Hicksville VMF employees fired for sleeping on the job

Agents from the USPS Office of Inspector General raided the Hicksville NY Vehicle Maintenance Facility early Friday morning after receiving a tip that night shift workers were sleeping on the job. In October a Hicksville VMF employee died in a workplace accident.

A Hicksville postal facility was raided early Friday by U.S. Postal Service special agents in a probe that could lead to criminal charges against some employees, authorities said.

In a meeting with employees Friday, the facility’s manager said all 10 workers on the 11 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift — who do mechanical and body work — are to be fired for sleeping on the job, according to a worker who attended the meeting.

At the 24-hour maintenance facility on Ludy Street, the misconduct was common knowledge, with graveyard-shift workers often sleeping on bedrolls and blankets in postal trucks or in supervisors’ offices, with windows covered by cardboard, the employee said.

The employee said those workers locked the gates with their own chains and locks so others wouldn’t catch them sleeping.

They’d position a truck near the gates and hang a baby monitor to watch and hear anyone coming, the worker said.At the meeting Friday, facility manager Robert Kasten told employees that surveillance cameras have been installed, the employee said. Kasten told the workers that investigators took pictures during the raid, then "woke them all up," the employee said. "How sad is that?"

Read more: Hicksville postal facility raided in criminal probe of workers, officials say – Newsday.

  • SF

    It seems like the article suggest that this has been common knowledge and happening for a long time and therefor accepted behavior. Shouldn’t the manager and supervisor be fired first? Just saying that this is a clear example of lack of management/supervision? Did management entrap the employees by allowing the behavior and not applying corrective declipline once known. So when did management know is a big question? Where was management that allowed this to happen?…..

  • harvesterofsorrow

    If management had addressed it….the union would’ve claimed harassment. …act like a professional. ..do what you get paid to do…and everyone can do their jobs…pretty simple formula. “Well, they let me do it” sad….just sad..

  • SF

    You State that like a true manager/supervisor with his head in the sand. The union would have claimed harassment is just plain dumb, but obviously union is walking all over you. I do agree that management should have acted professionally and done what they get paid to do which is manage and supervise.

  • atsleep

    Always management’s fault?! Really th a time is a perfect reason the post office is loosing money! I bet they all have fmla now and the union says they have some type of condition Apwu strong! I bet when a vehicle breaks down that is management’s fail to . They should be fired ! But they were probably on their break or lunch. They locked the gate and had a monitor because they did not want there boss to know. Slugs

  • atsleep

    When management is right all the union has to go on is harassment

  • VMF Mechanic

    As you well know,nothing will happen to the managers other than maybe being moved to another VMF,the Tour 1 VMF supervisor himself was probably sleeping on the job or away from the facility most of the time.

  • common sense

    No, I don’t “well know” that, and neither do you. If the Tour 1 supervisor was asleep, then he’s in the same boat as the craft employees. You don’t suddenly acquire lifetime immunity when you become a supervisor. The OIG and the US Attorney could care less what your job title is as long as they have evidence against you. And if you think the District Manager is going to put his own reputation at risk to defend some schmuck supervisor, could you please share what you’re smoking with the rest of us? To a PCES executive, the difference between a VMF supervisor and a VMF mechanic is nil- they’re both expendable.

  • FOSTER

    I can beat that….we had a lazy good for nothing letter carrier in my office that was found sleeping on his route. His punishment….promotion to a level 18 office as Postmaster. The district manager liked him and after about 5 years as a Postmaster he applied for, and was granted disability for an “Obesity” condition. He has been on the disability rolls now at least 15 years now.

  • common sense

    Good story, but not very believable. The last part, about the “disability rolls” is clever, but doesn’t make any sense. You can’t get SS disability .just for being fat. Even if you could- who in their right mind would try to get by on that when they supposedly have a cushy postmaster job, and a district manager who apparently is in love with them?

    Nice effort, but you’ll have to do better if you want anyone to believe you!

  • Postman

    But it’s the management higher ups who decide what action to take against the supervisor or manager,not the OIG,should be the OIG,but that’s not the way it works, and they will go for removal of the employee and take no action against the supervisor or manager responsible if he or she is in the good graces of the higher up,have seen it over and over in 30 plus years.And you can expect the VMF manager and supervisor to still get their fat PFP raises.And higher up management for the most part has bad reputations, so they don’t care.

  • Foster

    This did in fact happen. He was under CSRS. Everyone in our office was appalled. However he knew the right people and was protected by his district manager. By the way he was also detailed to Human Resources and from what I can tell did very little in that job. This happened in the late 1980’s when we had the old “Sectional Center” management structure.

  • common sense

    No, it’s the OIG and US Attorney who decide who to prosecute- management has no say in the matter. You’re obviously a craft employee, therefore you assume all managers are evil, and all craft employees are fine upstanding citizens, even if they get paid to sleep on the job. If you were a manager you’d see things exactly the opposite. You’d be dead wrong in either case. (You also know that there’s no such thing as a “fat PFP raise”. If you think PFP’s such a great deal, why didn’t you take it when you had the chance? You and your union decided you didn’t want pay for performance- you preferred getting regular raises regardless of the quality of your work. Live with it!)

  • common sense

    Nope, still not buying it. The district manager has no say in approving a disability retirement- that’s up to OPM. You don’t qualify for a disability retirement just because you’re fat- their has to be a “disease or injury” that disables you. Being fat in and of itself doesn’t cut it.

  • Postman

    True,it’s up to the US Attorney’s office to prosecute,but since this not a fraud or theft case, they will not prosecute these individuals and so it is up to management to decide what action to take and we all know they protect their own unless it’s an egregious case.And as to PFP,the unions rightfully don’t trust management to implement it fairly and correctly to craft and they wanted to pay it in lump sums to craft employees rather than roll it in,which they do with EAS employees and is the reason why since former PMG Jack Potter implemented it years ago the gap between craft employees pay and EAS pay has widened considerably.

  • moose

    Oh I beg to differ! When PFP was FORCED on EAS employees, COLA was discontinued. Then there was a 4 year pay freeze for EAS. Level 13 EAS was $7K higher than a level 6 clerk 10 years ago. Today they are almost equal.

  • common sense

    “Not a fraud or a theft case”??? What law school did you go to? Demand a refund! Let’s see- how to explain this… Let’s say you decide you don’t want to work any more, so you just punch in at your regular time, and then go home and watch the soaps. Then you go back to the PO and punch out. So you’re telling us that you don’t think you’d get prosecuted?? Collecting wages under false pretenses IS fraud! Read the story:

    “a probe that could lead to criminal charges against some employees”

    As far as PFP goes, if you don’t want it, don’t whine because you don’t have it. The original PFP proposal was a lump sum, for craft AND management. Remember all you guys whining about EVA “bonuses”? Funny how when managers get them they’re “bonuses”, but when craft employees are offered them, they’re “lump sums” that aren’t “rolled in”. You got what you wanted- a mathematical formula that determines what you get for a raise. If PFP is better, either push your union to negotiate it into the next contract, or become a supervisor. But for god’s sake stop crying!

    Ask any line supervisor whether he’d prefer PFP or COLA with step increases. You’ll be hard pressed to find one that likes PFP.

  • Postman

    You are obviously an EAS employee, you can’t have both! you get the same pay raises as craft employees. Also by replacing COLA with PFP rolled in at a 3%-5% pay increase as opposed to COLA’s which are tied to the CPI,which can amount to 0% EAS comes out way better! And who in EAS is a Level 13? management also raised the level of all EAS employees under Potter as an underhanded way to bump their pay up. And looking at the salaries of EAS employees, you are still overpaid.,,.supervisors making as much as $73,000 per year and and MDO’s and Managers at more than $100,000 per year? there still should be a pay freeze for EAS! I laugh at the spoiled, overpaid underworked EAS employees crying about not getting raises!

  • common sense

    You obviously make stuff up as you go along. EAS do NOT “get the same pay raises as craft employees”. That’s a fact, not an opinion. Prove me wrong.

    EAS ONLY get PFP raises. They DO NOT get COLA. They DO NOT get step increases. They DO NOT have an automatic “3%-5% pay increase”.

    YOU get automatic step increases.
    YOU get COLA.
    YOU get contract raises.

    EAS get NONE OF THAT.

    Facts- if you disagree, prove me wrong.

    YOU don’t get PFP because YOU turned it down. If PFP is such a great deal, demand it in the next contract. It’s YOUR choice!