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Postal News Roundup

Washington Post: USPS agrees to $49 million settlement after having long ‘dawdled’ in payments to beneficiaries
“It’s bad enough for family members when a loved one dies. Getting cheated by Uncle Sam afterward makes it worse. He did that in cases involving more than 2,000 beneficiaries who didn’t get the full benefit of U.S. Postal Service life insurance policies. After waging a losing fight, the Postal Service surrendered, agreeing to a settlement of up to $49 million. The agency is now sending checks to the beneficiaries it can find, but some of them may never know they are owed money. They would have been easier to find if postal officials had not taken decades to resolve the situation…”

Why the Flats Sequencing System Should be Scrapped Dead Tree Edition Blog
“What many have long suspected has now been confirmed: The U.S. Postal Service’s Flats Sequencing System is a disastrous failure that cannot be fixed. The FSS is adding so much to the costs of handling magazines, catalogs, and other flat mail that no amount of machinery tweaks, Lean Six Sigma projects, or ‘Tiger Teams’ can ever make it right. ‘When all processing and delivery costs are included, an average Periodicals flat addressed to an FSS zone costs over 10.5 cents more than if addressed to a non-FSS zone,’ postal expert Halstein Stralberg wrote recently. Assuming the same 40% cost differential applies as well to flat-shaped Standard Mail, such as catalogs and retailer flyers, Stralberg’s analysis indicates that FSS is adding several hundred million dollars annually to the Postal Service’s costs.”

ABC News: U.S. Postal workers plead for safety improvements on a 'dangerous' crosswalk at TIA
“Postal workers are pleading for more safety measures at what they call a dangerous crosswalk. Union leaders say new construction at Tampa's airport is only making it worse. Postal worker Cassandra Carter was walking through this crosswalk to work at the Post Office at Tampa International Airport. After a woman ran a red light, she was hit by a car, dragged 68 feet, and nearly died…”

Reuters: Royal Mail to close defined benefit pension scheme
“April 13 Britain's Royal Mail will close its defined benefit pension scheme at the end of March 2018 after a review found it would need to more than double annual contributions to over 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) to keep the plan running. Royal Mail, the British postal service privatised in 2013, said it was one of only a few major companies that still had employees in a defined benefit scheme, a type of pension that pays out according to final salary and length of service. Around 90,000 Royal Mail workers are in the plan, whose closure to new members in 2008 resulted in about 40,000 workers joining a less generous defined contribution plan.”