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US Postal Service outlines modernization process


Tue, Feb 27th 2024 12:05 pm

Guest Editorial by Jeffery A. Adams

Vice President, Corporate Communications

U.S. Postal Service

To save the Postal Service, or not save it. That’s the crisis – and the question – the Postal Service faced that led to the creation of its 10-year “Delivering for America” plan in March of 2021. In the three years since, our organization has been working to recover from operational and financial catastrophe. In the summer of 2020, we had incurred $137 billion in losses and our organization was going to run out of cash in 60 days. We had 30-year-old vehicles and had deferred over $20 billion in maintenance for our infrastructure, which led to shameful workplaces. Even more shocking, there was no plan to deal with this dire situation and that would create a self-sustaining, reliable Postal Service that could effectively serve Americans for years to come.

Now that a transformation and modernization plan exists, there are those that either cannot comprehend the significant changes we need to make, or who for their own self-interest want to sensationalize and sow fear of even the simplest of changes. That, unfortunately, is the case in Buffalo, where there are mistruths and false narratives from an inexplicable few who would prefer the status quo of the declines of the past decade versus the improvement and investment the Postal Service has proposed at the Buffalo facility. To dispel some myths about our efforts, here are the facts:

•First, we are not closing the Buffalo facility. In fact, we are doing quite the opposite. The Buffalo facility will be converted into a local processing center (LPC) and the Postal Service intends on investing between $25 million and $35 million into it. These investments include $9 million for three new sorting machines that will help speed up delivery services and $5 million for infrastructure investments that will allow the Buffalo facility to house new delivery vehicles, including electric vehicles, that will improve reliability and efficiency, and lower our carbon footprint.

•Second, as we have repeatedly stated throughout this improvement process, the Postal Service will not be laying off any career employees as a part of this review. Our efforts will improve the workplace by providing our employees with new amenities – like updated lighting, renovated bathrooms, and breakrooms. We are also providing more opportunities for non-career employees to become career employees – in just the last three years, more than 165,000 pre-career employees have been converted to career status. If there are changes that ultimately affect our pre-career workforce in the facility, these will reflect the flexible nature of this workforce category.

•Third and finally, we have consistently communicated that our modernization efforts will improve the mail operations in Buffalo. Our initial review found that converting the Buffalo facility into an LPC would allow mail and packages to move more seamlessly through our network, thereby enhancing services to residents and businesses. The fear that mail service will be adversely affected is wrong. Most local mail travels out of state, and local-to-local mail will stay within the current two- to three-day delivery standard. Moreover, modernizing our Buffalo facility would allow it to be co-located with a new sorting and delivery center (S&DC). These modern facilities offer enhanced mail and package delivery services and allow the Postal Service to cover larger geographical area with increased speed and reliability. S&DCs also incorporate the latest advancements in self-service tools and technology, expanding the range of services available to local businesses and customers and providing them with new options for shipping and receiving packages.

Misinformation and disinformation about the Postal Service’s efforts in Buffalo is a gross offense against the public’s trust. We have communicated with our employees and union representatives, made multiple public announcements and provided briefings to government officials. The facts are readily available, and yet false narratives are being spread. The Postal Service remains committed to the transparency we have applied throughout our network modernization process.

If you are interested in knowing the truth about the modernization and investments we are making in our Buffalo facility, click here: https://origin-catpx-about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/mpfr/documents/initial-findings-buffalo-ny-01-30-2024.rtf.

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