Commonwealth Journal

December 18, 2013

Later work times for postal workers shouldn’t affect public

by Bill Mardis
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

Rural and city mail carriers in Somerset and Pulaski County will report to work 30 minutes later, beginning Saturday, but it should have little or no effect on mail delivery times, according to Somerset Postmaster Gail Reams.
Reams said the reason carriers will start later is because of the way mail arrives from the processing center at Knoxville. Many carriers are “ ... having to stand around waiting for mail to arrive,” she said. Some of the 31 carriers are paid by the hour and some by route, she noted.
Mail is currently being delivered later than normal because of the heavy volume at Christmas time. “Once we get back to normal, the later starting time by carriers shouldn’t delay delivery time by more than 5 or 10 minutes at the most,” Reams said.
The change won’t affect carriers’ working time. (Those paid by the hour) will still work eight hours, she said.
As aforesaid, Knoxville is the processing center for Somerset mail. For example, a letter mailed in Somerset to a Somerset or Pulaski County resident goes to Knoxville for processing and then back to Somerset for delivery. A letter mailed in Somerset to an address in Louisville goes first to Knoxville and then back to Louisville.
“The mail has to be sorted by routes once it gets here,” said Reams.