No it's not your imagination: mail coming to new community mailboxes in Stratford and Charlottetown is taking longer to be delivered than it used to.

New community mailbox routes are too long and workers are often having to do overtime to finish, said the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, even though the new system was supposed to be quicker. 

"They're all working overtime and it takes away their quality of life," said Charlottetown local postal union president Pearl Gillis-Palmer. 

'Employees have struggled to get all their mail delivered during the allotted time to complete their route.' — Canada Post

Each employee used to deliver letters and flyers to 500 addresses on foot, Canada Post said. Now they use vehicles and deliver to 1,000 addresses, and have the added responsibility of parcels. 

"This was a major change to the way our employees deliver mail and employees have struggled to get all their mail delivered during the allotted time to complete their route," Canada Post wrote in an email to CBC News. 

Eight-hour shifts have stretched to 11 or 12 for some, said Gillis-Palmer, while most carriers are putting in at least two hours overtime daily.

"They get overtime but it's not the money, it's the family time," she said. 

"You know, try to get to a doctor's appointment when you've worked 12 hours a day. Try and get your child home from daycare when they close at 5:30 and you're still on the street." 

Pearl Gillis-Palmer, Canada Post Charlottetown union president

Postal workers putting in extra hours 'takes away their quality of life' says postal workers union president Pearl Gillis-Palmer. (CBC)

The corporation acknowledges workers are putting in a lot of overtime but hope now that the Christmas rush is over, that can be reduced.

"As volumes return to normal, our goal now is to stabilize delivery in the new structure. We are reviewing the process and will be addressing any problems that are identified," the email states.     

13 fewer letter carriers are delivering mail now, said Gillis-Palmer. She wants half those brought back and the routes shortened.

In other cities where this is happening some workers are protesting, refusing to work overtime or not completing their routes.    

"We're fearing that's coming," said Gillis-Palmer. "But if they want the mail delivered they're going to have to restructure the routes. They're all too large."

With files from Laura Chapin.