Mail service in Columbia could slow down

Apr 8, 2013

Columbia residents may soon have to wait a little bit longer for their mail to arrive.

The U.S. Postal Service has put together an Area Mail Processing proposal to move some operations, including 91 Columbia jobs, to St. Louis and Kansas City. This is in large part due to a decrease of 53 billion pieces of mail during the past seven years, a fourth of the overall volume.

The Postal Service said this would change Columbia’s delivery standard from same-day delivery to two- to three-day service.

Victor Dubina is a Postal Service spokesperson and was the moderator at the recent Columbia public meeting held over this possibility. Dubina said the recent reduction in mail usage over the first quarter of this fiscal year shows why the proposal needs be implemented.

“When you would anticipate an increase in mail volume because you would anticipate people mailing more cards for the holiday season, we still saw a decline in first-class mail in that period,” Dubina said. “So, we know that we have to make some changes. We’ve got to make changes that make sense.”

The Postal Service says this proposed move could save the Postal Service about $4 million a year.

Jim Marsden is the president of Central Missouri Area Local 7065 of the American Postal Workers Union. He says Mid-Missouri is getting the raw end of this deal.

“The rural are getting the shaft for the urban and the poor are getting the shaft for the rich, and I think maybe we kind of fill both of those bills,” Marsden said. “They consider Mid-Missouri a tumbleweed area and don’t think that we care about our mail coming back within the next day or two.”

Marsden says the Columbia postal services are also fighting this battle due to retiree health benefit funds that are provided 75 years in advance, causing a deficit. He believes this is the beginning of the end for Columbia mail facilities.

The Postal Service is currently taking written comments until April 17 before moving forward with its proposal.