USPS Early Retirement, RIF, and Reasignments Rumors

On Wednesday, March 14, 2012, postalnews.com reported that a number of Postal Service employees saw a web page that had dead links to VERA and other retirement incentive. This set up a rapid rumor mill in message boards regularly frequented by Postal Service employees. Looking through these posts, it appears clear that an announcement is coming this week about which Postal Service employees will be eligible for early retirement, incentives that will be available, and dates by which employees must make their decisions. The following provides the information from news stories, comments on news stories, and bulletin boards that have the most credibility.

Early Retirement and Retirement Incentives

  • The announcement will come on Friday March 16. March 16 appears more likely for four reasons: 1) multiple individuals report that plant managers are meeting on Thursday March 15; 2) It is the last day to announce reassignments over long distances that would happen on May 15; 3) human resources departments tend to prefer to make these announcements on Fridays; 4) and making the announcement on Friday afternoon reduces the public relations impact of the announcement.
  • The effective retirement date for those taking early retirement will be Friday, June 1, 2012. FERS employees who are eligible for early retirement should consider retiring on or before Thursday May 31, based on when pension payouts can start.
  • Early retirement will be offered to EAS, supervisors, APWU members and Mail Handlers. It is possible that it will be limited to employees affected to efforts to optimize the retail or mail processing networks. However, given how broad the geographic area that the restructurings cover, it would appear that few APWU members, Mail Handlers, supervisors or EAS employees will be exempt. It would seem likely that employees in positions that require skills that are in short supply (mostly EAS employees) will not be eligible for early retirement.
  • Incentives will be offered. However, there is disagreement as to what type of incentive is likely. Here are the two possibilities that appear most credible. 1) The Postal Service will offer no added cash but will add 2 years credit for CSRS employees and 5 year credit for FERS. 2) The Postal Service will offer a $20,000 cash incentive divided into two payments, one paid upon retirement and the second paid in October of 2012. Of these two, the non-cash incentive option right now appears more likely
  • The Postal Service may offer employees an option of graduated (phased) retirement. This would shift he employee from full to half-time status but they would retain all of their current benefits. Their job supposedly will involve training new full time employees. For management employees, the training requirement may be real. For craft employees, there is less likely to be much of a training component to their part time job. It is possible that this graduated retirement option could be offered to employees that are too young to retire or do not have sufficient service years to retire.  (For more information see the story about phased retirement in the Washington Post.)
  • The incentives offered this week will be the first of three rounds of incentives that will be offered over the next two years. The size and timing of future incentives will depend on the Postal Service’s finances and acceptance of this first round of incentives. There are some disagreements as to the timing of the three rounds with some seeing them happening over the summer and some believe that they may take as much as two years. Given the logistics of restructuring the network, it seems reasonable that the first round of incentives may have more than one retirement date either different areas will implement restructuring at different times or the Postal Service will want to implement most of restructuring in multiple steps over the summer with a few facilities closing after the new year which will require a smaller and more focused incentive offering in regions where these plants are located.
  • Employees are likely to have only 30 days to make a decision regarding whether they will retire early or not. The 30 day time limit is linked to union requirements for reassignments

Reductions in Force (RIF’s)

The Postal Service has been coy about the possibility that Postal Service will have to lay off employees. However, given the scale of the reduction in employees, and its limited financial ability to offer retirement incentives, the Postal Service will likely need to lay off some employees. Confirming this impression, the Queens Chronicle reported that Darleen Reid, Postal Service spokesperson, stated that the Postal Service could not guarantee that no employees would be fired.

Most likely, employees that face the greatest risk of layoffs are EAS employees, supervisors and Mail Handers. EAS employees and supervisors have no layoff protection. Mail Handler layoff protections are linked to the current contract which most likely does not protect any mail handler hired in the last few years. While most APWU have protection from layoffs, APWU members may find that assignments available to them are so unattractive that they decide to leave Postal Service employment without being fired.

On a geographic basis, employees that work in the Eastern, Northeast and Southwest Areas most likely face the greatest risk of layoffs. Information provided the APWU clearly show that the Postal Service is cutting a significantly larger share of jobs in these areas than the other four. Therefore when the music stops there will likely be fewer opportunities for reassignments in these three Areas unless early retirements are much higher in them than in those regions with a lower job loss proportions.

Reassignments

While most of the discussions are focused on early retirements, the Postal Service will clearly need to implement significant reassignments of employees that do not retire. Given that long-distance reassignments require 60 day notice to meet union contract requirements, the Postal Service will likely announce reassignments within a few days after employees must decide whether they will take early retirement incentives. The Postal Service will offer two types of reassignments across crafts (i.e. from clerk to letter carrier) and within craft. These reassignment announcements should come sometime during the week of April 17, 2012 in order for the Postal Service to make its network readjustments in late June, 2012.

The impact of reassignments will likely be greatest in the Eastern, Northeast, and Southwestern areas for the same reason that the risk of layoffs are greatest in those ar

Next posts on this topic:

When Will USPS VERA Announcements Come, What Will be Offered, and Who Will Be Eligible?

Politics, Network Optimization and Early Retirement

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92 Responses to “USPS Early Retirement, RIF, and Reasignments Rumors”

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  1. Hope says:

    Great article but please use spell check next time. Writing does not appear professional.

  2. i have been told repeatedly that the post office CANNOT add years of service to any employees retirement WITHOUT congress putting it in a bill first. now, some are suggesting that
    the post office may do this and no postal bill has been passe. i am a bit confused. many have said congress has to allow any federal employee to get years of service added but congress hasn’t done that.

  3. Gena says:

    Can you please explain more about the option of graduated retirement. I haven’t heard of this.

    • Alan Robinson says:

      graduated retirement is more commonly called phased retirement. I have added a link to a Washington Post story that talks about recent legislation on the subject.

  4. David Hackenbracht says:

    Thanks for the follow up on the rumors.

    It appears many of us are interested in what may be done, to us.

    25 years as an ET in the PO and they drop us like a hot rag. Nothing like being loved.

    Again, good report, Thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Realist says:

      David Hackenbracht – Drop us like a hot rag? As USPS employees, we remain extremely fortunate in comparison to the private sector, in that we are not handed a “pink slip” and given 15 minutes to gather our personal items, turn in our keys and be escorted from the premises. We are given options, albeit unattractive at times, that will allow us to remain employed. Those options may include taking a position that requires a long commute, or relocating, just to have a job we really did not “want” to begin with. But in this economy, when it is difficult at best to get any job, lest one with a comparable salary to our current one, at least we are given the chance to make that decision on our own. We can say yes, we will take that new, seemingly horrible job and remain employed, or we can say no, we cannot drive possibly 200 miles or more round trip each day with gas prices so high and we can say no, we will not take a reassignment opportunity to another craft that will make us lose all of our seniority, and eventually the USPS will allow us to turn down all of those opportunities for continued employment and let us become civilians. It is our choice. And how many other businesses that are circling the drain, losing billions of dollars like it was water over a dam and looking for ways to cut costs quickly would allow their employees the amount of time to make those decisions the way our employer does? None. If you were running a business that was a sinking ship (even if it was partially Congress’ fault), would you be that considerate of the employees?

      • Debbie C. says:

        Very well said. As a USPS employee with nearly 29 years of service I’ve witnessed so many co-workers think they have it “so bad” but also act like they’re being held “prisoner”. I, too, have felt the aggravation over new policies, etc. but I remind myself every time I see my paycheck or I take one of my paid vacations OR I have to use my earned sick leave, I am very fortunate to have this job. For David or anyone else out there who is that unhappy with their job please think more of yourself and your quality of life and don’t stay with the USPS. It affects your health and the negative attitudes affect your co-workers. Go out and find a job you’ll like. You may make a fraction of what you make at the P.O. but you’ll be happier. And if you say that you can’t afford to live on a fraction of what the P.O. is paying you now then maybe it’s time to rethink the job you have and count your blessings. Either way, make yourself happier. Life is too short to consciously keep yourself miserable.

    • Jeff Simmons says:

      @Dave H… Agree 100%. Amazing what can be read into such a short comment and that the content of the replies are so naive and biased. I’ve been a postal employee for 17-and-a-half years. Started out as a PTF LSM clerk. After a 16 year ride, I made it to ET. Now I find out that I will most likely be swimming in ball soup inside an LLV within the next year due to a megalomaniacal PMG who started out life as a clerk 35 years ago and a fiscal ‘crisis’ wholly manufactured by Congress in 2003/6, which makes it IMPOSSIBLE for us to show a profit even when we’re making one and I’m supposed to be thankful?!.

      I love my job and have always been very thankful for IT. I also realize, even though I am not their biggest fan, that we would NOT have the benefits and rights we enjoy without union protection. Case in point: When I qualified as an ET last year, HRSSC took it upon themselves to wrongfully take a step from me. After exhausting all other options, short of filing a lawsuit, I filed a grievance. Without this option, I’d be spending my own money on an attorney or just accepting the fact that HRSSC is incapable of admitting that they have NO idea what they are doing.

      To all you corporate shills out there who think we’re being treated so well; nuts to you. Fact is, what is being done is wholly unecessary and part of a larger agenda you’re either unwilling or incapable of seeing. So while you sit back, relax, and just accept what’s happening like the sheep you are; the rest of us will continue to do our best to keep our charter to the American public from being subverted and our contracts from being abrogated.

    • @David H… I agree wholeheartedly. Thank you for having the temerity to speak your mind.

      @Realist and Debbie C… Really?!. Your assumptions are off topic and baseless. How you could reach those conclusions from 11 words out of a four line post is simply amazing. Are either of you currently craft employees? If so, you are sheep and part of the problem. If not, you are the typical EAS employee willing to toe the line as far as our egomaniacal PMG sees fit and part of the problem.

      I am a 17-and-a-half year craft employee who loves his job and is VERY thankful for it. I started out as a PTF LSM clerk and managed to climb to ET after 16 years. Now I find out I could very well be carrying mail by this time next year because of wholly unecessary steps being taken to address a fiscal ‘crisis’ manufactured by Congress and I’m not supposed to complain because of how ‘great’ things are?

      I’ve worked terrible jobs. I’ve never worked anywhere with the rampant nepotism and complete lack of accountability you see in the USPS. I’m also a retired military veteran (Air Guard, no retirement for another 15 years) and can tell you that the steps currently being taken to increase machine run time by a factor of two while decreasing the maintenance window by the same factor will be a disaster if machine side maintenance manning is based solely on the number and type of mail processing machines and not also on run time.

      It’s fine that you’re content to sit back and relax while our contracts are abrogated and our charter to the American Public is subverted to better serve mass mailers. Don’t begrudge me , or anyone else, the right to speak up about it. If I have to be a carrier for the next 17 years, so be it. I’m not going to be a sheep about it to spare your feelings and I’ll fight it every step of the way.

      • Debbie C. says:

        Jeff,

        David’s 4-line comment sounded like he felt the P.O. had done him wrong and if I misinterpreted his statement I apologize…I dunno, “dropping us like a hot rag” kind of made me feel this?

        For clarification, I am a craft employee, have always been a craft employee, and have always been a proud craft employee…and I am not a “sheep” as you’ve suggested may be the case. I am just as aggravated with the current state of the USPS (and mismanagement) as any other P.O. employee out there.

        It seems you’ve misinterpreted my comment too. I never suggested that anyone not have feelings or opinions about the management of the USPS. My suggestion was that you not let negative opinions ruin (yes, I meant to say “ruin”) your life. If you’re miserable at the P.O. you don’t just carry that with you during your 40-hr. week…you take that negativity home with you and it will eventually affect your health. Is it worth staying in a job that causes you to have a heart attack or a stroke, or cause your early death???

        You have about 12 years less time than I have and maybe I felt a little more like you do 12 years ago, but sorry, too long ago to remember. But I’ve learned I don’t want to give over my health and blood pressure to stressing out about some of the stupid choices being made. I’d rather remind myself that I make a whole lot of money per hour plus very good benefits and life is short.

        Plus, as I stated before and I stand by this…..there are too many miserable postal workers that act like they’re being held prisoner. I’ve worked in five different P.O.’s during my career and one plant (before they were called “plants”) and I’ve seen it everywhere I’ve ever worked.

  5. Slim says:

    Thanks for your report. It is difficult to try to figure out what will be happening, even though there is suppose to be transparency. I also was told that years could not be added without congressional approval. But no one has ever been able to say where they got that information. I think the PMG can add years and it would be the easiest way to provide encentives without an immediate outlay of resources. Many in my area will not leave unless either forced out or given a good enough incentive to go. In these economic times it will be difficult to find work (at least where I live) for more than $8 an hour with no benefits with a resume’ of being a postal clerk. Good luck to all my brothers and sisters.

  6. M. Jamison says:

    Irresponsible. Based on current law there is no provision for offering additional years of service. No such offer can be made without an act of Congress. Any announcement on Friday, which I do agree is likely, would have to comply with the terms of current statute. Currently, an approved incentive is limited to no more than $25,000. Terms of payment are subject to the approval granted by OPM and the organization.
    If you can find a citation permitting something other than a cash offer limited to $25,000 please provide it. Otherwise behave like a responsible journalist.
    This PDF refers to OPM procedures for RIFs and organizational buyouts.
    http://www.chcoc.gov/Documents/Attachments/Document78.pdf

    • Alan Robinson says:

      If adding years is not an option legally, then any incentive offered now would have to be cash. Then the only question is how fast the USPS can hand it over to the retiring employee. For employees, ideally it all will be handed over up front. However splitting it in two payments with one paid in the next fiscal year may be okay for the cash flow of the retiree.

      • florida postal worker says:

        the monetary incentive appears to be the most feasible.donohue has stated that incentives up to $25k will be considered.split in two payments would be better for the postal service.thanks for the update. we’ll see tomorrow.

    • David says:

      Mr. Jamison…

      If my memory serves me correctly, I recall a time-added VER in the early to mid-1990′s. No?

      • Reality says:

        What was offered in the past was you were allowed to retire if you were within 5 years of retirement, with full penalties for CSRS.

      • Paul says:

        IIRC, they did not credit additional time towards the dollar amount computations, but allowed a one-time reduction of the minimum age/time requirements. More than a few people in my installation left at that time, the youngest having just turned 50 years in age. Maintenance employees (MPEs and ETs) were excluded from that and most other early-out programs that ensued.

        As an ET myself (40 years CSR + 2years S/L) this May), I would gladly step aside given sufficient motivation… otherwise I’ll hang in there (I work with a great crew and happen to love what I do).

  7. bradley says:

    No offer at all for carriers??

    • Alan Robinson says:

      That is what has leaked although I think the USPS needs a carrier offer of at least a no-incentive VERA to open spots for clerks and mail handlers

      • mojo says:

        No carrier incentive? 15% of the carrier workforce was cut shortly after 2008 (attrition, retirements with no replacements) and most carriers have seen two route additions (more time on the street walking, in the range of weather extremes- not to mention bullying management who is still not satisfied).
        Make the EAS and supervisors deliver some routes if they have less time than older carriers. Base the offers WITH INCENTIVES on service time with USPS (like sitting behind a desk is more physical than walking a route for 25 years? WTF.

  8. S Rouppet says:

    Seems the offers would be nationwide, and carriers included, as we all work for the same company. Was hoping that was the case when I saw the recruiting sign on the “Workforce Connection” page. Am a 58 yr old carrier in Oregon with 27 yrs in, that would certainly consider any offer.

  9. Tom USPS says:

    Jamison nailed it on the head. It is ridiculus to think otherwise. Mr. Robinson you do need to do research before writing about what can be offered for early retirement. Federal Law is $25,000 payment at the most. It could be less. You just put the capital R in rumors with “added time” information.

  10. NC says:

    Thank you Alan, most of us are chopping at the bit to leave and have been waiting what seems like forever on any concrete buyout news. I for one would hope to leave before June 1 2012. Any new info for maybe April or May for CSRS?

    • Alan Robinson says:

      I don’t think there is time for the USPS to implement an early retirement before June 1, 2012. Once the announcemnent is made the details will be pretty clear.

      • NC says:

        I am glad you are here to give as up to date information as you can. Don’t listen to the critics who give rude comments

    • Alan Robinson says:

      I think it takes at least a month to give people to decide. My sense is that the retirement date is unlikely before May 30 and for some it could be a month later. One of the factors influencing the retirement date is how fast the new operating plan can go into affect.

  11. Terri says:

    I am scheduled t retire on the 3rd. of May. If an incentive is offered, will the June 1st date apply to the incentive as well?

    • Alan Robinson says:

      You are going to have to talk to someone more knowledgeable about the details than I. My sense is that more information will be available tomorrow and if what is published is not clear, ask questions. When you get a response, send it to me and I’ll post it for others to hear.

  12. Sarah L says:

    Really!!! After all that you read your going to give the guy a hard time about spell Check??? We need to be worring about whats going to happen to all of our jobs!

    • Grammar Sarah says:

      Really? After all that you’ve read, you’re going to give the guy a hard time about Spell Check? We need to be worrying about what is going to happen to all of our jobs!

      After all, none of the famous documents of history were written by people with trouble in mind.

  13. steve says:

    more rumors and speculation!
    im so tired of it. ill wait until i get something concrete.

  14. Al H says:

    Who the heck it Alan Robinson??? What are his credentials that he is online spreading more rumors.

  15. What… no Carriers included… I’m gonna CRY!

  16. dave says:

    Alan, when u say SKILLED EAS what does that mean?

  17. Joe Willy Namath says:

    Thank you Alan. I check every night for some kind of news. I can’t believe these people that are giving you crap.

  18. carol johnson says:

    What about Postmasters?

  19. Realist worst nightmare says:

    The Realist is just too funny. The only reason the Postal management isn’t kicking people to the curb tomorrow is contract requirements and the high profile nature of there demise. They have the worst history of screwing with the employees of any business ever.

  20. MH says:

    They NEED city carriers due to all the DOU implementations…moving carriers to other facilties has increased drive time, (GREAT idea with $5 gas coming…) so now they are ADDING routes in a lot of places that DOU has been implemented. Haven’t they posted the “city carriers wanted” posters in your facility?

    I am a Postmaster in a level 20 office, recently lost my supervisor due to the new SWC formula…so I have, according to the USPS own calculations, 74 hours of management work in my office…”just get it done”…30 year pin (combined Federal service) on April 9th, 51 years old in two weeks. I fit the standard VER profile. Do NOT be in between me and the door tomorrow if they announce PM’s are eligible. If NOT, I may go back to carrying mail where it all began for me 23 years ago.

  21. Redshift186 says:

    Except for the added years issue…this sounds informed and detailed enough to perhaps be attributed to an inside source?
    Mr. Robinson, what say you about any USPS management source regarding an imminent announcement?

  22. Ron P says:

    I got tired of the rumor mill. I retired dec 31st 2011. A 31+ yr CSRS letter carrier. My first retirement check feb 1st was about 80% of what my final check will be. My second check March 1st was about 90% of what my final check will be. I know of several carriers that are postponing or have even cancelled their retirement paperwork because of the rumor mills. I do not regret one bit leaving the PO. Good luck to you hanger oners. I hope you get what you desire but I really doubt it. especially for any Letter Carriers holding on.

  23. Tom says:

    Let’s not dismiss out-of-hand the possibility of adding years to the years-of-service calculation. On the surface the problem would be that by adding service years USPS would be unilaterally incurring an obligation not to USPS, but to the CSRS and FERS retirement systems. That would be and should be disallowed.
    However USPS could calculate an employee’s annuity as if he/she had accumulated two more service years, and then pay the difference between the normal annuity amount and the two-years-added annuity amount as a monthly payment out of USPS funds. That would amount to an incentive much like using USPS funds to pay lump-sum cash payments. I don’t think that would require the approval of Congress, just that of OPM.

  24. Roger Kender says:

    Thank you for the inspiring words of wisdom from “Realist”, let me guess, either someone in management, someone with very little time in the Post Office or someone still naive enough to believe sucking up will save them. News flash: I’ve watched many go from hero to zero in nothing flat when you are no longer useful to the beautiful people, (or should I say, when they’ve sucked all the usefulness out of you). USPS’s magnanimity and amazing compassion for it’s employees is a matter of LAW, not kind heartedness. Believe me, given the opportunity, we would be “handed our ‘pink slip’ and given 15 minutes……” Don’t confuse FAIR with FORCE.

  25. Roger Kender says:

    confirm

  26. Larry Corleone says:

    Unless they make an offer I can’t refuse, I ain’t goin’ nowhere!

  27. MIKE C says:

    For clarification on adding time to annuities. There are two types of retirement; for FERS employees who pay into Social Security (SS), it would take an ammendment into a bill to add an incentive of 2? years, if that is the case. Postal Retirement from the USPS is different, & I don’t know of any restriction that would legally prevent the USPS from adding time to either CSRS (who do not pay into SS) or FERS employees to their annuity. Am I wrong here?

  28. feelingshafted says:

    Your meaning to say the postal service is going to lay off career city carriers and mail handlers with less than 6 years of federal service. What if one of them had 5 and a half years in by June 1st?
    They have devoted their lives to the postal service for that length of time and their shown the door. That doesn’t sound right. Please explain further.

    • Mailman d says:

      They have had that option for a long time. A year ago when complaining about having too many employees the unions pointed out they could lay off te and current employees without the six years of service and of course the PO didn’t do that. I recently hit my six years and don’t want to lose my job but it’s a real factor they can use. Right now it’s six for carriers but whose to say the next contract won’t say 8 or 10 years? There’s no guarantees. I will keep going to work until they tell me not too.

  29. nrp says:

    I was nrp june 2011, i guessed after the announced deadline, with 25 years of service. I am 55 years old under fers. I need to be 56 to receive ss annunity supplement. The five years will help just need to hold on another year or less the eeo case is resolved.

  30. Realist says:

    So quick to judge me, yet you don’t know me at all. I am not in management. I refuse to suck up to anyone and I have over 29 years with the USPS. Naive? My naivety ended when I was forced to support myself 100% beginning at age 17. I am sure this will incite more distasteful comments, but I was saved by a man on a cross; I am not looking to be saved by any postal employee. I will gladly admit that the “old days” in the PO were more enjoyable. Everyone worked our rear ends off because we cared and we had fun doing it. Now, it makes me sick to my stomach to see the attitudes of so many who think this place “owes” them. This is our job, people just need to do it the right way and stop complaining and biting the hand that feeds them. Who cares WHY the USPS does not fire people in 15 minutes (law, force, contracts, etc.), my point was that IS how it happens and we should be grateful to be working for a company where we are afforded that benefit. It could always be worse. As far as the public goes (and many postal employees), nobody wants their post office to close, but so many do not want to support their post office either. How many people pay bills online, yet expect the post office to still be there? As a products and services supported business, the USPS must have the income or it has no choice. Yes, the USPS needs to get out from the choke hold Congress has on it, but until they do, they will cut wherever they can.

    • Angela T says:

      I have to agree with the realist….The USPS has lead in many changes in history and I believe this will be another one. They are doing what any respectful business would do to stay afloat. None of us like change but it soon effects all of us because even we are always changeing. You negative folks only harm yourselves with the hog wash the bellows from you…

  31. David Hackenbracht says:

    A reply to Realist:

    I too was saved by a man on a cross.

    And you don’t know me either or what I have been through.

    I am glad that you are. However it would seem, there is still much work to be done. You are full of pride. (Clue one, you hide behind the name Realist. Clue two, you profess Christ but only while hiding and criticizing others.)

    As brief as possible: My boss (USPS) demanded that maintenance employees sign off daily routes as completed upward to 20 hours a day. I refused for religious reasons. I have copies of routes of many who did sign off. My boss did everything he could for the next 4 years to fire me for anything and to harass me always. The cost to me was great. No amount of letter writing, grievances, or anything I could do relieved the stress or the problem. It was personal for him, I would bend to his pay for performance will, or else.

    Long story short, I now see that it was a test of my faith in God instead of faith in the world. God won.

    This issue of “jobs” affects a lot of us. People are interested. Alan put a lot of work and time into trying to provide some information and relief to peoples concerns. I was trying to thank him for his efforts.

    If you love the USPS, you are blessed, I would thank you not to criticize those of us who have been less fortunate.

    “Love is kind” “Love Everyone”

    • Realist says:

      David, I have no problem admitting when I am wrong. I never should have singled you out and I sincerely apologize for that. I agree that Alan took a lot of time and gave a lot of information that people are interested in and he deserves our thanks. Also, the harrassment you have endured is horrendous and inexcusable. But I do not apologize for being proud to work for this company in spite of having dealt with the harrassing, selfish, unethical, even criminal activities of management (and coworkers) as well. I am not a trying to play a victim or a martyr, I simply refuse to let those things kill my spirit. I would rather not give details in an open forum what I am referring to, and I do not mean that as a slam that you have. I simply choose not to for my own reasons. I honestly hope your situation improves.

      • Alan Robinson says:

        Thanks for the kind words. I felt that if I could pull together all that was being posted on line and combined it with what has been reported in newspapers, I could provide some sense to it all.

        Times like this are tough on employees in any organization and I hope I make it a little easier for those trying to keep their blood pressure down.

  32. Tom says:

    Reconsidering my comment from last night, if USPS did recalculate someone’s years of service to add, say, 2 years, and then paid the difference between the normal annuity amount and the 2-years-added annuity amount out of USPS funds as an additional monthly payment, it would serve as an incentive; but I think it would take an act of Congress to allow the additional service years to be used to determine eligibility for retirement. In other words, the additional service years would only help someone who already qualified for retirement without considering the added years.
    One major plus to this idea for USPS is that it would greatly lessen the immediate hit to cash flow. However, an employee accepting such an offer would be subject to substantial risk of USPS default down the line unless the U.S. government specifically guaranteed the payments.

  33. James Cunningham says:

    First, this is NOT a report. It is nothing more than Alan’s opinion and speculations on what could happen.
    Adding years toward retirement is wishful thinking that will never happen.

  34. maureen says:

    What if you were already *planning* to retire at the end of June? No paperwork in yet, but that was my plan. (35 years because of 16 months of sick leave:just turned 55) Will the incentive still hold for me?

  35. Mike says:

    Ok, guys, give me a break! I spent almost 34 years with the USPS and I opted out to take the early retirement option, there was no dollar amount, I wanted out, had enough of the USPS bull…
    You guys are spoiled, get out in the private sector and see how it really is.
    No where else in America, that I know of that has the money you make, the leave you earn, the holidays, the sick leave and you all are complaining!!!! If you don’t like your job, get out. Iwas 51 years old, under 55 and Civil Service, and was glad to get out and no ill feelings toward the company. You guys do not how good you have it……

  36. Cookraj says:

    Realist, I think your right. We are intelligent people. Put the info out and let us decide what is right or wrong. I for one agree with you. Also, when USPS announced that our plant was on the chopping block, I predicted we would eventually see an adjustment for the worse in peoples work habits and attitudes. Now instead of supervisors letting just a handful of lazy S@!#’s “hideout” in the locker room for the last 30-60 minutes of each shift, now we see MANY handfuls of people “hiding out”. Some more than an hour. Management fosters this attitude. Even those who have always been caring about service to the public find themselves saying “Who cares the plant is closing. If they hideout, I’m hiding out too”. These people hide out and let the PSE’s do the work and management doesn’t care. It’s so disappointing. I’ll be 60 in July. I think I’ll retire soon.

  37. Cookraj says:

    Any one else’s plant see this problem?

  38. yous2 says:

    Would a buyout be for anyone, regardless of how many years of service, if they voluntarily seperate (resign, as opposed to retire from service? Thanks

    • Alan Robinson says:

      I think the answer to that will be clear in a few days. It is clear that if you leave the USPS and do not have another job waiting and are not retiring, you want to make sure your separation allows you to collect unemployment until you find a new job.

  39. Angela T says:

    I pretty regularly thank the Lord for my job. It’s seen me through 24 years and I do plan to take advantage of the early out.

  40. FACTS says:

    Nothing will be announced today as PMG is a the Hill speaking and the next person authorized to make any announcement is not in DC today!!

    • Alan Robinson says:

      Where was the PMG on the Hill? Was it a bunch of private meetings related to the Network optimization?

  41. Joe Watts says:

    Seems NAPS, NALC and APWU, the dues hungry unions are trying to stall any announcements, maybe trying to negotiate ?, doubt that ,but in a level 22 office in Western NY District as well as other offices, clerks were asked if they were going to go, a survey, in the 22 office , the PM said that Buffalo NY wanted to know, and she was quoting upper management, and suddenly the hiring of PSE’s is being increased , rapidly,
    this was first hand info, no bull, going by the August 31st, 2008 VER sent out, the April 6th 2009 VER, and the August 25th, 2009 VER, it has to be announced soon, but from traveling around Western NY, it is a toss up to go, depends on your circumstances, The August 2009 VER was announced well before the date (8/25/2009) they were sent out, and we had until 9/25/2009 to have them in, 3 times is a charm, what is the fourth?.
    Sorry about the spell check, Babylon and the other ones had a word war, and I lost,
    keep up the good work Mr. Robinson, you have a lot of people listening, not many places for this VER and other information to trust, God Bless ! may you blog into eternity !

    • Alan Robinson says:

      I am glad you enjoy what I do, I am going to be putting up some options for donations so I can keep going and stay independent. Also, so many people liked what I was writing that I had to swicht to a semi-dedicated server at a much higher cost. Oh well, I guesss that is the price of success.

      • hey alan robinson,
        may i suggest you rename your site:
        UNSUBSTANCIATED POSTAL RUMORS AND OTHER ALAN DRIVEL

        no offense, but if you want to act like a reporter, your going to have to
        do a little research and quit acting like you know the facts when the truth is
        what you write is little more than speculation and often times just plain
        incorrect information. when “m jamison” called you out on posting incorrect
        information about the post office adding years of service to an employees
        service time your response was simply to say, oh well, if adding years is
        not a legal option then a cash option will happen. huh? that tells me that you don’t know your facts. if you knew what you were talking about or had a intelligent informant then your response would have been much different to ‘ m jamisons post.’
        so please identify yourself as just a rumor spreader since you seem to have no interest
        in respectable reporting.

  42. NC says:

    I am so disappointed that nothing came out today about the buyout. My station manager just yelled at me for no good reason – I was talking to another supervisor about something. I was shocked at the rage this guy has and showed. When I got home I just cried which I never do . I want out so bad my teeth hurt and might just bag the idea of waiting for some money just to save what sanity I have left. Maybe that is their plan : piss us off so much we leave and not wait for the buyout, or try to fire us for yelling back. It looks like it might work on me.

    • Alan Robinson says:

      I will have a post up tomorrow with some updates. This likely pushes the network realignment back a week to get all the employment adjustments worked out.

    • Civil servant says:

      Maybe your Station Manager is upset wiht no announcement. it is a fact that a lot of EAS employees are fed up and eagerly waiting to “EXIT”. Shame on the jerk!

  43. Civil servant says:

    Plant closing is coming for sure, together with RIF, VERA, buyout. It is a matter of time. One who wants to stay, please do not lose sleep, let the “system” works it out, be prepared. One who wants out, be patient, your days are numbered. I am giving it a 90 days countdown. The final day for early out should be May 31 / June 30. Internal postal messages indicated that there will be VERA this year and next year. USPS cannot get rid of so many employees at one time, a phasing plan makes good sense. Until USPS can get to the optimal staffing level and right network size, more actions such as VERA will take place. Thing not sure is the incentive.

  44. TSL says:

    We don’t need any more of your BS updates

  45. Al H says:

    I totally agree with beatthegiants… Stop with the rumors…Bottom line is the USPS doesn’t have the money for a buyout and will not do anything until Congress decides to come up with a solution, whether it be good or bad for the employees….I am not sure why Postalnews.com even posted this article since it isn’t news it is garbage….

  46. Alan Bates says:

    Alan Robinson, shame on you! Yesterday was Friday, and no announcement of ANY kind. Your column was no better than all the BS preceeding it! I thought a NEWS reporter was to report FACTS, not guesswork, conjecture and false hopes. All your column did was fan the fire!

  47. Joe Watts says:

    look at Arbitration awards, spelling mistakes, but the award is still valid, so the spell checks can stay home, the VERA’s are true, it is the other things that are not a sure thing, the RIF, but all has to be done prior to May 15th 2012, well after reading the consolidations/ AMP studies etc.,
    unless Congress sends in the Federal Marshalls, the plans go forward, next week, this week seems to be going, last VERA I have was 2009, dated August 25th, 2009, it gave three dates to retire, 5/31/2009, 6/30/2009, and 7/31/2009, and was irrevocable after 6/19/2009, I wish I had , but I did not because there was no threats to pensions, I still feel that the Pension changes are bad for both parties, and still will not pass, but never say never, but it would be new hires ?

    • florida postal worker says:

      sounds about right. still think it’s coming…most of the info in the article is correct..this week, next week….it’ll happen soon.
      thanks, mr. robinson for the great work.

  48. Stunned says:

    I so agree with the shame on you for putting that our there for what ever your reasons were. It was wrong and with so many confused and upset people I can’t help think you just desperately wanted a little attention and this was a cheap easy way to get it. And then you ask for donations for a bigger server . Are you kidding me?

  49. joey watts says:

    What is wrong here, we were asked in WNYD in upstate NY, in a level 22, and other offices, “How many clerks will go if the offer comes soon?, the PM in one told us, that the District was asking because they were asked, they are taking a survey, next week?, should be but it will come, unless they just wanted a survey?

  50. Sucka says:

    I’ve heard something to the contrary from Union sources. With the arbitration of the NALC contract, all PTF carriers will be converted into Non Traditional Full Time Employees (Regulars)with a no lay off clause similar to APWU. This would allow the smooth transfer of APWU members to the carrier craft and maintain their status as Regulars with the no lay off clause. For this consideration, USPS will be allowed to hire a certain percentage of Postal Support Employees(PSE) 10-20%. Thus, it would make sense to offer incentives to the highest paid CSRS/FERS Carriers and hire PSE’s at a much lower rate. The no later than separation date is September 30, 2012.

  51. Old Sarge says:

    Does this mean they are not offering the early out to the lettercarriers?
    They must get them out to go to five days

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