The Solution to Resolving the USPS’s Delayed Mail Challenge and Building Back Better

Debby Szeredy

August 27, 2021

Share this article

(This article first appeared in the September-October issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

On July 20, the Postal Regulatory Commission advised the USPS not to change service standards. There were over 130,000 comments submitted to the Federal Register/Postal Regulatory Commission, from customers, mailers, unions and other coalition partner organizations. It’s the first time in history that this many comments were received regarding the degradation of service standards.

Our country is telling the USPS: “do not change the service standards.”

In 2016, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) weighed in and the USPS agreed not to continue with their consolidation of mail processing facilities without advanced new AMP studies. No surprise to postal workers, the consolidation moves did not provide the savings or the service they were expecting. There was a continued spiral of degraded delivery performance (even before COVID-19). There was a loss in business accounts and consumer use.

The moratorium was in place for almost 7 years. Reversing consolidations is what should have occurred (see Chapter 8 of the USPS PO-408). The consolidation moves in 2012 through 2015 cut too deep. Many of the gaining facilities are continuously unable to timely process too much of the mail volume they receive from losing facilities.

Though the APWU has requested another moratorium to stop consolidations, the USPS has begun plans to close many mail processing facilities by early November 2021. Impact Statements have been provided with none of the required studies. We are already bleeding, do not cut us deeper!

Simple Solutions to Start Saving the USPS:

  • Stop consolidations immediately. Do not waste any more money on projects that adversely affect our communities.
  • Go back to the 2012 Service Standards, which will include replacement of new AFCS’s (cancel/ postmarking equipment) back to Phase 2 mail processing facilities that will provide a large savings in transportation costs, safer work environments, and better service.
  • Add more parcel sorting equipment to mail processing facilities and build annexes or expand mail processing facilities where it can be done.
  • Review the facilities and add staffing needs from actual work hours and including the excessive overtime hours. Stop wasted projects to replace human interaction. Our brand has been made off the backs of our trusted workers; the USPS and our communities need more workers, not less.
  • Protect workers from hostile management work environments.
  • Stop subcontracting our bargaining unit work, adversely affecting our prompt efficient mail service. Invest in your valuable employees.
  • Stop trying to close small post offices, stations and branches that communities rely on.
  • Pilot postal banking in 5,000 retail offices around the country (and start generating more revenue), audit the success and expand services (USPS already has over 50 years of banking experience during 1911-1967).
  • Invest in solar units on roofs of large mail processing plants (review savings from the Los Angeles Plant), purchase electric vehicles and place charging stations (revenue creating) at retail postal facilities to build back better.

We are getting ready for peak season with COVID-19. The letter and package season will be as big as last year. We may play a very important role in helping to provide necessary medical assistance during another COVID-19 wave. We also have a year of election activity in 46 states, primaries starting March 1, 2022. This includes state primaries, including congressional, gubernatorial, and statewide office elections.

The PMG and the Board of Governors must protect and build back our Postal Service.

Make your voice heard by reaching out and educating our communities, and taking action.

Be the instrument of POWER!

Sign up for News

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.