USPS estimates 7,400 employees may take buyout offers

Eric Risberg/AP

Thousands of postmasters and full-time mail handlers have taken the first step toward accepting buyout and early retirement offers from the U.S. Postal Service, as the agency attempts to reduce its ranks through attrition to restore it to solvency.

According to USPS spokesman Mark Saunders, as many as 7,400 postmasters and full-time mail carriers signed up for the offers by the July 2 deadline. While these employees can still change their minds, USPS estimates between 3,800 and 4,200 postmasters will take the $20,000 buyout incentive available to them, and 2,800 to 3,200 full-time mail handlers are expected to take a $15,000 buyout.

USPS previously announced plans to whittle down its workforce to help generate about $500 million in savings, mostly through attrition and through the separation incentives it has offered to its 21,000 postmasters and its 43,000 full-time mail handlers.

Full-time career employees who take the buyout will receive half their payment at the end of 2012 and the other half in 2013. USPS officials have said the agency will work with employees who take buyouts and are interested in other opportunities within the Postal Service. There are no plans for layoffs.

The agency also is offering part-time retirement programs to early retirees, a plan the American Postal Workers Union recently criticized. The union claims that reducing hours and switching career postmasters to noncareer, postmaster relief positions violates the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

USPS plans to reduce hours at approximately 13,000 rural post offices. Postmasters at those locations would switch to part-time work, with moderated or no benefits as noncareer postmaster reliefs. USPS disputes that this change would violate the collective bargaining agreement.

The Postal Regulatory Commission will hold a special meeting July 11 to consider USPS’ plan for adjusting its retail network and hours. It previously requested additional details on the data used to develop the plan. Jeffrey Day, a manager at agency’s office of delivery and operations will testify. The commission recently denied a motion from APWU requesting an emergency order halting plans to reduce hours.

“The potential harm to the Postal Service from a preliminary injunction outweighs the potential harm to mailers from not issuing a preliminary injunction,” the commission’s ruling stated.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.