After slow holiday mail, postal service has hired 150 in New Hampshire but retention remains a concern

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Josie Albertson-Grove, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
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May 1—Mail service may be speeding up after holiday delays, in part because of a wave of U.S. Postal Service hiring in New Hampshire.

As senators questioned four nominees to the Postal Board of Governors during a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee meeting last week, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) noted that some 150 postal workers had been hired in New Hampshire so far this year.

In 2019, Hassan requested an audit of postal service in New Hampshire. The Office of the Inspector General for the United States Postal Service delivered a report in December 2020, which noted staff shortages and difficulty retaining staff as key reasons for slowdowns.

Board of Governors nominee Anton Hajaarsaid he wanted to see the post office focus on building a "career" workforce of people who get retirement benefits and have the opportunity to advance. "Relying on well-trained, reliable career workers, service will improve," Hajjar said.

Dana Coletti, president of the American Postal Workers Union of New Hampshire. said that while there has been hiring here few of the new hires are for those "career" positions. Coletti said the postal service is eliminating career positions — which he worries will mean more turnover and ultimately, slow service.

"The biggest issue is retention," Coletti said. But hiring, he said, "is a start in working toward resolving the issue."