USPS offers incentives; will you take them?


Two questions for our readers at the Postal Service, following up on this afternoon’s announcement that USPS will offer buyouts to tens of thousands of employees.

First, I’ve been getting e-mails for at least a year from postal workers who said they would consider retiring early if the Postal Service offered an incentive. That incentive is here now, in the form of a $15,000 payout over 12 months. Is it enough? Will you take it?

Second, maybe you read this story I wrote in April after interviewing Postmaster General John Potter. It includes the following:

The Postal Service’s last round of early retirements did not include incentives. And Potter said incentives are not realistic this year, either.

“Our employees would love some kind of a windfall, but the fact is, we can’t afford to,” Potter said.

Less than five months later, USPS has done an about-face. In between Potter’s statement and today, though, some 2,500 postal workers accepted early retirement offers that did not include incentives. Are you one of those employees? Are you frustrated that you accepted the no-incentive offer?

Interested to hear from you, via e-mail or in the comments.


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  1. I’ve worked for 36 years in Bldg. Maintenance and have loved the job. But now it’s not about the equipment, it’s about what can be cut and shaved to make the Maint. Manager look good.
    I will absolutely take this offer.

  2. productiveamerican on

    Yes, we hope all of the postal employees will take the $15,000 and leave then Fed Exp can do a better job at half the cost with far faster delivery.

  3. NO this is a bogus deal. The postmaster gets his TWO multimillion dollar retirements and a pay raise. The real workers.get penalized 2 percent a year. Why not just offer to add 5 years to our retirement with no penalties. That deal Id take without the cash. If that doesn’t work throw in the 15000.00. Now that is a deal most of us would take. By the way fed ex and ups couldn’t handle delivering to every address in the USA ,for the price of one stamp ,on a daily basis. The USPS also needs to trim the bloated administration and management. Here we have the same number of supervisors for half the amount of workers we use to have. Then give the older employees a real deal. Than they can hire new younger employees and Iraqi/Afghanistan war vets at a lower starting rate if they need.

  4. I would gladly take it but being 53 and having 33years in the service with the vers still in effect the penalty would outweigh the gain in the long run Waive the penalties and see how many pack their bags !!!!

  5. No. After 31 years, I can’t afford to go out at 58% of my salary. I don’t want a buyout, just a higher percentage.

    I sincerely hope that folks like “productiveamerican” get their wish and we have a privatized post office delivering 5 days a week like Canada. It’ll serve him right.

  6. The USPS will never become anywhere near solvent with the enormous complement of management employees that it always has. You can cut craft to the bone but that will only staunch the outflow of monies lost for a short while. Until the USPS makes a concerted effort to eliminate management positions the USPS will continue to lose money day after day, year after year.

    Hopefully just 2.3% (thats about the same percentage that took advantage of the earlier VER offering this year) will take this half-eaten carrot on a stick offer of a few silver coins, that way the USPS will get what it deserves – a long and lingering death. Whats that smell? Smells like privatization!

  7. I am 57 years old with 24 years service covered under FERS. The VERA that was offered for FERS covered employees is not very attractive. FERS retirement is about 1 percent for every year of service. We cannot add our sick leave to service time. I am currently carrying close to 2000 hour sick leave. I have witnessed many CSRS covered employees hanging on for 42 years to obtain 80 percent of high three salary in retirement!!!!

    The current RIF environment is not fair. We cannot transfer to other federal agencies through ICAP. Yet we give veteran’s preference to our employees?
    I have seen many senior managers in the Sales organization land new positions while lower level management (account managers) fight for the remaining lower level positions. (NAPS) is an ineffectual association not a union representing postmasters, supervisors and lower level management. NAPS did not take a proactive stance to help the lower level managers.

    I think that the Postmaster, his management team and the Board of Governors are culpable for the onerous retiree health care prefunding payments that leave USPS billions of dollars in debt before we sell one stamp. Perhaps, in 2006 (Postal Reorganization Act) this was the result of worker hostile Bush administration?

    As for the productive American USPS is FEDEX biggest customer! Our entire domestic expedited parcels fly on their airlift and our premier International expedited product (GXG) is in partnership with FEDEX. UPS and FEDEX use the postal service for Parcel Select products because they don’t want to be bothered with residential deliveries. I would guess that the productive American is against health care reform and lacks any credible education and shoot anyone that disagrees with him!!!

  8. I took the early out on June 30th 2009 because of increasing tension and stress in the postal service. I was told at that time there would never be any incentives. Now not even 2 months later incentives are offered. Shouldn’t the last round of retirees be compensated in some way? Employees made their decision based on what was told to them about not having an incentive offer.

  9. First we had no money, now they throw a “paltry” $15,000 at us. I have been an advocate of giving 5 years of service time/age credit as an incentive in liew of cash. This would require NO cash up front from the PO, and retirees would have larger annuities. The higher payments would come from pre banked retirement funds. If the early retirement penalty was lifted, the Post Office would have plenty of retirees. This would be a Win-Win for all involved, including me.

  10. SouthFloridaUSPS on

    APWU President Burrus was quoted as saying that he has been in negotiations with the USPS to establish the current buyout for the past two months. I can only guess that the USPS made negotiating a buyout offer contingent with the APWU keeping quiet about a pending deal. Why else would the Union not inform it’s dues paying members of these developments? Talk about a deal with the devil!

  11. Let’s see … high earning letter carriers can make a cap max of approximately $55-57K a year, while Clerks @ around $53-55K a year. That doesn’t include about 15-20K that the USPS pays for YOU for you and your families’ health plan … do the math. Taking the lesser of the two … (not counting FERS and other USPS expenses) Letter Carriers $70K and the Clerks $68K a year respectfully.

    Now, if you told me you make this much money back in what? … 1980’s … I’d respect that, the MAIL volume was at its peak. So much that when you came back from the street on any given day … you found MORE MAIL … somewhere in the 10-15 feet awaiting for your next day’s delievery! It was back breaking then to carry ALL that mail each and every single day! Be honest with yourselves, today … you’d be lucky if you received 3-4 feet each day … and I’m talking about TOTAL for both Letters and Flats!

    As for the clerks … same goes for YOU! If the Letter Carriers aren’t getting ALL that mail anymore … that would mean that YOU don’t handle the amount of mail you USED to receive each morning!

    Ok, so you’re not a distribution clerk? YOU must be … what do we now call them? A Sales & Service Associate?

    Well, I’ve got news for YOU too … because “some” not all of you “Sales & Service Associates” can not make an everlasting impression on ALL your customers by “Greeting, Inquiring, Sugessting and Thanking” your customers … people would much rather use other types of servcies that provide same service with far less “back talks” from the “Sales & Service Associates”!

    When I walk up to YOUR window … I expect to be informed about your services and how YOU can help me get my mailing to its destination promptly within a reasonable time.

    I believe in the USPS and what it is striving to accomplish … but Management is not whom the blame should fall onto … it should be ALL of YOU!

    I’m tired of hearing how “stressful” the job is, how management makes poor decisions blah, blah blah!

    Sure, the job comes with both of the above … but what Organization or “JOB” doesn’t?

    If YOU can think of one right now … do us all a favor and resign from your duties and GO FOR IT!

    In today’s economy and with all the “unemployed” out there today … you think you’re not replacable? Think again!

    YOU want to do away with all your complaints about the USPS in general … then be quiet and DO YOUR JOB!

    Don’t do your job because you have to … but because w/o it … how are you going to pay your bills, send your kids to college, pay your mortgage, your car note?

    Keep playing the lotto … you just might have that option afterall! To those, I wish you luck getting those 6 numbers … because the only 6 numbers I’ve seen and heard have been all those “employees” (Letter Carriers and Clerks also) raking in the leaves with OT!

    As for the package, $15,000? Not reasonable enough? Now, come on … are you a high level executive? I diodn;t think so!

    Honestly, if you were a “private” company … some of you wouldn’t be working for your company today. The Unions should take note of that … I hope you get privatized and see what you’ll do when they offer you $8 an hour to do the same job!!!

  12. PhiCrappaZappa on

    One of our managers received a 30K bonus earlier this year. That’s the one we know of since it slipped out. Multiply that by the dozens of incredibly gifted and deserving management personel we have here. Now multiply that nationwide. That and the pre-funding retirees pretty much covers the deficit expected. 15K AFTER TAXES is dinner for two at Wendy’s. Remove the penalties and it will look like the Exodus. Isn’t America great? Even the completely ignorant like MrZip and ProductiveAmerican can have their comment posted, too.

  13. PhiCrappaZappa:

    Do you work in the Headquarters in Washington DC?

    How do you know that the “supposedly” 30K due to this individual was a “Bonus”, I mean did you see it yourself?

    Or …

    Did you actually get that information from a “realiable” source, your union? {{{laughter}}}

    FYI – NO, and I mean NO “EAS” level field supervisor or manager will ever get $30K as a bonus, that is unheard of!It’s totally BS and even you know it! {{{ laughter}}}} The most I have ever seen being given out was $7K … and that was because the he has been at “TOP” pay for the last 10 years!

    example: They use a PFP; which means “Pay For Performance” matrix. Now, depending on how well or poor the office they “Supervise” at the conclusion of the fiscal year, they are pro-rated and given to them in a check. This is what many of you out there call a … “BONUS”. It’s not a bonus, if the person has already reached it’s maximum in grade level pay. It is paid to them in a seperate payroll check because if they were to include their “Performance Raises” in each year’s salary, this person would have exceeded the “CAP” overhead of how much the top pay ios for that level.

    I hope you understood what I said above. If not, to make it simple enough for you …

    If a Letter Carrier was given a raise based on his/her performance each year … what would happen to that raise when he/she finally reach their top level pay, hmmmm?

    Your choice of words stated in your post indicates that you’re a Pro “Union” and anti management employee.

    Maybe you’re in the wrong field?

  14. SouthFloridaUSPS on

    Can we drop the comparison of government run health care and the USPS? If you don’t want government run health care, fine. Be sure to reject medicare when it is offered to you in your golden years, because after all, medicare IS government run health care. While were at it, you might also want to reject your government run social security check, police and fire service, and what the hell, the US Military. ALL GOVERNMENT RUN. How about the EPA? Government run, but you don’t mind drinking polluted water do you? FDA? Yes the people who insure you don’t eat contaminated food or take poisonous drugs all work for the government, but hey, do away with them all. After all, the government can’t do anything right.

  15. PhiCrappaZappa on

    As many times as I’ve been reminded “never argue with an idiot”…..
    His mouth – it’s called bragging.
    PFP? Obviously you haven’t been keeping up.
    To receive any “extra money” – it has to be called CTB.
    (cook the books).
    I am anti-ineptitude.

  16. Well not allll carriers only have 3 or 4 feet! I went out with almost 20 feet yesterday talk about tired last night. I wish my office had less!

  17. I took the buyout. I have 37 years in as a Mailhandler.
    Thats friggin enough. I am burned out. Tired of N.O.T.S.
    Or sorry your wifes sick…to bad. Why its run like a Military outfit is nuts……Management wants 10.00 a hour casuals….with no insurance. Work them 89 days, fire them on the 90th and then rehire for another 89 days.

  18. ” .Hello,

    ‘Yes’, the Cart can be used for subscriptions.

    Majority of our merchants’ buyers are actually international. Sadly, not a lot of local users are accustomed to buying things online.
    It does not include a website (although we also offer that service separately). You can get any 3rd party to do the website and we will just integrate with them.

  19. ” .Hello,

    ‘Yes’, the Cart can be used for subscriptions.

    Majority of our merchants’ buyers are actually international. Sadly, not a lot of local users are accustomed to buying things online.
    It does not include a website (although we also offer that service separately). You can get any 3rd party to do the website and we will just integrate with them.
    online payment

  20. I have 30 years’ service in the USPS, but am not 55 years old yet, I’m 53. I dont WANT a “cash incentive”, I’d still take a $400 a month cut on my pension if I left now, so the $15,000 pittance that’s been offered is useless for me. Why don’t they just waive the penalty? I’m sure many others, as well as myself, would GLADLY leave.

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