Union Members Take Heed, We Need You Actively With Us in 2024

Debby Szeredy

January 8, 2024

Share this article

Political campaigns have begun, and the Postal Service needs to be ready to make a difference. The problem is our mail processing network has been degraded. We need your help now!

We have a Postmaster General (PMG) rolling out his Delivering for America Plan at a very high pace, making drastic changes to our mail processing network. Instead of looking at a pilot in one area to see if his plan will work, giving it a one-year review, and then allowing the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) to review and advise, he has gone ballistic with his plan. Many locals across the country have been hit hard with planned consolidation and potential service losses for their communities, all while our 2024 federal elections are beginning primaries this month.

In his plan, the mail, the needed automated equipment, and postal jobs are being removed from many facilities. Advance Facer Canceler System (AFCS) equipment that assists in the processing and tracking of mail-in ballots is being removed, and the plan is to depend on Regional Processing and Distribution (RPDC) sites to handle First-Class Mail and all of our package industry.

The first thing the PMG did coming in was to degrade First-Class Mail standards, which could prompt delays of Vote-by-Mail ballots. If the PMG had reviewed postal history, he would know that it doesn’t work. The Postal Service has centralized and decentralized over the years, and finally realized that they needed abundant plants to process mail and provide overnight (prompt) delivery to communities. There are lessons learned about the effects from inclement weather, electrical shutdowns, and disasters. These abundant plants helped each other to be backups to help get the mail out in a timely manner. The PMG should look at how many times the Postal Service experiences delays in mail due to inclement weather.

History has shown that, since 2012 when management took out the ability for many communities to cancel their own mail with AFCS equipment, the delays increased, and mail was shuffled around to three or four other facilities before it was even cancelled. Costs for transportation increased. The only customers that may see overnight delivery are the largest businesses that get discounts for pre-sorting their mail. Communities have become second-class citizens.

The plan is also closing a large facility in New Jersey and offering employees early-out retirements (no monetary incentives). All of this is occurring when there are so many facilities that are short-staffed, many new employees can’t be retained, and where postal employees throughout the country are suffering from a hostile work environment.

Some facilities have been expanded, but the concern is too few facilities will be responsible for timely processing of First-Class Mail and the processing of packages in their regions, leading to more opportunities for delayed failures. The plan reeks of a very expensive endeavor that destroys good service to the American public. We need people power to turn this around.

The federal elections of 2024 will be the Postal Service’s most important responsibility. Vote-by-Mail must work for democracy to exist. As a member, we need you to be concerned about making sure ballots and campaign literature go out in a timely manner and that mail-in ballots reach the election officials to be counted. Please participate in the fight to stop the changes that are hurting our service! Contact your local officers to volunteer. ■

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.