01/16/2019 - (This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) Oct. 15 report proves what postal workers have been shouting for years – cuts to mail processing and service is not the answer to the challenges facing the Postal Service.
In 2011, the Postal Service embarked on a disastrous endeavor to close and consolidate more than two hundred mail processing facilities in an attempt to save money. In 2015, the Postal Service began the second part of its reckless cost-cutting program – called the Operational Window Change (OWC) – revising its First-Class Mail (FCM) service standards. These changes included the elimination of single-piece overnight FCM service and shifting some First-Class pieces from the two-day service standard to a three-day service standard, as well as additional closings and consolidations of processing plants.
The Postal Service claimed these changes would lead to savings of over $1.6 billion over the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years. But, according to a new audit report from the OIG, the results haven’t even come close to that.