Local post office affected by cuts

Rumors that Postalemployees at the Poteaulocation could face the lossof their jobs have beenlabeled as false by the U.S.Postal Service CorporateCommunications Specialistfor Oklahoma, DionneMontague.It had recently beenrumored that the Poteau PostOffice was facing the loss ofup to three employees duethe postal downsize and budgetcuts that have been affectingpost office’s across thenation. But according toMontague, that is not so.“Employees at the Poteaulocation will not lose jobs.They won’t face lay-off’s orfiring,” said Montague. “Ifan employment change isconsidered then the employeeswould be offered reassignmentor the opportunityto bid on another postal jobvacancy.” Postal employeesare unionized through severaldifferent entities and for anemployment change to occurMontague stated the USPostal Service would have tofollow the bargaining agreementbetween employer andemployee. If a reassignmentshould be required and thepotential employee is eligiblefor retirement, that is anotheroption that would be available.Some cutbacks have beenmade at the local post officewith the loss of automationthrough their deliver pointsequence mail system. Whilethis may sound like a majorthing, Montague stated thatthere would be no loss ofservice and that there wouldbe no impact on delivery.The Poteau Post Officealong with McAlester,Woodward and Tulsa werenotified in September thatthe U.S. Postal Serviceplanned to conduct a study toexamine the feasibility ofconsolidating their operationsinto the Oklahoma CityProcessing and DistributionCenter. According to a pressrelease from the USPS, thestudy would involve thereview of the mail processingand transportation operationsto determine capacityneed within the postal networkin order to increaseefficiency and improve productivity.The study is still underwayand isn’t expected to becompleted until the early partof 2012.The study was a productof the continuing decrease inannual mail volume and thepotential that it will neverreturn to the previous peaklevels.If the study shows thatconsolidation of the processingand distribution centerswould be beneficial the USPSwill schedule a public meetingwith the affected townsto explain the proposedchanges and potential impactson service. The USPS willconsider all public feedbackgathered at the public meetingsbefore making their finaldecision.