Bennet: USPS ‘Time-Out’ Provides More Time to Evaluate Effects of Potential Post Office Closures

Office of Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-CO) News Release:

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today announced that the USPS has issued a temporary “time-out” on post office closings that will provide more time for the Agency to examine potential effects of these closings on local communities and help Coloradans avoid frustrating and needless holiday season service interruptions.

This month, USPS issued a notice to all Area Vice Presidents, directing them to temporarily suspend all Delivery Unit Optimization (DUO) implementations and post office closings beginning November 19, 2011 through January 2, 2012. While districts may proceed with the post office discontinuance process, the physical closing of a post office or the physical relocation of routes will be temporarily suspended during this window.

“Although we are not out of the woods yet and reforms to place the Postal Service on a more secure financial trajectory are absolutely needed, this temporary ‘time-out’ ensure that the USPS can step back and more closely evaluate the potential effects of post office closures on local communities,” said Bennet. “We have worked hard to communicate the important role post offices play in rural communities, and we hope the USPS uses this time-out to take a closer look at the potential effects of these closures on Colorado communities.”

This announcement comes on the heels of several Bennet efforts to ensure USPS reform takes into account potential impacts on rural communities.

Earlier this month, Bennet and Senator Mark Udall wrote a letter to Senate committee leaders urging them to consider western states and rural communities when exploring potential reforms to the U.S. Postal Service. In the letter, the Senators outlined priorities for reform that encourage innovation, take creative approaches to existing assets and maintain the competitive edge.

In June, Bennet and Udall sent a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General expressing concern over USPS location closures and consolidations that could make it more difficult for Coloradans to send letters and mail packages.

In September, they sent a letter to Ruth Goldway, chairwoman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, urging the Postal Regulatory Commission to carefully consider the effects of possible postal service closures on rural areas and small towns in Colorado and across the country.

  • Randy

    Stupid B—ch in Medina OH. PO should leave went to mail a package and had 22 people in line and 1 clerk because she thinks that’s all we need no matter when.

  • Zeus

    “More than 3,300 managers have until Nov. 19 to decide whether to accept an early retirement offer announced last month. The offer is open to a small fraction of some 55,000 employees covered by the agency’s Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS). Those who sign up must agree to retire by year’s end. The offer is not accompanied by a buyout.”

    I want to know which jobs are affected. Are they being abolished? Without a buyout, I don’t think they will get many takers unless someone’s job is being abolished and they can retire (or find another position). Not having identified the positions is a head-scratcher.

    • Moose

      They are not being abolished. They are being replaced with 204B’s. Taking a carrier off a route, and paying someone else to carry it. Yet management is pitching in too? right?

      • idiot

        They aren’t line supervisor jobs- they’re jobs at the district offices. But even if they were jobs that could be replaced with a 204-b, they’d still represent net savings, since the USPS isn’t hiring new career employees.

        • The Republican

          Hey idiot, you picked a great name for yourself. If you think the PO is saving anything with these buyouts, then an idiot is what you are.
          Just stop and use common sense for one second. These “buyouts” give a person roughly $6500 after taxes December 2012 and another $6500 in December 2013. How can such a measly amount afford anyone to RETIRE??? Every person taking this would have retired within a year anyway. And from what I’ve seen, a few have hung on longer just from incentive rumors.

          A person that CANNOT afford to retire would not even blink at any incentive offer less than one or two years worth of their salary. If this team of Postal managers wants to stop playing games, get with OPM and offer $100k. Anything less is a waste of time and money. They are not achieving anything that would not have come naturally.

          • Zeus

            @Repub…These 3300 managers are not being given a monetary incentive…the article states “the offer is not accompanied by a buyout”. This would lead one to believe either jobs are being abolished or the PO is giving certain employees an “opportunity” to retire/leave because their jobs will be gone within a year or two. I do hope @Idiot is correct and that some of the useless district employees will have to go.

          • idiot

            Dream on! Why stop at $100 K though- why not a million? In the first place, no one expects anyone to retire on $6,500, or $25,000 for that matter. You seem to be ignoring the fact that most of these people will also be receiving a pension?? (And the ones who aren’t eligible for a pension are too young to be retiring anyway). Secondly, you apparently don’t understand that the bottom line purpose of an incentive is to save money, not give you a big pile of it. If the USPS is losing money now, how is paying you your full salary for two years on top of your pension supposed to do that?

            You do seem to have a good grasp of the obvious though- “Every person taking this would have retired within a year anyway.”

            Retirement incentives are designed to get people to retire a couple of years earlier than they would have otherwise. They aren’t designed to make massive cuts in the workforce by paying you a massive bonus to stay home. Do you honestly think that in the current political climate people would stand for postal workers, who already have better pay, benefits and retirement packages than most Americans, getting fat bonuses to retire early?? That would be the best way to get the Issa plan passed- just tell all the senior employees they are retired, whether they want to be or not- no bonus, no choice.

          • The Republican

            You completely misunderstand my point which is…..almost every decision from PO management to date has done little if anything to stop the bleeding.

            You do seem to have a good grasp of the PURPOSE of retirement incentives when you say:
            “Retirement incentives are designed to get people to retire a couple of years earlier than they would have otherwise.”

            But you again fail to put 2 and 2 together. Neither $15k $20k nor $25k will as you put it: “get people to retire a couple of years earlier than they would have otherwise” if their base annual salary is $50 to $70k w/out OT. People leaving a couple months earlier is the best you could hope to achieve with these incentives.

            Whats wrong with Issa’s plan? Many Federal agencies (mostly law enforcement) have a 20 year cap. You reach retirement age, you go. In the private sector you can be replaced with a cheaper, younger, and more productive “bang for ur buck” employee at any time.
            You have to make up ur mind. Do you want to run the USPS like a business or do you want to run it like a government??? You can’t have it both ways

          • idiot

            Wow! You’re better at flip flopping than Mitt!

            First you tell us that the USPS should be offering everyone a $100K bonus to retire, and know you think Darryll’s “you’re fired!!” plan is the way to go!

            Like somebody said once, “You can’t have it both ways”!

            And hey- how about sharing with us the “Many Federal agencies” that have a “20 year cap”. Links to their actual policies, please! Better still, give us the links to businesses that have that policy, since you think USPS should be run like a business.

            I don’t expect anyone will be holding their breath waiting for you to come up with the proof!

          • The Republican

            Never did I say that the USPS should be run like a business. I said you can’t have it both ways.

            It would have been more of an honor if you said I was better at flip flopping than John Kerry. You know he voted for the war before he voted against it! LoL

            Anywho, ur proof from the Department of Justice:


            2. Maximum entry age. On June 4, 1991, the Attorney General
            established the date which immediately precedes an individual’s 37th birthday
            as the maximum age for initial entry into a primary LEO position.

            6. Mandatory retirement age. As provided by 5
            U.S.C. 8335 and 8425, incumbents of positions approved for LEO coverage under
            the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System
            who are otherwise eligible for immediate LEO retirement shall be separated
            from the service on the last day of the month in which the LEO becomes 57 years
            of age or completes 20 years of LEO service if then over that age. Each LEO
            must be given a written notice of his or her mandatory retirement date at least
            60 days in advance of the date of separation. Action to separate the employee
            is not effective without the consent of the employee, until the last day of
            the month in which the 60-day notice expires.

            You can go in at a max age of 37 and in 20 years, you go. As I said, this is mostly for law enforcement type positions at many federal agencies including air marshals, forest rangers, etc….but an argument could be made for a job as hard on the body as being a letter carrier.

            btw….you can breath now

          • idiot

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but postal law enforcement officers already have a similar deal- as do other law enforcement officers in many jurisdictions. What does that have to do with regular postal workers? You didn’t provide the proof for your comment because there isn’t any!

          • The Republican

            Do some of you even READ the comments or just respond with an argument simply for the sake of arguing???

            Man you win!

            Mama always said to never argue with an idiot cause you will NEVER ever win.

          • idiot

            Thanks for playing our game, but to be honest, it was obvious from the start that you were just blowing hot air for the sake of blowing hot air. Now run along back to mama!

  • Zeus

    The best way to get people to retire in the PO is to abolish their job and not make other jobs available (or place them somewhere like they do EAS). Notify employees their jobs are being abolished and don’t post these “Limited Area of Consideration” jobs. Let them either find a job (they are qualified for) or retire. Most remaining CSRS need to retire, especially the EAS. Most are mid- and upper management at the district/area/HQ level and are just waiting for an incentive that never needs to come. May of the jobs are also duplicative anyway.

    • postalnews

      Why bother with the charade? Why not just fire people? Isn’t that what you’re really suggesting? What’s the point of playing games?

      • Zeus

        I’ve been caught! Yes, there are too many managers in jobs they shouldn’t have because they are just “hanging on” for an incentive or their 41/11 (for CSRS). They would not have to be “fired” because they can retire. That’s not a charade. That is reality.

        The PO plays “games” with employees who don’t drink the kool-aid and protect the ones who do. That’s why there needs to be a totally new executive team.
        There are too many “protected” and/or Retired-on-the-Clock EAS employees.

        I’m glad you are actively participating in the blog. 🙂

        • postalnews

          Your original comment wasn’t just about managers though-, so you’re also saying some craft employees should simply be laid off, correct?

          • Zeus

            They would be laid off if there were no other jobs available, which would be no different than the private sector. I know people in the private sector who are not given the multiple opportunities to retire and are not placed in a job for which they are not qualified. They are laid off with severance pay. The Postal Service also has a severance pay policy. So “simply laid off” would invoke this policy. One might be surprised at the number of retirement-eligible employees who would retire if faced with job loss. THAT is the problem.

  • hollywood

    I’m shocked .

    • ? and the Mysterians

      I would be even more shocked if they’re not managers of some kind!

  • Old Postal Exec Retiree

    “Postal banking could help offset some of the losses. The Postal Service estimates that offering banking services could add $8 billion to $10 billion in revenue a year. And it’s an institution worth saving, Baradaran stressed.”

    Revenue would be good, but what USPS needs is income. Generally the politicians who have suggested that USPS provide services to the Un-banked and Under-banked, also want it done at reduced rates. Would USPS be allowed to operate with 5-10% margins or a potential income of $400M- $1B if those revenue predictions are accurate.

    Also USPS would need a separate management function for such an effort. The current Management Team has no expertise in this area.