Postal Service, unions and lawmakers at odds over need for legislation


A United States Postal Office employee puts a bundle of mail onto a machine at the Processing and Distribution Center in San Francisco, California. (Stephen Lam / Getty Images)

(August 12, 2014) The Postal Service, lawmakers and postal unions are still butting heads over whether the improving financial situation at the agency undermines the argument for expansive postal legislation.

The Postal Service saw its operating revenue increase by more than $327 million over the same time last year led by an increase in packages, according to a financial report released Aug. 11. The decline in first-class mail and letters was down, but a price increase resulted in a 3.2 percent revenue increase.

“We’re seeing momentum in our package business and continued use of direct mail as an advertising medium,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “We’ve been effective in developing and marketing our products, and we’re improving how we leverage data and technology—all providing a higher return on mail for many customers and causing them to take a fresh look at the Postal Service.”

However, whether the service is beginning to enjoy better fiscal health depends on whether operating or net income is the better measure. The service has made more than $1 billion in operating income profit since the beginning of fiscal 2014. However, net income factors in the Postal Service’s obligation to prepay for retiree health benefits and fund its worker compensation fund, and there the service shows a net loss of $3.7 billion.

Read more: Postal Service, unions and lawmakers at odds over need for legislation | Federal Times |


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