The Postal Service is planning on reducing the hours at many post offices as part of its PostPlan. (NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP/Getty Images)
The Postal Service’s planned reduction in force for thousands of postmasters and the shortening of hours at many post offices is being delayed.
The RIF date for postmasters was originally scheduled for the end of summer and early fall but will be pushed back to Jan. 10, 2015, as the Postal Service continues to work with employee unions to transfer as many postmasters into new positions as possible.
Darlene Casey, Postal Service spokeswoman, said the agency has been working with employee groups for more than two years on PostPlan — a restructuring of post offices.
“We have been diligent in our attempts to deploy reduction in force avoidance processes that will assist those Postmasters who may be impacted as a result of this restructuring,” Casey said.
Besides reducing the number of postmasters PostPlan includes reducing the hours at many post offices from two to six hours a day.
The Postal Service has offered buyouts and early retirements to thousands of postmasters and other employees over the last few years. The agency couldn’t comment more specifically on how many postmasters were affected by the delay of the RIFs and how many could be relocated, saying the agency is still working with postmaster groups on the issue.
The National Association of Postmasters (NAPUS) wrote in a message to its members that specific RIF dates and possible early retirement notices will be released in the coming weeks while the Postal Service evaluates the remaining 3,200 post offices as part of its PostPlan.
“It is still the intent of Postal Headquarters to find a landing spot for every Postmaster who wants to stay in the Postal Service,” NAPUS president Tony Leonardi wrote in the letter. “Postmasters need to help themselves to become good candidates for available positions and be flexible about new opportunities.”
A postmaster who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution said there are not enough jobs available to accommodate all of the postmasters who want one.
She said the changes to the post offices that will follow the loss of the postmasters, such as shorter hours, will not help make the Postal Service financially viable in the long run.