisions that would affirmatively provide the Postal Service with the ability to establish an appropriate national delivery schedule.