The odds are good that if you are a regular reader of this site, or if you follow the national news at all, then you know about the serious fiscal issues that are being faced by the US Postal Service right now and you know about the massive layoffs that the organization is getting ready to undertake in the name of putting their budget to right. For those of you who missed out on our earlier coverage here is an except that will get you up to speed in no time at all, “Well as it turns out the number of layoffs coming to the workers of The United States Postal Service will not be as bad as the management had initially predicted. On the bright side the service will not be laying off 20,000 people, but that does not mean that the news is all good. The United States Postal Service is still getting ready to cut back on a whopping number of jobs. When the service closes 48 of its mail processing centers of the summer they will be cutting back on about 13,000 workers in the process.”
While many may have hoped that cutting 13,000 jobs would be an end to the losses it seems to be only the beginning of a much larger job-cutting program. This time the organization is trying out a no less radical approach of voluntary buyouts. These self-induced layoffs are being offered to almost all of the 45,000 mail handlers who are expected to impacted by the planned changes and consolidations to the mail distribution centers in the US.
In order to help cut back on the involuntary losses they are offering two lump sum payments, which will total to roughly $15,000 to workers who chose to retire, or otherwise leave the employment of the postal service of their own accord. The $15,000 will be offered to full time workers. Those mail handlers who only work part time will be made individualized offers of buyout that are based on the number of hours that they work each week.
The union for the postal workers, The National Postal Mail Handlers, seems to support this effort fully. In a statement the union released on its website the union said the following about the planned buyouts, “The agreement with the Postal Service is intended to provide a financial cushion, and added peace of mind, for Mail Handlers who might be prepared to move on to the next chapter of their lives by leaving the Postal Service – a decision that could be particularly trying during these difficult economic times. In addition, with many closings and consolidations expected to be implemented at mail processing facilities in August 2012 and February 2013, the MOU also will benefit remaining Mail Handlers to the extent that some Mail Handlers choose to retire because of this incentive. More specifically, remaining Mail Handlers will experience less excessing and will benefit from more landing spots if excessed, more bidding opportunities, and other results of reduced staffing. “
Since the organization needs to cut 150,000 from the payroll by the time 2015 come around the buyouts may be welcome by some.Postal Service Officers Buyouts to 45,000 Workers by Harrison Barnes