Usps downsizing 2020

Usps downsizing 2020 DEFAULT

U.S. Postal Service Announces Next Phase of Organizational Changes Begun in August 2020

March 3, 2021

  • Phased organizational changes initiated in August 2020 include District consolidations, centralization of Marketing functions and realignment of Logistics and Processing Operations
  • Will help drive efficiencies and better decision making throughout the organization
  • Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) option to be offered to eligible non-bargaining employees in administrative functions

WASHINGTON, DC — Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy today provided details of the next phase of organizational changes he first announced in August 2020, designed to improve efficiency, drive success and better serve Postal Service customers.

The next phase of these organizational changes includes the following:

  • District Consolidation Plan: The existing 67 Postal Service Districts will be consolidated to 50 Districts. New District territories will closely align to state boundaries. Districts will align with the communities the Postal Service serves and provide familiar boundaries for employees, customers and stakeholders.  
  • Centralization of Marketing functions: The Marketing functions previously performed at the Area and District levels will be centralized into the Chief Customer and Marketing organization, including Consumer and Industry Affairs and the Bulk Mail Entry Units (BMEUs).  In May, the District Retail function will be centralized into the Headquarters Retail and Delivery function.  In the interim, the Retail teams will be assigned under one of the 50 District Managers.
  • Realignment of Logistics and Processing Operations: To ensure alignment with Retail and Delivery Operations, and Logistics and Processing Operations, a thirteenth division will be created.  Processing operations is organized into 2 regions, each geographically aligned with two retail and delivery areas; and divided into 6 or 7 divisions for a total of 13 divisions.  Logistics is organized into 4 regions, each geographically aligned to one retail and delivery area; and divided into 3 or 4 divisions for a total of 13 divisions. No divisions or regions will span across more than one area.

“These organizational changes will strengthen our mission and commitment to serve the American people by improving efficiency and streamlining decision making throughout the organization,” said Postmaster General DeJoy. “By improving operational focus and business strategy execution along with greater investment, we will strengthen our public service mission, achieve service excellence, and place the Postal Service on a path toward financial sustainability.”

DeJoy continued, “Since 2007, we have recorded significant net losses each year. Absent substantial changes, our financial losses will continue to widen, and our ability to invest in the future of the organization will be severely curtailed.”

Over the next two months, the Postal Service will be engaged in specific activities to complete the staffing changes for the final phase of the organizational restructure. The announcement of the final structure and staffing is planned for May 2021.

As a part of the Postal Service’s reduction-in-force (RIF) avoidance activities, it is offering a Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) option to most eligible non-bargaining employees at Headquarters, Headquarters-related, Area and District offices. VER provides an option for employees to consider as the Postal Service moves through this phase of the organizational restructure. The VER offer will not include a separation incentive and has an effective date of April 30, 2021.

The previous organizational change phases created three core business functions, centralized administrative support functions at the area and district level into Headquarters and aligned the core business functions into four areas within Retail and Delivery Operations and two regions within Logistics and Processing Operations.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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Sours: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2021/0303-usps-announces-next-phase-of-organizational-changes-begun-in-august-2020.htm

Postal Service Suspends Changes After Outcry Over Delivery Slowdown

Policy changes by the postmaster general prompted allegations that the Trump administration was trying to disenfranchise voters before the 2020 election.

WASHINGTON — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, facing intense backlash over cost-cutting moves that Democrats, state attorneys general and civil rights groups warn could jeopardize mail-in voting, said on Tuesday that the Postal Service would suspend those operational changes until after the 2020 election.

The measures, which included eliminating overtime for mail carriers, reducing post office hours and removing postal boxes, have been faulted for slowing mail delivery and criticized as an attempt to disenfranchise voters seeking to vote safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. DeJoy, a major donor to President Trump who was tapped in May to run the Postal Service, said in a statement that “to avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail” he was suspending changes “that have been raised as areas of concern as the nation prepares to hold an election in the midst of a devastating pandemic.”

Mr. DeJoy said retail hours at the post office would not change, no mail processing facilities would be closed, and overtime would continue to be approved “as needed.”

It was unclear, however, whether the agency would reverse measures already put in place across the country that union officials and workers say have inflicted deep damage to the Postal Service. That includes the removal of hundreds of mail-sorting machines, according to a June 17 letter sent from the Postal Service to the American Postal Workers Union. Some of those machines have already been destroyed, union officials and workers said.

transcript

transcript

Listen to ‘The Daily’: The President, the Postal Service and the Election

Hosted by Michael Barbaro, produced by Jessica Cheung, Alexandra Leigh Young and Asthaa Chaturvedi, and edited by M.J. Davis Lin and Lisa Tobin

Recent cuts have raised a question: Is President Trump deliberately slowing the mail to help his chances in the election?

michael barbaro

From The New York Times, I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.

Today: The president, the postal service and the election. My colleague Luke Broadwater on what’s actually going on.

[music]

It’s Wednesday, August 19.

Luke, there’s a theory floating out there about the post office, the president and the upcoming election, and I wonder if you can just explain it. What is this theory?

luke broadwater

So the theory, I guess the short version of it is this: President Trump has installed a mega donor and close ally as the postmaster general and has set him about on a course to cut the post office. And in doing so, wreak havoc onto mail-in voting, thereby helping President Trump be reelected.

michael barbaro

And, Luke, where does this theory come from?

luke broadwater

Well, we can take it all the way back to about the turn of the century, when mail use peaks in America right around 2001. And since that time, we’ve seen about a 50 percent reduction in the mailing of first class mail. To accommodate this, a series of postmaster generals have approved cuts and reductions to things like mailboxes, to things like sorting machines in attempt to shrink the agency along with the lower volume of mail.

michael barbaro

Got it.

luke broadwater

Then you have this pandemic come in, and you have a ton of people now and a ton of states looking at mail-in balloting. Something like three out of four Americans may be eligible to vote by mail this year. And so you have this whole new demand on the post office. Then, on top of all these problems, a new postmaster general is installed.

archived recording

His postmaster general is a Republican mega donor, who 85 days from the election by the way, decided the time was right for a chaotic and sweeping overhaul.

luke broadwater

His name is Louis DeJoy. He has never worked for the post office before.

archived recording

Critics of the president say he’s trying to sabotage the postal service ahead of the election. It was only a month and a half ago Trump identified mail-in voting as the biggest threat to a second term.

luke broadwater

He reassigns more than 20 executives in the post office. He immediately limits overtime for the postal workers. In the union’s view, he speeds up the removal of mail-sorting machines. He puts in stringent rules that limit how many times a mail carrier can make a run in a day. And the result of all these changes, where some people were seeing slower mail, becomes in many people’s view a crisis.

People all across the country are calling their senators, calling their Congress people. They are saying they haven’t gotten mail for weeks. I talked with one congressperson in Philadelphia who said in a normal July, he gets something like 10 to 20 complaints about the post office. And this year in July, he got more than 300, almost 400. And so people who were already worried about DeJoy and what he was doing at the post office, their fears were exacerbated when last week —

archived recording (donald trump)

But two of the items are the post office and the $3.5 billion for mail-in voting. Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it.

luke broadwater

President Trump came out and basically admitted that he doesn’t want to fund certain aspects of the post office, because they might contribute to mail-in voting.

[music]

And when he said that, it was like alarm bells rang across the country for Democrats.

michael barbaro

What is the president objecting to here exactly? What is his problem with this funding, and what is this funding?

luke broadwater

So this all comes out of the fight over the latest round of stimulus legislation to help Americans suffering from the coronavirus and to help the American economy. In the Democrats’ proposal, they have $25 billion dollars to help the post office, and they have $3.6 billion to help states with their elections. There is a provision in the Democrats’ bill for universal mail-in voting, but that is not directly connected to the money for the post office.

It appears that President Trump has conflated these two issues. So he thinks that by blocking the money for the post office, he’s preventing universal mail-in voting. The truth is that states have already decided on their own whether or not they’re doing universal mail-in voting, and this money for the post office would not change that.

[music]
michael barbaro

So in the process of opposing this thing that’s not really even in the Democrats’ proposals, he’s nevertheless admitting very explicitly that he wants to find a way to curtail mail-in voting by depriving the postal service of funding.

luke broadwater

Yes, he says that out loud, and you could hear jaws hitting the floor around the country.

michael barbaro

Got it.

luke broadwater

But to make matters worse, right around this time, you start seeing reports come out from different states across the country that they have received letters from the postal service saying we might not be able to accommodate mail-in balloting in the final weeks of the election for your state. And so with Trump’s comments, then these letters, and everything else we know about Postmaster General DeJoy and his background and ties to the Republican Party, and the cuts he’s putting in place, people around the country start to suspect that there’s sabotage going on.

michael barbaro

Right, so here you’re laying out the kind of elements of this theory that now, I’m sure for many people, especially Democrats, is starting to sound not so much like a theory, but a kind of reality. And so I’m curious how people within the Democratic party are reacting exactly? What are they saying? What are they doing?

luke broadwater

Well, I mean, there was immediate outrage.

archived recording (protesters)

[CHANTING]

luke broadwater

People started protesting.

archived recording (protesters)

(SINGING) Mama, mama, can’t you see? Mama, mama, can’t you see? What DeJoy has done to me? What DeJoy has done to me?

luke broadwater

People went to Postmaster General DeJoy’s house and protested outside his house.

archived recording (protesters)

(SINGING) He wants to sabotage the post. He wants to sabotage the post. And throw away all of our votes. And throw away all of the votes. Mama, mama, can’t you see?

luke broadwater

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Pelosi has called the House to come back and pass emergency legislation to block what Postmaster General DeJoy and President Trump are doing to the post office in her view. And you see a hearing on Monday, an emergency hearing, in which Mr. DeJoy will be called in front of Congress to take tough questions about his role in all this, and what his plans and intentions are.

michael barbaro

So the president’s comments, essentially confirming many people’s fears, have poured a lot of fuel onto this theory. But as plausible as this theory may sound, is there actual evidence that connects DeJoy’s actions to Donald Trump and shows that he’s actively seeking to undermine the postal service to strengthen his chances of re-election?

luke broadwater

I mean, he has said that. But in terms of actual actions, I don’t think you can say that. To pull that off, you would have to destroy the post office in key areas, right? You would have to do it in Democratic strongholds, but not in rural areas. You would have to be very sort of selective about how you went about cutting and weakening the post office. And that’s not really what we’ve seen. What we’ve seen is across the country we’ve seen problems with the post office. In fact, a lot of the complaints that we get are from rural Americans, and we see a lot of rural Republicans who are very upset about what’s going on at the post office — G.O.P. senators and Republican secretaries of state.

So Donald Trump believes that mail-in voting helps Democrats, but almost all the studies we’ve seen is that it doesn’t really help anybody. It just makes more people vote. Now, maybe he views it as if fewer people vote, I can win. But there’s no real evidence of that either, that sort of a smaller electorate would benefit him over Joe Biden.

michael barbaro

Well, now that they’ve seen this reaction to the president’s words, and this theory has taken hold, how is the Trump administration responding?

luke broadwater

Well, they’ve walked back a number of things that Trump said.

archived recording

If the Democrats were to give you some of what you want, which you articulated in a series of tweets in the last hour, would you be willing to accept the $25 billion dollars for the postal service including the $3.5 billion?

archived recording (donald trump)

Sure, if they give us what we want. And it’s not what I want. It’s what the American people want.

luke broadwater

The president has now said he’s open to funding the post office in a way that he wasn’t only a day earlier. His Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has gone out there and said —

archived recording (mark meadows)

I’m all about piecemeal. If we can agree on postal, let’s do it.

luke broadwater

— that they would be open to a standalone bill to fund the post office.

archived recording (mark meadows)

I’ve been the one that’s advocating for that. Speaker Pelosi is the one who said that she won’t do anything unless it’s a big deal.

luke broadwater

They’ve made a number of pledges to try to tamp down some of the accusations.

archived recording (mark meadows)

There’s no sorting machines that are going offline between now and the election. That’s not happening.

luke broadwater

They’ve said they’ll stop removing the post boxes. They said they have authorized overtime for the election. And the postmaster general has pledged that every ballot will be treated with respect and counted and sent to the proper place. They are pledging up and down there won’t be any sabotage.

[music]
michael barbaro

We’ll be right back.

So at this point, the Trump administration has more or less said we will stop doing the things that are fueling this theory. That’s now very much out there that we are trying to damage the postal service to try to win a second term in the middle of a pandemic. I’m curious what the actual capacity of the postal service is with the cuts that are already in place. Can the postal service handle an election in which 100 to 200 million people may use mail-in ballots?

luke broadwater

The short answer is yes. They have more than enough capacity to handle that volume of mail. Pretty much everybody agrees on that — election experts, the postal union, the postmaster general. If you look at a traditional Christmastime, you have much more mail moving than you’re going to see during this election, even though it is a very heightened amount of mail-in ballots.

The issue for the post office is not the volume or the capacity. The issue is the timing. And so they have a concern about last-minute requests for mail-in ballots. That’s really their issue. There’s 45 states across the country that allow people to request ballots within two weeks before the election. Some allow the requests as short as four days. There are even five states that will send out a mail-in ballot to a voter if they receive an application by mail, even the day before the election.

michael barbaro

Wow, that’s just not a lot of time for the postal service to get a ballot out, get a person to fill it out and get it back in time before the election.

luke broadwater

Yes, exactly. So the postal service is saying, even in a good year, even a year where there is not this big rush of mail-in ballots and there’s no pandemic, we would have trouble with some of those deadlines. And so we’re asking you in a pandemic year, in a year where 75 percent of voters are eligible to vote by mail, please push your deadlines back, and give us two weeks to process these things.

michael barbaro

OK, they’re just basically creating a bigger buffer of time to make sure they can handle all of this capacity. That seems kind of reasonable.

luke broadwater

Yeah, I mean, and I think that if this request had gone out without Donald Trump’s comments, without Postmaster General DeJoy’s cuts, they would have been seen as sort of a reasonable letter to ensure that everyone’s vote actually counted, that the post office can accommodate some of these deadlines. Well, let’s change them to make sure that no one is under a false impression that they’re filling out a ballot that’s going to count when it’s not actually going to get there in time.

michael barbaro

So, look, I want to return to the original theory here about the president, the postal service and the election. You identify the ways in which the president could, if he wanted to, weaken the postal service in ways that would advantage him in the election by, for example, going into a Democratic community and making cuts to the postal service. Does the president actually have that kind of power? Could he demand changes to the postal service in the next 70 or 80 days that would actually make it easier for him to win re-election?

luke broadwater

Well, so he does control the board of governors now for the postal service, and he controls the postmaster general. And he could give them some marching orders theoretically. That said, I do think it would be difficult to carry out without raising the alarm of a large unionized workforce. If all of the sudden, the entire branch of the Philadelphia post office was closed down, and people were laid off, we would know about that. These are not shrinking violets who would just be pushed around. So he’d either need buy-in from the unions to sabotage the election — a bunch of unionized workers — which seems highly unlikely. Or we would hear crying foul from every corner of the country about what he was doing.

michael barbaro

So you’re saying it’s not very practical as a electoral strategy for the president. But I wonder if you’re getting the sense that the president’s actions so far, and his words when it comes to the postal service and this election, are creating a lot of doubt about whether mail-in voting is going to work? And whether the postal service can make mail-in voting work, and if that is starting to in its own way undermine faith in the postal service in the minds of voters?

luke broadwater

Absolutely. It’s an interesting thing the president’s doing, because the post office has long been one of the most popular functions of government. I think 91 percent of Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, support the post office. And so what the unions believe he’s doing is they say there are three levels of support that they have. One is the board of governors. They say the president’s taken that over. The second is the postmaster general. They say the president has taken that over. And the third is the American public, and they still have the American public on their side. But if the service of the post office is so eroded, and the confidence in it has degraded so much that their polling starts to fall, and people don’t have confidence in them anymore, well, now the theory goes it’s open for privatization.

michael barbaro

Oh, interesting. And what could be a bigger stage for people to judge the postal service than an election?

luke broadwater

That’s right.

archived recording (donald trump)

There is the issue of voter fraud. Isn’t it amazing the way they say there’s no voter fraud?

luke broadwater

Donald Trump has long sought to undermine American elections with his rhetoric.

archived recording (donald trump)

There are 1.8 million dead people that are registered right now to vote. And folks, some of them vote. I wonder why. I wonder how that happened. They woke up from the dead, and they went and voted.

luke broadwater

But now what we’re seeing is on the other side.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

Within this administration is an attempt to make sure your vote doesn’t count and doesn’t count as cast.

luke broadwater

Democrats are worried about a rigged election.

archived recording (nancy pelosi)

The actions this administration are taking, vis-á-vis our voting system, our sacred right to vote are a domestic assault on our constitution.

archived recording (chuck schumer)

Donald Trump is aimed at hurting the elections. He says he wants to slow down the mail to hurt the elections and make people doubt the results of the election.

luke broadwater

So now we’re seeing both sides questioning the legitimacy of the election. And I don’t know how that’s a good recipe for America and for confidence in our electoral system.

archived recording (barack obama)

What we’ve never seen before is a president say, I’m going to try to actively kneecap the postal service, and I will be explicit about the reason I’m doing it. That’s sort of unheard of.

michael barbaro

You know, I can’t help but think about 2016 and Russian interference. And I’m kind of haunted by the Russian theory of the case, which is that you don’t actually have to do the thing. You don’t actually have to interfere in the election, because the real power is just in calling the election itself into doubt.

luke broadwater

No, that’s an interesting point. Yeah, I mean, the key distinction between the two is in 2016, a lot of the concern was about outside interference. This time, the accusation is that the meddling is coming from the White House itself. That the call’s coming from inside the house, so to speak. That is obviously a huge cause for alarm, and it’s a very different line of concern than we saw in 2016.

Now, you know, despite all this concern and all the heated rhetoric that we’ve heard, there is perhaps a silver lining. And that is when you talk with a lot of get-out-the-vote folks, and you talk with activists about how their messaging is changing, now they’re really pushing this idea that you need to vote a good two weeks before the election by mail. And so people that maybe didn’t hear that message and would have voted the week before election, and maybe the post office wouldn’t have gotten the ballot there in time for their vote to count, I think there’s a good chance now that they will get that ballot in ahead of time, and their vote will count.

[music]
michael barbaro

Well, Luke, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

luke broadwater

Thank you.

michael barbaro

On Tuesday, under growing pressure from Democrats, activists and voters, Postmaster General DeJoy said he would formally suspend the operational changes he’s been making to the postal service until after the 2020 election. Among the changes he will suspend are eliminating overtime for mail carriers, reducing post office hours and removing postal boxes, all of which have been blamed for slowing mail delivery and could undermine mail-in voting. But DeJoy has not said that he will permanently reverse any of the changes that he has already made.

[music]

We’ll be right back.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

archived recording 1

The Commonwealth of Kentucky cast all 60 votes for the next president of the United States, Joe Biden.

archived recording 2

Mississippi cast two votes for Bernie Sanders and 38 votes for our next president Joe Biden.

archived recording 3

Delaware is proud to cast its 32 votes for our favorite son and our next president.

archived recording 4

Our brand, Delaware, Joe Biden.

michael barbaro

During the second night of the Democratic National Convention, after a virtual roll call from 57 states and U.S. territories, Joe Biden was formally designated as the party’s nominee for president.

archived recording

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

archived recording (joe biden)

Well, that you very, very much from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all. It means the world to me and my family. And I’ll see you on Thursday. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

archived recording

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

michael barbaro

Later in the evening, Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, delivered the night’s keynote speech from a classroom quieted by the pandemic, recalling her decision to marry Biden not long after the death of his first wife and daughter in a car crash.

archived recording (jill biden)

I never imagined at the age of 26 I would be asking myself, how do you make a broken family whole? Still, Joe always told the boys mommy sent Jill to us, and how could I argue with her.

michael barbaro

Recounting that tragedy, Joe Biden described her husband as uniquely capable of healing the nation in the middle of a deadly pandemic and economic collapse.

archived recording (jill biden)

I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours. Bring us together and make us whole. Carry us forward in our time of need. Keep the promise of America for all of us.

michael barbaro

The speech was the latest sign that the Biden campaign will frame the coming election as a referendum on President Trump and his handling of the coronavirus.

[music]

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you tomorrow.

The announcement came as lawmakers summoned Mr. DeJoy to testify before the House and the Senate in the coming days and as two coalitions of at least 20 state attorneys general said they would file lawsuits against the Trump administration over the postal changes. Those lawsuits, which are being led by Washington State and Pennsylvania, seek to reverse Mr. DeJoy’s changes, which they called “unlawful.”

Lawmakers in both parties and voting rights advocates have accused Mr. DeJoy, a longtime transportation and logistics executive, of making policy changes that jeopardize not only voters’ ability to cast their ballots safely in the general election, but also the delivery of important medicines, paychecks and documents. Mr. DeJoy’s continuing financial ties to companies that stand to benefit from his work at the Postal Service have also prompted concerns from lawmakers.

Concern about Mr. DeJoy’s changes was so pronounced that Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California interrupted the House’s annual summer recess and scheduled a vote on Saturday on Democratic legislation that would revoke policy changes until Jan. 1, 2021, or the end of the pandemic. The bill would also include $25 billion in funding for the beleaguered agency. Mr. DeJoy’s announcement did not change those plans to return, a senior Democratic aide said on Tuesday, although text of the legislation had not yet been released.

“They felt the heat,” Ms. Pelosi said at a Politico Playbook event moments after Mr. DeJoy released his statement. “And that’s what we were trying to do, make it too hot for them to handle.”

Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader and among dozens of Democrats who spent Tuesday denouncing the changes at in-person events outside postal facilities, said that while Mr. DeJoy had vowed to stop any changes, Democrats were “going to make sure in law that that is the case.”

While several Senate Republicans have condemned the changes enforced by Mr. DeJoy and signaled openness for more funding for the agency, top Senate Republicans have not yet coalesced around legislation to address the agency’s issues.

“I don’t think we’ll pass, in the Senate, a postal-only bill,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, told The Courier Journal on Tuesday.

Mr. DeJoy is scheduled to appear before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Friday and the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Monday, as lawmakers continue to push for answers. Robert M. Duncan, the chairman of the Postal Service board of governors, is also expected to testify before the House committee on Monday.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, spoke to Mr. DeJoy on Tuesday and asked for a written explanation of which policy changes were rescinded or kept and for an explicit promise that the agency would treat election mail as first-class priority.

“I told him there’s a lot of mistrust because of statements he and the president have made about cutbacks in mail delivery during Covid and about mail-in voting through Election Day,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement, adding, “We cannot allow two things as sacred to our country as the Post Office and our elections to be undermined.”

As criticism and public pressure mounted, the Postal Service’s board of governors held emergency meetings via conference call on Saturday and Monday, where the outcry was discussed, according to a person familiar with the meetings who asked for anonymity because they were closed to the public.

According to a notice in the Federal Register, the Postal Service’s general counsel “certified that the meeting may be closed under the Government in the Sunshine Act.”

While the board oversees the strategic direction of the Postal Service and selects the postmaster general, who serves at the pleasure of the board members, it is not clear what role it played in approving the cost-cutting changes or suspending them until after the election.

Board members declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment on Mr. DeJoy’s moves and what role, if any, they have played. A Postal Service spokesman declined to comment on the board’s role or the meetings, instead asking a reporter to file a Freedom of Information Act request for the agendas of the meetings.

Mr. DeJoy and his administration allies have argued that the removal of underused mailboxes and replacing sorting equipment were policies first set into motion by Mr. DeJoy’s predecessors. But Mr. DeJoy has carried them out with a speed and vigor previous postmasters general had not, according to people familiar with their execution.

“So, Postmaster General DeJoy, two weeks ago, and again, recently, has reiterated his commitment to pay overtime to postal workers and letter carriers if there’s an increase in volume that demands that in order to be able to get ballots or any other first-class mail to its destination as efficiently and as fast as possible,” Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, told reporters on Tuesday. “President Trump at no time has instructed or directed the post office to cut back on overtime or any other operational decision that would slow things down.”

Union officials said that some very limited overtime requests had been fulfilled. The bigger concerns, they said, were the routing and transportation changes detailed in a memo in July that was widely circulated. Among the changes, mail carriers are supposed to avoid waiting for delayed trucks or taking multiple trips.

The cost-cutting measures Mr. DeJoy carried out came after years of public criticism by Mr. Trump, who has accused the Postal Service of being poorly run and not charging high enough rates to private companies like Amazon and UPS.

“Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!” he tweeted in December 2017.

The president reiterated that idea on Tuesday: “@Amazon and others in that business, should be charged (by the U.S. Postal System) much more per package, and the Post Office would be immediately brought back to ‘good health’, now vibrant, with ALL jobs saved,” he tweeted. “No pass on to customers. Get it done!”

In April 2018, Mr. Trump tapped Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to lead a task force on updating the Postal Service, which culminated in a report that offered a broad critique of the agency’s business model and concluded that an antiquated mission — along with changing market forces — left it ripe for financial collapse.

The report suggested that postal workers were overpaid relative to other government employees and private-sector delivery services, and that compensation reductions along with other cost-cutting measures were needed.

“Their wages and benefits should be aligned to comparable U.S. federal employee groups, including aligning their ability to collectively bargain for wages and benefits with other federal employees,” the report said.

There were also recommendations to cut services, such as scaling back delivery days and making it easier to close post offices and remove mailboxes. The task force said that to be more cost efficient, the Postal Service should exercise “discretion to lower service standards.”

But those recommendations came before the pandemic, which has upended plans to vote in person this November and is likely to cause an influx of mail-in ballots.

Washington filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing the administration of unlawfully pushing through changes at the Postal Service, and Pennsylvania intends to file one as well. Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, said on Tuesday that she intended to file a separate lawsuit.

William Tong, Connecticut’s attorney general, said that his office had received complaints from across the state about slowdowns in mail delivery. Among them, medicine was not being delivered to sick seniors and child support payments were arriving late to financially insecure mothers. In August, some Connecticut voters were denied the right to vote when their absentee ballots arrived late, he added.

“We will not allow Donald Trump to steal the election by sabotaging the United States Postal Service,” Mr. Tong said in a statement. “The president greatly misjudged the anger his unlawful policies would unleash across this country.”

The states plan to pursue their lawsuit despite Mr. DeJoy’s announcement on Tuesday. James E. Tierney, a former attorney general of Maine and a professor at Harvard Law School, said the lawsuit provided assurance to the attorneys general that the postmaster general would follow through on his promise.

“The attorneys general don’t trust the word of the Postal Service,” Mr. Tierney said. “They feel more comfortable having this done in open court.”

Alan Rappeport, Luke Broadwater, Catie Edmondson and Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/politics/postal-service-suspends-changes.html
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APWU ALERT : Congress can put the breaks on the PMG’s disastrous cuts. Contact your senators today and tell them to stand up for prompt mail service! National Mobilization Guide Against Plant Consolidations and Post Office Closures Attention Postal Employees, Friends of Postal Employees, Your Family Members, Friends, Neighbors and Your Church, Club, and Association […]

Posted in APWU, politics, postal, postal news, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, usps Tagged APWU Oakland President Fredric jacobs, consolidations, layoffs, Omar Gonzalez, politics, postal, postal news, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, senators, toolkit, usps, USPS Network Rationalization

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The Washington Post’s Lisa Rein is reporting: The U.S. Postal Service announced Thursday that it will offer $20,000 early retirement incentives to eligible administrative staff as part of a money-saving strategy that also will close seven district offices from New England to New Mexico. The cuts are part of a reorganization to eliminate 7,500 administrative, […]

Posted in postal, postal news Tagged layoffs, postal, postal news, usps

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Sours: https://www.postal-reporter.com/blog/tag/layoffs/
USPS slows delivery and hikes package prices

USPS workers may be faced with upcoming layoffs

Layoffs may be looming for U.S. Postal Service employees.

The National Association of Postal Supervisors, which represents 27,000 active and retired USPS workers, was informed that reductions in force, or layoffs, may be forthcoming depending on how the next phase of the agency's structure and staffing plan takes shape next month, Government Executive reported.

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The USPS announced in early March it was offering voluntary early retirement to eligible non-union administrative employees as it worked to restructure the organization after a tumultuous year.

This does not apply to those who process and deliver the mail, USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer told FOX Business.

The offers were a way to help the agency avoid a "reduction in force." The offers, which don't include a buyout incentive, have an effective date of April 30, according to the USPS.

A USPS Postal worker loading a truck parked in New York City on Feb. 4, 2019. (iStock)

The offers are part of a handful of organizational changes Postmaster General Louis DeJoy first announced in August including consolidating the existing 67 Postal Service Districts into 50.

DeJoy said the organizational changes will strengthen the agency's "mission and commitment to serve the American people by improving efficiency and streamlining decision making throughout the organization."

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The potential layoffs will be dependant, in part, upon how many employees decide to accept the offers.

The announcement of the service's final structure and staffing is planned for May.

Employees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) are eligible for voluntary early retirement as long as they met certain specifications.

To accept the retirement offers, current employees have to be at least 50 years old and have 20 years of service or any age with 25 years of service. Employees must also have at least five years of "creditable civilian service, not military service" although "employees may use military service to meet the balance of service required for eligibility," according to the agency.

Decisions must be made by April 16.

Representatives for the National Association of Postal Supervisors did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

Sours: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/united-states-postal-service-layoffs-early-retirement

Downsizing 2020 usps

Senator, union leader: Postal Service considers downsizing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing post offices across the country, sparking concerns ahead of an anticipated surge of mail-in ballots in the 2020 elections, U.S. Sen Joe Manchin and a union leader said Wednesday.

Manchin said he has received numerous reports from post offices and colleagues about service cuts or looming closures in West Virginia and elsewhere, prompting him to send a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy asking for an explanation.

The possible cutbacks come as DeJoy, a major donor to President Donald Trump who took control of the agency last month, moves to eliminate overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers, potentially causing a delay in mail deliveries. A recent document from the Postal Service, obtained by The Associated Press, described the need for an "operational pivot" to make the cash-strapped agency financially stable.

"It's just asinine to think that you can shut something down or throttle it back in terms of the pandemic when basically the lifeline for voting and democracy is going to be in the hands of the Postal Service," Manchin, a Democrat, told reporters Wednesday.

He said at least two post offices in West Virginia had been scheduled to close next month but that the agency had "slowed" its plans.

A spokesman for the Postal Service referred questions to a prior statement from DeJoy, which said the agency "has experienced over a decade of financial losses, with no end in sight, and we face an impending liquidity crisis." The statement goes on to say that "it is critical that the Postal Service take a fresh look at our operations and make necessary adjustments."

Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, which represents more than 200,000 postal workers and retirees, said there's "definitely buzz" about closures although he said he was not aware of specific details. A spokesman for the union said rank-and-file postal employees have been told by managers that their offices are being targeted for potential cutbacks.

"The logical conclusion is that he's going to try to close some post offices," Dimondstein said of the postmaster general's belt-tightening strategies.

The coronavirus pandemic has created further strain on Postal Service finances. The service reported a $4.5 billion loss for the quarter ending in March, before the full effects of the shutdown sank in.

Manchin’s letter noted that the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress in March included authorization for the agency to borrow up to $10 billion from the U.S. Treasury. The money was intended to help the Postal Service maintain essential services during the pandemic.

"Unfortunately, not only has little to none of that funding been utilized, you are now proposing the very cuts that we sought to avoid with that emergency line of credit," Manchin said in his letter.

Later Wednesday, Treasury announced it had reached agreement with the Postal Service on the terms of any future borrowing but also said the service was able to fund its operations at this time without using a loan.

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Sours: https://www.federaltimes.com/federal-oversight/congress/2020/07/30/senator-union-leader-postal-service-considers-downsizing/
What a USPS distribution center looks like during Christmastime

The Postal Service is moving ahead with a non-voluntary reduction in force of non-bargaining unit employees after sending voluntary early retirement offers to its eligible management workforce.

Ahead of the layoffs and reassignments, USPS will send a second round of Voluntary Early Retirement offers to eligible employees working at its headquarters, headquarters-related facilities, area offices and district offices.

The agency, meanwhile, is lifting a hiring freeze that’s been in place since last summer and will post job offers “to facilitate placement opportunities for impacted employees,” according to a memo obtained by Federal News Network.

The RIF announcement, sent Monday, marks the third and final part of an administrative restructuring USPS started last fall.

Chief Human Resources Officer Doug Tulino said in the memo that USPS will walk employees through the details of its final organizational structure and staffing in a series of town-hall meetings it will hold the week of May 17.

“Managers should schedule follow-up discussion with individuals impacted by the changes,” Tulino wrote, adding that his office would provide additional information to assist with these sessions.

Employees affected by the RIF will receive a Specific RIF Notice (SRN) in the mail and via email on May 21. The SRN will outline employees’ prospects for reassignment or demotion, or next steps in their separation from the agency.

Employees affected by the RIF must separate from the agency on Oct. 8, but employees who accept a reassignment or demotion will start their new positions Oct. 9.

Eligible employees will receive their second voluntary early retirement offer this Friday, and must decide whether to take the offer no later than July 16. Employees who do take the offer must leave the agency effective July 30.

The second-round voluntary early retirement offers won’t come with any monetary incentive. Eligible employees will receive their VER offers in the mail and via email.

While USPS billed its first round of early retirement offers as part of its “reduction-in-force avoidance activities,” Postmaster General Louis DeJoy told Federal News Network last month that USPS didn’t have immediate plans to conduct a RIF, but didn’t rule it out either.

“We’re going to use every tool in our toolbox to create a viable entity that serves the American people, so nothing is ever off the table. But at this time, that’s not anything that I’m particularly focused on,” DeJoy said during the April 5 interview.

National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) President Brian Wagner said last month USPS had notified employees of their eligibility for a second round of voluntary early retirements in mid-March, if the agency decided to go ahead with a RIF.

Wagner also said USPS, by lifting the hiring freeze, would create “landing spots” that would give RIF-ed employees a shot at another agency job instead of a layoff.

USPS lifted its hiring freeze on management positions Monday, and will start posting new job listings for management-level positions on May 25.

USPS will post available positions in three waves. In phases 1 and 2, USPS will accept applications from impacted and non-impacted employees in affected competitive areas. In phase 3, USPS will run a five-day posting available only to impacted employees.

These jobs will include openings at USPS headquarters, area and district offices, as well as customer service field positions and mail-and-package processing plants on a “case-by-case basis.”

In phase one of the restructuring, announced last August, DeJoy reshuffled USPS executives and realigned the agency to focus on three lines of effort — retail and delivery operations, logistics and processing, and commerce and business solutions.

This March, in rolling out phase two, USPS announced its first wave of early retirement offers and its plans to consolidate its 67 districts into 50 districts that more closely align with state boundaries.

As part of its third and final phase of the agency restructuring, USPS will centralize address management and support functions for its post office operations and delivery program into the office of its chief retail and delivery officer. This will ensure all USPS support functions are centralized at its headquarters.

Jory Heckman

Jory Heckman is a reporter at Federal News Network covering U.S. Postal Service, IRS, big data and technology issues.

Follow @jheckmanWFED

Sours: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/workforce/2021/05/usps-opts-for-reduction-in-force-for-non-union-employees-in-agency-restructurings-final-phase/

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Some U.S. Postal Service employees will receive layoff notifications later this month, the mailing agency told workers in a memorandum this week. 

The announcement comes as part of a restructuring plan put in place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who is targeting non-union management and administrative staff for the so-called reductions in force, or RIFs. The Postal Service previously announced voluntary early retirement incentives for eligible members of that contingent of its workforce, noting it was part of a procedure to avoid layoffs. USPS will offer a second round of the incentive to employees before the RIFs take effect, again without any buyout component. Government Executive first reported in April that layoffs appeared likely. 

The Postal Service has about 60,000 employees in its headquarters, area and district offices that make up the population targeted for reductions, but the agency declined to specify the number of positions it will eliminate. The RIFs will be the third phase of DeJoy’s reorganization, following a realignment of postal work into three divisions last summer and the consolidation of USPS’ 67 districts into 50, announced earlier this year. 

“As a result of a reduction in the number or elimination of authorized positions due to the organization change, there will be a RIF in the affected competitive areas,” USPS Chief Human Capital Officer Doug Tuling wrote in the memo.

National Association of Postal Supervisors President Brian Wagner last month commended postal management for working closely with his organization throughout the process and said he expected affected employees would likely have an opportunity to take a reassignment to avoid a layoff. USPS has operated under a hiring and promotion freeze among supervisory and administrative positions throughout headquarters and district offices since August, leaving vacancies that laid off staffers could transfer into if they chose to do so.

Tulino noted the hiring freeze ended on Monday to allow for placements of impacted workers. Those positions will be posted starting later this month, including one group of openings specifically for impacted employees. The roles will include other openings at the headquarters, area and district levels, as well as some customer service and plant positions. 

Those who do not accept a new position will have to leave the Postal Service by Oct. 8, while those who take new jobs will have to start them by Oct. 9. Impacted employees will receive their RIF notices on May 21. 

Dave Partenheimer, a USPS spokesman, said the changes would ensure all USPS support functions are centralized at the agency’s Washington headquarters. He said the second voluntary early retirement offer would create more openings that laid off workers could potentially fill, allowing for "minimal disruption to the workforce." 

Postal management recently told employees it would not lay employees off as part of its new round of facility consolidations, though a spokesperson made clear that promise applied specifically to just that action. The Postal Service has dramatically cut its career workforce since its peak around the turn of the millennium, but has frequently boasted it relied on natural and incentivized attrition—rather than involuntary layoffs—to do so. In 2015, however, the Postal Service hired a “RIF administrator.” 

While USPS has long sought to avoid layoffs, DeJoy also sought to downplay that his approach was anything out of the ordinary. 

The plan will “reduce the size of our administrative organization, which is not uncommon when we go through big, big reorganizations and reestablishment of what you’re going to be doing in the future,” the postmaster general said in March.

Sours: https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2021/05/postal-service-issue-layoff-notices-later-month/173799/


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