Like an elderly relative who tells the same story over and over, the Washington Post today rehashes its December editorial blaming postal workers for the USPS’s financial problems. The Post’s anti-USPS stance both on its editorial page and its news reporting, is hardly surprising, since, like all newspapers it competes with the USPS for advertising dollars- but the tone has become increasingly shrill. Here’s how today’s rant begins:
With each passing day, it is more obvious that the U.S. Postal Serviceâ€™s business model is â€œnot viable,â€ as a Government Accountability Office report put it last year. Having lost $8.5 billion in fiscal 2010, USPS expects to lose another $8.3 billion in fiscal 2011. Personnel accounts for 80 percent of the Postal Serviceâ€™s costs, but its new 4 1/2-year agreement with a 205,000-member union cuts costs only $844â€‰million a year. And USPS has to pay $6.7â€‰billion to retiree health and worker compensation funds by Sept. 30.
USPS, in short, could be unable to make payroll in the near term unless Congress acts. Yet the likeliest answer from Capitol Hill is to extend more aid, enabling USPS to limp along for a few more years, without attacking the Postal Serviceâ€™s dysfunction at the roots.
“More aid”? Wouldn’t that imply that the USPS has already received some “aid” from Congress? Apparently the Post still chooses to ignore the plain and simple truth- that the only “aid” that has been extended is the billions of dollars the USPS has been forced to pay into the Treasury under PAEA to help offset the federal budget deficit. The Post also thinks that the PAEA trust fund payments are a “wise precaution”, despite the fact that absent the payments the USPS would be a profitable business. We can’t allow that to happen, can we?
The Washington Post claimed again this morning that the USPS was planning to lay off “thousands” of postmasters and supervisors. This afternoon, in a telephone conversation with NAPUS National President Bob Rapoza, the PMG categorically denied the Post story:
NAPUS National President Bob Rapoza called Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe this morning in response to a March 25, 2011 article in the Washington Post, which stated the Postal Service planned to â€œeliminate the jobs of thousands of postmasters and supervisors, many through layoffs.â€ Postmaster General Donahoe told President Rapoza that he could tell Postmasters that â€œthere will be no layoffs for Postmasters.â€
The Washington Post article, which quoted postal officials about the Postal Serviceâ€™s reorganization, generated many calls and emails to the NAPUS national office concerning the possibility of layoffs for Postmasters. Early this morning, the NAPUS President placed a call to the PMG, who later returned the call to Rapoza telling him that Postmasters will not be laid off.
The NAPUS national office has also been inundated with calls and emails, asking why Postmasters werenâ€™t included in the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) and incentive offers that were announced for USPS Headquarters, Area and District EAS Non-Bargaining employees. The reason Postmasters were not included in the VER and incentive offers is because post offices werenâ€™t eliminated in the recent downsizing effort, thus Postmasters were not impacted employees.
Area positions (originally 1,123) are being reduced by 27.3% which equates to a job loss of 306 positions leaving a total of 817 area positions.
District positions (originally 5,791) are being reduced by 24.92% which equates to a reduction of 1,443 jobs, leaving a total of 4,348 district positions.
That is a total of 1,749 jobs down from the previous 6,914
While post offices have not been specifically targeted for closing during this initial downsizing effort, plans to close post offices are part of the overall reorganization process. NAPUS will continue to keep you informed on any information that Postal Headquarters provides concerning planned closings of post offices. The PMG reiterated his commitment to continue open communications with NAPUS, with â€œno hidden agenda.â€ He told President Bob Rapoza that he could quote him that â€œthere will be no layoffs for Postmasters.â€
Although postal officials haven’t publicly used the word, the Washington Post reports today that the US Postal Service expects to layoff “many”, perhaps thousands, of postmasters and supervisors if it doesn’t get enough of them to take early retirement. The story says the USPS expects the early retirement offer to be accepted by about 3,000 employees. The remainder of the 7,500 in staffing reductions would come by way of layoffs, the paper claims. The story contradicts what the Post says it was told by the PMG in January, when he said reductions would be made by attrition.
Once buyout decisions aimed at administrative staff are final in April, the agency plans to eliminate the jobs of thousands of postmasters and supervisors, many through layoffs, officials said.
â€œNobody did anything wrong, but weâ€™re a victim of the economy and past legislation,â€ said Anthony Vegliante, the Postal Serviceâ€™s chief human resources officer and executive vice president…
Vegliante said he expects about 3,000 administrators to take the buyouts… Layoffs will then be used to help reach the 7,500 goal, he said, though he would not commit to a number.
via U.S. Postal Service announces sweeping job cuts, district office closures – The Washington Post.
We told you earlier today about the inaccurate comments attributed to Senator Susan Collins in the Washington Post story about today’s OIG report on USPS travel expenses. Referring to the misuse of USPS travel credit cards, Collins was quoted as saying: “It is unconscionable that these charges were rung up and the bill sent to the American taxpayers”. This despite the fact that, as Collins well knows, the USPS does not receive taxpayer funds, and that the cards in question were in the names of the employees, not the USPS. Continue reading Washington Post ‘cleans up’ Collins quotes on travel report