Letter carrier following instruction and policy – point is to keep costs down

Dear Editor,
I was disturbed by Matt King’s article regarding curbside
delivery by the postal service. The tone of the article implied
that Patricia Finley was somehow at fault for performing her job in
the way she did.
Dear Editor,

I was disturbed by Matt King’s article regarding curbside delivery by the postal service. The tone of the article implied that Patricia Finley was somehow at fault for performing her job in the way she did.

On the contrary, Finley is a very good letter carrier and was following instructions and postal policy.

The domestic mail manual states that customers must keep the approach to their mailboxes clear of obstructions to allow safe access for delivery. If a street is set up for curbside delivery and a box is blocked on a single day, the Gilroy carriers (including Patricia Finley) will dismount and make the delivery. If, however, the box is blocked on a continuing basis the mail is held and delivery is attempted the next day. Ms. Duell was quoted in your article as saying that she did not receive mail for four days because her box was blocked. I consider that a continuing basis.

If a carrier dismounts to deliver a curbside box, there is more involved than simply “hopping out” of the vehicle.

Procedure calls for the carrier to pull to a safe spot (no double parking!), put the vehicle in park, set the hand brake, roll up any windows that are open, turn off the ignition and secure the vehicle. This takes a considerable amount of time.

If we assume that it takes an extra 30 seconds, which in my opinion is a very low estimate, and that a carrier has to dismount an extra 50 times during the day, the carrier will spend an extra 25 minutes delivering her route.

On trash day a carrier will dismount a lot more than 50 extra times. Since routes are adjusted to 8 hours, this means that the extra time is overtime. Multiply that times the number of mounted routes in the Gilroy office and it really adds up. The post office does not receive tax dollars. It must operate in a businesslike manner and the revenue is generated by postage. Keeping costs down is the responsibility of every letter carrier.

Patricia, and every carrier in the Gilroy Post Office are doing their jobs.

Debra Masten, NALC Shop Steward, Gilroy

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