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Colorado Lawmakers Urge USPS to Address Staffing Issues in Mountain Communities

Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Representatives Pettersen and Neguse call for improved mail service and worker pay increases.

ColoradoBiz Staff //June 4, 2024//

Erie, Colorado, USA - September 18, 2023: Exterior of Erie Post Office with black, metal bench and coal mining, train car. Located in downtown area.
Erie, Colorado, USA - September 18, 2023: Exterior of Erie Post Office with black, metal bench and coal mining, train car. Located in downtown area.

Colorado Lawmakers Urge USPS to Address Staffing Issues in Mountain Communities

Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper, Representatives Pettersen and Neguse call for improved mail service and worker pay increases.

ColoradoBiz Staff //June 4, 2024//

Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper alongside U.S. Representatives Brittany Pettersen and Joe Neguse reiterated their calls to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to improve mail delivery service for Colorado’s mountain communities. Following a USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audit of mail service in Colorado’s mountain towns that revealed staffing problems, disorganized and inefficient mail processing and delivery delays, the lawmakers raised their concerns to USPS in December 2023.

“[T]he USPS workforce in Colorado is under-staffed and often under-resourced. The report concluded that the lack of sufficient staffing at Colorado mail facilities is the biggest barrier to consistent and reliable mail service in Colorado. As a result, Colorado constituents have lost trust in the USPS to deliver timely prescription medications, financial documents and mail-in ballots, among other deliveries,” wrote the lawmakers.

“[W]e urge you to address the personnel recruitment and retention challenges identified in the audit and enable pay increases to hire and retain postal workers,” continued the lawmakers.“Pay increases for postal workers in Colorado would immediately strengthen USPS recruitment and retention and lead to more consistent, on-time delivery and improved mail operations across our state.”

Bennet, Hickenlooper, Pettersen and Neguse have repeatedly called on USPS to improve mail service for Coloradans.

  • In May, Bennet, Hickenlooper and Neguse urged USPS to eliminate fees to access their mail for Coloradans whose physical addresses were not eligible for home delivery.
  • In April, Bennet and Hickenlooper successfully pushed USPS to delay proposed changes to USPS’ Grand Junction Processing and Distribution Center.
  • Last year, Bennet and Hickenlooper invited DeJoy to tour a mail facility in Colorado to see the ongoing service and delivery challenges that Coloradans face.

The text of the letter is available HERE and below:

Dear Postmaster General DeJoy and Deputy Postmaster General Tulino:

We write to follow up on concerns we raised in our December 21, 2023 letter to you, following last year’s United States Postal Service (USPS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on delivery and customer service issues in Colorado. Specifically, we urge you to address the personnel recruitment and retention challenges identified in the audit and enable pay increases to hire and retain postal workers. We believe this is necessary due to increased competition in the job market and the high cost of living, especially in Colorado mountain communities.

According to the USPS OIG report, the USPS workforce in Colorado is under-staffed and often under-resourced. The report concluded that the lack of sufficient staffing at Colorado mail facilities is the biggest barrier to consistent and reliable mail service in Colorado. As a result, Colorado constituents have lost trust in the USPS to deliver timely prescription medications, financial documents and mail-in ballots, among other deliveries. The high cost of housing in our state further exacerbates recruitment and retention challenges with low pay for postal workers. The median price of a single-family home in the seven county Denver Metro Area is $600,000, and can be more than double that price in some mountain towns, where postal facilities are unable to hire and retain enough workers for basic mail processing and delivery that Coloradans expect.

The USPS OIG made ten recommendations to the USPS Colorado/Wyoming District Office (District), and the District agreed to implement seven of the recommendations with a target date to complete them by April 30, 2024. Notably, two of the three recommendations that the District disagreed with involve staffing and personnel challenges that undermine the entire mail operation in Colorado. The District referred these recommendations to the Office of the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) for further consideration.

As the USPS considers prescriptive measures to address our concerns, we ask that you resolve the issues as soon as possible. Pay increases for postal workers in Colorado would immediately strengthen USPS recruitment and retention and lead to more consistent, on-time delivery and improved mail operations across our state.

We remain committed to working with you to identify solutions to provide better service to our constituents. We urge USPS leadership to provide the same level of attention to the staffing and personnel issues as the other recommendations in the USPS OIG report that will enable Coloradans to regain trust in this vital institution.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your attention to this important matter.

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