Staffing Talk » Business » The U.S. Postal Service Is Going Temporary

The U.S. Postal Service Is Going Temporary

Written by StaffingTalk

The U.S. Postal Service Is Going TemporaryThat poor United States Postal Service. Nobody pays any attention to it until we stop getting our mail.

But the USPS – which has experienced a 20 percent drop in mail volume since 2007 – clearly is lobbying for more financial stability and fewer expenses.

A key objective is increased flexibility among its workforce. “We have 32,000 post offices and 574,000 (career) employees,” said Mark Saunders, Public Relations Representative Human Resources, Labor, Stamps at USPS. “And 80 percent of our costs are labor costs.”

So is the USPS turning to temporary staffing? That’s evident in the new contract ratified in May by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and good through May 20, 2015.

Article 7 of the contract previously contained classifications only for its “regular workforce” – full-time (40 hours per week) and part-time (less than 40 hours per week). Now it has an entirely new classification.

Section 1B covers the terms and procedures for “Postal Support Employees,” or PSEs. Most of the section sets parameters for the total number of non-union PSEs – in effect, temporary workers – who can be used in each district, as a percentage of the total number of employees. The contract spells out percentages – normally either 10 percent or 20 percent – for each PSE position in certain union crafts, including Clerk, Maintenance and Motor Vehicle. It also provides percentages for window employees by office level.

“PSEs provide the Postal Service with lower costs and greater workforce flexibility,” Saunders said. “As up to nearly 20 percent of the workforce ultimately may be PSEs, this significantly increases the number of lower cost, more flexible employees available to the Postal Service as compared to the number of non-career employees permitted in the previous agreement.

Interestingly, the contract also states that PSEs will not be counted towards the total if they are performing light-, limited-duty or rehab assignments, or if they are hired for new non-full-time positions or for formerly contracted work that is brought in-house.

“I would say that this was a compromise,” said Sally Davidow, Senior Manager of the Communications Department of the American Postal Workers Union. “Our goal was to bring work that had been subcontracted to the private sector back in house. Management wanted flexibility. And the PSEs was a way to facilitate that.”

Saunders, who points out that the contract also creates a two-tiered hiring and pay system among regular workforce employees that results in “a lower starting wage, and a lower peak overall,” seems satisfied with the outcome.

“We applaud the union for recognizing that we need to change,” said Saunders.

“PSEs are not limited to work that is only part-time or temporary. The number of PSEs employed and the pace of their hiring will be dependent on the Postal Service’s needs, which will be impacted by mail volume and employee attrition. PSEs are expected to be an important part of the Postal Service’s future labor force.”

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Regan Kohler

    It’s a “compromise,” according to her, but you can bet your a** the union went kicking and screaming into it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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  2. Donnatella

    I was reading the classified in AMNY today and saw an ad announcing that the USPS would be hiring temporaries beginning 9/20 until 9/26. Much to my dismay I visited the USPS website and saw that there is nothing being offered in that area. I don’t mind working as a temp but how does one apply for the job if its not even posted? Do I visit my local post office? I went to Hellgate and they informed me that there are no applications being given for temps as well. Again, how does one apply if no one knows anything?

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    • Dan Miller

      You don’t really want to work for USPS anyway. They’ll hire you and then stab you in the back.

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  3. vreasnover

    I don’t thinkit’s fair that the usps put that a pse clerk job would be 359 days then when someone actually get the job it’s told to us that we are not guaranteed employment after 28 days. It’s unfair and discouraging to some of us who was looking forward to having a job for one full year.

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  4. mr t

    i think that the post office is in need of restructering but at the same time “americans” do not view this as a good employer anymore the ones of us who are non career and cant see a light at the end of the tunnel while in the process inside the post office there are lots of career positions to be filled

    dos anyone know when the post office when and if they will ever hire career positions again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  5. no name

    Sure pay pse employees much lower wages while doing the same job as a ptf. Hmm what quality do you think the USPS will get in pse employees? Good move USPS. Equality? No. UNION BROTHERHOOD? No.

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  6. About the quality of labor from pses and casuals...

    About the quality of labor…. Most of pses I know are younger educated and physically much more able than the old and fat careers who can even walk properly stay on their feet for extended time or able to bend over and pick up dropped mail… And many have serious drinking problem gambling addiction and other mental issue or just plain lazy…  So it’s crazy that someone will think that they are sacrificing quality of work by hiring pses…. Many careers should just be thankful that they got the union backing them up and stop thinking that they deserve their job more than anyone else… 1 pse or a casual can easily replace 2~3 careers 

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    • Anonymous

      Thank you, I agree that PSE’s work very hard because they have to in order to keep their job. They do not have the protection as career employee’s. I think a PSE can out perform a career employee most of the time and maybe that’s why they call PSE’s throw a ways, worthless, etc.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

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    • Paula Martin

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not to their own facts and you have shown nothing in your post to prove what you say is true.
      How many career employees have you observed are old? How many are fat? What is the criteria that you judge as walking properly? So are you saying that many postal employees that you know of are old, fat, staggering drunk while gambling away the pay they don’t deserve to get while also being encumbered with “mental issues” while actively participating in laziness?
      If 1 pse can easily replace 2-3 of regular postal employees then the sure way to prove this would be for you to volunteer to deliver at least two routes walking properly of course instead of whatever work you’re doing now.
      The problem with pses are that they can float in and float out of the post service and by working for less with no guarantee of continued employment and less pay are the ground troops for less pay and benefits for all workers.
      So if you’re going to claim whatever it is please state your qualifications to do so.
      I worked as a career employee for over 20 years and while some could work faster than others they all put in a full days work for a full days pay. If any of them drank too much vodka or whiskey while gambling while being lazy but not too lazy for acquire mental problems they must have done it on their own time and weren’t being paid to combine it with their work sort of multitasking.
      So you need to explain how you know that the career employees have all these problems which I had not observed in my 20 plus years of employment and that pses certainly do not.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

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      • Ella Crane

        I agree that some of the PSEs are more educated. Education does not make you a better employee. If their education has served them THAT well, why are they schlepping at the PO? The mail suffers. Mistakes abound. Many of us old timer scheme trained employees still retain that knowledge and can direct manual mail properly without it looping endlessly. A college degree is of no use in working the mail. Proper training and caring about what you are doing is key. You can’t make sweeping generalizations about people. If you want to talk lazy, I’ve witnessed one younger PSE taking a little break by just deciding to sit on the floor for a bit. We thought she fell ill, but no she was just “tired”. One young girl pulled up a stool (lean) to the flat throwing case because she was tired of standing. The leans are only used at the letter cases. She snapped at me when I tried to tell her in a nice way that it wasn’t allowed. I might add that there is a huge problem with the PSEs texting on the workroom floor and talking on the cellphones albeit by bluetooth in an attempt to be stealth, while this “old” career is working. By the way if you want to talk obese, several of the PSE’s at our plant obese. At any age that is not good, but if you are only in your early twenties? Goodness help.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

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    • ann d

      this is a general statement regarding drinking/gambling
      I see the worse problems as attitudes and postmasters and
      management r always right attitude
      Years ago a postmaster was chosen as a moral, and of good character, today
      anyone who shows ups and proves they will do the reports is selected/promoted
      to postmaster. Even saw in some cases, u fuck up, u move up!
      some idiots r placed as postmasters who have to phone everyday for help to
      nearby offices

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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  7. Allen4767

    As a PSE clerk we work harder, quicker and give you better numbers than any regular there. Only in American would people complain about somebody trying to make a decent living and not be threaten by us. That’s so crazy when PSE clerks are the back bone to the USPS. The Union (Ha) what a joke. When we start in orientation you give us this great speech of how you got our backs. You say we have this contract that we work 364 days. Where was the Union at when they sent letters out of when they (USPS) sent letters out terminated our contract early???? Who gets fired by letter? Then what about the unemployment?

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  8. Paula Martin

    Oh so being a PSE clerk means that all PSEs work harder , quicker and give better numbers than any regular there. Give us some numbers. How many PSEs are there where you work versus how many career employees.
    How can an employee paid less, with no benefits or guarantee of future employment be the backbone of the Post Office ?
    When a worker accepts less pay for the same work done, yes, that worker is setting up other workers for lower pay. just ask any American worker who has had his job outsourced to a foreign country often under conditions that are deplorable and damaging to the worker.
    Your quarrel is with the USPS as I see it and some union representatives are not as diligent as they should be.

    Here’s a link for you. Hope it helps
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/67103642/POSTAL-SUPPORT-EMPLOYEES-Memoranda-Appendix-A-From-APWU-USPS-Contract-2010-2015-pp-167-176

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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    • IntheMajors

      Paula,

      What are all of these career Postal employees going to do in the next few years when the Postal Services ceases to exist due to your unrealistic union contracts? The fact is, the private sector does the work better, faster, and more efficiently than you do and they turn a profit doing it versus continued financial losses that just cost the taxpayers…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

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      • Paula Martin

        All mail services that are private charge more than the USPS and this includes countries in Europe. The truth of the matter is that CEOs are overpaid and private sector banks and Wall St. firms faster and more efficiently got into a position where they were bailed out with trillions of tax dollars.
        As to unrealistic union contracts a postal worker makes approximately what a factory worker would be making now if so many of the jobs hadn’t been shipped overseas.
        As for turning a profit, the Post Office is meant to be a SERVICE where income equals costs. It was not established to make a profit. In 2006 Congress passed
        HR6407 which mandated that the USPS pay to the Treasury 5,5 billion a year for 10 years to fund 75 years of retiree HEALTH benefits(not Retirement) . It is obvious the errors that can occur when trying to project how many retirees will be collecting health benefits in 75 years but it made the bottom line of the treasury look better. The point here is that the Post Office was doing what it was supposed to do, that is deliver mail at cost and indeed it still does, despite delivering packages for UPS where UPS won;t deliver for too low a fee.
        There are some workers who work for less at the Post Office on a temporary basis so for a true estimation it would be helpful if you possibly could to hire on as a temp to have an insider view of just what postal employees do.
        The point of all of this is that workers paid a “living wage” aren’t being unrealistic in wanting this even though the middle class is in rapid decline.
        The Post Office doesn’t receive money from the government except for mailing services provided and for some of those the Postal Service isn’t paid.
        So how do you know that replacing current postal workers with a private mailing service would be better and faster and in what way would it be better and faster?
        Mistakes are made by CEOs all the time which affect the companies they run and companies go bankrupt which has nothing to do with wages their workers are paid although they like to blame the workers rather than their own misjudgements.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Up3CW85q-c&feature=g-crec

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        • IntheMajors

          Ah.. always nice to see a union shill rail about “overpaid” executives. This is not a socialist society, people with higher skill sets get paid more money. Also, as far as turning a profit.. being a non-profit is one thing, running up billions in the red is quite another.

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          • Paula Martin

            People with “higher skills” in banking and Wall St. Firms were skillful in getting bailed out by our government. Skill indeed in getting trillions of dollars something the working poor haven’t been skilled enough to do thus remaining poor.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        • Anonymous

          Upper management may be over-paid, but so are the majority of postal workers. I have been with the postal service for 11 yrs. as an RCA. It’s pretty sad that this is the easiest, least stressful job I have ever had and pays the most.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

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  9. joe

    Allen is right, pse clerks work way harder, plus they work a hell of a lot more hours. Right now I’m on 33 days straight without a day off, before that it was 37 days without a day off, and the only reason I got a day off was because I called off! Management and supervisors treat pses like shit and rely on them to finish the work that the regulars can never seem to get doNE. With all the restructuring going on, regulars are getting lazier and lazier and pses keep getting more and more of the work load. The postal service can not handle the volume of mail in the facilities that it is trying to consolidate. mail gets out late everyday, and the last people on the work floor are pses EVERYDAY, no matter what, the regulars leave as soon as it hits 8 hours, and then the ones on the after tour list just sit in the break room the whole time. Its really getting out of hand and the postal service will not survive much longer. Hopefully all these old regulars will take the buy out to open up spots for pses to be hired as regulars.

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    • Anonymous

      You cannot generalize a position like this. Many PSE clerks do work very hard and are not appreciated the way they should be, the same is true of career employees.

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    • Elizabeth

      I wish I had found this post before, it makes me feel a lot better. I went 90 days without a day off and no one seemed to have a problem with that. I did 60hr work weeks which caused a lot of tension with the other employees. Eight months later and I have just now started asking if I can get a day off each week.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  10. Anonymous

    As a pse and a dues paying union member I am taken aback by the treatment we receive from both management and regulars. Everyday I am spit at called a rat and a scab, stealing their over time. Regulars voted this in. And to be angry at someone who makes 1/5 you do and is expected to do more at work is crazy. Allowing PSEs in will break the union. PSEs unite start our own union, and look after our selves. The Apwu could care less.

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    • gregg dourgarian

      Anonymous…thanks for your comment. Here at Staffing Talk we believe you should get paid by the work you do and not your relationship to the government. We’d welcome any more details you can provide on this situation.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  11. Romyy

    Half the PSE’s hired with me were laid off after a little over six months of service. They received unemployment compensation and were called back to work after a few weeks off. We were told in orientation that we would receive Sunday premium, however, we have not been paid the premium yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  12. ken

    So is there no chance to get hired as a career anymore, because i’m not looking for something temporary

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  13. Allison

    I want to get into the USPS as a temporary worker, hoping it would lead to full employment, but with these stories now I’m not so sure. I have walked into local post offices asking if they were hiring temp workers, they all claim they are not, but I see new people now working at the same post offices, and new people being trained. Every time I go online, there are no jobs posted. So how the hell are these people being hired?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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    • Jennifer

      Allison, I am currently a PSE clerk. I have completed my 365 days of employment. My previous location was great. But I have also heard stories from other PSEs who were not treated right. Unfortunately, the district is downsizing career employees and they have relocated me to another office. You have to keep searching the website. When you visit a post office, most of the clerks will not be helpful to you. During my year, I have discovered that PSEs will not be considered career positions because everytime a career employee loses their job at their post offfice, they will get relocated to another facility and so on and so on. The union only look out for career employees. The only way the union backs up a PSE is only when you have issues with management.

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      • pse2

        Very True…. I float, loaned to every PO in my district. “NOT” all but most postal careers looks down on Pse’s, Management will try to abuse you in terms of hours and assignment as much as they can (been assigned to other craft other than a clerk), Union dont care unless you have something against the management.
        PSE’s has the worst contract arrangement, can not bid for a career job, no chance for career advancement and regardless if your a good worker your fate lays in the hands of your postmaster. So to file a grievance as a PSE? is a no no or you will not see your renewal.

        Witnessing the kind of management PO has…. The kind of career employees?(once again, NOT all but most) you tend not to wonder anymore why USPS is going down. I have seen good workers being abused or set aside over those who complains but are actually lazy. Supervisors you wonder HOW and WHY they are supervisors.

        Unions? are just as useless… which I wonder why most officers are retired postal? I have seen how they spent the union dues over a lavish meet in Reno.

        If only economy picks up and there are more job choices….? but nowadays you just need to grab what you can to earn a living.

        If the upper management really wants to save USPS, cut back on there pay and bonuses, get rid of know it all think tanks you actually never work from the ranks, get rid of no common sense lower management or atleast be re-trained in customer service.

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  14. Eve

    I’m in my second term as a PSE. It is really discouraging that neither management nor the union seem to really know the contract. The only reason I joined the union was because the APWU health insurance was cheaper. The union doesn’t do anything for PSEs. The contract states that before a PSE is to be utilized in the excess of 8 hours that those on the ODL should be offered overtime first. Then the regulars on the ODL file a grievance and get paid OT For work we did. Talk about WASTING money. There are so many PSEs that don’t come to work on holidays, but management wants to be quick to say something when you call out. And at my facility it’s mandatory for PSEs to work holidays or so they say. All in all my only issues over these 15 months is management. To many chiefs and not enough Indians. I’m not saying bc I’ve been at the post office this short period of time I know everything but some of the decisions they make are down right STUPID. It’s not a bad job once you get used to it and realize that management isn’t anything but a bunch of people with walkies, titles, and no clue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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  15. superpse

    I would just like to say that I am a PSE and I work harder then any career clerk at my station. Most days I go in and they are gossiping while eating whatever they snack of the day is and watching me do all the heavy lifting. I love my job and I love working for a historical part of our great country but I am offend that people think because we are considered “part-time” that we will sacrafice our quality of service. That just isn’t true. I do agree it maybe be true for some PSEs but I was in customer service for many years before I worked for USPS and I prid myself on doing the best job I can and giving the best service possible, WITH A SMILE. Yeah the union might not defend us but that isn’t the union as a whole that is a few hateful individuals who feel entitled and better then us. I belive in my job perfomance and believe I have made enough of an impression that I have actually changed the opinoins of several of my coworkers and how they treat me has changed entirely. They actually tell me thank you for being here and working so hard. I think the way you act and present yourself effects others around you and makes them want to do better as well. I LOVE USPS and hope they either GO back to being a fully funded goverment organization or go to being a completely privatized corperation like UPS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  16. Pse

    It’s not fair that some other post office hired some of the pse as career workers when they got hired after me. What happen to Seniority? what happens if they keep you is the second year and years after thats is Guarantee a job. Cause after the first year I was told in Orientation that if you get rehired like me you would be on a no layoff contract. What happen with that? Why is it so hard for pse’s to transfer and keep seniority? Are all pse’s becoming careers workers cause the ptf’s just became career workers after 5yrs thats nit right ? i hop us pse’s dont have to wait that long. No one tell pse’s anything and we pay union dues sad

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  17. Paula Martin

    Here is a link to a website that might help
    .http://www.scribd.com/doc/51532267/34/Re-Postal-Support-Employee

    Contact a Union Rep. and if that one doesn’t have the answer contact another in a larger city as well as the national headquarters.. You might find your answer on the web but it can be tedious to find and interpret what the information means.

    As a former postal employee I think all workers should be hired as a career employees.
    I do know that if the transfer is voluntary then seniority is lost as far as bidding on new jobs: that is the employees already there have first rights on bidding. A forced transfer is another matter.

    Good luck to you and let us know what you find out

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  18. Paula Martin

    To view link, highlight it and right click,then click on Google Search which brings up a page of websites,

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  19. Anonymous

    I am a PTF clerk with 10 years on the job. I know many PTF’s with over 15 years on the job. If you are a PSE you must understand our frustration with new PSE workers. We are still NOT regular yet they are hiring new bodies at half our pay and they are taking our hours. Not our overtime hours. Our regular hours. I get only 15 hours in my home office and must find other work in other offices. This never was a problem for me until they hired PSE’s. Now every office big and small has a PSE and can no longer use us. Before you complain about not having a career position and work too much and do too much please keep in mind that there are people who have YEARS in the USPS and are getting shit for it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

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    • Floats all boats

      Why should the post office be immune to the competitive pressures that all other businesses operate under? PSEs make the postal service more competitive, allowing it to generate more business and create more opportunities for everyone.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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      • Paula Martin

        Please explain how PSEs make the postal service more competitive –generate more business.
        Competitive businesses like banks and Wall St. got bailouts from the government.HR2309 proposed by Representative Darrell Issa is being pushed as a remedy to the problem Congress created with passage of HR6407
        Issa claims he is striving to save the USPS yet he is ignoring expenses that can be deleted without disrupting the service.
        #1. The Postal Accountable and Enhancement Act needs to be rescinded. In 2006 the PAEA signed by Bush, mandated that the USPS fund 75 years of retiree health benefits in 10.
        #2. Overpayments of 50 to 75 Billion the USPS made to the Civil Service RetirementService should be returned.
        #3. Overpayments the USPS made to FERS need to be retrieved.
        #4.The USPS needs to charge more for delivering UPS parcels to places UPS don’t.
        #5. Adjust the ratio of managers to workers.
        #6 Quit giving deep discounts to large businesses. Issa’s solution is to cut the workforce by at least 100,000, and make Postal Workers’ wages and benefits depend on a separate board when a contract isn’t agreed upon. This is a case where Issa’s cure would cause the death of the USPS as a public service and have it revived as a business with lower paid workers, higher rates and less service. .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09ybkkiH2Ho

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am4wez1ShPY

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsPIY9bFFZY

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-chx0j3_8IU

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRcBoDSfisg

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  20. Anonymous

    I got hired as a pse clerk.. I am forced to quit. The been working me so hard. I come in at 6:30 and I don’t
    leave until around 7:00 at night. She has me doing dispatch for 52 carriers which is taking a toll on my body. It seems like PM don’t really care about there employees. Supervisors are so mean and nasty, and half of the time they don’t know what they are doing. I am paying union dudes, and I can’t get a union rep to call me back. What should I do?

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  21. Anonymous

    Hey Anonymous, ask to speak with the President in your district if union reps aren’t responding

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  22. Union Proud!!!!

    To all PSEs:
    I am a proud Postal Employee as well as a APWU member and it pains me to hear that you are not being treated with dignity and respect among career employees and management. We are all brothers and sisters working together to support ourselves and our families. The majority of us as career employees want you at the Postal Service to pass the batan. I personally have made a decent and honest living through the Postal Service and look forward to my retirement years and want new CAREER employees to do the same.
    Stop being so judgemental of your co-workers and focus on doing the best job that you can do. It willl make your time at the Postal Service pleasant and cheerful.
    My observation of current PSEs is that they have an attitude that someone owes them something…i.e. weekends off, set hours, to do a certain job daily, regardless of attendance be guaranteed a job….
    Many of the senior career employees didn’t call in until they were at the Postal Service for 4 or 5 years and the PSEs feel because they have made their 90 day probation they can call in sick. One PSE had the nerve to tell me they only called in 5 times in one year, that’s not bad…Yes that is bad!!!!
    We all have started off where the current PSEs are now, flexibility in hours, working long hours, changing shifts, no weekends off for years, working hours we are not comfortable with. You must learn to be patient and pay your dues. No one owes you anything.

    In Peace and Love,
    Fighting for Workers Everywhere

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  23. Ali

    USPS is total CRAP! My husband has been there for three years working. He started in Automation as a “regular” which means NO benefits, NO overtime, NO paid holidays. He’s a Veteran and they always make him work ON Veterans Day with NO extra pay. Very upsetting for him, as he was PROUD to serve our country. There is no union as far so I know for this position and he was constantly treated badly and talked down by supervisors, always reminded that they would fire him at any mistake. He was miserable but stuck it out.

    After two years, USPS offered the “PSE” position and he took it. This position is backed by a union so his treatment by supervisors improved slightly. Still no overtime and working holidays, they at least offered benefits after a year.

    BUT, about a month ago he took a Carrier position. Rumor has it that being a carrier is a good way to become a Permanent Postal Employee, with full benefits/pensions… all the things associated with a good job. Still same/little to no benefits offered with this carrier position but its also back by a union. He’s been doing this new carrier position for four days… and is considering quitting!!! 12-14 hour days with late lunch breaks/6 days a week. Would you want to work like this? When he confronted a Union member about this, he was told to be grateful for his job.

    Its not worth working for this crashing company. Little to No benefits. They fire you after a year and give you a five day break so they don’t have to really offer you benefits. Then its at their discretion whether to bring you back. TERRIBLE supervisors. He was not getting full time hours with the previous two positions, but we are unsure how the hours will work out now, still assuming they will keep him under 40 a week. The pay is decent but its not worth the stress… I agreed he should quit that **** job and find something that brings him joy! Hard work DOES NOT pay off with this company, they will use and abuse you.

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    • Ali

      Correction, He started as a “casual” as “regulars” are full time permanent employees…

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  24. Elizabeth

    I have been a PSE at my current post office since August of last year. There is something very very wrong with the PSE position. I love the work and for the most part I really enjoy the people I work with. I am always the first person to step up and say “I will do it.” I was never supposed to get as much over time as I did, but it happened. I was in the same position as a few others that posted here. I went in a 6am for distribution, took a lunch, then came back and did dispatch until 7pm. This went on for six months. I meet a truck at 6am on Sunday so I worked 7 days a week. There is no one looking out for us. Sometimes I feel management takes advantage of the fact that they can make us do things that they can’t make a regular do. They cannot make any other position work outside of their scheduled time or come in when they are off, but you can make a PSE do it.

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    • Anonymous

      I have read a lot of these posts and honestly agree with the frustration of many PSE’s on here. I started working as a PSE at the end of last year after retiring from the military. I had a great career in the military but there are no jobs locally in my specialty. The post office paid better than most other jobs locally. I found out about a vacancy at our local post office. I asked the other PSE’s if they liked, it, and they said they did. When I had my interview, I was told I would probably be working 30 hours or less a week and possibly some Saturdays. Sounded good as I was retired, and I was trying to get a little extra money for niceties, not necessities. Now several months later, I have had only one Saturday off(had to take leave), the least I have worked is 36 hours a week(there was only 4 days in the week I started), worked ever federal holiday, and averaging 45-50 hours a week. This would be great if I did not work six days a week, come it at 530 am work to 1030 or 110 0am break until 4 pm work until 7pm. Really tying me up for 14 hours but only getting 8 to 9 hours. Myself and another PSE would only be needed a couple of hours a day, if at all, but the regulars do not want to do their jobs. Two regulars are suppose to work the window but do not like to so supervision make the PSE’s so the regulars can just relax. Same thing with dispatch. I help a regular so they can text and watch youtube videos. Then, when I pull dispatch I get no help, I get a third of the time the regular gets, plus I get pulled off to do everything else under the sun. My wife wants me to quit but I am not a quitter. I am planning on lasting through my contract. I want my life back and am tired of being treated like a second class citizen. I would never have taken the job, if I knew what entailed.

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  25. Paula Martin

    The same conditions existed years ago for new hires. Split shifts, being oon call, and check the schedule before leaving because there might be changes . The hardest jobs, such as unloading the truck were given to a new hire. The thing of it then was that a clerk or carrier, while filling in here and there knew that his/her job was a temporary one until a regular bid was posted.
    In my opinion all employees should be hired as a career employee rather than a PSE which means all would have equal pay and a chance for regular hours instead of what is in place now.
    This is what is being done to the USPS in preparation for a hostile takeover by private companies
    .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDJNamOGSes

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  26. Paula Martin

    Good point. Technically you are right to question the use of hostile takeover being applied to the Post Office as it is applied in business.
    However I consider what is being done to the Post Office is detrimental to workers and the public in preparation for a takeover by private business. In short becasue the actions being taken are destructive to all but a business takeover for profit it is a hostile takeover.
    In point of fact if shareholders are substituted for workers and service to the public what is being attempted by Issa and other members of Congress is to first cripple the USPS by passing HR6407 which mandated that the Post Office fund 75 years of health benefits in 10 at 5,5 billion a year. This was followed by selling Post Offices to private concerns, eliminating 200 mail sorting centers, closing post offices, contracting out, replacing career employees with lower paid workers, all with the Postmaster General’s actions putting this into action. effect.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRcBoDSfisg

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  27. Smith

    I sat here and read all these comments dating back to last year and its really upsetting. I have been a PSE window clerk since December 1st 2012. I don’t know much about the post office but I do have some opinions.

    1. PSEs should know their place. Stop fighting against the career employees. So what if some of them work like snails. Keep it to yourself.
    2. Career employees are not bad people. They are fighting for our rights. They don’t have to care. If we get overtime guess what they can just file a grievance and get paid for our overtime anyways. Their jobs are highly secure (talk about untouchable). So why do they need to fight against us? They don’t because Its a win win situation for them. But they are fighting for our rights. Its not fair for us to be working all year without a day off, get no benefits, get worked like a slave, and the career employees see that. They are trying to help us get our rights but you guys have that slave mentality. U act like a slave and their gonna continue to treat you like one.
    3. PSE you will NEVER replace a regular. Most of their positions are not even going up for bids anymore. Stop trying to prove your worth more than a regular because your not.

    I am a window clerk that has never even touched a window. I was suppose to be sent for window training months ago. Summer is coming and mail volume is decreasing so window training would really help guarantee my hours. But instead my manager recruits window clerks that have already been trained. As PSEs were only guaranteed 2 hours if we clock in and there’s no mail. So good luck to all my fellow PSE.

    I’ve actually been doing mail handler work for sometime now. The real mail handlers filed so many grievances that they gave up. You can say I had a little something to do with that 2000$ settlement check that every mail handler received last month.

    I’m physically tired. I’m worn out. My name is called at least 500 times a day. I’m the do everything guy. I take a bathroom break and I hear my name on the intercom telling me to report back to the work floor. Its awful. I don’t want overtime but I cant refuse it. They don’t ask me to stay they tell I have to stay.

    I’ve been working on trying to get a weekly day off. The other PSEs at my station are scared but they have to learn to step up. I convinced management to allow me Saturdays and Sundays off. I had this for two weeks before the other PSEs at my station turned on me. Now they want days off too. Well you should of fought for it instead of being a slave. Unfortunately one of the mail handlers is going on vacation for 2 weeks so I have to work on Saturdays again.

    Post office will never go out of businesses because its a service. As a matter a fact its the only service that generates income. We only lose money because our accountant is on drugs and its run by idiots. What happens to all that extra money that we generate? I don’t know I haven’t been working there long enough to launch an investigation. I do know one thing though, that money doesn’t get taxed. I wonder where management get their corporate credit cards from? Sounds fishy to me.

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  28. kelly

    I was a pse clerk for a year and a half when just before I got a letter saying there where laying me off due to lack of work me and ten more pses. Mind yiu there is plenty of work but theu also kept pses who don’t come in don’t do anywork. U would think someone who has never missed a day would be still employed versus someone who is scheduled six days but only shows up for two and late on both days. They say it goes by senority and we will get called back. Idiots lose my number causr if you did it once you will do it again

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  29. SlcRic

    Well here it goes. I started out as a Casual-Clerk in Oct 2010. I was as a clerk for eight months, then I applied to be a Casual-Custodian. I hated being a clerk because the supervisors and management were total dumbasses. I’ve been a PSE- Custodian now since May 2011 and its been a blessing. To give you a little back ground about myself, I retired from the Army after 20 years and I’m a 80% Disabled Veteran. You would think being a Veteran and serving your country for 20 years would mean something. Well guess what, IT DOESN’T. They treat you like shit because you’re a PSE, in which PSE stands for “Piece of Shit Employee”. I’ve been there now for almost three years total. I ask myself everyday, why? how come I’m still there? I have to remind myself that I’m not a quitter. My yearly term ends in August and nothing would make me happier than them sending me a certified letter telling me that I’m NOT needed anymore. I would nearly make the same drawing unemployment and saving money on gas by not having to drive to work. I was always told by friends of my family that once I get out of the service, apply at the Post Office because there are a lot of veterans there and they take care of them. That might have been the case seven years ago, but not now. All I can say is ALL the supervisors, managers, PM, HR, and Union Steward and up and whoever else is in the clicks that are PO are really and truly the sorriest people I’ve ever met. They lie and play stupid constantly, there is no communication, no coordination, and definitely no organization skills there. You have the blind leading the blind. I take that back, I did have a 204B in charge of us who had better management skills than the three other supervisors in our maintenance section. The funny part is, if you asked him why he’s a better manager than most, he’ll tell you he used to be a manager at Walmart. Imagine that. I’m writing this message on this site, because I’ve been reading all the comments and it seems like its a epidemic that’s spread across the PO. I’m just letting ALL veterans know that they should try to find other employment before you consider the PO. We even had a person in HR trying to talk veterans out of a job during their interview. She would tell them, “I don’t know why you would want this job, it doesn’t come with benefits and the wages don’t seem to be enough to support you and your family”. Then they hire another family member. LOL, this is freaking ridiculous. Congress and everybody else should know the PO is rigged with the “Good ole boy” and the “Good brotherhood system”. I just want to say to all the PSE’s out there to keep working hard and you’re right about being hard workers and doing the work of 2 or 3 of the lazy ass career workers. Trust me, I’m not bitter or anything, its the truth.

    Love, peace, and DBCS grease!

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  30. T3 PSE

    SlcRic you hit the nail on the head. I have been working at the post office as a PSE for 8 months. I am retired military as well. Everything you said is the truth. If the regulars at my facility did even 50% of their jobs, I would not be needed. One of them tried to justify their laziness to me. They said that they were very close to retirement, and lost their motivation. It would have been plausible, but I almost lost it when the next sentence was, “what do they expect, I only have 8 years left.”

    The supervision amazes me as well. I was boxing mail the other day, and the floor supervisor and postmaster asked me where one of my coworkers was. I turned to them and said the schedule says he is suppose to be working across town at the other post office. Funny, I know the schedule better than the person that made it!

    I got 4 months left until my contract ends, and I am finding another job!!!

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  31. A

    Need to get rid of management, the union and regulars. The United States Postal Service needs to start all over again. I hope UPS and FED EX and email closes half the United States Postal Service DOWN. It’s horrible to hear how regulars treat casuals and PSE. They should be ashamed of themselves. I rather stay with retail, at least I have a start time and end time. United State Postal Service only have a start time but no end time. You are hired for one position but doing ten other positions for low pay. NO MORE USPS. NO MORE. Start treating the PSE, CCA and CASUALS WITH RESPECT.

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  32. Angelo

    I have been a Pse for two years and yes the work isn’t easy and hours are chaotic but I like it. At first a lot of career employees didn’t give me a warm welcome but respect is earned not given. After two years I ould say maybe 5 percent of my co workers. stillook down on me. But the 95 percent respectand care about me like I am one of there own children. If you want respect come in either a positive attitude and bust your butt. Never step on anyone’s toes because if you don’t respect them as a worker you have to respect them as an elder. I have learned the window schemes webbats postal one brm and Im really proficient at these task only because elders have showed me the way. At the end of the day were all people and if they don’t like you your a pse but if they do your a co worker so I enjoy everyday at the office no matter which one Im at and met great people along the way. THANKS USPS

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  33. tracy childers

    i have been a pse for 2 and a half years. got hurt on a job, suddendly my supervisor turned bitter for a couple of days. i am diagnosed for abdominal hernia. does usps pay for job injury if surgery is necessary? do they pay us while we are at home recovering?

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