APWU Challenges Proposed Changes to USPS Service Standards

The APWU is challenging proposed changes to USPS service standards that would result from a major reduction in the number of mail processing facilities. The Postal Service announced plans to eliminate 252 mail processing facilities on Sept. 14, and one week later published an “advance notice” of the proposed changes in service in the Federal Register. [PDF]

“The APWU vehemently opposes the USPS proposal to eliminate 60 percent of existing mail processing facilities and to make corresponding cuts in service standards,” President Cliff Guffey wrote in a letter dated Oct. 5. [PDF] “If adopted, this proposal would deprive postal customers of needed service, damage the economy, and drive customers away from the Postal Service.

“It is worth noting that the proposal acknowledges what the Postal Service has repeatedly denied regarding the closure and consolidation of mail processing facilities: Slashing the mail processing network will result in drastic cuts in service to the American people,” Guffey wrote.

The APWU is encouraging locals to write to legislators and point out the effect the service changes would have on residents and businesses in their community. “Bills pending in Congress would make this dramatic cutback in service unnecessary,” said Legislative and Political Director Myke Reid. “We urge union members to continue to ask legislators to support H.R. 1351, which would help provide the Postal Service with financial stability without any cost to taxpayers,” he added.

“The Postal Service cannot eliminate hundreds of mail processing facilities and meet its current service commitments,” said Executive Vice President Greg Bell. “Despite management’s reassurances to community leaders and lawmakers, wholesale facility consolidation would devastate mail service — and that is what the Postal Service is planning.”

In his letter protesting the service changes, Guffey wrote, “The elimination of overnight delivery of first-class mail and periodicals as well as a reduction in the range of two-day delivery would impose a significant hardship on postal customers. And, in addition to the reductions specifically discussed in the proposal, the changes would likely destroy Express Mail and Priority Mail.”

The proposed changes are contrary to the objectives of the Postal Reorganization Act, Guffey asserted, and fail to take into account many of the factors the Postal Service is required to consider when setting service standards.

The law stipulates that changes in service standards must be designed to “enhance the value of postal services to both senders and recipients,” “preserve regular and effective access to postal services in all communities” and “reasonably assure Postal Service customers delivery reliability, speed and frequency consistent with reasonable rates and best business practices,” the letter notes.

“The proposed rulemaking fails to meet these objectives,” Guffey said. The proposal focuses on mail volume and costs, but fails to pay attention to customer needs, he wrote.

The USPS notice states that the proposed reductions in service are necessary to “align the Postal Service’s infrastructure with current and projected mail volumes and to bring operating costs in line with revenues,” and that, “If the Postal Service were to revise service standards as described above, it could significantly improve operating efficiency and lower the operating costs of its mail processing and transportation networks.”

These objectives are not among those listed in law, the union president pointed out. “By designing service standards to meet budget goals rather than service demands, the Postal Service is violating the maxim that businesses cannot cut their way to financial health.

“In doing so, the proposal would degrade existing USPS products; limit the Postal Service’s ability to introduce new products, place the USPS at a distinct competitive disadvantage, and severely hamper its ability to accommodate growth. Consequently, the proposal virtually guarantees continued mail volume declines and further cutbacks in service.”

The USPS notice in the Federal Register invites comments from the public until Oct. 21. If the USPS decides to implement the proposed changes in service standards after the public comment period, it will submit its proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission for an advisory opinion. It also will publish an additional notice in the Federal Register specifying precisely what changes it intends to make in regulations governing service standards. The review by the PRC and the next notice in the Federal Register will provide an additional opportunity for public comments.

11 thoughts on “APWU Challenges Proposed Changes to USPS Service Standards

  1. Omar smells blood in APWU waters at “L” street. Expect more political writings & rhetoric from him as he positions himself to run APWU!

    “Vote for me and I’ll set ya free…rap on brutha – rap on!”

  2. It’s not the Postal Service or its people that are inefficient or bad. It’s Congress and Republican Congressmen like Darrell Issa that are the problem.

    Republican’s insistence in constantly working against, rather than with government agencies, is destroying this country.

    Save the Post Office. Replace Issa!

    Bring back that loving feeling?

  3. Gotta love the slug scabs and other assorted management toadies…right “Jim” and “Hello”….

  4. Jim, don’t listen to the slugs that post here, I have heard the same thing from the union slug where I work, telling me to slow down. I see many slow down to manipulate time, and they know if the management has anyone stay who isn’t on the ODL, all on the ODL get paid for doing nothing.

    This doesn’t apply to all the USPS employees, but there is at least 20-30 percent who abuse the contract for their own benefit.

    That Union steward is a slug, and the public knows of the stench coming from the pile of @#%$ the APWU is made of. They need a RIF for the sorry workforce they have become, the sad part is, some of the good employees will get caught up in the net, because they have no performance evaluations.

    Hopefully management is starting to get the paperwork in order on the slugs, stealing time walking around, and taking extended breaks, and unauthorized breaks.

  5. When big tobacco was hurting they raised the price…..wtf did we do we discounted the mail…..mind you WE HAVE A MONOLOPLY ON THE MAIL..

  6. I kinda like the B I N G O plan…. sounds like it would speed things up…just have dump trucks dump the mail into pick-up trucks and have the carriers drive 60 mph through the route…done in no time…I can fudge the numbers big time and get more employees excessed….yippee

  7. It amazes me how much energy and effort the APWU is putting into trying to save jobs. It’s too bad they don’t put that much effort into the work they do for the USPS. A steward was at a Denver station today, and she asked the manager if she could use his copy machine. The idiot used it and left a flyer on it by accident explaining to the clerks how they could get “free money” by slowing down. Tell me that is someone who deserves, or even wants a job. Not all postal employees are slugs, but the ones that aren’t are being targeted by the APWU and the NALC. Relax standards, go to 5 day delivery, close the small processing plants and give management flexibility with the workforce. Give the USPS the opportunity to save the company for employees who want to work!

  8. The new bingo postal service, we here at the service standards commission are planning on just throwing everything in spinning drums loaded on carriers vehicles, as they drive down their routes tossing everything into the wind.

    This could significantly improve operating efficiency and lower the operating costs of our mail processing and transportation networks.

    The PRC.

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