That agreement, and rate hike, still needs approval by the Postal Rate Commission. If the rate agreement takes effect, rates aren't expected to rise again until the fall of 2003.
On Sept. 11 the Postal Service announced it was seeking a 3 cent hike in the price of a first-class letter to 37 cents. Direct marketers and publishers were suddenly faced with a rate increase for the third time in little more than 18 months that would average about 8.7% to take effect June 30.
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At the time, the Newspaper Association had some trouble reaching members over the holidays.
In a statement today, the association's president-CEO, John F. Sturm, said the best course of action was "to find an agreement in the pending [rate] case and move forward."
A spokesman for the Postal Rate Commission said it would accept comment on the proposed settlement through Jan. 18.