APWU tells members to report delayed mail to the PRC

APWU Web News Article #142-13, Dec. 23, 2013

apwulogoBusinesses, customers and APWU members who have complaints about delayed mail should be sure to let the Postal Regulatory Commission know, says Debby Szeredy, the union’s executive vice president. “Much of the delayed mail is in areas where plants and post offices have been consolidated or closed or where hours at post offices have been reduced,” she said.

“Filing complaints with the PRC will help document how egregious the problem is, so encourage your family, friends and neighbors to file complaints if they experience delays, too,” Szeredy said.

Filing a complaint online takes just a minute or two. To complete the form, start by selecting “Complaint.” Next, in the subject area, click the arrow and select “Mail Delivery/Postal Services.” Describe your complaint in the message box using 1,000 or fewer characters (letters) and include that you are requesting an investigation of your delayed mail.

If you are in an area where a plant or post office was consolidated, closed or faced reduced hours, be sure to include that in your complaint as well. Provide your name and address so that you can be contacted about the results. Print a copy of your complaint for your records by right-clicking on the mouse, then Click “Submit.” If you have a problem with your submission you may need to reduce the number of words in your complaint.

If you prefer, you also can send a letter to the PRC at the following address:

Public Affairs & Government Relations
901 New York Avenue NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20268-0001

Once the PRC receives your complaint, it will be placed into the agency’s quarterly log and sent to the USPS. The Postal Service will respond to the PRC & the customer.

For more information on filing complaints with the PRC, click here, visit www.prc.gov or call 202-789-6800.


APWU Files Charges With Postal Regulatory Commission

apwulogoThe APWU filed a complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) on Sept. 5 charging that the USPS is failing to comply with its own service standards and is depriving individuals, small businesses and organizations of the service they are entitled to by law.

The Postal Service’s failure to comply with the law is the result of an arbitrary decision to accelerate mail processing facility closures that were scheduled to take effect in 2014. Continue reading APWU Files Charges With Postal Regulatory Commission

Connecticut Congresswoman to Introduce ‘Protect Overnight Delivery Act’

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will introduce legislation to preserve overnight mail delivery and, in the process, protect mail processing facilities from closure, she told fellow lawmakers in a letter dated June 13. [PDF]

Rep. DeLauro invited House members to become original co-sponsors of the Protect Overnight Delivery Act, which she plans to introduce later this month. Forty-three representatives have already signed on as co-sponsors, she said.

“The elimination of overnight delivery standards and consolidating processing facilities will have a disastrous impact on local and national unemployment,” Rep. DeLauro wrote. “The USPS is a major employer around the country and employs over 500,000 workers. With an unacceptably high unemployment rate, it would be particularly inopportune for the USPS to close these facilities.

The legislation would protect mail processing plans from closure by preventing the Postal Service from moving to two- to three-day delivery standards. As a result, Rep. DeLauro wrote, the bill would stop the elimination of jobs at mail processing facilities.

APWU President Cliff Guffey praised the bill. “If these delivery standards had the force of law, the USPS would be unable to close many of the mail processing plants that are scheduled for consolidation,” he said.

“This bill is good for the American people and good for postal workers,” Guffey said. “We urge our members to ask their U.S. representatives to support the Protect Overnight Delivery Act.”

Union 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.

via Union Challenges Proposed Changes to USPS Service Standards.

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