The U.S. Postal Service"delivered" some good news Thursday.
WDBJ7 has confirmed Roanoke's mail processing center will stay open, at least for now.
As we first reported Thursday afternoon, the postal service announced it won't close or consolidate some mail processing centers.
The key phrase for Roanoke is at least for now.
Roanoke's mail processing mail center is still in danger of closing, but it won't happen until at least next February.
For months, the Postal Service has been studying a plan to close Roanoke's mail processing center and send the mail to Greensboro, North Carolina.
The mail would be sorted there and then sent on for delivery.
The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday it will now close and consolidate 140 mail processing centers across the country, instead of 461 like originally proposed.
Those closures and consolidations will start later this summer and should be completed by next February.
Lynchburg's mail processing center is still closing. That really shouldn't come as a surprise. The Postal Service had been planning to consolidate Lynchburg into Roanoke for a long time
We're told that process should be completed a little after the first of the year.
The Lynchburg facility employs 124 people. The U.S. Postal Service says many of them will be transferred to Roanoke but points out some may be laid off but the agency wouldn't say how many.
WDBJ7 has confirmed that the Roanoke mail processing center will stay open, for now.
The Lynchburg mail sorting center will consolidate with the Roanoke center, which it was already in the process of doing.
Click here to see the list of mail centers around the country that are consolidating.
Earlier Wednesday theU.S. Postal Serviceannounced a plan to consolidate 140 mail sorting centers across the country. Those consolidations will start in February 2013.
A second and final phase of 89 consolidations is scheduled to start in February 2014.
The Postal Service originally announced a plan that would close 252 mail processing centers starting this summer, but was awaiting congressional approval. With Congress stalled over a bill, the Postal Service is moving forward over a longer timeframe.
The U.S. Postal Serviceannounced Wednesday that it is changing the number of mail processing centers that it will close. The Postal Service is also changing the timeline for when they will close.
The first phase will result in 140 consolidations through February of 2013. According to the Postal Service, a second and final phase of 89 consolidations is scheduled to start in February 2014. The Postal Service originally announced that it would close 461 mail processing centers across the country.
A local union representative tells WDBJ7 he has been told by Postal Officials Roanoke's mail processing center is safe, at least for now.
For months, the Postal Service has been studying a plan to close the processing centers in Roanoke and Lynchburg and send all the mail to Greensboro, North Carolina.
The mail would be sorted there and sent on for delivery.
For all intents and purposes, the Roanoke postmark will cease to exist, if the plan becomes a reality.
Also, 500 local employees would be impacted in Roanoke and Lynchburg.
Now, the Postal Service plans to close or consolidate 140 mail processing centers by next February.
A local union rep tells WDBJ7 he's been told Roanoke's mail processing center would be safe until at least then.
About 5,000 employees will begin receiving notifications next week related to consolidating and other efficiency-enhancing activities to be conducted this summer, the Postal Service says.
The Postal Service says these consolidations will result in 13,000 employees losing their jobs, and s savings of $1.2 billion a year.
It's not clear yet how these changes will affect the Roanoke and Lynchburg mail processing centers right now. However, WDBJ7 has learned that the Postal Service will release a list of mail processing centers that will close at 3 p.m.
Check back soon for more updates.
Here is the news release from the U.S. Postal Service:
The U.S. Postal Service today announced plans to move ahead with a modified plan to consolidate its network of 461 mail processing locations in phases. The first phase of activities will result in up to 140 consolidations through February of 2013. Unless the circumstances of the Postal Service change in the interim, a second and final phase of 89 consolidations is currently scheduled to begin in February of 2014.
“We revised our network consolidation timeline to provide a longer planning schedule for our customers, employees and other stakeholders, and to enable a more methodical and measured implementation,” said Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service.
“We simply do not have the mail volumes to justify the size and capacity of our current mail processing network. To return to long-term profitability and financial stability while keeping mail affordable, we must match our network to the anticipated workload,” said Donahoe. “Our current plan meets our cost reduction goals, ensures seamless and excellent service performance throughout the implementation period, and provides adequate time for our customers to adapt to our network changes.”
The Postal Service will begin consolidating operations this summer - which mostly involve transferring mail-processing operations from smaller to larger facilities. Due to the volume of high-priority mail predicted for the election and holiday mailing seasons, no consolidating activities will be conducted from September through December of 2012. Approximately 5,000 employees will begin receiving notifications next week related to consolidating and other efficiency-enhancing activities to be conducted this summer.
“We will be conducting consolidation activities this summer at only 48 locations,” said Megan Brennan, chief operating officer of the Postal Service. “As a result, nearly all consolidating activities in 2012 will occur in August and then will resume again the early part of next year.”
These consolidating activities will reduce the size of the Postal Service workforce by approximately 13,000 employees and, when fully implemented, will generate cost reductions of approximately $1.2 billion annually.
“The Postal Service will be communicating with our customers and employees about these changes in great detail,” said Megan Brennan. “We will work closely with our customers to ensure there are no surprises as we move forward.”
The Postal Service also announced it is working with its unions for an employee retirement incentive, although no final decision has been made. “The Postal Service has reduced the size of its workforce by 244,000 career employees since 2000 without resorting to layoffs,” said Brennan. “We are a responsible employer and we will work with our employees to ensure a smooth transition to a much leaner organization.”
The Postal Service also announced that it would soon issue a new regulation to modify its existing Service Standard for overnight delivery. The Postal Service said a Final Rule would soon be published in the Federal Register that would initially shrink the geographic reach of overnight service to local areas and enable consolidation activity in 2013. The new rule would further tighten the overnight delivery standard in 2014 and enable further consolidation of the Postal Service mail processing network absent any change to the circumstances of the Postal Service.
“We are essentially preserving overnight delivery for First-Class Mail through the end of 2013, although we are collapsing the distance that we can provide overnight service to the distribution area served by a particular mail processing facility,” said Megan Brennan. Approximately 80 percent of First-Class Mail will still be delivered overnight.
The Postal Service stated its expectation to pursue additional consolidation activities for an additional 89 mail processing locations beginning in 2014 unless its circumstances change. These consolidations would be based on long-term service standards that would significantly revise mail-entry times for customers seeking overnight delivery.
“Given that the Postal Service is currently projecting a $14 billion net loss in FY2012, and continuing annual losses of this magnitude, we simply cannot justify maintaining our current mail processing footprint,” said Donahoe.
When fully implemented in late 2014, the Postal Service expects its network consolidations to generate approximately $2.1 billion in annual cost reductions, and lead to total workforce reduction up to 28,000 employees.
The list of 140 mail processing locations to be consolidated by February of 2013 is available at http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/welcome.htm.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
A big announcement is expected Wednesday from the U.S. Postal Service about its mail processing centers.
It could impact how quickly you get your mail, and workers in Roanoke and Lynchburg.
So, what could this mean for Roanoke? Nothing has been confirmed by the U.S. Postal Service, but a local union representative tells WDBJ7 he has been told by Postal Officials Roanoke's mail processing center is safe, at least for now.
For months, the Postal Service has been studying a plan to close the processing centers in Roanoke and Lynchburg and send all the mail to Greensboro, North Carolina. The mail would be sorted there and sent on for delivery.
For all intents and purposes, the Roanoke postmark would cease to exist, if the plan becomes a reality.
Also, 500 local employees would be impacted in Roanoke and Lynchburg.
The Postal Service confirms it plans to send a press release shortly about mail processing centers.
A local union representative says he has been told Roanoke's mail processing center would be safe until at least next Februrary.
As soon as we hear anything we will update this story.