Save $356,540- Lose $10,000,000
As our members are painfully aware the District is considering closing several stations and branches in our Local’s jurisdiction. This is part of the Postal Service’s plans to close or “consolidate” thousands of stations throughout the country. Although the number of such stations currently under review was reduced to 413 recently, it is just a matter of time before others are added.
A decision is expected by Oct. 2 on whether the following stations in our Local will be closed.
- Landscape, Park, and South Berkeley of the Berkeley Post Office.
- Casa Correo and Todos Santos of the Concord Post Office
- Niles and Mission San Jose of the Fremont Post Office
- Bradford and Mount Eden of the Hayward Post Office
- Point Richmond, Station A, Mira Vista and San Pablo of the Richmond Post Office
- American Canyon and Station A of the Vallejo Post Office
Deleted from an earlier list were Country Club of the Moraga Post Office and Station A of the Walnut Creek Post Office .
The irony of the Postal Service’s anticipated closure of these stations is that they yielded $10,462,613 in revenue in 2008 and are projected to yield $9,672,090 in 2009 –a reduction of only 7.5%. The lease costs for the buildings are $549,237 per year, which represents less than 6% of the revenue expected this year. Additionally, canceling the leases early would cost the Postal Service an additional $192,697 in penalties, decreasing the true cost of operating the stations to only $356,540—less than 4% of the expected revenue for 2009.
These 15 stations are thus extremely profitable. Even Postmaster General John Potter stated on Aug. 6 before a Senate Subcommittee that the savings from closing stations would be “modest at best”. The 29 Clerks who work in the stations would have to be assigned to other work in their respective Post Offices, so there would be no real savings there.
Postal customers would have to travel further to obtain service. Approximately 6700 box holders would be required to relocate, change their addresses, and many will likely simply discontinue their service. Some customers may decide to patronize the Postal Service’s competitors, and never return.
Closing the stations clearly makes no sense and would actually be against the real interests of the Postal Service, as well as well employees and the public. We need to fight this ill-advised plan.
by Stephen Lysaght, President, East Bay Area Local #47 (California)