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USPS to cut Sat. mail delivery PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

Beginning Aug. 5, the United States Postal Service will be eliminating Saturday deliveries of all mail nationwide.

While mail will now be delivered five days a week, the USPS will continue to deliver parcels, such as online orders, on Saturdays. At this point, there is some uncertainty as to what counts as a parcel. Medications may be included, but it is dependent on how the item is shipped and the overall size of the piece.

Those who get their mail through P.O. boxes will continue to receive their mail on Saturdays as well.

The USPS financial problems have been mounting since they were required by law to pre-fund future retiree health benefits in 2006. In 2012 they surpassed a $14 billion deficit. According to Rupert, once the new policy is fully implemented, the USPS will save approximately $2 billion a year.

Many individual and organizations have expressed their concern and disapproval of the new five-day a week delivery system.

In a statement released by the National Newspaper Association, Merle Baranczyk, NNA president and publisher of the Mountain Mail in Salida, said, “This unfortunate decision sees packages as profitable but forgets the importance of money in the mail for small businesses and thousands of American communities who depend upon local newspaper delivery on Saturdays.”

The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association is also in opposition to the elimination of a six-day mail delivery system. Jeanette P. Dwyer, NRLCA president, commented in a press release that the “announcement by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe to eliminate a six-day delivery is yet another death knell for the quality service provided by the U.S. Postal Service.

“For decades, the Postal Service has upheld a personal and professional standard of service, delivering to every household nationwide six days a week. To erode this service will undermine the Postal Service’s core mission and is completely unacceptable.”

The NRLCA has gone as far as to call for the immediate removal of Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe as they question the legality of eliminating Saturday mail delivery. Dwyer noted that the actions being taken by the USPS “circumvent the established legislative process” and ignore the law.

The USPS does not believe they are violating any laws as Rupert stated, “We believe we have the legal standing to do this.”

According to an independent online survey by Ipsos, an independent market research company, where over 1,000 U.S. residents over the age of 18 were questioned from Feb. 8-11, approximately 80 percent were in favor of the upcoming changes.

The percentage of those in favor rose when respondents were informed that the action will allow the USPS to be financially stable, ensure the USPS does not have an interruption of service, ensure that prices will not rise in the near future for mail or package delivery and that the changes will not become a tax burden for U.S. taxpayers.

Rural respondents were the least supportive with 76 percent in favor of the new policy.

Rupert expressed that the actions being taken are the most responsible thing to do. He noted that in this digital age, there has been a 25 percent reduction of first class mail, and if they had to cut any day, Saturday is the best option.

Holyoke Enterprise February 28, 2013