As the US Postal Service proceeds with plans to cut back services and reduce staffing, reports filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission show that the agency cut 27,547 career employees in the last year, a reduction of almost five percent. The reports reflect staffing levels as of February 2012 compared with a year earlier.
The largest reductions were in the clerk craft, which saw a loss of 8,625 employees, or 5.6% City carriers were next, with 8,500 fewer employees. a drop of 4.5%. Carrier staffing is a problem for the USPS in the current situation, as volume drops, but delivery points increase. As a result, overtime continues to climb: the overtime rate for city carriers was 13.1% for the last two weeks of January, the most recent period the USPS has filed reports for. In the same period a year earlier, the rate was 11.7%. Letter carriers account for about half of the $1.3 billion the USPS has paid out in overtime through the first four months of its fiscal year.
Supervisor and management staffing also fell, with 2,498 fewer employees on the rolls, a drop of 9.3%. Postmasters and installation heads were reduced by 859, or 3.8%, while Headquarters trimmed 63 employees, a drop of 2.2%.
(Staffing numbers are from the On Rolls and Paid Employee report (ORPES), and reflect actual employees on the rolls, not “positions”.)