In attempt to cut $3 billion from its budget by 2015, the U.S. Postal Service is considering closing 3,700 post office, and about 250 mail processing centers.
One of the processing centers up for closure is Binghamton's: its work would be absorbed by the processing center in Syracuse. That would save the Postal Service about $4.6 million, according to district manager Edward F. Phelan.
Phelan was among the postal service representatives at a Wednesday public meeting in Binghamton. He painted a grim picture of the US Postal Service's financial situation.
Since 1970, mail service has been self-funded - no tax dollars go into it. Between 1970 and 2006, an ever-increasing volume of mail coming through the post office meant constant growth, says Phelan.
But that all changed after 2006.
"This is really nothing new to us. Since 2006, mail volume has dropped 20 percent. We've reduced our network by nearly 200 processing facilities across the country," he says.
Now they're looking at the possibility of closing another 252 processing centers. Originally, a decision on how to downsize was scheduled for early spring, but Congress delayed that until May.
The results of the recommended changes, if approved:
- First-class mailing times extended by a day.
- Higher rates for express/overnight delivery.
- The loss of 21 jobs at Binghamton facility, transfer of remaining positions to Syracuse.
- The work formerly done at 3 processing plants would be done at 1 plant.
- A total of 35,000 positions cut because of processing center closings.
The hearing closed with public comments. Maureen Johnson expressed dismay that none of the 21 potential layoffs were from management.
"If somebody's head is going to roll, it shouldn't be the man on the bottom. It should be from the top on down," said Johnson.