In the wake of a reported $15.9 billion loss during the 2012 fiscal year, the United States Postal Service is in the midst of making changes to its business plan. These proposed changes could affect the way some local residents send and receive their mail.
A meeting will be held at the Clarendon VFD on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to discuss the results of a recent survey taken by Clarendon Post Office customers. These surveys were aimed at how to provide service for the community going forward, according to Tad Kelley, Western PA Media Contact for the USPS. The meeting will be conducted by the manager of post office operations for the 163 ZIP Code area.
"As of now, no decisions have been made," said Kelley, "any changes made would not occur for at least 30 days."
In an effort to avoid closing offices, due to strong concerns from customers, legislative and stakeholder communities, the USPS announced a new strategy, added Kelley. "This plan can effectively keep 13,000 small offices open with modified hours."
Additional means of cost savings include the opening of Village Post Offices. These third-party operated branches are typically located inside established businesses and generally offer extended hours, most of the popular services offered at post offices, and often times increased revenue for the owner due to increases in foot traffic.
According to a Nov. 15 USPS press release, if legislature is passed by Congress, the Postal Service Business Plan includes updates that would allow them to determine delivery frequency, offer non-postal products and services, develop a more streamlined governance model that would allow for quicker pricing and product decisions, and resolve the overfunding of obligations to the Federal Employees' Retirement System. The prefunded retiree health benefits accounted for $11.1 billion of the net losses for the 2012 fiscal year.
The Postal Service is also expected to consolidate an estimated 229 mail processing locations by February of 2014. Cuts, consolidations, and other cost-cutting ventures are expected to reduce the size of the workforce by approximately 13,000 employees and save approximately $1.2 billion annually.