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PM announces Postal reform


There will be no significant job loss as a result of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Postal Corporation’s decision to close 34 rural post offices as part of its over all restructuring plan.{{more}}

Postal Corporation officials, though unable to give exact numbers, indicate that most of the employees affected by the closure will either be at retirement age or absorbed into the new structure.

The Postal Corporation currently employs 111 persons.

At a press conference held on Monday, May 18th, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, accompanied by Jimmy Forde and Celene Jack, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation respectively, outlined the restructuring plan that is intended to respond to “the global evolution taking place in the Postal Sector”.

They explained that international and domestic social mail volumes have continued to decline sharply, and in some cases, the monthly traffic in a rural postal office is as low as seven pieces of mail going out and two coming in.

While the post offices record an average monthly income of $254, the cost of maintaining the offices is over five times that, a situation that cannot be sustained.

So as the corporation, as a member of the Universal Postal Union, continues to honour its universal service obligation of providing postal services to all persons at an affordable price, district hubs will be created with the upgrade of over twenty rural post offices.

“Strategically located offices have been identified for upgrade to be able to offer similar services which are available at Head Office. These offices will also serve as a base from which the home delivery service will emanate, thereby reducing reliance on the smaller offices which currently produce and receive very low volumes, but nonetheless generate high monthly overheads.”

Motorbikes have been donated to the corporation to facilitate this new system that will see mail being delivered from these special hubs to the various communities.

The locations of all the hubs have not yet been determined.

Postal codes will also be introduced as part of this restructuring plan to “reduce mis-sorting of and facilitate the speedier processing of mail, both at the international and local levels. These codes, which have already gained UPU and government approval were designed by using the country code of VC followed by four digits selected based on postal addresses,” a release from the corporation, which was read by Dr Gonsalves states.(KJ)