USPS Moves Forward with Proposed Changes

December 6, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 7:51 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

December 6, 2011 Updated Dec 6, 2011 at 7:51 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBW) - With the dramatic decline in the amount of First Class mail, the United States Postal Service says it will move forward with its change in service standards proposal. Nationwide, USPS would like to shutter 252 processing plants and eliminate 35,0000 jobs. The consolidations would also lengthen the distance mail would have to travel, meaning First Class mail could now take two to three days to deliver. In September, USPS named the William Street Processing Plant as one of the facilities it would be analyzing in a study for possible closure. The study is still being conducted and its future is unknown. The facility currently employs about 700 people.

"To slow the mail down, leaving more people go to the internet, makes no sense. Especially if you are really interested in maintaining first class service," said Frank Resetarits, President of the local American Postal Workers Union.

Officials with the postal service say with a $14 billion deficit looming for next year, the changes are necessary to stay afloat.

"Americans have spoken through their wallets on how their use the postal service," said USPS Spokesperson Karen Mazurkiewicz. First class mail is deteriorating faster than any other class of mail, so we have to adjust to those changes."

Once a proposal is finalized for the William Street Processing Plant, USPS will hold a public hearing to give the public a chance to voice it's opinion. The final proposal could be finished within the next week.

(USPS RELEASE)- The U.S. Postal Service today announced it will move forward with its proposal to change service standards. This action is being taken in response to on-going financial challenges caused by the dramatic and continual decline in First-Class Mail volume and the resulting revenue loss.

"The U.S. Postal Service must reduce its operating costs by $20 billion by 2015 in order to return to profitability," said David Williams, vice president, Network Operations. "The proposed changes to service standards will allow for significant consolidation of the postal network in terms of facilities, processing equipment, vehicles and employee workforce and will generate projected net annual savings of approximately $2.1 billion." This is part of the overall savings expected from the network optimization initiative, which is projected to save up to $3 billion by 2015.

The size of the existing Postal Service network is dictated by the current overnight transit time in existing service standards. The Postal Service is proposing, through the rulemaking process, to move First-Class Mail to a 2-3 day standard for contiguous U.S. destinations; however, there would be an opportunity for mailers who properly prepare and enter mail at the destinating processing facility prior to the day's critical entry time to have their mail delivered the following delivery day.

On Sep. 15, the Postal Service announced it would begin studying 252 out of 487 mail processing facilities for possible closure. At that time, the Postal Service also announced it would be considering changes to service standards in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in the Federal Register. The Advance Notice filing was a formal effort to gather input from the public early in the process to ensure their views can be factored into the service change proposal.

The Postal Service will send to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) a request for an advisory opinion regarding service standard changes associated with a significant rationalization of its mail processing network. Shortly thereafter, the Postal Service will publish a notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on the specific proposed changes.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.