News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS U.S. Post Office mail carrier Tammy Lewis sorts through mail Thursday during her route in Sebring. The post office will stop delivering mail (but not packages) on Saturdays starting the week of Aug. 5.
published: Friday, February 08, 2013
Postal service to cease basic Saturday deliveries
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - Say farewell to a 150-year-old duty from the United States Postal Service. Come this summer, the USPS will have a new delivery schedule that will consist of mail being delivered only five days a week, Monday-Friday.
According to the USPS postmaster general, the discontinuance of Saturday mail delivery is an effort of offset a $16 billion loss last year by the postal service.
As of Aug. 1, the Saturday mail service on first class mail items will cease throughout the United States. Other items such as packages, mail-order medicines, priority and express mail will still be eligible for delivery on Saturdays.
The USPS has lost $41 billion over the past six years due to a number of changes in the way Americans use the mail service. Services such as e-mail, online banking and private shipping have caused a huge bump in the financial road for the country's postal service.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahue expects the shrinking from a six-day delivery service to a five-day delivery service will save the USPS approximately $2 billion annually.
Over the past two years, the USPS has slashed the hours of workers at more than 25,000 post offices nationwide as well as scaled back its workforce by 35 percent in hopes of saving money.
USPS worker Tammy Lewis is an 11-year postal employee in the city of Sebring. Known as a city carrier, Lewis makes her rounds along U.S. 27, stopping at several local businesses.
Lewis had caught wind of the upcoming changes in the USPS procedures from a work meeting that took place at the main branch near Lakeshore Mall on Wednesday.
"I do know that any of the branches that are currently already open on Saturdays will remain open," Lewis said.
Lewis confirmed that the USPS will be discontinuing the Saturday first class mail deliveries in August, but will deliver packages and priority mail items.
As far as lay-offs or employment at the local branch, Lewis believes there hasn't been any in quite some time. The local branch has implemented a different manner in which they take on employment issues.
"We do have a hold on hiring, like a hiring freeze," Lewis said. "So if someone leaves a position they haven't been filling their spot."
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