OIG: USPS FY2016 turnover rate for non-career postal employees 43% – city carriers 60%

USPS’ FY2016 performance target for average annual turnover rates for non-career hires was 34.8 per cent.

The Postal Service hires non-career employees to supplement its regular workforce and reduce staffing cost. As such, they created the rural carrier associate position in April 1987, PSEs in May 2011, and CCAs and MHAs in January and February 2013, respectively. Non-career employees are responsible for selling postage at post offices, unloading and moving mail in plants, and delivering the mail. However, non-career employees do not receive full employee benefits and privileges like career employees.

In October 2014, the Postal Service created a CCA recruitment and retention strategy to provide Postal Service managers and supervisors with resources and strategies for the recruitment and retention of CCAs


The U.S. Postal Service hires non-career employees to supplement its regular workforce and reduce staffing costs. Non-career employees are temporary workers who do not receive full employee benefits and privileges. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, the Postal Service employed an average of about 130,000 non-career employees.

The Postal Service has four crafts that constitute the non-career employee portfolio: (1) the mail handler assistant position that unloads and moves mail in plants, (2) the postal support employee position that processes mail and sells postage at post offices, (3) the city carrier assistant (CCA) position that delivers mail on designated city routes and (4) rural carrier associate position that delivers mail on designated rural routes.

In October 2014, the Postal Service created a CCA recruitment and retention strategy to provide field Human Resources staff, managers, and supervisors with resources and strategies for the recruitment and retention of CCAs.

In FY 2015, the Postal Service formed a joint Human Resources and operations team to evaluate turnover. Subsequently, the Postal Service created initiatives for FY 2016 to reduce turnover and improve training.

In FY 2015, non-career employee turnover cost the Postal Service about $95.1 million to hire and onboard replacements.

Our objective in this project was to assess non-career employee turnover and identify opportunities to optimize non-career staffing. Because the Postal Service needs a flexible workforce and is facing a tightening labor market, we may conduct further work on the strategic use of this key resource in the future.

What the OIG Found

Opportunities exist to reduce non-career employee turnover by addressing factors such as scheduling flexibility, physical demands of the job, and supervisory relationships that contributed to non-career employee turnover.

In FY 2016, the combined annual turnover rate for all four non-career crafts was 42.7 percent (monthly average of 3.6 percent), which did not meet the National Performance Assessment goal of 34.8 percent annually (2.9 percent per month). Leveraging best practices in establishing and implementing mentoring and training activities for all crafts could help reduce these high turnover rates.


USPS says FY2015 turnover rate for non-career postal employees was nearly 40%

Lastly, unit managers did not always review workhour reports and submit non-career separation forms timely. Consequently, 1,223 of 2,208 (55.4 percent) non-career separation forms were submitted from 1 to 38 days after employees separated and not the day of separation as required.

These conditions occurred because the Postal Service does not have a recruitment and retention strategy to help reduce attrition rates to sustainable levels and ensure all non-career crafts are appropriately mentored and trained. In addition, they did not ensure that areas and districts implemented mentoring and training activities outlined in the CCA strategic plan. Lastly, unit managers were not required to evaluate workhour reports to identify and timely remove separated employees.

If the turnover rate goal had been met, the Postal Service hiring and onboarding costs for FY 2016 would have been reduced by over $23 million. Furthermore, as the Postal Service converts many non-career employees to career employees, investments in mentoring and training would better prepare the employees for both current and future roles. Lastly, when a district or site reaches its maximum complement and does not remove separated employees from payroll, the system does not update to reflect a vacancy and replacements cannot be hired.

The Postal Service took corrective action by implementing a field onboarding program nationwide beginning October 1, 2016. This program will include pre-hire communication, employee orientation, on-the-job training for all crafts, and updated rural and city carrier academies. Therefore, we are not making any recommendations regarding training.

What the OIG Recommended

We recommended management establish a comprehensive non-career employee strategic plan for all crafts that addresses contributing factors identified by Postal Service data and an oversight process to ensure areas and districts implement retention activities. We also recommended management institute formal requirements for unit managers to evaluate workhour reports to identify and timely remove separated employees.



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USPS OIG: What Can the Postal Service Do to Retain Noncareer Employees?

USPS says FY2015 turnover rate for non-career postal employees was nearly 40%

29 thoughts on “OIG: USPS FY2016 turnover rate for non-career postal employees 43% – city carriers 60%

  1. Morale is at an unimaginable low, even amongst the career people. I count the days until I can retire while my co-workers actively work to sabotage the system. I no longer blame them.

    Decades of promoting the worst possible candidates, few if any people left that know what the business is. Letters and flats are going away and Amazon will take the parcel business, 10 years tops. Problem solved.

  2. There is only one union to blame for the non-career employee fiasco-the APWU. The members were sold a bill of goods by the previous idiot national president. Based on his inept and ill-advised negotiations with USPS, they voted for the contract that set the stage for what the carriers and mail handlers got shoved down their throats by the arbitrators. For management and the arbitrators the decisions was easy. If it was good enough for the APWU, it’s good enough for everyone else. Thus, we have non-career employees everywhere. Once the APWU members voted to approve PSEs, it was never going to be any other way for the rest of the unions. Now everyone is trying to make the best of a bad situation.

    • That would be Donawhore’s puppet,Cliff Goofy, who was bought and paid for by USPS management,as well as drawing his union president salary and pension. Amazing how stupid postal employees allow scum suckers like him and now Jeanette Dwyer of the NRLCA to infiltrate the union hierarchy and become union presidents. Postal workers are so gullible and are so easily mislead down the road to slaughter.And it will only get worse with casuals able to vote in union elections and up or down union contracts.

  3. Basically this data just reaffirms the fact that all postal employees need to be paid what career employees are presently paid.

    Issa and Ross have always stated postal employees are overpaid but you couldn’t fill the jobs at the slave wages they propose….you couldn’t find 600,000 suckers to do it.

  4. This is 100% percent the NALC fault for selling us out for a 1% raise. The NALC gave us horrible working conditions regular carriers and the CCA are skipping 10 minute breaks and skipping lunches on a regular basis, due to pivoting and the same time are routes are overburden. The NALC is not a progressive union anymore. The NALC is a union that is going backwards!

    • The NALC didn’t sell out for 1% raises,it was imposed in the Das Award as a result of the big APWU sellout of 2011.This year it was the management controlled NRLCA who sold out for those lousy 1% raises as well as an increase in the HB contribution by the employees. As of now,7 months after the NALC contract expired,there is still no tentative agreement or even interest arbitration going on.

  5. The turnover rate in our office in South Florida is 0%, they have hired in our office over the last 3 1/2 years around 60, we have 70 routes. At one point we had 24 CCA’s, now we have 9 in our office, and a total of 65 since they are all quitting. We are in a city with 8 offices, at our peak, we had 310 career carriers and about 98 CCA’S. The office I work in, we have a total of 4 hours of walking, the rest of the routes are either driving or cluster boxes.
    When they start a new CCA at our office, they think the job is great because there is no walking, and they think this job is so easy that they should of applied many years ago. When they are told they have to go to a office where there is walking, they create a stink that this is their office, boy are they spoiled. Now the offices where the office is all walking, the turnover rate is close to 60% or higher.

    Now when a CCA gets promoted to regular and they are assigned to a walking route, some of they quit and some of the moan and groan, but they do it.

    It’s only been since September 2016, they start all of our new hired CCA’S in a walking office, and usually in the first month, 7 out of 10 quit, citing this job isn’t for them.

    The other thing the USPS does, is when they are hiring CCA’s in our city, if they are looking for 25 new employees, they give out the test to 50 that apply, some fail a drug test, and some have a bad driving record, so now you are down to about 40 applicants for 25 jobs. And most of the time, if you pass the test you get hired, since not enough people pass the test.

    I’ve seen the quality of employees go down in the last 4 years, and it shows in the amount of complaints they get about miss delivered mail, good mail and packages sent back. In our office, the CCA’s send everything back that they can’t deliver, really a disgrace

  6. Too many supervisors and not treating the employees with respect. Everyone thinks they should get something for nothing. Someone sitting at a desk comes up with this crap and expects to get a bonus for pay for performance. Most supervisors are in their position because they could do the job on the floor. Management decides to put them into the position. Flush the toilet at the top and see what trickles down.

  7. Postal management has placed an emphasis on the retention of the CCA employee, yet violate the rights of protected, career employees by denying them reinstatement and veterans preference. I applied for reinstatement as a 30% disabled veteran, but was told, ” I should also inform you that the collective bargaining agreement with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) requires that all vacant letter carrier positions must be filled by City Carrier Associates (CCAs), if available, before the position can be filled by an external applicant “. Management at the Postal Service has always been of the mindset that if it don’t fit, force it. In closing, I will agree with ” been there, done that “………. bring back the PTF status.

  8. Big picture-wise, turnover of lower paid employees is not necessarily a bad thing. As a young minimum wage employee, (dish washer) I was always looking for a better job with better pay. After I got married, that desire intensified. I came to the Postal Service for that very reason. I went to school at night to get a better job because I had family responsibilities. If a person has got something on the ball, he needs to better his situation when he can.

    If the young person leaves for greener pastures and an opportunity to grow, then God bless him (or her), and Godspeed on that journey. The inconvenience to the employer are the fleas that come with the dog. You pay a person $15 an hour, you take the chance that he will leave.

    I’ll say it again… God Bless him.

    The old American Way. McDonalds, ditch digging, and the USPS non-career program are the first (and often unpleasant) rung on the ladder.

    On the downside, our dear old USPS is not the best place to learn good job skills, but a great place to learn cynicism. A new employee absorbs it through osmosis.

  9. I am recently retired (1 Aug). My facility was closed (consolution). Too finish my career I was sent to 3 different facilities over 4 years, the last being the worst. I have worked with PSE, MHA, and CCA. I’m surprised the turnover is not higher. You have 19YO MDO’s with less than 6 mos telling 25+ Year career people what their jobs are. Upper MGNT hold the carrot over these people but, nothing about rights, safety, or let them have a life outside the plant or annex. This what the PO wants many of us have or waiting to get out. It was never perfect but you felt pride, community service, and safe in your bid. If this current system was in place 25 years ago I would not have stayed either. Is it a Union or Management thing I don’t know, but I’ll take what I EARNED ! and move on

  10. Get rid of 80% of the toolbags that don’t touch the mail
    and place them into the crafts. You might get something
    out of them other than collecting a paycheck every
    two weeks. How many of these toolbags actually perform
    a function that isn’t already done by one or more other
    toolbags. What a joke perpetrated on the country.

  11. Every post I’ve read is the same rehash as before and when I say before I’m talking years before! Management is and will remain the problem of the PO. Their top of the list and probably 75 to 80% of the problem. I have the same opinions as every body else who has any common sense who knows any thing about the PO, and I will not repeat them because every poster has already voiced them. But I will say that until some one comes up with a way to indoctrinate a new way of management running the PO this problem of a poor management will become generational.

  12. When the non-career position was agreed to in negotiations it was obvious that the money saved in wages would be quickly overcome by hiring, training and loss of production costs. Management has never taken an outlook past getting the mail on the next truck leaving the dock. Once the non–career workers were hired, management had to deal with two levels of employees: non-career and career. Instead of giving some love to the non-career (since they were not yet hooked on the opiate of benefits and possible retirement), they instead harassed the heck out of them simply because they were helpless. I always said as soon as another job became available even at less money but more respect, the PSEs would leave waving their finger on the way out the door. They are, they will and it will continue unless management gets their bonus based on non-casual retention rates.

    • Skunkhunter:
      FYI….Management doesn’t receive a ‘bonus’ for retaining non-career employees. They are, however, instructed to hire these employees to get their offices to complement based on Attrition and ORNA (On rolls not available).
      The craft employees receive substantially more “bonuses/pay increases” then management in the past 5 years. Craft gets COLA, management does not!! Craft gets step increases….management does not!! Craft receives OT….management does not!!

      • Cousin Eddie-cry me a river! EAS gets raises that start at 3% and go up from there under the PFP program and with changes in the CPI calculations made by Congress, COLA’s for Postal and Civil Service workers have been and will be worth nothing anymore, which is why craft employees should be getting 3% raises,not 1%. Just look at the overpaid EAS salaries on Data Universe and you will see that they are spoiled rotten.

    • These positions were not agreed to by the NPMHU! An arbitrator in all of his wisdom, sided with the USPS thinking it would get him on the USPS’s good side, and stated that it would give the USPS “flexibility”. And the USPS wanted this because they could foresee a huge savings in benefits and pay, but as usual, they didn’t think it through. They didn’t think about how they allow career employees, who are mostly poor workers, to become supervisors. These Supervisors are so fearful that they would be forced back to work if they performed poorly, that they put too much pressure on these non-career employees, and they quit! And this will never end, until the USPS wakes up and requires either a degree in supervision, or long-term training, AND training in the area where they will supervise, before they can be supervisors!

    • Yo Eddie, want a list of the “bonus” money you claim management does not receive? No doubt you are management based on your statement. Lets look at some real facts, carriers work – management does not, a carriers time is accounted for every minute – management does not – craft people are responsible – management is not, when a craft employee makes a mistake they are disciplined – when management makes a mistake they are promoted to a higher position to make even bigger mistakes. Between grievances, EEO’s and MSPB management loses approx $200 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, but they still get their bonus. Question Eddie, if management is so under paid why have their ranks swelled by 23%? Lets see now, using postal math, during last 10 years over 200,000 craft employees left the service while management ranks INCREASED. The hardest part of being a postal manager? When they stick that needles into your skull and suck out half their brain. Manager Eddie, go back to playing your games on the computer, take your 3 hour lunch and yak it up on the phone. Postal managers couldn’t find their ass with two hands and GPS tracking.

    • that would be because they dont do any work to earn those things .
      and what you say is bullshit they recieved an almost 5 percent increase in pay just this past year ,they are so over paid for what they do its ridculus …
      they get postmaster positions because they suck so much at what they are doing they just move them to some small office to get them out of there way ..
      I know because we have had them all as they were moving on up the ladder ,most we had to tell what to do ,none of them understand the rural craft ,and most we managed to run off because they were not used to having to actually work ?
      we had two that went out on stress leave lolololol…
      but when I fell and cracked a rib this month they acted like I did it on purpose to not work ,,only problem with that was I still worked everyday because I like my customer,s ,,yeah we are the problem all us clerks and carriers and mail handlers and truck driver …why if it was,nt for us being such a pain in the ass and doing all the real work ,they could just play solitaire all day long and get a nice big check for it ..

  13. Yup still in denial that dropping the pay from $22/hr down to $15/hr is 100% the reason for the high turn over! When they realize this, maybe just maybe things will change!

  14. Well no kidding. It’s not rocket science why CCA’S don’t stick around…… no benefits, $15/ hr, and work 7 days/week at times. Sign me up! But yet our beloved union claims that position was a “win” for us. Yes I know the last contract went to arbitration, but the union will never admit they were all for it because the PO gave them 30,000 CCA’S which=30,000 potential members. We’ll see how hard Rolando and Co. fight for them on this next 1% contact

  15. I am sorry because I did not not waste time my to review the details closely. Many of
    the people who do care and comment on regular basis have spoke but their ideas fall
    on deaf ears. The last that I knew the USPS put something like 5000 dollars in every
    new employee. The problem is that the people in power do not listen to the people
    who USPS made it 200 years because of their good work. IF they want to fail go ahead
    do it. But when you look in the mirror remember the people that matter tried.

  16. How much thought has gone into treating the non career employee much better than they are treated now? How about not shoving tons of work on the temp. employees. I bet if management treated the “slave” employees with respect management would see better results! If the Postal Service only treated their employees as well as they treated their donuts, every one would be so much better off.

  17. We are over staffed at our office, especially with 8 supervisors/management! It’s like they are flooding and belly it up.

  18. As a brand new retiree, I suppose I don’t have a dog in this hunt any more, but while I plan to not worry about postal affairs as much in the future, I do want to state a valid point from the city carrier position I held for 32+ years: as soon as we veteran carriers heard of the CCA program, we predicted, and accurately, I might add, that turnover would be ridiculous as new carriers were not to receive pay or benefits that were much more than working in some fast food joint, that the work hours would be excessive along with the physical demands, training would be non-existent other than telling them to run like hell, and in some offices the abuse of CCA’s would be epidemic.
    My old office doesn’t abuse anybody, but they have to schedule long terrible hours out of necessity for CCA’s. Add abusive behavior from some lunkhead ladder climbing ass kisser on the supervisory or management level in a normal work station and it is no wonder these people left. Why put up with that shit when they could do just as well elsewhere for much less abuse and the basic same rate of pay, plus a future as a career employee?
    We knew what would happen, but nobody listened, and as usual, nobody in management that can actually DO something will give the time of day to a low life form craft worker. Service on the street has suffered especially on incomplete city routes less than eight hours long where substitutes carry the mail with no time to familiarize themselves with customers, change of addresses, or keeping up with names and addresses.
    The management shouldn’t be scratching their heads – they should have been able to anticipate this disaster. If they want to reduce turnover, revert back to the PTF program where carriers become career employees after 90 days. It worked great for decades, but budget woes and general incompetence forced the USPS to cut costs somewhere, and ultimately the loser is the customer. That is bad because if service continues to deteriorate the windfall of much more package business can and will end. Only the fact that UPS and FedEx screw up as much as the USPS does has kept that from happening.

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