The United States Postal Service announced on Friday that it will be moving forward with rate increases for First-Class Mail and marketing mail, as well as other services, such as money orders and sending a letter via Certified Mail. The changes are slated to take effect on August 29.
As part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s ten-year “Delivering for America” plan, the price of a First-Class stamp will go up from 55 cents to 58 cents, a three-cent increase. Prices for Media Mail — which is used to transport books, DVDs, and music albums — will rise significantly, from $3.71 to $4.11.
Customers who used to pay $1.30 to obtain a money order from their local post office should expect to pay $1.45 moving forward, a 15-cent difference. Certified Mail, an additional cost that allows a consumer to receive a mailing receipt and confirmation that their item was delivered, will see an increase from $3.60 to $3.75.
The suggested changes from DeJoy won’t only be felt in customers’ wallets. The postmaster general’s plan calls for “longer delivery windows, shorter post-office hours, and fewer staff,” according to the Washington Post. The paper also reported that the Postal Service sent out layoff notices on Friday morning to hundreds of staff members working in management.
Critics of DeJoy’s moves believe that price hikes, in addition to less staffing and slower mail delivery, will cost the agency customers and a significant amount of revenue. The postmaster general, a top Republican donor, also came under fire during the 2020 election season due to concerns that policy changes were intentionally made in order to slow down mail and, with it, mail-in ballots, as President Donald Trump was falsely claiming that such ballots were largely fraudulent.
President Joe Biden’s three nominees to the post office’s board of governors were recently approved by a Senate committee and await confirmation by the full chamber. If all three are confirmed, it would give the board a Democratic majority that could wield more control over the agency’s actions going forward.