Save Local Post Offices! Stop Mail Carrier Displacement!
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is rolling out a massive change to mail sorting and delivery, beginning with 200 post offices by February, 2023. Instead of sorting mail in the back of the local post office, mail carriers will commute to a distant “Sorting and Delivery Center” to sort their mail then travel back to the neighborhood to deliver it, then travel back to the S&DC to complete their day and then commute back to their home. This new "Delivery Unit Optimization - DUO" (local office) and "Sorting and Delivery Center- S&DC" (distant hub) plan will severely impact postal workers and the public.
This from Steve Hutkins (savethepostoffice.com), a nationally recognized postal expert…”consider what’s in store for individual letter carriers. For most of them, their new workplace at the S&DC will require a longer commute than the post office where they currently work — probably about 10 extra miles, another 15 minutes of driving time each way. That’s 2.5 hours more each week, 120 hours more a year — the equivalent of three weeks’ work, unpaid. Over the course of a year, the carrier will drive 5,000 more miles than the current commute requires. Figured at the IRS mileage rate of 63 cents per mile for gas, maintenance, etc., the increased cost would be $3,150 (non-reimbursable).”
This assault on mail carriers’ working conditions will accelerate their exodus from the postal service. Already, due to understaffing and long hours, mail carriers are retiring early. The retention rate for new carriers is less than 50% and job fairs are producing few applicants. The postmaster general’s new plan will only make this bad situation worse.
DeJoy has announced the conversion of thousands of post offices and the displacement of tens of thousands of mail carriers (DUOs) in the next few years. Hutkins suggests that the retail units that lose their “back end” delivery units will also lose postal clerks (who sort parcels and mail for the carriers). Inevitably, without a full clerk complement, retail hours will be cut, post offices are moved to smaller, out of the way buildings or strip malls, merged, contracted out or closed. This happened to most of the post offices when thousands of routes were DUO’d in the 2011-2015 period.
Currently none of our national institutions, not the Postal Regulatory Commission, the USPS Office of the Inspector General nor any Congressional committees are calling for national hearings or legislation on this DUO/S&DC transformation. So, it’s up to us to build pressure to slow, pause and stop this bad plan.
Sign this letter (or craft your own) to your Congress person and Senators, calling on them to sponsor hearings and legislation to stop this bad plan.