The University will not be affected by the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement earlier this month that it plans to cease Saturday letter delivery.
USPS first raised the possibility of ending Saturday letter delivery about a year ago. At the time, Manager of University Mail Services Fred Yattaw was told the service would continue delivering letters to Brown on Saturdays because doing so only requires making one stop, Yattaw said.
Yattaw said he does not believe anything has changed since that discussion.
“Now having said that, I would say that you never know really what’s going to happen, especially when Congress is involved,” Yattaw said. “And we’ll have to deal with it if they decide they’re not going to deliver to us. But I don’t see that as being a major concern at this point.”
With or without letter delivery, Mail Services will remain open Saturdays to sort and distribute packages, Yattaw said. USPS’s proposed changes do not eliminate Saturday package delivery.
Yattaw said the announcement from USPS would have no impact on Mail Services’ hours of operation or the shifts worked by mail clerks. Only decreased mail volume would affect hours of operation or staff hours, Yattaw said, but he said he does not foresee a change in mail volume.
Richard Roe, a mail clerk who has worked Saturdays for the last 15 years, said he does not anticipate any changes for students or mail clerks.
Mail Services adjusted staff hours last year because USPS began delivering mail later, Yattaw said. The University used to receive its mail delivery at 6 a.m. but last year began receiving it at 8:30 a.m., a change Yattaw attributed to USPS trying to make its delivery schedule more efficient to reduce gas expenses. Yattaw said staff hours changed but were not reduced — mail clerks came into work later but also stayed later.
Despite having less time to process mail each morning, Yattaw said he has not noticed a difference in Mail Services’ ability to do so in a timely manner. “We have adjusted to the new delivery schedule without incident,” Yattaw said.
Yattaw said no staff members would be laid off if USPS pursued further cuts to Saturday service in the future. All mail clerks who work Saturdays have a day off during the week, so those clerks would work that day instead of Saturday.
“We would just have a full crew during the week like we do in the summertime,” Yattaw said.
If USPS were to end Saturday delivery to the University in the future, it would make Mondays, already a busy day due to the buildup of mail from Sunday, even more challenging, Yattaw said. Without working Saturdays, Mail Services would need to sort three days of mail on Monday.