Budzinski, Durbin, Duckworth Demand Answers from Postmaster General on Plans to Reduce Operations in Champaign and Springfield 

Mar 19, 2024
Labor
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth andRepresentatives Mike Quigley (IL-05) and Eric Sorensen (IL-17) sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy urging him to reconsider his decision to eliminate mail processing at Processing and Distribution Centers (P&DCs) located in Champaign, Springfield, Peoria, and Milan, Illinois. In their letter, the lawmakers noted that any move to alter operations at existing P&DC facilities in Illinois would only exacerbate delayed mail delivery in the state.

“We are concerned that a decision to alter existing P&DC facilities will exacerbate an already troubling situation in Illinois. Illinois districts 1 and 2 have some of the worst on-time delivery rates in the country. While we support efforts to modernize the postal service, including processing locations and practices, we remain concerned about the sustainability of these changes,” wrote the lawmakers.

The lawmakers reiterated the importance of delivering mail consistently and in a timely manner to Illinoisans who rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to receive medications, Social Security checks and more. Last year alone, the average on-time delivery of First-Class Mail nationally dropped to 85.4 percent, down from an already historic low of 91 percent the previous year. 

Congresswoman Budzinski has led two bipartisan letters to the Postmaster General with Congresswoman Mary Miller (IL-15) to push back against USPS facility changes in Champaign and Springfield

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

March 19, 2024

Dear Postmaster General DeJoy:

We write with strong concerns regarding the Mail Processing Facility Reviews (MPFR) at the Processing and Distribution Centers (P&DCs) located in Champaign, Peoria, Milan, and Springfield, Illinois. 

The initial findings in these reviews support a shift from P&DC operations to smaller local processing centers (LPCs). We are concerned this may cause communities to lose both jobs and reliability of mail service. For example, the initial findings for the P&DC facility in Milan, Illinois, support moving processing facilities to Des Moines, Iowa. For a senior receiving medication by mail from their local pharmacy, that’s a round trip of nearly 350 miles for one prescription. The idea that these changes would improve delivery runs counter to reality. Last year, the average on-time delivery of First-Class Mail nationally dropped to 85.4 percent, down from an already historic low of 91 percent the previous year. Each year, the “Delivering for America” plan delivers less mail volume, worse delivery times, and additional costs for the postal service.

We are concerned that a decision to alter existing P&DC facilities will exacerbate an already troubling situation in Illinois. Illinois districts 1 and 2 have some of the worst on-time delivery rates in the country. While we support efforts to modernize the postal service, including processing locations and practices, we remain concerned about the sustainability of these changes. The Government Accountability Office recently found that the postal service only reviewed the impacts of its changes in a 12- to 18-month timeframe instead of the full lifecycle of the initiatives under the “Delivering for America” plan. Failing to account for the full impact of these changes risks further undermining the sustainability of the postal service. 

The postal network provides medications, financial transactions, and information to Americans at every address in the country. To help ensure the continued sustainability of this vast and vital network, we request answers to the following questions:

  1. Does the United States Postal Service (USPS) have any data showing the impact on delivery times for areas serviced by a P&DC that was subsequently shifted to an LPC?
  2. Does USPS have a plan for evaluating the effectiveness and value to the national postal network in shifting to a design in facilities as outlined in the Delivering for America plan?
  3. Please provide data that shows that downsizing the facilities in Champaign, Peoria, Milan, and Springfield will improve delivery times. 
  4. How is public input considered in USPS’ final determination during an MPFR?
  5. How does USPS plan to evaluate the impacts of downsizing the facilities in Illinois?
  6. Does USPS have a plan to provide career postal employees with comparable jobs that will not require relocating or having significantly longer commutes?

Thank you for your attention to this important issue. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

###

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