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

USPS OIG: What Can the Postal Service Do to Retain Noncareer Employees?June 10, 2016 Employee turnover costs the Postal Service thousands of dollars per employee. Retaining employees within the organization eliminates the administrative costs of hiring new employees, training, and the impacts on performance associated with learning a new job.

Although turnover cannot always be avoided, the Postal Service can reduce it by doing the right things for its employees, such as immediately and professionally addressing employee issues.

In 2013, the Postal Service created new noncareer employee categories such as city carrier assistants and mail handler assistants. These positions are intended to improve workforce flexibility and reduce costs. While career employee turnover rates have been low, noncareer turnover rates are higher.

The objective of the audit is to assess noncareer employee retention and identify ways to increase it.

1. What can the Postal Service do to improve the retention of noncareer employees?

2. What is the incentive to become a noncareer employee for the Postal Service?

3.  What are reasons for leaving a noncareer employee position?

  • Project Title:
  • Noncareer Employee Retention
  • Start Date:
  • Wednesday, April 27, 2016
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • October 2016

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

24 thoughts on “USPS OIG: What Can the Postal Service Do to Retain Noncareer Employees?

  1. I have been with the post office for 21 years. I started as an RCA with limited hours and much less pay. No benefits, nothing. Just a weekly low paying check. I loved the rural side of mail delivery, actually. Within two short years I began doubting my reason to stay any longer. I had two young children to support and I was not making enough hours. I had no insurance, no job stability, nothing. The routes were already adjusted, the town was not growing to make new routes. I had to wait until someone died or retired. Sad but true. I was ready to leave. I took one last crack at the Postal test and aced it. I was hired as a full time clerk. That is what I am now. During those difficult RCA years, much like the CCA’s and all the other supplemental workforce hired these days at the Post Office, I needed to know if I had a future and if that future was going to provide for me and my family. Now, the recent hires for the supplemental workforce ARE getting the hours. Many odd, long, exhausting hours and holidays. Their situation is a bit different than it was back then for me as a part timer. But even extra long hours weren’t the answer, making it about just the money. Now they work long hours, keeping them away from a big part of their life, most of these newbies are young and they just dont, or cant give up a life to earn a living with no future. Its about balance. It has to be in benefits. Everyone needs health insurance. It is now a law. Maybe the Post Office has a special insurance plan for the new workforce, maybe they dont, but if they want to keep the new employees now, they must have insurance. Something, it doesnt have to be what us old timers have, but they must have something. That is what job seekers look for. They also need a retirement incentive. Maybe not TSP, but something. This is exactly why all of us old timers have stayed and worked. Its to much to give up and we just wont. We have went through so many abusive managers, so much you just dont know. Making us feel absolutely awful after a hard nights work. Trying to keep our moral up after every shift was a very difficult thing to do. An absolute struggle and I never understood why it was tolerated as long as it was by anyone. I dont even know how I survived it, looking back and it wasnt that long ago. The managers who get their bonuses pushed so hard it got evil and forgot they were working with people, not robots. But even given that the Post Office offers the supplemental work force with benefits, how do they know they’ll get good workers with even that? Well, they didnt know they would get the workforce they currently have and who have stayed so long. Give them a longer probation. Even though the starting wage is not to shabby, the future just isnt realistic for the supplemental force, it just isnt.

  2. : P is anyone going to ask current non-career employees? Well OIG of course your not! lol, because that, my fellow postal peeps, would make sense!

  3. some of these comments pretty lame but for the most part it’s pretty simple. CCAs going out all day on the worst routes, coming back in after 9 hours and told to go out again or your fired. Mhas watching regulars play with there cell phones taking long breaks as they do most of the work. 371/2 ntft schedules while the full time regulars do the same work and get 40 hrs. PSE s one of the big things no health ins, oh ya they do offer it to pses now, but the cost no one could pay. MHAs told to get the mail to the platform for dispatch so they break their ass to get it there and watch the truck pull away from the dock. They are now told we don’t hold trucks they have to be scanned out on time. Get with it, this isn’t a local problem it all stems from headquarters given orders to VPs who pass it on to districts, on to plants to do what their told. It was nice to work at the PO when the mail meant something. Now it’s all save money, on time dispatches, and supervisors who feel like trash because of no raises in a couple of years watching their employees with a day or two of overtime making more money then them with no stress.

  4. People are not going to work nights, holidays, 12 hr days doing hard physical work for a low wage. USPS has a goal of creating lower wage tiers which in the end will result in non productive workers with no loyalty and a high turnover rate.

  5. They hire people off the Christmas roles and I see no veterans or anyone that has tested in, the people come in knowing more people at the plant than I do with 30+ years.

  6. June 10, 2016 Employee turnover costs the Postal Service thousands of dollars per employee. Retaining employees within the organization eliminates the administrative costs of hiring new employees, training, and the impacts on performance associated with learning a new job.


  7. I am increasingly appalled by the level of stupidity that seems to be the case and not the exception in American society any more. Is the OIG serious that they have to do a study to figure out why the CCA/PSE programs have high turnover? Are they really that fucking stupid? Or is it just more featherbedding for an easy job they can diddle around with while they ignore real problems like management corruption and malfeasance? Maybe it’s both.
    Delivering mail is a lot easier than it was pre-DPS and the internet. We used to have loads so heavy you couldn’t stand up straight. After 31+ years, my back, shoulder and one knee is shot. I have had to have several surgeries including two hernia operations. But after 90 days I was a career employee with job security and it made the hard work easier to deal with because back then as PTF’s we got good pay, too.
    Now, the work isn’t nearly so heavy, but CCA’s are paid half what we old timers are, bullied, threatened, intimidated and pressured to do the work in much less time than career carriers are. As the other posts indicate, the hours are long, sometimes split, and the hapless workers can be canned for any reason or no reason and the unions have little say so in the matter.
    Waiting to become a regular and a career employee sometimes takes years. The pay offered is no better than a lot of other jobs, and demands a lot more. So tell me, OIG, what is so damn hard to figure out about the high turnover? Hiring those with questionable backgrounds and low intelligence just to get the mail out is fast food style, and we are not a fast food joint, is another reason.
    Maybe I could be in the OIG. It seems I and lots of others can figure out the obvious problems a lot faster than management and the OIG can. That may not be a good idea though, because one of the OIG or management people could be on a route and we know how they’d do. Do I need to spell that one out for you too?

  8. PSE clerks should take a zip code test….to avoid mistakes. PSE does not receive enough training. I remember when I was PTF. We stayed in the manual handcase long enough to get on the FSM or LSM. But now a day….all PSE clerks should start out at DBCS Automation clerks from beginning of their careers. It will be too much screw up if USPS put them in Priority mail section, express mail section, First class manual sections.

  9. Give out the test to 50000 applicants all at once, instead of giving out the test to 100 applicants for 50 jobs, and then you would get more qualified applicants, I’m not saying that all the new people are not good workers, I’m just stating how they do this is South Florida, and boy do we have CRAP, 80% of what they hire would have been fired in their 90 days as little as 10 years ago.

  10. Low pay and benefits. Horrible workplace to work. Extremely bad management. USPS doesn’t want to pay, how can post office will get good employees. No good pay = no good work. Employees find better job and leave. Postal service is one of the worst companies to work for according to the survey. Low pay, hard job, lousy benefits, no pay raise and lousy management.

  11. I have an idea……don’t automatically hire every stumblebum and McDonalds reject that comes through the door. Have SOME discretion. We are hiring individuals………some really obese, to be letter carriers. You might as well just put them on full disability right now because they sure as hell are going to end up there sooner or later. What happened to the clerk carrier test?? I maxed the score and it STILL took me over a year to be called. Now its “Come one – Come all” Have trouble walking? Too fat? Have trouble reading? Get fired from your last 5 jobs?? NO PROBLEM !! You’ll have a temporary job at the Postal Service !!!

  12. You can start by not working them 7 days a week. Also the name explains the reason, its a non career job!!! Do you expect employees to make a career out of a non career job?

    If you want a higher retention then give them what they want to stay long term, career status with the same benefits of a career employee. If you are not willing to give the employee that then expect a higher turnover rate as the employee will consider this a stop gap job while they look for a more stable job with better benefits. Even captain obvious can figure this one out.

  13. Dogs run away if you treat them worse than dogs too.

    Maybe the Post Office should try having competent managers instead of idiots that are trying to prove who is in charge.

    Stupid is as stupid does and postal management keeps getting stupider.

  14. How about we don’t hire people who are not physically able to do the job as CCAs. While were at it we could make sure they actually speak English so that they can be trained properly. Oh I am sorry if these ideas offend anyone we will advise them to file an EEO claim.

  15. And the outrageous salaries and bonus’s have been happening under a Republican controlled Congress and House Oversight Committee. When Issa was chairman he wrote legislation that would have effectively eliminated collective bargaining for craft employees but never addressed the bloated management and their overpaid salaries.

  16. Adjust the crappy routes that they have to carry.
    Let them carry or opt on the better routes when the carrier is off.
    Don’t work them to death. Nobody wants to work Sundays’ or six days a week.
    All of us Senior carriers were PTF’s at one time. We paid our dues but we were also paid better.

  17. It is true the temps are treated very poorly by management. Most come in with the hope they can land a career position so they work very hard to impress the managers they work for. That opens up the burn-out process. The temps get assigned routes the regulars don’t want the hours that no one should be expected to work. they bring them in early give them a long lunch and then return late. They are expected to learn everything fast and do it at speeds fasted than the regulars. With all this said why is the Post Office hiring temps? If there is that much of a demand for work then regulars should be hired. The only time temps should be hired is high volume times just like the competitors. I would also note that temps are more likely to be fired for dumping mail or theft . So again hire part of full time regulars. They are more loyal and have more to loose plus they would be federal employees .

  18. How do you expect to keep employees when you don’t give them anything… Can you live off 6 hrs a week , I bet they quit by the holiday season. Start scheduling them and give them hrs and stop forcing overtime on the regulars . Mgt rather pay a 8hr only carrier overtime and send Cca home. Common sense Ccas need to make a living… Mgt wants the big bonus money screw the non career employees ; please make a How to make a employee schedule class for mgt.

  19. Want to know the main difference between career and non-career employees? Career employees are protected from being fired by due process protection. The non careers PSE’s are “at will” employees with no such protection. A manager or supervisor could fire you for as simple as using a red inkpen rather than a black inkpen. There is no constructive discipline you are fired on the first mistake.
    Sometimes these poor folks are not adequately trained if they are trained at all. Right now I’m trying to train a PSE clerk to work as a Dock Expeditor. SV mobile scanning isn’t easy even on a good day. Now add a PSE automation clerk who doesn’t use one of these scanners daily, sometime he gets a hour with me just prior to me going home. Then he is left to his own devices and wits to figure out his eight hour shift without me there. Then I my not see him again for about a couple of weeks until the next time “staffing shortage” forces this PSE back out to the dock for an hours worth of my training him.
    The pay scale difference is insulting when a PSE has to do the same work as a career when one makes almost twice what the other does. And finally since PSE’s are 365 day appointments they are “fired” and they “rehired” five days later losing whatever incremental wage increase and/or benefits gained during the last year. There is no guarantee you will be allowed to stay on if you disturbed a managers karma sometime during the year.

    • I agree with some of what you said, but you are WAY of base on some important issues.
      1) Once they have completed 90 days, PSEs do have the same protections against unjust firing that career employees have. They are not “at will” employees and cannot be fired except for Just cause.
      2) PSEs do not lose their “incremental wage increase” or benefits gained during their previous appointment. True, they cannot carry over accrued A/L, but the PSE pay scale is the same nationwide, not by individual. When PSEs get a raise they all get it and they retain that raise when rehired.
      3) PSEs can be laid off for lack of work but only in a first in- last out order. Management cannot pick and choose which PSEs to lay off.

  20. stop treating them like they are there to pick cotton……..while the criminal po mismgt bureaucrats line their pockets with fraud based PFP bonus money. how the hell do you get bonus money when you have lost over $90 Billion since 2009…..answer that question Mr Postal OIG? or are you in on the skim….I mean scam! clowns at the Post Office are neck and neck with the VA Death Hospitals……….they have their own bonus scam at that dump……..execpt they make bonus money when Vets die! they also Have a VA OIG ROFLMFAO!

    • Sounds like back on a plantation like black slaves were treated. Picking cotton is like working at the postal service?? The VA has death hospitals? Sad comments, must be voting for Trump, huh Norm?

    • Couldn’t said it better Norm!..that’s the problem with the whole fu#%ing federal govt. BUSH Appt. HACKS who lost their jobs in the private sector and invaded the Agencies with the intent on padding their salaries based on bogus A$$ numbers. All the while destroying service and moral and middle class jobs. I once told a supervisor eho stated..”based on”..that..FIGURES ALWAYS LIE!!..AND LIARS ALWAYS FIGURE!!..

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