USPS Service Standard Changes and Network Consolidation
(February 16, 2012) In what can only be described as a blatant slap in the face to all postal stakeholders, including the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the Postal Service has informed the NPMHU that it will not wait for the PRC to issue (probably in August) its advisory opinion on the changes in service standards and the subsequent closure of hundreds of mail processing facilities around the country.
As previously posted on this web site, the NPMHU has registered its objections to this fool-hardy plan, both by formally responding to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking back in September 2011, and by filing comments on the more recent proposed rule on February 13, 2012.
We are providing this information to make the NPMHU officers and members aware that the plans by the Postal Service will have a major impact on most of the Local Unions and thousands of Mail Handlers across the country. As previously reported, the Postal Service has placed a moratorium on closings and consolidations until May 15, 2012. At that point, however, they are expected to move forward, starting as soon as May 16, 2012, with notifications and information coming before that date. At this point, there may be several thousand Mail Handlers who will be notified of possible excessing.
Here is what to expect before May 15:
(1) The Postal Service is expected to announce the results of many of the 252 studies (both those conducted under Handbook PO-408 on Area Mail Processing Guidelines and non-AMP locations) in the next week or two. We anticipate that the vast majority of these studies (although not all of these studies) will result in either closure or consolidation of the mail processing facilities being examined. The Postal Service also has indicated that its network optimization plans will embrace a hub consolidation methodology for the remaining transportation network, which also could result in additional subcontracting proposals.
(2) The Postal Service will be asking NPMHU representatives, at virtually every level of the union, to attend meetings, both to share the results of the studies and to discuss impacts on Mail Handler craft employees. We strongly encourage our representatives to participate fully and actively in these meetings, to raise questions, and to disseminate available information to all affected Mail Handlers. We also ask that the NPMHU National Office be kept informed of local developments, as they occur.
(3) Impacted employees will begin to receive “60 day notice” letters with regard to possible excessing.
(4) The Postal Service will announce a final regulatory change in its service standards for market dominant products, thus facilitating the closures outlined in paragraph 1 above.
The NPMHU National Office intends to fight this ill-advised plan, by any means possible. Further details on those efforts will be posted as they arise. At the same time, the National Office stands ready to assist its Local Union leadership with whatever resources are necessary, and to address issues and questions going forward, to ensure that any excessing is accomplished in the least disruptive way, and in full accordance with the terms of the National Agreement.
Rest assured, the NPMHU is not giving up on this issue, nor are we giving in. This is just the start of what may be a long battle to protect the rights of our members, to protect the mailing public, and to protect the Postal Service from itself.