USPS Resumes Reductions, Including $10,000 Early Retirement Offers to Select Employees
One cost-cutting measure for which the U.S. Postal Service is fighting is a five-day mail-delivery week that, as mail volumes continues to decline, could help to curtail a $238 billion shortfall projected over the next decade.
However, the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted to block USPS' request to eliminate delivery on Saturdays, which the USPS deems to have the lowest mail volume. Unrelated, but showcasing the organization's dire financial situation, the USPS is moving forward with facility consolidations, reductions and possible layoffs if enough employees do not accept the organization's early retirement offer.
In its most recent quarter, the USPS sustained its 20th loss in the past 22 quarters. The second quarter (Jan. 1 to March 31) of this fiscal year resulted in a net loss of $1.9 billion.
“The Postal Service is working diligently to improve its finances by streamlining our network to improve efficiency, reduce operating costs and increase revenue, which was up $379 million over the same period last year—the third straight quarter of revenue increase,” Patrick Donahoe, USPS Postmaster General and CEO, said in May. "Despite aggressive cost-cutting actions, however, we will still incur annual inflationary cost increases of approximately $1.2 billion each year, and First-Class Mail volume continues to decline."
In a plan to reduce costs and save rural post offices, the USPS continues its process to reduce hours at more than 9,000 facilities by September. Last fall the USPS avoided layoffs by offering more than 15,000 employees early retirement, according to Government Executive. Now the organization is providing a similar offer to 3,000 workers, Government Executive reported last week. Last time around workers did not receive financial compensation for retiring ahead of schedule, only early eligibility to their retirement annuity. Those who accept early retirement now will receive $10,000.