Thursday, October 31, 2013

Layers of Redundant Management Have Been Eliminated, USPS Says

The U.S. Postal Service's public relations department responded last night to a recent Dead Tree Edition article. We are publishing the response in its entirety, without comment, except to note that article was based on a combination of verifiable facts and readers' opinions. We also note that many postal employees -- supervisors and "suits" as well as worker bees -- have complained vociferously about USPS's organizational structure. And that a significant overhaul of that structure would probably face legal hurdles.


To Dead Tree Edition

Your recent blog post, 17 More Ways USPS Is Not Like a Real Business, provides some good examples of how the Postal Service’s inflexible and outdated business model hinders our ability to compete in today’s marketplace and why there is an urgent need for passage of comprehensive postal reform legislation. We would, however, like to debunk a few myths in your list.

First, the claim that the Postal Service has “many layers of redundant management” and bureaucracy, is not true. In FY 2000, the Postal Service had 74,877 PCES [Postal Career Executive Service] and EAS [Executive and Administrative Schedule] employees. At the end of FY 2013, we only had 54,473. We have also reduced the number of Areas and Districts significantly, going from 10 Areas and over 100 District offices to 7 Areas and 74 Districts.

Regarding the item about electrical safety hazards, employee safety has always been a top priority of the Postal Service. Under terms of a recent settlement with OSHA, the Postal Service has agreed to modify its Electrical Work Plan Management Instruction and Maintenance Management Order so that significant amounts of personal protective equipment are purchased and significant hours of electrical safety training are administered. These changes are being phased in over a two-year period. We will be investing more than $5 million for 123,000 hours of training for nearly 20,000 maintenance employees. We also have distributed more than $2 million in protective safety gear.

As for the safety of our vehicle fleet, the Postal Service maintains a very stringent vehicle inspection program that requires a minimum of two comprehensive inspections performed each year. Inspections are performed by both contractors and USPS maintenance facilities.

The Postal Service operates under the laws that apply to it and does have the power to exercise eminent domain in the name of the United States. The courts, including the Supreme Court, have cited that power as evidence of how we are a government entity.

The Postal Service continues to take the responsible actions needed as outlined in our Five-Year Business Plan to return the organization to long-term financial stability. We need Congress to do its part by passing the legislative requirements in our plan so that the Postal Service can operate more like a “real business” and provide the mail and package service our customers expect and deserve for decades to come.

Sincerely,
Corporate Communications
U.S. Postal Service


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36 comments:

Mark Jamison said...

The Postal Service touts its reduction of PCES and EAS employees from 74,000 to 54,000 but what they don't mention is that the overwhelming majority of those reductions have come from the ranks of EAS 11-15 postmasters. That hardly speaks to the issue of removing layers of redundant management.
The changes to the Area/District/POOM level management structure have been mostly cosmetic, often simply shifting bodies. For an organization that is oriented heavily towards top down autocratic management there are far too many interim levels. Since virtually every initiative and policy originates from and is monitored by HQ the Area and District levels are ripe for consolidation.
The HQ structure is itself overburdened with V-P's and various conflicting reporting relationships. A recent OIG audit of IMB implementation discussed this issue in the context of lack of appropriate planning for IMB implementation.
Whatever other challenges the Postal Service faces it will be hard pressed to be successful with the managerial structure and culture that it now has.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the abive remark. The whole intent of the recent APWU contract was to shift the EAS work to the bargaining unit in a win-win situation. This has yet to occur and the Service seems bound to not let it occur.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I work in a district office and I don't see any layers of redundancy here. Everyone here has taken on the duties of jobs that were abolished and tho they were busy before, now they are overworked and sadly some things have to fall through the cracks. Still, we try to answer every phone call and every email; HQ is overburdened but they are not so good about answering emails. PEOPLE - this is a big business and it takes layers and it takes lots of people to make it happen. I do agree that our Postmasters and Station Managers are overworked and short-handed and have gotten the worst end of the deal. What can we do? -I suggest we continue to work together and do our best.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting.that the Postal Service finds it necessary to respond to articles on this blog. That means that you.struck a nerve Mr. Tree.

Orwell would have called the upper Postal management the Ministry of Lies. Any craft employee can see through this smokescreen of nonsense. If you can't dazzle the masses with brilliance, baffle them with BS.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
Oh Brother !!!

Anonymous said...

I have had the opportunity to travel to various offices to see the different layers. The most striking area is the POOM levels to the PCES level. This area really needs to be looked at for reduction. Then we need to reduce the amount of headquarter higher up levels PCES 1 and 2. I do agree with the above article of the mass elimination of the level 11-16 positions but this puts a heavy burden on the APO's. The whole structure is out of whack and really needs to be changed at the top levels with the 44 vice presidents.

Anonymous said...

THE PO HAS THE WORST FLEET OF VEHICLES IN BUSINESS...I HAVE WORKED FOR 30 YS IN THE SERVICE...BALD TIRES ..NO INSPECTIONS..THEY KEEP A BANDAID ON THEM ....IF THEY HAD TO DO STATE INSPECTIONS THEY WOULD FAIL.....OIL NOT BEING CHANGED FOR YEARS....THIS IS WHY THE LLVS ENGINES ARE BLOWING UP...ENGINES CANNOT BE REPLACED BECAUSE THEY DO NOT MAKE THE ENGINES ANYMORE...WHAT A WAY TO RUN A BUSINESS...I USE TO BE PROUD TO WORK FOR THE USPS...NOW I JUST WANT TO RETIRE....

Anonymous said...

So you are saying that you are overworked because you have to answer a few extra phone calls and type some emails?

Anonymous said...

I was disabled in an auto accident on February 21, 2013. I was fired from the Postal Service on 8-21-2013 because I could not provide sufficient explanation for the reason I was unable to maintain regular attendance. I could not drive myself and had to use a walker to get to my investigative review. Of course, I filed a grievance to extend time to get my disability retirement. Of course The USPS is using all of its "muscle" to prevent me from getting a hardship delivery box on a rural route that goes right by my house. I applied for a hardship delivery on June 21, 2013, but they are wasting money passing me off from one person to another. This is October 31, 2013. I still do not have access to get my mail unless a friend drives 40 round trip to take me to get my mail. Is this really fair, or ABUSE OF POWER?

Anonymous said...

Pretty much any manager above a postmaster is not needed. These jobs have nothing to do with moving the mail and often hinder and confuse the issue of how work is done.

I know of at least one instance where a district manager gave a discount to a large mailer they the mailer should not have received, overriding the decision made at the local level.

Anonymous said...

Mark Jamison lays out a far better argument than the U.S.P.S. I can only add that from my perspective career 204b's are a huge number nationwide; however current numbers count them as craft employees. Taking these numbers into account makes most allegeded cuts in management mostly illusionary. Why does HQ and VP positions continue to grow as the organization itself is reduced?

All Your TSP Belong To Us ! said...

Once again, postal mgmt. lies to the public.

Mgmt. levels have *increased* by almost 8%.

Also, how is their bonus program justified, if we're in such dire straits.

How can these clowns look at themselves in the mirror ?

Postal mgmt = liars and thieves, at all levels.

All Your TSP Belong To Us ! said...

Also, my LLV/vehicle has *never* had an annual inspection, in almost thirty years.

Mgmt. caught in a bald faced lie......... again !

Managers come, managers go. Programs come, programs go.

But the craft backbone of the USPS keeps things running.

RIF those who do nothing to move the mail, which is the vast majority of mgmt. ranks.

Valued Employee #654,091 said...

It's nice to know HQ is paying attention to Dead Tree. They certainly don't with VOE. Obviously the writer has never spent any time in a delivery unit and has gotten the "facts" from the reports provided by the many,many layers of bloat between him and myself.

Anonymous said...

The reason there is so much work is because there are too many numbers to analyse. Why do we need someone sending us emails telling who had last mile failures everyday? Do we need somebody sending us a motivational teamwork quote everyday? Or a daily accident report on all the accidents in the district? EXFC- BIG waste of money. I could go on, but I am sure you get the point. Eliminate all this stupid stuff and the work won't be there for the "analysts" and the rest of us can concentrate on moving the mail.

Anonymous said...

stringent vehicle inspection program twice per year? I'm a floater so I drive all the rides and I bet when I check emergency brake it wont hold on over half
of them.

Anonymous said...

Lies lies lies. .....and why do we even need a station manager? My postmaster tells my manager and supervisor what to do every day. ......and how about management changing clock rings constantly. ....for so called training we craft employees never get..........its all lies and bull. .....and why are carriers out in the streets after 8 pm and in the dark.....its crazy but no reports show we're out past 6....why is that???? Talk about screwing with the numbers! !!!! All I gotta say is come on in to Newport News Virginia and see the biggest lies ever in the postal service! !!!!

Anonymous said...

Upper managemant says they are concerned about safety? They are concerned about numbers and delivery speed. Slip on the ice trying to make their bogus "numbers" and its YOU under the gun in the supervisors office for commiting an unsafe act. They pay lip service to safety but thats about it.

ET - 10 Simmons said...

Mark Jamison gets it right in one, again. What corporate also fails to mention is that the total number of PCES and EAS employees would now be down to about 43,500, not 54,000, if they had lost the same percentage as career craft employees over the same period of time...

Anonymous said...

When I worked in a BMEU I had a supervisor, Bob. My boss Bob had a boss named Bill, Bill had a boss named Mary and Mary had a boss named Sam.
Bob had to learn the job from craft workers. Bill, Mary and Sam know nothing about business mail but they are in charge. To disguise the fact that they knew nothing they made Bob do stupid things to us like check our clock rings.
These people are making close to $100,000 a year and are essentially time clock police.
Yes there are too many do nothing know nothing managers.

Anonymous said...

I have been employed at the Westchester Postal and Distribution Center in NY for over 35 years. The management at the facility is the worst I have ever seen. The plant is a disaster. I am a union representative and have the knowledge and experience to make this statement. Many mangers here will tell you the same, in confidence of course. Massive changes in the management "culture" are necessary.

Anonymous said...

Will someone somewhere get a clue! I have worked for the USPS for over 25 years as a letter carrier. We have lost over 100 craft employees since I started and we have more managers than when I started. There are 74 districts and only 50 states - I've been told an average of 65 whatever positions at each district level - yep that's a reduction. What a joke!!! Management at my PO are not overworked - all their time is spent bullying and trying to find ways to discipline the senior carriers or going after the union representatives that are trying to protect them. It's the most hostile work environment ever. Our letter carriers are so scared and overworked all they can do is deliver their routes as fast as possible to get the "h" out of there and go home. It's so depressing. I pray every day that I will make it to retirement. My management has no conscience - it's all about the numbers and their bonus.

Anonymous said...

The Supervisor that I answer to had sexual relations on postal property with out area manager while she was a secretary,and this is well know in our station, she then became a supervisor, and the area manager's son became.....POOM.....they spend more time trying to write senior clerks up and falsifying numbers then they do worry about the mail or customers......This is my finale year and they are intent on making this my worse year ever. Typical unqualified managment.....

Michael Huett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
All Your TSP Belong To Us ! said...

Also, in the last five years, my office has seen a 66% reduction in craft ranks, mostly in the clerk craft, but some carriers too.

Yet, we have the *same* number of mgmt. in the office.

Anonymous said...

We have supervisors that have a hard time spelling their name at Tampa L&DC, let alone run an operation. An even bigger joke is that mha's & pse's with a month in the service have been put up as 204b's running an apps machine. Thank God that I'm retiring in January. I laugh everytime I walk through the door & I laugh everytime I leave too. You wouldn't believe it unless you saw it with your own eyes!

Anonymous said...

Ha, this is funny. My P.O. has a Postmaster and a full time clerk and they spend 6 hours a day BS-ing or most days the Postmaster leaves for lunch at noon and never returns! The clerk wants the hours so she keeps her mouth shut.

All Your TSP Belong To Us ! said...

Good news !

This story has produced a result !

Heard today, that the assistant to the Assistant Vice President of Redundancy Studies, is going to contact the assistant to the Vice President of Redundancy Studies, who is going to contact the assistant to the Deputy of Redundancy Studies.

Once they contact the President and Chief Operating Officer of Redundancy Studies, expect some news !.....................

newt610@gmail said...

It's an old style top down management system that needs a revamp. Many a new manager means well, has ideas but gets caught in the wheel. And craft sees this "old" top down system at it's worst. So who is gonna make such a change? And whats taking so long? I've seen all this in action for 45 years now. As PMG i could do it in a year. I thought PMG Donohoe(as a former clerk) would fix it.....after all.....this is not rocket science we are concerned about. Basic thrust is process and deliver the US Mail. That's it! Management and Labor need to sit down together and revamp the whole thing. Toss the current top down authoritarian system and bring all the unions into one group. Allow job sharing, base wages on work by evaluated time. This is the best road ahead for a fix. Congress can not do it. Board of Governors should do it but they are all outside people. However a clerk turned PMG could do it. What do you say Pat?

Anonymous said...

asesTel

Anonymous said...

Safety is a joke in my plant. We have the plant manager spouse who is a mail handler who drives a mule and pushes equipment with the endangering everyone life but the supervisors will not correct her due to the fear of the plant manager. The employees are afraid to even write up 1767s or file OSHA complaints because that 1767 will tell them who filed the OSHA complaint so watch your back. This is a reactive company not proactive, at lease in the pacific area. Sad.

Anonymous said...

If they have reduced PCES and EAS employees, then why do we still have a lot of waste at our facility?

Anonymous said...

PMG Marvin Runyon was the best and brightest.appointed by Clinton he came from Ford and Nissan to fix the "going postal" shootings in the 90's.....which he did. they got rid of him when he mentioned that po mismanagement was over staffed by 80% and his mission was to right size the po.

Anonymous said...

The problem is and always will be....too many chiefs. Congress controls what we do and the PMG has his agenda, neither are solving the problem. We need to take the current structure and revamp it. Remove the 4 big unions and combine them into one, with its focus on benefits and working conditions. Right now there is a 700+ million dollar settlement with the clerk union over how much work that a postmaster can do. Really??? I have 6 employees in my office, 3 part time employees who would love more hours. When my part time city carrier I sick, I must ask for a neighboring office to send their carrier to cover the work. This person gets paid nearly an hour of pay to drive to my office. If I could call in my rural carrier assosicate, there is no paid travel time. But if I do that, the union files and someone gets paid for doing nothing. This kind of stuff has to stop somewhere. How about change all craft employees to "postal employees" rather then city carrier, clerk, mail handler, RCA, ect. Each with their own pay levels. When I use a level 5 postal employee in a level 6 job, he gets a temp increase in pay. Stop the turf wars and focus on one station covering its own work.

Anonymous said...

newt610@gmail said it best new managers (college educated) have ideas but get caught in the wheel. The corporate communication dept of the usps is just that a dept were PCES and/EAS higher level employees like their high pay, oh hell that is the entire postal service. no on makes any decisions it is alway someone elses fault. No one thinks outside the box. There are a few intelligent individuals in this organization but these few can not, will not be allowed to change anything. I feel that the PO is doomed.

Anonymous said...

I work at Phila-pdc. All the stories I'm hearing
Are so similar to what goes on here its a very hostile enviroment. Supervisors an Management are always threatening people
With there jobs. They take the worst employees and promote them an they don't have a clue , and that's who"s running the place. I hope they offer another buyout soon
I'm ready to go.