by Chet Hardin
Employees of the local processing center of the U.S. Postal Service seemed to win a reprieve in December as talk of closing their plant, as part of a massive nationwide cost-cutting measure, met a sudden halt. However, as was announced today, at some point after May 15 the Colorado Springs center will be one of the many centers across the nation to be shuttered. Of the 30,000 positions nationwide that will be slashed in the move, 250 of those will be from here.
"For our employees that our represented by unions, we're going to follow the procedures laid out in our contracts," says USPS spokesman David Rupert. "We have a number of different contracts. Many employees will be able to be reassigned. There are other positions that they will be able to take within the Postal Service, and some even within the local area. We haven't hired in a long time in any of our positions in anticipation [of this]."
He says that while many employees will retire, others will go through a mix of reassignments and retraining. As of now, he has no idea of how many of their employees the USPS will be able to accommodate.
"It will take some time for us to put all the pieces in place," he says. "But nothing is going to change in terms of retail, or carriers, or mail acceptance. All that stuff that most people see won't change."
The press statement:
COLORADO SPRINGS — As a result of the study that began five months ago, the Postal Service has made the decision to move all mail processing operations from the Colorado Springs, CO, Customer Service Mail Processing Center into the Denver, CO, Processing and Distribution Center. Once the transfer is completed, the mail processing operation of Colorado Springs will cease. There will be no change to the retail operations, window services or business mail entry at Colorado Springs at this time.
The Postal Service has experienced a 25 percent decline in First-Class Mail volume since 2006, and receives no tax dollars for its operations, relying instead on the sale of postage, postal products and services.
“The decision to consolidate mail processing facilities recognizes the urgent need to reduce the size of the national mail processing network to eliminate costly underutilized infrastructure,” said Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan. “Consolidating operations is necessary if the Postal Service is to remain viable to provide mail service to the nation.”
Specific dates have not been set for the transition. Until a specific date has been announced, residential and business mailers will continue to be served through the current facilities.
In December 2011, the Postal Service agreed to impose a moratorium on closing or consolidating post offices and mail processing facilities prior to May 15, 2012, to give Congress and the Administration the opportunity to enact an alternative plan.
This delay was designed to allow Congress sufficient time to enact comprehensive postal legislation. In the meantime, the Postal Service continued all necessary steps required for the review of these facilities, including public notifications, public input meetings and consideration of public comments.
Implementation of this consolidation is contingent upon the outcome of pending rulemaking for a proposal to revise existing service standards. This announcement is provided in advance so that appropriate planning and notification can be made in accordance with existing employee agreements.
A list of mail processing studies and their status is available at usps.com/ourfuturenetwork. Specific information about individual studies, including public meeting summaries and summary briefs, is posted on the website, usps.com/areamailprocessing, as it becomes available.