Thursday, July 22, 2010

What would you give up?

One reader sent me this note. "I want to go on record and volunteer a cut of $.50 an hour if means we can save the Postal Service and my job."

The reader goes on to say that if all 600,000 plus employees did that over the course of a year, that would add up to a bunch of zeroes. And there are other things, like vacation days that some might be willing to sacrifice.

Of course, many of our benefits are the same ones given to all federal employees, so that may not even be possible. And pay and other benefits have been won throughout the years through negotiations at the table. So, this may not be realistic.

But it's a good question worth discussing. What you give up, if anything? Comment here.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting idea. Like some have said, there would be many issues to resolve. What I like the most is that people are thinking outside the box! Keep giving suggestions, keep thinking, we need all the input we can get these days!

Anonymous said...

Cutting wages would be tough to get past the unions, but I would favor a wage freeze for 2-3 years. That freeze would have to be across the board...from PMR to PMG. I think most people would accept this idea if it helps, but far to often we see senior managers wasteful spending that makes our sacrafices worthless. If we agree to freeze our pay and then we see HQ hire 3-4 more VP's...then all the savings will go to pay there salaries. That would make people not want to accept any "savings" ideas.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, we need to combine Area and district offices before we implement across the board freezes or cuts.

3 Areas - East, Central, West
with 10 districts each.

When USPS is serious about cutting costs, then employees actually sorting, processing, and delivering mail will follow suit.

Anonymous said...

As an EAS employee I "gave up" COLA's several years ago. I'm still not happy over that!

Until I see the Postal Service making companies honor their contracts with us and not wasting money I would not want to give back.

Anonymous said...

I'm already giving the postal service over 100$ back every Saturday by being an exempt level 16 PM with no clerk. I'm keeping my 50 cents, sorry.

Anonymous said...

I'm a rural carrier which has lost 10k a year. I'm not alone. The P.O. has for the past few years tried to recoup $$ for the good of the P.O. on the Rural Carriers' back. But they keep hiring people for management positions. They have reduced the work force by thousands but the ones that DO NOT touch the mail..that group has increased! The longer I work the less I make!

Anonymous said...

I would gladly give up my manager

Anonymous said...

I'll give up the crowd of supervisors who mull around every day checking the lunch menu at the nearby deli....
I'll give up our postmaster moving the furniture around the building to look like he's doing something....
I'll give up telling customers that our Post Office's window service will open at 10AM. I'll do that by reverting back to the old 8AM starting time. The newer, later, and reduced hours were started December 1, 2009... a nice kick in the teeth for customers just before the Christmas rush.

Anonymous said...

I would give up those craft employees that don't carry their weight of the workload and seem to have an attitude of "You Owe Me". The ones that swipe their time card and then disappear into the break room or the rest room. And also the managers that allow this type of behavior and just push more work on those employees that have a better work ethic.

Exhume said...

Obviously a very touchy sublect. Would I give up 50 cents an hour to ensure the longevity of my career, yes. So a few years down the road it happens again..then what.
Look at it as if we were a football team. When your franchise is struggling you do not start wacking away at the positions of your players or ask them to play two positions at one time.
After seeing poor performance after poor performance you dont get rid of capable players..you get rid of your incapable coaches.
As the Post Office is streamlined to be more efficient with less you will notice improvements. However that type of effect would happen under anybody.
What I would like to see asked is.."Do you think the people currently in place have the skills to get you through this crisis?"

Anonymous said...

No offense to the idea, but that would be like peeing in the ocean to bring the level up.

Anonymous said...

Like most of these type ideas did the person making the suggestion even put pencil to paper. It amounts too approximately 2/3 billion which is much better than a former proposal that employees should send more first class mail (approximately $70 million). Guess 10% less loss is something but still what about the next time.

Only solution that will do the job is raising bulk mail rates significantly. Proposed rate increase for next January should have been double or triple for that class of mail than the 5.9% across board increase as proposed.

Anonymous said...

I think the next negotiations with the unions will be very interesting. I'm sure HQ will try to get concessions on wages, perhaps higher employee contributions to health insurance, etc. Whatever happens, EAS employees will be affected. Since EAS doesn't have bargaining rights, they have taken away COLA, leave for postmaster conventions, given very small raises for the most part, and there just aren't many opportunities to advance anymore. So if USPS doesn't get enough from the crafts they will take more away from EAS since they can't fight back. If the crafts give up some benefits or wages, USPS will impose those same concessions on EAS employees. Not that I blame the unions for trying to get whatever they can for their members. Sometimes I think it would have been better to stay a carrier or clerk. I agree with most of the comments that they need to streamline the upper levels of management more - there are too many levels and all that does is make more reports for the employees below them.

grannybunny said...

If there are alot of craft employees willing to take a small pay cut, they should communicate that fact to their unions prior to the upcoming negotiations. It's crazy to have built-in COLAs that automatically go into effect even when there has been no increase in the cost-of-living. I took such a huge pay cut when I went from being a Level-5 Clerk to a Level-16 EAS employee, that I can't afford a pay cut. I would have been better off -- financially -- to have stayed in the craft.

Anonymous said...

If we really want to save money we need to get rid of so many upper level managers. Do they really help move the mail? Let's get back to "You don't do the work, you don't get paid". Until we get the unions to stop with the lame grievances and make people earn their pay we will always be in trouble. With 30 years of service I have seen things that no private sector business would accept. Everyone needs to take ownership of this business as if it was their own. Evaluated systems for all carriers with no OT or aux assistance would be a good starting place.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Some great comments this time. I really like the one about the 3 Areas. Imagine the number of jobs that would be gone and the $$$ saved as long as they don't create more jobs for those people and give them raises too.
Between a cut in pay and no job at all I would consider a cut in pay. As a PM I already took a cut by working more hours (and some Saturdays) with no pay increase. My perception is that there are a lot of high muck-e-mucks making a whole lot more than me to do a whole lot less with moving the mail. Reports are good but only if they are used in a way that truly benefits the business. I fill out more paperwork now with little or no visual results.

Anonymous said...

I am willing to give up NOTHING.

Anonymous said...

I won't give up a cent of my hard earned salary when higher management is making twice as much as I do for holding endless telecom meetings to talk about the same things over and over with little to no improvement. I think every Postal employee should do his or her part to conserve all resources - turn off the lights and fans at your case before leaving for the street, turn off the lights in the buildings when leaving for the day, don't order supplies that really aren't needed, don't 'hoard' supplies so that more are ordered when they really aren't needed. Cut out the 'contests' for management, cut out printing pamphlets or handouts since everyone uses the internet for information now anyway, cut out any meetings that require overnight travel, put management employees back into the position they really have instead of putting them into details elsewhere that involve mileage or lodging. Use both sides of copy paper. Use common sense and don't waste supplies. Reduce, reuse, recycle. It's good for the Postal Service and the environment too.

Jon said...

I'd give up high tech gadgets like the Dymo printer and software sent to even small offices to print the occasional nearly useless label. (we could enter the data by hand in as little time)

Anonymous said...

I would gladly give up layers apon layers of upper management. Even in our current financial situation the Postal Service gave out 10's of millions of dollars in bonuses; as a craft employee I am not entitled to receive any bonuses. I will keep my .50 cents thank you!

National Whistleblower Allen Carlton said...

You don't have to give up anything Congress and the USPS is taking it all in the American Holocaust.

Anonymous said...

Some really terrific ideas. I, too, would love to see fewer Vice Presidents. Are they really necessary when we're sinking fast and are they helping our bottom line? Doubtful. Is anyone in upper management reading these posts? They should be because USPS employees have lots of common sense and "get 'er done" knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of all of those in upper management who push reports on us and do not even touch the mail.
Get rid of EXFC, we spend more time and money chasing down a stupid number when we should be servicing out customers. Service the customers, not a number.
I'm fine with 5 day delivery.
Eliminate SOX- We are only following it because of PAEA, we are not even a publicly held company.


Until then, I am keeping my 50 cents.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop chasing EXFC! Every meeting, every weekly update, everytime an upper manager speaks...all I hear about is EXFC. Let's remember that EFXC was created by us to measure our own performance. It should be a tool and not a whip. How many extra trucks have we contracted with to move the mail a little faster...just so district A can be faster then district B. I mean really, if your EXFC score is 98.5 and hire new trucks so you can increase that score to 98.7???? Talk about a waste. After all, there is no service guarantee with 95% of the measured products in EXFC!! If we don't deliver a letter the next day within the same SFC....does the customer get a refund??

Anonymous said...

Lots of great suggestions. I am one of those that went from being a clerk to a EAS and actually lost money. And now no COLA and pay for performance is a joke. It would be nice if all employees would be held accountable for the quality of work. It's to bad we have unions to protect these slackers. Why should they be allowed to do so many greivances on piddly things. If they would just quit whining and do their jobs there would be no greivences. Let's get back to the basics and give our customers what they really want. Great Service!!

Anonymous said...

We dont need a manager and also 2 supervisors in small offices. The PO has cut back on somethings with the managers being that the manager has to do the supervisors job when they are out on vacation, sick or emergency leave. Things happen. We havent had a COLA in about 3 yrs. I would not want to take a wage reduction considering the fact that we are doing 4 peoples jobs now since they are replacing the people they get rid of. Remember when you come to a post iffice and there doesnt seem to be enough help, you need to contact your politician and make complaints. One clerk cant do the job of 3!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The majority of those "piddly" grievances are won by the unions because of management's failure to abide by our contract, resulting in millions of dollars that did not need to be paid if only management followed the contract. COLAs have been at Zero for the last few years, so carriers and clerks are not getting any COLAs. The pay for performance that EAS employees receive are based on the work that craft employees perform, not management. I agree with many other comments that there is just too much upper management.

Anonymous said...

I would give up all the vice-presidents being promoted in D.C. sure is a buffer for the big man.

Anonymous said...

Majority of employees have "topped out" on any pay increases - COLA is all we have, except what little the Union has negotiated for us. Good luck on the next contract. Do I really need the Manager of Finance, the Marketing Manager & Bulk Mail Manager approving my supply request for pens & tape? Don't think so. Too much upper management looking for stuff to do.

Anonymous said...

I would gladly give up the PFP process. The craft employees look at this as a "bonus" when in fact it's our version of COLA. Craft employees get contractual COLA...EAS employees must earn there rate increases. I would gladly go back to a time in service/time in grade system. I also think that COLA's should be across the board and not an item for contract negotiations....it should MATCH the other feceral employees (including military) rates of increase...which isusually 1-3%.

Anonymous said...

I have also already given money when I became a Postmaster of a level 13 Post Office. Had a stayed a clerk I would be making about $3.00 - $5.00 more per hour than I am making now. I have only recieved a small raise 3 out of the last 6 years I have worked in this office. I thought there was a pay freeze for all upper management, but I have read that the PMG has recieved a 4.3% raise this year. I did not recieve a raise this year. I have also heard that in some areas some of the MPOO's are losing their part time assistants. While others are recieving more help because their area is doing a bad job. I was glad to leave the clerk craft because I was tied of all the whiners that said they had too much to do or FAKED an injury to get light duty but in the meantime they were caught building a deck and replacing their own roof but couldn't lift a tray of mail.I had to do it for them) If all raises are froze it should mean all wages not just the Postmasters.

Anonymous said...

If we keep the PFP system, then it should be tiered. An MPOO's PFP should be based on the performance of his PMs. A district managers should be based on the MPOOs/PM. The area managers should be based on the district/MPOO/PM. And finally, the PMG should be based on everyone below him, after all we are all suppose to be working towards the same goal. How can a MPOO group all be denied raises and yet the MPOO gets a raise? Problem is that each level has different goals and objectives.

Anonymous said...

You're exactly right about the PFP system. I should be rated on how well my office does. As it is now, I get the MPOO level rating for retail revenue, which right now is about a 4 on NPA; if it were (rightly) rated solely on my office's performance, I'd be getting a 15!! Not fair, but it keeps mgmt from having to give us raises.

Anonymous said...

I am a level 18 Postmaster. I work the window 3 to 6 hours a day. I come in early and sort the mail when a clerk needs the day off. I stay late when one of the city carriers decides he can't complete his route on time. I work a Saturday if a clerk is not available. I average 10+ hours a day and get paid a straight 40 hours. I have not received any raise in the three years I have held this position. I agree that something has to be done about the craft employees that intentionally waste their time to get overtime. The problem is the unions that protect them. I hope in the next union contract negiotiations, something is done about the crossing crafts problems we have today. I also agree there are too many top managers, but every time they eliminate one of them - their duties seem to fall on the postmaster's shoulders. We were told that some of the "logs" would be eliminated. They did this by removing the paper logs and now we have to "log" on to the computer and do basically the same thing as the paper logs.

Anonymous said...

I'm not willing to give up ANYTHING!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to give up conventions leave. Oh wait I already did that. I would give up yearly increases. Oh wait I already did that. I would give up COLA. Oh I already gave that up to. I think Postmasters have already given up a lot.