Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Postal Service Plans to Use More Part-Time Employees

The U.S. Postal Service plans to rely more on part-time employees as it adjusts its operations for declining mail volume.

“Annually, approximately 5 percent of employees are eligible and expected to retire. It would not make sense to replace them with full-time employees if demand is moving in a direction better suited to a part-time workforce,” the USPS says in its “Action Plan for the Future” that was released today. Most of the news-media coverage of the ambitious plan for righting the Postal Service’s finances deals with the no-surprise initiatives, like trying to eliminate Saturday deliveries.

The shift to a more part-time workforce, however, slipped under the radar even though it’s a departure from recent practice. The number of non-career postal employees decreased by nearly 13% in Fiscal Year 2009.

“There is limited remaining opportunity to reduce part-time, temporary, and overtime work hours,” the Postal Service presentation said.

“Over the next 10 years, over 300,000 employees — more than half the current workforce — will be eligible to retire. This will provide an opportunity to make the workforce even more efficient by increasing use of flexible and part-time employees.”

The plan indicates that, while replacing retirees with part-timers, the USPS will also seek “more flexible work rules through the collective bargaining process.” And just in case collective bargaining doesn’t work, the USPS will also ask Congress to require that arbitrators take the Postal Service’s financial condition into account before issuing any decisions.

With 87% of its workforce being full-timers, the U.S. Postal Service has difficulty varying its staffing levels (and costs) to deal with seasonal variation.

“When benchmarked against other large posts, the Postal Service employs the most full-time workers as a percentage of the total workforce.” For example, 40% of the German postal system's employees are part-timers.

For more information:

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

UH? What country do you think this is? That's why we are not the United States of Germany! Thank You.

Anonymous said...

just get rid off half top heavy management and simply we could save the Post office.
What have those been doing in the PO? What did they do? Or just running around and ping pong the PO and still waisting the PO money for...inspection,GPS,FSS machine..? Do the math and we all know what they are doing, Have them ever looked at themself?

Anonymous said...

When was the last time you saw a part time Supervisor, Manager, Vice president, Assistant Vice President, Assistant to the assistant Vice President,ETC...

After the carriers leave the office in the morning, between the supervisors and the Manager/Postmaster, they out number the clerks.

zippy 1 said...

Anonymous needs "upper management" to correct his/her grammer!

john said...

The money that is being wasted by managent, You really dont need a postmaster in every station try 1 in 5 stations and see the reduction in salary and benifits

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:43

You must be a craft employee because you certainly don't qualify as anything else in this world. I bet you can't even do the math!

jt said...

It's time to privatize the P.O.

Anonymous said...

2 comments:

My grocery store is not flexible either! They have plenty of clerks at the registers but the deli takes forever!

I can only speak for the clerk side. The APWU has been pushing for an all regular workforce for a number of years now. I understand where they are coming from but it has left my PO with NO flexies! Not good. We need flexies.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the USPS tell the whole truth? All the money wasted on EEO's because Managers/supervisors refuse to treat people right. Let them know about the grievances. One carrier got $47,000.00 because they couldn't schedule the overtime correctly. That's just one station in the whole county, so you know it's going on elsewhere. What about the money paid out because timecards were falsified? That resulted in $1500.00 for each carrier involved. Again that's one station.What about hiring Postmasters from out of town, paying all of their expenses instead of hiring someone local?

Anonymous said...

Postal Service has to be privatized ASAP in order to survive. Volume is dropping daily but yet the government bureacracy will continue to put bandaids on the issue. Why did USPS not utilize the under 6 year layoff clause as the volume declined ???.

Anonymous said...

what does a station manager do . at most stations i have been to they are usually just standing around staring at the employees and commenting when they are doing things wrong . it seems as though they could easily be eliminated.

Anonymous said...

Thats nothing in Pittsburgh a boss refused to follow the contract and they ended up paying 75 million to about 1500 clerks!

Knoxville said...

I have a few suggestions.....

1. Force retire all the lazy clerks/carriers! Im a PTR clerk restricted to working 6 days a week for no more/no less than 30 hours a week and i work circles around "regulars" The difference... Im glad I have a job, and they seem entitled to a position.

2. Raise rates. Get rid of media mail and parcel post, Offset it by including delivery confirmation on all packages that would be priority mail. Stop Pimping express....customers know if they want this service coming in the door, they dont want me begging them to pay 18 dollars to send the .44 cent letter. If raising rates send them to ups... be my guest, we beat their prices easily by far.

3. Cut janitor services. We pay our guy 45,000 a year to sweep and take the trash out. seriously contract this stuff out!

4. Stop signing 100 yr leases! My office is across from a Hardees... Hardly worth 17,000 a month for a hundred yr lease. YES i have seen the paperwork... and that's just that one location. There are thousands of post offices.


Just my two cents...


and yes... the union spends way too much time fighting for people who should be out of a job

Anonymous said...

The postal service should have more PTF employees, this would give a wider flexability, do away with the UNIONS that is the down fall of the postal service, if this was done years ago then the Postal Service would be better off. Close those offices that are with in 2 miles of each other there is no reason that these offices should have been allowed to exist

Tbearf said...

If the management was not ther then the employees would take even more from the postal service as they do now

Tbearf said...

Get rid of the union they don't want the Postal Service to servive

Anonymous said...

First of all it is Survive, not "servive." Also where would your wages be if it were not for the unions that you want to get rid of. Do you think that management would simply give us a living wage. Wasn't it the unions who fought for those wages and benefits in collective bargaining.
Quit knocking the Unions and wake up. Management is not going to do you any favors and they are not your friend. We are in for a rough time in the near future and thankfully there is a union and a contract or it would be even uglier than it is now.

Anonymous said...

In 1983 the USPS switched from CSRS to FIRS retirement saving Billions. In 1990 automation came with DBCS machines sorting $40,000Pieces of mail per hour also saving billions. With employment going from 800,000 in 1980 to 350,000 today. With the savings over the years the USPS has bought more automation and built many new Post offices. A stamp cost 44 cents a gallon of gas almost $3. When the economy gets better the mail will come back the advertiser get a good return using the mail.

Anonymous said...

What people fail to understand is that USPS management has carefully crafted their current situation to one end - eliminating or (at least) seriously crippling the unions and weakening the carrer workforce. PMG Potter is only telling half truths here. He insists that cuts in the workforce can be done through attrition but won't say that managements idea of attrition is harassing older employees to the point they have to quit and excessing younger employees to new positions that, due to job requirements or logistical demands (long commutes) most will be unable to keep. He also doesn't say that the current drop in mail volume, largely in flats (catalogues and magazines) was self inflicted about two years ago when they raised postage rates significantly on this class of mail. At that time, they were telling employees (forcasting) that the mail volume would plummet - They knew, yet they did nothing since to correct for the decline or acquire new revenue streams to make up for it. At the same time this mail volume has been falling, management has been continuing to invest billions in new automated flat sorting and sequencing machines which it is rolling out all across the country - even though the need for such equipment is questionable given the current mail volumes. Why would they do this? Could it be that USPS management wants to have this excessive equipment infrastructure in place so that, when they are successful in abolishing or minimizing the career workforce, they will again reduce rates to increase volume (and revenue). This might also explain why they are hiring so many Transitional (temporary) employees, most of whom will be all too happy to continue working indefinitely (for lower pay and benefits) in more flexible positions - they will replace many career employees lost "through attrition". There will be no stability to the workforce handling the mail. Carrier routes will continue to change at management's whim and customers will receive mail from different carriers at different times of day. Gone will be the carrier carriers (already declining) who served customers on the same route for years, who knew all of thier customers by name, and could quickly route the mail and deliver it to the right person even when the address was wrong. Forwards and vacation holds, already frequently screwed up due to "down" routes, will become a joke. PMG Potter will tell us all that customer service will not decline. He'll quote survey data (generated by postal management, to support his claims. Sorry, but service already is declining due to massive cutbacks already in place and his current plans for the future will do nothing but make things worse. It is not career craft employees that are the problem with the postal service, it is bloated, self-serving, and corrupt postal management.

zippy 1 said...

I agree, get rid of the Unions. Look what the Union did for the Autoworkers in Detroit!! Did not save any jobs there. Get rid of the Union and go back under the Executive Branch, get on the GS pay scale and be done with it!

Anonymous said...

As a PTF whose holddown ends this weekend, I approve of this message.

Anonymous said...

Offer electronic bill pay and electonic money orders for a fee and make some damn money for god sake. stop blaming the internet and start to embrace it to some degree. Sell gifts that people want online. Who the heck wants just stamps or pictures of stamps or stuffed animals with stamps on it. Allow users to upload documents and be printed out at the destination PO and guaranteed next day delivery for a fee. Do I have to reform the PO or can management do it all by themselves. Got a letter in the mail the other day. Big mailer discount, they only paid 17.9 cents for that letter. No wonder we are losing money.

Anonymous said...

We already have a group of part timers all over the Country called supervisors.

Anonymous said...

the all knowing management at my bmc has a goal of unloading trucks in 45 minutes. every day we miss that goal. last night one was 20 hours late sitting in a parking lot waiting, and this is a daily occurrence, usually a 2 page list of late trucks per shift. why would anyone ever think managers contribute their share, when they take double the pay of a worker, keep people from being hired, and watch mail sit in our parking lot all day or they stare at the wall? that is no way to get the mail processed and out the door! after i unloaded the 20 hour late truck, i returned to the original truck i was unloading to see that it hadn't been touched for 3 hours either, and was waiting for me. elimination of 3 levels of management at my building would pay for 10 more workers per shift to help get the mail out the door. isn't that what customers pay for and expect? we have also many managers busted down to worker for deleting peoples clock rings, isn't that illegal? our system is totally top heavy and broken!

Tbearf said...

Then I guess some of the craft could be considered PTF also

getpaidtotry said...

Most retirees return to the job force for one of three reasons: boredom, to explore a hobby, interest or passion, or to supplement their retirement income. In 2005, Career Journal, a supplement to the Wall Street Journal, reported that seven million retirees had left their jobs only to eventually return to the workforce.

online survey

Anonymous said...

get rid of postmasters they do nothing all day and make over 120,000 a year cut management down to parttime status,get rid of all pooms,and dm,we only need carriers and clerks who do you think does all of the work?hello carriers and clerks but all the money is wasted on postmasters,pooms,dm,and stupidvisors.

Anonymous said...

why do we need pooms,postmasters,stupidvisors and dm?the job is to deliver the mail hello carriers do that get rid of the dead weight stupidvisors,pooms,postmasters,dm.
union yes management waste nooooo!!!!!

Anonymous said...

what does a stupidvisor,postmaster,poom,or dm do all day?answer-they figure out how much money they rake from the po-get rid of the dead weight

Anonymous said...

I know of a carrier at my office who works one day a week at my office. the other days she calls in sick. she has FMLA and just about everything you can think of is covered.and she brags about it

Anonymous said...

Reading all of these comments reinforces how great of a decision it was to leave that hell hole !!!!