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Chapter 1
Compliance with Statutory Policies

NEEOISO's goal is to produce high quality and timely EEO investigations in accordance with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations. The use of private contract investigators helps maintain the required neutrality of the investigative process. In 2005 NEEOISO initiated and closed more than 6,900 investigations, thereby eliminating the backlog.

EEO professionals continue to utilize the highly successful REDRESS (Resolve Employment Disputes Reach Equitable Solutions Swiftly) mediation program to help employees and management reach resolution of their disputes. Since implementation of the REDRESS program, formal EEO complaints in the Postal Service have been reduced by 43 percent. At the same time informal complaints fell by 28 percent. Utilization of the Postal Service mediation program has steadily increased. In 2005 employees elected mediation in more than 88 percent of cases eligible for the program. More than 72 percent of those eligible complaints were resolved. REDRESS has consistently maintained more than a 90 percent satisfaction rate from all parties involved in the process.


The Postal Service carefully tracks workforce factors such as attrition in a continuing effort to plan for fluctuations in workforce complement. Supporting this activity is a national planning, tracking, and management system with national standardized procedures and work processes. By standardizing complement management, Postal Service managers can better anticipate needs across functions and facilities and establish plans by installation and function. In 2005 training was completed for all area and performance cluster complement coordinators on standardized processes.

The Postal Service continues to develop new tools to refine workforce planning efforts. The Business Management Guide is a planning tool used to set and adjust budget-based complement metrics. The Web Complement Information System (webCOINS) is a tracking tool in which authorized and on-rolls staffing levels are maintained along with operational field review results. The Field Complement Plan provides functional complement projections for the national, area, and performance cluster levels, and allows operations to track the effectiveness of current and projected complement plans.

C. Service to Small or Rural Communities

An important purpose of the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 was to ensure effective postal services to residents of both urban and rural communities. A change in community postal needs or the loss of suitable facilities may lead to the closing of a Post Office facility or its consolidation into a station, branch, or contract postal unit (CPU).

Retail optimization is a dynamic process that establishes the decision-making criteria for updating the retail network. It takes into account the many ways in which retail services are made available to postal customers. These include counter services at Post Offices and CPUs, stamps-only sales at thousands of commercial retailers and ATMs, self-service through vending and the Automated Postal Centers, online services using, and outgoing mail pickup and other services provided by carriers at customers' homes and places of business.

As changes occur that affect the network, such as a change in operating hours, the Postal Service uses a variety of media to inform the public, mailers, management organizations, labor unions, and employees. Before a Post Office is discontinued or consolidated, however, the Postal Service follows a statutory procedure including customer notice and appeal rights. In practice, few Post Offices are closed or consolidated. In a normal year about 100 of approximately 28 thousand Post Office locations might be closed. Historically, less than ten percent of the decisions to close a Post Office have been appealed to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC), which has remanded less than one percent of the total annual closures to the Postal Service for further consideration.

D. Postal Cost Apportionment and Postal Ratemaking Developments

1. Postal Rate and Fee Changes Pursuant to
Public Law 108–18:
Docket No. R2005-1

On April 8, 2005, the Postal Service initiated an omnibus rate case requesting an Opinion and Recommended Decision for moderate across-the-board increases in all postal rates and fees. With limited exceptions, the rates proposed by the Postal Service reflected an across-the-board increase of 5.4 percent applied to existing rates and fees. Included among the proposed rates were a 39-cent rate for 1-ounce First-Class Mail letters, a 24-cent rate for First-Class Mail postcards, and a $4.05 rate for 1-pound Priority Mail pieces. The Postal Service indicated that it would not implement any new rates recommended by the PRC before January 2006. No classification changes were proposed.

The Postal Service's request arose from the need to fund the financial obligation established by Public Law (P.L.) 108-18, which requires the Postal Service to place approximately $3.1 billion in an escrow account in 2006. No purpose was established for the escrow funds and the Postal Service was required to classify the escrow as operating expenses.

The Postal Service supported its Request with a wide range of financial, operational, and other studies. The Postmaster General testified that "[t]he Postal Service's decision to seek changes in postal rates and fees at this time represents a policy judgment about the most reasonable, practical and effective way to meet a currently unavoidable financial obligation in fiscal year 2006."

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