Postal Updates

USPS letter carriers being denied full pay

Sep 2, 2021, 4 PM

By Bill McAllister

Letter carriers for the United States Postal Service have been routinely denied their full pay for years, according to a new study by the Center for Public Integrity.

It said Aug. 31 that managers at hundreds of post offices have “illegally underpaid hourly workers” and some have continued the practice despite making promises to the contrary.

The center said it reviewed arbitration awards and found that from 2010 to 2019 “at least 250 managers in 60 post offices were caught changing mail carriers’ time cards to show them working fewer hours, resulting in unpaid wages.”

Described as one of the oldest nonprofit investigative news organizations, the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity said it based its reporting on records of arbitration awards.

The center said it found time-card cheating is widespread as supervisors attempt to hold down the costs of delivering mail in their communities.

The center also said the practice is well known to senior postal officials who apparently have been unable to stop it.

David Partenheimer, a Postal Service spokesman, was quoted as saying the USPS does not approve of supervisors making unsupported changes to time cards and takes such issues seriously.

“This position is messaged to the postal workforce directly from postal leaders, including the Vice President, Delivery Operations, who periodically reissues policies regarding appropriate timecard administration for supervisors,” Partenheimer told the center.

“Postal Service leaders are well aware that many supervisors have been caught cheating employees,” the center said. According to the center, the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General “has audited time records at dozens of post offices over the years.”

The center’s report did not indicate if there is any significant action being taken to address the problem nationally. 

Such an action would be up to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the agency’s board of governors.

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