USPS offers early outs to 3,300 workers

Tuesday - 8/28/2012, 8:59am EDT

With consolidation plans moving forward, the Postal Service is further trimming its workforce. To avoid lay-offs, this week the mail agency offered early outs to more than 3,300 employees who will retire Dec. 31, 2012.

The deadline to accept the early out is Nov. 19.

The offer targets managers and administrative staff. However, not all retirement-ready employees will be eligible for the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) offer .

"Senior leadership roles in the districts that are important in ensuring continuity of operations and managing change are not eligible for this VER offering," according to an online USPS notice posted Monday.

The early out offers follow buyout offers to tens of thousands of employees. In May, USPS offered buyouts to 21,000 postmasters, of which 13,000 were retirement-eligible, and to 45,000 mail handlers. Nearly 3,800 postmasters retired on July 31. The Postal service will know on Sept. 4 how many mailhandlers took the buyout, according to a USPS spokesman in an email to Federal News Radio.

The mail agency is in the midst of consolidating 461 mail processing centers and cutting operating hours at 13,000 post offices. It's also consolidating its computerized forwarding system.

The cutbacks are part of an effort to stave off financial bleeding that has caused what Postmaster General Pat Donahoe calls a "crisis of confidence in the postal system." USPS lost $5.2 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

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