The union has learned unofficially that the Postal Service has requested from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) the authority to offer early retirement to 40,000 postal employees. In response to an inquiry from my office, a meeting with Postal Service headquarters has been scheduled for Monday regarding these reports.
No specifics of the early-retirement plan will be available until full discussions have taken place with the USPS. The union interprets the national agreement as requiring negotiations over early-retirement offers, and a written demand for official notification and bargaining has been forwarded to postal management.
The Postal Service is experiencing serious revenue shortfall as a result of the slumping economy. Mail volume is down significantly, and revenue is not keeping pace with inflation. What was touted as “a new business plan” in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA) serves only only to place a cap on rate increases in response to the mail-volume loss. Excessive workshare discounts and the increased focus on contracting postal activities generate budgetary losses that cannot he recovered through internal efficiencies. It is within this environment that the postal monopoly and six-day delivery are being re-evaluated, which guarantees we will be seeing proposals for revolutionary change.
APWU is demanding bargaining on any proposal to offer “early outs.” We believe that all APWU-represented employees should be eligible, and that there should be monetary incentives for interested employees.
As more information is made available, the union membership will be informed.
Early Out Info-PDF(via NALC Branch 38) This is an update of where we are with the upcoming implementation of the National VERS for craft and supervisory positions. We expect to have an OPM approval for the initial VER request for the clerks, mail handlers, SDO and SCS positions as early as next week. We do not expect to receive the second OPM approval for Maintenance, Motor Vehicle, Carriers and Rural Carriers crafts until the end of July.” OPM: Voluntary Early Retirement Authority Description