By DONNA POOCK
Employee, Sandusky Post Office
American Postal Workers Union Steward
Yes, these Mansfield postal employees are afraid of the processing plant closing, but they are also trying to inform Sandusky and surrounding communities of the impact this closing will have on your outgoing, as well as your incoming mail.
Closing the Mansfield plant and moving the processing to the Akron plant will at times cause delay of up to five days in your mail. Watch the dates on your incoming mail!
The Postal Service has tried several times over the past year to have Akron process our mail, but Akron can't handle our volume because it already processes for all of the eastern area of Ohio starting with Vermillion.
I agree the postal service needs to find ways to cut costs but this is not the way. In recent years, tens of thousand of craft jobs have been abolished, while the number of management positions have remained unchanged. These craft employees, expecially those represented by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, have experienced severe cutbacks.
In the Clerk Craft, part-time employees have suffered significant work-hour reductions, and thousands of full-time employees have been notified of excessing -- often hundreds of miles away.
Through "route evaluations,' many rural letter carriers have suffered salary reductions of up to $8,000 over the past two years.
Has anyone noticed the wait time in line at the Sandusky Post Office, or the little scan point sticker on some of your mailboxes? In the past couple of years the Postal Service is failing in the service it used to provide.
On a monthly basis we are Mystery Shopped, and if the shopper's wait time in line is more than five minutes, points are deducted. Now the Postal Service has removed that part of the shop because it has cut back on the number of window clerks staffed at the front counter. They don't care how long you wait!
And how about the misdeliveries of your mail because your mailman is hurrying to make those scan points or face discipline. It doesn't matter how much mail he has to deliver, or if he has to walk in snow or on ice, he better make the scan points the same time each day.
As a 24-year employee in Sandusky, I am more than willing to accept change associated with the economic downturn to save the Postal Service, but I will not let the word "service" be removed from the title "United States Postal Service."
For the past year the union has warned the Postal Service the effect of the declining mail volume cannot be focused exclusively on craft employees.
And finally, the Postal Service has announced plans to close six of the 80 district offices (offices that handle administrative functions) and will reduce administrative personnel by 15 percent. They have introduced a new ratio of supervisors to employees, which will decrease the number of postal supervisors.
Trim the fat. Save the service.
These management employees have no union and have until August to seek other employment.
The American Postal Workers Union takes no pleasure in the reduction of these management positions, but we simply will not accept one-sided reductions! I understand that the severity of the financial crisis makes change inevitable; however, the sacrifices cannot be limited to just the craft employees.