SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The U.S. Postal Service plans to slow down delivery of first class mail on Monday as part of cost-cutting efforts in 2015.
First class mail consists of the bills and cards sent through the mail. As customers send more email and pay more bills online, the volume of first class mail has dropped by 53 percent in the last decade.
“Anything that you might imagine that comes in one day now will be delayed to two or three days,” said Bradley Todd, a Springfield member of the American Postal Workers Union.
Todd said deliveries across the Ozarks, like a letter from Springfield to Lebanon, used to happen overnight, but that will change Monday.
“That letter will be sent to Springfield from Lebanon and processed in a method which would take 2-3 days,” Todd said. “So you’re losing at least one maybe more days depending on the flow of mail.”
USPS believes its changes this year will save the struggling agency $20 billion by 2017.
In addition to lowering the service standard, the postal service plans to close about 82 processing facilities this year including one in Springfield. Processing centers sift mail by zip code and send it to more than 200 post offices across the Ozarks.
The operations of the Springfield facility are expected to move to Kansas City in July. Until that move, Todd said Springfield to Springfield deliveries are spared. After that move, he says service and livelihoods will be impacted.
“If they remove all the processing from Springfield, that’s going to be, the elimination of, just speaking for the people that my union represents, probably over 100 [jobs],” Todd said.
Todd said Congress needs to step in to prevent a slowdown in service.
Both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators, Roy Blunt and Claire Mccaskill, have asked the postal service to delay the cuts so Congress can pass a bill to fix the agency’s finances, but congress failed to pass this type of bill in December.
Mccaskill and Blunt have also criticized the agency for not performing feasibility studies on the impact of closing faciliities.