This report responds to a request from Iowa Senator Charles E. Grassley regarding a constituent’s concern about excessive overtime at the Iowa City Post Office. The constituent alleged the majority of the 140 employees at the facility have worked 6 days a week for more than a year.
Iowa City Post Office overtime was well above the Postal Service’s national goal. Specifically, overtime represented 13.9 percent of total workhours in fiscal year (FY) 2013 at the facility compared to the Postal Service’s planned overtime rate of 5.6 percent and the national average rate of 9.3 percent.
In addition, from January 2013 through January 2014, employees at the Iowa City Post Office, on average, worked 6 days a week, 40 percent of the time.
The Iowa City Post Office used a large amount of overtime because carrier positions were understaffed and parcel volumes increased. Additionally, facility management did not perform route inspections or effectively divide overburdened or vacant routes among carriers. Finally, management did not follow overtime procedures, resulting in overtime grievance payouts 179 percent higher than the national average.
If management does not properly staff the facility, manage parcel volume increases, use available tools to control overtime, and follow overtime procedures, the Postal Service could incur unnecessary overtime costs. Excessive overtime could also harm employee morale.