Thursday, 21 July 2022 14:14

Postal Challenges Impacting Local Deliveries

Saratoga Springs Post Office on Broadway, July 2022. Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos. Saratoga Springs Post Office on Broadway, July 2022. Photo by Thomas Dimopoulos.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The private message from a local resident came via Twitter. 

“Hey, I have a story lead (sic) maybe,” it began. “Wondering if there’s any truth to the rumor that the post office is delivering mail every other day in Saratoga Springs due to mail carrier shortage.”

 A quick trip to the local post office to ask this very question soon followed. 

“Delivery every other day?” 

“Pretty much,” the postal window clerk on duty, said simply. 

“Since when?”

“It’s been going on quite a while,” came the response.

What followed that was a media request made with the USPS upstate N.Y. regional representative seeking an interview with the Postmaster for Saratoga Springs, N.Y. to learn more about the status of local delivery, as well as general staffing information detailing employment comparisons to years past, and what positions are currently being sought. 

“Due to several recent retirements, we are experiencing challenges with employee availability in some locations causing occasional impacts to mail deliveries,” responded Mark Lawrence via email. Lawrence is the strategic communications specialist for the United States Postal Service in the Upstate New York, Central & Western Pennsylvania area. 

“We have taken specific actions to continue service to our valued customers, which includes: 

• Continue to fully authorize overtime to allow employees to work the time necessary to deliver mail; Expanded mail deliveries to earlier in the morning, later in the evening, and on Sundays to ensure customers receive mail at the earliest date possible.

• Use additional carriers from nearby offices, when necessary, to maintain mail deliveries.

• Hiring additional personnel. To view available positions, go to about.usps.com/careers. Job postings are updated frequently, so job seekers should check the website often. We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding and want to assure customers that we will continue to adjust routes as needed to improve service.”

To the latter point, the Postal Service was on hand for the Albany Job Fair in Latham July 13 and hosted two job fairs - July 20 at the Saratoga Springs Post Office on Broadway and July 21 at the Post Office on Washington Street - with a focus on letter carrier applicants.

“It’s important to note our hiring efforts are ongoing at many locations nationwide. That’s because it’s part of our Delivering for America plan, which includes building and retaining a diverse pipeline of candidates not just for the present day, but for years to come,” Lawrence said. 

“The Delivering for America plan is off to a great start,” he added. “Since the beginning of the last fiscal year, the Postal Service converted 63,000 pre-career employees into career positions and onboarded more than 185,000 employees since the beginning of last fiscal year, including the backfilling of the 63,000 pre-career employees.” 

For more information about positions sought, and applying for a job at the USPS, go to: about.usps.com/careers. 

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