USPS Announces ‘Modified Consolidation Plan’; Implementation to Begin This Summer, No Specifics Provided

The USPS notified the APWU [PDF] today, May 16, that it has developed a modified network consolidation plan and, “Now that the moratorium has expired, consolidation activities will begin this summer.” However, postal managers did not provide the union with a list of which facilities would be affected and when. The information will be made available to the union on May 17, in advance of the public release, the letter says.

The USPS letter, which was faxed to the union at approximately 3 p.m., says that postal managers will begin giving “stand-up talks” to employees on Tour 3 on May 16. Copies of the service talks [PDF] were provided.

APWU President Cliff Guffey said, “The Postal Service’s actions are the best evidence there is that union members must contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to address postal reform immediately, using the recently-approved Senate bill as a starting point for discussion.”

Fall Break, Service Changes

There will be a break in consolidation activities from September through December for the election and holiday mailing seasons, the letter says. Following the break, the first phase of consolidations will resume in January 2013. Phase two will be completed by the end of 2014.

The letter says that a new, interim regulation to modify existing Service Standards for overnight delivery will be introduced that “will shrink the geographic reach of overnight service to local areas.

“This new interim Service Standard will enable consolidating activity in 2013, and will be replaced with a permanent Service Standard for overnight delivery in 2014.”

The stand-up talks say that “Actions taken will comply with collective bargaining agreements, Postal Service regulations and policies, and other applicable law.” It also says, “The Postal Service is working with its unions regarding an employee incentive offer and will announce details when final decisions are made,” but the USPS and APWU have not been negotiating about incentives, Guffey said.

The talk for employees who interact with customers says, “Some consolidation activities will begin this summer, but there will be no facilities closures this summer.” The other talks do not include this language, nor does the letter to the APWU. (In fact, the stand-up talks for other employees refer to “closing facility.”)

“The Postal Service’s plans seem to be in constant flux,” Guffey said. “I hope members of Congress are paying attention. They must act quickly to prevent a severe degradation of service and massive cutbacks in the mail processing network.”