Browsing: U.S. Postal Service

Postal Service announcing 1Q financials tomorrow

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Just a heads-up that the U.S. Postal Service will be announcing its first-quarter fiscal 2014 financial results on Friday morning. Because of the holiday shipping season, the first quarter is typically the Postal Service’ s strongest, so it will be interesting to see whether the steady (albeit relative) improvement in USPS finances continued in the three-month period from October through December. The numbers typically are released at a Board of Governors meeting. In this case, however, the Postal Service plans to announce them via a news release, followed by posting of the full quarterly report. Federal Times will have the…

With stamp prices set to rise, legal challenges filed

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The price of a first-class stamp rises from 46 to 49 cents tomorrow and the cost of a host of other mail products and services will also increase following regulators’ decision last month to grant the U.S. Postal Service a temporary emergency rate increase. As FedLine noted a couple of days ago, both the U.S. Postal Service and a mailing industry coalition planned to contest (albeit for different reasons) the Postal Regulatory Commission’s ruling. In appeals Thursday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, both camps followed through. You can read the USPS filing here…

Postal Service again gets more time for reply to Northrop lawsuit

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“The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine,” a proverb goes. By that standard, it should come as no surprise that the U.S. Postal Service now has until Oct. 9 to respond to allegations in a $180 million lawsuit filed by contractor Northrop Grumman over the handling of a major automation project. The suit was filed in early May, with the Postal Service’s response originally due two months later. But Federal Court Claims Judge George Miller later pushed back the deadline until Sept. 3 and—in a ruling this month—delayed it again to Oct. 9 following a motion from…

Inspector general: More than one-third of Postal Service workers eligible to retire this year

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The U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general is out with a new overview of employee retirement options. This is a hot topic nowadays, given that USPS leaders have been open about their interest in using early-out incentives as a glide path to a much smaller agency. One finding: More than 189,000 postal employees (that’s well above one-third of the current career workforce) are eligible to retire in fiscal 2012. That number appears to be a good bit higher than the figure used by postal execs, who generally put the ratio at around one in four. The report also notes that the…

In congressional testimony, postmaster general mentions plans for departure incentives

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The focus of a congressional hearing last week was on the U.S. Postal Service’s desire to create its own employee health insurance plan. But Postmaster General Pat Donahoe also had something intriguing to say about the possibility of some kind of employee buyout program. Asked by one lawmaker whether he had any plans or suggestions to “incentivize” retirement for workers who are eligible to leave, Donahoe said this (according to a transcript): “We do plan on issuing some incentives based on the fact that we make some changes in our operations. As we shrink the network, as we move from…

Postal bill stalls in the Senate

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The Senate took a surprise first vote on postal legislation today. The result: Lawmakers probably won’t be trying again before mid-April. The bill is the 21st Century Postal Reform Act (S.1789); the vote, which came this afternoon, was on a procedural “cloture” motion to see if supporters could muster the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate. As it turned out, they couldn’t. The motion picked up only 51 votes, with most Democrats voting in favor and most Republicans opposed. The Senate hadn’t been expected to take up the bi-partisan bill until tomorrow at the earliest. Why lawmakers proceeded today was the subject…

Senate action on U.S. Postal Service measure delayed

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The great Senate debate on postal overhaul legislation ain’t happening—definitely not today and possibly not until mid-April, after lawmakers return from a two-week spring break. Instead, the Senate is poised to lock horns for a while on a bill to repeal oil and gas industry tax breaks. That’s not what many folks were expecting. In fact, dickering on the postal measure sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Ct., was reportedly continuing as late as this morning. The plan was this: Late this afternoon, the Senate would first take a procedural vote on whether to debate the oil and gas tax repeal legislation.…

Postal Service and mail handlers heading into mediation

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For those keeping track of the three-ring show known as U.S. Postal Service labor negotiations, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union reports that a federally appointed mediator is now in place to help the two sides settle on a new contract. The mediation process can take 60 days; if it fails, the next step will likely be binding arbitration. An impasse was declared in late January in the Postal Service’s contract talks with both the mail handlers union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. The NALC announced the appointment of a mediator last month. “We’re working hard,” President Fredric Rolando…

American Postal Workers Union mounts new TV ad campaign

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The American Postal Workers Union has returned to national television with three new 30-second commercials. But unlike a softer-focus ad campaign that ran last summer, these spots have a definite target: the U.S. Postal Service’s downsizing agenda and, in particular, its plans to close or consolidate more than 220 mail processing plants. If a Maine plant closes, “we would have to consider layoffs” because of increased mailing times, says the president of a Bangor company that produces billing statements, appointment reminders and other documents, in one ad. The other commercials suggest that the processing plant closures could slow delivery of…

Hundreds of post offices dropped from U.S. Postal Service closure list

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Remember that U.S. Postal Service list of about 3,650 post offices under study for closure? The number is now closer to 3,270. The reason: Since the original roster was released last July, 380 facilities have quietly been given a reprieve, according to the Postal Service. In many cases, USPS officials decided that closing wasn’t feasible because there was no other post office within an acceptable distance. In other cases, they cited “negative community impact” or decided that closing wouldn’t be cost-effective, according to an official spreadsheet. Not surprisingly,one of the biggest gainers was Alaska, where 31 post offices have so…

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