Postmaster: Clarifying effects of closing mail-sorting center
I want to thank Tucson City Councilman Richard Fimbres for sharing his comments about the U.S. Postal Service's proposal to consolidate Tucson's processing and distribution operations with those in Phoenix (Wednesday, January 4, guest column).
I certainly agree with Councilman Fimbres that it's important for area postal customers to share their input on the proposal with us. Written comments are being accepted through Thursday, Jan. 12, at the following address: Manager, Consumer and Industry Contact, Arizona District, PO Box 21628, Phoenix AZ 85036-1628.
However, there are several portions of Mr. Fimbres' guest column that require clarification. First of all, everyone was welcome at the Dec. 28 public meeting regarding this proposal. The meeting held earlier in the day for large business mailers was set to address specific questions and concerns that group might have regarding mailing requirements and pricing that are not faced by typical residential customers.
Regarding the Postal Service's proposed change to First-Class Mail service standards, it is a national change, independent of the proposal to consolidate the Tucson Processing & Distribution Center operations into the Phoenix Processing & Distribution Center. The service standard proposal, now being reviewed by the Postal Regulatory Commission, would change First-Class mail (letters and large envelopes) from a one- to three-day service nationwide to a two- to three-day service nationwide. This change would not impact parcel services, including Priority Mail, Parcel Post and Express Mail.
For the typical customer in Southern Arizona, if these changes occur, the change to the delivery time for First-Class Mail would be a maximum of one day — with mail within southern Arizona changing from an overnight delivery to two days.
Regarding pricing, any changes to First-Class Mail prices are required by law to be within the rate of inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index. The proposed changes will not cause price increases – in fact, the Postal Service is looking at optimizing its national processing and distribution network to cut costs, not increase them. The objective is to preserve the Postal Service as a self-supporting government enterprise that receives no tax dollars for operations.
I also want to point out that the 288 Tucson postal employees whose positions would be impacted by a consolidation of operations would be offered continued employment with the Postal Service in accordance with the labor agreements with their labor organizations. There is expected to be a net reduction of 128 positions if the consolidation with Phoenix operations occurs.
In the meantime, I want to thank the many Tucsonans who attended the Dec. 28 meetings and again encourage postal customers from throughout the area to share their comments with us.
- Carl Grigel
- Postmaster, Tucson