Alliance Objects to Nonprofit Postal Discrimination

February 19, 2015

Groundhog Day came twice this month for the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. Once when Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2 and thereby predicted six more weeks of winter. And a second time when the Postal Service explained its pricing for Standard Mail in its response to the PRC Chairman’s Information request No. 6 on February 11, and again proposed nonprofit discriminatory pricing with little or no explanation.

What we found was that, in spite of all the times the Alliance has fought for nonprofit mailers’ rights against unfair and unexplained discrimination, they did it again. Rather than hiring Bill Murray as our spokesperson, we decided to file comments in the rate case proceeding at the PRC. Here is the introduction to our filing at the PRC in response:

“The Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers (“ANM”) respectfully submits these comments pursuant to Order Nos. 2327 and 2340.  The comments focus on the proposed price changes for the nonprofit categories of Standard Mail.  For the reasons explained here, the proposed rates for Nonprofit Standard Mail are unlawful in two respects. 

First, the Postal Service has failed to explain why it could not design a nonprofit rate schedule producing projected average revenue per piece that is closer to 60 percentage of projected average revenue per piece for commercial Standard Mail.   This violates 39 U.S.C. § 3626(a) (6).  Second, the worksharing discounts proposed for Nonprofit Standard Mail diverge in many significant respects from the discounts proposed for commercial Standard Mail.  The Postal Service has failed to offer a cogent justification for this discrimination.  Hence, the proposed Nonprofit Standard Mail rates violate 39 U.S.C. § 403(c), 35 years of precedent construing Section 403(c), and the settlement agreement entered into by the Postal Service and ANM in ACR2012.

Accordingly, the Commission should reject the proposed rates for Standard Mail without prejudice to filing new rates in this docket, and should order the Postal Service to submit an alternative schedule of nonprofit rates that (1) are projected to generate, as nearly as practicable, 60 percent of the projected average revenue per piece generated by commercial Standard Mail, and (2) eliminate the noncompliance with 39 U.S.C. § 403(c) found by the Commission.” 

We will keep you posted.

© 2015 Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers