Postmasters: USPS Trying To Bypass Law On Post Office Closings

The LEAGUE is concerned that the Postal Service is trying through regulation to accomplish what it has not been able to accomplish through legislation. They are trying to get the unfettered ability to close as many small rural Post Offices as it wants without taking in to account all the reasons they are there, to serve the needs of rural America. The Postal Service has filed formal notice through the Federal Register of a proposed change to the Discontinuance (closing) process for Post Offices found in 39 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This is different from US Code Title 39 which is law; these are Postal Service regulations and do not need legislative approval or a bill to change. It is simply a regulation change and not law. The Post Office will seek comments (written) for thirty days. They will review those comments and make their determinations on whether to change these regulations and change the face of rural America.

You can read between the lines and figure out where this is going. Unless we get our Representatives to intervene these regulations will most likely be changed and regardless of the nice spin being placed on this proposal it is not good for rural America.

One of the changes would propose applying the discontinuance process to all Postal Service operated retail facilities. This means the process would, to some extent include stations and branches where currently only independent Post Offices are covered under the formal closing process. The problem is this change also means they can convert an independent Post Office to a station or branch without consolidating or closing which they have to do at the present time. Its underlying intent is to try and finesse post office closing procedures and to try to change them to stations and branches that do not have a full closing process. By doing so they also leave the office open to easier closing since there are no appeal rights for station and branches. This would open the door to thousands of Post Offices being run without a Postmaster in charge and easier closings in the future.

The second changes the requirement that a District Manager must initiate the study of a USPS-operated facility for possible discontinuance. It allows this study to be initiated by a responsible Vice President. So no longer will the District Manager that hopefully has a good feel for community needs, unique circumstances and direct accountability for service be the only one to initiate the study. Instead someone sitting at a desk with a spreadsheet, with absolutely no knowledge of the community except numbers, could start the closing process. If that approach is taken it does not give the District Manager many choices in this environment.

This next change makes it even more questionable, one of which would allow a responsible Vice President or Area Manager of Delivery Programs Support to decide that a community meeting is no longer required. This is not acceptable in our eyes nor should it be for the citizens in America. Why would this ever be considered when you are talking about the possible end of a community?

Another change is a reduction in time requirements from 90 to 60 days for the waiting period after posting of a final determination to close. The Post Office argues that the regulations they currently use are greater then what is required by Title 39. The League’s response is that it has been that way for good reason. It provides ample opportunity for customer feedback when such an important event to a community is being considered. Cutting 30 days just so they can save time and rush the closing does not say much for our universal service requirement.

There are more changes including more circumstances that prompt a decision to study closing an office. These include earned workload below the minimum established level for the lowest non-bargaining (EAS) employee grade, insufficient customer demand, declining volumes and local population trends that we will need to discuss. Using these guidelines almost any Post Office could be closed at any time, for any reason.

This is a time for us to work very close with our NAPUS Postmasters. Bob Rapoza and I will be working together on this proposal and you can rest assured that we will be doing all we can here with the PRC, Congress and the use of every available means possible to protect Postmasters, Post Offices and the communities we serve.

Many of you have just returned from Washington DC with fresh contacts for Congress, use them. While we need your enthusiastic support please remember, while you are on the clock or on USPS property or using a USPS phone you are the voice of the USPS and must speak with the USPS voice. When you are off the clock, at home, or on a personal phone you may share your concern for your CUSTOMERS with congress.

National League Of Postmasters

USPS’ Proposed Rule To Amend Regulations for Closing/Consolidating Post Offices

11 thoughts on “Postmasters: USPS Trying To Bypass Law On Post Office Closings

    The need for use of the Postal Service is no longer need as it was 40 years ago. Time changes everything. Times are better now than 40 years ago. Air travel is much safer. Communications have electronically improved. Automobiles have been improved via advance technological systems. Communications have improved with the Internet, cell phones, faxing, digital photography.
    The Internet has improved business and individual access to each other and in business needs.
    The postal service has not improved as postage has gone up I guess as no one uses it even to mail birthday or Christmas cards. All I ever get is something from mutual of Omaha or GEICO trying to sell something. Tear off address and shredded it to maybe avoid identity theft. I plan to take down my mailbox as everything business is done on the computer as banking, bill pay, and invitations to social events and business meeting. Church even uses email to send notice of any special events.
    Who needs the Post Office?

  2. Change the name to United States Postal Co….. then do away with the small offices and cut delivery to 3 days a week – (alternating Days) that would reduce the number of employees by 50%

  3. The only massive waste is layers and layers of incompetent management. And what is financially ruining the USPS is the pre-payment at this point. Put the USPS back on break-even status, like it was for 40 years.

  4. The USPS must provide service; but not over extended or duplication of services to the point it cannot survive unless it is taken over by congress for funding as the USPS in dire straits of financial ruin.

    Eliminating Sat. delivery is national in scope and the effects are minimal or nonexistent to individuals and businesses as the primary product delivered is advertising mail. A story can alway be hounded out about someone should have gotten a check on Sat. and it was Monday.
    Eliminating this massive wasted cost resulting from increasing fuel cost and delivery personnel cost would help in boosting the breakeven bottomline point.

  5. This what I see, bac when the Post office became a corporation, all regulations ceased and they were face to run a business to make profit… these people are bearucrats, they do things routinely, have no concept on how to run a buiness, if they did they would not be working as a government employee. what do expect would happen. they know one thing, and that how to spend money not make it.
    I remember that in the 90s they said they had a 2 billion profit only to reanounce later that they had a defecit of over a billion … and we did nothing about it… I even had a conversation with a employee that she never knew she POSTAL SERVICE was a corporation. a company for profit.. and she had been with the POSTAL SERVICE for 20 years. they wear two hats so when they lose money they change hats and ask for more money to run their failing business. they should have never incorporated in the first place. now so what are they going to do with all these buildings sell them, keep the lights on… I bet they have no clue what to do.. they are bureacrats only know how to put their time and spend it. There that my two cents

  6. Can you tell that the Podunk remark has upset this future former Postmaster of a small community? My spouse and I each hold down full time jobs. We have a grown son that holds down a full time job. After those job are done, we come home to a PODUNK farm of feeder calves. We raise our children and grandchildren with values. One of those values is to not call names or group people that choose to live in an city or urban area as people not worthy of having public services. We start your beef, get it to a weight to go to a feed lot to be fed out more before going to market to get to your table. The next time you bite into a steak, it could have come from our PODUNK farm.We live in a southern community that has worked together to have a fire department that has an ISO rating of 4, without any city water. The water is taken from a nearby lake. That takes work and dedication from the community. Our community have been awarded the Volunteer Community of the year award, by our state for six years in a row. We are Americans that pay taxes, we bleed red, why should we not be granted the same services as any other American has? BECAUSE IT IS NOT PROFITABLE! As I stated before… MAY GOD BE WITH US ALL. YOU, MR. OR MS. name caller (small letters for a small mind) and ALL the rest of the American citizens, in cities, urban areas or communities. We may talk slower, listen more, but it does not make us second class citizens that deserve less than what you have! When this is over, I would welcome you visit our PODUNK community. And eat one of our Podunk steaks. You might not ever use that word again. Thanks for the forum!

  7. Small Post Offices help a rural community keep their idenity. But cost wise….it is not profitable to keep these offices open. If anyone were the owner of a business that had several or thousands of offices that were loosing money daily, what would need to be done to curb costs? Close them. The Post Office Department was to “Bind the country together.” That is no longer the case with computers and fax machines in almost every household. As for the name calling? Podunk towns? Without podunk farm areas,,,,,you wouldn’t have much to eat!!! I think we are at the end of an era. We will see massive change in the next few months. Where to go from here? I will miss my job as a Postmaster in PODUNK AMERICA! Our whole country is in trouble.
    May God be with those that have served the USA and may God be with us all!

  8. There are offices that need closing as several are in a 5-6 mile radius of a large office and a station. Years ago when transportation and roads wee not modern as today possibly needed these offices in farm communities. That is now history no farming mostly surburbs of the area next to city. The maintenance, rent, utilities, is a waste. Need to consolidate retail and boxes to 1 building, 5 offices in this area from 1 Lv 15 others Lv 11. 2 no rural routes. 6 rural total. Wasted space cost money and consolidating would not hinder service.

  9. Who are the congreemen in charge of Postal Regulations? Why have they allowed, or insisted that the Post Office deliver magazines at less than cost? Its bad enough that there is a Post Office deficit, but are they trying to make it dissapear by continually making it do this that are unprofitable? Are said congressmen getting kick-backs from the lobbyist? Its sad to see the service in disrepair. Let the Post Office cut back Saturday and or other day delivery in areas where it is not needed. I could get by with even 4 day delivery, as most of the mail is advertisements.

  10. time to shut down the non productive post offices. wake up we don’t need a post office on every corner or in every podunk town. Require all carriers to have stamps to sell and most customers wont even need to see a Post office building…

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