Monday, November 9, 2009

Job Cuts or Wage Cuts

According to Hellmail, TNT, the Netherlands postal operator, and its unions are expected to agree to a new offer for its contract soon. The agreement results in pay cuts of between 2 and 3.5% and layoffs of less than 1,000 employees. Much of the pay cuts will come from a proposed reduction in Sunday pay.

Prior to the agreement TNT had placed on the table the possibility of laying off 11,000 employees. This proposal was made after the Union had rejected a 15% pay cut in March, 2009.

The driver behind the contentious negotiations is the rapid drop in mail volumes at TNT. TNT like all postal operators have been hurt by both a severe recession and declining demand due to electronic competition.

TNT's contract may present a framework for upcoming negotiations that the United States Postal Service have with their unions. The Postal Service faces similar economic and competitive challenges to what drove TNT to offer sizable pay cuts, threaten massive layoffs and eventually agree to modest layoffs and small cuts in pay.

The Postal Service differs in that it has not previously made as extensive an effort to streamline and optimize its network and has less flexibility in the use of full-time and part-time employees. Therefore it enters the upcoming round of labor negotiations needing significantly more contract changes that what TNT was willing to accept. Without binding arbitration, the US postal unions and the Postal Service, just like TNT and its unions, would have to make the choice between cutting jobs and cutting real compensation levels.

With binding arbitration, the outcome is less certain. However, given the difficulty of selling eliminating long-standing contract provisions to their members, postal unions and the Postal Service are likely heading toward an arbitrated contract agreement where an arbitrator will be asked to make the choice between jobs and compensation.


Anonymous said...

Lets get rid of the INCOMPETENT union slugs!!

clerk in MO said...

Get rid of all those with an office. As craft employees we earn every penny we get. If they need to cut somewhere, then begin with management. There is no reason that we should have to bargain to keep our wage and benefits when we are the ones doing all the work. Those who aren't doing their job is those in the offices, not to mention there are too many of them. They don't touch the mail, therefore we don't need them. They only thing they do is come up with petty little things for us to do as if we don't have enough to do as it is. Nor do we have the time. Many of us who work the nightshift earn every cent, and give up so much. We give up our family time and not to mention what little social life we could have by working such odd hours. Why would anyone think it's a good idea to take away part of our wages and benefits? Would it be to pad the top brass? What have they done for us? NOTHING!

kurtfla said...

i have already taken a pay cut this cola raises as the number crunchers say everything costs the same as last year.yeah. health insurance goes up 8%,our cost, this year,utilities have gone up,car insurance up,home taxes , up.has anyone been to the grocery store lately,we spend 600.00 a month and my fridge is empty.we get a 1,2% raise this year,do the your eyes....we have 3 or 4 supervisors on tour 1 alone...kurt

postal30 said...

I am a recently retired (2008)USPS supervisor. I supervised carrier/dist clerks throughout my 30 year career. I must say, in the 26 years I spent in management, and did well at my job, there are far too many layers of management. Specifically within the local District offices. Too much overseeing, far too much neptism, creating positions to "take care of' some. Postmasters and front line supervisors are hindered in performing their daily duties and managing operations, instead are spending too much time populating District generated spreadshhets, and replying to endless steream of e-mails. Granted, their are percentages of supervisors who "need monitoring", but that is the price of nepitism/favortism. Don't get me wrong, I was never denied/affected by such, just stating actual events/conditions that exist, and trimming many of the "clipboard' jobs will REDUCE costs, improve effectiveness and produtivity. Supervisors worth their "salt" will do their job much better if spending time answering endless District e-mails, and far LESS time being a "data input clerk', and

Anonymous said...

Mr. Robinson
We who are actually involved in moving the mail have been watching our numbers drop drastically in recent years. We have been doing more with less. The only real fat left in the USPS is management. One need only look to the recent so-called Reduction In Force attempted by management to see the fraud perpetrated by the PMG on the BOG and Congress. The National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS) website was boasting back in July that they had not lost a single filled EAS (supervisor) position. People were shifted around and positions that were already vacant were removed, but no real savings were realized because of the fraud.
The current PMG has tripled the size and scope of management (just look at the PMG organizational chart)to the point where micromanagement is the rule instead of the exception. Every bit of minutia created by the processing of mail is analyzed and studied by layer upon layer of highly paid "consultants" and engineers who have never actually handled mail in their life. They concern themselves with the 1 to 2% of mail that, for whatever reason, may not be processed right the first time, even though there is no actual delay of service.
This isn't brain surgery.
And their only solution is to make the USPS less customer oriented by reducing services, closing plants that are vital to local economies,
and thumbing their noses at the public.