After many days of non-stop media and congressional attention on cutbacks at the Postal Service, and just days before testifying before the key Senate and House committees with jurisdiction over postal issues, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has just issued a responsive statement concerning the continuation of postal services.
First, the statement narrowly focuses on all election-related mail that will be processed and delivered by the Postal Service during the coming days, making clear that the USPS and all of its dedicated employees are prepared to deal with any increased volume and meet all service standards during the coming months until this November’s elections.
Second, the statement announces the expansion of the ongoing task force on election mail, to include the leadership of all postal unions, including the NPMHU, to continue its work with state and local election officials across the country. This task force will ensure the coordination of state and local election mail with the requirements of mail processing and delivery and postal rules and regulations.
Finally, the PMG made clear that, from now until the November elections:
- Retail hours will not change;
- Mail processing equipment and collection boxes will remain where they are;
- No mail processing facilities will be closed;
- Overtime will continue to be approved as needed; and
- Longstanding operation initiatives that may have been in place prior to his selection as PMG will be suspended.
Ominously, the PMG also states that he “came to the Postal Service to make changes [and] significant reforms are essential.” But work on those matters “will commence after the election.” We therefore are on notice that the post-election period will be challenging and stressful (and not simply because of the usual surge of holiday volume), with the PMG essentially announcing that “reform” efforts will continue at that time. The issues discussed publicly during the past few weeks, therefore, have not been resolved, but rather have only been delayed beyond the November 2020 elections.
Thus, the full resources of the NPMHU National Office, all of its Regional representatives, and certainly its Local Unions and representatives must continue to coordinate our efforts to preserve USPS operations, protect jobs, and maintain the great service that the American public has come to expect. We urge the Locals to continue to monitor and report on any changes in mail processing or transportation operations and/or equipment that may delay or otherwise adversely affect mail service and/or violate our contractual agreements with postal management.
Attached is the full statement issued by the PMG with August 18, 2020 cover letter. Please disseminate this memorandum and its attachment as you deem appropriate. Please do not hesitate to contact the National Office should you have any questions.