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Saturday mail delivery ending in August

Postal customers in the more rural areas of the county will see their post office hours decreased from 8 hours to 6 hours, and to 4 hours at some locations.

Originally published: Feb. 12, 2013
Last modified: Feb. 12, 2013

Heather Canter

The U.S. Postal Service will end Saturday mail delivery in August in an effort to save $2 billion.

The change will go into effect the week of Aug. 5, and stops the Saturday delivery of first-class mail. It won’t, however, change the delivery schedule of packages. 

“By maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages, the postal service has addressed the concerns most Americans have regarding delivery of medications for those in need,” Monica Robbs, a North Carolina spokeswoman for the USPS, said.

This reduction will be comparable to 20,000 to 25,000 full-time positions, including carriers and supervisory functions. However, the USPS is still working out all the details.

“The Postal Service has reduced its workforce by 193,000 employees since 2006, and that was done without the use of layoffs,” Robbs said. “Most of our reductions come through attrition, as a great percentage of the workforce is eligible for retirement. 

“USPS will be working with the labor organizations that represent the various employees to determine how best to balance the needs of the organization with the welfare of our employees and adhere to all contractual obligations,” she said.

This change isn’t expected to affect retail operations. Offices that are currently open on Saturday should continue to be open during retail hours. 

Plans are however in the works to reduce the retail hours at several post offices around the county, but a specific date for those changes is unknown at this time.

“The post plan, which was announced last summer, is an initiative that seeks to align the retail hours with customers’ usage in post offices across the country. The list was released previously, so those offices are aware of any pending changes,” Robbs said.

Retail hours will decrease from eight to six at the following post offices: Creston, Crumpler, Laurel Springs, Todd and Zionville. 

The hours will decrease from eight to four at Glendale Springs, Grassy Creek and Warrensville.

The entire list can be found at  http://about.usps.com/news/electronic-press-kits/our-future-network/post-plan/welcome.htm.. It lists the locations by state and zip code.

Earlier this month, the postal service increased the prices of stamps and some other mailing options. Mailing a letter is now $.46; letters to all international destinations are $1.10 for a 1 ounce letter; and postcards can be mailed for $.33. 

Prices for all products, mailing and shipping, increased by 4 percent, but prices for mailing services, such as regular letters and advertising matter, increased by 2.6 percent. 

Free tracking is available now on all competitive packages, such as priority mail and standard post.

“When fully implemented, USPS projects this move will save $2 billion annually,” Robbs said.

Since 2006, the postal service has reduced its annual cost base by approximately $15 billion and reduced the size of its career workforce by 168,000 or 24 percent. 

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.