Postal roundup: transformation plan, job cuts, and more

The U.S. Postal Service will submit a future vision of itself—called its “transformation plan”—on April 4. USPS Board of Governors chairman Robert Rider said at the board’s monthly meeting on March 5 that the plan “will provide the framework for how the Postal Service of the future will be reformed and revitalized to meet the changing needs of our customers, the American people, over the next 10-20 years. It is clear to all of us that the time for debating the need for reform is past.”

Congress and the General Accounting Office (GAO) had requested that the Postal Service create the plan to outline how it intends to manage in the wake of changing global markets, new technologies, and the need to deliver mail to an ever-increasing number of addresses. While the transformation plan isn’t the postal reform bill that many have sought since 1996, it could lay the foundation for one.

In another report at the monthly meeting, USPS chief financial officer Richard Strausser said that the agency has cut 8,100 career positions and 7,700 temporary jobs. An additional 10,000 positions, he said, could be cut by September, which is when the USPS’s fiscal year ends.

In other postal news, CATALOG AGE sister publication “Direct” reports that several mailing organizations gave a lukewarm response to Postmaster General Jack Potter’s suggestion of more frequent but less dramatic rate increases.

“The USPS waited until its back was up against the wall and they just couldn’t do anything else,” said Tony Gallo, vice president at the Association of Postal Commerce, who nevertheless told “Direct” that he supports the concept. “We’re in favor of anything the Postal Service can do to reduce costs,” Direct Marketing Association spokesman Lou Mastria said. “The DMA is in favor of postal reform, but we welcome anything it can do under existing laws.”