Soft Landing For Postmasters?

The U.S. Postal Service may be downsizing, but the agency aims to take care of employees to the extent it can, according to a top official.

USPS on Thursday proposed changes to the process for closing postal facilities that would streamline the review process and cut the total time from 18 months to just 138 days. The new rule also would allow postmasters to manage more than one post office location.

The overhaul comes in the midst of a complete restructuring of agency operations and the postal workforce. USPS last week kicked off a voluntary early retirement process and began offering $20,000 buyouts to employees in an effort to cut 7,500 administrative and supervisory jobs.

According to Dean Granholm, vice president of delivery and post office operations at USPS, it's difficult to say which postmasters will be affected by post office closures. But employees can rest a bit easier knowing the Postal Service tries to take care of its own, he added.

"It would result in fewer postmasters over time," said Granholm. "We do have a lot of vacant positions...we have a long tradition of ensuring we have landing spots for employees. Even in this giant downsizing, our goal is to provide people continued employment."

USPS employees will be notified before any action is taken on their branch, Granholm said, but noted most will be sympathetic due to the Postal Service's current fiscal condition.

"Every postal employee knows what we're going through," he said. "I don't think this is going to be new for any employee."

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