BINGHAMTON, NY – The Binghamton post office is experiencing what postal officials acknowledge is a perfect storm of circumstances that has lead to insufficient staffing and mail and packages not getting delivered on time.
Letter carriers that serve the City of Binghamton and Johnson City in particular have reached out to NewsChannel 34 to express their frustration at long hours and their inability to get all of their mail delivered.
They say packages are piling up inside the postal center on Henry Street and that some routes are getting skipped altogether for a day or more at a time.
They say they are forced to work 12 hours or more, 7 days a week.
The carriers say the problem began prior to the pandemic when the U-S Postal Service started mandating overtime for workers, many of whom opted to retire rather than work the extra hours.
Spokespersons for the postal service concede that they are having an unprecedented difficulty maintaining staffing in Binghamton and they blame the pandemic.
They say Binghamton had an unusually large number of retirement-eligible carriers who opted to leave rather than risk exposure in the community.
The postal service says the 50% higher volume of packages from residents ordering items online also spurred that on.
And they blame the current cluster in Binghamton for causing other carriers to miss time due to illness or quarantine.
They say they are doing everything they can to recruit new workers, including appealing to candidates from outside our area.
While neither the carriers nor management has expressed any concern over the delivery of absentee ballots, they both hope the crisis is resolved before the busy holiday parcel season.