CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Some rural mail carriers in the Lowcountry are concerned about a dramatic pay cut that recently went into effect. They believe the cut in pay means issues with mail not being delivered for days due to a lack of available employees could get even worse.

“A lot of carriers have lost tens of thousands of dollars every year, which really impacts their lives,” said one local postal worker who did not want to be identified.

“I recently purchased a home on my old salary, which now has greatly impacted my pay, and how we live.”

The United States Postal Service changed the way they are paying rural carriers, based on arbitration, and that cut pay for approximately 66% of rural carriers.

Those we spoke with said they each had about $15,000 cut from their annual income – and some carriers are expected to work additional days per month.

“We deliver everything from medication to checks. And sometimes, with rural routes, we may be the only person some people see.”

“A lot of our routes went from higher-evaluated to the lower-evaluated, which means you will work six days a week for less money and no time to rest your body.”

News 2 reached out to the U.S. Postal Service who sent us the following statement:

“The compensation system for rural letter carriers is a nationally negotiated pay system codified in the parties’ National Agreement. The current modifications to the compensation system were the result of a previous interest arbitration proceeding and mandated by an interest arbitrator. The parties worked jointly for years to implement these new provisions and will continue to share data and information throughout the implementation process.”

Earlier this year, News 2 told you about how mail customers in Cane Bay were frustrated with days of mail delays. The Postal Service said then they had a hard time keeping and finding employees.

The carriers we spoke with on Tuesday said with these changes, that problem could get even worse.

“People aren’t going to want to work for the post office for less money and more hours. We are already having the problems of staffing,” one mail carrier said. “We’ve had multiple routes sit for multiple days. We just do not have the employees to do everything at a time.”