Schools have stopped teaching cursive and good manners have taken a back seat in our coarsened society, so receiving a hand written thank you note for a gift or a letter is a likelihood that has mostly been put to rest. Emails have been replaced by text messaging, so even the voice inflections in a phone call are missed as communication is more frequently through brief and distanced filters.
But U. S. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, has a brilliant plan to address the problems faced by the government agency he oversees. He recently announced a new ten-year plan, that includes higher postage prices, longer delivery times and reduced post office hours. Not content to raise the price of a one-ounce letter or card by the usual one-cent increase, the new increase will jump from 55 cents to 58 cents. Read the press release announcing these and other changes.
The impact will be crushing for the greeting card industry. We all send and receive fewer holiday cards as prices have continually escalated. Magazine subscriptions, which must reflect the increasing mailing costs, have plummeted. Countless jobs have been lost.
These concerns don’t affect DeJoy, whose base salary, excluding benefits and perks, is $303,460. He said that he expects these plans will save the post office through the lowering of consumer expectations and costs.
How much lower could consumer expectations plummet?
The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) represents over 200,000 employees and retirees of the United States Postal Service who belong to the Clerk, Maintenance, Motor Vehicle, and Support Services divisions. It also represents approximately 2,000 private-sector mail workers.
Career letter carriers get a “step increase” every 46 weeks. Other increases are cost of living and yearly increase that occur in November. And your mail carrier who drives a truck and no longer slogs through the snow, rain, heat or gloom of night?*
This is the Letter Carrier Pay Schedule, implemented April 10 2021.
* “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” are the words chiseled in gray granite over the entrance of the New York City Post Office in Manhattan.