From the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
The Postal Service has negotiated agreements with the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union to offer cash incentives of up to $15,000 to employees in the APWU and NPMHU’s crafts to accept a Voluntary Early Retirement offer between now and November 30, 2009. The agreements (here and here) were prompted by the large financial losses incurred by the Postal Service as a result of the steep decline in mail volume due to the recession, as well as the heavy cost of pre-funding retiree health benefits. The incentives are targeted to the crafts with complements in excess of needs. A moratorium on excessing in the two unions’ crafts will be imposed until October 9. The Postal Service has not offered to negotiate a similar program for city or rural letter carriers with the NALC or the NRLCA. At present, the complements of city and rural carriers remain more closely aligned with the Postal Service’s needs to cover last-mile delivery at current mail volume. The new early-out programs should reduce the number of postal employees in other crafts excessed to the city carrier craft in the months ahead.