plant consolidations - postalnews blog

plant consolidations

Video: Postal Service Postpones Plans to Move Jobs Out of Scranton

Plans to move nearly 300 postal jobs from Scranton to the Lehigh Valley have been put on hold.

The United States Postal Service says it is postponing the second phase of its mail processing center consolidation plan.

In July 2012, the postal service began consolidating mail processing centers across the country.

Last year, some equipment was moved out of Scranton and the jobs were slated to follow last month but now Eyewitness News has learned that plan is on hold.

It is a big sigh of relief for employees.

Read more: Postal Service Postpones Plans to Move Jobs Out of Scranton – PAHomepage.com.

Video: Roanoke Mail Distribution facility gets good news about staying open, for now

ROANOKE, Va. – Union leaders say a recent move by the United States Postal Service will keep the distribution center in Roanoke open: for now.

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The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act passed in 2006 and, in part, requires the Postal Service to fund retirement benefits 75 years into the future.

The USPS is in the middle of a multi-phase reduction in distribution facilities to cut costs since the number of First-Class post has dropped dramatically in the past decade.

The first phase closed the Lynchburg Distribution Facility.

Union leaders here say the second phase could have been the beginning of the end for the Roanoke facility.

In late January, the USPS decided to postpone implementation of the second phase.

Read more: Roanoke Mail Distribution facility gets good news about staying open, for now | Local News – Home.

Postal Service Delays New Wave of Mail Processing Closures

The U.S. Postal Service has postponed its scheduled second round of mail processing center closures, the agency announced Friday, marking a temporary victory for postal employee unions.

Phase two of USPS’ “network rationalization” plan was scheduled to kick in Feb. 7 and would have ended overnight delivery for mail sent and received in the same area. This would have resulted in a major consolidation of processing facilities.

The first phase of the plan was scheduled to close about 140 processing centers and the second phase would have closed an additional 90, according to agency estimates. The Postal Service maintained 487 processing centers nationwide before the consolidations began in 2012.

A USPS spokeswoman declined to comment on the reason for the postponement, but said the agency plans to reschedule phase two at some point in the future.

Read more: Postal Service Delays New Wave of Mail Processing Closures – Management – GovExec.com.

APWU Files Amended Complaint with PRC; Union Alleges Network Consolidation Causing Significant Mail Delays

The APWU filed an amended complaint [PDF] with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on Dec.13, alleging that the USPS is failing to comply with service standards on first-class mail and periodicals. The APWU alleges that significant delays in mail delivery are being caused by the closure of processing facilities around the country.

The amended complaint follows a Sept. 5 filing [PDF] and gives the PRC additional evidence that the Postal Service is violating service standards. The APWU also is attempting to obtain USPS records about service failures to provide additional proof of the violations.

The APWU Complaint asks the PRC to order the Postal Service to cease and desist from making any changes in its mail processing network that will cause violations of service standards. The Complaint also demands that the Postal Service take whatever steps are necessary to come into compliance with service standards. This could include stopping consolidations that have not been completed and reversing some that have been fully implemented, said APWU Executive Vice President Debby Szeredy.

The APWU has called on Congress to include protection of service standards in any postal reform legislation it considers. “Including language that protects service standards will help stop the USPS from damaging the postal network and destroying service to customers,” Szeredy said. “The Postal Service must not be allowed to abandon its obligation to provide universal service,” she said. “Without such a provision in legislation, the Postal Service threatens to cut service even further in February 2014.”

Szeredy also expressed appreciation for the support the union has received from locals around the country. “We received many reports from locals detailing the delays they see at their facilities every day,” she said. “Neither the PRC nor Congress should ignore this evidence.”

 

Overnight mail taking 3 days after USPS changes in Pasco WA

PASCO, Wash. — Recent cutbacks and changes at our local Post Offices mean it’s taking longer for your mail to get to your home — and also out of town. An influx of Christmas cards and packages will only add a new burden. KEPR talked with the President from the local Postal Workers Union and USPS to get both sides about how your mail is being impacted in new ways.

"It’s written in the law that we provide universal, low cost service to every American citizen," said John Michael Wald, Local American Postal Workers Union President.But he says that’s exactly what you’re not seeing with mail service in the Tri-Cities right now. Mail processing moved from Pasco to Spokane in July. Since then, bundles of issues have arrived.

Read more: Overnight mail taking 3 days after Pasco changes | Top Video | KEPR CBS 19 – News, Weather and Sports – Pasco, WA.

Video: USPS blames holiday (not plant closing) for 8PM mail deliveries- carriers say otherwise

WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) – Many Quincy residents noticed their mail was delivered much later than normal on Tuesday, but U.S. Postal Service Officials say that won’t continue.

United States Postal Service spokesperson Valerie Welsch said some residents did receive deliveries as late as 8 p.m. Tuesday night, but only because it was the day after a holiday.

Mail carrier Tina Philllips said the late deliveries were not just because of the holiday, and she said it’s been a trend for a while now.

Phillips said since Quincy’s distribution center closed earlier this year, it has gotten the mail later and carriers have had to start their routes later.

Read more: USPS: Late Quincy mail delivery ‘not a normal occurrence’ – WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio.

Sorting machine downgrade could be beginning of the end for Roanoke Mail Distribution Center

ROANOKE, Va. - About two weeks ago, union leaders found out the Postal Service decided to downgrade three mail sorters and send them to other cities.

The postal service says the three other cities handle more mail and need the sorters more than they do in Roanoke.

Union leaders here say this will guarantee the demise of the Roanoke plant on Rutherford Avenue.

Read more: Sorting machine downgrade could be beginning of the end for Roanoke Mail Distribution Center | Local News – Home.

Field organizational changes- USPS continues operational efficiency initiatives

From USPS News Link:

As a part of its network optimization effort, USPS has developed a facility ranking strategy to align staffing across the entire mail processing network. Included in this strategy are processing and distribution centers, processing and distribution facilities, logistics and distribution centers, network distribution centers, international service centers and annexes.

New rankings and Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) staffing criteria went into effect Sept. 7. With these changes, USPS also will implement an organizational change process that could include a reduction-in-force (RIF).

Communications about these changes began last week. Managers will keep employees informed throughout the process.

As part of the effort to avoid a RIF, USPS is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) to field EAS employees at all locations, regardless of whether they’re impacted. An incentive is not a part of this VER offering.

VER eligibility is based on a Dec. 31, 2013 VER-effective retirement date. USPS will mail annuity estimates to VER-eligible employees the week of Sept. 16. VER-eligible employees may retire either Dec. 31, 2013, or Jan. 31, 2014. Requests for early retirement must be submitted no later than Nov. 29 and can’t be withdrawn after that date.

More information related to the RIF and the VER is available on the LiteBlue employee website. Go to the Organizational Changes pages and the Workforce Connection site. Employees also can find these links in the “Hot Topics” section on LiteBlue, or the “My HR” section on the upper right corner of the LiteBlue home page.

Employees should check these sites often for updates.

Early outs to be offered to managers, supervisors and postmasters

Note: The Federal Times says it was told by USPS Headquarters that the NAPS announcement below contains some unspecified “inaccuracies”.

September 04, 2013
From the National Association of Postal Supervicors:

naps-logoIn the last few days, the Postal Service’s plan to re-rank mail processing plants has become public knowledge despite their best efforts to keep the information confidential until September 6, 2013. The confidential nature of the discussions between NAPS and USPS Labor Relations was due to the fact that the Postal Service had not finalized their plans nor had they briefed Area and District Managers.

During our discussions, the following items were outlined:

• A VERA will be offered to all PCES and Field EAS with the exception of Headquarters employees. The VERA offer also includes all Area, District EAS employees and Postmasters. The notification period will includes written notification from the United State Postal Service beginning on September 16, 2013, and running through September 20, 2013, to all eligible VERA candidates.

• The VERA application period will begin September 20, 2013 with an irrevocable date of November 29, 2013. Two effective dates for retirement have been scheduled: For CSRS applicants the date is December 21, 2013 and for FERS applicants the date is January 31, 2014. The expanded date for FERS is to allow them to utilize 100% of their accrued sick leave balance. VERAs will have an irrevocable date of November 29, 2013.

• Mail Flow Controllers will be allowed to remain in their positions until at least April 18, 2014.

• The re-ranking of the plants will be formally announced on September 7, 2013. This was supposed to be the date that the information was supposed to be released. We expected that this information would be provided to the Executive Board at that time. Now, here are some details regarding the process:

The supervisor staffing ratio in the plants will remain the same. This was confirmed by USPS Headquarters during our meetings. In addition, there will be one MDO per tour and the level of the MDO will be tied into the ranking of the individual plant.

Plants will be classified as: Major, followed by PCES 1,PCES 2, PCES 3, PCES 4, EAS 25 and EAS 24. The support staff, MIPS and TANS Manager will be tied into the ranking of the plant while Maintenance staffing will be tied into the earned maintenance craft complement. Plant Managers, whose plant has been re-ranked, and choose to assume the newly ranked position will have appropriate ELM provisions in force. Employees who earn an increase will see a 2% salary increase while those plant ranking is reduced and elect to remain in the position will have saved salary for two years. Level 22 and below plants will be increase to level 24 and above plants, depending upon the outcome of the re-rankings.

The RIF avoidance timeline will be in effect from September 7, 2013 until February 11, 2014. General RIF notices will be mailed on January 14, 2014 and specific RIF notices mailed on February 12, 2014.

As a reminder all EAS should update their eCareer and any EAS level 16 and below must take the 642 exam. Please read all postings and be aware of eligibility and any limited areas of consideration. As always, there will be a review of SWC’s to determine the number of Supervisors to justify the position and/or posting of vacancies. Finally, there will be no form of incentive offered.

Senator Bernie Sanders Statement on Postal Service Bill

bernieWASHINGTON, Aug. 2 – Sen. Bernie Sanders today issued the following statement on a Postal Service reform bill introduced late Thursday in the Senate that could end Saturday and door-to-door mail delivery and close mail processing plants:

“While I have a great deal of respect for Sens. Carper and Coburn, the Postal Service bill that they introduced is significantly weaker than the bill that passed the Senate last year with 62 votes. That makes no sense. Over a short period of time, the Carper-Coburn bill will allow the Postal Service to shut down over half of the mail processing plants in this country, end Saturday delivery and even deliver mail fewer than 5 days a week.

“In the midst of a severe recession, this bill would lead to the elimination of tens of thousands of decent-paying jobs – many of them held by military veterans. That is why I have introduced the Postal Service Protection Act with 28 cosponsors, a bill that would sustain the Postal Service, avert unnecessary closures and save American jobs. Similar legislation introduced in the House by Rep. DeFazio now has 166 cosponsors.

“The Postal Service is an institution of enormous importance to the American people. It must be preserved and protected. About 80 percent of the financial problems of the Postal Service are the result of an unprecedented and onerous mandate that forces it to pay 75 years of future retiree health benefits over a 10-year period.

“While we all understand that the Postal Service is experiencing financial problems today and that changes need to be made, providing fewer services and poorer quality is not the way to save the Postal Service. That is why I am strongly opposed to this legislation.”