USPS Phase 2 Network Rationalization FAQs includes some answers to service standards, VER, RIFs

As previously reported USPS is moving ahead with Phase 2 Network Rationalization starting in January 2015. USPS quietly made this announcement last week. USPS estimates that approximately 20% of First Class Mail volumes will be delivered overnight and  80% in 2 or 3 days.

In August, Megan J. Brennan, USPS Chief  Operating Officer (COO) and Postmaster General -select briefly addressed issue of service standards at the National PCC Week:

The consolidations will begin in January, with completion expected by the Fall of 2015. Our future network will preserve approximately 66 percent of current overnight delivery volumes, and Overnight Service Standards will remain available to commercial mail properly prepared, containerized and entered by critical entry times

Below are some of the questions from “USPS Network Rationalization Phase 2 Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs):

  1. How much mail will be delivered overnight once Phase 2 is implemented?

Current estimates indicate approximately 20% of the First-Class Mail volume is expected to be delivered overnight, more than 35% is expected to be delivered in 2 days and about 44% delivered in 3 days.

The graphic below illustrates an approximate breakdown of First-Class Mail service performance after Phase 2 implementation:

USPS Phase 2 Network Rationalization Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will Phase 2 modify the service standards further?

Yes, Phase 2 will affect the existing service standards for First-Class Mail and Periodicals Mail. The changes may be seen by comparing Tables 1 and 3 with Tables 2 and 4 at the following Federal Register notice link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-24/pdf/2014-01382.pdf.

  1. The Postal Service is consolidating its network. How will this impact mail and package delivery?

The consolidation of the processing network will not impact the delivery process.

  1. Won’t this slow down service?

Overall, the time it takes First-Class Mail to reach its destination will increase slightly from an overall average of 2.14 days to an overall average of 2.25 days.

  1. Will there be a price increase?

There is no price increase associated with this change. The Postal Service is taking these steps to stabilize the costs associated with processing and transporting the mail.

  1. How many employees and facilities will be impacted?

There are up to 82 facilities that will undergo consolidation activities. Based upon the studies that have been performed, the projected number of impacted employees is about 15,000.

  1. Will there be layoffs and plant closures? If so, when and how many?

With all other past consolidations, we have been able to place impacted employees in other available positions without resorting to layoffs. Every effort will be made to reassign impacted employees when implementing Phase 2 of the current consolidation plan.

  1. Why didn’t the Postal Service continue the network rationalization plan last year?

We wanted to ensure efficient operations of our network prior to moving to Phase 2.

  1. How much will this effort save the Postal Service?

Phase 2 is projected to save the Postal Service over $3.5 billion in the next five years or approximately $750 million per year in savings.

  1. When will impacted employees be notified?

Impacted employees will be notified as soon as possible and consistent with the requirements of our collective bargaining agreements pertaining to reassignments.<

  1. What will be the impact on veterans who work for the Postal Service in these plants?

The impact on veterans will be handled as required under applicable agreements, laws and regulations.

  1. How many different types of processing facilities are there? What’s the difference among them?

There are nine different types of processing facilities:

Processing and Distribution Centers P&DCs process and dispatch mail from post offices and collection boxes within a region.
Customer Service Facilities CSFs are post offices, stations and branches that contain processing equipment.
Network Distribution Centers NDCs consolidate mail processing, increase operational efficiency, decrease costs and maintain service while expanding the surface transportation reach.
Logistics and Distribution Centers LDCs provide mail processing and distribution to local post offices as well as other smaller distribution facilities.
Annexes Annexes provide the larger facilities with additional capacity for processing and distribution.
Surface Transfer Centers STCs distribute, dispatch, consolidate and transfer First-Class Mail, Priority Mail and Periodicals within a specialized surface transportation network.
Air Mail Centers AMCs process and distribute inbound and outbound domestically flown mail for a specific geographic location.
Remote Encoding Centers RECs process video images of letter mail to determine a barcode for the envelope.
International Service Centers ISCs process and distribute inbound and outbound international mail.

USPS Phase 2 Network Rationalization Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will there be another Reduction in Force (RIF) announced? If so, when?

RIF is a possibility. The decision to announce a RIF will be based on staffing needs following plant consolidations and will be made on a plant-by-plant basis.

  1. Will there be another Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) because of the network rationalization?

The Postal Service hopes to reduce its workforce through attrition as much as possible, but other available options are being explored.

  1. Will processing facility employees be put in “stand-by rooms?”

Stand-by time has always existed and is one of the tools postal managers may use to manage work resources to work load. Our national agreements with the unions contain provisions that guarantee full-time employees eight hours work or pay per day and 40 hours work or pay per week. The agreements also outline specific time-frames for moving employees to other locations or job classifications. Employees in stand-by operations are “on the clock.” Stand-by time typically occurs when mail processing operations in one area are completed, and there is a need to move employees to another operation to continue sorting operations. The act of moving employees between operations, which typically entails only a few minutes per employee, is measured as stand-by time. The majority of stand-by time is not used by mail processing employees; it is used by letter carriers.

Read more: USPS Phase 2 Network Rationalization FAQs

8 thoughts on “USPS Phase 2 Network Rationalization FAQs includes some answers to service standards, VER, RIFs

  1. “The post office has been around since the horse and carriage,” one worker said. “You’d think they’d have it together by now.”

    But Noooooo!

  2. my phase 1 started in 1996 when I started to accumalate FDX & UPS stock as a hedge against low IQ po mismanagement………..started buying stock at 12 years of age with 2 share of my fathers company ATT (he had to purchase for me) 45 years later and over 70 different companies later, UPS & FDX hang tough in my transportation sector……$110 & $171. USPS just awarded UPS a $350 million contract to fly the mail…..franks a lot suckers!

  3. Lines are forming outside the Post Offices because staffing is low. This is a poor way to service our customer’s. Closing on Sat, and losing 15% of our business does not do much to help our bottom line. I have never seen Congress or management so far out of touch with customer service. And they don’t care. If the 75 year advance payment for retirement is so great why doesn’t Congress do it for their staff.

    • Hi,changing time for automation is right dicision after couple years.save money for night diffrance as well as good family life for emploee after 20 years service.who want stay night they can stay at nigh t, whole tour is not closed they can bid for night jobs.

    • The PAEA pre-fund has nothing to do with this “network rationalization”,this was planned by Donahopeless years ago and he was going to do it when he was appointed PMG,there was too much money in it for him after his retirement not to do it. And with no oversight from Congress (Issa) ,the Senate (Carper)the PRC and the BOG with only 4 sitting members,nothing to stop him.

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