Toledo Talk

Toledo Will See Changes in Mail Service

I saw this on the news site about OH post office, closings. Four for Toledo are near the bottom. No one wants to lose their job but many employees will feel a lot safer not going to the Midtown Office. Cars were broken into there quite often. The mail processors had to be there by 3-4 AM, and they would walk into an empty, darkened building. It was a woman's nightmare.

So Zip Codes 43607 (Midtown Station), 43608 (Manhattan Station), 43610 and 43620 (Old West End Station on Ashland), and 43611 (Point Place on North Summit) will be combined into other stations to be serviced out of them. I suppose most of the work will transfer to the Central Station Annex (near the Main Post Office) on the corner of Broadway and Newton St. Maybe some of it will go to Kenwood (43606).

created by oldsendbrdy on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:51:11 pm     News     Comments: 116

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Comments ... #

I missed one. Station A (43605) will also be combined with another office.
It is now 618 2nd Street (in the East Side near Main Street).

posted by oldsendbrdy on Jul 26, 2011 at 12:56:07 pm     #  

The long circle down the drain continues...

posted by oldhometown on Jul 26, 2011 at 02:51:01 pm     #  

On the same day UPS revenue beats consensus by $50M. Why don't we eliminate the Post office. Private industry can pick up the slack.

posted by Molsonator on Jul 26, 2011 at 02:58:00 pm     #   1 person liked this

Why don't we eliminate the Post office[?]

Seems like they are doing a good job eliminating themselves at this point.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 26, 2011 at 03:03:54 pm     #  

None of this is for sure. Those stations are being evaluated. People are jumping the gun. Most of those stations have already been combined with another and carriers are working out of other stations. Point place works out of manhattan as we speak so if they close that, they will have 2 stations that have to be combined with a third station? Don't think so. We will see though...

posted by ajm00733 on Jul 26, 2011 at 03:08:31 pm     #  

Jumping the gun? Toledo? No way!!! :)

posted by Ryan on Jul 26, 2011 at 03:41:17 pm     #  

And this is the government we want running healthcare?

posted by Linecrosser on Jul 26, 2011 at 05:50:22 pm     #   2 people liked this

^ this

posted by OhioKimono on Jul 26, 2011 at 05:53:06 pm     #   1 person liked this

There are plenty of arguments against the government running health care, but I'm not sure that the state of the U.S. Postal Service is one of them. Is the USPS really to blame for Americans en masse increasingly using the Internet to communicate across the miles and to pay bills?

In fact, a plan to consolidate facilities which would, in theory, increase economic efficiency, could be seen as a point in the government's favor if you really want to compare the management of the postal service to the management of health care ... which, personally, I don't.

posted by jmleong on Jul 26, 2011 at 06:10:03 pm     #   1 person liked this

Is the inefficiency inherent in anything the government touches a point to argue about?

posted by Linecrosser on Jul 26, 2011 at 06:13:10 pm     #  

I have a buddy who has worked in the PO for twenty-some years. He tells me that the reason it is in financial straits is because, unlike other businesses, the PO by law has to fund workers' retirement plans at a 100% rate. In other words, they are paying 100% of workers' retirement benefits into a fund NOW, even though some of those workers will never live to collect the retirement.

Also, unlike other businesses, the PO is considered to be a "business" and must fund itself, even though it is the Congress that makes all the decisions about rate increases and so forth, including that it must fund retirement 100%.

Everybody likes to kick around the PO, but it is operating under really difficult rules.

posted by pete on Jul 26, 2011 at 06:42:34 pm     #  

I hate to see people lose their jobs too, but the level of customer service I've received at the Maumee station leaves a lot to be desired. I took mail there from a rental property I own and the clerk said "this isn't from my station". I said I'm sorry I thought it said USPS outside. Her friendly reply was I guess I can run it through the forwarding again. They always act like they are doing you a favor.

posted by trixanne on Jul 26, 2011 at 06:45:16 pm     #  

didnt they stop taking taxpayer monies years ago? dont like em'? dont use em'!

posted by Ryan on Jul 26, 2011 at 07:19:09 pm     #   1 person liked this

Another case of overpaid workers doing too little for too much.
Close them down. The more the merrier.

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:33:55 am     #  

^not true - ask your mailman today to walk a few blocks with him - offer to carry his bag - let me know what you think after that. Pretty judgemental for never trying it.

posted by ajm00733 on Jul 27, 2011 at 09:30:00 am     #   3 people liked this

No private company is going to pick up a letter from my house and deliver it to my cousin in Waterloo Iowa for 40 odd cents.

Also wasn't the post office established in the US Constituion?

posted by SensorG on Jul 27, 2011 at 09:37:21 am     #   1 person liked this

I'm sorry ajm I wish the most stressful part of my day would be which walking shoes I was going to wear and what the temp was like. I just don't call walking around with a sack dropping off letters a "laboring" process.

I know quite a few people who really WORK OUTSIDE, who would be happy to trade their shovels for letter carrier bags.

Not downing Postal Employees but it's not busting rocks or being a cop in East LA (or Toledo).

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 27, 2011 at 09:40:48 am     #  

My mail carrier never gets out of his truck. Listening to music with headphones driving thru the neighborhood. If a car is parked in the street , they will angle in, back up, pull forward, etc until they can reach the box versus putting it in park and walking two steps. Very comincal at times.

posted by Hoops on Jul 27, 2011 at 09:42:04 am     #   1 person liked this

I don't have a complaint about the Post Office. However, I can see where it would make sense to do some consolidation for efficiency's sake.

P.S. To be fair regarding the Postal Employees - at least some of them are put in dangerous situations. Walking through horrible neighborhoods, dealing with unruly pets and people, etc. (I know the postman/dog thing is a stereotype, but we do have a friend who has been bitten several times in his career.) Yes, my own mail carrier has it a little better driving a truck in a nice suburban setting. However, its not fair to say that every postal employee has it easy!

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 09:49:22 am     #   1 person liked this

Do we REALLY need our mail delivered 6 days a week? Seems to me like 3 would be more than enough.

posted by Foodie on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:00:31 am     #   2 people liked this

Walking through horrible neighborhoods, dealing with unruly pets and people, etc. So do the people of Detroit, South Chicago, and Miami, none of them get a pension.

I have to work in seedy environmental most of the time, but I choose to do so and must deal with the ramifications. Just can't have sympathy for a 25 dollar an hour, mega benes, no degree required "walking/driving around" job. Sorry, I know people who work much harder, for much less.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:03:02 am     #  

dbw - sad to say but you don't have a clue what the post office is about. If you really think the "which walking shoes I was going to wear and what the temp was like" statement is true then you are so very wrong. I ENCOURAGE you to shadow a letter carrier and see where your mind frame is. Ignorance is bliss.

posted by ajm00733 on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:20:59 am     #   2 people liked this

he couldnt do it if he tried.

posted by Ryan on Jul 27, 2011 at 11:34:41 am     #  

Please. It's not like the news is filled with post office carrier attacks. Very rare indeed.

I'm so fed up with people that get a darn good wage to do what many can do complain about how hard they have it. They walk with a bag of mail. Big deal.
Show me your "Conan" mail carrier that needs to be in top shape to accomplish what you make out to be something of super human strength and I'll bring you to my neighborhood where the old slob who probably couldn't run to the refrigerator or the man/woman whatever it is that looks like it's life of hard liquor and cigarettes have made it's job challenging. Not the job itself.

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 27, 2011 at 11:45:38 am     #   1 person liked this

I just don't understand why some people feel better if somebody who has it relatively good in terms of salary and benefits gets it taken away. Why such class resentment among us at the lower end of the scale?

posted by professorjackson on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:04:50 pm     #   4 people liked this

because they are miserable, period. not just about this, but about most things in life. the funniest part is they would jump at the chance to get one of those jobs only to regret it later.

posted by Ryan on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:08:29 pm     #  

I just don't understand why some people feel better if somebody who has it relatively good in terms of salary and benefits gets it taken away. Why such class resentment among us at the lower end of the scale?

Hmm...where does it come from? Good question.

I've been told--repeatedly--by many in the media I consume to hate the rich. They are the reason for my lot in life, the state of the economy, and--because they have more than me--I must resent them, hate them, envy them, and hope that their income is cut by taxes or other means of confiscation in order to make things more "fair". We need to "spread the wealth around."

Well, between salary, security, and larger benefit packages than the private sector, these workers are "rich"...comparatively...to those with whom I work in the private sector. Generally, I didn't care before what people made; in fact, it was considered rude to ask or discuss. In fact, success was something to be admired at one time. However, since having it better than the next guy is now so "unseemly"...so very worthy of my envy, scorn, and commentary (damn--look at that guy driving his Cadillac Escalade pollution-mobile to his suburban house--oh how I hate him)...I feel no shame in complaining that these workers have it better than me. After all, they're just "toting a bag around with papers and a few boxes in the truck". I work much harder than that. It's unfair they get all these things and I don't. They should give something back in these hard times. All I'm asking for is a "shared sacrifice". They have more than me...and they should be willing to give it up because they haven't really "earned" their compensation...they are only the "lucky" ones.

Or so I have been told through the news media over my lifetime. Hate the wealthy. Hate success. Blame someone else because I didn't get a higher degree, better job, better wife, better kids. It couldn't be MY fault, could it?

--------

Sarcastic, but with a larger point. Flame away.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:34:52 pm     #   1 person liked this

I'm not sure what media you watch, but the media in general fauns over the rich. If anything the media rally's against the government worker.

As for them making more than you do, sounds like poor life choices. The government can't afford me. I had a chance to go to a major university in the area and while the bennies were good, they were off by 20-30k in pay.

posted by SensorG on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:44:51 pm     #  

If anything the media rally's against the government worker.

Oh please. Read the Blade sometime for example #1.

My life choices have taken me all over the nation and very well compensated. I'm not complaining. I'm making a larger point of this "envy/despise the rich" crap that goes on coming full circle to bite well-compensated "regular people" right in the ass.

It is not worth it to be jealous of Rockefeller in New York, nor Smith next door. It doesn't lead anywhere.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 27, 2011 at 12:51:49 pm     #  

I don't love nor hate anyone for what they make, just don't try telling WALKING DOWN THE STREET CARRYING A BAG is this herculean task, it's a foolish and stupid thing to do. I don't blame the Postal worker for getting the wage offered to him, just don't tell me you are saving the world dropping off Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue (the only one I "read").

When you tell me you are such a "slave to the grindstone" for having to sprint from the neighborhood schnauzer, I'll bring you a whole truck full of people who really WORK for a living, outside even. A quick visual inspection would tell you who put in the harder day's work. None of them are knocking down taxpayer funded pension or healthcare plan.

As OHT referenced you Unionites love to hate on the rich, but in reality YOU ARE THE RICH! You have it better than 95% of the rest of the middle class, yet people like ajm tells me they "earn" it by walking two blocks! I don't want your job, I'm thankful for what I have. Some of the rest of us would just wish the "Brotherhood" would see that too and quit your bitching about how bad you have it.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:10:48 pm     #  

I didn't know the pay scale for postal employees, so I looked it up.

Source: APWU (American Postal Workers Union)
http://www.apwu.org/dept/ind-rel/pay/current/112109FTR.pdf

Grade 3, the lowest grade for a postal employee, starts at a rate equivalent to $16.25/hour.

Grade 11, the highest pay grade, starts at the equivalent of $25.99/hour.

The $25/hour rate has been cited frequently in this discussion, but it would appear that's at the highest end of the scale. Not what the majority of postal employees are being paid.

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:27:58 pm     #  

BTW - I posted the data from the APWU just for a factual comparison. Not to take one side or the other.

Not knowing what postal workers were paid, I had assumed the $25/hour statistic being cited was some sort of average pay. I'm just a numbers geek who always likes to double-check the figures. :)

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:39:50 pm     #  

mom2 you forgot to total in the compensation package, you numbers are dreadfully low.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:55:25 pm     #  

dbw, and i could probably find someone who works harder than you can find and so on and so on. the point is, they dont make a million dollars and i dont care what you say - NOBODY looks forward to go delivering mail when its 90 degrees out or in a foot of snow. they test for those positions once a year, knock yourself out.

posted by Ryan on Jul 27, 2011 at 01:55:55 pm     #  

When incomes are posted in dollars per hour people tend to think it's a lot more than it is. $25 an hour is $50,000 per year pre-tax on 2,000 hours. A good living, yes, but hardly Bill Gates. And yes, benefits are on top of that. If they slash their pay in half and cut their benefits, how does anyone else's situation improve?

posted by professorjackson on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:06:59 pm     #  

I think I was pretty clear about saying that I was looking for the pay scale. My numbers aren't "dreadfully low" - they are acurate for the information I was seeking.

There were figures tossed around in this topic based on an assumption of what postal workers are paid (as opposed to the postal worker's total compensation). So, that was the information I looked to verify.

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:07:11 pm     #  

BTW - for those who are interested in seeing the basics of the APWU health plan, you can find those here:

Cliff's notes view: http://www.apwuhp.com/HO_providers_benefits.php

Full brochure:
http://www.apwuhp.com/upload/APWHPbrochure2011.pdf

I've not seen a statistic to show what their payroll deduction is for that plan. It could be a "good" plan if the employee's share of the premium isn't terribly high out of pocket, or it could be an "average" plan if the employee has a high premium cost. Difficult to determine, without knowing what the employees are paying for the benefit.

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:11:59 pm     #  

I feel like I should note once again that if the USPS could be more efficient by consolidating offices, then I would completely support that idea.

I'm posting links to the data, so that anyone who is interested can read the information. Not because I'm blindly pro-Union. (Actually, I probably lean more the other way.)

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:15:50 pm     #  

Good gravy I feel for you Ryan if you think walking down the street in hot or cold weather is hard work.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:20:32 pm     #  

As a wife of a postal worker, I would LOVE to actually see all these benefits and $$ being talked about :) I think it is funny that people talk but they honestly do not know 1/2 of the story. There are people last week that put in over 65 hours - OUTSIDE - WALKING - HOT - STORMS! I would NOT trade my comfy desk job for that. Hubby cannot pack enough water and know how to even keep it cold in a metal truck that obviously does not have air.

Does it make anyone feel better to know that my deductible on my health insurance is $8,000 a year - or is this the point where I should be saying I should just be happy I have health insurance? I guess where do you really draw the line?

posted by ajm00733 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:22:26 pm     #  

AND YOU SIR ARE A LIAR

posted by Ryan on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:23:36 pm     #  

Give me a break. Postal workers make a higher wage for the work they are performing. Tens of millions of unemployed = they should be paid less before this many branches should be closed. The majority of postal employees aren't lugging around a bag delivering mail. Most of them work inside processing mail and/or driving a vehicle.

The hourly wage is not only higher than it should be, they receive 13 sick days each year, 10 paid holidays, and paid vacation.

Employees receive 2 weeks paid vacation each of their first 2 years. After 2 years, it rises to 4 weeks paid vacation, and I believe after 15 years, it rises to 5 weeks paid vacation.

Former military with more than 2 years service, immediately start with 4 weeks vacation.

The majority of these jobs would quickly be filled if the pay and benefits were 50% of current levels.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:30:35 pm     #  

ajm I ask you to draw the line where every other business must, when you are not making enough money to cover cost of operation you must change your business model. Losing 8 BILLION demands changes! Welcome to what working the real world is like, when people at the top don't make good choices, people at the bottom suffer. How much money should non-post office employees (the rest of the tax base) continue to funnel into the system? We scream if it's the banks getting money they don't deserve, but if it's a mismanaged Union it's "WOOOO IT'S THE LITTLE GUY". Same BS time, same BS channel.

I don't want to bleed anyone, union or non-union. But call me in 15 years when that pension check is rolling in and tell me how bad you have it for being sweaty/cold and having sore feet. I got truck loads of guys that would wait days in line a chance to even apply for your so called "horrible walking job". Friends of mine work in hot ass steel stamping plants where it is an average of 20 degrees hotter than it is outside, people who crawl around in sweltering attics fixing HVAC systems, and no these people are no better than the Postal worker but "walking around" or "being hot in a car" is a vacation for most of these guys. Stop the "poor union guy" line and you would garner more respect from the rest of the work force.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:30:52 pm     #  

The same stupidity involving keeping half-filled public schools open is now haunting the postal service. If offices in cities aren't bringing in enough revenue, they long ago should have been closed.

They kept the PP and Dorr Street offices open in 2009 after citizens protested. While I personally use it often, and for that reason hope the Dorr St office remains open, it simply doesn't bring in much business.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:34:59 pm     #  

Does it make anyone feel better to know that my deductible on my health insurance is $8,000 a year - or is this the point where I should be saying I should just be happy I have health insurance?

ajm, I'm curious...after looking at the APWU plan descriptions that I linked above, it would appear that the highest family deductible out of all the listed plan types is $3,600.

Is there some other type of plan offered to postal employees that isn't listed on the APWU link, or were you referring to other costs such as premiums and not just deductible?

(I'm not disputing what you're saying, just trying to clarify my understanding of the information.)

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:39:41 pm     #  

Mom2, there are several USPS, I believe the mailhandlers union also has an insurance plan that employees may choose.

From what I know about various USPS health insurance plans, they aren't as favorable compared to what state and local public employees receive.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:42:44 pm     #  

There are several different USPS employee unions.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:43:58 pm     #  

http://www.mail-handlers-health-insurance.com/

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:45:37 pm     #  

(I know the postman/dog thing is a stereotype, but we do have a friend who has been bitten several times in his career.)

That's a part of the job that sucks for sure. However, any consistent problem with a dog in a yard will quickly result in mail delivery being suspended. Carriers don't have to deliver mail to any residence with dangerous dogs and/or other hazards.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:49:41 pm     #  

6th_Floor...thanks for the reminder. I forgot that there was also the Mailhandler's Union which has different plans.

I should have remembered that, because I've dealt with both health plans through the course of my employment. However, I completely forgot about the other union until you just mentioned it.

And yes, I'd be inclined to agree with you that the USPS plans don't tend to be as favorable as some other state and local plans. (From time to time, I see the details of how the various plans work in the course of my job.) Not to say that they are "bad" plans - just that they perhaps don't meet most people's stereotype of a public employee health plan.

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:49:44 pm     #  

Friends of mine work in hot ass steel stamping plants where it is an average of 20 degrees hotter than it is outside, people who crawl around in sweltering attics fixing HVAC systems

Want the number to the Sheet metal Workers Union so they can organize? These guys PROBABLY would be more than happy to do a postal job because if these guys you are referring to are non-union scabs, they are probably lucky to make $12-$15 bucks an hour. Let me know, i can hook you up!

posted by tm2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 02:51:28 pm     #  

Umm uu, tm2 thank you for proving a point. See people who don't need or want to play on your team, by your rules are no longer people or even workers, they are "scabs". They wouldn't be Fathers/Mothers, everyday people who get up everyday to feed and house their families, but to you they are not even humans, but biologic waste to be removed. All because they don't give you part of their paycheck to your buddies for the "right" to work.

Call me when you wish to treat people like humans.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 27, 2011 at 03:03:00 pm     #  

Many people don't know this, but once upon a time, there was 2x per day mail delivery in select large cities. LOL

It was more or less a make-work project to provide jobs and keeping people busy.

That was long before high wages and postal worker unions.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 03:03:01 pm     #  

your hubs has my respect ajm. i love my carrier and they do work hard, i see it all the time.

posted by Ryan on Jul 27, 2011 at 03:20:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

dbw8906, OK I apologize for the "scab" comment, but take that word out and is it any less true? BTW, that post was meant to strike your "anti-union" funny bone.

As for the postal workers, i feel bad for the job loses, but personally i don't even use the post office. I use the UPS store if i have to send anything out. Their hours are more convenient for me as i don't get off work before the post office is closed, AND the UPS store will take regular mail packages also.

So yes, they need to do something to bring themselves out of the red, but they will still need the mail carriers to deliver the mail regardless of where its "processed" at.

posted by tm2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 03:32:58 pm     #  

Thanks for clarifying ajm...as I mentioned above in a response to 6th_Floor, I had completely forgotten that there is more than one union for USPS workers.

(Total oversight on my part - I probably should have remembered, because I've dealt with more than one of the plan administrators.)

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 03:35:25 pm     #  

SensorG posted at 09:37:21 AM on Jul 27, 2011:

No private company is going to pick up a letter from my house and deliver it to my cousin in Waterloo Iowa for 40 odd cents.

Also wasn't the post office established in the US Constituion?

Family members still send snail-mail letters to each other, eh? A couple years ago, I tried to get into writing letters to my family to "stay in touch." That project lasted one letter. I prefer Skype, especially when communicating with my nieces. And maybe Google+'s Circles or some other service will help me stay in touch with my immediate family even more. My three nieces are all under the age of seven, and they're scattered around the U.S., so I rarely see them. But they're comfortable with communicating through digital means. The six-year-old takes a lot of photos and videos that I'd like her to share with me. It's obviously a digital world for them, and that's how we'll communicate. It's makes the distance a lot shorter.

posted by jr on Jul 27, 2011 at 05:00:34 pm     #  

What if you didn't have USPS as an option sensorg? What would you do then? My guess is you would find a way to reach your cousin in Waterloo if it was realy important.

Side note: We were at Cedar Point Saturday and wanted to send a post card to the inlaws. There were only 5 or 6 different cards...all we saw last year (Roller Coster shots). They had no stamps and were not sure where we could mail it. (a far cry from 15 years ago when CP had its own post office). The world is a changing.

posted by Molsonator on Jul 27, 2011 at 05:30:52 pm     #  

Argh. Why did this thread have to devolve into typical political bickering? The cuts and decisions have already been made, arguing is moot. Wasn't the point of this thread to inform people how this might affect how they use their local post office?

posted by brainswell on Jul 27, 2011 at 05:41:24 pm     #   1 person liked this

Yes JR, I still like to send out birthday and christmas cards via snail mail.

posted by SensorG on Jul 27, 2011 at 06:38:53 pm     #   1 person liked this

Aren't the ones here complaining about the existence of the post office also the ones who complain about the dept of Ed and the dept of energy because they aren't in Constitution?

Well the USPS is one of the few government agencies explicitly authorized by the United States Constitution. It's a service, it shouldn't have to make money.

posted by SensorG on Jul 27, 2011 at 06:47:43 pm     #   1 person liked this

I also send snail mail. I personally do not like e-mail.

posted by deere1 on Jul 27, 2011 at 08:01:23 pm     #  

jr, I write and receive several handwritten letters per week. A while ago I decided that if I was going to be an arcane weirdo, might as well go full bore. So I also use sealing wax and a seal. The young relatives think that I'm living at Hogwarts ;-)

posted by viola on Jul 27, 2011 at 08:25:04 pm     #   1 person liked this

It is interesting to see the comments. I retired from the Postal Service. When I started in September 1973 there will veterans of World War II and before. They talked of how good we had it (I made about $5.00 an hour then) because they used to report to work, work a couple of hours, be sent upstairs to the break room, and be told to stay (without pay) until they were needed.
It was our beloved Mr. Reagan that weakened the power of the private unions which has led to this bickering. Most Americans are going downhill in their pay. They have their wives working, and are just barely getting by. The USPS (like most businesses) has been affected by automation. We produce more with less manpower hence the increase in "production". It is quite possible to meet the needs of our population with fewer workers. But we do not want anyone getting assistance from the government. We are supposed to go into business for ourselves, invent a new mousetrap, or drive down wages by working for less than the other fellow. It will be interesting to see what occurs in the next few years. I am expecting our representative form of government to begin chipping away at social security and Medicare. After all, why continue to support a portion of the population that is consuming nothing but health care.

posted by oldsendbrdy on Jul 27, 2011 at 09:11:47 pm     #   1 person liked this

damn them.

posted by Ryan on Jul 27, 2011 at 09:22:45 pm     #  

i love my postman, and love the OWE post office
thing is, they only deliver me junk mail and catalogs i didn't sign up for
and i only use them to pay bills

while it's a huge cultural shift to lessen service, i totally get it
email and fed-ex/ups are the norm

posted by upso on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:14:23 pm     #  

Instead of cutting the wages of all employees, the postal unions agreed a long time ago to allow USPS to hire "part-time", also called "casual" employees, who are paid much less than regular employees. Many casuals end up working 40 hours per week, and still don't receive any benefits. They work several months, then are off a short time, and recalled.

As late as the mid 1990's some casuals were paid as little as $5 per hour. Meanwhile, not including benefits, people doing the same job or even less, were paid 4x greater.

It seems that no matter what USPS has done to reduce costs, it has remained deep in the red. As bad as it will be without certain local branches, many are going to close. This is yet another example of a unionized workforce driving it's employer into ruin.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 27, 2011 at 10:29:14 pm     #  

Most Americans are going downhill in their pay. They have their wives working, and are just barely getting by.

Can't speak for the rest of my American peeps, but I don't allow my wife to work.

posted by mom2 on Jul 27, 2011 at 11:01:35 pm     #   1 person liked this

LOL, mom2!

My wife stays in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. She knows her place.

posted by dell_diva on Jul 28, 2011 at 07:50:42 am     #   1 person liked this

This is yet another example of a unionized workforce driving it's employer into ruin.

So poor management had nothing at all to do with it right? Its all the workers fault?

posted by tm2 on Jul 28, 2011 at 08:09:46 am     #  

Postal supervisors are "workers" and also have a union.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 28, 2011 at 08:19:44 am     #  

Since when does supervisors make management decisions? I am referring, in case you still don't get it, the people who actually RUN the postal service NOT the people who WORK there.

posted by tm2 on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:01:36 am     #  

TM2 you got me with the hanging curve ball, well played.

I don't want any Postal Workers pay or benes cut, I don't give a patoot what their compensation is as long as it is covered by operations and not subsidized by the public, we already PAY for your service. The USPS has a monopoly on mail service, it's federal crime to even touch the sacred boxes. They must price their services at a cost where the revenues from operation can cover operating expenses, period.

Take the current Netflix debate. They have no competition (just like USPS), where not making enough money on the services they offered (just like USPS), so they raised their prices. They wanted to keep paying their employees the same level of salary/benes, and grow their business (just like USPS) so they understood they needed additional revenue (just like USPS). Will they lose 10% of their customer base because of the price changes? Maybe, but the remaining 90% who are now higher profit customers will continue to fund their operations. USPS must follow their lead in product delivery.

A flipping soda cost more than a dollar, the days of .44 cent stamps have to come to an end if you wish to keep sending out pension checks. Let your customer base decide if the product you are offering at the price point that keeps your employees happy is worth paying for. The Free Market can fix this problem. If USPS's customers decide that the service being offered is not worth the price point, then you have your answer. If the people support what you are charging and you can continue "being for the little guy" then awesome.

I would love to see the faces of all you "living wage" and "pension rights" people if you where to walk into a store and see the price of a bag or oranges or tomatoes go up 4 or 5 times because everyone involved in the process from the picker to the grocery worker got 25 bucks an hour, free healthcare, and a pension. Unionites love making screaming for pay for other people, as long as it comes out of The Fed and not their wallet.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:16:01 am     #  

LOL, tm2 about asking if supervisors make management decisions.

The majority of postal supervisors and managers are promoted from the ranks of "workers", so we shouldn't expect anything to change there.

When the place runs itself into the ground, maybe you can help them "organize" at their next place of employment.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:22:32 am     #  

I don't give a patoot what their compensation is as long as it is covered by operations and not subsidized by the public

*********

If they have a monopoly, and have the ability to occasionally raise prices, one could argue they are subsidized by the public.

Very similar to universities...there isn't any incentive to streamline operations and cut costs, when they have the ability to just raise tuition.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:25:57 am     #  

I don't want any Postal Workers pay or benes cut, I don't give a patoot what their compensation is as long as it is covered by operations and not subsidized by the public

dbw, I don't disagree at all. It just drives me nuts when people blame just the workers, or just the unions, and not management. The problems are because of EVERYONE involved.

posted by tm2 on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:32:55 am     #  

TM2 - I should say more often that I don't blame the workers, just people clocking in everyday to feed their families, I get that. But I would say that they should be more proactive with their leadership and demand better management. You can't sit back and take potshots at the Repubs or Evil Rich if you have did NOTHING to clean up your own house.

6th - If the people deiced that their product is not worth the price and if we didn't subsidize operations with taxpayer dollars they would be forced to fund operations at profitable levels. How is bailing out the Post Office any better than bailing out the "banks". Both of them where hemorrhagic capital wise because of horrible management decisions, are not efficient, and both of them employ a lot of "little people"? But because one is UNION it makes it acceptable? Pissing away money on failing enterprises is folly not matter if it's spelled Bank of America or SEIU.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 28, 2011 at 09:54:38 am     #  

Fortunately, the USPS monopoly is less relevant with the growth of FEDEX, UPS, and the advent of electronic communications.

USPS knew this day was coming for years. Rather than being quicker about cutting costs and consolidating operations, they waited until the amount of cuts can be deemed an urgent crisis.

To avert having to close offices, during contract negotiations they should have taken a tougher stand regarding wages and benefits.

Instead, USPS has people doing jobs that a person with a less than high school level education could perform, being paid (including benefits) upwards of $50 per hour. Great gag if one can get it...especially during an economy with double-digit unemployment.

However, it sucks for the fixed-income elderly and poor that can't even afford a vehicle, having to pay more and more for postage to fund the overpaid postal workforce. Forget about the 44 cent stamp, has anyone noticed how much USPS charges to mail packages nowadays? Also, certified and registered fees have greatly risen.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, USPS compensation could be halved and USPS would not have trouble finding employees. In fact, applicants would outnumber any available jobs by at least 20-1.

Knowing this, if one of their concerns is keeping people employed, USPS instead of cutting services while charging the same or higher fees, should reduce labor expenses via wage and benefit reductions.

That's when all the folks like tm2 show up defending "workers." Others proclaim people that don't drive will no longer have access to a post office.

Since certain people don't have their own vehicle, maybe TARTA can dip into another niche market. The also subsidized TARTA and TARPS could be extended to those who need to get to a post office.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:35:31 am     #   1 person liked this

dbw, where did I make a post about being a proponent of bailing out banks?

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:36:57 am     #  

However, it sucks for the fixed-income elderly and poor that can't even afford a vehicle, having to pay more and more for postage to fund the overpaid postal workforce. Forget about the 44 cent stamp, has anyone noticed how much USPS charges to mail packages nowadays? Also, certified and registered fees have greatly risen. - 6th

Yes you are a 110% correct, and if the poor/fixed income stood up and said "NO I WILL NOT PAY 1.25 TO MAIL A POSTCARD FROM FLORIDA" and abandoned the USPS, the Free Market would deiced if USPS could continue to run a successful operation at their current cost structure or would be forced to make changes (you know kind of like in the REAL WORLD). If we keep handing the taxpayer dollars in the form of "helping out the worker" it does nothing to force management to evaluate how they do business.

The Free Market works marvelously in situations like this. Let USPS charge a rate that keeps them running paying everyone like it's still 1965 boom economy, and lets see if they can garner support from the public in the from of payment for a "valuable" service. I don't want to see any Postal employee lose pay or benes, but we are in a world where EVERYONE is "too big to fail", how is that working out for us?

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 28, 2011 at 10:56:09 am     #  

I have a buddy who has worked in the PO for twenty-some years. He tells me that the reason it is in financial straits is because, unlike other businesses, the PO by law has to fund workers' retirement plans at a 100% rate. In other words, they are paying 100% of workers' retirement benefits into a fund NOW, even though some of those workers will never live to collect the retirement.

Posted by Pete ^^^

Pete, USPS stopped that practice last month. Next, they will be looking for some sort of "bailout" due to a pension crisis.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/23/us/23postal.html

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 28, 2011 at 12:24:55 pm     #  

Heck, according to CNN, the auto company bailout only cost taxpayers about 14 billion. We should be able to help the post office for something around 10 billion.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/21/autos/chrysler_bailout_costs_gains/index.htm

posted by hockeyfan on Jul 28, 2011 at 02:52:35 pm     #  

6th_floor, that's very interesting. Just goes to substantiate my friend's observation about the USPS woes. From the NYT article you posted: "Federal terms have caused the service to overpay the fund, resulting in a $6.9 billion surplus, officials said. By suspending the payments, the money could be used to pay other bills." As far as I know, no other business has ever been required to do that.

But the problems here go beyond that. The Post Office, as SensorG mentioned, was established by the US Constitution. As such, it really is not an ordinary "business", even though the congress has tried to turn it into one. If it's a business, then the government should not tell it how to run. If it's not a business, then it should not be required to run like one. We don't ask the Pentagon to run itself as a business. And it certainly doesn't.

Cost-cutting is fine. But let's not run the Post Office into the ground in the name of asking it to do two different things: be a business and not be one.

posted by pete on Jul 28, 2011 at 07:34:43 pm     #   2 people liked this

man alive at this thread. it seems anyone in any field these days are a target for the "right"!

auto-workers, police, teachers, trash collectors, mailmen... they all get a big FU from crotchety glenn beck'ers that aspired to have these very same jobs when they were little kids.

earning a pension and health care used to be the norm. nowadays its give all that money to the executives (1%) and fuck the rest of them. how dare the lowly 99%, actual WORKERS, benefit from their toil.

this is not pointed to the usps problem only... i'm talking about the general distaste for workers in all industries by the "right".

posted by toledolen_ on Jul 29, 2011 at 01:17:48 am     #   3 people liked this

Toledolen, GREAT post!!!!!!

posted by tm2 on Jul 29, 2011 at 08:01:06 am     #  

Yeah Len call me crazy for paying for benes and perks I'll never get. Call me crazy that I'm disturbed at the fact the bill goes up every year and the services goes down.

Its my civic duty to make sure you can have a secured taxpayer filled teet retirement, something the other 90% of will never have. It's my job to make sure I can pay so you can have your "pension rights" restored.

God bless your low cost healthcare, thank you for letting me be a good American and pay for your luxury.

posted by dbw8906 on Jul 29, 2011 at 08:54:10 am     #  

Dos vedanya Tovarisch!

posted by Molsonator on Jul 29, 2011 at 08:54:45 am     #  

What a surprise, offering no solution, instead Len again has attacked the right he hates so much. What do you propose to USPS to fix their deficit woes? Pay it's WORKERS higher wages? You don't seem capable of removing politics from the argument long enough to think of solutions.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 29, 2011 at 09:48:19 am     #  

(Side note - it took me awhile to realize who this "Len" person was. I've always read the name as toledoan. Oops.)

posted by mom2 on Jul 29, 2011 at 09:56:11 am     #  

Let's get one thing clear, dbw... You have never paid for my healthcare nor anything else. If anything it's been the other way around.

posted by toledolen_ on Jul 29, 2011 at 10:37:18 am     #  

Wow, I never realized that there were so many people in Toledo who hate other people who work for a living. Is it jealousy, or have people bought into the right-wing corporate media's vilification of workers that intends to eliminate the middle class and strengthen the wealthy?

posted by milesdriven on Jul 30, 2011 at 01:07:32 am     #   2 people liked this

Wow, I never realized that there were so many people in Toledo who hate other people who work for a living. Is it jealousy, or have people bought into the right-wing corporate media's vilification of workers that intends to eliminate the middle class and strengthen the wealthy?

posted by milesdriven on Jul 30, 2011 at 01:07:32 am     #   3 people liked this

The USPS currently has more than 600,000 employees. More than the active component of the US Army.

Both are spread out in places they have no business operating. The USPS, has more than 3,000 offices that generate less than 28k in annual revenue, and the US Army has boots on the ground in many far away foreign lands.

Both should be downsized.

posted by 6th_Floor on Jul 30, 2011 at 07:35:04 am     #  

BTW whats another 5.5 billion between friends right?

And you wonder why some people believe US run healthcare with neither be "cost effective" or "efficient". I have children that are not even school age that now have 45k in debt, but somehow it's their duty to make sure Postal Employees have a pension.

posted by dbw8906 on Aug 07, 2011 at 07:00:02 am     #  

I have children that are not even school age that now have 45k in debt, but somehow it's their duty to make sure Postal Employees have a pension.

Well, you know your pre-school children are just jealous of those who have a good job with benefits while they don't...

Damn DBW...you gotta educate those kids better.

<end sarcasm>

posted by oldhometown on Aug 07, 2011 at 08:16:11 pm     #   1 person liked this

I have children that are not even school age that now have 45k in debt, but somehow it's their duty to make sure Postal Employees have a pension.

can you explain how this happened? sorry for being dense, but I don't get how kids under the age of 18 have any debt whatsoever?

posted by upso on Aug 07, 2011 at 08:58:31 pm     #   1 person liked this

The USPS economic crisis is the result of a provision of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund the health care benefits of future retirees—a burden no other government agency or private company bears.The legislation requires the USPS to fund a 75-year liability over a 10-year period, and that requirement costs the USPS more than $5.5 billion per year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgf2HoHbQbk&feature=player_embedded

Found this timely...

posted by SensorG on Sep 28, 2011 at 01:14:22 pm     #  

"a burden no other government agency or private company bears." How many other government agencies get to generate revenue by charging the taxpayer directly for their service?

Increase your price to cover your operations or reduce your delivery days, it's pretty simple. Oh wait I guess we should get those evil rich people to pay for it right?

posted by dbw8906 on Sep 28, 2011 at 01:31:05 pm     #  

Or make it so the Post Office doesn’t have to fund pensions 75 years out, in the span of 10 years…

http://www.courierpress.com/news/2011/sep/27/no-headline---picket/

Basically the post office is funding pensions for future employees who have not been born or even hired yet.

posted by SensorG on Sep 28, 2011 at 01:47:05 pm     #   1 person liked this

It's the 21st century. With email and online bill paying it's only natural that demand for "snail" mail services has dropped. Trying to blame it on anything else is bull.
Toledo has something like 18 post offices. We probably don't need half that many.
Marcy Kaptur fighting the cutbacks is like trying to say Jeep should never have added any automation because it eliminated peoples jobs.

posted by JeepMaker on Sep 28, 2011 at 09:03:09 pm     #  

If things are in such dire straits (regardless of reasons why), why does the P.O. insist on fucking around with 1 or 3 cent increases for first class postage??? There's another increase coming in January, 2012...one cent. Talk about filling a canyon with a teaspoon:

The price of a first class stamp is going up by one cent starting next year, the United States Postal Service said Tuesday.

Forever stamps -- also called first class stamps -- will now cost 45 cents, a one cent bump. The change will go into effect Jan. 22 [2012].

They ought to just announce that the price of a first class stamp is now 75 cents and bulk mail rates raise too. Why? Because then Congress will be spurred to take action, rather than just sit on the sidelines. People will bitch (more like howl and moan) about those rates vociferously. Then the P.O. can simply point to "we lost 10 billion dollars last year" and a serious argument can begin.

They can start the cuts with that ridiculously stupid contract that says postal workers can't be laid off--even though the P.O. is losing billions per year and volume is falling due to Internet business. Any "manager" or negotiator with basic math and/or management skills beyond a 2nd grader should have rejected that out of hand. Then, they can move on to how to make this thing revenue neutral, recognizing the marketplace (with the Internet and other major competitors) in 2012...not how they wish the the marketplace was back in the glory days of the 60's & 70's.

posted by oldhometown on Dec 05, 2011 at 12:01:44 pm     #   1 person liked this

Couple of things -
The USPS is doing so poorly because congress forced them to WAY over pay into federal pension funds.

Also - why does the USPS have to make money/break even at all? The American tax payer supported the USPS into the early 80's.

The USPS is a federal provided service established by the United States Constitution...

posted by SensorG on Dec 05, 2011 at 12:28:21 pm     #   1 person liked this

to respond:

the congress pension fund thing was stupid, agreed. But, how did the postal workers with all their numbers allow this to happen? I have never heard one word about them not liking it. Seems to me that when they passed this, either the postal worker's union supported it because their retirees got guaranteed pensions, or it had something else in it that benefitted them. I find it hard to believe it was done in a dark room without support. I'd like to find out more about that.

The USPS should not "have" to break even or make money, but it should. Why? Because when it was supported by tax money, it was close to being the only game in town. Now with email, texting, auto bill pay, etc., they have competition. You don't keep dumping money into something that has passed it's usefulness. No one wants to see a ton of postal people out of a job, but cuts can be made and efficiency can increase.

As far as it being a constitutional thing, aren't we talking about something that our forefathers had no idea about? I mean do you think they had any idea about technology and the changes it would make? The constitution can be changed.

posted by hockeyfan on Dec 05, 2011 at 12:40:08 pm     #   1 person liked this

why does the USPS have to make money/break even at all? The American tax payer supported the USPS into the early 80's.

Because this isn't the early 1980's or 70's or 60's or the 1860's. Here in 2011, nearly 2012 (from National Association of Letter Carriers website):

The USPS is organized to operate as a non-profit enterprise. Historically, its financial mandate has been to break even over time. It has largely achieved that mandate since its cumulative income amounts to less than one percent of costs. However, the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 allows the Postal Service to retain revenues.

You act like I'm making this idea up out of thin air. The P.O.'s own letter carrier union admits its mandate is to break even.

The USPS is doing so poorly because congress forced them to WAY over pay into federal pension funds.

Here I'll agree with you. Congress passed something that it refuses now to look at again, despite the obvious financial ramifications. That's why I suggested the Postmaster General make a splash by proposing first class rates go to 75 cents (or hell, $1) per letter. Make people jump. A 1 cent increase isn't going to do it Get the people pissed and get 'em to call Congress and demand changes and stability...because right now, Congress...on a bipartisan basis...doesn't give a shit. And they are still responsible for at least part of this mess.

posted by oldhometown on Dec 05, 2011 at 12:50:47 pm     #   1 person liked this

Instead of shutting down half their processing centers, I'd rather see them dump the Saturday delivery and look into reducing the pay and benefits of employees.

How about a 10-15% pay reduction, maintaining next-day local delivery, and keeping people on the job? They could phase in the pay reductions over a 3 year period.

There are many things they could look at instead of just making their delivering methods even LESS EFFICIENT.

Reduce the number of sick hours earned from 4 hours per pay period to 2 or 3 hours. Increase the years of service needed to earn 4 and 5 weeks paid vacation. I think currently vacation increases from 2 to 4 weeks after the 2nd year.

USPS has other options instead of dumping 100k employees onto the already too large unemployed roster.

Their volume will plummet even further with these proposed changes.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 05, 2011 at 12:51:35 pm     #   1 person liked this

So now, those thousands of workers - who are at least performing a valuable and needed service as partial payment for the billions of red ink - will simply be costing taxpayers billions of dollars in unemployment and medicare without contributing anything to a civilized society, other than draining brewskis in between making the rounds of the hospital emergency rooms they are forced to use for basic medical services because they can no longer afford even the most-primitive health plan.

Sounds pretty good to me.

Just wondering:
How much revenue would be generated if everyone who could afford it - and many of us who cannot - placed two(2) first-class stamps on each letter they mailed?

posted by SavageFred on Dec 05, 2011 at 01:07:04 pm     #  

Some good ideas 6th floor.

It's funny, I'm watching these news reports, and 90% of the public didn't even know that a 1st class letter was supposed to get to it's destination in one day. Could of played it cool and just made those cost-saving changes quietly.

posted by SavageFred on Dec 05, 2011 at 01:13:10 pm     #  

This will kill Netflix...

posted by SensorG on Dec 05, 2011 at 02:14:29 pm     #  

Fred, increasing their fees isn't the solution.

They need to dump the things like cola's, and get their pay scale more in line with what the market will bear.

Honestly, it's probably about 50% lower than current levels.

posted by 6th_Floor on Dec 05, 2011 at 02:30:10 pm     #  

Consolidation of local post offices and distribution centers must happen. With the advance of technology,and so much on-line activity as well as other shipping options, I see nothing wrong with a M-W-F mail delivery.

posted by Hoops on Dec 07, 2011 at 10:07:27 am     #  

SensorG, most of netflix's business is web streaming these days. But I agree, a lot of subscription services are screwed.

posted by upso on Dec 07, 2011 at 10:47:57 am     #  

I live in a city of 110,000 people that cover 100 square miles. We have 2 post offices. It really doesn't make sense that a city like Toledo of just under 300,000 people and only 80 square miles needs more than maybe 4 or 5.

posted by JustaSooner on Dec 07, 2011 at 11:41:40 am     #  

I'd like to see them reduce the junk mail by getting rid of the bulk rates. Then just deliver twice per week.

posted by AmericanPie on Dec 07, 2011 at 06:48:49 pm     #   1 person liked this

http://www.roanoke.com/news/breaking/wb/305237

500 jobs down the tubes in Roanoke, VA as Toledo holds it's breath.

posted by 6th_Floor on Feb 23, 2012 at 12:52:38 am     #