SANTA CLARA (KPIX 5) – The U.S. Postal Service goes by the creed “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” but one KPIX 5 viewer said that’s not the case in Santa Clara.
On the Circle Drive neighborhood in Santa Clara a former postal worker said mail stopped coming and she called to find out why.
“My neighbor said he did not receive mail and asked if we had received mail and we had not. There was nothing in our slot. That’s pretty unusual for a Monday,” said the resident identified only as Gail.
She says she was told the overtime clock had stopped her delivery.
“A supervisor handed me over to my carrier who informed me that the new policy in Santa Clara is no mail delivery after 6 p.m.,” she recalled.
The local Letter Carrier Union President says postmasters are under pressure to reduce costs, and that means curbing overtime.
“It’s a betrayal of the trust that the customers have in us. Letter carriers don’t take that lightly,” said union president Frank Ware.
The November election has spiked mail volume, and an increase in small package delivery is causing carriers to fall behind. The no overtime policy may not be in writing, but letter carriers say their managers have told them how to cut costs.
“They have to be off the street by 6:00 p.m., and if they don’t finish the mail, they still have to be off the street by 6,” says Ware.
Post office spokesman Gus Ruiz confirmed there was a breakdown in Santa Clara.
“We will acknowledge that, unfortunately, someone misinterpreted our process,” said Ruiz. “A particular carrier was told to return to the post office by 6 p.m. whether he was finished delivering his mail or not. That’s against our policy.”
Ruiz blamed stopped delivery on a miscommunication between the supervisor and the carrier. He said the carriers are told to manage their routes so that they can be finished by 6 p.m., but the bottom line is that all deliveries must go out.
“I urge people – if you’re not getting your deliveries, or your neighbors are not getting their deliveries – start making phone calls,” said Gail.
There have been no other reports of similar stoppages in the area.