USPS to Shutter Processing Facility

USPS Distribution Facility
The USPS Distribution Facility on Airport Rd.

The USPS is shutting down the Charlottesville mail processing facility, NBC 29 reports. They announced in August that they were going to conduct a study of whether they should scale it back, and then, to nobody’s surprise, announced in October that they’d be consolidating some services, but wouldn’t say the extent to which they’d be curtailing local services. (All of this after they’d built a new sorting facility in Sandston, east of Richmond, raising significant doubts as to whether they’d ever intended retain the C’ville location.) It turns out that they’re just going to shut it down entirely. Officially, there will be no layoffs, because the USPS will offer people jobs at this or another location; those who cannot sell their house in this market to move, or who won’t make the eighty-mile each-way commute through Richmond traffic, will be judged to have quit.

51 Responses to “USPS to Shutter Processing Facility”


  • One thing this does is add time between mailing and delivery. How much depends on class of mail and where mailed from.

    One of the worst hit will be political campaigns sending out mail from Charlottesville. A PO is -allowed- to hold political bulk mailing for 3 days before processing it.

    So now there are 6 days of possible delay, 3 here and 3 in Ulan Bator or wherever, making it near-impossible to time a mailing to arrive when you want it to.

    The banks and credit card companies have something to cheer about. It will take anywhere from 1 to 3 days longer for payments mailed in Charlottesville to arrive anywhere including here.

    For those who don’t pay their bills right away but put it off, a certain number are now going to miss deadlines and be charged late fees.

    Those of us late in the billing cycle for city water/sewer bills are used to having the “City Notes” insert invite us to things that took place days and weeks before. That will get even worse now.

    The editor is unwilling to set a realistic deadline so contributors get away with murder.

  • Good points, Gaston. Sounds like delivery will be even slower.
    Bill paying-do mine online or by phone. All the more reason to go electronic- which will take even more business away from the postal service. Feel for those who don’t have the electronic option who often as not are those who don’t need late fees tacked on anyhow.

  • I don’t see that credit card bills and other out of area mail will take longer to deliver. Local mail however will be slower though since it will go to Richmond and back unless you use the local slot for the office where it’ll be delivered.

  • I’m anxious to see what the gasoline bill will be after their first year in Richmond. Then, I want to see if service improves :-)!!! Add to all this the additional cost to the government for the unemployment benefits.

  • I have many problems with government employees, be they local, state or federal. Local county teachers is particular irk me due to them being overpaid IMO considering their abilities, their true workload and the fact they are paid a full year for 9 months work. [yeah, bring on the hate mail].

    …but, I happen to be quite familiar with our local USPS offices. The delivery folks have often outlandishly heavy workloads, difficult working conditions and have far fewer worker’s rights than you’d think from a federal agency. This story demonstrates the disregard USPS has of their non-admin employees and how disposable they are. Please remember that when you leave your mailbox behind 3 feet of snow and ice, or you park in front of it.

  • Majung, I could not agree with your second sentence more. I thought I was the only one screaming in the dark about the waste and overpriced education system we support in this area and all over the country. State and local budget short falls could be eliminated if the bottomless pit education budgets were trimmed.
    I’d like to know how many people actually leave federal postal employment, not retire, etc. etc. as a result of the USPS shutting down the charlottesville mail sorting facility. I’d be willing to say that no one quits as a result of this closing. You just don’t up and quit a federal job, especially a postal job. The employee pay and benefits cannot be replaced in the Charlottesville area for the limited skill level needed to distribute the mail.

  • “Local county teachers is particular irk me due to them being overpaid IMO considering their abilities, their true workload and the fact they are paid a full year for 9 months work.”

    My wife is an elementary school teacher who works 12-13 hour days, to say nothing of week-ends and evenings writing individual lesson plans for each of her students in ever-growing class rooms. Working harder, longer, and for less trying not to leave anyone behind. Just because your kid was identified as gifted, don’t blame the teacher. ;-)

  • Richard, there will be a big stink over unemployment benefits. And appeal after appeal most likely. If an affected worker decides not to take whatever job is offered to them, within a 500 to 600 mile radius, they have essentially QUIT. A person can still collect unemployment benefits if they quit a job, but the person has to show just cause or hardships in their having to quit.

    The timing of all of this in Charlottesville is questionable. The United States Postal Service seems to hate Charlottesville for some reason. Other employees from other cities are filling up whatever vacant positions are available anywhere, including the current openings in Sandston, Virginia. In other words, other cities are being given first choice before the postal service will tell the local Charlottesville employees anything. Only if the postal service has nothing left to offer an employee would unemployment become an issue.

    Rumor was originally that only 68 of the 181 local postal employees were affected. These numbers have changed now and have completely reversed. About 70 employees will be retained in Charlottesville, the other 111 are sh*t out of luck.

  • Along with what Majung commented on. I’m not defending the Postal Workers. I’m still under the impression they get a pretty good deal. Esp. with healthcare and retirement. But a friend of mine went to work for the USPS in Richmond some years back, and he told me that it was really awful. He wasn’t a carrier. He worked in the processing part. And he told me horror stories about the petty dictator managers who run the place, the monotonous work, and the lousy conditions. He lasted about a year and quit and never looked back. Two sides to everything I guess.

  • P.S. – I like the Seinfeld episode when Newman doesn’t deliver the mail on rainy days.

  • I’m anxious to see what the gasoline bill will be after their first year in Richmond. Then, I want to see if service improves :-)!!! Add to all this the additional cost to the government for the unemployment benefits.

    It won’t be a gasoline bill it will be Diesel.

    The P.O. uses Tractor Trailers to ship the mail from Cville to Richmond and often from the Airport Facility to the Main P.O. on 29. And some of these Trucks are private non union contractors (such as the smaller- usually red cab- Don Swisher trucks- it was one of these trucks- a non union contractor for the USPS who struck and killed Sidney Aichs at Forest Lakes South).

    You won’t be able to add it to the cost of gov’t unemployment- because as an independent agency of the U.S. Government the USPS operates under their own separate budget- funded entirely by the services they provide.

    If an affected worker decides not to take whatever job is offered to them, within a 500 to 600 mile radius, they have essentially QUIT. A person can still collect unemployment benefits if they quit a job, but the person has to show just cause or hardships in their having to quit.

    The Clerk Craft (Craft = union) contract allows them to be relocated anywhere within a 500 mile radius of the facility being closed. That’s the maximum distance. But yep if they don’t show up for work that’s quitting.

    As for collecting unemployment after quitting- I’d also note that this is (mostly) conservative state of Va. Seems to me collecting unemployment after quitting seems highly unlikely in this instance.

    I’m guessing if they can’t retire they will be sucking it up and dealing with the long commute.

    I’m still under the impression they get a pretty good deal. Esp. with healthcare and retirement.

    The Regular (Career) Postal employees do get a fair deal with healthcare and retirement. Thing that most people don’t realize is that the USPS uses a lot of people that would be categorized in the private sector as Temporary employees (whenever you see the words Temporary, Transitional or Casual, in the employment description). These people make a decent wage for the area- but receive no benefits and many are not protected by the union contracts. It’s effectively a two tiered workplace. With the savings provided by the Temps funding the perks the “Regular Career” employees get.

    Postal employees hired after a certain date (sometime in the 1980’s I think) are covered by the same retirement system as regular federal workers (FERS) which is in general better than nothing.

    It’s the old “Civil Service Retirement system” that everyone thinks about when they thing “I heard postal workers have great retirement benefits.” The Civil Service guys get great benefits!

    They announced in August that they were going to conduct a study of whether they should scale it back, and then, to nobody’s surprise, announced in October that they’d be consolidating some services, but wouldn’t say the extent to which they’d be curtailing local services. (All of this after they’d built a new sorting facility

    Everyone at the Post Office knew something like this was going to happen at least as far back as 2008. What they did not know was the how of it. How it would all fall out, or when exactly they would pull the trigger. Anyone who says they never saw it coming- was in denial or is flat out lying.

    It was a foregone conclusion as soon as the USPS rolled out their new FSS machine (FSS- FLat Sorting and Sequencing) which is several football fields in size and thus way too big for the airport facility.

    The United States Post Office moves in Geologic time. They don’t make these big decisions quickly. All the stuff that happened over the last year was simply a show for the public.

    As an added FYI –

    – The Cville Post offices fall under the Richmond District – which mean that Decisions made above the level of Postmaster come from Richmond.

    – The people who answer the phone on that postal 1800 number are not postal employees.

  • taxation and representation

    Anyone that criticizes the amount of money spent on education here should consider what our community would be like today if our civic leaders spent less on education in years past.

    Look around the country at those communities that didn’t spend on education in the decades following the second world war. You’ll find communities that are dead or dying today.

    If all you care about is your own little island of existence, then certainly money spent on education is “wasted”. If you care about maintaining a vibrant community, then investing in the education of today’s youth is essential.

  • maintaining a vibrant community,

    And even if you don’t want that, it’s still cheaper to educate kids than incarcerate them!

  • Yes, all the stuff that happened over the last year was simply a show for the public. And the postal service knew years ahead that the local distribution center was a temporary fix to an existing problem at the time. As a matter of fact, the University of Virginia had a lot of input in the building, and they actually dictated the manner in which the building would be built appearance wise. They now have first option on buying it.
    Don’t believe me? By the end of 2010, you will see some branch or division of the Univeristy of Virginia occupying the building.

  • Demopublican. I believe you.

    My understanding has always been that UVA has always had “first Dibs” on the property after the USPS was done with it.

    Maybe we can blame UVA for the fact that the building won’t accommodate the FSS machine? :D

  • Yeah, it was their fault! HaHaHa!

    The major problem I have with any of this is the government will take my tax money and bail out the banks and automakers. But they won’t bail out their own red headed stepchild, the postal service. Within the next 5 to 10 years enough postal employees will be eligible for retirement that they wouldn’t have to lay off anybody.

  • Demopublican, they bail out the automakers because of the unions and Michigan is a blue-blue state. They bail out the banks, well, because that’s where the political appointees come from and go to and where the campaign contributions come from.

    Postal workers on the other hand? No clout.

  • In response to WhoRu:

    * A 10-year tenured Albemarle public school teacher (Bachelor’s degree only) receives (see live links below): $47,685 for 165 days work in this calendar year (68 holidays, 12 sick, 15 accumulating annual leave). This represents over $36 per hour, sans counting all the real benefits (insurance, discounts, work hours, synchronized school closings) and all the ancillary ones (community standing and image, networking, …)
    * Exceptional job security
    * I won’t debate the “12-13 hour days” comment, as that’s just [typical] bullcrap

    Pay scales:
    Http: // www. albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/human_resources/forms/misc/2009-2010_Teacher_Pay_Scale.pdf

    Benefits:
    http: // www. albemarle.org/department.asp?department=hr&relpage=2532

    School Calendar:
    http: // schoolcenter. k12albemarle.org/education/sctemp/37a7e27465367ece6e3b1dcadd7b0de5/1265224177/2009-10School_Calendar_Approved_022609.pdf

  • Just Bob – You are obviously familiar with the USPS employment situation. However, you are quite aseptic about it all.

    The Clerk Craft (Craft = union) contract allows them to be relocated anywhere within a 500 mile radius of the facility being closed. That’s the maximum distance. But yep if they don’t show up for work that’s quitting.

    That’s quite the Corner Office attitude of you. Hmmm… Let’s see… the contract “allows them” to be relocated. But since there’s zero assistance in this relocation “allowance”, this arrangement seems to be of little benefit other than securing some job for who knows how long elsewhere. Better be young and unmarried then… Oh, but then, the worker may be one of those ‘casual’ employees you gloss over without seemingly understanding the consequences of your aseptic descriptions.
    It’s worse for the rural carrier craft where the relocation under these forced conditions almost certainly guarantees they will not find a full-time route to ‘adopt’.
    Now let’s take a moment to think about the ‘casual’ crowd. They have absolutely no clout and virtually no benefits or rights. They can be ‘casual’ for years. In fact, in Cville, these non-carreer personnel have expectations of a decade or more to wait hoping for regulars to retire, without any guarantees. In a downsizing workplace, good luck.
    Their job is infinitely more difficult than regulars too, as they are moved from route to route all the time. Why is this important? Well, knowing you route like the back of your hand, not only for delivery, but especially for what is called ‘casing’, which for those who don’t know, means the bulk of a postal carrier’s day is spent grouping mail into delivery sequence – ‘casing’ – for customers and routes he has never or hardly seen.
    Americans would be shocked to witness firsthand the real world underclass system the USPS makes use of for what it ironically and deceivingly calls ‘casuals’

    Everyone at the Post Office knew something like this was going to happen at least as far back as 2008. What they did not know was the how of it. How it would all fall out, or when exactly they would pull the trigger. Anyone who says they never saw it coming- was in denial or is flat out lying.

    I’m trying to decide whether you realize what you’re saying or whether you are exhibiting sociopathic tendencies… Whether employees “knew” or “suspected” or whatever that changes were forthcoming, what has that got to do with anything? What were their options? Quit and try to restart their whole career in the private sector? Fedex and UPS aren’t hiring many these days, in case you haven’t noticed.

  • taxation and representation

    majung, nowhere do you make a case that teachers are overpaid. You simply state what they earn.

    $47,685 isn’t “overpaid” in Albemarle county. It’s not the 70s anymore. Frankly, $36/hr isn’t overpaid either for what they do.

    If you’re going to make a statement like “teachers are overpaid” you probably shouldn’t throw out some statistics and links that show that they aren’t. It makes you look kind of foolish.

  • To expand on the teacher pay discussion, we need to realize that not only do they get paid quite well for their real qualifications, and that they have extraordinary job security, but the ancillary benefits are tremendous. The average middle-class worker in America works 4.6 days per week after you include the typical vacation/sick package whereas an Albemarle teacher works 3.1 days per week. Plus, any scheduled or non-scheduled school closings are not a problem if you have kids, since a teacher is guaranteed to be off and available for their own children on those days. Why do you think schools close so often and in such a cavalier way? You just know this would be entirely different if the people making the decision to close schools were adversely affected like the rest of us.

    The ‘perception’ of teachers being underpaid is obviously hard to shake: it may have been true years ago, but it’s certainly a fallacy today. So make sure you remember this when your local politician runs his mouth with his favorite line: ‘better pay for our teachers, bla bla bla…’

  • taxation and representation –

    * Prorated for workdays, that’s 47685 * 4.6 / 3.1 = $70,758. Not bad for folks who often aren’t skilled enough in their own discipline (granted, that’s my opinion based on experience)
    * The median Assistant store manager’s pay in cville is $34,127, and you better believe they’ve got tremendous child care costs that’ll quickly erode any money earned. And Christmas Eve with the family? Fugettabodit!

    Other MEDIAN salaries for 22901:
    * Company Buyer: $41,505
    * Help-Desk support analyst: $42,266
    * Account Rep: $28,837
    * Field Auditor: $47,275

    So, over $70K for the teach who’s got great job security, benefits, who’s coping a nasty attitude all the time whereas folks with much more competitive jobs, difficulties and qualification requirements (take the Field Auditor, with Bachelor’s degree PLUS typically several other RENEWABLE certifications) make mostly 40% LESS per hour worked.

  • Majung asserts “the average middle-class worker in America works 4.6 days per week after you include the typical vacation/sick package” but provides no source or evidence to prove it. He also doesn’t define any of his terms. What is the average middle-class worker, anyway? He might have a great point, but we only have his word for it.

  • Majunga, where on earth do you get the 3.1 days per week number? I’m calling bullshit on that. Every teacher my kids have had (city, not county) has been excellent and dedicated, putting in far more than 8 hours per “work” day. The traditional work year for a typical employee is 2000 hours (50 weeks of work, 2 weeks vacation, 40 hours per week). I have yet to meet a teacher who puts in less than 2000 hours per year, even though it’s spread out over fewer days.

    Personally, I find it laughable that folks on here are crying for the postal workers, whose craft is rapidly going the way of the buggy whip while complaining about “overpaid” teachers who perform an extremely important job while getting paid a fraction of the salary. Email, direct deposit, online bill-paying, etc. are rapidly rendering the postal service obsolete. I don’t see the same thing happening to the teaching profession.

  • taxation and representation

    What is the median per capita income in albemarle county? THAT is the pertinent question and majung knows it. But he has his opinion so the facts aren’t really so important.

    Majung’s argument seems to boil down to this: Other American workers are getting screwed so teachers should too.

    He doesn’t say why teachers shouldn’t be paid a living wage, he doesn’t even prove that teachers are overpaid. All he does is assert that they should have it bad because, after all, all they do is educate children.

    But perhaps this is a clue to his real motivation for this baseless opinion: “who’s coping [sic] a nasty attitude all the time …”

    Every teacher I’ve encountered in the Albemarle County public schools system has been nothing but professional, cheery, warm and kind towards me and my fourth grade son. It definitely appears that part of the reason for majung’s misguided opinions regarding public policy is personal.

  • anyone who’s been visiting this site for more than a few years knows that Majung[a] (The Artist Formerly Known as Sympatico) has a MAJOR beef with school teachers. He’s going to respond to all counterarguments with derision and invective; he’ll dismiss personal experiences that undermine his point with extreme prejudice. He’s not really interested in a dialogue.

    Just in case anyone was planning to waste their time trying to engage on this issue with him!

    And I will be flamed in T-minus 4, 3, 2, ….

  • Quote: “He doesn’t say why teachers shouldn’t be paid a living wage”
    Response: How much is a “living wage”?

    Quote: “All he does is assert that they should have it bad because, after all, all they do is educate children”
    Response: Where did I assert “they should have it BAD”? Where did I say “all they do is educate children”?

    Quote: “But perhaps this is a clue to his real motivation for this baseless opinion”
    Response: Perhaps you should check yourself for BASELESS pseudo-analysis?

    Quote: “Majunga, where on earth do you get the 3.1 days per week number? I’m calling bullshit on that”
    Response:

    Quote: “I have yet to meet a teacher who puts in less than 2000 hours per year”
    Response: Although I have met dedicated teachers who do put in their fair share of work, I also know plenty who are incredibly lazy. Their MO is to surf the wave of sympathy for them, especially since no one wants to confront the very people that have the guard of our children in absentia. The point being, teachers have 95 days off year as opposed to the typical 20 for folks out in the realworld. What I’m saying is teachers should receive pay commensurate with the actual workdays.

    Quote: “Personally, I find it laughable that folks on here are crying for the postal workers, whose craft is rapidly going the way of the buggy whip..”
    Response: Now, there you go Pete. Show your real colors… [yeah, bring on the hate mail]

  • There we go Cecil. Be sure not to address the actual discussion, but rather put forth personal reputations as your MAJOR argument. You’re certainly not interested in a dialog. Or?

    Quote: “He’s going to respond to all counterarguments with derision and invective”
    Response: Who’s deriding who here? And where are your counter-arguments in your ad-hominem?

  • Asserting that your MO in the past has been to respond to counterarguments with derision and invective is not ad hominem. It’s my description of your response to counterarguments in the past.

    Saying “you can’t believe anything he says because he’s a major-league jackass” is ad hominem.

  • taxation and representation

    Well, you certainly don’t want them to have it good:”not only do they get paid quite well for their real qualifications, and that they have extraordinary job security, but the ancillary benefits are tremendous.”

    The opposite of good is bad. I’m sorry if I put words in your mouth, I just assumed that since you don’t want them to be paid well, you wanted them to be paid badly.

    You don’t say why, really, except for your so-far baseless assertion that they are unqualified. My experience has been to the contrary and I am more than happy that your tax dollars are going directly into teachers’ pockets.

  • Quote: “Asserting that your MO in the past has been to respond to counterarguments with derision and invective is not ad hominem”
    That certainly is a an argument ad hominem. But perhaps, I should have said you are using an argument ad populum? Feel better? And still no counter-argument as to the actual subject matter?

  • Quote: “The opposite of good is bad. I’m sorry if I put words in your mouth, I just assumed that since you don’t want them to be paid well, you wanted them to be paid badly”

    This subject ruffles your feathers so, you are not even coherent. I affirmed teachers are paid well, perhaps too much in light of their overall real workload, considering their relatively fantastic ‘days off’ schedule. How is that inferring I want them to be paid “badly”?

    And still, you have not provided an answer to your own query, likely unintended: How much is ‘a living wage’ you were deferring to?

  • taxation and representation

    majung, I don’t have anything to prove. YOU said teachers were overpaid. Then you failed to show that they are overpaid, now you are attempting to back away from your statement (ie, “perhaps too much”).

    It matters not to me what your opinion is. But just for future reference, when you state an opinion that is so clearly wrong, you should expect to be challenged on it. You might want to have some sort of factual basis for your assertions from now on.

  • Quote: “majung, I don’t have anything to prove.”
    Response: …and… your point is?

    Quote: “YOU said teachers were overpaid. Then you failed to show that they are overpaid, now you are attempting to back away from your statement (ie, “perhaps too much”)”
    Response: Teachers are indeed overpaid. What about that statement is hard for you to grasp? I’m not backing away from anything. Do you always have simple concept comprehension issues? Saying someone is overpaid is not the same thing as saying someone should be paid “badly”.

    Quote: “But just for future reference, when you state an opinion that is so clearly wrong”
    Response: The only thing that’s quite clear here is that Reason doesn’t seem to be your preferred companion.

  • Back on topic…..
    If we get 28″ of wet heavy snow, I hope nobody shows up at the local distribution center Friday and Saturday night. The building may not hold 28″ wet heavy snow. Most of them have a less than dismal future anyway, why go into harm’s way just so people can get their junk mail and bills 3 days earlier. They can save my junk mail and bills and deliver it to me next friday if they want to.
    Back off topic….
    $36 an hour for a teacher? I’m sorry, but that’s absurd! Even most cops and firemen, scheduled for 2080 hours a year, are lucky to make $20 to $24 if they add their overtime in.

  • $36 an hour for a teacher? I’m sorry, but that’s absurd! Even most cops and firemen, scheduled for 2080 hours a year, are lucky to make $20 to $24 if they add their overtime in.

    Which might have something to do with city police having had a difficult time of attracting officers.

  • Demo you need to get a copy of the city budget and see what cops and firemen are actually making, and then look at the county budget and see what they make. Don’t try to make people feel sorry for teachers, cops and firemen. The education budget, police and firemen’s budgets need to be cut and brought in line with the real world. Majung has made some excellent points.

  • @Majung:

    That’s quite the Corner Office attitude of you. Hmmm… Let’s see… the contract “allows them” to be relocated. But since there’s zero assistance in this relocation “allowance”, this arrangement seems to be of little benefit other than securing some job for who knows how long elsewhere.

    Don’t blame me, their union negotiated the contract and didn’t secure relocation assistance. They do get the equivalent of 2 weeks pay to look for a place to stay. Sure it’s a paltry amount. But that’s what their union got for them.

    It’s worse for the rural carrier craft where the relocation under these forced conditions almost certainly guarantees they will not find a full-time route to ‘adopt’.

    The Rural Letter Carrier Craft (represented by the NRLCA) has a 200 mile relocation limit. Unlike the Clerk Craft (where people with less than 6 years of employment can be laid off) Regular Rural Carriers cannot be laid off at all.

    If there is a situation where two regular routes are consolidated (which is what the USPS is hoping will happen when they implement the FSS machines) if there is that situation-

    “Rural Carrier A” gets “Rural Carrier B’s” Route added to his which leaves Rural Carrier B without a route.

    The USPS will look for any post offices within a 200 mile radius that have vacant routes and will re-assign “rural carrier B” to any available vacancy.

    If there is no vacant Routes for “Rural Carrier B” then he is converted to a “PTF status” (PTF = Part Time Flexible).

    He is still earning benefits and retirement, but he functions as a substitute rural mail carrier. As a PTF he is first in line for the next available vacancy- which he must accept when it becomes open or lose his career status and revert to RCA status.

    (RCA = Rural Carrier Associate – A Substitute Rural Carrier- who for the purposes of benefits and retirement are defined as “Non-Career” which means they get no Retirement Benefits and only get health benefits if they pay the both the employer and employee costs of the health care- or purchase a fig leaf health plan from the Union- which they also have to pay out of pocket for). RCA’s earn Union wages, are eligible for Union membership and covered/protected by the union contract, but otherwise receives no benefits, other than that they are “waiting in line” by seniority to become a Regular Rural Carrier- when a spot opens up either through retirement or housing development- Yay developers! Keep building em!).

    Oh, but then, the worker may be one of those ‘casual’ employees you gloss over without seemingly understanding the consequences of your aseptic descriptions.

    […]

    Now let’s take a moment to think about the ‘casual’ crowd. They have absolutely no clout and virtually no benefits or rights. They can be ‘casual’ for years. In fact, in Cville, these non-carreer personnel have expectations of a decade or more to wait hoping for regulars to retire, without any guarantees.

    […]

    Their job is infinitely more difficult than regulars too, as they are moved from route to route all the time. Why is this important? Well, knowing you route like the back of your hand, not only for delivery, but especially for what is called ‘casing’…

    I don’t think I glossed over anything. And I certainly understand the consequences of my descriptions.

    In the City Craft (Represented by the NALC- National Association of Letter Carriers) their Temporary Employees are called T.E.’s (T.E. = Transitional Employees. Not Casuals. They earn the exact same hourly wage as the Regular City Carrier, but have no health or retirement benefits).

    They are moved from Route to Route, but so are a lot of Regular City Carriers. This has as much to do with someone taking a day off as to do with the fact that City Carriers are hourly employees. So their is a lot of juggling of routes to keep overtime to a minimum.

    They can have no expectation of ever becoming a Regular City Carrier. If a City Carrier Retires and his Route is not Reassigned to another City Carrier without a regular route, or absorbed into one or more other routes, if after the retirement there is still a legitimate need to fill the position by hiring a brand new Regular City Carrier- then they are hired based on Test Score from the Hiring Register (a list of eligible candidates who have passed the appropriate postal exam).

    A Transitional employee does not have to have passed the exam to hold the position. Although most have, and most do hope that their score is high enough if there is an opening. Additionally a T.E. must be terminated at the end of his term of employment. And after a short period (I think it’s something like 7 days) they can be rehired- and usually are.

    In The Rural Craft (Rural Letter Carriers) Their Temporary employees are called TRC (Temporary Rural Carriers) the NRLCA contract requires that the majority of Substitute carriers be RCA’s- Union subs (something like 80 or 85 percent), and only after that point can they use TRCs (TRC’s are paid much less, have no contract protection and can never become a regular, and like T.E.’s they must be terminated at the end of their employment term for a minimum of 7 days before they can be rehired).

    I’ve only ever seen the term “Casuals” used for hiring at the Airport facility. They’ve got a set employment term as well after which they must be discharged and can be rehired.

    And of the Substitutes I’ve defined above – only the RCA has a reasonable expectation of becoming a regular postal employee.

    I’m trying to decide whether you realize what you’re saying or whether you are exhibiting sociopathic tendencies… Whether employees “knew” or “suspected” or whatever that changes were forthcoming, what has that got to do with anything?

    I realize what I’m saying. Perhaps to someone on the outside- what I said was incomplete. Or should’ve had additional qualifiers. But I didn’t want to give the USPS any more of a black eye than they’ve already gotten.

    They knew changes were coming. They’ve got no right to act surprised about it, or angry. The people at the plant do a job that can and is being replaced by automation, and they’ve done the job poorly. And only after it was too late to save their jobs did they become concerned about impressing management with their efficiency.

    They bust open bound presorted flats (catalogs and magazines bundled in delivery sequence by the mailer, ready for the carrier to quickly case) so they can run them through their flat sorter machines and keep their daily percentages up. These catalogs and magazines then arrive as Raw Flats which the carrier has to spend more time sorting, than they would have otherwise had to.

    Last November, the day after Thanksgiving delivery of mail was delayed to area post offices because too many people phoned in sick.

    Frequently mail is delayed to area post offices because of delays at the processing facility.

    Recently they’ve been running “letter mail” which should be sorted into DPS (delivery point sequence) Running it so that it comes to the letter carrier by route number but as Raw mail- meaning the carrier has to sort it out by hand and case it, when it should’ve come ready to take to the street. Again they’ve done this so that they can say to management – “look how efficient we’ve been”- because statistically it looks like they have been more efficient. When in fact all they’ve done is shifted the the deficit onto the carriers.

  • Email, direct deposit, online bill-paying, etc. are rapidly rendering the postal service obsolete.

    Amazon.com, prescriptions through the mail, and parcel delivery in general is what continues to make the USPS relevant. As a part of providing Universal Service- The USPS frequently delivers to areas the other two private package delivery services will not or do not want to go. The USPS often delivers parcels people have sent UPS because UPS thought it more cost effective to pass it to the USPS for that last mile of delivery.

  • taxation and representation

    you’re funny majung. Really.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had negative experiences with teachers. Fortunately for our community, your opinion regarding how much they should be paid is given scant attention.

  • taxation and representation

    demopublican, according to majung they are paid $47,000 a year AFTER 10 years experience. That hourly rate is due to his fuzzy math.

    He is being deceptive in order to shore up his quite ridiculous opinion. Teachers, getting paid $47k after 10 years (and he complains about their lack of qualifications too, apparently 10 years teaching doesn’t count?) are “overpaid”. Either majung is making very little money (in order to consider this “overpaid”) or he just really has a thing against teachers and that affects his opinion regarding their worth.

  • Just Bob – Obviously, you know quite a lot about how the USPS is set up. On the ground, however, things aren’t nearly as orderly as your condensed White Paper suggests. In fact, you can throw it all out when it comes to the casuals, whether or not they have passed the exam. I don’t know whether you intend to make light of their tremendous problems or not, but that’s what you are doing when you state their policies as if they carry any weight in the realworld. It’s a bit like writing out all the procedures and legalese for prison inmates, for instance, but has little if any root in reality. I’m quite sure sodomy is not an acceptable practice there, but it sure ain’t a once in a great while freak event. I happen to know several postal carriers in Charlottesville, RCAs, City Carriers and ‘casuals’. And very little of your ‘golden rules book’ applies, especially in regards to the casuals.
    _____________________________________________________

    tax rep – you are the one being deceptive.

    I wrote: “A 10-year tenured Albemarle public school teacher (Bachelor’s degree only) receives (see live links below): $47,685 for 165 days work in this calendar year (68 holidays, 12 sick, 15 accumulating annual leave).”

    It doesn’t take a computer science degree to figure that 95 days off per year – or, 199 days off/year including weekends – is a fukkin’ boatload more than nearly every other profession. So, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out teachers are paid a salary that’s really for only 9 months of work.

    The bottom line is teachers in this area are paid quite well for the work they are doing. I say they’re paid too much, especially since many of them now think they’re part of a privileged class; they feel mostly independent from the people that fund their paychecks and this should be addressed.

    I find it also typical and telling how so many lobby for the teachers ad nauseum, yet these same folks – aka Demo et al – demonstrate such disdain for other constituents like postal workers. This is exactly what’s wrong in America today.

  • Majung,

    If you couldn’t figure it out from any of my previous posts – I work for the USPS. I know more than you what it’s like- “on the ground.”

    The rest of your screed just reads like insanity. You go from postal employees to prison inmates and sodomy. You’re not worth the effort to engage in discourse. You deserve to be ignored. Which after this post I will do.

  • Just Bob – It’s certainly evident you work for the USPS. I’d bet you are either a Union rep or in the admin, which would match perfectly your position in your posts and also what I’ve heard about your sort.

  • I’d bet you are either a Union rep or in the admin,…

    You’d be wrong on both counts.

  • There was no damn excuse whatsoever for mail delivery being cancelled in Charlottesville today. At least not the city routes.

    I think the employees and management in Charlottesville have simply given up because of all this controversy in closing the local sorting and distribution center.

    If they are going to cancel mail delivery every time we have 2 inches of snow and sleet from now on, they need to let customers know. I have 5 or 6 packages overdue and tied up somewhere now. One package is critical in nature… and yes, my fault, I should have used FedEx overnight.

  • Demopublican,

    There was a Damn Excuse! And a very good one at that.. unfortunately it wasn’t one you liked.

    Mail service was suspended for good reason- and none of those reasons had anything to do with the Airport facility being shut down.

    I don’t know what street you live on… but most area streets got more than 2 inches.

    Further multiple postal carriers deliver on routes that are catagorized as 2ndary or tertiary roads… and which are in rural areas and were impassable.

    Which means… if a USPS rear wheeled vehicle (most all USPS vehicles are those) gets stuck it costs whatever the rate of having a tow truck come out and try and un-stick your vehicle. At some point the math doesn’t add up. We don’t use horses anymore.

    The USPS attempted Delivery the Monday after the 2009 December Friday Storm when thing were still very hairy.

    They attempted Delivery during and after every recent snowstorm except the Snowstorm on Saturday December 19th (when delivery was impossible), Feb 6 and on Wed Feb 10th.

    If you’ve still got an issue about the suspension of service…then you should call the Post office on 29 North and ask the Postmaster to further explain to you why they suspended service.

    You’d get a valid reason… but somehow I think that still wouldn’t satisfy you.

  • It’s egregious how small-minded folks like Demo find it incomprehensible and damning that postal carriers couldn’t deliver what he himself considers ‘junkmail’, yet same type of idiots find it perfectly acceptable school administration staff wouldn’t be at work pushing their useless paperwork by making a SINGLE trip through the snow for themselves, rather than the hundreds of passthroughs postal carriers will have to make.

  • Bob, what happened to the days when carriers would put chains on their vehicles? My neighbor worked at the post office for 36 years and can’t recall a single day mail wasn’t delivered in the city. Have we all really become a bunch of pansies?

  • Bob, what happened to the days when carriers would put chains on their vehicles?

    Some genius in upper management (Richmond) decided that when the chains broke they did too much damage to the paper thin metal the vehicles are made of – and so they thought they’d save money on body work repairs by not using them anymore.

    Further, 36 years ago the post office was using postal jeeps for mail delivery and not the rolling tin cans they’ve got now.

    Plus I would also add that too many people that make the decisions in the city are all transplants who don’t have any memory of what a real snow storm in Va is like, so the snow clearing of streets isn’t what it used to be either. What happened to the days when the huge piles of snow would be loaded up into dump trucks and hauled off. Instead it’s left to sit, causing driving and parking obstructions.

    When I was a kid it seemed like we used to get this sort of thing about every 2 or 3 years. Instead of just once every 15 years.

  • “…too many people that make the decisions in the city are all transplants…”

    Ohh, I know. That’s the major problem with the local post offices now. And the few I have had the experience of dealing with in person are about as dumb as a rock.

    I wasn’t aware they stopped using chains though. I guess this explains a lot about why the infamous USPS motto of “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” has been abandoned.

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