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View Full Version : US Post Office Needs to Cut 260,000 Jobs: Rep. Issa



Rockntractor
01-25-2012, 02:17 AM
By: Jeff Cox
CNBC.com Senior Writer






The U.S. Postal Service needs to slash 260,000 jobs and end weekend delivery if it is to climb out of its "financially insolvent" condition, Rep. Darrell Issa said.

Despite a mandate to avoid deficits, the post office loses up to $15 billion a year, Issa told CNBC during an informal gathering of senior House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members.

"It's a combination of delivering what people want at a price they're willing to pay," the California Republican said. "We've restricted what the post office can charge for various classes of mail. But the biggest challenge is there are about 660,000 workers at the post office. In the private sector there would be about 400,000."

Though Issa's numbers are likely on the high side the most recent official estimates from the postal service put the total employees at 574,000 reducing the size of the workforce and consolidating operations has been a priority.

Figuring out where the waste lies and streamlining operations are assignments for those who oversee the service, which receives no taxpayer funding despite being supervised by the government.

"It's not a debate about whether we need to get to that number. It's about how we get there," Issa said. "Do we get there by inducing retirements and finding ways to trim that workforce? Or do we wait for people to retire from an organization that has three fulltime employees that are 98 years old, literally."

Issa recalled that when he was a boy the post office delivered mail seven days a week and twice from Monday through Friday though Sunday deliveries have been a rarity since 1912 and twice-daily deliveries were phased out completely by 1990.

In the digital era and its lightning-fast transactions done through e-mail and other avenues, such an ambitious postal service is no longer necessary, he said.

Issa specifically called for the streamlining of the service's 461 processing centers, half of which he would close.

"We have a problem that the post office can't seem to shrink on its own fast enough," Issa said. "Today we're in an Internet age in which mail is for less than it used to be. You can now do documentation and contracts and you can buy and sell billion-dollar entities over the Internet.

He added: "Is there a reason for the post office? Absolutely. Do we need six-day delivery? I personally don't think so."http://www.cnbc.com/id/46114130

NJCardFan
01-25-2012, 04:39 AM
Just another gubment boondoggle. You'd think that with all the mail that is sent in this country the USPS woudl be swimming in money but chances are it's all squandered on b.s.

RobJohnson
01-25-2012, 07:32 AM
Just another gubment boondoggle. You'd think that with all the mail that is sent in this country the USPS woudl be swimming in money but chances are it's all squandered on b.s.

I agree.

I could live without Saturday mail delivery, that would be a good start.

DumbAss Tanker
01-25-2012, 11:49 AM
Just another gubment boondoggle. You'd think that with all the mail that is sent in this country the USPS woudl be swimming in money but chances are it's all squandered on b.s.

It's basically the logical outcome of charging less for a service than it costs to provide it. Everyone goes apeshit when the talk turns to raising postal rates to actually cover the costs, and then compares the postal service unfavorably to smaller commercial courier operations that charge from two to ten times more for the similar services.

The real problem is people wanting shit but not wanting to pay what it actually costs to get it.

Bailey
01-25-2012, 11:52 AM
It's basically the logical outcome of charging less for a service than it costs to provide it. Everyone goes apeshit when the talk turns to raising postal rates to actually cover the costs, and then compares the postal service unfavorably to smaller commercial courier operations that charge from two to ten times more for the similar services.

The real problem is people wanting shit but not wanting to pay what it actually costs to get it.

I couldnt have said it better, when people bitch about jobs going to china are they willing to pay more for that item if its made in the USA?

NJCardFan
01-25-2012, 01:27 PM
It's basically the logical outcome of charging less for a service than it costs to provide it. Everyone goes apeshit when the talk turns to raising postal rates to actually cover the costs, and then compares the postal service unfavorably to smaller commercial courier operations that charge from two to ten times more for the similar services.

The real problem is people wanting shit but not wanting to pay what it actually costs to get it.

According to this site (http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/238-how-much-mail-is-sent-each-day.html), there are approximately 212 billion pieces of mail each year. Multiply that by .44 cents(just taking into account regular 1st class stamps) and it comes to $93 billion in revenue at least. Now I'm no business whiz but I don't know many companies who's operating expenses exceed $93 billion annually.

djones520
01-25-2012, 01:31 PM
According to this site (http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/238-how-much-mail-is-sent-each-day.html), there are approximately 212 billion pieces of mail each year. Multiply that by .44 cents(just taking into account regular 1st class stamps) and it comes to $93 billion in revenue at least. Now I'm no business whiz but I don't know many companies who's operating expenses exceed $93 billion annually.

Well, if you figure that those 260,000 average about $40,000 a year in pay and benefits, your already talking more then 10 billion.

That's just pay alone. Shipping, insurance claims, and i'm sure plenty of other things come into play as well.

I looked it up, and apparently the USPS has 574,000 employee's only. So Rep. Issa is calling for nearly a 50% cut in manning.

NJCardFan
01-25-2012, 01:36 PM
Well, if you figure that those 260,000 average about $40,000 a year in pay and benefits, your already talking more then 10 billion.

That's just pay alone. Shipping, insurance claims, and i'm sure plenty of other things come into play as well.

I looked it up, and apparently the USPS has 574,000 employee's only. So Rep. Issa is calling for nearly a 50% cut in manning.

But I was just assuming everything is .44 cents but my guess is that their revenue runs into the $100 billion+ range.

DumbAss Tanker
01-25-2012, 06:50 PM
According to this site (http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/238-how-much-mail-is-sent-each-day.html), there are approximately 212 billion pieces of mail each year. Multiply that by .44 cents(just taking into account regular 1st class stamps) and it comes to $93 billion in revenue at least. Now I'm no business whiz but I don't know many companies who's operating expenses exceed $93 billion annually.

You also don't know of any companies that do that scale of business, i.e. making a circuit of everyone's home or PO boxes 6 days out of 7, do you?

The $.44 is for first class, one ounce or less, and I wouldn't hazard a guess how valid it is as a per-item average, between more-expensive premium delivery and less-expensive bulk rates.

In addition to wages/benefits and legacy retirement costs, they have a huge number of vehicles and contract carrier costs, as well as physical facilities to operate and sorting/routing machinery to buy and maintain, plus of course printing and other expenses.

There's a lot of hyperbole from the Right's talking heads about the Postal Service, most of it built completely on ignorance and a total lack of actually thinking it through. These are the people who live or work in NYC, DC, or the Loop who think the entire thing could be replaced by FedEx and bicycle couriers because, after all, that's what they use in business (Of course, it costs them upwards of ten bucks to do that, which they expense on their taxes, but for some reason ten bucks is a great deal when a corporation provides the service but $.44 is too much to pay when the Government provides the service; the logic of this proposition eludes me).

Janice
01-25-2012, 08:05 PM
From what I read here at govexec.com: (http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0411/040511l1.htm)

Labor costs account for nearly 80 percent of USPS' expenses, and the agency pays an average of more than $80,000 per employee annually in total compensation. Several lawmakers questioned whether postal workers receive pay in excess of their private sector counterparts.

--------------------------------------

How much is that x 260,000 employees?

Gotta love those govt unions. At least the 0baminator apparently does.

DumbAss Tanker
01-26-2012, 11:45 AM
From what I read here at govexec.com: (http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0411/040511l1.htm)

Labor costs account for nearly 80 percent of USPS' expenses, and the agency pays an average of more than $80,000 per employee annually in total compensation. Several lawmakers questioned whether postal workers receive pay in excess of their private sector counterparts.

--------------------------------------

How much is that x 260,000 employees?

Gotta love those govt unions. At least the 0baminator apparently does.


It'd be more accurate to call it 'manpower costs' because a huge chunk of that is the retirement benefits for people who stopped working there long ago, not the actual cost of current labor. There is a tremendous amount of flimflam and statistical BS on both side of any question involving this much money.

The Post Office has a separate retirement system which is kind of like the old civil service CSRS for civil service employees, with a high defined benefit but exempt from Social Security and with very limited integration to Medicare.

From the mid-80s, Fed civil service (NOT including the PO) changed over to something called FERS which has a pretty low defined benefit level, but a 401K-like program called TSP and full integration into Social Security and Medicare. People who were already in CSRS when FERS started could stay in it, but there are fewer and fewer of them still in the workforce. Retirement benefits for FERS civil service employees are OK but nothing to really write home about.

The state systems that are like the old CSRS are the ones in big trouble, along with the UAW and SS-exempt high-defined benefit programs like the Postal Service, but it is because of their legacy retirement system costs, not the cost of labor for current operations. The problem is that these pensions were part of a compensation package that was the basis of the bargain when the employees receiving them worked their careers and retired, and they can't be arbitrarily changed ex post facto. You could privatize all of them (Well, the UAW is private already), but their legacy pension costs would still afflict the balance sheets for decades to come.

Janice
01-26-2012, 01:07 PM
Yes, the pensions as they are ... are unsustainable. At a certain point you have more people collecting money for doing nothing than you have for doing their job. Something along those lines. This was the beginning of the end for GM. Re-organization or bankruptcy was inevitable. I believe the Wisconsin unions were headed that way too before the Governor intervened.

RobJohnson
01-27-2012, 04:55 AM
I couldnt have said it better, when people bitch about jobs going to china are they willing to pay more for that item if its made in the USA?

:applause:

I seen many union store employees and truck drivers shop at non union stores due to cost...then they can't figure out why they no longer have jobs...

Retread
01-27-2012, 02:29 PM
not to beat a dead horse but the PO could be making a profit by cutting their costs and farming out a few square feet of property.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOZ--5d_68

Novaheart
01-27-2012, 02:38 PM
It's basically the logical outcome of charging less for a service than it costs to provide it. Everyone goes apeshit when the talk turns to raising postal rates to actually cover the costs, and then compares the postal service unfavorably to smaller commercial courier operations that charge from two to ten times more for the similar services.

The real problem is people wanting shit but not wanting to pay what it actually costs to get it.

I remember as a kid some news fluff about people being upset that the price of a stamp went up a penny. I have always thought the postal service did an amazing job at whatever price I was paying. When it was 3 cents for a post card and now that it's 40-something cents for a Christmas card. Who cares? It works. Its mandate is that it's supposed to deliver mail to downtown New York or out in the boonies to Rockintractor. It's amazing that it can do both.

Novaheart
01-27-2012, 02:39 PM
not to beat a dead horse but the PO could be making a profit by cutting their costs and farming out a few square feet of property.


The post office isn't supposed to make a profit, it's supposed to break even.

djones520
01-27-2012, 02:41 PM
The post office isn't supposed to make a profit, it's supposed to break even.

Given the state of our debt, I'm cool with it making a profit.

Novaheart
01-27-2012, 02:48 PM
Labor costs account for nearly 80 percent of USPS' expenses, and the agency pays an average of more than $80,000 per employee annually in total compensation. .

Postal workers start at $12/hr. Fast food workers in some places start at $10/hr. Walmart swears thir employees average over $9/hr.

To get the $80,000 (about $40/hr) figure you have to add up all the salary, benefits, and projected retirement over the life of the employee and then divide by the average years worked. It's a bullshit way of trying to make it look worse than it is, and the anti-union people did the same thing to auto workers trying to paint them as ignorant unskilled laborers hauling down $57/hr while Americans struggled to pay for overpriced cars and deal foreign competition.

Retread
01-27-2012, 07:41 PM
The post office isn't supposed to make a profit, it's supposed to break even.

didn't bother to even watch the vid huh?


The STARTING salary is $12/hr. That last about 6 months and it goes up from there, qutckly. USPS is also not limited by the 'no federal raises' BS lying either.

Tecate
01-27-2012, 07:49 PM
It's basically the logical outcome of charging less for a service than it costs to provide it. Everyone goes apeshit when the talk turns to raising postal rates to actually cover the costs, and then compares the postal service unfavorably to smaller commercial courier operations that charge from two to ten times more for the similar services.

The real problem is people wanting shit but not wanting to pay what it actually costs to get it.
I could live with a $1.00 first class stamp. All things considered, that's still a bargain for sending an envelope from coast to coast or anywhere in between.

Novaheart
01-27-2012, 08:45 PM
didn't bother to even watch the vid huh?


The STARTING salary is $12/hr. That last about 6 months and it goes up from there, qutckly. USPS is also not limited by the 'no federal raises' BS lying either.

How much do you think a postal worker should make?

Novaheart
01-27-2012, 08:46 PM
The STARTING salary is $12/hr.

How much do you think a girl dressed as a hooker selling beer and chicken wings to trolls and drunks makes?

Tecate
01-27-2012, 08:55 PM
How much do you think a girl dressed as a hooker selling beer and chicken wings to trolls and drunks makes?
You say that like it's a bad thing...

http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i228/Loveways/Hooters.jpg

Janice
01-27-2012, 09:05 PM
not to beat a dead horse but the PO could be making a profit by cutting their costs and farming out a few square feet of property.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJOZ--5d_68

Great video. :cool:

Janice
01-27-2012, 09:11 PM
http://i.imgur.com/sgaqo.jpg

Nice little message at the end too.

fettpett
01-27-2012, 11:24 PM
How much do you think a postal worker should make?

It's one of the few things that the Government is responsible for. And have no problem with them making good money. The problem comes with the stupidity of how the Government runs the USPS. You can't be fired from the USPS, I know of a guy that would do nothing for his shift, and still get paid, he doesn't actively work there because he left the site during a shift. He no longer gets hours but is still "employed" by the USPS...and gets a check every week.

Just like most other cushy Government jobs...no turn over cuz no one can be fired.

Retread
01-28-2012, 01:12 AM
How much do you think a postal worker should make?

still haven't watched the vid......

Novaheart
01-28-2012, 02:04 PM
It's one of the few things that the Government is responsible for. And have no problem with them making good money. The problem comes with the stupidity of how the Government runs the USPS. You can't be fired from the USPS, I know of a guy that would do nothing for his shift, and still get paid, he doesn't actively work there because he left the site during a shift. He no longer gets hours but is still "employed" by the USPS...and gets a check every week.

Just like most other cushy Government jobs...no turn over cuz no one can be fired.

People can be an are fired by the post office and the civil service as well. My friend's partner was fired from the Postal Service, as he should have been, for dumping mass mail from undesirable organizations. No second chances, he was referred for discharge, reviewed and fired.

The government isn't running the Postal Service stupidly. People are supposed to have job security. People are supposed to have benefits and retirement. The fact that we have allowed private industry to gut any notion of American exceptionalism in corporate citizenship doesn't mean that we should gut it in public sector jobs as well. The public sector jobs help keep up the standards of private industry, because in those jobs which "American" corporations can't export, they need to be able to keep employees. The fact that McDonald's pays $7.35 an hour to employees on Section 8 and Food Stamps doesn't mean that the food service workers at the Officer's Club should be in the same bucket of corporate shit.

Rockntractor
01-28-2012, 04:19 PM
http://i686.photobucket.com/albums/vv230/upyourstruly/novaheart-poop-demotivational-posters-1327778236.jpg

txradioguy
01-28-2012, 04:24 PM
How much do you think a postal worker should make?

Not more than me.

fettpett
01-28-2012, 04:57 PM
People can be an are fired by the post office and the civil service as well. My friend's partner was fired from the Postal Service, as he should have been, for dumping mass mail from undesirable organizations. No second chances, he was referred for discharge, reviewed and fired.

The government isn't running the Postal Service stupidly. People are supposed to have job security. People are supposed to have benefits and retirement. The fact that we have allowed private industry to gut any notion of American exceptionalism in corporate citizenship doesn't mean that we should gut it in public sector jobs as well. The public sector jobs help keep up the standards of private industry, because in those jobs which "American" corporations can't export, they need to be able to keep employees. The fact that McDonald's pays $7.35 an hour to employees on Section 8 and Food Stamps doesn't mean that the food service workers at the Officer's Club should be in the same bucket of corporate shit.

They should NOT have job security, that prevents people from doing their best. If people want benefits and retirement, they can do it on their own (which brings up a whole other argument about health care and w/e)

btw, Fed Ex, UPS, DHL all do a much better job at mail services than the USPS.

DumbAss Tanker
01-28-2012, 08:21 PM
Our own little class warfare battle, how charming.

"Unsustainable" is a beloved phrase in this war, the problem is that those vested retirement benefits are as sound a contractual obligation as the interest on US bonds would be, no lower or higher on the legal spectrum. Everybody is for cutting someone else's vested contract rights as unsustainable, as long as it doesn't affect their own vested contract rights.

$12 an hour is pretty reasonable for semi-skilled labor, especially for doing work that in the private sector would normally require any prospect be bondable. You can't get much more zero-defects than the expectations people have with respect to their mail being delivered, and much of it is highly sensitive to identity theft.

And yes, much as it pains me to agree with Nova, it's a lot more possible to fire civil service and postal workers than people think, though they do have a lot more due process they don't have to pay for than employees in an 'At-will' state who don't have an active union, but it's a damned sight easier to fire them than it is a UAW employee in Michigan. I've been helping managers do it and defending the cases for 20 years; it is a lot easier to do it for misconduct than for willing-but-marginal performance, though, especially after the first probationary year (When you can cut them loose like a tire on a fishing line, with as little reason as a bad attitude).

And TRG, you're comparing apples and oranges, military pay is in the nature of salary, while civilian employees are paid on a wage system (Above the entry level, it actually combines the worst of both the wage and salary systems). At the same time, over the last three and a half decades with the Army, and especially since the end of the Cold War, I have seen an awful lot of Soldiers averaging less than six hours a day (Weekdays only TYVM and exclusive of 12 Federal holidays or training holidays) of anything actually resembling useful work. "Useful work" NOT meaning items like sitting in safety/suicide/SHARP/EO/SAEDA/you-name-it classes, mowing grass, painting, other random labor details, pulling CQ, attending on-duty education, babysitting the losers (Yes, it takes a couple of months to fire a Soldier too, unless he wants to waive all the due process), and countless other items of time-wasting bullshit. It's the nature of the (Salary-based) uniformed military that at some point in your career it may require you to go 24-7 on catnaps for months on end while in constant danger or at least enduring major suckage. Still, for an awful lot of that career, there's also just a lot of time-consuming crap that really doesn't do much of anything at all to improve unit or individual combat power. It's only for that possibility that it pays what it does, which is a shitload more than it used to; the BS details could all be done by day labor and the BS classes wouldn't even exist but for the chance of that call to arms. I've been on both sides of it, neither one is better or worse, they're just different.

txradioguy
01-28-2012, 10:08 PM
And TRG, you're comparing apples and oranges, military pay is in the nature of salary, while civilian employees are paid on a wage system (Above the entry level, it actually combines the worst of both the wage and salary systems).

I was merely answering the general of how much a mailman should make. Given the crappy service short daily hours they work versus other jobs...I stand by my answer.




At the same time, over the last three and a half decades with the Army, and especially since the end of the Cold War, I have seen an awful lot of Soldiers averaging less than six hours a day (Weekdays only TYVM and exclusive of 12 Federal holidays or training holidays) of anything actually resembling useful work. "Useful work" NOT meaning items like sitting in safety/suicide/SHARP/EO/SAEDA/you-name-it classes, mowing grass, painting, other random labor details, pulling CQ, attending on-duty education, babysitting the losers (Yes, it takes a couple of months to fire a Soldier too, unless he wants to waive all the due process), and countless other items of time-wasting bullshit. It's the nature of the (Salary-based) uniformed military that at some point in your career it may require you to go 24-7 on catnaps for months on end while in constant danger or at least enduring major suckage. Still, for an awful lot of that career, there's also just a lot of time-consuming crap that really doesn't do much of anything at all to improve unit or individual combat power. It's only for that possibility that it pays what it does, which is a shitload more than it used to; the BS details could all be done by day labor and the BS classes wouldn't even exist but for the chance of that call to arms. I've been on both sides of it, neither one is better or worse, they're just different.

You've got to get out away from the Pentagon/MDW area...cause there hasn't been a lot of time lately for the pogue classes like you mention. And I can tell you they weren't doing that crap downrange.

If the average mailman had to miss all of the family related events...spent the time away from family and friends that we did...and add on top of it run the risk every day of getting blown up...they'd quit. You wouldn't have to fire them.

And Postal workers...like the civilians at the Pentagon or wherever their soft GS butts reside have a union to back them up. They make sure they get all of the bennies we don't get for less work per day and with a much crappier attitude about the whole thing than you and I display.

Sorry...I don't buy or believe that we have it better or softer than some guy putting mail into a slot from the comfort of his jeep.

DumbAss Tanker
01-29-2012, 12:27 AM
Sorry...I don't buy or believe that we have it better or softer than some guy putting mail into a slot from the comfort of his jeep.


Well, I've been in every part of the Army except MDW/DC, about every way you can be in it, except as a warrant. Your emotional investment is crowding your reading comprehension, so I won't pick on you over the misstatements about what I actually said in that post, like putting words in my mouth about all those stupid classes occurring downrange, which is exactly what I did NOT say.

Everyone in the military gets the same retirement package*, which is massively better than any Federal employee retirement system, and that's fine, because it is part of the bargain for being ready to go to war for 20 years...whether you ever actually go or not. That's whether you refueled USAF planes at an airbase in Hawaii for 20 years, or you were an Army Ranger or Marine who swung from one combat/hardship tour to another.

*At least, you do if you can stand 20+ years worth of bullshit like being in trouble because some worthless asshole who you got stuck with got a DUI, or killed his ignorant self on a sport bike he hid off-post, or how it is your fault that one of your Soldiers married a psychopath (<- Those, FWIW, are all drawn from my experiences with a certain famous low-numbered Infantry division between its trips downrange, but leaders in TRADOC or any other command suffer from the same affliction).

You don't like people arbitrarily screwing with your retirement because they think it costs too much. The civilian employees feel the same way. It's really not that tough.

Novaheart
01-29-2012, 03:16 AM
They should NOT have job security, that prevents people from doing their best. If people want benefits and retirement, they can do it on their own (which brings up a whole other argument about health care and w/e)



Job security doesn't mean that you can't be fired. It means that you have a reasonable expectation of continued employment contingent upon satisfactory performance. It also means that you can't be fired for arbitrary or capricious reasons, that you have a path of review and recourse. This aids in keeping down corruption.




btw, Fed Ex, UPS, DHL all do a much better job at mail services than the USPS.

I'm guessing that that is your opinion, however even if it's true, those companies are unionized as well, are they not?

fettpett
01-29-2012, 04:58 PM
Job security doesn't mean that you can't be fired. It means that you have a reasonable expectation of continued employment contingent upon satisfactory performance. It also means that you can't be fired for arbitrary or capricious reasons, that you have a path of review and recourse. This aids in keeping down corruption.



I'm guessing that that is your opinion, however even if it's true, those companies are unionized as well, are they not?

they are private companies, not public

Novaheart
01-29-2012, 06:18 PM
they are private companies, not public

Oh....... ok then. :rolleyes:

fettpett
01-29-2012, 07:03 PM
Oh....... ok then. :rolleyes:

we've had this argument in regards to WI. Public employees should not be allowed to unionize for the exact reasons we see...they are corrupt...and a drain on tax payers services, especially when they have no one to compete against.

btw, Fedex is not unionized