Sunday, March 10, 2013

Postal Workforce Is Both Shrinking and Growing

The U.S. Postal Service added more than 4,000 jobs in February, but the postal workforce is actually shrinking.

USPS’s payroll had 607,600 people in February, up 4,600 from January, according to data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.

“The US Postal Service continues to lose money as it is bleeding cash,” responded Jon C. Ogg of 24/7 Wall St. “So can someone please manage to explain how the USPS added jobs at a time that Saturdays are being dumped for delivery days?”

Yes, I can explain: USPS hired the newbies to take up the slack from a massive wave of retirements. And perhaps to save money.

The Postal Service reports that it had 468,000 full-time employees in late
February, a decline of almost 35,000 (7%) in one year. Half of the loss occurred after Jan. 1, spurred by early-retirement incentives for APWU-represented employees.

More part-timers and temps
While the full-time workforce has been shrinking, the number of other employees (such as part-timers and temps) has been growing. In late February the number of non-full-timers had increased by 8,500, or more than 6%, in the previous 12 months.

USPS has made no secret of trying to reduce costs by gradually shifting more work to employees who are lower paid, have less expensive benefits, and can be scheduled flexibly depending upon the workload.

Here’s where the cost savings come in: Though the postal workforce has been shrinking, the workload has barely budged: So far this fiscal year, “total work hours” are down only 1% versus a year ago. As a result, overtime hours are up 18%.

So not only do the new hires start at the bottom of the scale, some of the work they accomplish would otherwise have to be done by more senior people at time-and-a-half rates.

And as for Ogg's question about Saturday delivery, ending that isn't a done deal. If it does come to fruition, cutbacks are more likely to affect the new hires than career employees who are protected by no-layoff clauses.

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Anonymous said...

Not mentioned here is the fact that almost all of the clerk overtime is going to regulars as PSEs are restricted to less than 8 hours in a day. Non-contractual mandatory overtime and penalty overtime is rampant. Delayed mail in facilities that have been part of the consolidation is a nightmare. We're being turned into a Gulag by short-sighted management decisions!

Anonymous said...

Almost all the clerk overtime is being done by the regular work force as the Postal Support Employees are restricted to 8 hours a day. Non-contractual mandatory overtime and penalty overtime are rampant in P&DCs who have consolidated. Delayed mail is rampant and the USPS has been turned into a gulag because of short-sighted management decisions. It's time to put this dog out of its misery.

Anonymous said...

my PD@C changed the times for the last trip in order to get the mail to stations earlier and the carriers out. but the mail is getting processewd later and and we are leaving later sometimes by an hour the i work 6 days a week every week and will be working 7 days a week come the end of this month when some prople go on vacation the post office is hiring like crazy but cant get peolple to pass drug and background checks there is an ad for mechanics in the STATEN ISLAND ADVAMCE drivers are having accidents and instead of being grounded they are put rite back to work we are short 21 diver were i work and its going to get worse

Anonymous said...

Not mentioned here is how much the number of managers has increased.

Anonymous said...

PSE's are not restricted to an 8 hour day. There is no mandatory overtime for non list people if there are NTFT bids in the area.
#3 please learn to use puncuation. You are not on your phone.

Anonymous said...

I'm a pse custodian and i get tons of overtime to screw off.. Ah life is good!

Anonymous said...

They changed out start times to 900 am because the mail is getting later to our station.

Anonymous said...

These people are a joke. They're not serious at all about losing money. They just keep hiring contractors, and expanding HQ's with a bunch of useless managers. The pmg and his henchmen figure that all they have to do is keep crying to congress and they'll get a bailout and then they'll got back to business as usual - wasting money and promoting their incompetent buddies.

Anonymous said...

We are not bleeding we are being stole from congress continues to reqiure the PO to prefund the retirees health care to the tune of 5.5 billion dollars a year. If you ask them where they are putting the money they will tell you it's put in to the general fund. I as a PO employee would like to know why. Can you say slush fund!!

Anonymous said...

All I want to know is are they planning to hire enough CCAS and offer carriers an early out in the near future?