WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service is proposing a rate hike on first-class stamps from 55 cents to 58 cents as part of a restructuring plan created to reduce debt for the agency.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced a 10-year plan in March, called “Delivering for America,” that includes the price increase, longer delivery times for first-class mail delivery, shorter post office hours and reduced staff, The Washington Post reported.
DeJoy wants to erase a projected $160 billion in USPS liabilities over the next decade, the newspaper reported.
DeJoy said the increases are necessary to “achieve financial sustainability and service excellence” and will allow the Postal Service to “remain viable and competitive and offer reliable postal services that are among the most affordable in the world.”
“For the past 14 years, the Postal Service has had limited pricing authority to respond to changing market realities,” DeJoy said in a statement. “As part of our 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence, the Postal Service and the Board of Governors are committed to judiciously implementing a rational pricing approach that helps enable us to remain viable and competitive and offer reliable postal services that are among the most affordable in the world.”
According to USPS data, stamp prices have risen steadily through the years. The current price of 55 cents took effect in 2019.
The data notes that stamp prices first hit double figures -- 10 cents -- in March 1974. The price doubled to 20 cents in November 1981 and rose to 41 cents in May 2007.
Mailing a letter cost 49 cents in 2017, 50 cents in 2018 and 55 cents in 2019, according to USPS data.
The USPS also sent out layoff notices to hundreds of management-level employees, the Post reported. A spokesperson for the USPS could not say how many workers were affected by the layoff, the newspaper reported.
“I’ve told our members that we will work through these challenging times with this restructuring and this (reduction in force),” Wagner told the newspaper. “We’ll support them through all this. But there’s plenty of open positions for people who want one.”
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