USPS To Close Wichita Remote Encoding Center –797 employees affected

The U.S. Postal Service today announced the Wichita (Kansas) Remote Encoding Center (REC) at 2601 Oliver St., will close no sooner than September of 2013, as technology enhancements have made the need for RECs virtually obsolete. The RECs automate and expedite the processing of handwritten and poorly printed addresses.

“The Remote Encoding Centers were planned as a temporary fix when they began in the mid-90s. They were created and deployed with the knowledge that new technology would eventually eliminate the need for them,” said Dennis Lyons, USPS Wichita REC Manager.

Today, the Postal Service is the world leader in optical character recognition with mail processing equipment “reading” nearly 98 percent of all hand-addressed letter mail and 99.5 percent of machine-printed mail.

At the height of the program, in 1997, 55 Remote Encoding Centers processed 19 billion images annually. In the past year, the two remaining centers, in Wichita and Salt Lake City, processed 2.4 billion images. With the ever-increasing improvements in optical character reader technology, the volume of images has and will continue to decrease.

The Postal Service is providing Wichita REC employees with at least six months notice of the closing. The Center’s 417 career employees will be reassigned to available positions in accordance with employee union collective bargaining agreements. The 380 non-career employees will receive outplacement counseling to assist them in finding new employment. The advance notice will give employees time to prepare for the changes.

“The Postal Service is a responsible employer,” added Lyons. “We will provide as much assistance as possible to the affected employees.”

The Remote Encoding Center process involves transmitting electronic images of handwritten mail from mail processing plants to RECs where operators view them on computer screens and key in address information. This information is transmitted back to the processing plant where it is used to process the mail on automated equipment.

The first Remote Encoding Center was established in Salt Lake City, UT, in 1994. This site will also be the last remaining REC in the country.

12 thoughts on “USPS To Close Wichita Remote Encoding Center –797 employees affected

  1. All I can say is I wish I’d have been eligible to retire last month, instead of this month. At least the folks who took the $15,000 buy-out got out with something. Many of us are gonna be SOL.

  2. Failed to mention our responsible employer still refuses to settle grievance after 18 months for our Travel while detailed from one installation to the other. Responsible management lie.! before we closed in Daytona Beach they held a town hall meeting and allowed the public to question them but they refused to answer, sat like lumps on a log, mindless. Think before you speak and praise the usps mgmt. as a “responsible employeer” while they steer all these employees into carrier positions and now get rid of them with five day service…..go fiqure.

  3. They’ll move you 38 miles like they did with Daytona Beach employees only to close the Mid-Fla location after assigned them into it after just two weeks, they plan on moving them all to Orlando another 35 miles so they beat them all out of jobs, relocation pay and etc. Responsible employer my butt. And the union sat by and watched them screw us all and never filed suit over there obvious intentions….

  4. what are they going to do make the career employees cariers all in a 50 mile radius right after they go to 5 day delivery. WTF….

  5. Hey did any one see the show with the 12 abandon post offices true story I’m glad too see they have 2million to spend on a conference in L>A . Get our money back from the treasury. and now we are goig to have a clothing line, what the hell is that? These people our insane, we deserve better and smarter bring in a real CEO oh i forgot we are a service or are we a buisness can’t have it both ways

  6. Have you noticed that the PMG has been putting on a little, I mean a lot of weight lately.
    The fat cats are getting fatter off the loss of APWU jobs.

  7. i can see this will be another postal management generated train wreck when they shut wichita. here’s how it will go down:
    wichita will close but the fools that run the post office will have neglected to make sure there was another location to process all the images that wichita now processes. after wichita closes and processing centers around the country experience massive delays in getting their images ‘keyed’ the post office management will release a statement saying they are ‘looking into it.’ months will pass and much mail will be delayed and many dollars will be wasted on paying overtime that could have been avoided if only management were doing their jobs competently. then pmg donahoe will show up at some press conference with ‘fresh’ graphs that show the post offices costs are rising and he will blame the high wages of the employees and ask for some ridiculous ‘givebacks.’

  8. “The USPS is a responsible employer”

    LOL, yeah, right. Is there even *one* suit in this clown show that can do anything but blatantly lie ?

  9. Unfortunately the word ‘Obsolete’ seems to be the single continuously running thread though all the postal blogs.

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