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'Operational Procedures Not Being Followed' Led To Westchester Mail Woes

United States Postal Service.
United States Postal Service. Photo Credit: File

An investigation into spotty mail service in southern Westchester in recent months determined that “operational procedures were not being followed,” leading to un-forwarded and undelivered mail, according to the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Postal Service.

Hundreds of complaints have been passed on to the USP.S - especially in Eastchester, Greenburgh, Pelham and New Rochelle - prompting the investigation into the service, which has plagued residents for months.

According to Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, in recent weeks, he has received daily emails about the postal service, be it lack of delivery, people not receiving medical prescriptions checks or bills, mail being sent to the wrong address and some Hartsdale residents who simply have not received mail in days. Similar complaints have been levied in other southern Westchester municipalities.

In response, Mark Duda, the Assistant Inspector General for Audit stated that U.S.P.S. investigators conducted a review of postal operations last year and determined operational procedures were not being followed. A follow-up review in January found that “operations had improved,” as officials continue visiting post offices in the region to improve service and customers’ experiences.

“Based on the Postal Service's January 2018 review, we confirmed customer complaints and the number of carriers returning late had decreased,” he said. “The Postal Service is taking corrective action to improve delivery, customer service, and processes. Based on postal management's actions, we have completed our review. We will continue to monitor delivery complaints and take additional action as appropriate.”

Mark Dimondstein, the President of the American Postal Workers Union - who grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson - recently stated that  he shares the community’s concerns regarding “poor, and seemingly ever deteriorating, mail services.”

“The American Postal Workers Union share your concerns and are extremely disturbed by a series of management actions that have undermined public postal services,” Dimondstein stated. “These include the slowing down of mail delivery standards, closing of a number of processing facilities that resulted in delayed mail, limiting hours of retail operations and short staffing that is causing long lines at retail units and later and later delivery on the city carrier side.”

Dimondstein went on to note that “the U.S.P.S. has also moved to a ‘model’ of more non-career employees, with greater tum-over in the ranks and less trained postal workers.”

“Added together, these account for much of the complaints you are receiving. While the union does not ‘run’ the postal services, we have raised our voices loud and clear regarding our concerns and believe in defending the "common good" that the public Post Service has historically represented, and should continue to do so.”

Dimondstein went on to say he has met with high-level postal management and shared the concern of Westchester communities. He has also passed along Feiner’s initial letter to the National Association of Letter Carriers and Postmaster General Megan Brennan. Dimondstein also encouraged residents and local officials to contact local Congressional representatives.

“Whatever challenges are facing the Postal Services, and there are challenges, the answer should not be to cut and slash services,” he said. “I remind my counterparts at postal headquarters that it is not called the United States Postal Business, but rather the United States Postal Service.

“I hope some of the union’s interventions prove to be helpful. It is a sad state of affairs when the union, and the dedicated postal workers we represent, are far more concerned and interested in service, then is postal management.”

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