Rural post offices affected by cutbacks

By | May 31, 2012 12:00 am

A recent decision by the United States Postal Service to implement a plan that will provide cost reductions of approximately $1.2 billion will have an impact on two of White County’s post offices.
    According to the public relations department of U.S Postal Service, Doyle Post Office hours of operation will be cut from eight to four. Walling Post Office, which is also open eight hours, will be decreased to six.
The Postal Service will move ahead with a modified plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail-processing locations.
The original plan called for consolidation of 264 locations, which would have occurred from February 2012-February 2013.
However, a modified plan, which was released May 17, 2012, lists 229.
The modified plan will be implemented in phases. The first phase will include up to 140 consolidations through February 2013. A second and final phase of 89 consolidations is scheduled to begin in February 2014.
Consolidation operations will begin in August 2012. No consolidating activities will be conducted from September 2012 through December 2012. The Postal Service will also pursue additional consolidation activities for an additional 89 mail processing locations beginning in 2014.
    Approximately 5,000 employees began receiving notifications last week about the consolidations and other efficiency-enhancing activities to be conducted this summer, which will involve 48 locations.
    These consolidation activities will reduce the size of the postal service workforce by approximately 13,000 employees. When fully implemented, the consolidations are expected to generate costs reductions of approximately $1.2 billion annually.
When fully implemented in 2014, the Postal Services expects its network consolidations to save approximately $2.1 billion annually and lead to a total workforce reduction up to 28,000 employees. According to the Postal Service, 158,000 employees are eligible for retirement, which could help with the cutback on positions.      
The Postal Service also announced it has been working with its unions for an employee retirement incentive.
A new regulation to modify its existing Service Standard for overnight delivery will soon be revealed.  
    The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
    “We revised our network consolidation timeline to provide a longer planning schedule for our customers, employees and other stakeholders, and to enable a more methodical and measured implementation,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, postmaster general and chief executive officer of the Postal Service. “We simply do not have the mail volumes to justify the size and capacity of our current mail processing network. To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload.”

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