USPS notifies 1,700 employees their jobs will be cut

Tony Vegliante, the agency's HR chief, says staff will continue to work during the transition Tony Vegliante, the agency's HR chief, says staff will continue to work during the transition James Kegley
The U.S. Postal Service has alerted thousands of workers that they will be laid off or transferred by September.

The agency on May 27 mailed specific reduction-in-force notices to 2,429 administrative employees, including 1,751 whose jobs will be cut. The remaining 678 notices informed employees they have been transferred to equal or lower-ranked positions.

Employees whose jobs have been eliminated can apply for vacancies posted as part of the reduction-in-force process. Applicants can request a lateral transfer to a similar function, or move to a position that is up to three levels below their current pay grade, said USPS Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President Tony Vegliante.

The vacancies are open through June 20, and any remaining positions will be posted on July 26.

The RIF process is part of an agencywide restructuring plan, announced this spring, to cut 7,500 jobs, including 20 percent of the administrative workforce and 10 percent of the postmaster jobs. USPS sent general RIF notices in April to employees who could be affected by reduction-in-force procedures.

According to Vegliante, different areas -- accounting or human resources, for example -- could be either overstaffed or understaffed, so the total number of positions affected in each varies. If employees whose jobs are being cut do not apply for and receive a different position, they will be separated on Sept. 9. In the meantime, staff will continue to work, Vegliante said.

"If their current job is going away, if they're in this process, they are assigned to the necessary work that needs to get done," said Vegliante. "People still are employed, are still getting a paycheck, and I still expect work for that. The best way to pass your time is to do something."

The Postal Service's restructuring plan also called for cuts to supervisor and postmaster jobs. According to Vegliante, the agency met its goal for supervisory positions simply by reassigning employees to openings based on changing needs at post offices and plants. Officials reevaluate the supervisor workforce every six months to ensure the agency does not build in more jobs than it needs. Plans to cut postmaster jobs are still in the works, however.

"We're moving along and making progress," Vegliante said. "We went through the toughest phases, and now we're going to bear down and find the right people for the right jobs, looking at qualifications and looking at performance."

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