September 2011 Newsletter • Co-Chairs' Corner

Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Lorraine Castellano, Postal Co chair for the LIPCC, speak to the LIPCC about the state of the USPS with respect to the Post Offices’ lack of ability to facilitate their right for self determination. One of the things discussed was the lack of the ability of the USPS to determine which post offices the USPS can request to “close” based upon proximity and postal volume. So, I took the time to mapquest from my home how many post offices are available for my family to access.

From my {Adam's} house:
Woodbury USPS 1.39 miles
Cold Spring Harbor USPS 2.41 miles
Melville USPS 2.7 miles
Syosset USPS 3.10 miles
Bethpage USPS 3.4 miles
Huntington Station USPS 3.96 miles
Plainview USPS 4.23 miles
Jericho USPS 4.3 miles
East Norwich USPS 4.3 miles

According to the USPS statistics, there are 2,306 USPS offices nationwide that are located between 0-2.5 miles from each other, and an additional 4,283 offices that are between 2.5 miles – 5 miles from each other. We understand that urban locations, like NYC, where the “miles” are close to each other, and rural areas which are distant from each other have to be taken into consideration. However, as you can see from above, there are 9 USPS locations from my home that exist up to 4.3 miles from my home.

I can understand if I lived in a rural area where there is a large area between post offices, what the closing of a USPS station would mean. However we live on Long Island. Does it really make a difference if I’m in the car driving to a USPS location if I drive 1.39 miles, or 4.3 miles?

Honestly, if we were to run our businesses like the USPS, which is mandated on the ways in which they have to run their business, does this make any sense? We, as a country demand certain requirements from the USPS. However in addition, we also demand that they are accountable for profitability.

The USPS has taken extraordinary measures to ensure reductions in costing, including demands and subsequent positive responses from the labor unions responsible for the movement of mail. There is a hiring freeze in place, more efficient equipment has been installed, reductions in the amount of processing facilities, and yet delivery times are not only asked of it, but required. The USPS has acknowledged the reduction in mail volume, and they are trying diligently to adjust to these reductions.

However, is the government just asking too much? How come the USPS is required to prefund their pension plan at a cost of 5.5 billion dollars per year, when no other organization as part of the federal government is asked or demanded to do the same? There is an overpayment of approximately 6.9 billion dollars that has been acknowledged by the Federal Government, and yet, there isn’t any mechanism in place to allow the USPS to take a deduction on monies “owed” to it.

The bottom line is that there needs to be changes made, and now is the time for these changes to be made. We can no longer require that the USPS be accountable and not give them to tools to do so. As mailers, we are striving to supply our clients with “in home” dates, which can not be practically made by the USPS based upon their current structure.

I am asking you, as members of the mailing community to not only understand the challenges that are before the USPS, but work with us to have Congress allow them the flexibility for them to succeed. In future communications, I will outline the proposed changes. Please let your elected officials know that you support the USPS in their efforts to allow them to achieve profitability. Honestly, that is the only way we, as the mailing community, will be able to succeed as a viable industry.

Thank you in advance for your help, and support.
We look forward to seeing everyone in the Fall.

Lorraine Castellano,
Postal Co-Chair
Adam Avrick,
Industry Co-Chair