Postal Service Workforce Continues To Decline

The US Postal Service has reduced its career complement from in the last twelve months (June 2008 to June 2009) from 669,372 to 633,046–a difference of 36,326. The clerk craft suffered the biggest reduction — 197,966 to 182,592 (15,374 lost jobs).

The other career employees categories also suffered a reduction of jobs from this same time last year:

(Total number of employees are in brackets)

City carriers – 11,435 (202,971)
Mail Handlers – 2,938   (53,651)
Motor Vehicle Operators – 385 (8,241)
Vehicle Maintenance – 127 (5,299)
Maintenance Service – 303  (39,807)
Rural carriers -753       (67,950)
Managers/Supervisors -1,902  (29,997)
PM/Installation Head – 1816 (23,285)
Headquarters -153 (2,727)
Area offices- 173  (1,130)

Source: USPS On Rolls and Paid Employee Statistics report (ORPES) June, 2009 (Pay Period 13, FY 2009) filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC)

26 thoughts on “Postal Service Workforce Continues To Decline

  1. I can’t understand how some people think if the USPS is privatized, that they will still be employed by the PO? There won’t be any PO. A new company does not want to keep the same people that have been the cause of the problems for so many years! That’s craft and management. And they sure aren’t going to have these station heads, aka PM’s, for a little town of 300 $54,000.00 plus bennies! A private company will HAVE TO turn a profit! Won’t be like “the good ‘ol days”.

  2. I am a clerk at a GMF with a lot of time and continue to be amazed at how many workers stand around and socialize and do a fair to poor work load and are not told about it. Supervisors are afraid of being written up and pretend not to see, come on now.
    The workers continue to be the workers and the lazy ones continue to be the lazy ones, keep on keeping on.
    Incompetence at many levels

  3. Privatize !! You will see a result where 50% of management titles will be gone. Lazy ass workers will be gone and a new postal service will emerge that will fully well equipped for the 21st century.

  4. 31 July 09

    I like what you said in your statement, but you left out one thing there will always be employees that give 100% and those that will give less, point case when an employees is not doing there job and mgt knows this and has been told before by several emp who have had to work with this person, Mgt claim is that this is so and so and we can’t make them do their.

    Please explain this concept if you can

  5. The USPS is too top heavy. That is the bulk of financial pay out. Those numbers mean nothing.

    Compare a carrier making 55k a year (including overtime) to a manager making 120k (including bonuses/ merit raises) and there is your problem.

    What about the brass? How do you lose 5 billion dollars in a company and STILL keep your job? God knows, I don’t wish job erasure on anyone but where is the money going. If you are not touching a peice of mail in automation or delievery – what is your function?

    The USPS is blaming everything on the curb of a financial downslide, so they are systematically attacking it’s own workforce. The bosses have a get paid while you can approach to managing and everything boils down to a numbers program called… DOIS. Meanwhile —

    I see MAIL CARRIERS losing routes: LOSING JOBS by the hundreds, working faster and pivoting (unpaid overtime) an hour or more everyday.

    I see CLERKS who are unassigned regulars with 20 years in with NO regular bid. Machines have all but replaced them.

    I see MAILHANDLERS scrambing to be viable. They are shipped out of stations and supervisors and clerks do their work.

    I see Unions being silenced.


  6. Here’s one guy’s opinion:

    Let’s face it ladies & gentlemen: We work for an institution whose days are numbered. Technological changes; national/global depression; mismanagement/incompetence; & a long history of adversarial relations ‘tween craft employees & management, are just a few of the reasons the ‘ol PO is tanking in the new Millenium.
    As a college graduate & craft employee for 11+ years, I know the End will come in the next five, and I am bracing to go back to school in order to move onto my next career in my worklife. (Work life– that time period just keeps getting longer & longer, doesn’t it?)
    I guess this institution has always been hypocritical,reactionary,litigious instead of proactive or progressive or tolerant. It has a “rip & run” philosophy: get as much $ out of the bastards as you can & then get the hell out of there–even if it means screwing over people to do that, because you deserve it right?. That mentality about sums up the lousy garbage I’ve seen during my employment at the ‘ol PO.
    I know, I know there is no one free from blame on this one, but c’mon who runs the show? Look at the employee manuals: SUPERVISORS,MANAGERS,DISTRICT HEADS,etc. We have to follow their dictates or we would be insubordinate, right? They know what’s best for the organization, right?
    Why didn’t national postal management see the writing on the wall/trends in the last 10 years and start implementing changes to keep the institution afloat? (Electronic correspondence has changed everything. Shopping, banking, letterwriting, greeting cards, etc.– all of these can be done over the world wide web. People my age (40) and younger have accepted the technological change.) Why hasn’t there been more dictates from on high to lower the stress level of the employees (labor & management), thereby decreasing the number of violent incidents & increasing harmonious cooperation in the workplace? (You get more productivity out of people when they’re scared/mad/unhappy/seething–they work faster. This is a DELIBERATE policy that you won’t find written down, but practiced DAILY at the ol’ PO.)
    The captains of this ship (The Titanic) have failed to enact changes to avoid the current situation. Instead they want to rearrange tables & chairs in an effort to do something/ANYTHING to look busy in these dire days, because there may be an opportunity for promotion ON A SINKING SHIP.
    So, expect continued upheaval: detailing people across country; consolidating operations & facilities; hairbrained schemes to generate more $; more calls for privatizing work that provides a solid middle class income; harsher punitive measures to run a tighter ship; plummeting morale; more workplace violence; dwindling supplies just to provide basic service; long counterproductive battles between the unions & management with everyone trying to protect their niche; more appeals to a skeptical Congress for help; and the list goes on. Feel free to add your own prediction….
    I believe that the outfit will evolve into a department of the federal government. It has shown that it’s unable to make a profit anymore under the current business model. It’s worked brilliantly so far hasn’t it?
    The Postal Department will be either half or a third of its current size. During the typical five-day work week we will deliver local, state, & federal government publications, conduct door-to-door census surveys, provide express mail & parcel delivery, emergency distributions during times of crisis, and other duties yet to be designated. It could happen….

    Oh, back to the point. Since I can’t retire and I can’t quit because I don’t get unemployment if I quit, I am patiently waiting to be laid off. Hopefully a severence package will follow that will pay my way through retraining AND my mortgage. Something tells me that ain’t gonna happen and my retirement will have to bankroll that plan. Crazy stuff don’tcha think?

  7. I think it would be very interesting if someone who is completely unbiased would do a study of of USPS operations, and make recommendations to a body, not associated with the USPS, as to what needs to be done and then do it! I read just yesterday that the mail volume will drop another 20 BILLION pieces next year! All the finger pointing and name calling will solve nothing. There will be changes; some will be painfull. I do agree there needs to be huge cuts in management, and also craft needs changes, also. That is why we can not expect management to change management. Congress needs to get on the ball, and see to it that this happens. BOG’s can not be counted on for chages, as they are part of the problem. The BOG’s have had more than ample time to make changes. The alternative to this is more of the same, and the USPS will not survive with more of the same!

  8. Nojobsoon,

    Your analysis of USPS’ fundamental problem is the most insightful I’ve seen yet.

    As a “B” average high school graduate, I would have to conclude the following:

    All of the EAS employees I have ever been around or talked to could NOT have been more than “C” average graduates of high school, with the vast majority being “D-” to “C-“ average graduates. This low level of educational attainment is woefully inadequate for any leadership position, even within a foundry environment.

    USPS is proud of its capacity to put virtually any employee in any position regardless of ability.

    “Monkey see, monkey do” behavioral actions seem sufficient when there are no problems. But, when there are problems, the monkey is incapable of making the correct analytical decisions for resolving them. It may be personally satisfying to see a “D” average high school graduate steering the big ship, but if he can’t understand the calculus of weather patterns when rough seas arise, then, he and the ship are entirely at the mercy of the elements.

    “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” goes the maxim. You really won’t know who your friends are until you are in dire need. Then, when you need your friends’ assistance, you will know the quality of the friends you have.

    This is the litmus test.

    By the same token, you really won’t know what kind of a leader you have until you are in dire need of a leader. Then, when you direly need a leader, you will know the quality of a leader you have.

    After running USPS into the ground, I think we all know what kind of a leader we have.

    But, what can we do about it?

  9. I’ve been in the PO for 35 years. I know for a fact that most Managers & Supervisors are just high school graduate, not educated enough to lead a group of people. Main reason why the PO is going down the drain.

  10. J. Nelson- Unfortunately “Zero Tolerance” does not mean that Black should have ben placed off duty or fired. In the eyes of USPS, “Zero Tolerance” means that every report of threats or violence will be investigated. The Postal Inspectors should have been brought in to investigate the threat. You may be able to get a copy of the report if there is one through FOIA. You may have a hard time getting the report if you were not one of the ones that were threatened.

  11. need to cut more management the ratio in large companies are 23 employees to 1 management here in usps it is 8 to 1 somrthing is wrong here

  12. This is what I mean. Being on the clock but not working. No its not theoretically stealing, but if a supervisor sat around and talked all day they would be yelling highway robbery. Its stealing if you are on the clock and supposed to be working, but doing nothing.

  13. How is a window clerk “stealing” if they are at their work place? It is the supervisor’s job to supervise!!! Imagine, what a concept

  14. Really,

    You make some valid points. Thank you.

    We can all benefit from being reminded of our own slip-ups.

    There are slip-ups, and then there are devastating crashes.

    When USPS’s Vice President for the Western Area states that some managers ought to be “executed,” he is calling for the execution of people, human beings. This vice president, Sylvester Black, is sick and needs immediate psychiatric committal. Yet, though sick, though calling for managers to be executed, though violating USPS’s ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY, though threatening the lives of his employees, USPS did NOT place Sylvester Black “off duty” immediately and did NOT “fire” him.

    Every, let me repeat that, EVERY Postal Service employee in the United States knows that Sylvester Black should have been immediately placed “off duty,” and then “fired.”

    Yet, Sylvester Black remains the Vice President of the United States Postal Service’s Western Area. What does this tell you, and the public, about the United States Postal Service?

    Rather than being an outcast for bringing shame upon the Postal Service, Vice President Black is celebrated as a hero within the United States Postal Service Headquarters.

    With this type of leadership at headquarters, employees know that there is nothing they can do to prevent the inevitable collapse of the United States Postal Service.

    There is no hope!

  15. Oh, yeah. I am a delivery supervisor in case you didnt notice. And I am not one of those idiots who sits behind the desk waiting for things to happen.

  16. Really…every post that ever comes out, no matter what the heading is, someone has something to say about managers or supervisors. And I can understand that there is some fat that needs to be cut, but really. The heading could say, carrier saves dog from fire and is badly burned or something, and you people would complain that it was the supervisors fault because his service talk was 6minutes long that day, and if it was 5 he could have been there earlier to save the dog with no injury…What a joke.. How about my 3 window clerks that stand at the window where there is only one customer in line, and plenty to do in the back. Not stealing from the PO there are we? Or my carriers that take an extra 15 minute lunch every day. And when they are caught they say wash up time? Really, 15 minutes? Just look on both sides of the glass please.

  17. Wow for every 9 craft employees there is one EAS or higher. Can someone explain this? Or maybe I figured incorrectly. Tell me it isn’t true!!!!

  18. This represents about a 5.4% reduction in overall employment and volume is down about 20%. We have a ways to go.

  19. In the past year we’ve had 1 postmaster, who promptly retired after a few months, and 2 OIC’s who were from other offices. One clerk who is detailed to another office as a 204B and retirement of craft is a steady stream. The USPS is not replacing anyone and we’re supposed to suck it up. I still have 10 years before I can retire…I just hope there is a USPS to retire from.

  20. What they are doing with supervisors/managers is this: Where there are excess supervisors (in Plants) they are detailing them to customer services in stations and offices. In my office, the senior MDO is detailing in another Plant 100 miles away, her spot is being filled by the MDO, detailed into the senior MDO spot. The Plant Manager is detailed 800 miles away, and his job is filled by someone from 75 miles away being detailed into our Plant. Supervisors are being detailed into MDO positions. bargaining unit employees are up as 204Bs to fill the supervisors jobs. In Human resources, the cubicles are filled with people in detailed positions. My guess is that over half of the EAS personnel is not currently working in the job they hold on paper.

    It creates great chaos, when no one knows who is who.

  21. R u kidding me!!! they didn’t get rid of ne supervisors. they just shuffled ’em around and gave ’em new titles like…. liason, consultant, mgr!!! grrrr….

  22. I dont think the PO could tell anyone the truth if they had toooooo.
    I guess thats what happens when you have liars running the place.

  23. This report is incomplete. It does not report the number that retired, quit, fired, etc.

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