• Project Title:
  • Effectiveness of Postal Service Efforts to Reduce Non-Career Employee Turnover
  • Start Date:
  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • August 2019

The Postal Service hires non-career employees and temporary employees to supplement its regular workforce to help reduce staffing costs. The non-career employees earn lower wages than full time staff. The turnover rate of non-career employees is higher than the Postal Service wants. Reducing non-career employee turnover decreases the cost of hiring and training new employees, and lessens the related job-performance impact. Although non-career employee turnover cannot always be avoided, the root causes should be understood and addressed where possible. 

We are conducting this audit to assess the Postal Service’s effectiveness in reducing non-career employee turnover and evaluating the underlying reasons for non-career turnover. 

  • What do you think are the underlying reasons for non-career employees leaving the Postal Service?
  • What should the Postal Service be doing to help retain non-career employees?
  • What impacts have you seen in the Postal Service workplace as a result of non-career employee turnover? 

Comments (175)

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  • anon

    One of the main factors as to why the turnover rate is soo high in non career employers is because the pay isn't adequate. When starting this career path, it is required to have a vehicle capable of running route on scheduled days and any day you might be called for assistance. When someone is starting out they do not have the finances available for all of the wear and tear that their vehicle is going to go through , if they are even able to afford to have a vehicle strictly for running mail. Another reason the turn over rate is soo high in non career employees is because they arent able to have a life outside of work. I have heard this complaint numerous times from former usps non career RCAs. They have to always be on call, always. No vacation time, no sick leave, no nothing. Fast food joints, Walmart, call centers, they all offer sick leave, vacation time, etc. For their employees.Our lives revolve around the post office. So, its difficult to juggle home life and work life because there is never a set schedule.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Stop cheating rcas out of money put in a time clock something more of a hard copy . Change management do away with evaluated time compensation for late trucks and slow clerks.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    In my office, CCAs are often told they will will be fired if they don't go faster, they are told they should have been fired if they are past their probation, they are told that the fastest CCAs will get the most hours. These are statements made to me by CCAs. CCAs are trained, but when they start working they just do whatever is necessary to survive probation. Some have quit, some have been fired, and we have had numerous on the job injuries and OWCP claims within the CCA ranks. It is disgusting and hurts the local postal needs and quality of service.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    The number one reason for overturn is AMAZON! We are expected to be available to work 7 days a week, and many of us do work 7 days a week. Between the low pay and lack of good benefits, it’s easy to find a job with the same pay rate, benefits and time off! We have an RCA in our office who’s going on 12 years. New hires come see how hard the job is and look at people like him and say I’m not doing this for that pay and not seeing my family for 12 years. I’ve talk to some good carriers that left and they all say they would never go back to 7 days a week and AMAZON sundays! Just ask regulars what their problems are, now pay them less and give them no time off, it’s a no brainer!

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    "Non-Career" employees. That's the problem. Most RCA'S spend years waiting to make regular. We don't get to accumulate time off, we don't get to contribute towards a retirement plan. We can't have a second job, because we are required to be on call 24/7. Most can't afford to maintain a vehicle and only work 1 day a week. Then if your office is short staffed, you have subs being forced to work 7 days a week, being forced to miss school functions and family time, being forced on a route they don't know-Have you ever been handed a 6 page line of travel, 200+ scans,7 trays of mail, and a good luck?- Why isn't there a mid level career perk? After so many years or hours of being an RCA why can't we start acquiring leave,retirement benefits? The hiring process is horribly difficult to navigate and it takes MONTHS to finally get into training. Why wouldn't USPS streamline the process? The problems with being short staffed?!?! Really? Over worked, stressed out, under paid (literally depending on your hire date your pay scale could be $5 or more less an hour than the sub next to you. Even though you're doing the same work). Accidents. Not having enough time to train on the route before you're shoved onto it solo. BURNT OUT. After months of 7 days a week, working after dark in dangerous conditions, with no goal of benefits in sight, people quit. They should quit. They are overwhelmed. Overworked. Underpaid. Doesn't take long for hostility and a harsh working environment to send people running out the door crying. Honestly, RCA'S are the only ones who suffer, those regulars are going to get their time off, their "we paid our dues and waited out our time " mentality is a joke. They get their benefits. They don't run on Sundays. I am lucky. I work in an AWESOME office with some AWESOME carriers who I consider family. I am lucky that I can afford to work one day a week. I am lucky my Regular is the absolute Best. I am lucky that we all work together and help each other. I am one of the lucky few. Most RCA'S will not and do not have it as good as I do. RCA'S should have competitive wages, a benefit package, a retirement plan, and leave time. It's never going to get better and retention will remain low as long as RCA'S are treated like they don't count.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    The biggest issues I see is low wages, zero benefits, no paid time off. On the rural carrier side a major issue is only getting 1 day of work per week but being expected to drop everything and come in with zero notice making it impossible to have a supplemental job. Further, about half the rural carriers are expected to have at least 1 personal vehicle to deliver out of, but still only get 1 day per week.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    The national inventory of vehicles that can be used as POVs is aging/dwindling. New RCAs in many areas don't have the income to purchase and convert a newer vehicle. If USPS could work with the govt to simplify importing newer RHD vehicles for use as postal POVs, it would be very helpful. The 25-year rule and complexities in getting imports certified for emissions in the US make it too hard and costly. The reimbursement for conversions is inadequate as well.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    The biggest problem with RCA attrition is the career conversion range which is around 30 years. There are several ways to lower the conversion range. First open up district wide career postings and not just limit it to the office. Second, allow RCA's to participate in higher level assignments without the rural union interfering. RCA's would be competitive for supervisor interviews if this happened. Third, allow RCA's to transfer into non-career positions in other crafts without retesting, when the USPS plans to hire from the general public. 90% of the problem is solved once the RCA makes career. Reduce the conversion range if you want to retain RCA's. The lack of equity when you see some converted to career in one year while others are 20+ years kills morale.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    It can take 15 years or more before some Rural Carrier Associates are in a position to transition to a career position. That is quite discouraging. It means many years of struggling, hoping you don't get sick or injured and can't work. I'd like to see something in the line of a "career RCA" position, with the same benefits to a RCA holding down an Aux or regular route in excess of 90 days. Perhaps after a year of satisfactory employment, RCAs can begin earning sick and annual leave at the rate of 1 hour in 20 hours worked.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    We have been running an RCA Support Group for about a decade now. We have identified the reasons RCA's quit and we have suggested solutions. I would be more than happy to share the data we have collected over the years.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Thank you for your comment Kevin. Could you please give us more details about this issue? Thank you

    Mar 21, 2019
  • anon

    Audit Team, glad you are asking Kevin for more info. I've not heard of an RCA support group, but what a great idea. The RCA problem is a little more complicated than the CCA issues. Maybe, and I understand that this would mean a contractual change, have assigned or rotating days off for the regulars in offices with 3 or more rural carriers. Or work with satellite offices to afford the RCA's at least a 3 day minimum workweek. And there will have to be some kind of additional benefit pkg addressing the insurance/retirement benefits, as referred to in so many previous comments. As to the CCA's, well, I'm sure you are aware of the increase in stolen mail, mail thrown into gutters, and increase in MV accidents in the past five years. I'm not blaming the CCA's or PSE's, but surely you can see that the lower wages and emphasis on speed would have some correlation. I'm happy to see, at least in our area, that the pre-interview information does say that irregular hours, heavy lifting, no minimum guaranty are mentioned. Maybe needs to be stressed even more during the interview. I worked a year and a half as a RCR before taking a clerk job thirty four years ago, and I have 7 weeks to retirement. Treat these non-career employees as you would want your grandchild treated.

    Apr 06, 2019
  • anon

    Agreed that would make a big difference if CCAs we treated with respect and giving a fair chance while on probation

    Apr 13, 2019
  • anon

    They need more days of trainng..they just get "throwed" on a route they were never trained on..they get overwhelmed.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    I am a rural carrier so I can only speak for rcas our non career workers. Most rcas are asked to furnish their own cars for mail delivery. This is a tremendous committment to place on a "part time" position that does not even know if they will like the job. The job is listed as a part time job but rcas can often work up to 80hrs in a week especially during the holidays. To some this great for the money, to others it is hell on earth. It is nothing to lose 20 to 30lbs during the xmas season. Rcas hired after 2011 make $17.78/hr, you can make this much at many other places and not have to destroy your car and deal with much less stress. To remedy this I would start new rcas on llv routes to provide llvs to rcas for their 1st 30-90 days. They are also terribly under paid for the work they do. Benefits are also extremely expensive for rcas especially when compares to other part time positions in the usps. Do to turnover of rcas I have seen other rcas run ragged. Working 60 to 80 hours every week. I have seen mail go undelivered for days. And total office moral has been totally shot.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Guarantee days off, give them a uniform on day one so they feel part of the organization, expand training time, and don’t rush it, encourage senior employees to take new hires under their guidance, give new employees some scheduling predictability. If you have kids and don’t know when you are supposed to report to work or will get out of work, how can you arrange child care? Don’t expect them to be experts at the job as soon as their training ends. Let trainers or other senior employees follow up after a few weeks to see if they need any refresher training or reinforcement of training.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Insurance is such a huge issue for many people, perhaps if good family insurance was offered for a lower rate we could retain people who simply want to get insurance for their family as well as make a little extra money.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Underlying reasons for non career rural carriers leaving is the lack of hours or the abundance of hours. Some rcas cannot afford to stay with the postal service due to it being such a long hiring process and then they are only guaranteed one day a week if that. Others dont mind one day a week but the offices are short handed so they are worked 7 days a week and burn out. Another reason is the lack of benefits. Its unbelievably expensive for an rca with a family on little pay to afford health care. Let alone nothing goes towards retirement and it can take years in order to reach a career employment so all those years are wasted work in terms of retirement. To retain rca employees consider on call pay to help for the little hours and demanded expectations from supervision, mandatory day off after 6 days worked (which supervision does not follow), and mandatory rotation for Amazon sunday there is no reason for rcas to work every sunday. As for the impact it's a double edge sword. Some offices have just enough rcas and others dont have any. In other words career employees are continuously working there NS day. The postal policies for rcas and having to have their own vehicles, lack of or abundance of hours, and little to no benefits is not appealing. It's more of an expense working for the postal service as an rca.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    The salary has certainly become an issue. However there should also be increases in place for sub with longevity. It is a tough pill to swallow when you must do an eight hour route and then go do another half to help a guy that started a month after you because he knows you are going to. (And you have been there 3 years) Do something about absenteeism. A sub that should have been fired for lack of attendance gets a route because she went to the doctor and got a note saying she has herniated discs in neck and now claims Fmla. But because proper records were not kept nothing could be done. It seems to me 80% of the regulars have fmla. In my office, they get doctors notes and then take vacations. Subs see this, subs hear this, the regulars discuss it openly. They don't care who knows.now think of a subs perspective. Do you really want to stay in a job that you have to be clean up for all these regulars and subs every hour you work? You feel like an idiot for doing it.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Better benefits and pay. Part of the problem is the non career is hired to be a fill in, most times only 1 guaranteed day a week but are expected to be completely available the other 6 (yes, including Sunday). And the trade off is, more often than not, working only the one day. One day a week at the current wage isn't going to pay the bills. That's why I say better benefits and pay. Make the job more appealing and more will be willing to stay non career until a career position opens up.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    As an RCA who has been there for 15 years I find it discouraging that my time served means nothing should I ever become a regular. This needs to be changed and some of the older regulars need to be given their time served back as well. This may encourage some who are close to retiring to do so, they should also have to retire at 30 years and let new people replace them. Thanks for your time.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Thank you for your comment.

    Mar 21, 2019
  • anon

    The hiring process is generally lengthy and time consuming which results in most selecting a ready hire position. The process to benefits can take years which detours some and the pay wage is raising outside of the USPS.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    After being a cca for almost 4yrs. I would say they need better training. I mean way better training. 2nd better benifits and 2 days off a week. It was really hard for me as a single mother of 2 kids but some how I made it work thanks to family and friends.

    Mar 18, 2019
  • anon

    Raise the entrance salary. When you can make the same amount working for McDonalds, the quality of employee is not there.

    Mar 18, 2019

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