Post office declares cut to Saturday service
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Feb 15, 2013 | 10406 views | 12 12 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Delivery trucks at the Tracy Post Office wait for mail carriers to begin their rounds Thursday, Feb 14.  The United States Postal Service has announced that it will end Saturday delivery of first-class mail in August.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Delivery trucks at the Tracy Post Office wait for mail carriers to begin their rounds Thursday, Feb 14. The United States Postal Service has announced that it will end Saturday delivery of first-class mail in August. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The United States Postal Service announced Feb. 6 that delivery of first-class mail on Saturdays will end in August — but the local postal carriers union said the deal is not yet signed, sealed and delivered.

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe held a press conference in Washington, D.C., to declare that the government-run agency will deliver to street addresses five days instead of six, as it has since 1863.

Packages will still be delivered six days a week, however.

A collection of changes — such as alternative delivery schedules, employee reassignment and attrition of staff — are expected to create an annual savings of $2 billion.

The U.S. Postal Service reported a $15.9 billion loss for the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to its website.



Not going quietly

Chris Vindiola is president of the Postal Carriers Union Tracy Branch 2854, which represents more than 40 mail carriers at Tracy’s two post office locations.

Vindiola said changing the delivery schedule is illegal without an act of Congress.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution, which is known as the Postal Clause or the Postal Power, gives Congress the authority “To establish Post Offices and post Roads.”

“Our union is going to fight this tooth and nail,” he said.

Fredric Rolando, the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, released a statement saying the move to end letter delivery on Saturdays would be “disastrous” and result in a “profound negative effect on millions of customers.”

Rolando stated that Congress must approve the action and noted that in January, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives co-sponsored legislation to continue Saturday delivery.

Donahue, at the press conference Feb. 6, said the proposed change “reflects the strong growth of our package business and responds to the financial realities resulting from America’s changing mail habits.”

Postal service statistics show that package delivery rose 14 percent over the past three years — and because packages such as pharmaceuticals must be delivered, officials have agreed to continue Saturday package delivery.

Saturday business hours at post office locations will not change, and P.O. boxes will still receive regular letter service on the weekend.



Changes coming

According to Donahoe, the Postal Service Board of Governors directed postal management in January to accelerate restructuring of the postal service.

Employees say restructuring plans have yet to be revealed.

“All kinds of waiting to see what details are coming,” said Tracy Postmaster Joe Tualla, inside the Tracy Post Office on Friday, Feb. 8. “We don’t know yet. I’m sure plans are there.”

The biggest question facing Tracy postal workers is a potential change to the workforce.

Tualla said his employees have asked him about their jobs, but the only answer he can give is Donahoe’s official announcement.

Letter carriers, who typically fill in for full-time carriers, could be replaced by city carrier associates who perform the same duties at entry-level pay.

Vindiola — who is also a fill-in carrier but would probably be spared because of his seniority — questioned whether the postal service might offer early retirement packages.

“We don’t know,” he said. “Probably by the end of March it will be real clear.”



Status quo

A couple of local carriers said they favor the cuts.

Sandra Linteo, a rural carrier in Tracy, said while on her route Tuesday, Feb. 12, that she is “really happy” with the change.

Linteo said the cutback “makes sense” and that “customers will still receive basically the same service.” With the new schedule, she won’t work Saturdays, but will work longer days Monday through Friday to compensate for the lost hours.

“A lot of people don’t get their mail on Saturday,” Linteo said. “They’re usually away for the weekend. …On Saturday, a lot of businesses are closed, so we don’t do delivery anyway. So I don’t see it hurting anyone.”

Tracy residents had mixed reactions inside the Tracy Post Office on Feb. 7.

Lynda Yon said the postal service “should have done it years ago,” while Gabby Borgna said she didn’t have a problem with reducing letter delivery.

“I think it’s fine if it’s going to save money,” she said. “I don’t look at my mail on Saturday, anyway.”

But Jean Johnson was opposed to the idea.

“(I am) used to getting my mail every day,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it’s necessary to do the cutbacks.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
Comments
(12)
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Bird_Man
|
February 21, 2013
Want to get rid of a majority of your junk mail?

Look at the bundles that arrive on Tuesday and search the address box area for an internet address. Go to that website and search until you find out how to remove your name from their mailing lists. I got this information from the local post office worker when I had so much junk mail crammed into my PO box and I kind of got a little irritated and inquired about unwanted junk mail.

I did this over a year ago and now have next to nothing in my mailbox. I do get the occasional direct mailer from one of the banks or cable companies but those are easy enough to discard/recycle. But no longer do I get those big bundles of ads on Tuesdays.

Give it a go... You have nothing to lose.

Just a friendly, and hopefully helpful, tip from me to you.

-BM
hymmv
|
February 20, 2013
More mismanagement. To help stop the loss caused by the pathetic excuse for mail delivery that is the USPS, the USPS is reducing delivery. I already wait weeks for mail that used to be delivered next day. I've taken to using couriers, faxes, scans, email, and quality delivery services like UPS. True, most of what comes is junk mail and misdeliveries. Most of the mail addressed to be is delivered by my neighbors, the same as I deliver their mail. After 4 years, the USPS is still delivering mail to all the wrong houses--even though the addresses are correct. Apparently, the postal workers are illiterate. In general, delivery is unreliable. No matter how many times something is sent, it never arrives at certain addresses. By my work, anything sent by USPS must use the wrong city info, or is is returned. USPS, fed-ex, and other carriers male money without my tax dollars, while the USPS does a horrible job, and requires my tax dollars, does minimal unreliable delivery, and can't even break even. Either deliver mail 6 days per week and increase the cost of junkmail delivery, or shut the USPS down. It is beyond me how they can expect to give up one more day of deliveries to o
backinblack
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February 16, 2013
hax6, Before popping off you may want to improve on your research, to wit:

"In May 1964 the Post Office Department ended Saturday delivery of Parcel Post in 6,091 cities where carriers made deliveries on foot – again, to save money. Delivery resumed in January 1966 after President Lyndon B.

postal system . . . vital to the well-being of the nation’s economy.”

"From the start, letter carriers delivered mail six days a week, usually Monday through Saturday"

Take special note of the word "usually".

To help in your enlightenment:

http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/delivery-monday-through-saturday.pdf

Bottom line, Saturday delivery has not always been universal and I guess I happened to live in an area where we did not always have Saturday delivery.

Thank you for playing.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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February 16, 2013
BIB

Correct an if memory serves me Angwin Post office is closed on Saturday but has service on Sunday. Apparently th hours of operation are not th same everywhere in th US.

Don't really have a problem with th elimination of Saturday service an it probably won't seriously impact much includin th projected savings.

Unless people stop sendin mail th volume th Postal Service will still need ta be handled an th time it takes ta handle it will remain about th same. What it will do however is most likely restructure deliver routes in order ta minimize costly overtime.
rcz58z
|
February 15, 2013
The Post Office could always follow the GM path.. Pay Union Employee's NOT to work but to sit in a room all day so they can still get their pay.

How did that work for them??

Oh wait... GM went Bankrupt...
postalguy
|
February 15, 2013
closing saturday wont be a big deal at all i actualy work as a mail carrier ,there are a few things that dont make any sense though i could understand having the lobby open for people to go to there p.o. box but why have clerks working there if the mail wont be processed until Monday. Also if you want to save money why are they still open on Saturdays to deliver packages ,(your still open 6 days so your not saving money if your still riding trucks) Also they say they will let people retire and loose people but if your loosing all this money each year whats the point in hiring new workers and pay them less if your loosing money why hire workers regardless if they have no benefits and just make 12 dollars an hour.
postalguy
|
February 15, 2013
i would close on Wednesdays and have no operation going on Wednesdays at all that way people will get mail on Saturdays and the post office will save money ,instead of being closed on saturdays and having half of your workforce work on saturdays anyways but the office is closed your not saving any money so by having the office closed but pay all those workers to deliver packages only.
victor_jm
|
February 16, 2013
Isn't debt the American way?
backinblack
|
February 15, 2013
“Our union is going to fight this tooth and nail,”

Typical, hey Chris, did you miss the part about losing $15.9 billion?

“I don’t think it’s necessary to do the cutbacks.”

Um, I suggest taking Business 101, when you lose $15.9 billion something needs to be done, what's your suggestion Jean?

I'm older enough to remember when there was no delivery on Saturday, we all survived so I don't see the big deal about ending it.

Hahahahahaha
|
February 15, 2013
You remember back before there was Saturday mail? You can remember back before 1863?
recycleit
|
February 16, 2013
While they try to figure how to pay for the service of sending more junk mail on Saturdays... please remember to recycle your junk mail and used envelopes. It's good for the bottle, it's good for the can, it's good for the mail.


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