Could the US Postal Service be planning to drop uniform pricing? Gone missing from its website today is its commitment that everyone in the US and its territories pays the same for a First-Class postage stamp regardless of their location.
"One of the US Postal Service's trademark features has always been that Americans could reliably mail a letter to anyone in the country for a uniform price," but said he noticed its new Mission Statement omits any mention of uniform pricing.
The USPS Board of Governors adopted the mission statement in April - the first in the Postal Service's history, it said - "as part of the governors' work to conduct long-range planning and set strategic policy for the organization."
Does Sheehan's post about uniform pricing indicate some citizens will pay higher rates or surcharges for mail in the future - those in rural areas, for example? And could it also impact USPS package rates?
A cached version of the page from yesterday shows a different page, including the following description of the agency's former mission:
"The Postal Service mission is to provide a reliable, efficient, trusted and affordable universal delivery service that connects people and helps businesses grow. Everyone living in the United States and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a First-Class postage stamp regardless of their location."
One of the goals described on the new page is to "support the legislative and regulatory changes to enable" its vision - and indeed, some people believe the current administration may try to make major changes to the Postal Service. The new mission statement makes mention of the universal service obligation, which has been one concern. But it also mentions private sector partnerships.
The following are just two of the ways the Board of Governors said they would use to meet the new mission:
- Use technology, innovation and where appropriate private sector partnerships, to optimize and adapt our network, operations and business model to meet the changing needs of our customers and delivery recipients, while maintaining our core mission.
- Operate in a modern, efficient and effective manner that allows us to minimize what we charge for our services, consistent with meeting, in a fair way, our obligations to our current and retired employees and other stakeholders.
Take a look at the new mission statement and let us know whether this is a step in the right direction or cause for concern. Does it offer clues to what lies ahead?