Saturday, February 25, 2017

Turnover Rising Among Non-Career Postal Workers

USPS is looking for answers to rising turnover.
Plagued by increasing turnover among non-career employees, postal officials are trying to stem the tide with new management incentives and an overhauled orientation program.

The average annual turnover rate among non-career employees rose from 38.69% in FY2015 to 42.82% last year, the U.S. Postal Service reported earlier this month. Postal officials had set a target of 34.8% for FY2016.

Turnover was worst among City Carrier Assistants (CCAs), rising from 54.24% to 59.66%. Among the other three major non-career categories, turnover for Rural Carrier Associates rose from 30.1% to 35.29%, for Postal Support Employees remained stable at 36.6%, and for Mail Handler Assistants increased from 29.86% to 37.67%.

“Most frequently cited causes for non-career employee turnover are lack of schedule flexibility, physical demands, and employee did not like supervisor,” the USPS said.

Swelling the ranks of the non-career workers – who are paid far less than their career counterparts and receive few benefits -- to more than 130,000 is yielding huge savings for the USPS. But it’s come at a cost.

Postal officials acknowledge that having so many inexperienced employees is lowering productivity, increasing on-the-job injuries, slowing deliveries, and jacking up recruiting and training costs.

“Because CCA turnover represents the biggest opportunity for improvement, non-career employee turnover was selected as an NPA [National Performance Assessment] indicator for field positions with high concentrations of CCAs (large Post Offices and Stations and Branches),” the USPS said. Pay-for-performance bonuses for postal managers are based on progress toward meeting NPA targets.

The USPS is also rolling out a revised new-employee orientation program that attempts to address the factors that cause turnover – “from training to feeling welcomed and supported by supervisors,” the USPS reported in December. A pilot of the program in Northern Virginia decreased turnover 22%, the agency said.

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59 comments:

James VMPStudios said...

This is due to poor management . This is obvious. Poor supervisors who lash out to new hires.., pitiful management skills in trained supervisors who have no idea how to manage employees.

Tammy McLaughlin said...

Poor manager also stems from pressure from above. I feel upper management puts too much pressure on 1st level to push clerks and carriers to make their times. However, so many variables can derail that projection. Tough to get good employees.

Anonymous said...

I agree with James. Management constantly treats career and new employees like garbage. We have 5 sups with a combined maybe 10-12 years of seniority. They jave no training on how to managee with respect. They are all just bullys. Actually it feels alot like high school the way they treat people. New ccas come in to our station and the first thing they ask our steward is whats up with the manager why is she so mean. That happens all the time. The station im at use to be a high seniority station, now carriers with 2 years can get a route. Until they get better training turnover is just going to get higher and higher.

John Johnson said...

Unrealistic expectations being forced upon an employee who doesn't yet know their job. The management in the post office is a joke.

Unknown said...

AGREE!!

Don White said...

The article is a bit behind the times. A new program was released last year for training CCAs. They are still having issues with retention. It is my opinion, that the problem doesn't lie with the training. In the past, the postal service had three days of OJT training for PTFs and the retention problem was no where near the issue they have today! The people are no different then from what they are today.

The problem lies with how management is with the employees. I agree with a comment from above, the problems come from upper management. Upper management looks at the delivery of mail as a production process. How many widgets can be produced in an hour? How many stops can be delivered in an hour? The problem with that philosophy is that there are so many variables that come into play; traffic, weather, parcel quantity, and God forbid if a customer has a question for the carrier, just to name a few. Then upper management comes down on the first line supervisors to put those numbers into play. The new employee is asked to do the job as well as the seasoned veteran carrier. When that doesn't happen supervisors come down on the CCAs for performance. The CCA gets upset and they leave.

The bottom line is stop blaming the training and look at the management!

Anonymous said...

The new employees are not properly trained for the job

Anonymous said...

Incentives for management? Really? What about incentives for the cca's and Pse's who have to make the biggest sacrifice of less pay, one day off, long hours, less benefits in general yet are doing the same if not more work than their career counterparts? And what about holding those career employees accountable for their lack of performance, calling in all the time, blaming the aforementioned when there are failures? I've seen so much time wasting among career employees it's ridiculous. It's your job, show up and do it no matter where you sit on the payroll. You may have earned your position/status but it does not mean a free ride nor does it allow for disrespect or poor treatment of any person you work with. This should be a team effort, yet it is so very divided. I agree about getting the right people hired, but I also see nothing being done about it even if they are hired. The seem to just coast on through to becoming a regular and they don't change how they work, they just get paid more for it. Lack of work ethic and responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Bonuses ? I thought the usps was hurting for money.

If so, why does mgmt. still receive bonuses ?

Anonymous said...

Poor management is part of the problem. But they hire new people and don't tell them they can be working 7 days a week and go from office to office because there isn't any help. They force new carriers out to the street before they are even ready. All the seasoned RCA's left when amazon came through because they were forced to work Sundays. They were not initialionally hired to work Sundays. When the whole amazon came up the union supported the idea that the RCA's work Sunday with no regards to them. Some union. Then 5 days after we had to sign off they we didn't want to do mail count then we got told about amazon shipments. No wonder there is such a high turnover rate. The post office is cutting it's nose off to spit it's face.

Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for. This is the main reason that there are serious problems with the way the Post Office is heading. Trying to go with a part time work force they are going to drive themselves right out of business. They also need to step up with better training.

Barbara Mendoza said...

The Postal Service lacks professional management that can create a work culture that inspires employees to do their best and feel as true stakeholders in the operation. If the USPS wants to function as a business it should start with a management team that values its employees and customers. It could be a great place to work and successful with the right kind of leadership.

William Risley said...

When you put so much emphasis on the crunching of numbers and not focusing on the priority issues this will create a huge problem. mismanagement is so obvious but they will always blame the employee.When you have carriers working till 9pm and trucks delivering 250 packages and working till 9pm this is a problem!!

Anonymous said...

you must cut out more management NOW

Anonymous said...

Disrespectful, rude, demeaning management! Example: A carrier asked a question, was told to, "shut her goddamn mouth". A carrier's mother died, the day of her funeral, he was asked if he was coming in to carry after the services! And I'm talking about a small office. The management gets no training in people skills! It's ridiculous!

Anonymous said...

Another Factor is that management is using non career employees to manage time used by career employee's (cutting cost) and working them at a unsustainable pace. Then when the non career employee doesn't live up to expectations (most of the time) then they are lamblasted by management. Also, they are pooled and used wherever needed to keep career employee's from working overtime. So they have to move from one station to another on a daily basis and this leaves little ability to schedule living a normal life. They should be assigned to a station and used at that station to cover where needed. giving them some consistancy in their day. Allow career employee's to handle their own assigment and use the non career to handle those assignments not covered. but that would make sense.

MikeS said...

It doesn't help that some of the younger (millennials) people we have been hiring are lost as soon as they lose sight of the post office and can't drive around the block without using Google Maps.

One person I trained got through training and worked a couple weeks alone. We got 4 inches of snow one day and she quit because her feet were cold. She was walking through the snow in shoes. We suggested she get boots but she said, "I don't believe in boots."

Management usually causes problems but in this case ours have been bending over backwards for these new carriers and they still don't make it.

Anonymous said...

to feeling welcomed and supported by supervisors

I have only seen one supervisor that was welcoming and supporting in my 12 years as a carrier. He disappeared one day and was never seen again.

Anonymous said...

somewhere in Virginia said... CCA are peoples as well as the regular workforce. Management try to hold people to a number that is unrealistic or unattainable. when this is not met management start threating your job and livelihood. With all that being said you get out what you put in. Management with two years in the post office that don't have a clue in finding the best was to utilize employees, strength and weakness. Maybe they need to be retrain and have a certificate to show that they completed a supervisor/management course of at least 3 months.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons is, lack of work...subs should b used for Saturdays...and whatever else they can be.

Anonymous said...

Yes, management is awful, no disputing that. Just a couple days ago a CCA quit after working a total of three days because she was constantly berated by supervisor about not being fast enough. She also told the supervisor she had not even been able to take a 10 minute break. Supervisor replied that, "you are not supposed to take breaks as a CCA!!"
Another important issue that is not mentioned is the measly pay CCA get compared to the now extinct PTF or TE's (transitional employees). From 22-23 dollars an hour to 15. What was the retention rate then? I bet much much higher.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head every time ! As a 'seasoned' RCA, I resent having to deliver Amazon not only on Sundays, but most holidays as well. When I initially was offered to 'volunteer' for Sunday Amazon, I signed an informal piece of notebook paper, not knowing there's no Sunday premium or no holiday pay...just straight time. And until I protested, I wasn't getting paid mileage for the extra 18 miles to the Amazon hub office, from my home office. Management has since made us sign a more formal sheet, declaring if there aren't enough volunteers, it becomes mandatory. USPS is getting tons of dough from Amazon, and paying their RCA's, CCA's and PTF'S pittance. And they wonder why turnover is so huge...

Anonymous said...

I'd also like to add being treated like crap by the regular carriers as well. They know they're basically impossible to fire so they slack off and leave us with their excess work.

Bernadette Devlin said...

That's not the problem at my office. We work 6 days a week and don't know our day off until the night before. Kinda makes it hard to plan anything.

Bernadette Devlin said...

I totally agree with the unrealistic expectations of a new CCA.

Anonymous said...

Yes..they are getting what they paid for. In my large office it is the regulars who are making $$$ hand over fist because we are always going to bail out the CCA's who can't do a route! MGMT. bonus to retain them?? Useless...that just means MGMT. will bend over backwards to look the other way,at a substandard employee,thus retaining them so they can qualify for the bonus $$! Yes local mgmt are at the mercy of the district edicts...When will they learn...with the parcel explosion carrying mail is a whole different ballgame now. LOL! We have Mgrs. who were CCA's less then a year ago!

Anonymous said...

I've thought about leaving due to my supervisors! Also, having such a long wait to go full time and not having your YEARS as an RCA count toward your retirement date. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth sticking around for another 6 years before it starts to pay off. Especially when you're working so little and your PM doesn't want to loan you out to other offices when you're not working.

Marcia Loud said...

USPS management is very rude and mean to the new employees and the old employees. No respect, no personality, and constantly cracking the whip, like that's going to get anything done. People will work for management who respects them and appreciates what they do. If it wasn't for some, not all, of the postal employees, doing the work, management wouldn't have jobs. USPS needs to look at and screen, who they hire as supervisors and their bosses, cause believe me, we wouldn't loose so many new employees if management respected us more.

John Worden said...

Hmm, I contributed to this as an RCA who left in Dec '16. I had no issues with training or my supervisors. My issue was lack of hours initially, found a full time job, but still did the RCA on weekend (Sat and Amazon on Sun). Most of the other RCAs didn't want to do Amazon, so for four months I did it every weekend. After two 24 hour weekends, of which some was not paid, I had enough. I did not like the route evaluated pay when it's route you are not familiar with, the weather is bad and next thing you know, you've been out for 12 hours. Giving away four hours of my time is not enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

I am a 23 year clerk employee, last 6 years have been with the carriers. Our office has 5 zip codes, and 56 routes. I am amazed at the lack of training to the new CCA's. When I address a problem to a carrier, and they say I didn't know that, and tell me more, that says they aren't getting the training. But when their training comes from the Regular carrier that doesn't know much, that's what the CCA's will know. Nothing!! When they start coming to me, instead of supervisors, that tells me what I already knew, supervisors don't give a sh--. Don't get me wrong, I deal with excellent career carriers, and poor career carriers. I also deal with excellent CCA's, and poor CCA's. It's just sad that the poor ones are what gives the PO a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is just beating a dead horse. Everyone knows the problems. Yet, they will never get fixed. Only get worse.

Anonymous said...

Low 30's on the Conversion list and still looking for a new job everyday. The 1.60 raise upon conversion is not worth the BS that comes with the job. Any Business in todays world that treats Employee's like USPS Management would fine itself losing multiple lawsuits or going out of Business.

Bill De Vore said...

Firstly, they get paid 33% less than carreer carriers hired before 2012; secondly none of their time counts toward retirement; thirdly, they can't get health insurance for their families at anything close to a reasonable cost; fourthly, they are threatrned, abused and bullied by management to make unreasonable expectations, fifthly, they cannot get any time off to spend with their families "for the good of the service", sixthly they are not permitted to call in in sick; and lastly they have ZERO job security. Given all that and the physical nature of the job, I'm surprised turnover isn't even higher for CCAs.

Bill De Vore said...

Firstly, they get paid 33% less than carreer carriers hired before 2012; secondly none of their time counts toward retirement; thirdly, they can't get health insurance for their families at anything close to a reasonable cost; fourthly, they are threatrned, abused and bullied by management to make unreasonable expectations, fifthly, they cannot get any time off to spend with their families "for the good of the service", sixthly they are not permitted to call in in sick; and lastly they have ZERO job security. Given all that and the physical nature of the job, I'm surprised turnover isn't even higher for CCAs.

wing lover said...

So basically, USPS lets the most inept, unqualified, no people skills-pieces of crap become supervisors. Now they're going to pay them a bonus to act HUMAN?? Just when you think it can't possibly get anymore ridiculous. So glad I am retired from the nonsense. I hope to see the entire ship of fools go down in my lifetime-no life boats for any management.

Anonymous said...

I'm a regular carrier and I feel sorry for the rcas. It's ridiculous how they are treated. A sub was hired for my route. His first day was the day after Christmas. He quit the next day.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy both of my supervisors. I've been on the job (RCA) for a little over two years. My complaints are about the regular carriers. I have a state union steward for which I am the primary sub for. He already takes every other Monday off for medical issues, he doesn't update anything in his case, I usually end up having to do it. He takes every day after a holiday, and usually the Saturday before as well. He is very capable all year to be able to make it back under evaluated time for his route, but when December comes around, he slows down to a snail's pace in order for me to have to take almost all of his packages for him. His wife does the same thing. Constantly complains during December about how much she has to do, gets help, but as soon as January comes around, she's able to make it in by 1:30 or 2:00. They've also created such an environment at the office that I don't talk about any of my issues with anyone anymore because it always gets back to them and I end up being ostracized. Our PM is relatively new to the office, and she is trying very hard to change things, but when they've been able to get by with it for 20+ years, and as steward, he knows every loophole available, it's difficult and frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Agree with having regular carriers dump on you. My regular carrier is the state union steward, so he knows every trick in the book as far as slacking off. Come Christmas time, he goes from being able to carry his entire route in 7 hours to not being able to pull down until 1:00 so I have to take all his large packages out. His regular day off is Monday, during that period this year, I was able to case, pull down and take out his entire route, including 5 hampers of packages by myself without help, and be back by 5:30, and was pretty much told that I wouldn't get help because the other regular carriers got help first. Guess who had to go out and help the regular carriers who couldn't make it back by their time? The RCAs who could... My regular has like a 75% attendance rate. I've never seen a job where you could not come to work 3 out of every 10 days you're scheduled, and still have a job.

elizabeth said...

Pay the people~@!! $17.90 is not a living wage when you are on call essentially and must buy vehicle repairs and insurance for your POV and have no leave and no insurance. Thankful for the NRLCA and NALC who provide insurances for RCA's and CCA's.
delivery program Associates should be earning $20hr and be able to earn annual leave. drop the 90 days worked and make it 90 calendar days. give offices a budget for decent training! 8 hours on a secondary route is not even adequate. Trust my company to major in the minors and have no clue about what is really important in the life of an associate carrier.

Anonymous said...

If they had a little more flexibility they would keep more ppl. I don't mind working a lot of hrs.. thats what im there for. However if I ask for a day off it shouldn't be a problem. Not to mention they have no problem working you 21 days straight. And keeping you on call at everyday until 9am

Unknown said...

"Pay for performance bonuses for supervisors".....that's a HUGE problem in the PO. The people who work the hardest (carriers) are literally bullied by these supervisors, they actually go to "school" to learn how to do that, and then they reap those monetary bonuses. No one in their right minds should bust their asses for these bullies. "Feeling welcomed and supported by the supervisors"...hahahahaha, that's hilarious! They've been taught to disrespect the carrier! Shame on the USPS!

Danny Edwards said...

Poor training.......bullying when you are on the job........having to carry a whole route w. an hour or more of pivot time on top of that. No wonder the CCA's are abandoning ship. And what is their solution?? Give the bullying MANAGERS a reward.........

Anonymous said...

This problem is a combination of a few things. As stated by several, poor postal management is the main problem. When you have managers, most of whom were poor performers as carriers or clerks before they went into management, and some who never touched a piece of mail in their life, telling brand new people how to do their job, good luck with that. Another factor is that many of these new hires are straight out of school, and have only worked in part time fast food type jobs, not a serious position that requires many hours of labor a week. I think the USPS has to put more money into the craft work, and less into management. We have 100,000 managers on the payroll now, we could get by with less than half that.

As an additional point, maybe they could change the rules as far as letting retirees work. Currently, retired people cannot work without having their annuity reduced or eliminated. This past year retired clerks, carriers and even supervisors were allowed to work for 6-8 weeks without affecting their retirement. Maybe rules could be changed, allowing for retirees who wish to work as a part time employee could do so. I volunteered this year and actually enjoyed it. As a CSRS retiree, I dont' know why my annuity woudl be reduced, as I pay into Social Security if I work now, whereas I didnt before.

Retired in 5 weeks said...

After 33 years of service as a carrier I have seen great supervisors, great carriers and the antithesis of both. The P.O. paradigm: encouraging mediocrity by adding more work to the those who have a good work ethic, rewarding those who manipulate the system. I thought it was unsustainable. Still waiting. Just as our work agenda of more parcels, less 1st class and a shift in workforce Career positions has changed dramatically, so must our way of doing business. More training for CCA's, better pay with some benefits, evaluation of supervisors by the hourly with a real outcome seen in bonus pay as a result. Remove duplication of information, no scan points as our gps scanners leave a record of where we were and when. Promote safety and give positive feedback at least once a week. Hire enough workers to get the job done correctly without skipping lunch or breaks. This includes supervisors whom I have seen taking a working lunches repeatedly in my office. I'll probably still be waiting on my 33rd year of retirement.

Anonymous said...

Makes perfect postal sense to me...bonus to management because the worker is not paid enough, and, or does not have the training to do the job. Problem solved...now I can back to looking at those funny little icons on my computer screen

Anonymous said...

I've been a PSE since November 2012. There have been days where I have been so frustrated that I actually thought about quitting. There was a time that I strongly believed I was being forced out. I work just as hard as any regular at my office. As I matter of fact , I may be the best Clerk at my office. Every person that I attended orientation with in 2012 has been converted. I work at a Level 21 office. I have even experienced bullying on my job.

Anonymous said...

I didn't quit but I was constantly berated by the station manager here in Baton Rouge Louisiana the same way. Every week I was getting told I am not going to make it I am not a mil carrier. We don't have time to work on speed. Etc. but at six days in I get my first evaluation three days later she tells the 204b. To ask for my resignation . After she tells me I was doing good ( not sure when was never told) but then I fell off. Not sure when. The she said u are accurate when delivering the mail but u forget mail and when don't have time to work on ur speed. I come back every day at 5 or 6pm. Just like most of the regular carrier.

Anonymous said...

There is not a private company that could get away with working people as many or more hours than permanent(career) employees and not provide the same benefits and pay. It is disgusting! And yes, management bullies abound. Too many of them too. As much as the union does not want privatization, it would probably eliminate half of the managers!

Anonymous said...

As bad as management was 25 years ago they actually look good compared to the ones they have now. They now take ANYONE who has a pulse and presto! - they are a supervisor with 2 years as a PSE or CCA. They don't know what the job entails that they have been entrusted to supervise, don't know the contract rules and worst of all don't know how to communicate with people. However, I must give them credit for knowing something - how to kiss up to the higher level managers in order to get those supervisor jobs. Senior employees in both craft and management know it's a joke and are just putting their time in so they can retire and get the hell out asap.

Iaguy52136 said...

Better pay needs to happen it's a joke!

Iaguy52136 said...

CCA pay is a damn joke! U get what u pay for.

Rural Carrier said...

RCA ATTRITION VIDEO

https://youtu.be/rdc4IfA2yGs

Anonymous said...

I am a RCA and Have been for 8+ yrs My post office uses the newer ones because they save$ I am in number 1 position But get treated like crap. I'm 30 yrs older and slower than the new hires. I used to enjoy my job but now its not so good. if a route comes open i'm pretty sure i won't get it. Our new super is taking our Post office down hill fast.

Robin Pryor said...

My spouse works for the post office and all of this stands firm. And I hate this it leaves me ill feeling and shaking my head. I think everyone of us should print this and mail it in. Daily if needed until you get heard. I know you have fought this battle of abuse and feel it won't do any good. But I'm willing to stand and at least try. Who else out there is willing. Old say the squeaky wheel gets oiled first. All of us should unite and let's be that squeaky wheel. Let's make a change from the abuse.

Anonymous said...

The Post office would do well to try and take care of the newer hires. They our the true future of the company.

Anonymous said...

It's been a mess for years and I left 14 years ago after 30 years. How many agencies in the government do something for absolutely everybody? Other than the military protecting us, the US Postal Service must deliver mail to everyone with an address. Working against that is the cost of doing so and having employees that are ready to do it. Yes, you can blame management for almost anything and they have done almost anything, but the whole system is in a no win situation. I thought they should have developed their own electronic mail or message system and teamed up with a computer/data/phone giant. I thought this in the 80's. Never really happened. It was estimated to be dead by now by some of our management years ago.
So best of luck. It fed, clothed, and housed me for thirty years. It's just really different now and the private sector is truly able to put it out of business in my opinion except for the Constitutional Mandate.

Unknown cripple said...

This job is not meant for the disabled. They work you hard and only the very strong will survive. If you mess up its no forgiveness, they harass until you quit or they will fire you.Once the post office learn how to treat and really manage people they are going to constantly loose money.It's good now but wait until the future.They can have a gem on their hands but want to rush.That not the way to go. plus if your not being treated right you shouldn't give up but complain until this issue is resolved.

Unknown cripple said...

All these people need to stand up and go to change.org.Dont talk about it be about it!!

Anonymous said...

I'm a recent new hire RCA Non Career willing to work, but my struggle with the post office is lack of hours. We have to purchase a vehicle suitable to carry mail, maintain the vehicle, provide suitable insurance and get very little hours. We don't receive any benefits, buy the time I make my car payment, insurance payment, due continual maintenance on the vehicle I cant afford health insurance let alone live off the checks I do have, so i have a second job to pay my bills, but I'm on call everyday and I'm suppose to drop what I'm doing and run to the post office.I understand things happen in live, but when your called at 10:00 at night knowing the person that is calling had the date 2 weeks prior to take off and just failed to mention it till the night before. During training they said and have it in their employee manual that career position are available after 2 years. Looking at the roster and all the other employees with seniority above me, I won't make career employee for 10 plus years. We have a sub that has worked 16 years waiting for a career position, she has a second job. you want better works and reliability, create a work incentive for the less fortunate, so we can continue working to make a living. It kind of disgusts me how during training the well to do management bragged about how much money they make and to stick with it and you could make that kind of money. I will continue looking for another employer during my tinier and when the next job lands I will being saying sorry USPS, but live has to be lived to the fullest and I cant be fulled any longer.