P.B. and V.P. Discuss Postal Rate Increase

Episcopal News Service. February 25, 1982 [82054]

WASHINGTON (DPS, Feb. 25) -- At a Feb. 11 meeting in the White House, Presiding Bishop John M. Allin of the Episcopal Church, in a discussion of a number of Church interests, alerted Vice President George Bush to the concern of churches and other groups about the sudden sharp escalation in second class nonprofit postal rates that were put into effect Jan. 10 in a surprise move by the U.S. Postal Service.

In commenting on his visit with Bush, the Presiding Bishop said the Vice President expressed interest in the problems caused for the churches and others by the increase. Allin cited as an example the postage costs for The Episcopalian newspaper which were boosted from $113,700 in 1981 to $222,000 in 1982 by the sudden decision.

The Presiding Bishop left a memorandum with Bush which detailed the Church's request for a reinstatement of the previously agreed upon timetable for gradually raising the second class rates over a longer period of time.

"I am grateful for the Vice President's interest," commented Allin. "The postal increase was one of the matters we discussed, and I am grateful that he made the time for the talk available. I am hopeful that something will be done."

Six days after Allin's talk with the Vice President, the Episcopal Church's national Executive Council adopted a resolution expressing its "disagreement with the United States Postal Service decision to impose so suddenly" the second class rate increases.

Congress and the U.S. Postal Service had decided some time ago that the second class rates for non-profit organizations would increase on a gradually escalating scale to a certain level by 1987. In a sudden and surprise move in late 1981, the projected scale due to be reached in 1987 was put into effect on Jan. 10.

The Presiding Bishop was requested in the Council-approved resolution to request members of the Congress to restore the slower timetable for reaching the ultimate increases as planned.