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Federal Employees News Digest : Feb. 18, 2013
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org What's Inside44 February 18, 2013 • Vol. 62, No. 29 Postal unions see disaster in 5-day delivery Postal unions reacted strongly to an announcement by the postmaster gen- eral that the U.S. Postal Service will end Saturday home delivery of letters as a cost-cutting measure, effective in August. Postmaster General and CEO Patrick R. Donahoe reassured customers---and employees---that Saturday delivery would continue for packages, as would Saturday post office box service. Donahoe said the plan would save $2 billion per year. "The Postal Service is advancing an important new approach to delivery that reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America's chang- ing mailing habits," Donahoe said in a Feb. 6 statement. "We developed this approach by working with our customers to understand their delivery needs and by identifying creative ways to generate significant cost savings." The Postal Service reportedly had con- sidered cutting all Saturday service, but retained package delivery under a hail of criticism from businesses and from advo- cates for elderly and rural populations who get needed medications by mail. The Postal Service cited strong growth in its package business---14 percent since 2010---in explaining its decision to keep the packages arriving on doorsteps on Saturdays. letter carriers blast plan "Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's plan to end Saturday delivery is a disas- trous idea that would have a profoundly negative effect on the Postal Service and on millions of customers," said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, which represents more than a quarter-million urban letter carriers. "Slowing mail service and degrading our unmatchable last-mile delivery net- work are not the answers to the Postal Service's financial problems," Rolando said. "If the postmaster general is unwill- ing or unable to develop a smart growth strategy that serves the nearly 50 percent of business mailers that want to keep six- day service, and if he arrogantly thinks he is above the law or has the right to decide policy matters that should be left to Congress, it is time for him to step down." Rolando further argued that Donahoe's plan---if carried out---"flouts the will of Congress," running counter to current law, renewed for 30 years, requiring the Postal Service to maintain six-day deliv- ery. Furthermore, he noted, a bipartisan majority of House members in the last Congress co-sponsored new legislation supporting the continuation of Saturday delivery. Rolando called the Postal Service plan a "slash-and-shrink" approach that won't address the real financial problems the organization faces---problems that require innovative new services and changes in the law that prevent profitability. Easy Targets An old friend from my news- paper days called me last month to have lunch. He's writing a book about the Air Florida airplane that crashed into Potomac in January 1984. The plane took off from National Airport, but because of heavy icing it clipped a bridge before crashing into the river. Seventy-eight people (including four people in their cars on the bridge) were killed in the crash. One of the dead was the mother of a friend of my daughters. There were only five survivors among the passengers and crew. At the time of the crash, my friend and I both worked at The Washington Post. As a reporter, he and dozens of others were dis- patched to go to the crash site. Not easy, because the subway had also crashed and traffic was gridlocked because of the ice, cold and snow. This was, you remember, before the proliferation of cell phones. You had to get there, do your reporting, then find a phone. INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • Sequester warnings aired 3 • In Brief 5 • Informed Investor 7 • Federal Benefits Q&A 8 continued on page 3
Feb. 11, 2013
Feb. 25, 2013