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Posts tagged: Mail processing center

Rural postal cuts would not change processing center closures

Wednesday's announcement that the US Postal Service is considering reductions in hours for 13,700 rural post offices doesn't impact other plans that would close urban post offices, including three in the Spokane area. Those are in Hillyard, Parkwater and Dishman.

That's the view of Ernie Swanson, the USPS spokesman for Washington.

Swanson said the new plan also doesn't change earlier plans by the USPS to shut down some postal processing centers.

That plan, released earlier this year, would close processing centers in the TriCities, Yakima and Wenatchee, as well as one in Missoula.

Those closures would mean additional workers at Spokane's West Plains mail processing center. But a final decision on all those closures will wait until later this year, the USPS has said.  

Unlikely that Congress would approve cutting Saturday mail delivery

Last week a group of Spokane area postal workers and their backers gathered downtown to voice opposition to plans that would shut down hundreds of post offices and dozens of processing centers across the country.

The Postmaster General has said those cuts are needed for the privately funded, non-tax supported Postal Service to eliminate an $8 billion shortfall in its annual budget.
 
While people debate the issue of whether cuts at that level are needed, others are concerned that the Postmaster General will push plans to eliminate Saturday delivery.
 
That concern, however, seems to be one that won't gain much support in Congress; any initiative to cut Saturday delivery has to be approved by Congress.
 
Last week, more than 100 members of Congress signed a letter in support of six day mail, rural post offices and new innovations.
 
Rep, Don Young (R-Alaska) joined a number of other D.C. legislators in circulating a letter that read, in part:
“Rather than pass legislation which dismantles the Postal Service, Congress must be a partner in building a postal business model for the 21st century,” said Connolly.
 
“By allowing the Postal Service to innovate and relieving the retirement prefunding obligation imposed by Congress in 2006 we can protect the infrastructure of a $1 trillion mailing industry while maintaining universal service for all Americans—rural, suburban, and urban.”

Area postal service workers rally Thursday, saying mail service will suffer

 

Area post office workers will hold a rally Thursday in   downtown Spokane, protesting planned cuts they say will degrade mail service.

The rally, organized by the American Postal Workers Union, starts at 4:30 p.m. at 10 N. Post.

It’s meant to call attention to pending cuts and future job losses that the union says are avoidable.

Needing to vastly shrink its budget, the U.S. Postal Service has laid out plans to close more than 220 processing centers and thousands of post office nationwide.

Jack Talcott, a Spokane Valley postal worker and union spokesman, said the closing of processing plants in Yakima, Pasco and Wenatchee will eliminate the one-day delivery Spokane and North Idaho residents currently have.

The postmaster general has said the final decision on cuts and closures would be made on May 15. Talcott said Congress can still intervene and adopt other budget cuts that would avoid most of the closures and preserve existing mail service.

The rally’s goal, Talcott added, is “to educate people so they know what may happen to mail service.”

He said the likely scenario if the three Washington centers are closed would be: all mail normally processed there would be routed to Spokane’s center near the Spokane airport. Even though 22 or so new workers would be assigned to the Spokane center, the extra volume of mail would create a workflow bottleneck.

“It would definitely change what is now a one-day delivery schedule for area mail,” Talcott said.

If Congress makes no changes in the proposed cuts and closures, the postmaster general’s office would start implementing closures and some layoffs in late May. 

Spokane would likely gain jobs in U.S. Postal Service shuts Montana centers

UPDATED 11:45 Dec. 6:

After a conversation Tuesday with USPS District spokesman Ernie Swanson, we'll now add these details to the story:

  • In addition to possible western Montana processing center closures, USPS sites in Pasco and Wenatchee that might close would also affect Spokane's processing center headcount.  No firm numbers are being discussed, and it's not certain any of those four sites (Kalispel, Missoula, Pasco and Wenatchee) will be closed.
  • Any closures won't happen until mid to late 2012, Swanson said. Decisions will be made around March 2012. Any closures would take a few months to plan and execute, he said.

Postal officials say the closure of two Montana mail processing centers could add jobs to the Spokane processing center, on the city's West Plains.

No decisions have been made about any closing of post offices or processing centers. The discussion has started getting more focused as U.S. Postal Service officials are hosting meetings with communities that are on the possible-closure list.

About 40 jobs in western Montana would be eliminated if processing operations in Missoula and Kalispell are shut down. 
 
All the processing from Montana would shift to Spokane, according to plans by the postal service. Spokane's operation would not be reduced.
 
District spokesman Ernie Swanson offered no estimate on how many jobs Spokane would gain if the Montana sites are closed.
 
Postal officials say they expect the mail carrier to lose about $5 billion this year. One study estimated that shutting the Missoula center could save an estimated $1.2 million per year. 
 
Other operations targeted for possible closure are in the Tri-Cities, Wenatchee, Kent, the Puget Sound area and in Oregon.
 
A decision to make the cuts final will be made in the first quarter of 2012.

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