Senate Appropriations Committee Actions Could Slow USPS Actions


The Washington Post has reported that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the finance and general government appropriations bill that 1) retained maintained the requirement that the Postal Service provide 6-day delivery and 2) prohibited the Postal Service from close small post offices in FY 2013 and prohibited closure of mail processing facilities before 2014 and not until a study by the USPS Inspector General. The appropriations bill sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and raised objections from Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) who argued that the Appropriations Committee action effectively picked apart S.1789, a bill that she cosponsored, which the Senate had recently passed. The Associated Press reports the Senate [...] Read more »

Comparison of USPS Separation Incentives offered Postmasters and Mail Handlers

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The following chart illustrates some basic information comparing separation information for Postmasters and Mail Handlers.  As the chart shows the primary difference is the size of the incentive.  Right now Postmasters that have been offered incentives have a clearer understanding than mail handlers about both the risks they face if they decide to stay and the benefits and risks of leaving. Both Postmasters and mail handlers need to get clear information about the Postal Service’s plans for restructuring Post Offices and processing facilities.   Postmasters that were offered incentives face a potential final RIF date in 2014.  There does not appear to be a similar date for mail handlers. Finally, employees who [...] Read more »

Separation Incentives for Postmasters and Other Postal Employees

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This week the Postal Service announced an early retirement incentives for Postmasters as part of its restructuring of rural retail service. This announcement will likely be the first of a set of early retirement incentive announcements that the Postal Service that the Postal Service makes in the next few weeks as it follows through with its plans to restructure First Class mail service standards and plant operating plans. Expected Announcements of Operating Changes and Facility Closures The Postal Service will announce on Thursday, May 17th, its plans for operating plan changes and facility closures that will occur this summer. The Federal Times has reported that in a press conference held [...] Read more »

Impact of USPS Consolidations on Employees

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Last week, the Postal Service provided employees significantly more information regarding the scale of the changes coming to its operations and for many employees whether the facility they now work at will remain open. While this information has provided employees with some indication as to what lies ahead, the details as to what will happen to individual employees remain sketchy. The following set of questions and answers provide information contained in the Postal Service’s “Our Future Network” website, presentations to Postal Unions, bulletins of Postal management associations and press reports from both national and local news sources. When Will the Postal Service Start to Make Changes? Based on information provided [...] Read more »

Legislative and Regulatory Delays Will Affect Introduction of Incentives for Early Retirement

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Early retirement incentives at the Postal Service requires both the funds to offer those incentives and an urgent need to reduce the workforce quickly.    In the past week, actions of two different government bodies had the effect of delaying any possible introduction of early retirement incentives. S. 1789, the 21st Century Act, had a provision that would provide the funds to allow the Postal Servcie to offer early retirement incentives.   However, after the publication of the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate on S. 1789, the 21st Century Act, appears likely to, at best, delay and, at worst, scuttle any chances for passing a postal reform bill in the Senate.   This [...] Read more »

Retirement Incentives at the USPS

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Mike Causey has a story in his column on Federal News Radio in which he discusses buyouts in a number of Federal Agencies, but not the Postal Service.  His story indicates that all other Federal agencies can offer incentives up to $25,000, while the Postal Service is limited to a $20,000 maximum incentive.   Earlier posts in this blog have used a $25,000 limit in calculating how many employees could get incentives if the Senate Postal Reform passed.   (See: “Senate Bill:  Indications of the Scale of Early Retirements Expected” and  ”Clarifying retirement incentives” The $20,000 limit would allow the Postal Service to pay incentives to 85,000 employees, instead of 68,000 as [...] Read more »

Should Postal Employees Delay Retirement?

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In a recent post, former APWU President William Burrus suggested that members consider delaying retirement.   His advice assumes that the Postal Service will offer retirement incentives to retire next year.   His advice raises a number of questions. What is the likelihood that legislation will pass this year that will provide the Postal Service funds to provide retirement incentives or allow the Postal Service to add service time for calculating CSRS or FERS pensions? While retirement incentives exist in both the bills in line for consideration on the House and Senate, there is no indication that either chamber will act on postal reform legislation before the end of the year.   There [...] Read more »

Thoughts on the Value of Retirement Incentives

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The following is a guest commentary of a knowledgeable observer on Postal Service issues who posts comments on this blog under the name Old Postal Hand. It clarifies some points on the early retirement incentives and provides some insights into how rational Postal Service employees will likely evaluate what will be offered. His conclusion is clear. The incentives are unlikely to cause employees under 55 to retire, even if they have 30 years of service. Furthermore, he concludes that these incentives may require some form of a stick (i.e. RIF) to be effective. Old Postal Hand’s Thoughts on Retirement Incentives I  suspect that one of the reasons they were willing to offer additional [...] Read more »

Senate Bill: Indications of the Scale of Early Retirements Expected


Senator Susan Collins and Senator Tom Carper both stated today that the Postal Service plans to use $1.7 billion to pay for early retirement incentives. Given that the Postal Service is limited to paying $25,000 in cash incentives, this suggests that the Postal Service expects that as many as 68,000 current employees will use these incentives and retire early. Getting 68,000 Postal Service employees to retire early is a challenge. So the Senate bill allows the Postal Service to give employees one year of credited service for individuals in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) pension system and up to two years for individuals in FERS as an incentive to encourage retirement. This [...] Read more »

Is it Cheaper to Offer Early Retirement?

In a recent article in Sioux City Journal on the moving of mail processing from Sioux City, IA to Sioux Falls, SD, Jim Price, Sioux City Postal Workers Union Local 186 officer contends that, “Employees who would drive from Sioux City to Sioux Falls and back would include that drive-time as part of their work day.”   The map below shows the shortest route from Google maps between Sioux City, IA and Sioux Falls.  The distance is 87.9 miles with most of the miles on Interstate Highway 29.    View Larger Map If Mr. Price is correct, the Postal Service will be paying employees that commute to Sioux Falls for 3 hours of driving [...] Read more »