Vermont residents have recently been drawing attention to the fact that they have not been receiving mail for two to three days at a time, some even longer than that. Delays have been ongoing since the summer and some say the issue hasn’t improved.
Mail delivery delays in Williston, Jericho, and Hinesburg have been prevalent as of late due to understaffed post offices. Some families in Hinesburg have resorted to going directly to the post office to get their mail but have found that the post office workers are still working to sort through the backlog of mail.
“Literally, the last bill we just got, which precipitated my post on Front Porch Forum was… we had an insurance bill show up 12 days after being sent from Montpelier to Hinesburg,” said one Hinesburg man who says mail delays have caused him to make late payments.
For others, delayed mail has hindered access to important prescriptions. “My husband specifically showed the tracking number for the medication that had been sent,” said another local resident. “People are now going to the Post Office. That’s the new thing because they want their mail and days go by without it.”
One woman says shortly before 4:00 pm on Thursday, there were about 15 cars parked outside the Hinesburg Post Office. “I really want to emphasize that our postal workers that work in the state are absolutely working their hardest,” she said.
A postal worker from Jericho says the store was closed Thursday due to staffing shortages. “Without staff or subs, we can’t do their route,” he said. Instead, they have been working 10 to 12 hour days just to catch up.
Individuals outside of the Williston Post Office said “they’re lucky to get their mail once a week.”
United States Postal Service Communications Specialist for Vermont Stephen Doherty said in a statement: “As we move past these short term employee availability issues, we will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to assure that our Vermont customers get the kind of First Class service that they’ve come to expect and deserve.”
Doherty says this means authorizing overtime for employees, using carriers from other offices and expanding mail deliveries. He adds there are 91 pre-career positions in Vermont.
Vermont’s congressional delegation says these delays are “unacceptable” and will continue to advocate for improved service and have written to USPS on multiple occasions and are working to resolves these postal delays.
Local residents shared that despite the mail delays, they appreciate the work of mail carriers during this time and urge their neighbors to contact their representatives.