By Al Lowe
Contributing Writer 

Letter carriers leaving, but South Side Post Office will remain


Congressman Mike Doy-le's office has some good news for residents about the South Side branch of the Post Office.

After hearing rumors from residents the retail postal operation on Carson Street (called the Carson Station by the Post Office) may close, Mr. Doyle had his staff investigate further.

"There's no reason to think that this may happen," Matt Dinkel, spokesperson for Mr. Doyle, said when contacted last week by The South Pittsburgh Reporter. "We looked into it. There are no plans to close it."

Although the retail office will remain at its current site, 13 mail carriers who handle 11 routes will move to the Mount Oliver branch.

Tad Kelley, spokesperson for the Pittsburgh Post Office, issued the following statement about its Mount Oliver branch and its Carson Station:

"The consolidation of the carrier operation with the one in the Mount Oliver branch will occur on March 5.

"Why? To help with broader efforts to gain critical savings and to shore up finances, the Postal Service is looking at every aspect of its customer service, delivery and mail processing infrastructure to reduce costs. Due to mail volume that has fallen 20 per cent since 2006 and due to the capacity of our mail processing machines to prepare carrier mail in near walk sequence, there is less casing equipment needed and more back office space in a traditional delivery unit.

"Therefore, this extra space (at the Mount Oliver branch) can be used to consolidate delivery operations and save money and resources through utilization of less supervisory and mail handling personnel and less trucks and drivers to transport mail to multiple carrier stations. Savings are critical during a recession where the Postal Service closed out its previous fiscal year in 2010 with a $8.5 billion loss.

"These consolidations should be seamless to our customers as we continue to maintain our retail operations at the Carson Station.

"Of course, this is not the only savings initiative that the Postal Service is undertaking. We have aggressively reduced our costs over the past five years through consolidation of mail processing plants, reevaluating every delivery route, the 10-year reduction of work force by 200,000 employees nationwide through attrition and the restructuring of contracts and fuel allocations from private contractors. Last year alone we reduced our costs by $3 billion.

"A 8.5 billion loss equates to losing more than 23 million every single day of the year. Mail volume has declined by 43.1 billion in the past five years – to 170 billion in 2010.

"We serve 151 million delivery points every day without the support of tax dollars. We are fully self-funded.

"The rates for customers are among the lowest in the world."

During a conversation Mr. Kelley said the only difference customers might notice is they might have to travel to the Mount Oliver branch to pick up certified mail if they miss its delivery.

Desmond Neurohr, secretary-treasurer, Pittsburgh Metro American Postal Workers Union Chapter 081, declined to comment on the relocation of the carriers.

Councilman Bruce Kraus, who also made inquiries, commented, "We can't lose the South Side branch. It is too valuable an asset."


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