After reporting a record loss in 2012, the United States Postal Service has found a way to cut costs without completely eliminating jobs in states including Indiana.
The debt-ridden USPS now has hundreds of open positions in Indiana following a settlement between the postal service and the National Association of Letter Carriers, but the jobs are not the government positions most postal workers occupy. Instead, they are temporary jobs which lead to an employee review at the end of each year.
Following the review, the new employee is eligible for the same position again or for one with benefits. That irks Bloomington Letter Carriers Union President Ken Hill.
“So you could work for 10 years in this position, never move up, never earn retirement, but it is the next person that will be hired as a career employee when that job becomes available,” he says.
But USPS spokesperson Mary Dando says union members accepted the creation of the new category as a part of the settlement, so they have little room to complain.
“We are in a difficult situation,” Dando says. “We need employees, and we’re losing a great deal of money and we looked at this and negotiated this with the letter carriers union so that they have agreed to this category.”
Those who are hired will mainly replace career employees retiring at the end of January.