Deputy PMG Lays Out USPS Reform Goals

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Postal Service is serious about pursuing postal reform, deputy postmaster general John Nolan said yesterday as he laid out key features of the agency's effort.


Nolan, speaking at an emergency briefing on postal developments sponsored by the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, said any reform plan needs to be simple and recognize the importance and costs of universal delivery.


Nolan argued that the USPS' should keep its monopoly on universal delivery but said that the agency needs flexibility in setting prices for some services.


The USPS recently found that to break even this year, the agency has to generate about $1.90 a day per delivery, Nolan said. However, only about 25 percent of deliveries generate that kind of revenue.


"All the other areas of the postal service should be able to adjust products and services and introduce new ones as needed," he said.


Nolan added that a reform plan should include "a collective bargaining model that requires people to really, really collectively bargain, rather than having a third-party arbitrator do this."


Nolan did not offer any more details on when the next rate case will be filed or how much of a rate increase would be sought. Most insiders at the meeting said the next rate case will take place either in the fall or in January.


Meanwhile, representatives of the House and Senate committees that oversee the postal service assured the audience that both chambers are working hard on postal reform and hoping to come up with a bipartisan bill that will be passed as soon as possible.


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