Sunday, April 13, 2014

Lower Pay Rates Are Boosting USPS's Finances

Partly because of a shift to lower-paid employees, the U.S. Postal Service experienced a rare improvement in its business last year, according to a Postal Regulatory Commission analysis. But the PRC warned that USPS is still on shaky ground – losing money for the seventh year in a row, short on cash, and unable to borrow money or invest in new equipment.

In other words, the good ship Postal Service is still sinking, but it’s not taking on quite as much water as it used to.

The PRC calculates that USPS’s financial loss from operations was “only” $1 billion in FY2013, down from nearly $2.5 billion the previous year. The PRC’s calculation excludes prepaid retiree health benefits (a budgeting gimmick created by Congress that USPS has stopped paying) and one-time accounting adjustments.

“The Postal Service reduced expenses in FY 2013” despite a minuscule decline in mail volume, says the PRC’s analysis of the Postal Service’s annual 10K financial report, released a few days ago. “Workhours and the average hourly compensation and benefits rate were both lower than last year. This indicates that the Postal Service’s finances may be improving.”

“Personnel expenses, including compensation and benefits expenses and systemwide benefit expenses, account for 78 percent of total expenses. The Postal Service reduced compensation and benefits almost $1 billion by increased use of non-career workforce and voluntary retirement incentives.”

Lower average pay rates
With the help of early-retirement incentives, the number of career employees declined by 37,000, all from attrition. In many cases, they were replaced by lower-paid non-career employees, especially because of a union contract allowing more hiring of non-career postal clerks. As a result, in most segments of the Postal Service the “productive hourly rate” of pay actually declined during FY2013.

On the negative side, fuel costs were higher, and USPS had to spend an additional $137 million on supplies when Express Mail was re-branded as Priority Mail Express.

Growth in packages and Standard Mail almost made up for the ongoing decline in First Class Mail. Boosted by price increases, revenue rose by $700 million (1.2%) during the year.

USPS’s strength in residential delivery could enable it to continue prospering from the growth of e-commerce, but the agency is not prepared for such growth, the PRC warned.

“For the burgeoning e-commerce market to become a viable option, the Postal Service needs to replace and improve its existing aging vehicles to accommodate the shift in mail mix toward a higher fraction of packages and to invest in new and efficient mail processing technologies and equipment. The Postal Service’s ability to make these investments is affected by the lack of available working capital.”

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29 comments:

Anonymous said...

USPS could save a hell of a lot more if they would utilize their CCAs and TEs at a much lower rate of pay then force carriers who don't want overtime at time and a half, very poor management! They could save even more by firing the inept supervisors and postmasters who constantly harass and cause a caustic work environment and most never carried a letter their entire careers.

Anonymous said...

Much more important to spend the money on rebranding than post offices in rural areas. :-(

Anonymous said...

Rebranding express was a total waste of money. Customers are no more interested in using the line than they were before. Either they are willing to pay big bucks to get it there 1-2 days or they aren't. A fancy new name will never change that fact.

Anonymous said...

True.....

Anonymous said...

And if they would offer ANYTHING to the carriers who have 35 years or more and get the CSRS of the pay rolls they would save even more! But I guess management isn't that smart!!!

Anonymous said...

You do not need a Postmaster at every Post Office - this is very costly every year.
Supervisors need to be retrained in some cases or need to be replaced.

ET-10 Simmons said...

Short of prefunding, which USPS corporate still counts as a loss even though they haven't actually paid it the last three times, the postal service has had net operational gains of almost $1.5 BILLION since the start of fiscal 2013. The postal service isn't losing money and nothing being done by corporate today to 'save' it is necessary.

This is the same typical, tired dreck, a.k.a. - lies, constantly being trotted out by the bulk mailing industry. An industry which wouldn't/couldn't exist without the USPS and an industry which has done nothing but put on the poor mouth ever since they had to begin paying part of their fair share. If only we could do away with presort and 'work sharing' discounts...

You can't work non-career employees; CCA's, PSE's, MHA's, etc.; before offering volunteer regulars on the ODL their due overtime. That's in the contracts and has NOTHING to do w/management. I've worked for good and bad managers/supervisors. If you need to complain, blame Corporate and your union.

Why would a CSRS employee with that much time in take a VERA? They max out at 40 years/80%. Corporate isn't going to offer any more VERA's and the max allowed by law still wouldn't be worth it.

Please stop confusing corporate w/management. Managers/supervisors/postmasters, etc. can do NOTHING y'all are suggesting which would violate the ELM, contracts, etc/

Mike Jones said...

In my office they max cc A's to 60 hours a week. Rembrandt is stupid

Anonymous said...

The cost is lower true, but to the detriment.
The turn over for CCA's is a lot higher than the old career position of the PTF's. The figured out for the crap that management shoves down their throats, that the money isn't worth it. The ones that do stick with it are the ones that have family's and need the job. Others just walk away, after the PO has paid to train them. Then there is the OT cost to mandate carriers into OT that don't want the OT.
The final cost is to the carriers bodies. The carriers are DRIVEN everyday to increase productivity. There is the mental and emotional cost, as well as the physical cost. Carrier being told to re schedule doctors appointment for the convenience of mismanagement.

Anonymous said...

Since postplan arrived there are nearly no postmasters in any office except for the big cities. The postal service jumped on the low-wage worker bandwagon a little late. Working for the post office used to be a career. Now it's just a job to most. The current part time workers in every industry "job shop" frequently to find some other job that will pay them 50/hour more than they are currently making. With the increased technical requirements of nearly every job, the amount of time and money spent training and retraining new employees must be astronomical. Also the millennial generation is not going to put up with management BS for what they are currently being paid; they'll just quit and find some other low paid job somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

This is the same comments always made by employees. Prior to dois we cased an avg 4 ft of mail per hour now we rarely hit 2 ft per hour and no that's not the terrible dois numbers its our numbers. As volume has dropped we pace ourselves. We carry handy dandy route protection guides to pace ourselves and claim we have no standards. You should be careful pointing fingers its a failure due to every side in the issue having an agenda

Anonymous said...

The smartest thing the post office has done so far is to lower the wages of the non-career work force. The TE's were receiving a far too generous pay and benefit package.

Anonymous said...

First. ET-10 Simmons does not speak for a lot CSRS employees who WOULD leave if offered any kind of leave early deal. I have 38 years in and would take an offer of adding years or cash. And as far as the TE's making too much money and benefit package, it is obvious you weren't one. The wage cut is why 22% of the CCA's hired locally have already quit.

Anonymous said...

TE's had NO BENEFIT PACKAGE, and those few who stayed took a 27% Pay Cut, something no current Regular has a clue about...Just Sayin'...

Anonymous said...

what about getting the regulars out as the cca's would be saving them money when they are converted as for the benefits there aren't any as for the health only reason why I got it so wouldn't get the obamacare penalty

Anonymous said...

TeE's got $22 an hour and Annual leave. Seems pretty sweet to me compared to what every other non-career postal employee has gotten past or present. TE's and CCA's weren't the beginning of the non-career status.

There was no pay cut so you can stop with the "just sayin'." Those former TE's applied for a new non-career position. The new position paid significantly less, as it should.

And don't start with the same routes, same office whining. Quit or transfer.

If you want to continue to whine and cry about how tough your situation is, and no one knows the burdens that you have had to bear, I can't stop you. I can only tell you that you look like a child throwing a temper tantrum because you didn't get what you wanted.

Put some time on the clock.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of USELESS MANAGERS that never carried Mail

Anonymous said...

Again, you do not know what you are talking about, but that's normal from the group that never had a pay cut in their entire lives, don't even know what I am talking about...Sad Really...Just Sayin'...

Anonymous said...

why would anyone want to be a CCA? $15/hr and no benefits? they don't even earn a separate SL.... it just all comes out of their AL/leave pool..... the Carrier Union rolled over on this just so they could get the extra 30,000 bodies the PO promised.....more Union dues in their pocket..... the Union should have fought to keep PTF's but I'm sure when they saw 30,000 potential new Union members Rolando and Co. were licking their chops

Anonymous said...

See, you are wrong. I have taken a pay cut during my postal career. You continue to make posts whining about things that you do not even know about. Keep it up child.

I can't help your defeatist mentality. You will have to work on it yourself.

At least you don't pretend to have served in the Marines like that guy on Federal Soup.

Anonymous said...

we have all taken a pay cut, 1% raise per year and real inflation running at 10% a year. just because obammy takes fuel and food out of cola and calls it core inflation ate,does not change reality. it is your purchasing power and it is being eroded as we speak. easy way to hedge against po losing money.....is to buy UPS & FDX stock.

Steve B said...

Don't forget how much money the postal service continues to save by illegally removing injured employees.
The PO will pay for their illegal policy.

Curtis Sullivan said...

we have old shits , broke, crippled, and useless. no mandatory yrs of service to get rid of these leeches. no drug tests to get rid of 1/3 of the workforce. no firing of donohoe for being a shit leader of this trainwreck for not making ends meet. well you get what get.

Scooby said...

I hear you, but supervisors can't afford to schedule people for maximum office efficiency (ie as late as possible) because if a deluge comes in no one will make it back fire the last dispatch, and add all the variables like sick calls, breakdowns, etc and it gets even worse. The 24 hour clock is WAY off, and until they get the mail to stations early enough the low office productivity cannot be successfully addressed. They need to make final collection times earlier to make up for the extra time mail travels due to the AMPs. As usual, they ignore the downsides if their brilliant plans and suffer accordingly. Just accept reality for once!

Anonymous said...

How does one go about getting one of these temp/part-time non career jobs with the PO? Best way to do so? What is the starting pay and what positions are available?

Thanks much!

Shad

Anonymous said...

Agree!!!..... more union dues is what Rolando seen

Mike Allen said...

Don't even speak about leeches. I broke my back in single vehicle accident due to break failure delivering my RR and ended up getting thrown under the bus after 4 back surgeries and sketchy 2nd opinion Dr's and lost my benefits in 2009. My family has suffered tremendously to the way the PO and FWC handled things. My Congressman even got involved because what they were doing was "Immoral and unethical but follows the letter of the law" and screwed my family over.

Most of you are just talking out of your rear ends and have no idea what you are actually talking about in the first place.

Anonymous said...

You are so right I'm not a millennial, but not being a career employee as a CCA, I feel no TRUE job security. I have another offer for more money...way more money and less stress. I wanted to restart my second career, but I have NO confidence in the longevity of the position. As certain family members felt several years ago when you hired with a potential future. And I just finished training which is way too short! You need at least a week to get "it", NOT 24hours of training time. Some haven't been trained to drive the LLV yet!! It's too bad...I always wanted to be at the PO as my 2nd and final career change.

Anonymous said...

I was hired in Nov 2014. Sadly I was sent to a PO where they placed me as a CCA in the back of the mail truck for 3 days handing the driver mail as we went along.On 4th day I was showed 3 huge steel bins to the roof in height loaded with packages, told to sort them, load them into a van I was never certified to drive(and no one knew how to start,rubber key and rubber hole)then GO DO A PARCEL RUN ALONE AFTER HAVING LOADED THE VAN!There less than perfect directions got me lost in another town, with anxiety and stress out the wazoo. I QUIT.Yes I needed the job and money BUT I felt that my lack of real ONJ Training was cause for an accident waiting to happen so I left. No accountability there.