Senators Announce USPS Agreement To Delay Postal Facility Closures For 5 Months

Moratorium would protect good-paying jobs while Congress works to enact comprehensive postal reform legislation
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Fifteen Senators from around the country today announced that, at their request, the U.S. Postal Service has voluntarily agreed to put in place a five-month moratorium on closing postal facilities, which would give Congress more time to enact postal reform legislation. During the moratorium, scheduled to end on May 15, 2012, the Postal Service will continue to study the impact of proposed closures on service and costs and to solicit community input.

Today’s announcement follows a meeting yesterday between several Senators and the U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall, Jr., in which Senators expressed concern over the impact of reduced service and the loss of thousands of jobs.

On September 15, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to review its mail processing network in the hopes of reducing costs. The Postal Service is currently considering the elimination of overnight delivery and studying the possibility of closing 3,700 mostly rural post offices and 252 mail processing facilities.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): “Over the last few months, I have heard concerns from local officials, residents and postal service employees about the original proposal from the Postal Service. Illinois would pay a heavy price under that proposal which impacts dozens of rural post offices in our state and nine mail processing centers that employ roughly 1,800 Illinoisans. There is no doubt that the Postal Service as we know it today has to adapt, but I think a better solution exists. The Postal Service has given Congress five months to act. It’s now up to us to move forward with comprehensive legislation that does not jeopardize the best postal service in the world.”

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT): “I am pleased that the Postal Service has announced that it will impose a moratorium on closing or consolidating post offices and mail processing facilities. This moratorium will give Congress the breathing room it needs to enact comprehensive postal reform to protect universal service while ensuring the postal service will succeed in the 21st century.”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT): “Today’s announcement is a win for Montana, and credit belongs to the thousands of Montanans who raised their concerns about the importance of postal service in rural America. But we have more work to do. I look forward to working on a long-term solution that keeps the Postal Service open for business and serving rural America.”

U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK): “I’ve spent months sending a strong message to the Postmaster General that Alaska post offices are the center of our rural communities and a necessary source of groceries, medicine and equipment. Closing post offices can permanently damage Alaska communities and I’m glad the Postmaster General has recognized that Congress needs to be given an opportunity to do our job before closing the doors on our post offices. In the past year I’ve made several proposals for reforming the post office, including setting clear retail standards for USPS services in every community, and look forward to working with my colleagues on legislation before the end of this moratorium. I am committed to protecting universal service to Alaska communities and ensuring the success of the USPS in the 21st century.”

U.S. Senator Clair McCaskill (D-MO): “Folks in communities across Missouri rely on the Postal Service for everything from life-saving prescriptions to veterans’ benefits. I’m glad that we have convinced the Postal Service to put the brakes on closing any post offices for six months so that we have time to enact reforms for the long-term health of the postal service and protect communities. I’ll remain devoted to ensuring the Postal Service acts with full transparency and fairness as they make decisions that impact services in Missouri.”

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH): “This moratorium is a win for Ohio consumers, Ohio business, and Ohio workers. Though the Postal Service faces serious challenges, this will provide time to reach a solution that will strengthen the USPS, instead of crippling it. It is vital that all Ohio residents and businesses receive the same level of service and access to their mail.”

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR): “Post offices and the services they provide are vital to the economic health of rural communities. They add tremendous value to Oregon’s commerce and are often a center of civic life in rural parts of the state. As a vote-by-mail state, a fully operating Postal Service is at the core of Oregon’s democratic process. This decision from the Postal Service is a welcome victory for folks living in rural as well as urban areas while Congress looks to tackle postal reform in the coming year.”

U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE): “Closing post offices before we try to fix the system is putting the cart before the horse, so today’s announcement is good news. With 90 rural post offices targeted for closure in Nebraska, we have to remember that the USPS was created to provide a public service. Our local post offices play a special role in our communities, keeping us connected to our friends and families, and keeping businesses connected to their customers. They are an important part of our economy and our social fabric, serving every city, suburb and small town in Nebraska.”

U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D-CO): “I’m glad the Postal Service is giving Congress some time to reach a viable long-term solution to deal with the USPS’s budget shortfall in a way that softens the impact on rural communities in Colorado and across the country. Post offices anchor the daily activities and local economies in so many of America’s small towns. Now that we have a five-month reprieve, we owe it to our constituents to find creative ways to maintain quality access to post office services for our small towns and small businesses.”

U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM): “Throughout this year, I’ve stressed to the Postmaster General the real impact that post office closures will have on New Mexico communities. We need comprehensive reform that ensures the long-term stability of the Postal Service, while providing essential, quality service to every corner of New Mexico. I commend the Postmaster General for putting a moratorium on any further closures for the next few months to give Congress the opportunity to find a long-term solution. We owe it to rural communities especially, that depend on the postal system for commerce, jobs and to stay connected, to find a sustainable solution that doesn’t compromise service.”

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): “The U.S. Postal Service plays a vital role in every community. Small businesses, families, and seniors depend on these facilities daily. While this is not a permanent solution, I am pleased that the Postmaster General is putting a six-month moratorium on the closures of postal facilities. In New York , more than 1000 jobs, 100 post offices and 7 Area Mail Processing centers will continue serving their communities while Congress works on reforming the postal service to ensure its survival.”

U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD): “I welcome the Postal Service’s decision to put in place a five-month moratorium. Congress now needs to work on reforms that can restore fiscal solvency to USPS. I will continue to fight to ensure the Postal Service provides quality service to rural America because it is incredibly important to South Dakota’s way of life and our state’s economy.”

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): “As the U.S. Postal Service takes steps to turn its financial situation around, it is important that it take into consideration the needs of rural communities. I believe we need to enact reforms to help the Postal Service adjust to a digital world and recognize the concerns of rural communities.”

U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN): “This moratorium will protect jobs and post offices all over Minnesota by giving Congress time to get the U.S. Postal Service’s financial house in order and make needed, reasonable reforms. The Postal Service provides a vital service to people all over the country, and it’s important that we make sure that Minnesotans – particularly in rural areas – can continue to depend on their local post offices.”

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV): “The proposed post office closings and mail processing consolidations could seriously harm communities throughout West Virginia – slashing critical jobs in our local communities, and slowing or even halting mail service in dozens of communities. I’m glad that the USPS is now delaying these actions. There is no question that USPS is facing serious financial problems, but rather than slashing jobs and services in rural areas, I believe that Congress can and should take steps to resolve some of these issues, and hopefully save some of the jobs that might otherwise get cut. Particularly as so many families are just trying to make ends meet, we owe it to our postal workers to try to keep as many of them in their jobs as possible.”

12 thoughts on “Senators Announce USPS Agreement To Delay Postal Facility Closures For 5 Months

  1. This is for poor deluded Jim.

    If you have been paying any attention at all to Donahoe and what he has been trying to do, you would see that his goal all along was to get CONGRESS to fix the overpayments to the CERS and FERS systems along with the ridiculas requirement to prefund health benefits.

    It was only after Donahoe threatened to shut down over 250 processing centers that the public raised enough stink to get CONGRESS to do something. The problems that plague the Postal Service cannot be solved by Donahoe and he knows that. But since CONGRESS has refused to act during the last 4 to 5 years, Donahoe has taken the steps open to him that do not require CONGRESS.

    By the way I have worked for the Postal Service since 1995 in maintenance.

  2. Two aspects of changes to service standards that would cost 30,000 jobs due to loss in mail processing plant reduction, 1) how were the plants they are keeping chosen? No transparency! Plus, those selected plants would have next day delivery capability. Those not selected would not. Net effect is USPS has power over which communitit\es survive and which falter – insane power. 2) Immediate raise in rates to public for next day delivery. Current .44 cents proposed (after consolidation) appx $18.00 (Next Day Express rates). Also insane. Thanks these senators and postal unions for their never ending efforts in (hopefully) keeping and creating a first class postal system.

  3. This is going to affect many middle class american family’s trying to make ends meet in Massachusetts.(everywhere for that matter) We cannot afford to lose all of these jobs, we need action NOW. Not to mention people who need medications, checks to survive, and in a timely manner.Now is the time to show the American people that you ARE listening and you will not let this slip through your hands and create another disaster.we NEED our jobs.and we need your help Mr. President.

  4. I also would like to know where John Kerry is. This is going to affect many middle class american family’s trying to make ends meet in Massachusetts.(everywhere for that matter) We cannot afford to lose all of these jobs, we need action NOW. Not to mention people who need medications, checks to survive, and in a timely manner.Now is the time to show the American people that you ARE listening and you will not let this slip through your hands and create another disaster.we NEED our jobs.and we need your help Mr. President.

  5. I do appreciate this “stay” from the govenor-ment, bu this is really another sign that Donahoe must go. This is just the lastest showing that he has no plan at all. One day we are all over EFXC and overnight delivery and the next we are closing plants that will make overnight delivery insignificant. One day its everydoor everyday the next whenever. One day its close the doors NOW, the next its months later. Donahoe has no plan other then to manipulate the situation, and that includes everything he touches, Contracts, facitities, congress, his proven track record is that he’s incompentent. Perhaps its the fact that hes carrying our future. Truly the worst carrier we have. Worse then the worst that I supervise. Some of my carriers may be questionable but I don’t need to redo everything they do each day. He is leading nothing, no one is following and HE is having a very negative impact on the entire Postal Service. He says he loves the Postal Service but at this point he is our biggest enemy. Get a compass and at least figure out where your standing.

  6. The Senators learning fast, (Delay Delay Delay).

    Next i would fire the PMG and his staff send a strong message you are held accountable also.

    After that i’d clean house on lower management making sure the new management understood the word service. And a how to follow the union contracts course taken by all. Will call it? Your first and last warning.

    The money from the overpay FERs/CSRS put into buyouts, a years pay plus 3 yrs service added up front. I’d offer it in waves to the people with the most years in already first. By 2015 that should do it?

    The rest of it is the easy part, just start listening to the employees and the pubic and put into play.

    Have A Nice Life.

  7. Where’s John Kerry? Massachusetts stands to lose hundreds of jobs too. Where’s my senator? What’s with Democrats? They should all be involved in these closings and job lost. And lastly where’s the president? How come he hasn’t weighed in on this issue? Here’s a chance to step up to the plate, show us your for the working man.Spend Billions over seas on aid and wars and for small money let thousands lose their livelyhood. Spend all kinds of money saving Wall Street and let the Post Office flounder. Doesn’t make much sense.

  8. WTG! I’m glad to see that there are a few good Senators out there. The bottom line is that they need to prohibit the USPS from relaxing the first class overnight delivery standard. If they stop that, they can’t close facilities even if they wanted to!!! That’s the key to saving 1000s of jobs and the postal service as we know it. I would also like to thank all the Democrats and some of the Republicans who are also trying to save these facilities and maintain universal delivery and first class standards !!

Comments are closed.