USPS 10-Year Plan Service Standard Changes Go into Effect

November 12, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the November/December issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

The United States Postal Service implemented significant service standard changes starting Friday, October 1 that will slow down mail delivery for tens of millions of people and affect billions of pieces of mail. That date marked the first day of the new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals, which USPS management implemented as part of their 10-year plan.

The changes lengthen the delivery target from the previous two and three-day standard to as many as five days for many pieces of mail, depending on distance of travel. This is a step backward for the Postal Service and for millions across the country who rely on speedy mail service. The union remains convinced that the service standard changes will only drive away mail volume and much-needed postal revenue. The APWU opposes these changes, and will continue our work to ensure the public receive the fast and reliable service that they’ve come to expect and that they deserve.

Earlier this year, the APWU led an effort with organizations of A Grand Alliance to Save our Public Postal Service in opposing the service standard changes when they were under review by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). Collectively the union and allies organized over 130,000 comments from the public that were submitted to the PRC and the Postal Service. While the PRC was critical of USPS’ proposals, postal management ultimately decided to pursue the service standard changes nonetheless.

APWU has long campaigned not only in defense of the existing standards, but for a restoration of speedier service standards, which were in place before July 1, 2012. At that time, overnight First Class Mail within cities and towns was still in place, along with the two and three-day standard coast-to-coast.

“The people deserve the prompt, reliable and efficient mail service promised under the law,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “Postal workers are proud to serve our communities every single day. We believe management’s response to months of poor performance should be to improve service and regain the public’s trust, instead of this focus on moving the goalposts and slowing service standards. We’ll stay united with the public until the service standards and postal performance reflect the need for quality and fast service.”

Many APWU locals have held actions to ‘stop the slowdowns’ and raise awareness around the reduced service standards. The Portland Oregon Area Local held a press conference on October 1 to speak out against the changes. On October 4, the Minneapolis Area Local held a protest event while DeJoy and the Postal Board of Governors were in the city, with dozens of APWU members rallying at the main post office in Minneapolis. The APWU of Wisconsin also held an event on October 29 in Madison when Postmaster DeJoy was in the city.

Be Safe This Holiday Season

This holiday season, all APWU members are encouraged to remain vigilant on the workroom floor and be on the lookout for hazards, unsafe conditions and work practices, or hostile working environments. Management must not cut corners, and postal workers’ safety must be the highest priority.

APWU members should fill out and submit PS Form 1767 to report any dangerous or unsafe conditions. The form must be readily available and easily accessible to all workers on the workroom floor. Contact your local if you cannot easily locate them.

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