Several thousand postmasters call it quits


Last Tuesday marked another bittersweet milestone in the U.S. Postal Service’s seemingly endless downsizing campaign as almost 3,800 postmasters walked out the door. A few hundred more could follow them by the end of next month, according to USPS figures released today at FedLine’s request.

The cause, of course, is the POStPlan, which calls for reducing customer service window hours at some 13,000 post offices nationwide to as little as two hours a day. As part of the same plan to save about a half-billion dollars annually, the Postal Service also intends to eliminate more than half of the 21,000 full-time postmaster positions that were on the rolls earlier this year.

To encourage postmasters to leave, the Postal Service has adopted a carrot-and-stick approach: On the one hand, offering $20,000 buyouts and an early retirement package; on the other, warning of possible reductions-in-force for postmasters still on the job after September 2014.

Here’s where things stand, according to a helpful chart provided by the Postal Service’s public relations office:

2012 Incentive Retirement Count as of August 01, 2012










Separations as of 7/31/2012





Separations as of 8/31/2012





Separations as of 9/30/2012





In an email, USPS spokesman Mark Saunders noted that optionally eligible postmasters could still pull out before their scheduled departure dates.  Asked what the Postal Service is doing to fill the vacancies left behind, Saunders said that other employees may temporarily step in to ensure uninterrupted service while some openings will be filled internally.






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  1. The post office is NEVER GOING TO FILL POSITIONS OF 2 HRS A DAY. The ones that are going to be hurt are the customers. Wheres the customer service???? Nowhere within the post office, especially in the rural america, which will suffer the most. I am in an urban city and I am seeing the volume in the parcels dropping—big time. I really believe that customers are concerned with all the negativity with whats going on at the post office, and the delivery, that the customers are going with another company to deliver their mail. They want their mail delivered fast, not slow. I have not seen any slowdown with any of my parcels that I have mailed. If anything its faster. Maybe after next yr when Donahue gets the ball really moving on closing facilities.

  2. Nice Post.
    Who’s jerking who around?  
    USPS does not has to answer to APWU on whether to call a buyout. Buyout money does not come from the Union. If the APWU thinks that they are holding USPS hostage over some measly negotiation, they need to think twice. The official contract has already been settled and this holdup only delay the exit of eligible employees.   
    USPS now has reasons to declare a bankruptcy and have the court review the contract in having it void and reorganize.   
    Even though Guffey is saying he is not negotiating in public, what is the “accepting the best offer that is not in the best interests of our members”? What can be improve of this buyout other than more money?  
    Will Guffey reveal what was his best interest offer for employees if USPS decides to go ahead with the buyout without the union’s approval?  
    Congress is going home and won’t return until the end of the month but USPS will continue to lose $2 Billion a month.   
    This $2 Billion is more than enough to complete the 100,000 employees exit. So far only 4,000 postmaster and 3,000 mailhandlers are leaving. This 7,000+ number is far short of expectation of USPS.   
    Are people forgetting USPS plans of 30,000 a year for the next 5 years? They’ve been short for the last 2 years.
    The agreement with the Postal Service is intended to provide a financial cushion, and added peace of mind, for Mail Handlers who might be prepared to move on to the next chapter of their lives by leaving the Postal Service – a decision that could be particularly trying during these difficult economic times. In addition, with many closings and consolidations expected to be implemented at mail processing facilities in August 2012 and February 2013, the MOU also will benefit remaining Mail Handlers to the extent that some Mail Handlers choose to retire because of this incentive. More specifically, remaining Mail Handlers will experience less excessing and will benefit from more landing spots if excessed, more bidding opportunities, and other results of reduced staffing.  

  3. Parcels have picked up in Dallas where I work, but I do agree that the USPS has not prioritized service since the bonus program for management came into force.

  4. @Sharon, everything you are saying is correct, but what can the PO do when Congress has strapped us with all these huge bills and refuses to correct their mistakes. They shafted the PO and in the long run are sticking it to the postal workers.

  5. Always said USPS only needed 1 postmaster for every 5 offices, visit 1 every day, only phone call away if problem arises. get rid of supervisors too! replace with working foreman/ shop stewart who manages for 3 hrs and delivers for 5

  6. What happened to the “service ” of the postal service? When was the last time a police dept. or fire dept. made money?

  7. Our Postmaster retired- She was due- took the buy out. We now have a sub postmaster who is working two, often 3 offices. I think that’s what is going to happen — No more full time postmasters for small offices- I feel that customer service is suffering now and will even more in the future

  8. Skye Shepard on

    Big freakin’ surprise there! Why don’t you give the people a super wonderful deal to get out? Postmasters don’t deserve this perk.

  9. Skye Shepard on

    They’ve been living the ‘good life’ for years. Now it’s time for them to put up or shut up. You can see what road they took. They aren’t use to real ‘working.’ They’ve had it made. Try to find another job like that one, folks!

  10. Some of those dink offices are within sight of each other. Thousands should have been closed decades ago. Overpaid clerks and paperboys should have had wages cut by 50% or more long ago.

  11. The Postmasters only quit because they couldn’t find anything else to steal. The PM position has the highest theft per person rate in the Post Office. They get caught stealing money time and time again.

  12. With all due respect to your “pie in the Skye” comment, all postmasters do not fit into your neatly packaged comment any more than do all clerks or carriers. I spent the last 25 years of my 30 year career as a postmaster and contrary to your unsubsantiated opinion, I did work. I spent a good deal of my day doing clerk work and even in the last week of my career, carried mail. Congratulations. Your typical hard line union attitude pitting management versus craft will only help Donahue divide and conquer and end the Postal Circus as we know it. Craft unions will eventually be eroded as will your wages. Just keep griping while they destroy you.

  13. Many of these small post offices do not generate enough annual revenue to support it. consolidation,or elimination of them is needed.

  14. Bet you the house that ALL the 4,104 are small town PM’s making 60k or less. Why should 90k or higher big city PM’s take any buyout that doesn’t include one years pay on top of it??

  15. Post Office? Are they still even open? I guess I missed that message in my e-mail… really, who needs the USPS? Let it finally die and go away, just like the dinosauer it is!

  16. I believe the two hours are for the customer windows only; the person working there would probably put in an eight-hour day sorting mail, doing paperwork and other behind-the-scenes tasks. I’ve been fortunate to have had some really great letter carriers in my neighborhood—some even my dog loved!—and some very helpful and patient people working at the window at my local post office. And I live in a big city, so it’s not a “Mayberry” situation. The USPS also has a long history of hiring veterans, so it would seem that is another bonus of having it around. I can live with no Saturday mail delivery, but I would like it to stick around.

  17. you guys are off! The usps is still vital to our country and commerce. Politians use it to campaign. Companies use it to promote thier products or services. Mom and Pop who don’t have email or computers still rely on it to pay bills or receive thier correspondence. Its the cheapest easiest shipping options on Ebay. The usps problems come from some bad policies but mostly from the restrictions Congress and the laws governing the usps. the usps has to earn its own revenue but cannot compete on a fair market.

    To Skye Shepard, you must be from a larger post office where the post stays in an office. The small rural postmaster that took this perk have worked long and hard some for probably less pay than you make. Plus day after day they do more than required for their customers, alot of times at teh postmasters own expense.

  18. Anthony Reyes on

    In regards to redneck GATOR, you are definitely ignorant. I can guarantee you that you still use the postal service in some way,shape,or form. If not you, look upon the millions of other people who still use this service. Stop drinking that republican koolaid

  19. Large offices with many stations have one postmaster and a station manager at each station. Why can’t a cluster of small towns have the same system. Instead of the postmaster using the excuse he is going to a meeting to in fact go screw off, should use that time to manage other offices.

  20. I retired a 3 years agoLOL Now I sit back and watch the fireworks. Those postmasters should of gone a long time ago. I always said that the post office was sorry. Shut it down and privatize it

  21. How can I apply for those jobs? Any one know? Got 30+ years.I hope they are senior most qualified. SURE HOPE THEY WILL BE. Ha

  22. What?! Is it only me who gets this? Let’s run a business in which we can loose billions and still be open. Yes, you’ve had to make payments for future retires but that came about because you didn’t keep your promise. So don’t blame congress for your inability to perform a service in a profitable manner.

    In a real job you have to work! No pity from me for your own demise. Now try and get a job where benefits are paid out of your own pocket. Welcome to the real world! And for those of you in management who have been milking the system – I’m happy to see you’ve proven your worth by not dealing with the real issue and that would be to provide accountability!

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