Oshkosh-to-Green Bay Consolidation Study Cancelled

APWU Lawsuit Alleging USPS Failed to Seek Approval of Plans Dismissed

July 20, 2007

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The APWU has been notified that a proposed consolidation that would have resulted in a mail-processing shift from one Wisconsin P&DF to another approximately 50 miles away will not occur.

“After review, it has been determined that there are currently no significant opportunities to improve efficiency and/or service through consolidation of certain mail processing operations at the Oshkosh P&DF,” the Postal Service wrote to the APWU on July 18.

Regarding the possible transfer of some operations into the Green Bay P&DF, the letter continued, “no significant changes will be made at this time.”

The consolidation study was begun 20 months ago. Like approximately 50 other “Area Mail Processing” studies launched between Oct. 19, 2005, and Jan. 6, 2006, it was announced with little fanfare. Input from regulatory boards, as well as the mailing public, was not requested.

In April 2006, the APWU filed a lawsuit alleging that the USPS had violated the Postal Reorganization Act in implementing its consolidation plan; the law requires the USPS to seek an advisory opinion from the Postal Rate Commission “within a reasonable time prior to the effective date” of a proposal that would change the nature of postal services on a “nationwide or substantially nationwide basis.

In a recent ruling, a U.S. District Court concluded that the complaint was rendered “moot” by a subsequent advisory opinion issued by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). The December 2006 opinion found that the goals of the END program were “consistent with the policies and criteria of the Postal Reorganization Act,” but concluded that the “evidentiary record does not provide assurance that the proposed realignment program, as currently envisaged, will meet its goals.”

The PRC advised the Postal Service “to obtain and integrate reliable information in [certain] areas before proceeding with full implementation of the contemplated program.”

The APWU has waged a vigorous campaign to inform the public and elected officials about the degradation of service that is likely to occur as the result of ill-advised consolidations, including airing television and radio ads in some affected locations. Thirty-four feasibility surveys have been terminated or placed on hold since April 2006. 

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