WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 19, 2014) — The recent Postal Service Financial Report for the last calendar quarter of 2013 shows an operating profit of $765 million, yet the official postal press release — duly reported in the media — announced a loss of $354 million.
The announced loss was due solely to a $1.425 billion charge for a mandated payment to a federal budget account for future — not current — retiree healthcare. No payment was actually made, but the amount was recorded as a liability. The Postal Service and postal unions have called for a repeal of the portion of the 2006 law that mandates this “pre-funding.”
A promising recovery in postal finances was highlighted by an increase of $1.5 billion in postal cash, spurred by revenue increases and cost reductions.
Mark Dimondstein, President of the American Postal Workers Union, calls it a “manufactured crisis.”
Privatizers have used the ginned-up crisis to undermine a great national treasure. They’ve been closing mail processing plants, outsourcing retail operations, threatening to eliminate six-day delivery and generally harming service.
National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando said, “lawmakers should strengthen the postal network while addressing the remaining problem: the congressional mandate to pre-fund future retiree benefits.”
The day before the latest financial report was released, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved a version of S.1486 that would allow reductions in service and delivery standards, threaten jobs and weaken retirement and other compensation for postal employees. It would burden postal finances with an additional pre-funding requirement, this time for workers’ compensation. The four major postal unions oppose this version of postal legislation.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand:
Pre-funding mandate masks USPS 2013 profit (Nov. 20, 2013)
USPS backs off plan to cut Saturday service (April 11, 2013)
Congress broke U.S. Postal Service, and must fix it (Feb. 7, 2013)