After Dramatic Workforce Reductions, Postal Service Sees Spike in Overtime Hours

Faulty scheduling and fewer employees led to overtime uptick, IG says, in spite of mail volume decline.

The U.S. Postal Service’s spending on overtime pay to process mail spiked in fiscal 2018 following significant workforce cuts over the year, according to a new report.

The $257 million increase on overtime, a 31% jump, occurred despite the ongoing decline in mail volume and an emphasis by the mailing agency to cut personnel costs, the USPS inspector general said. The Postal Service slashed 10,000 jobs last year, 5,000 of which came from mail processing, while mail volume dropped by 5 billion pieces over the year.

Postal management had planned for a 1.3 million hour reduction in overtime, but exceeded its own estimate by 44%. Employees receive one-and-a-half times their annual rate of pay for overtime, except in certain circumstances—known as “penalty overtime”—when they receive double their normal earnings. Penalty overtime hours exceeded the Postal Service’s plan by 126%.

The IG said much of the blame can be traced to a faulty scheduling system. USPS used a week from July 2017 to determine mail processing operations, and the required employee schedules to support them, for all facilities in fiscal 2018. That week, however, was not representative of a typical week and “it did not always schedule the right people, in the right place, at the right time,” the IG said.


CONTINUE READING AT » Government Executive
Subscribe
Notify of
32 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get employees to come to work and the OT wouldn’t be so high!

Management needs to stop denying leave, because there’s a Need if Service.Grant the employees with there respected time off from work. When someone request leave have enough man power on staff. So, the employee can have his respected time off. Many offices are forcing employees to work overtime.

I have been forced to work overtime to no temper!

“In spite of mail volume decline” uh, what about the package load increase? Delivering mail,magazines,flyers and average of 150 packages(on a small route) a day isn’t easy, and finding people that actually want to do it is even harder.

When I saw you write these, I can’t stop the tears! I real hate ads!

If you were salaried they didn’t care how much OT you worked. You didn’t get paid for it anyway and they took full advantage of that.

less workers more overtime kind of a no brainer.

Just put employees on the 60 year old evaluated pay system. You can work 10 hours and be paid for 8 hours.

Clayton – apparently the negative voters don’t understand that you are referring to rural carriers.
Routes have increased and not being properly compensated for the hours truly worked.

When they came in at a reasonable time, they didn’t have that problem!! Mail processing is the main problem, receive the mail later have to work later, you can’t expect people to deliver mail in the dark!! Not only is slower it is a whole harder and not safe either. Maybe if they would consider the safety of their employees, the employees could do a better job deliver without overtime!!

As a Mail Processing clerk, our Craft is short with clerks. They’re using RCA’s to perform clerk work of scanning parcels only. They’re not beneficial to the clerk craft, they’re one dimensional to the operation.

Right, cut the workforce add to management. Mail volume down, parcel volume way up. Continue to not hire and try to get by on just a few backs. This organization bleeds money, just ask an average employee where they see the hemorrhaging, We could point it out

If they knew this, there wouldn’t be so many people quitting!

New hires now get paid hourly for their ninety day probation and they milk it totally and openly without shame. Really, it is stealing to purposely slow down to get more pay. Just work an honest day for honest pay.

That’s not the problem. Incompetent management is the problem combined with too few bodies at important mail chokepoints. Management trying to cut costs by reducing the number of people who actually touch the mail. All the while increasing the number of management peeps and raising their own salaries.

90 day pay is fair management that gives you no training and a different route daily . Get your head out of your ass and make it a workplace for the workers.

How do you figure that it is being milked?? PSE’s get burnt out working 6 days a week! And trust management will NOT let you milk anything when you are a new hire. You have the lowest seniority so guess who will be selected to maneuver around to other units first!!

I sent a greeting card to my grandson 316 miles away. From Richland Hills, Tx to Lubbock TX. It took a month for him to receive it. O also sent him a Valentine’s Day card same distance and it took 8 days to reach him.

All this postal chaos due to politicians bucking for votes!
USPS NEVER designed to DELIVERY MAIL TO HOMES/ CBUS!!!
“MAIL TO BE DELIVERED TO CENTRALIZED LOCATION FOR PICKUP!”
CARRIER OPERATION WAS NEVER TO BE ABLE TO BE FUNDED!!!!

We were told that we are supposed to be a PO on wheels . We need to start earlier & get a lot more subs in there . STOP micromanage

I sell a lot on EBay. I can feel the mail processing reduction. The absolutely horrible mail service started for me 1st part of December and was horrible through mid Feb. The biggest problem is the Jacksonville regional processing center. Packages were taking 4 to 6 days to get from Richmond Hill GA an nd processed through Jacksonville. This is TOTALLY unacceptable!!. Thus major mess caused packages to be late. I had 7 packages during this time that NEVER made it to their destination. I was out money after having to refund the buyers. If you file a missing package… Read more »

Don’t you know that we’re seriously understaffed? Every day worker has to put in more than 10 hours of overtime. And plus their days off still need work! this is the reason!

I find management is the only players here blaming “attendance” for mismanaging. Lol After cutting over 200,000 jobs the PO increased management up 38,000. The PO needs to start having higher standards for hiring supervision, stop scheduling well over 50% staffing on holidays and have employees there while mail is being processed. Any USPS employee outside of supervision will tell you the place is a factory of incompetence. Well bottom line they’re 2.6 billion in the hole per quarter, 123 billion in the hole period. The least protected trade there is supervision and the board of governors refuse to TRULY… Read more »

I think when everyone to leave, Only have management. They will understand this truth

That sounds like some real forward thinking!

You want to know why nobody wants to do this I recently applied for USPS. The first thing they asked when scheduling a interview was do you have your own car? I said no it’s not suitable to deliver mail in, then they had enough nerve to tell me to buy a old caddilac I hung up on them.

Make everyone civil service with a civil service pension half the workforce would retire yesterday!

Management is one of the biggest unnecessary money suckers in our office! We have no need for a supervisor in a small office!!

We don’t have enough employees to get the job done, they don’t hire enough people or properly train them. I’ve been there 22 years and I’m working my relief day on Saturdays because of no coverage. My leave is getting turned down for the same. And allot of the overtime goes to the subs because they work their assigned routes and then are sent back out to help others or split routes when regulars are out. Management no longer helps physically get the mail to us in the mornings, they set out to critic us and micromanage our every step.… Read more »

My management chose to walk with me on the day of the letter and parcel light and then he made decisions for me :every day give me undertime 1H, I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in this position! I don’t know what to say!

Completely ridiculous, but sadly, we have a good economy going. Paying someone OT costs about the same as paying someone unemployed straight time plus benefits. But, in my office, we can’t seem to get anyone hired. They can’t pass the drug test, or can’t pass the driving test, or quit when they realize how much this job actually requires physically. I was hired at $17.10 fourteen years ago with full benefits. Today, we hire less than that with half the benefits. My starting salary would be nearly $24 in today’s dollars. We used to get college and military people. Now… Read more »

Holy moly it’s rocket science. Less people to deliver means more hours for the ones that come to work everyday.