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USPS ending Saturday mail delivery

Big changes could soon be coming to the U.S. Postal Service.  Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announcing Wednesday that it will end Saturday mail delivery, to combat the postal services debt. The plan is projected to save the company $2 billion dollars. It should start to take effect August 5th.

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By Jennifer Liberto, WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) — The U.S. Postal Service has backed down from its plan to stop Saturday mail delivery.

The postal service’s board said Wednesday that it will continue to deliver mail six days a week. In February, the agency announced a plan to stop delivering mail on Saturdays, except for packages and express mail.

The board said Wednesday it decided to stay the course because of a Congressional mandate for Saturday delivery that had been on the books since the 1980s. Congress decided to keep that mandate last month when it passed a funding measure to keep the government running.

The Postal Service had been hoping Congress would strip that mandate out.

“Although disappointed with this Congressional action, the Board will follow the law and has directed the Postal Service to delay implementation of its new delivery schedule until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule,” the board said in a statement.

Several lawmakers accused the agency of overstepping its legal authority when the postal service first announced its plan.

Last month, the U.S. Government Accountability Office sided with critics saying current law requires the agency to continue six-day delivery.

The U.S. Postal Service had said its plan would not violate the law, because it’s only changing six-day delivery — not ending it — since packages would continue to be delivered on Saturdays.

Ending Saturday delivery would have saved the cash-starved postal service $2 billion a year.

A key culprit for the Postal Service’s cash problems has been a 2006 congressional mandate, under which it has to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees. The USPS has been borrowing billions of dollars from taxpayers to make up for the shortfalls.

At the same time, technological advances have led to a decline in first-class mail, which many consumers use to pay bills and stay in touch.

The situation turned particularly dire last year — the agency twice defaulted on payments totaling $11 billion, and it exhausted a $15 billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury. The agency reported a $16 billion loss in 2012.

(CNN) — The U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday it will delay its plan to cut mail delivery to five days, saying “restrictive language” in Congress’ temporary government funding resolution prohibits the new schedule. The plan was to start August 5. The Postal Service said it will delay the plan “until legislation is passed that provides the Postal Service with the authority to implement a financially appropriate and responsible delivery schedule.”

Local News
02/06/13

Goodbye Saturday mail delivery

Big changes could soon be coming to the U.S. Postal Service.  Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announcing Wednesday that it will end Saturday mail delivery, to combat the postal services debt. The plan is projected to save the company $2 billion dollars. It should start to take effect August 5th.

The Postal Service will continue to deliver packages, priority and express mail six days a week. Mail will still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices currently open on Saturdays will remain open on Saturdays. “America’s mailing habits are changing and so are their shipping habits,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahue. “What we’re announcing is not very complicated . Package delivery will continue monday through Saturday . There will be no changes in terms of post office hours. If we’re open Saturday, we’ll be open Saturday. We’ll continue to deliver mail to post office boxes on Saturday which is very important to a number of businesses. Mail delivery will occur Monday through Friday and we will not deliver nor collect mail on Saturday.”

The Postal Service still needs Congress to approve the move. But the agency thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change. Patrick Donahoe, Postmaster General , says research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs. “Is this legal? Yes, it is. It is our opinion that the way that the law is set right now with the continuing resolution that we can make this change. The good news is that the continuing resolution that governs the Postal Service that way expires on the 27th of March so there’s plenty of time in there that if there is some disagreement we can get that resolved and encourage Congress to take any language out that stops us from moving to this five day mail schedule,” said Donahoe.

Some local business owners fear the change could slow down service they say is already lagging. “We’ve already seen the some of the service deteriorating here. Deliveries are not being made on a timely basis and pickups,” said Mervin Regener, owner of Postal Connections.

postal truckThe U.S. Postal Service plans to announce Wednesday that it will end Saturday mail delivery, in one of the most significant steps taken to date to cut costs at the struggling agency.

A source familiar with the decision confirmed the plan to Fox News.

Under the proposal, the Postal Service will continue to deliver packages six days a week. The plan, which is aimed at saving about $2 billion, would start to take effect in August.

The move accentuates one of the agency’s strong points — package delivery has increased by 14 percent since 2010, officials say, while the delivery of letters and other mail has declined with the increasing use of email and other Internet use.

Under the new plan, mail would still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays. Post offices now open on Saturdays would remain open on Saturdays.

Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly but unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control.

It was not immediately clear how the service could eliminate Saturday mail without congressional approval.

But the agency clearly thinks it has a majority of the American public on its side regarding the change.

Material prepared for the Wednesday press conference by Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and CEO, says Postal Service market research and other research has indicated that nearly 7 in 10 Americans support the switch to five-day delivery as a way for the Postal Service to reduce costs.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/06/postal-service-to-cut-saturday-mail-to-trim-costs/#ixzz2K7xJu4et

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