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Due to a personnel shortage, Bozeman residents experience postal delays



Bozeman, Montana – There can be a slight delay if you reside in Bozeman and are anticipating mail or a package.

Due to understaffing at the Bozeman USPS, residents around the city have been enduring lengthy waits for the delivery and collection of mail and packages.

The office has been filling available positions for the city and rural carriers for some time, but they still don’t have enough staff.

Long waits for mail might not seem like a huge thing to other people, but for people like Hyalite resident Kristin Saunders, the wait might start to make her anxious.

Saunders mails prescription requests. She was anticipating receiving a shipment with blood pressure medication last week, but it has yet to show up.

“I have the informed delivery on my email, so I look at what I’m supposed to get and then I wait. And then when it doesn’t arrive, it’s a little bit frustrating,” she said. “Kind of vulnerable whenit’s medications. Um, soit’s a little frustrating, but I’m aware of the issues, so Idon’t want to give anybodya hard time.”

Saunders is not alone in this. She mentioned a friend of hers who works for a lawyer in the city and who similarly encountered protracted delays in acquiring paperwork. On social media, neighbors have shared their experiences while waiting for the mail.

The following statement was sent by USPS:

“First and foremost, the Postal Service apologizes for any inconvenience experienced by our customers.
The Postal Service is not immune from the current staffing and hiring challenges encountered by nearly every industry, and that includes the Bozeman Post Office. The good news is the office has skilled management in place, overseeing the day to day operations and using every available resource at our disposal to meet the challenges. However, hiring and staffing issues remain. The need is especially urgent for mail handlers, clerks, and mail carriers.
We’ve been aggressively hiring since 2022 to help bring consistency to our service. We have held several job fairs throughout the last few months, with the most recent Bozeman event on July 27, and there is another a job fair coming up Aug. 14, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Bozeman office. There are even more events planned in the very near future. That information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.
Due to the staffing challenges there may be individual days when a neighborhood may not receive mail service. But we are rotating employees and assignments, as needed, and any mail not delivered is prioritized for delivery the following day.
As mentioned above, to meet the daily challenges, we are using every available resource at our disposal, including borrowing employees from other offices — nearby, across the state, or in some instances neighboring states — to match the workload to continue to provide the service our customers deserve. The employees we have “borrowed” are usually new to the area and may not know the routes as well as the regular Bozeman carriers. This may mean, in some instances not all deliveries can be made. But all mail in this instance is sent out the next business day to complete delivery.
When a customer doesn’t get daily mail service, we understand their frustration because in addition to being Postal employees, we are also Postal customers. And as one of the most trusted government agencies we take pride in the more than 200 years of consistent service to the nation and the communities we serve. This is why we are hiring so many employees – because our customers rely on us, and we need to get back to reliable, daily mail service.
USPS is governed by a Universal Service Obligation (USO) to service nearly 165 million addresses across the country six, sometimes seven, days a week. And by law we are obligated to deliver every item sent through the mail. We are working hard to meet the needs of our communities across the state. This means in addition to what has been mentioned, our current staff will also often work overtime to meet those obligations.
The goal of the Postal Service is to hire several hundred employees across Montana. This contrasts with many industries and businesses who are downsizing or constricting their staffing. These are solid jobs with the opportunity for excellent pay, full federal benefits and opportunities. We have Post Office locations in local neighborhoods across the state, allowing prospective employees the chance to work near home.
Anyone interested in a job with the Postal Service is welcome to visit any Post Office location and inquire or go online. Jobs are posted on the website every other Tuesday until we are fully staffed.
It’s worth noting, while we don’t keep state by state information, the average time to deliver mail and packages across the nation remains consistent at 2.5 days. To put it another way 98% of the nation’s population receives their mail and packages in less than three days. This percentage recently improved, and USPS is working hard to correct service-related issues in the other limited areas. For more information please see our latest service standards release found in our online newsroom.”

The prescription was reordered by Saunders through UPS, and she is hoping it will arrive on time.

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