Not so fast, Mr. Postmaster General.
That’s the government’s response in a nutshell to PG DeJoy’s plan to change (read lower) service delivery standards at the USPS.
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is meeting with DeJoy this week to discuss his proposed postal reform legislation, according to Steve Hutkins writing in Save the Post Office. The meeting, Hutkins notes, will cover three things: possible changes in health benefits for postal workers, reform on the tricky pre-funding of the USPS retiree benefit obligation, and delivery service standards.
The discussion draft includes clear indications that DeJoy’s plan for lower service standards will not fly:
“The United States Postal Service may not revise the service standards for market-dominant products in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act in a manner that lengthens delivery times before the date on which the report required by subsection (c) is submitted to Congress.”
Full stop, Mr. DeJoy.
I no longer use the word “plague” lightly, but the USPS has been … overcome … by challenges since DeJoy came on board with the stated intention of improving things around the Postal Service. Last fall we saw the massive challenge of timely delivery of mail including election ballots, and the crisis continued through the holidays and well into this year.
Now, apparently, they want to make this delayed service the delivery standard. According to Hutkins, it’s clear that “the Committee is aware of the Postmaster General’s plans to change service standards, as was reported recently in a great scoop by the Washington Post, and the Committee wants to head the PMG off at the pass.”
According to the article in the Post, DeJoy wants to lump all local first-class mail that passes through just one storing facility (that now has a delivery standard of two days) into the same three-to-five day window for nonlocal. This could, Hutkins notes, affect approximately 20 billion mail pieces per year.
“The Commission, the mailers and unions will want to know more about how the mail flow will be impacted, how the projected cost savings have been calculated, and what kind of market research, if any, the Postal Service has done to determine how slower mail might hurt revenues. That was a big issue back in 2012, and it could become one again,” Hutkins notes.
Like Hutkins, we’ll be watching for news from this important meeting, and will share when we know more.