Posti – new universal service obligation will save jobs

More post in Finland will now be delivered only three days a week under proposed new changes to the Postal Act that will allow Posti to reduce its universal postal obligation.

Stamped letters will continue to be delivered as normal, as will be printed magazines in sparsely populated areas, which have a state subsidy for this.

Universal service letters will be delivered just three days a week. According to Yrjö Eskola, SVP of Postal Services at Posti, this will have minimal impact on the way that customers see post delivered, thanks to volumes of the affected mail falling sharply in recent years.

“The delivery speed of stamped letters will remain unchanged. Other printed mail, such as letters from authorities and newspapers, are considered commercial contract-based deliveries and will continue to be distributed in accordance with the service level agreement (SLA) as agreed with the sending customers,” Eskola points out.

The reduction in service service obligation has been in place for cities and urban areas since 2017 thanks to the current Postal Act. The drop in volume of such letters has large – 70% in just over ten years and this volume is dropping by around 10% annually as well. This means that the obligation to deliver such mail five days a week can no longer be profitable for Posti, which is why the new legislation is being considered.

There are compensations to the drop in service as it delivers magazines and newspapers across much of the country and will see EU-permitted subsidies for this.

In a statement, Posti welcomed the new legislation, in part because it saves jobs. It said, “Posti welcomes the fact that the new proposal does not include obligations for fixed delivery days in early-morning delivery areas and a 6-month notification obligation for universal service delivery days. The requirement to have three fixed delivery days throughout the country would have prevented full-time delivery work from being offered to staff and could have resulted in up to some 4,000 daytime mail carriers having to shift to part-time delivery work. A five-day job would have turned into a three-day part-time job. The Ministry’s stance is very responsible from the personnel’s point of view.”

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