Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bang-Up Job: USPS Blames New Employees for Rising Motor Vehicle Accidents

The increasing use of non-career letter carriers has caused a steady rise in motor vehicle accidents and liability, postal officials said this week.

The U.S. Postal Service’s liability for motor vehicle tort claims (paid to victims of accidents) rose from $48 million in Fiscal Year 2015 to $88 million in FY2016, the Postal Regulatory Commission recently pointed out.

In responding to that observation on Thursday, the Postal Service explained: “Since the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreements between the Postal Service and several employee unions, which expanded the role of non-career mail delivery drivers, there has been an increase in the number of motor vehicle accidents (MVAs).”

“The number of MVAs attributed to career carriers has remained largely flat, while those attributed to their non-career counterparts has increased out of proportion to the percentage of the carrier workforce that they occupy.” The 2011 agreements created the non-career City Carrier Assistant (CCA) and Rural Carrier Associate (RCA) positions, which last year combined for one-fourth of the USPS’s carrier workhours.

The cost of saving money
The lower pay, paltry benefits, and more flexible schedules of the 70,000 or so CCAs and RCAs are probably saving the Postal Service at least $500 million in annual compensation. But the inexperienced employees have also meant more mis-delivered mail, employee injuries, lower productivity, higher turnover, and ballooning recruiting and training costs, according to the USPS.

The Postal Service has not provided specifics on the number of motor-vehicle accidents or what proportion of accidents or tort claims are caused by non-career employees.

The USPS told the PRC earlier this year that its FY2017 strategy for reducing motor-vehicle accidents includes “redesigning the driver training program to expand opportunities for new drivers to become more skillful. Testing will be added to the program to assess the suitability of each employee to perform duties as a professional driver.”

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24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well when mgt pushes the new hires expect them to do 10 hrs work in 8 8 hours. This is gonna happen

Jeff said...

$40 million more wasted that no one in mgmt. will be held accountable for. Of course, that is a drop in the bucket of their annual waste of postal funds, and yes, their bonuses are part of that.

Why are their still bonuses if we're supposedly so broke ?

Yet, if a carrier is five minutes late, the world is ending.

Allen L. Sr. Harris said...

As a retired (33 yrs) letter carrier I can attest to the fact that the CCA's are pushed well beyond their capabilities! My son was a CCA for 6 months. It was common place that he worked 11-12 hr days. He worked 7 days a week. He got sick with the flu on the route and when he called in was told to keep going. His last Monday his assignment had 8 additional feet of mail with 183 parcels and spurs. He started at 9:30am and was told to be back at 6 pm. The assignment avg street is 6:15. He also was given 2 hrs OT on a different assignment which he had to return to the station to pick up. The OT wasnt ready when he left the office to carry his assignment. This is a common occurrence in Louisville, KY.

Anonymous said...

That is some nice spin...they actually made it sound like it was the unions idea to create the non-career position.

Anonymous said...

Easy to understand because CCA'S do not even check their trucks in the morning to make sure brakes lights wipers tires are in good working order and the vehicle is safe for the road for the driver for the Postal Service and for those around us on a daily basis

Anonymous said...

When I started working for the Post Office 23 yrs ago we were told that the LLV hag 43 revisions along with 7 mirrors. Keep that in mind while driving.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how when we were at a District Manager meeting in the Westchester District the Manager of Human Resources told us the senior drivers were having the most accidents and Postmaster should take corrective action to get rid of these employees.

NJRonbo said...

This is absolutely true. We had three accidents by new RCAs in the past week.

However, it is also true, as discussed in this thread, that management is pushing these new carriers to get huge jobs done in shorter periods of time.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget, along with the long hours, working in the dark in unfamiliar territory.

Anonymous said...

I'm so disappointed in the results the USPS has had with the CCAs. I was hoping the CCAs would have worked out like gangbusters, and the USPS would have been tickled 20 different shades of pink about it to where they would have given anything, and yes, even about $20,000 to $25,000 to get senior carriers like me to retire.

This would have been a win-win deal where I got some going away money, and the USPS would recoup their incentive money in about 3 months after I left because of the wages and benefits spread of a CCA vs a regular carrier with 34 years.

But, nooooooo. The CCAs can't hack some physical labor, constructive criticism from the supervisor, and now I just learn they can't drive a left-handed vehicle worth a hoot.

For this, I'm demanding a raise, a new vehicle with AC and Bose surround sound stereo, and a pretty young gal to ride along and keep me company all day long. She can jump out and run all those Amazon parcels up to the door and back in those seXXXy tight-fitting shorts... Oh, yeah! :)

With working conditions like that, I may never want to retire.

Danny Edwards said...

I know from personal experience, when you have a boss yelling at you to deliver 10 hours of mail in 8 hours, you are so flustered, the last thing you are thinking about is doing you job correctly or in a safe manner................ I guess accidents and their victims are just collateral damage that the USPS can live with.

pikngrn said...

These trucks are dangerous to drive compared to more modern vehicles. Too much play in the steering and brakes that only get checked when they don't work at all. No maintenance done because they can barely keep them repaired enough to meet the number needed each day. They are completely lethal on wet streets. I wonder how many RCA accidents are happening in their POVS? I haven't heard of any that weren't the other driver's fault.
More training would be helpful l, but do it in real conditions. Not just around a couple of blocks to see if they know how to stop for stop signs.

Anonymous said...

and to add insult to injury its quite common in our office to get back from the street only to see 3-4 supervisors sitting around the desk laughing and joking around, we have a very high ration of supervisors to workers in our office, Our postmaster has been heard saying she wants as many people in our office so she can move to a higher level office for more pay

Anonymous said...

Even more disturbing is when a CCA has an "at fault accident" during their so-called probation and then makes Regular! Multiple ECC issues with misdeliveries. PM was told to consider "who will you get to replace them if they are terminated." Seems the only way a CCA loses his/her job - is if they quit. I know for a fact that these issues would be handled much different where it a PTF or Regular.

Anonymous said...

My boss says they can't fire a cca, because they can't hire them fast enough to fill all the needs. Boss looks the other way for accidents and continual call outs when cca's want a day off or just don't like the days weather. As far as delivering the mail correctly, holds forwards .... just deliver it all and don't worry about misdelivered parcels , we have gps to help correct the complaints, just have the regular collect the parcel and deliver it correctly

Miranda Lundy said...

I do, it's the regular in my office that never does a safety inspection pre drive. She has a mounted route, is always about an hour under time, but claims she doesn't have the time to check her LLV for safety. She doesn't even use her seat belt, no disciplinary action.

Miranda Lundy said...

Because they make more money. Further, that's age descrimination.

Miranda Lundy said...

You are a cunt

Anonymous said...

you have no idea of snark

Ernest Johnson said...

An opening for a driver instructor opened and during the interview one question was, If you get the job what can you offer for safety driving? My response was several years ago the Motor Vehicle drivers were introduced to The Smith System Defensive Techniques. The system grants drivers the necessary skills to recognize accident producing situations time enough to make a rational and prudent decision to avoid the accident. The Postal Representative stated emphatically "we're not going to spend that amount of money". One fatal incident can overlap all cost associated with injury to third party personnel. She told me" this interview is over", I stated gladly the USPS have no intent to avoid costly claims prior to them happening. So now we have an idea about the level of postal concern, and also demonstrated by the lack of professional training that prevents all accidents based on training received.

Anonymous said...

It is no wonder there are so many vehicle accidents. The Post Office is almost demanding that carriers take mail to work on the street. Not only do they have to watch traffic they have to work several bundles of mail at the same time and do it in unreasonable time limits. On any given day they will have a bundle of letters, a bundle of magazines(flats) a bundle of raw mail, and a boxholder with small parcels and large parcels. Trying to keep everything in order and deliver as accurately as they can while being pushed to go faster. By the way don't have an accident while doing all of this.

Anonymous said...

I started in 2002 as a RCA so how was that position started in 2011? Article makes it sound like it's the city and rural unions fault rather than pointing the blame where it should. Unreasonable times to complete the route, more work less pay, bad treatment of employees and too much management.

secret guy said...

The USPS is very lazy in training . The SPBS training eliminated the most important part of the training process and said"Learn OJT!So there are clerks that don't know what they are doing and it's a mess over there

Riya R said...

I do, it's the regular in my office that never does a safety inspection pre drive. She has a mounted route, is always about an hour under time, but claims she doesn't have the time to check her LLV for safety. She doesn't even use her seat belt, no disciplinary action.
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