Overnight mail taking 3 days after Pasco changes

Overnight mail taking 3 days after Pasco changes
PASCO, Wash. -- Recent cutbacks and changes at our local Post Offices mean it's taking longer for your mail to get to your home -- and also out of town. An influx of Christmas cards and packages will only add a new burden. KEPR talked with the President from the local Postal Workers Union and USPS to get both sides about how your mail is being impacted in new ways.

"It's written in the law that we provide universal, low cost service to every American citizen," said John Michael Wald, Local American Postal Workers Union President.

But he says that's exactly what you're not seeing with mail service in the Tri-Cities right now. Mail processing moved from Pasco to Spokane in July. Since then, bundles of issues have arrived.

"Carriers are out on the street later and later because they have to wait longer and longer to get their mail before they can hit the street, we've got carriers out on the streets until 8PM some nights," he said.

Next-day delivery has turned into three-day delivery. Some is even taking a week.

While changes at the Post Office mean your outgoing mail now takes longer to reach its final destination, the local union President tells me that's not all. It's part of a bigger issue.

There are plenty more errors. Pasco sorts thousands of pieces of mail by hand daily -- which raises the risk of mistakes. One of the problem pieces of mail is driver's licenses coming from the DOL.
Dozens have been reported lost since the processing moved to Spokane. Hundreds of election ballots weren't counted, because they weren't post marked in time.

"That has an impact on local elections," said Wald.

The Postal service acknowledges there has been an increase in rejected mail. And says collection times have increased. The postal service told the Tri-City Herald, additional bar code sorters were added at the Spokane mail handling facility to compensate. But as the holiday season approaches, the influx of mail will put a new test to new operations on our local post offices.

A recent deal with Amazon will have the post office delivering on Sunday in larger cities. We asked both the union rep and the postal service about how this could affect us. Both said it will take a while to feel the impact of the schedule changes that could come with these.