Almost half of post offices offered exit deals

Letterkenny Post Office.

ALMOST half of the post offices in Donegal have been offered exit deals by An Post.
Out of the 76 post offices in the county, 36 received a letter from An Post last week offering them a redundancy package while the remaining 40 have been offered a new contract.
The decision on whether to close offices is now down to each individual postmaster.
A Spokesperson from An Post said they could not comment on the individual exit deals out of respect for the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) and couldn’t give a breakdown of which post offices in Donegal have been offered deals.
However, Donegal Spokesperson for the IPU, Breid Gallagher of Dunfanaghy Post Office said she has been offered an exit deal.
Ms Gallagher said she did not want to comment on whether or not she will be accepting the deal.
After attending an IPU meeting in Tullamore, County Offaly last Sunday where members received a briefing from the Union’s Executive Ms Gallagher said the deal is the best solution for the Post Office Network.
“The majority of people seem happy. It is the best possible outcome we could have achieved,” she said. 
“There was a lot of positive feedback. Not everyone will be happy but it is the best overall solution.”
Ms Gallagher said there is quite a number of offers in Donegal and she believes there are many postmasters in the county that will accept the voluntary deal.
“A lot of post offices can’t afford to stay in the system any longer. In recent years the post office has lost a lot of money,” she added. 
“Post offices are finding it very tough to survive.”

Breid Gallagher, Donegal spokesperson for the Irish Postmasters’ Union.

According to Ms Gallagher the use of technology and customers doing business online has contributed to the decline as well as the Government’s lack of investment in the Post Office service. 
The IPU will ballot members on the deal struck on Friday, May 11 and tough decisions will have to be made between now and then. 
“This leaves post offices with very tough decisions to make. Some know they are going to exit, some know they will take a new contract and there are others that are in between,” said Ms Gallagher. 
“It will be a tough decision but what the Postmasters’ Union has done is the best possible solution. What is the alternative?
“I think the majority of members are happy.”
Across the country 390 post offices have been offered exit deals with 690 being offered new contracts. 
The IPU and An Post have been in negotiations for the last three months in an effort to secure the future of most of the 1,000 post offices nationwide with a commitment to investment €50 million into the network. 
According to the latest figures the company made a profit of €8.4 million last year against losses of €12.4 million in 2016.
Most of the Post Offices offered exit deals are in rural areas which have been deemed ineligible for a new contract based on the scale of transactions at each premises. 
Those that have been offered an exit deal but choose to stay open will be given new services in an effort to make them more viable. These services are said to include foreign exchange and card services they would not have had up to now and any new services brought in will also be available to them. 

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Donegal News is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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