Monday, March 26, 2012

USPS Seeks 'Soft Landing' For Downsized Employees, Donahoe Says

The U.S. Postal Service plans to provide a "soft landing" for employees affected by downsizing and is looking for ways to avoid closing rural post offices, the Postmaster General will testify Tuesday.

"The Plan to Profitability focuses on workforce reductions through employee attrition versus layoffs or wage reductions, meaning impacted career employees would be able to retire or find another job in the Postal Service," PMG Pat Donahoe will tell a House subcommittee. USPS released his prepared remarks today.

"In response to declining mail volumes and to increase productivity, the Postal Service consolidated over 200 mail processing facilities in the past five years from our peak number of 673 facilities in 2006. In doing so, we have customarily provided a 'soft landing' for employees through retirements and reassigning staff, in an effort to minimize impacts on employees. We have been, and continue to be, a responsible employer."

Donahoe will largely reiterate his plea that Congress enable the Postal Service to adjust to declining mail volumes with such cost cuts as eliminating Saturday delivery, closing facilities, and letting it leave the federal government's inefficient employee-healthcare plan. But he will also provide hints that USPS's plan to balance its budgets is still a work in progress.

"Post Office optimization efforts are continually evolving and the Postal Service is continuing to work toward solutions that will enable communities to retain retail access, under various scenarios. We continue to evaluate and consider multiple alternatives."

"The Postal Service is developing a number of alternatives to closing Post Offices that could sustain offices in rural communities at a reduced cost to the Postal Service. This is still in the discussion  stage."

One approach that does not look promising, however, is developing new lines of business that are based in the post offices, Donahoe will say.

"It is true that many international posts derive a larger percentage of revenue from non-mail products and services, such as banking and insurance. Research has confirmed that our retail units do not have the wage levels or foot traffic to profitably expand into such services. However, we are looking at new and emerging communications technology, like digital mail."

Donahoe thinks the Postal Service can save money and provide lower premiums for employees by exiting the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program and creating its own plan for employees and retirees.

"Unlike employers in the private sector, the Postal Service does not have the authority to actively manage its health care costs. We cannot introduce targeted wellness incentives and disease management programs for employees. We cannot leverage the significant purchasing power of our more than one million employees and retirees directly to negotiate a better deal in the competitive health insurance market. We cannot ensure that Medicare-eligible retirees fully participate in the Medicare benefits both employees and the Postal Service paid into. And we are not able to take advantage of the savings available to employers providing retiree health care benefits through coordination with the prescription drug benefits provided under Part D of Medicare."

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Anonymous said...

More BS from so called PMG

Anonymous said...

Who is responsible for us getting Donahoe as the PMG. He has no idea what he's doing and the people who put him in this position are showing they don't know what they are doing either by letting him continue to destroy the USPS. Take him out of this position before the entire USPS is destroyed!!!!

Anonymous said...

if hes worried about the employees why does he require them to give up their seniority to take the new position???????????????

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous #1 - he doesn't require them to give up their seniority...that's what the unions negotiated for.

SCNJ said...

Anonymous...Please explain why and how PMG has no idea what he's doing. Anyone can come on here and spout but without explanation it's all just blather.

Anonymous said...

on the board of Governors for the postal service the ceo of UPS hmmmm seems a little shady

Anonymous said...

Cut backs need to happen but dont let our customers suffer! How about trimming the fat in the post office. Its the only place i have worked in my life where lazyness and stupidty is made into a career! Not all employees fall into that mold but the ones who do should be fired.Union protection or not. Start cleaning house and you will save money. That is just common sence and good business sence.

Anonymous said...

Only carrier craft will be cut back. Clerks, mail handlers and truck drivers will still be required to work around the clock to get the mail moved. Since the Post Office will not survive without someone to deliver the mail, why crush the carriers? Fair? I think not.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe the Postmaster General is trying to close Post Offices and reducing hours at Post Offices. He is the Postmaster General. Shouldn't he be trying to save the Post Offices instead of trying to close them or reduce the hours. The organization is service and he seems to be wanting to cut service. He says he can put Village Post Offices in banks and stores. That is unbelievable. What happened to the sanctity of the mail. He is also staffing Post Offices with someone other than a Postmaster. You are hired as a Postmaster because you have worked hard through the years and worked your way to this position. These Postmasters are trained for this position and are dedicated to their customers and our offices deserve to be staffed with a Postmaster. It is time Donahoe goes. You can't believe anything he says. He is taking the Postal Service in the wrong direction and making big money to do it. I believe the Postal workers should have a vote on who their Postmaster General should be. Maybe he would start working for them instead of for his own agenda.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- National Association of Letter Carriers President Details Union's Concerns about Legislation in Letter to U.S. Senators
Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), has formally called on the U.S. Senate to pass S. 1789 -- the 21st Century Postal Service Act – because it is getting very late, it will provide long-term fixes. He said that while the measure "will provide resources to allow the Service to recover within a few more years, it will change the downward trajectory of this vital institution."
The NALC and APWU will join forces in a demonstration March, for Tuesday , April 3rd, 2012, the buses will meet you in the parking lots , located at 1580 lake Street, in Elmira, NY , call your National or local for directions, all expenses will be paid.

In a letter sent today to each U.S. senator, Mr. Rolando stated, "S. 1789 appears to be based on the Postal Service's Retirement Incentive strategy, which will alleviate the excessing of employees .
Mr. Rolando said NALC has "no choice but to Support S. 1789."
Mr. Rolando noted that just last week, a USPS witness before the Postal Regulatory Commission acknowledged that a study ordered -- but later stopped -- by the Postal Service on its own plan for service reductions indicated that the "combined effects of all the service cuts under consideration, including the elimination of Saturday delivery (and 80,000 delivery-related jobs), would not be so severe if The Early Retirement Incentives were offered now.

Other key points from Mr. Rolando's letter about the Decent Retirement Incentives in S. 1789:
It adequately addresses the single biggest cause of the Postal Service's recent financial distress, the mandate imposed by Congress in 2006 that the Postal Service pre-fund future retiree health insurance benefits. That mandate -- required of no other government agency or private business -- has cost USPS $21 billion over the past five years. It is money that could have been used to offer the Early Retirement Incentives in April 2012, in a more lucrative way.

Hanson said...

How do you personally find data for your fresh entries, which exact search engines or techniques do you commonly utilize?

D. Eadward Tree said...

To Hanson: I rely more on RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, and newsletters from relevant sources than on search to find info. There are also sites I check regularly because feeds are non-existent or incomplete.