USPS Abandons Plan to Outsource BMC Network


Management to Revamp BMC Network

The Postal Service has abandoned plans to outsource the work performed at 21 Bulk Mail Centers, and instead will revamp the BMC network, the USPS Senior Vice President for Operations told the APWU on March 10.

The change in strategy was prompted by the nation’s financial crisis and the subsequent drop in the volume of flats. “The world changed under our feet,” William Galligan explained in a briefing at union headquarters for APWU leaders at the national and local level. “It would be foolhardy to proceed with a plan that was based on flat volume growth.” In July 2008, the Postal Service announced plans to outsource work performed at the BMCs, and informed the union of plans to locate Flat Sorter Sequencing (FSS) machines at the facilities.

The revised plan calls for a three-tiered network in which some facilities would distribute only local and destinating mail. The renamed Network Distribution Centers (NDCs) would continue to process standard mail, packages, and some periodicals. Significant changes also are planned for transportation within the network.

According to the plan, which is scheduled to begin in mid- to late-April:

Tier 1 NDC facilities will be responsible for local and destination standard mail, periodicals and package services. They also will perform STC containerization and dispatch operations for outgoing and incoming mail.
Tier 2 facilities will be responsible for all Tier 1 activities, plus distribution of outgoing standard mail, periodicals, and package services to the network.

Tier 3 facilities will perform all the Tier 1 and 2 functions and also will acts as a consolidation point for less-than-truckload volumes from Tier 2 sites.

Phase 1 will begin in the northeast corridor, and will affect the Springfield (MA), Philadelphia, and New Jersey BMCs. Staffing is expected to decrease in Tier 1 and 2 sites, and to increase in Tier 3 facilities.

“We are pleased that the Postal Service has decided against contracting out BMC operations,” said APWU President William Burrus, “but we withhold any endorsement of the new plan until we are able to determine its impact on service and on employees represented by the APWU.

“We will monitor the progress of the new plan closely, and we will vigorously enforce the Collective Bargaining Agreement as it is implemented.”

To view a copy of the USPS presentation, click here.