Update: Nothing to see here folks! After breathlessly announcing this as “breaking news” this morning on Federal News radio, the Federal Times is quietly downplaying the story- the “Exclusive” tag has disappeared from the web and Facebook versions, and Post&Parcel has this to say:
Plans are to cut 7,500 staff in the administrative areas of the federal corporation, and reduce officer ranks by 16%.
However, today the Postal Service denied press reports from this morning that suggested it was looking to lay off 30,000 staff this year.
USPS spokeswoman Joanne Veto told Post&Parcel that there had been some confusion today concerning the potential for other jobs to be lost by attrition this year, since the average number of workers leaving or retiring from the Postal Service is around 22,000 per year.
Some of these roles, if in critical areas, will have workers replaced.
â€œThe announcement on March 25 will show that we will cut 7,500 jobs over the course of the year,â€ she confirmed. â€œWe will not be cutting 30,000.â€
So no, there’s no big news flash- but if you’d like to see how an “exclusive” “Breaking News!” story fizzles out, read on…
The Federal Times says that the US Postal Service plans to eliminate 30,000 jobs this year. According to Federal News radio:
The Postal Service’s goal is to cut 30,000 employees overall for the year, said Federal Times editor Steve Watkins, breaking the news on Your Turn with Mike Causey.
USPS will also announce a drawdown of 7,500 positions on March 25 that include unoccupied positions, administrators, frontline supervisors and managers and postmasters, Watkins said.
Federal Times found out about the plans after an editorial board meeting with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.
What’s odd about the story is that the 7,500 position reduction was announced by PMG Pat Donahoe almost two months ago– it’s not exactly “breaking” news. As far as the additional 22,500 jobs that would need to be cut to get to a total of 30,000, that’s about how many people left the USPS last year without any major changes. But this wouldn’t be the first time the Federal Times has claimed to be “breaking” old news.
It’s also highly unlikely that Donahoe would announce major organizational changes to a newspaper editorial meeting rather than to the employee organizations. So at the moment, it’s hard to see what’s “new” about the promised Federal Times story- I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
Update: Here’s the Federal Times story, breathlessly marked “Exclusive”. If you can find anything in it that we didn’t already know, tell us in the comments!
One item that won’t come as news to most postal employees, but which I haven’t seen explicitly stated before, is this: “He [Donahoe] said that if the Postal Service resorts to using a buyout offer, it will be targeted and not organization-wide.” While that’s common sense- given that the USPS is not uniformly overstaffed across the country, it may come as a disappointment to postal workers waiting for a nationwide buyout offer.
Update: looks like we weren’t the only ones who found the Federal Times story a bit iffy: