Yes, the Postal Service intends to cut 30,000 positions this year


Apparently, there is much spin going on in the wake of our story on Wednesday that the Postal Service is cutting its workforce by 30,000 positions this year.

The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe said he was told by postal officials that this is not correct.

Let’s be clear: There was nothing incorrect about our coverage and I stand by it. Not only that, you can see for yourself exactly what was said.

Federal Times reported this story directly from an editorial board meeting we held with Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe on March 9. Donahoe said his goal is to downsize the Postal Service by 30,000 people this year, mostly through attrition.  He added that if further reductions-in-force or buyouts are required to reach that number, the Postal Service will use them.

You may watch a video excerpt of Donahoe’s discussion or read the relevant unedited transcript (which follows).

To set up the transcript, Donahoe had just outlined his plans to announce a reduction-in-force on March 25 that will result in the cut of 7,500 administrative, supervisory, managerial and postmaster positions.  (Also, by way of set-up, Steve Losey, Tobias Naegele, and Sean Reilly, who are mentioned in the transcript that follows, are members of the Federal Times editorial board.) Here is where the discussion went next:

MR. LOSEY:  So as far as risks go, you’re saying there’s nothing beyond the 7,500 that you just detailed; right?  Nothing beyond that in the works?

MR. DONAHOE:  Well, there’s always something.  I mean you have to–as we lose volume, you got to take a look at what you have to do.

MR. NAEGELE:  So I mean my question was, as you take out supervisors, one assumes that you’re also looking at all these other things.

MR. DONAHOE:  Oh, yeah.

MR. NAEGELE:  And you confirmed you’re also looking at all these other things?

MR. DONAHOE:  Yeah, absolutely.

MR. NAEGELE:  But the end of 2011, how many fewer carriers do you expect to have?

MR. DONAHOE:  By the end of 2011, our goal for 2011 is a headcount reduction of 30,000 people.

MR. NAEGELE:  Which includes the 7,500?

MR. DONAHOE:  Yeah, yeah.

MR. REILLY:  And that’s FY11?

MR. DONAHOE:  Yeah.  We’ll make that.

MR. LOSEY:  And how are you going to do that?  Is it, are you planning buyouts or early retirements or further RIFs or just attrition?

MR. DONAHOE:  Some with attrition.  The interesting thing is, and this is, this is why, one of the things that we’ve been trying–the point we’ve been trying to make on the six to five is critical because you have an opportunity now to resolve this without having a real negative effect on employees because we have–right now we have 215,000 people who can either retire through optional retirement or who are eligible for VERA so you’ve got chunk of people who are eligible to go.

It’s always been our approach to try do it through attrition.  We haven’t laid anybody off out of all that 234,000.  You know, we’ve done it in I think a responsible way.

If we have to have RIFs, we will do that. We have to do what we have to do.  I mean it’s, so–and if we need to have an incentive buyout, we may have to do that.  That’s not been decided yet, but it’s an option on the table.

I will say the one thing that we will not do is have an organization-wide buyout like a flat across the board.  That will not happen.


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  1. As in the past years with the PO, VERA won’t work!
    Especially, if employees’ know the PO may offer incentives, but this dead brain executive management organization will offer it anyway, and it will be a waste of time. As in the past, they will try to make working for the PO like working on a prison chain gang in hopes employees’ will leave out of frustration.

  2. For planning purposes, the 7,500+ supervisors should be advised of the super-helpful calculators at . These calculators figure out the annuity, the lumpsum payment for annual leave, the income tax exemption for the annuity, etc. Really quite helpful!

  3. A man’s word is no longer good in this Nation anymore. I remember when most deals were completed with a promise and handshake. What else would you expect from liars and thieves.
    “I did not have sex with that woman”. Anyone remember that one? What this Nation needs is some good investigative news reporters, not a bunch of gossip columnists.

  4. This the type of double speak, mis-speak, spin, or as it is known in the real world, LYING, that is commonplace in the Post Office. The universal lack of ethics and respect by management towards the employees is the direct cause for the hostile work environment that is pervasive within the Postal Service.
    The periodic violence, shootings and assaults, that occurs within the Postal Service is atttrbutable towards this lack of honesty and integrity from top to bottom in the managerial chain.
    Mr Donohue needs to look inside his organizational culture and start adhering to the regulations he has sworn to uphold.

  5. notice when ask if the carriers would be cut he changed the subject. the only way carriers will be cut is if { a very big if} they are allowed to go to 5 day that’s why he’s pushing so hard for it. We still will not lose 7500 people most of the positions being cut already vacant, the others will be moved to different job titles that’s all. You people just don’t get it. it’s a number’s play on paper.

  6. Those who are now retiring are only receiving 60% of there retirement per month for longer then 6 month’s because of backlog.I will not go until this problem is solved!Go ahead management get as ugly as I know you can,I wont be forced out.Fix your mess then i will consider it.From 35 years and counting!

  7. I agree with ali of your comments. If any other business treated their employees like the Postal Service do that company would be facing all types of law suits. They love bullying the employees to meet their bottom line. Congress need to get more involed and stop allowing the current management to ruin the Postal Service. Making business decisions without as much of a business class as their education.

  8. J.L. Rodriguez on

    I believe that Mr. Donahoe should throw in the towel on March 25th, 2011 when he is to announce the changes of the Postal Service. It would be wise to announce his RIF’s, VER’s and Buyouts all at once if he is going to do it. By doing this he would save the Postal Service further payments to employees, retirement, and health insurance. It would defeat the purpose just to offer VER’s and RIF’s and hold buyout’s for a later date. The VER’s would not qualify for a buyout and the buyout’s will be targeted. For everyones’s sake, Mr. Donahoe should lay all his cards on the table so that employees can lay theirs and finish this nightmare weve been having.

  9. There is no need for RIF’s, buyouts, or early retirement. Just institute a “High 5” vs “High 3” for retirement pensions and you will see all the CSRS apply for retirement Postal Management start using the brain.

  10. I have been with the USPS for 5.5 years. What a roller coaster. They are decimating my section. Less people, same work. No increase in compensation. Be happy to have a job….. I am but that only goes so far. Mr. PMG, please just lay it out. No more posturing, just tell us the truth. Is it true that the USPS will be down to 400,000 by the end of 2013 or 2014? Ouch. I guess many of us had better find another job.

  11. Plese tell me if I’m wrong here, but I don’t think RIFs are legal as we are all protected(craft and mgt.), under civil service laws and VA preference. PMG wants 7500 mgt/admin “positions” gone, but the people will remain as they will simply be placed elsewhere with new job titles and numbers. No real savings to the PO. If they eliminate Sat. delivery, there’s 40,000 more protected people that will not have jobs, and will be spending most of their day on stand-by time. Am I wrong here? If so, what am I missing?

  12. Lies, lies and more lies. That is what the PO is based on. All the way from the top down, they lie about the numbers and it all falls on the clerks and carriers to harbor the brunt of their mis-management. The only way they are going to eliminate the 7500 mgmt positions is play with their job titles; no one is going anywhere. And the 30,000 jobs to go are the positions HE plans on eliminating when the lies convince Congress to approve the 5-day plan (thus eliminating the relief position). Congratulations, throw the real workers under the bus!

  13. I agree that at this point of the game Mr. Donahue should be a calming force and put info out as soon as possible. If there is no info it would calm people to know that also. And it does have to be repeated to be heard.

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