Y-S mail facing transfer
U.S. postal officials are considering whether to shift mail processing for the Yuba-Sutter area to West Sacramento as a cost-cutting measure.
The proposed changes would send all outgoing mail to Sacramento for sorting, then truck local mail back to the Marysville Processing and Distribution Facility on Arboga Road in Olivehurst, which sorts the mail for ZIP codes beginning in "959."
Under the plan the Olivehurst facility's sorting equipment would be moved to West Sacramento and replaced with added distribution equipment for the 10-county service area, according to Ralph Petty, spokesman for the Postal Service's Sacramento district.
Petty said the Postal Service is looking for ways to cut costs and increase efficiency by consolidating postal functions. "We're thinking differently; we're looking for ways to deal with Marysville's growth," he said.
No area jobs would be lost under the proposed changes although some employees would be moved to different duties, according to Petty.
But Rick Page, president of American Postal Workers Union Local 211, said the proposal threatens the timeliness of the Yuba-Sutter area's mail service.
"They're saying that if they get the mail by 10 (p.m.) they can turn it around by the next day. We're questioning the validity of that," Page said, adding that transportation problems or equipment failures could easily disrupt Sacramento's service capabilities.
"People (in the area) already have trouble getting their mail on time," he said. The Sacramento senior plant manager, Kenneth Haywood, was unavailable for comment this week and his assistant manager declined to discuss the matter. Petty said that service would be unaffected by the relocation.
Page also said he was concerned the move could be the first step toward reducing service at the Marysville plant in Olivehurst. The changes would renege on an earlier promise to leave the plant untouched, he said.
"Once they've got their hand in the cookie jar will they take the rest of the plant?" he said.
A similar proposal in 2003 was withdrawn after Pacific Area Manager Kerry Wolny wrote to Sacramento district managers, saying they had not accounted for the area's projected high rate of growth.Petty said the latest proposal takes such growth into account, and that West Sacramento is already preparing to acquire equipment for the Olivehurst plant.
"This looks like the direction the Board of Governors wants us to go in," Petty said.
He could not say when the board would likely make that decision, but Page suggested it could come as early as Aug. 1-2 when the Board of Governors meets in Newport Beach to consider matters including Pacific area operations.
Jerry McKierman, a national media manager for the Postal Service, said that processing consolidation is not on the Aug. 2 agenda; the board holds its next meeting Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C.
Appeal-Democrat intern Dane Muckler can be reached at 741-4717. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.