The idea that the US Postal Service is grossly overstaffed and desperately needs to get rid of employees is widely accepted among pundits and politicians. The service’s own statistics, however, tell a different story. Ten months into the fiscal year, the USPS has spent $3.5 billion on employee overtime. For bargaining unit employees, that works out to an average overtime rate of 10.8%, roughly double what would be expected in order to cover absences and fluctuations in workload. The dollar total reflects an increase of over a half billion dollars compared with the same period last year (SPLY).
Overtime is highest in the letter carrier craft, running a whopping 17%. That means the average city carrier is working almost seven hours overtime a week. All of which just goes to show that contractual no-layoff clauses have absolutely no impact on the USPS’s ability to cut costs. As it stands right now, the USPS appears to be drastically understaffed!