Budzinski, Miller Push USPS to Maintain Current Operations at Springfield Mail Processing and Distribution Center

Mar 15, 2024
Economy
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) and Mary Miller (IL-15) sent a letter to Postmaster Louis DeJoy raising serious concerns about the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) plan to downsize the Springfield, Illinois Processing and Distribution Center. The plan could mean worse delivery rates and the relocation of dozens of jobs to the St. Louis area. Budzinski encourages local residents to take advantage of the current public comment period and submit feedback on the future of these local mail facilities.

“USPS’s initial results recommending downsizing the facility to a Local Processing Center (LPC) are incredibly troubling,” wrote the Members. “While we are encouraged that USPS is looking to implement modernization strategies, the potential impact this change would have on regional employment and already lagging delivery rates in Central Illinois must be clear before USPS can move forward with this proposal.”

Today’s letter is a continued bipartisan effort by Budzinski and Miller to push back against USPS facility changes in Central and Southern Illinois. The Representatives previously wrote to DeJoy outlining concerns with the downsizing of the Champaign, Illinois Processing and Distribution Center. 

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

March 15, 2024

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy
USPS – Headquarters
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20260

Postmaster DeJoy, 

As the Members of Congress who represent Springfield, Illinois, and its surrounding areas, we are writing to raise serious concerns about the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) Mail Processing Facility Review (MPFR) for the Springfield Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC).

USPS’s initial results recommending downsizing the facility to a Local Processing Center (LPC) are incredibly troubling. If this plan were to be implemented, a significant number of the facility’s over 130 career employees would likely be asked to either change jobs or move to other facilities. It is also possible that this would include some employees being asked to move over 90 miles and across state lines to the St. Louis P&DC located in St. Louis, Missouri. 

It is also important to note the potential impact this decision would have on mail delivery rates across downstate Illinois. Between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023, Illinois District 2 was among the lowest on-time delivery rates for both two-day and three-to-five-day delivery options.  Moving the processing and distribution capabilities from Springfield across state lines to the St. Louis area, which is in the Kansas-Missouri district, would only exacerbate mail delays across Central and Southern Illinois. 

While we are encouraged that USPS is looking to implement modernization strategies, the potential impact this change would have on regional employment and already lagging delivery rates in Central Illinois must be clear before USPS can move forward with this proposal. 

To this end, we respectfully request answers to the following questions in writing by April 5, 2024: 

  1. While USPS has ensured us no career employees will be laid off as a result of the MPFR, how many employees of the Springfield P&DC will be asked to either move to another P&DC or change jobs?
  2. Can you please provide information on the steps USPS is taking to ensure that employees unwilling or unable to move or change jobs are retained and offered alternative opportunities at the same salary they were offered in their current roles?
  3. Can you provide information that proves or supports the claim that downsizing the Springfield, IL P&DC to an LPC and moving operations to the St. Louis P&DC will improve mail delivery rates across Central and Southern Illinois? 
  4. Can you provide insight into how comments submitted by residents to the official USPS public comment portal are taken into consideration as you go about making a final decision for the Springfield P&DC? 

We appreciate your attention to this important matter and look forward to your prompt response. 

Sincerely, 

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