Sen. Warner gives update on postal delays in the Charlottesville area

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 2:37 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Mail delivery issues have been a reoccurring problem for many people in the Charlottesville area.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner has been pushing for a change for more than a year now, and says his latest proposal to fix the issue was shot down.

The senator’s previous visit to the Charlottesville area was back in April, during which Sen. Warner said he would try to push for a pay raise for postal workers. While that was turned down, there are some other fixes on the way.

“My understanding was both the concerns from the Postal Union, concerns their valuation was that Charlottesville was kind of meeting the area wage requirements. I frankly think that’s wrong,” the Democrat said. “Charlottesville region post offices did acknowledge that they are losing way too many new hires in their first 80 days. So the Postal Service is putting in a series of new retention policies.”

Warner says he hopes to hear about those policies soon. Additionally, the senator says a more long term solution will be implementing the Postal Service Reform Act, which was passed earlier this year.

“We did pass significant postal reform that made the finances of the post office stronger and allow postal workers to get additional benefits, but that’s going to take a little bit of time to implement,” Warner said.

Part of this includes eliminating USPS’ obligation to ray retirement benefits in advance so that money can be used in other areas.

“I think we’re still close to 30 carriers short in both the city and the county combined, and my hope is to continue to keep the pressure on,” Sen. Warner said. “It feels a little bit like, you know, we push the rock up the hill and we get a little bit of improvement for a few weeks or a few months and then it rolls back down.”

The senator says one of the things he hears from the community is that people do not blame their local postal worker.

In a statement to NBC29 when asked about how USPS is retaining new hires, a spokesperson said:

“A key component of the Postmaster General’s Delivering for America Plan (DFA) is building a more stable and empowered workforce. The Postal Service is continually hiring for full-time and part-time personnel across Virginia, including the Charlottesville area. The Postal Service offers competitive wages and benefits in addition to career advancement opportunities. Our employees are our greatest asset and we are investing in our new employees by providing robust training and on-the-job support. Interested candidates can search openings and apply at www.usps.com/careers. New jobs are added to the site frequently.”

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