USPS Is Getting Rid of This, Postmaster General Says
Louis DeJoy said the agency needs to make these cuts to get back on track.
From long lines at the post office to missing mail deliveries, you've surely noticed rising issues with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) over the last few years. These are just a few of the cracks in what the agency has acknowledged as broken infrastructure. The USPS has been riddled with challenges, including financial losses exacerbated by declining mail revenue and the COVID pandemic. That's why in March 2021, the agency announced a Delivering for America (DFA) plan to help pull it out from financial and operational crisis—and it contains 10 years worth of strategies and initiatives to achieve its goal. Now, USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy just announced that the agency will be making big cuts to help the plan along. Read on to find out what the USPS is getting rid of.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Suspending This Service, Effective Immediately.
DeJoy previously warned customers about a change earlier this year.
The Postal Service has already initiated a number of changes over the last year for its Delivering for America plan, including price hikes and slower service standards. Back in May, DeJoy warned customers that they agency would continue to raise postage rates over the next few years. At the time, the Postmaster General said we should prepare to see postage prices increasing at an "uncomfortable" rate until the agency had "accomplished our objective of projecting a trajectory that shows us being self-sustaining."
"While our pricing decisions are ultimately made under the authority of the Board of Governors, in the near term, I will most likely be advocating for these increases," DeJoy said during a May 5 meeting with the USPS Board of Governors. "I believe we have been severely damaged by at least 10 years of a defective pricing model, which cannot be satisfied by one or two annual price increases, especially in this inflationary environment."
Now, the DeJoy is alerting Americans to another change likely hitting the agency soon.
The USPS is making serious cuts.
The USPS is now planning to get rid of a large portion of its workforce over the next few years, Government Executive reported on July 28. According to the news outlet, DeJoy announced this as part of his plans to cut the agency's financial losses at an American Enterprise Institute event in Washington, D.C., on July 27. "Right now, to get to break even, I think we may need to get 50,000 people out of the organization," DeJoy said.
The USPS ended 2021 with nearly 517,000 career employees, which was its highest total career workforce since 2012, Government Executive reported. Meanwhile, its non-career workforce has remained around 136,000 for the last few years.
Many postal workers will be eligible for retirement.
The Postal Service isn't necessarily going to stop hiring workers, however. According to DeJoy, the 50,000 employees it needs to shed will come from a natural source: retirement. "Over the next two years, 200,000 people [will] leave the organization for retirement," the Postmaster General explained.
In May, the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report revealing that the agency ended the 2021 fiscal year with 23 percent of its 516,636 employees becoming eligible for retirement. The OIG reported that almost 150,000 workers will reach retirement eligibility within the next year, and within the next four years, a total of more than 196,700 are set to become eligible.
But USPS staffing struggles have been reported at a local level.
Customers might not be thrilled to hear that the USPS is planning to dwindle its workforce. At a local level, staffing issues have been a major concern for both workers and customers. An Ohio USPS worker recently told Newsy that current postal workers are getting burned out and quitting after having to work 10- to 12-hour days, six days a week—which has snowballed into new hires not lasting long either. "We've been struggling [with staffing]," the worker told the news outlet. "We had to overburden our employees."
In Bozeman, Montana, some customers have gone weeks without mail delivery and residents in this town have drawn attention to USPS staffing issues. Janice Gaedtke told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that the longtime USPS mail carrier on her route had left a note two weeks ago telling them that she had quit to spend more time with her family. "I feel sorry for them, they aren't paid enough, they're overworked," Gaedtke said.
The USPS has even warned about delivery delays because of these issues. "Due to continued staffing issues, there may be days in the future when a customer does not receive mail, but we are rotating employees and assignments so they will get mail the following day," USPS spokesperson Lecia Hall told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.