USPS year to date overtime costs reach $3.5 billion

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!

  • frank a

    A.O’s are short staffed. The adm. offices, and plants have the excesses

    • Street Bum

      Plants are extremly under staffed too!

      • Frf Rere

        Good. Convert PSEs and MHAs to regular so you can hire more of the flexible workforce.

        Casuals have another shot at MHA.

        Get rid of some supervisors to save more money.

        • honkey tonk

          We don’t need any PSE or CCA’s who don’t get FBI background check
          Let’s go back to PTF’s

  • BobbytheBus

    Boston PD&C is combing operations with our friends to the north Middlesex PD&C, which means more stations to pickup and deliver to for me. I’m an MVS Operator and the past couple of months I’ve been working 7 days a week because of vacations and being understaffed

  • Slow Walk

    Station with 26 routes , 7 carriers out due to OTJ injuries, lost 1 CCA to work in another profession and 3 carriers per week for vacation, 2 can only work 8 hrs. a day and 1 works only 6 hrs. a day. No one will send us any help. we are forced 2- 3 hrs OT every day. Let the ODL sit home on their day off. They file grievance and get paid. And they wonder why there is so much money spent !

    • FNBC

      and keep filing, build up those cases of non odl working when odl should, and start getting Double time, then triple time,…etc. At some point, they will have to hire.
      The usps can’t violate art. 8.5 with impunity.

  • Rotbart59

    Donahoe has been counting on 5 day delivery for about 5 years (yes I know Potter was in charge for part of that but I think he deferred to Donahoe on decisions) and based on that did not allow hiring of carriers. Since his plan has not worked (Surprise, Surprise!) less people are available and thus lots more expensive OT. DUO has also been a disaster in our area causing more OT and time in general. I retired last year so I really don’t care but sure feel sorry for some of those I left behind.

  • David Miranda

    and so the story goes…….no layoff means no accountability….mail volume is down and OT is up….go figure

    • Retired Postal employee

      David you can’t compare mail volume with overtime. Whether you get one piece of mail or twenty the carrier still has to stop by tour house and make a delivery. The post office has ADDED several million delivery stops last year and a letter carrier has to make those deliveries. When the post office cuts delivery stops it can cut hours.

      • capt obvious

        That may be true of carriers but David is correct in regards to Mailhandlers, Clerks, Maintenance, and most MVS.

        • FNBC

          Honestly capt obvious, that is way to generalized of a statement. It varies office to office. USPS is actually no different than any other job, some employees work, some don’t.

  • Sr

    They COR the routes and pay V time instead of regular OT.
    This is what happens when EAS employees are given greater responsibilities instead of dropping them off at Walmart.
    This place is run by fools, for the benefit of their foolish friends.

    Assholes who can’t tie their own shoes, design everything on paper, then try to figure out why the “plan” isn’t working out like they discussed over numerous power lunches.

    F every single management pinhead.

    • Regular

      Perfectly stated.

  • worthless driver

    Get rid of the new MHA’S! They are taking away my 6th and 7th day and 12 hours days of doing nothing!

  • Potter Jr.

    Maint. Craft here….been working 2-4 hrs OT per day most days for the last couple months. So short staffed only 1 person vac. per job title per shift, someone gets sick and we’re screwed!

  • OverWorkedPSE

    PSE here and when I say I cannot wait for my 5 day break in service, I MEAN IT!!!! Im tired, overworked, lethargic, and guess what my employer can care less, AS LONG AS THAT DAMN MAIL GETS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #60+hrsAweek

    • Burt Lancaster

      You better watch out CCA, if you’ve been filing grievances you won’t get asked back! But sign up for NALC so we can get your dues!!!

    • FNBC

      PSE are contractually limited to LESS than 40 hours/week. IF you are working more than 40, the union should grieve to hire regular clerk(s). Simply put, PSE is a postal SUPPORT employee, not a regular on the ODL.

  • Carol Rozek

    Well, if they would hire some darned subs and get away from these formula offices would be a start. Also the way they do the city carriers schedules with all the overtime that they get, not to mention the fact that the plants are open processing mail during holiday 3 day weekends, not only do they get overtime but they also get holiday pay and cause a mail bottleneck the day after holidays is just b.s. It not only hurts the USPS’s bottom line, but it is physically and emotionally draining on the workers which can also affect the insurance bottom line as the health problems that are the result of being pushed too hard. Could you just imagine the nightmare if the PMG gets his way with doing self-insured!

  • Rum

    We have fewer carriers and clerks but frontline management has not been reduced at all. Will the USPS ever recognize that supervisors are a part of our labor costs? A minimum amount of management is absolutely necessary, anything beyond that and that supervisor has to save you more money than they are being paid. We have no real management, we have monitors collecting useless data which they do not understand, nor can usefully apply.

  • Burt Lancaster

    Welcome to the party, pal! That’s why most carriers support 5 day delivery! Is the USPS really going to layoff thousands of carriers when we already know we’re short handed already? Yup, you bet Donahoe will!!!

    • Proud USPS Letter Carrier

      Fact is; Most of the carriers who support 5 day delivery is BECAUSE they don’t want to work , they ONLY want the money ! ! ! Get Management to follow the contract and the overtime costs (mostly rising from mis-management) will subside. Truth is, like the CCAs- they don’t want the USPS to survive- they want to bankrupt it because they have NO CLUE on how to manage !

  • carvinmarvin

    scans, scans, scans, hit your hot case scan, don’t get gas on a Monday, never get gas if your on ot, seems to me there are a lot of jobs in the usps that are really not needed. hire someone from the outside to audit every job from the top down. see what some are doing for their paycheck.

  • Fat Jack Potter

    The Postal Service is overstaffed, with overpaid supervisors and managers.

  • 30 Year Vet

    The real overtime problem lies in the fact that they can’t staff the carrier position. They try to hire these part timers (CCAs) for peanuts and after a month of training they are assigned to an office, work 1 week and then quit. They have plenty of employees willing to sit behind computers and watch people work. The PO never runs out of those people. But people to actually carry the mail just arent there. The postal plan is to take every available carrier and work them 10 to 12 hours a day 6 days a week. Hence out of control overtime.