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Long Island Community Not Alone In Quest For Regular Mail Deliveries

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some Long Island residents who believe the U.S. Postal Service’s motto needs to be revised are not alone in their struggle.

Just last week residents in one Long Island community blasted the U.S. Postal Service, saying not only has the harsh winter been getting in the way of mail deliveries, but that they weren’t even getting mail on nice weather days.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Wednesday, New Hyde Park residents are apparently not alone in their quest for their mail deliveries. Several zip codes across Long Island and the country are seeing inconsistent U.S. mail service.

“Sometimes I get my mail, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I get other peoples mail. Sometimes I get my mail three or four days later,” said North Babylon resident Jill Swensen.

“It’s unheard of, my neighbors are all complaining,” said Manhasset Hills resident Vera Zarenva.

Now, residents in Babylon, Bay Shore and Huntington Station say they’re dealing with the same problems.

“Sometimes I get mail late. Sometimes I don’t get mail at all,” Babylon resident Charles Smith said.

“It should be there Monday through Saturday and when it’s not, it’s quite disappointing,” another resident said.

The U.S. Postal Service told Gusoff that staffing is an issue.

“Compound that with severe weather conditions over the past several months and our daily journeys down Long Island streets and sidewalks have been a little slower, a little longer, and a lot more challenging,” the postal service said in a statement.

The postal service said its moving carriers as needed and they’re hiring.

The National Association of Letter Carriers, however, said there’s a manpower shortage not just on Long Island, but in other high-cost living parts of the country.

One-third of carriers are actually $15 per hour carrier assistants called CCAs, Gusoff reported. And through this harsh winter, there’s been a high turnover rate within the USPS.

“The CCAs are working seven days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day. It’s hard to keep that up seven days a week , for 30 days. It’s brutal,” said Larry Cirelli of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Professor Richard John, of Columbia University School of Journalism, said the weather is a short-term problem, but employee turnover is a long-term concern.

“There have been staffing problems in the post office in part because of the cuts that have been occasioned by the dire financial situation of the institution,” John said.

The post office gets no tax payer funding and has been saddled with mandated pension costs, Gusoff reported.

Union leaders told Gusoff they’re working with the postal service to recruit new carriers and adjust to solve the late delivery problem on Long Island and elsewhere.

The union said its rolling out a local chapter of a national task force to ensure every route gets delivered every day.

The USPS is encouraging applicants to apply for carrier assistant positions online.

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