Rockford mail processing operations to move to Chicago suburbs
As a result of studies begun in September 2011, and the Feb. 23 announcement expanding the Rockford mail processing center study, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has decided to move Rockford outgoing mail operations into the Carol Stream Processing & Distribution Center and incoming mail operations into the Palatine Processing & Distribution Center.
Once completed, annual savings are expected to be almost $10.5 million. All employee notifications and relocations will be made in accordance with existing employee agreements.
The consolidation will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. Once the transfer is completed, the mail processing operation in Rockford, 5225 Harrison Ave., will cease. There will be no change to the retail operations, mail collection or the Business Mail Entry Unit operations at this time.
U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Ill., issued the following statement in response to the Postal Service’s decision to end mail processing operations in Rockford: “We are saddened that the U.S. Postal Service has decided to end mail processing operations at one of our nation’s most efficient sorting centers in Rockford and move the work to the Chicago suburbs. We understand that the USPS is facing severe money shortages and must make difficult cuts, but we are frustrated that the USPS still has not shared with us the data that confirms closing Rockford will save money. We continue to seek that data so we can share it with the people of northern Illinois who will be affected by this decision.
“When Postmaster General Pat Donahoe toured the Rockford processing center with me last month, he said all employees who wanted to keep working for the USPS would be offered jobs in the area — albeit in different capacities — if the decision was made to end operations in Rockford,” Manzullo said. “He also said he was confident that consolidating Rockford’s operations into Carol Stream and Palatine would allow the USPS to continue overnight delivery service to the region. We will hold the Postmaster General to his statements and monitor the situation closely as the consolidation ensues.”
The Rockford mail processing center is consistently rated among the most efficient centers in the nation, and Rockford workers provide overnight delivery service to their customers in ZIP codes starting with 610 and 611.
Closing the Rockford facility will cost the Rockford area nearly 200 jobs and cause delays of two to three days in mail delivery to homes and businesses in the eight northern Illinois counties served by the Rockford facility — Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Ogle and Lee.
The Postal Service announced in December 2011 it would delay any final decisions regarding facility closures until May 15, 2012. The delay was designed to allow Congress time to enact comprehensive postal legislation. Meantime, USPS continued to review facility consolidations, including public notifications, public input meetings and consideration of public comments.
Hundreds attended a public meeting Jan. 5 at Rockford’s Best Western Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center to share their thoughts about the USPS’s recommended closure of the Rockford facility.
A 2006 consolidation study also originally recommended the closure of the Rockford facility, but efforts by area elected officials helped keep the facility in operation.
The Postal Service has experienced a 25 percent decline in First-Class Mail volume since 2006, and receives no tax dollars for its operations, relying instead on the sale of postage, and postal products and services.
Because of the drastic decline in mail volume, the Postal Service is in a fiscal crisis and must take action to reduce the size of its mail processing network.
As a result of this action, staffing adjustments will be necessary. Any actions taken will be in compliance with applicable law, collective bargaining agreements, and Postal Service regulations and policies.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
From the May 23-29, 2012, issue
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