Photo: Joe Strupek (flickr)
The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday it would not be eliminating Saturday mail delivery as previously expected. That could save some mail carriers their jobs but lead to cuts elsewhere.
Congress passed a stopgap measure last month to keep the government funded until September. The Postal Service says that measure does not give it the flexibility to change its delivery schedule.
As a result, the postal service will look for other ways to cut costs. A statement released Wednesday says that could include administrative cuts and reopening negotiations with unions to lower workforce expenses.
National Association of Letter Carriers’ Southern Indiana branch President Ken Hill says his union recently negotiated a national contract where it made significant concessions on wages, so cutting wages again isn’t an option.
“It comes to this: We want the postal service to succeed,” Hill says. “We want to keep the Postal Services’ costs down, but we do believe as employees that we deserve a fair wage and fair benefits for that. What we can do to help them save money and not lower our own standard of living, we are more than happy to try to do.”
Hill says there are other ways the union could help cut costs such as changing the way their health plan is organized.
The Postal Service says it continues to support the transition to a new delivery schedule and is urging Congress to give it more flexibility in its next budget. But Hill fears the plan would eliminate thousands of letter carrier jobs nationwide.