Keep Sunday Operations?

We’ve all heard the bad news. Mail volume in fiscal year (FY) 2008 totaled 202.7 billion pieces, a decline of 9.5 billion pieces or 4.5 percent compared to the previous fiscal year. Mail volume has declined even further this year. At the end of the last quarter, mail volume was down more than 12 percent from the same period last year. Most recently, the Postal Service lost $2.4 billion in the third quarter of FY 2009 and projected a net loss of more than $7 billion for FY 2009.

As a panelist during the August 6 Senate subcommittee hearings on the Postal Service, Postmaster General Jack Potter once again focused on the need for 5-day delivery, greater flexibility, and the elimination of some network infrastructure. During the same hearings, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended urgent action to streamline the mail processing and retail networks as the Postal Service no longer has sufficient revenues to cover the cost of maintaining its large network of processing and retail facilities.

End Sunday Operations?

The reality of the current situation is that in many areas the Postal Service has an excess of equipment, staff, and facilities to process a declining volume of mail. Given the harsh economic conditions faced by the Postal Service today, looking at opportunities to cut costs by streamlining inefficient operations or eliminating unnecessary ones makes good business sense.

One area for consideration is the elimination of Sunday mail processing operations. In many Processing and Distribution Centers around the nation, mail processing activities are run on Saturday night and into Sunday just as they are the rest of the week.

With mail volume declining, should the Postal Service reduce mail processing operation to 6 days a week, rather than the traditional 7 days, and allow employees to have Sunday off?

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  • anon

    I thought it was for stopping Saturday mail, not Sunday. wasn't aware they delivered mail on Sunday.

    Sep 15, 2011
  • anon

    I believe sunday mail should be stopped.

    May 15, 2011
  • anon

    Why doesn't the media report on the PMG running the Postal Service broke. He took out paid for vending machines and scrapped them. Then LEASES vending machines from IBM at a total cost of $14K a month EACH.... no we can't make money this way. He says mail volume is down so he removes collection boxes and scraps them... now vail volume will never come up. He will not advertise first class mail. He will not advertise the sanctity of the mail. He will not advertise the fantastic value that a letter, card or envelope delivered from anywhere to anywhere in this large nation is less than 50 cents, door to door. And he runs the largest contractor scam the world has seen. AKA: Facility Single Source Provider (FSSP), A contracting department that only gives contracts to political favorite, non bidding, no minority considerations, No women in business considerations... a total exclusive club. The contractors are paid 3 to 5 times what local contractors would get paid and it is all done without field level oversight. Day labor, illegal workers, convicts... all OK to come and go out the rear entrance of the Post Office. In the mean time jobs that once ear-marked for Veterans now are being abolished thousands a month. The sanctity of the US Mail is in jeopardy and the American people won't know what they have lost until its gone.

    Dec 14, 2009
  • anon

    they already tried to stop processing on sunday....when they do the trucks are backed up down the road!We got us a convoy!

    Oct 15, 2009
  • anon

    Working in an AO my position is not the same as working at a PDC. I understand it's the greatest concentration of APWU employees and they need those Union dues. Same thing for letter carriers one in six would go away. It's still the right thing to do. Most people don't even stop in on Saturday for stamps or mailing items. Some offices open from 8a-10a on Saturday. What is the point of that? Even the government checks, if the first or third falls on the weekend, they have an in-home date of FRIDAY.

    Oct 14, 2009
  • anon
    ananias

    I found the replies more interesting than the blog! I hope upper management takes them seriously. The ratio of management to workers (if it as high as the some of the replies suggest) seems like a serious systemic problem that will undermine all attempts to improve the USPS. Fixing that is definitely the number one priority. Here are my ideas for some of the things you might do to drum up new business and better serve your pubic: How about creating a means for people who do not have computers (or perhaps the desire to use them) to get email and even have some sort of web presence? You would simply print the emails (not the spam) they received and deliver it to them as a service. You might even give them a means to reply simply by scribbling something on the back which you will then convert into an email reply to the original sender (and any indicated other recipients.) They get that back as well the next day. The service might come with a binder to make organizing it easier and support attachments. Likewise you might look for ways to give people who'd rather get email a way to accomplish that by arranging for you to open, scan, and send them an email far more quickly than you could deliver their physical mail. The hardcopy would still be delivered, perhaps a day or two later than it would have otherwise (possibly saving you from visiting their homes every day.) Of course you need to be able to allow them to reply with email as well, and certify to those recipients that reply did indeed take place as if by physical mail. You might also offer a safe data transfer service that involved picking up a USB drive from the office or carrier which could be loaded with many gigabytes of photos, music and other data that the sender wanted to send to possibly more than one recipient. You then send the data and place it onto drives for delivery the next day, recipients then have a week or two to take the data off and return the drive by leaving it in their mailbox. You might look for opportunities to automatically collect and sell mapping data for the giant internet firms that have an insatiable urge for it. By simply outfitting your trucks with the right equipment you might be able to subsidize a significant fraction of their expenses by allowing mapping sites to have almost real time street views. It might even allow the deployment of sophisticated crime fighting tools that could search the unedited source material for evidence that might have been caught inadvertently by your cameras. I think you are going in the wrong direction in terms of shortening the work week. I think there is a great deal of potential for all kinds of new services if you delivered every day. Even holidays. Maybe even twice a day. I say this because you have a uniquely valuable opportunity simply by being so dependable and regular to leverage that visit in many different ways, from simply checking up on elderly single people living alone, to doing a few odd jobs for people out of town, to becoming the cheapest supplier for many of the products we use every day. Suppose, for example, that you created an easy way for local merchants to better serve the residents sharing the same post office by offering them a means to cheaply and quickly deliver small items in standardized reusable containers. It seems to be mostly an information management challenge--helping residents to realize they can order things online from local stores before a certain time and receive them that same day with no packaging waste at all, and small local merchants a convenient new way to sell online without all the hassle normally associated with it. I think you may be able to create more desirable jobs for your carriers by looking for new ways to help them better serve the folks on their route. What sorts of knowledge or skills can you give them to allow them to do more than simply drop off and pick up mail? How can you spare people one errand each week? What kinds of problems do people face that can only be cost effectively solved by someone who's already visiting their home to deliver their mail? That's the perspective that might lead you to discover whole new ways to generate income and more rewarding roles for your people.

    Oct 13, 2009
  • anon

    Yes, eliminate Sunday processing. Elinimate or reduce the statistical gathering that serves little useful purpose other than to distract the Supervisors from doing what they should do which is to supervise and support their people. Eliminate the EAS positions which serve no useful purpose other than to justify some manager's higher salary. Focus on processing and delivering the mail, not on gathering numbers. Enforce accountability at ALL levels.

    Oct 12, 2009
  • anon

    Yes. Please spare all mail from the Flats Shuffler Shredder (FSS) at least one day a week. I'll deliver the beautifully walk sequenced output of 'self-serving printers' on Sunday off the clock. Stay tuned for video highlights. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sID1lRTnXDY

    Oct 05, 2009
  • anon

    Volumes are NOT going to pick up. End Sunday processing YES Furthermore I would recommend that we downscale to 5 day delivery for all mail AND 3 day per week delivery for residential mail leaving commercial mail to 5 days per week. There is absolutely NOTHING most residence's need 6 day per week mail delivery. I personally could live with mail delivery 3 days per week. I pay all my bills online and really only get mail order purchases and junk mail. I could wait 1 extra day for those to arrive. The cost savings of reducing residential mail delivery to 3 days per week and commercial delivery to 4 or 5 days per week should allow the USPS to reduce staff expenses and overall operational expenses significantly.

    Oct 03, 2009
  • anon

    Stopping processing on Sunday would result in service deterioration that would be suicidal. Less mail would come back. Trends to electronic payment and delivery would increase. Slower delivery of internet purchases would affect revenue.

    Oct 02, 2009
  • anon

    Stop Saturday delivery stop processing on Sunday. Get rid of all the vice presidents to PMG except one. Why does the USPS need so many vice presidents? Lats it I checked the United States had one vice president.

    Sep 29, 2009
  • anon

    Apparently no one commenting here is an automation clerk. Eliminating saturday or sunday processing will not make the mail go away. Eliminating saturday delivery will make every monday a three day nightmare for carriers instead of just holidays. Weekend processing is done with much smaller crews. Since sunday to monday DPS is the heaviest volume of the week, saturday to sunday is all first pass, with a final first pass and the large second pass done sunday to monday. It would be impossible to process all of that mail on one night, especially since most machines run two separate DPS programs. As for tour 3, the same applies. Delaying the mail by one day does not make the volume any smaller. Again you will have too much mail to run on a single tour before tour 1 shows up and wants their machines and their mail. Our tour 3 standard volume is identical on weekends or weekdays. The only difference is that now our saturday outgoing has been shifted to a larger facility. And on many occasions our tour 3 sunday first class scf volume is larger on sunday than on any other day. These ideas are the creation of management that gets bonuses for eliminating jobs, not for efficiently processing and distributing the mail. The collapse of the USPS began when it started being run "as a business" rather than as a Service.

    Sep 29, 2009
  • anon

    i agree with u closed 100 fsm on the sunday day

    Sep 27, 2009
  • anon

    Simply put, I say stop processing mail on sundays in plants where it is beneficial. Some plants require the mail processing time I'm sure. There deffinitly is too many supervisors and managers. In the last package to reduce management there really seems to have been no cuts. I think I do see a managers job becoming a supervisory level job. Some of the in plant support at supervisor level pay are migrating to other unneeded positions. I have seen so much make work EAS positions since I have worked at the PO. I have to say the Post offices so called diversity plan is destroying the bussiness. It is obvious to me that the supervisors are not capable of managing operations of the importance that they do. This is what we get from our diversification and the the token white guy diversity program. Fill positions based on back ground and expertise. Not race and sex or sexual orientation. Thanks America...

    Sep 25, 2009
  • anon

    A noted point in my last comment, by this evening, the Senate Finance Committee will presumably be wrapping up their extensive review of the Medicare portion of their "current" House driven "NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN". The number's for consideration equal roughly 42% of the overall compliment. Which severely complicates the Medicaid component of the bill. See: 1017 pp of.... well, you know.. right? H.R. 3200 July 2009

    Sep 24, 2009
  • anon

    Not until they start laying off management...which they and YOU will never do.....YOU (the OIG) lays in bed with management!!!! You are ALWAYS attacking craft, not management!!!

    Sep 24, 2009
  • anon

    I'm not totally prepared to furnish a comprehensive comment on this issue. Moreover, it's not simply a matter of "cutting" a day based on the 24 hr clock strategic operations model. After I complete an analysis of an interesting economic report I'm reading, I can better respond. But, first it is necessary to examine a compelling problem associated with the current employment structure, and associated collective bargaining mechanisims in place. Then, consider the current employment numbers as identified in the September newsletter, from which I have derived the following hypothetical yet reasonable scenario; On any given day, The USPS employs (est) 767,000 people, of which potentially 225,000 are off sick, plus an additional 100,000 on either "light duty", "disability", or workers "comp". Now, fill in the daily operations blanks with the remaining compliment of employees whom don't actively handle mail, or operations thereof......

    Sep 24, 2009
  • anon

    Funny you should ask about Sunday. All the presentations I have seen for 5 day delivery show a removal of Saturday and most of Sunday operations. The USPS is not proposing a 6 day week but a 5 day week and that is unacceptable to the customers

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    What customers is it unacceptable to. I'm a customer and I say it's perfectly fine. I'm not willing to pay more so reduce my service. I only need mail delivery 3 days a week.

    Oct 03, 2009
  • anon

    Somebody FINALLY is making sense. There is not enough mail on Sundays to justify working. The post office could save ALOT of money by cutting Sunday premiums this way. I say GO FOR IT. The sooner the better/split off days or not!

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    Hey you guys are missing the baot if you cut anything make it SATURDAY. Sunday processing customers get mail the next day.....

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    the plant that I work in has more mail than we can handle so if we didnt process mail on saturday night we would have a to work at least 12 hours on sunday night to get the mail out monday morning. We already lack the manpower to get the mail out on time anyway.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    I have been following everyones comments and have not seen anyone address the use of part-time help in smaller po's(aka. RCA's,TRC's) doing clerial work(am distribution, box mail,everything but working the window. As a rca in this office, I am not going to begruge any sub time in this economy. But, when you have subs who are recieving in excess of 30 hrs a wk or more, one has to wonder why a dist clerk or window clerk has not been assigned? With the abudance of labor resources that are avalible to the USPS, I have to question the motives and practices of these pm's.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    Yes, Sunday, all day, 24/7, the USPS Mail Processing Operaton should be eliminated. I couldn't agree more for the ability to attend church services free of exhaustion and strengthening of family time. Please, why the continued need for 24 hour operations all around the country? Could this not also be streamlined to only a few plants [lessening the need to keep so many plants open 24/7]--BUYOUT! Big Savings Here...Certainly, more efficiency, streamlining of operations and elimination of repetition of jobs will cut 24/7 operations which has made the USPS too big, in some cases--expenses hard to control, and has the service out of step with the 21st century. I beg to differ...old 24/7 USPS operations can be streamlined to 21st century standards; thereby, saving tons of money. Just because something has been done for x amount of time the same way with the same results does not mean that it has to always be done the same way. If the clog is broken...what is so wrong if we fix it? Why not Saturday, also...Anybody!

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    Because of excessing and route adjustments our office can't handle the fall volume. Ads to be delivered by 9-11-09, gaylords dated so you know which Monday the tag is for and 2 full cages of 3rd class letters just sitting for 2 weeks. Shame on us! We need to add a Sunday crew. 9/23/2009

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    Listening to all the comments about how there is way too management. Which is so true. And the fact that all the middle management avoided this RIF. Goes to show that the Postal Service has it's own "Ponzi" scheme going on. It's with the number of management. They get the idea to just "shuffle" them around and nobody will catch on to the waste of money going on because they haven't caught up to it yet. It's time to put a stop to it before all of us craft employees end up like the folks "taken" by Madoff. We will be the ones to suffer.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    Maybe if the employees were higher quality stock the organization could rely on more initiative and fewer managers/baby sitters.

    Oct 03, 2009
  • anon

    Yes, the Postal Service should eliminate Sunday Mail Processing Operations.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    I got just one word for ya...NO.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    The premise for the question is wrong. " In many Processing and Distribution Centers around the nation, mail processing activities are run on Saturday night and into Sunday just as they are the rest of the week." This isn't true at all. Most P&DC's run lighter crews and stage mail for the next day to eliminate huge runs on Sunday into Monday, much the same way a "c" pass is done on holiday weekends.Extra clerks are shuffled through 030 or other manual operations to clear out mail. Yes its a lighter day... and there are fewer people here. Elimination?...How about just learning how to do a staffing package instead.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    we lost 12 routes in our office this past myrapbut we are getting 2 more supervisors WHY?

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    You'll be creating a dominoe effect. As it stands now, mail is being processed 7 days a week all year round. You eliminate 1 day and all that mail will start backing up with not enough employees to process it because of the elimination of not just Sunday, but the job cuts that the Post Office has enforced, and all those that took the early out, the elimination of tours, but not one mention of management losing their jobs. If everyone who works for the Postal Service was truly concerned about saving the Postal Service money, it would be to drop down 1 level from 6 to 5. Have management do the same with their positions. How much will that save the Postal Service?

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    I agree that mail processing can be reduced from 7 days to 6 days; HOWEVER, the number of supervisors will need to be reduced-RIF's-not placing excessed supervisors into craft positions. In addition, the postal service needs to return to promoting the best qualified employees-not this insane "best meets the needs of the postal service"crap where "office politics-race and gender"are primary factors for promotion. We need to be diverse; but we must promote the best people.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    HOW CUTE???

    Sep 24, 2009
  • anon

    This really isnt that hard, is it? Eliminate a day of service (16 1/2% of our work) and save only 3% of our costs???? Makes no sense. We have too much equipment to process the mail, but we're taking away needed cases and collection boxes, and BUYING FSS machines that the OIG say dont work??? Are we trying to destroy the Service or save it? If the OIG watched any supervisor for a week, they'd see that they only do 2-3 hours of "work" per day. Any Supervisor in a level 20 or above office. But watch them like you watch a Carrier on an inspection.... 85% of them wouldn't last a week...

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    I'm already retire from the PO. I say why not give an $50,000 incentive for PO workers to to retire that are still taking up space. Once you clear the PO of 80% of the regular workers with the $50,000 incentive, just hire people from the outside the streets and pay them $10 to $12 an hour with NO benefits. There will be a million people line up ready to work since there's no jobs out there. This will guarantee the PO will make it in the long run. That's what they did with Safeway grocery stores.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    TO LOU THE MANAGER, I WOULDN'T GIVE YOU TEN CENTS TO GET LOST OR FOR YOUR STUPID OPINION, YOU JUST STAY HERE AND SUFFER LIKE THE REST OF US! NOW THAT THINGS ARE GETTING HARD FOR MANAGEMENT AND THEY ARE BEING HELD RESPOSIBLE NOW THEY WANT TO FLEE! GET OFF YOUR CHAIR AND GO COUNT ALL THE MAIL FOR THE THREE TOUR MDO AND BE PREPARED FOR HER OR HIS NEXT CALL IN FIFTEEN MINUTES, LATER SUCKER!!

    Sep 24, 2009
  • anon

    hey ANONYMOUS to bad you're retired w/ pension and health; it's costing the p.o. $. in fact, why don't you give up your pension and benefits and HELP the p.o.save money! then the fat @ the top can get fatter. p.s. do you have a brain?

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    Tell me why USPS workers need a union? Unions clearly cost us all money by forcing the USPS to overpay what unskilled labor workers are truly worth. I say let the market determine how much a USPS employee will accept as fair compensation for a good days work along with the rest of the employers of the world. Disband the union and I bet we could keep at least the same level of service at a much cheaper price and better quality!

    Oct 03, 2009
  • anon

    Amen, Brother. Sign me up.

    Sep 23, 2009
  • anon

    It is a no brainer. Stop Sunday premium, duh.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    TIME FOR SOME COMMON SENSE TO TAKE OVER.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    The Postal Service does not run like a private business. There are some Plants and BMC's which have mail volumne for seven days. Too many times service or hours are cut and twice the savings are spent when the work shifts to another location in overtime. In order not to create a larger mess someone has to be smart enough to have a plan which will work in all areas with no Sunday delivery. There are problems at all levels of the USPS and no sympathy for Postal workers who are not losing jobs when so many others are. Cut the excess and act like a business.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    Due to the lack of mail on Sunday all work should be eliminated at the Processing Plants. Mail can be processed Saturday night along with collection mail and DPS'd on Monday morning Tour I for Monday delivery. People at my plant stood around or played cards for 8 hours with no mail to process most on overtime and Sunday premium pay. If you want to save the Postal Service all plants need to be shut down on Sunday. Holiday weekends were the biggest scandal of all, workers standing around for 3 days with barely any mail to process. Not one person except a guard should be in a plant for 24 hours on Sunday and for Holiday weekends, definitely no Sunday hours at all.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    Eliminate Saturday night into Sunday mail processing in conjunction with eliminating Saturday residential delivery saves lots of money in wages paid to clerks, carriers, and supervisors (who rake in 6th and 7th day overtime). Each retail unit should post the previous years annual wages paid to each supervisor by name throughout the district. Customers could view this supervisor wage data while waiting in line to buy a stamp and shake their head in disbelief as to why the majority of Americans who are out of work and never make a six figure income should be supporting such a gross disparity of income. President Obama should get involved and roll back supervisor's wages inflated by 6th and 7th day overtime, Christmas bonus's, and bloated base salaries. Eliminating Saturday night into Sunday mail processing also allows affected employees to attend church on Sunday without falling asleep and maybe learn from the preacher the effects of greed and how it harms society. Employee morals might improve along with morale.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    The OIG is always looking for ways to eliminate craft positions. I can only believe by the posts submitted by anonymous, that this individual has now become a manager and is also looking for ways to eliminate and just plain screw the craft employees.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    When are these blind fools going to see that management from the top down to the district level are the buffoons who have caused all these problems within the post office outside of the economic shortfalls!!!! Leave the craft alone!!!!! We have been doing our part time and time again!!! TOO MANY CHIEFS!!!!!! REMOVE POTTER!!!!! AND HIS CRONIES RESTRUCTURE AND DOWNSIZE MANAGEMENT!!!!! NO POSTMASTERS IN MANY CITIES USE SUPERVISORS TO REPORT TO ONE PM STOP USING SUPERVISORS AS DATA ENTRY CLERKS ALL DAY LONG!!!! USE CLERKS TO TO DATA ENTRY LESS SUPERVISORS NEEDED

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    Now this guy is right. You have management taking inventory and data entry while working late to get the reports done. Then they'll have clerk fighting over work among themselves or taking advantage of others by taking bid jobs where there's really no work. Why is Management counting the mail in the plant daily instead of a clerk counting what is coming in on a daily basis like other private places that I worked at. Spot check inventory is only done on a Yearly basis and split over 4 quarterly counts. They could use scanners like in Express and eliminate supervisor who do nothing but count. Also they are keying in on Employees payroll which used to be done by a clerk. They aren't interested in being effective because they can piss away hours looking like they are accomplishing something. The Plant Managers that allow this are a joke.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    I've worked in a number of small offices before becoming a rural carrier and the offices that have a full time clerk and a postmaster were overstaffed. The clerk in the office that I now work does everything (including postmaster functions) There is very little that the postmaster does. USPS does need to cut management positions.

    Sep 22, 2009
  • anon

    Listen to D Riley also. When Sundays disappear the USPS will surely give you split days. The idea behind keeping all of the Managers, is that when they finally streamline operations (streamline by definition = get rid of "all" FTR making 50K or >) they will need the managers to manage the contract workers. Simply contact many of the offices that have eliminated Sunday processing already. I attended an APWU seminar sometime ago, and it is already happening across the country. Weekends off? That's a laugh!

    Sep 22, 2009

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