USPS’ solvency plans eliminate overtime, may delay mail delivery

To bring the U.S. Postal Service back to financial solvency, the postmaster general is rolling out some big operational changes, according to recent news reports.

First off, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy plans to eliminate overtime, even if it means the mail is not delivered on time.

“The USPS will no longer use excessive cost to get the basic job done,” according to a PowerPoint presentation of DeJoy’s talking points at a meeting in Ohio posted by the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. “If the plants run late they will keep the mail for the next day. If you get mail late and your carriers are gone and you cannot get the mail out without OT, it will remain for the next day.”

When it comes to overtime generally, DeJoy’s plan is to eventually eliminate it. “Again, we are paying too much in OT and it is not cost effective and soon will be taken off the table.”

Additionally, use of scheduled days off will be decreased dramatically, according to the slides. “The [Post Office Operations Managers] and only the POOMs can authorize SDO. Any [postmaster] from this point on that uses and SDO on their own will have to answer for it. There is NO SDO USAGE WITHOUT THE POOMS APPROVAL… PERIOD. If you are one of the many leaders that assist me and feel I will not mind, you are wrong. 100% follow up will be taken for using and SDO without permission from me.”

Post Offices with customer service windows open more than eight hours must close for lunch to bring them back to eight-hour operations.

Also on the chopping block are detail assignments -- those that the USPS inspector general defines as “the temporary placement of a career employee in another established position that is vacant or from which the incumbent is absent.” Detail assignments are intended to be made for short periods to meet emergencies caused by an abnormal workload or unanticipated absences.

“Non approved details will be discontinued. This is all of them. We have people in sales, call centers and so on, they will all be terminated,” the slides said.

As to the consequences of fewer staff and curtailed service, DeJoy said, “If we cannot deliver all the mail due to calls offs or shortages of people and you have no other help, the mail will not go out and you will have to report this in the [customer service delivery reporting system].”

DeJoy was named postmaster general in May. He was previously in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte and is the first postmaster general in 20 years who has not come up through the agency’s ranks.

USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer provided EcommerceBytes with the following statement:

“The Postal Service is developing a business plan to ensure that we will be financially stable and able to continue to provide reliable, affordable, safe and secure delivery of mail, packages and other communications to all Americans as a vital part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. While the overall plan is not yet finalized, it will certainly include new and creative ways for us to fulfill our mission, and we will focus immediately on efficiency and items that we can control, including adherence to the effective operating plans that we have developed.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) reacted to a Washington Post’s report confirming the changes detailed in the slides. “Attacks on USPS not only threaten our economy and the jobs of 600,000 workers. With states now reliant on voting by mail to continue elections during the pandemic, the destabilizing of the post office is a direct attack on American democracy itself,” he said in a statement.

Reader comments

Sat, Aug 8, 2020 Laura

This is absolutely horrendous. Another TERRIBLE idea from Frump--what else is new? This man is a maniac, a sociopath and a murderer. He has allowed 160,000 lives to perish and he has done NOTHING to help or stop. Let Frump get SICK with covid and then see how he acts. This thing with the PO is outrageous. People DEPEND on the PO for meds, social security checks and for their livelihood as MANY people sell items on ebay, Etsy and countless other sites that depend on the PO. Other carriers like UPS are far more expensive to use. Everyone reading this- PLEASE VOTE FOR BIDEN AND GET RID OF FRUMP!!!!

Fri, Aug 7, 2020

I think the new Post Master General is just trying to keep the Post Office open and make sure everyone is pulling their own weight. The supervisors and Post Masters abuse the CCA's that work for them.They make the CCA's work sometimes close to 70 hours a week without a day off for weeks. Just so they do not have to pay OT for the career carriers. So the career carries are the most laziest because they know they do not have to pick up the slack. This will make them do the job they are getting paid to do. So all post carriers non career and career will have a work life balance.

Tue, Aug 4, 2020 Bert AZ

I disagree with PMG DeJoy's "problem definition." A proper definition describes the difference between what is happening versus what should be happening. Overtime is a solution to a problem not a problem to be solved. Many industries utilize overtime as a means of reducing overall staffing costs. Instead of maintaining full time only staffs to perform 100% of the workload perhaps only 80% of staffing is hired with overtime as a supplement to accomplish the remaining work - without having to pay for any fringe benefits at the overtime rate. Also, when workloads are variable - e.g. the amount of daily mail processed rises and falls - overtime is a good tool for managing these variabilities. The only other option is to maintain a much larger full time staff that may not be fully utilized during lower volume periods causing wasted spending in pay and benefits. PMG DeJoy, therefore, due to his new overtime elimination policy must quickly ramp up new hires for the Christmas Holiday Season before the "excess undelivered mail" overwhelms every postal facility preventing even the "normal" processing of average daily volumes. Perhaps he needs to learn this lesson the hard way at the expense of the American public.

Mon, Aug 3, 2020 60652

You NEW plan isn't working, we have not received mail in 2 weeks. I've been picking it up,not anymore,you are getting paid I am NOT

Sat, Aug 1, 2020

I've been working for the USPS for a while now. I agree changes need to be made,the biggest changes need to be fire the lazy uneducated employees who think that they can sit around talk on the phone and not work yet get paid decent money. The USPS need to implement a work performance based review based upon scans and piece work to route out the bad ones. Mail is late unscanned and lost due to the fact of horrible workers and management that becomes friends with the bad employees. Late trips and overtime can be necessary at times if mail volume is heavy but its often due to bad workers and management that dont care as well as employees sitting in their cars milking the clock on overtime rather than getting the mail out as quickly as possible

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