• on Sep 8th, 2009 in Labor | 7 comments
    Source: BLS Metropolitan Area Wage Estimates May 2008
    (Occupation Codes: 25-2031, 43-5052, and 47-2061)

    Thanks for the great response to last week's blog. Last week, we asked about pay comparability, and 23 percent of those polled voted that the goal for postal compensation should be to match the prevailing private sector compensation. However, 35 percent voted that Postal Service compensation should exceed private sector pay, and the largest group of voters (40 percent) said that Postal Service pay should be set at levels necessary to get good, qualified employees.

    In reality, matching private sector pay is virtually impossible with a uniform pay structure. Why? The uniform postal wage may be much higher than the prevailing wages in a low cost-of-living area and much lower than private sector pay in high-cost areas. A letter carrier working in New York makes the same as the letter carrier working in Dubuque, Iowa. So this week, we’re seeking your opinions and comments on wage uniformity. Regardless of how you feel about the need to match the private sector in general, should postal wages vary by area? The federal government currently has 31 locality pay areas for General Schedule (GS) employees, and the federal “blue collar” schedule called the Federal Wage System has 257 wage grade areas. Should postal wages vary in a similar manner by locality?

    What are some of the consequences of having uniform wages? Does it make it harder to find qualified workers in urban areas? Are workers more reluctant to relocate to high-wage areas? What do you think?

    To limit the effect on effect on current employees, a two-tier system could be introduced that applies geographic-based pay to new employees only. What do you think about a two-tier system?

    Are there other alternatives for introducing geographic-based pay?

    This blog is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

  • on Aug 31st, 2009 in Labor | 54 comments
    The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 included the goal of matching postal employees’ compensation with that of private sector workers. The recently enacted Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) did not alter that goal. However, such a comparison is virtually impossible since private sector compensation varies considerably by locale, whereas postal compensation does not. It is also difficult to decide what constitutes a comparable job, and how benefits should be considered. Given the Postal Service’s financial situation and calls for down-sizing, the issues surrounding this policy take on special meaning. Over the course of the next two weeks, we’d like to ask you about this policy in general, its applicability in the diverse labor market across the country, and what changes might be in order to facilitate the financial situation and the level of service afforded the public.

    So, first of all, as a general matter and notwithstanding current contracts, does it make sense to attempt to match private sector compensation? Does the goal in the 1970 legislation still make sense today?

    How should Postal Service pay be set? If private-sector comparability is used, what types of jobs are comparable to postal work?

    This blog is hosted by the OIG's Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

  • on Aug 24th, 2009 in Strategy & Public Policy | 12 comments
    Think ahead to 10 years from now. What will the world look like in 2020? How will consumer behavior change? What should logistics companies do now to prepare for the future?

    Deutsche Post attempted to answer these questions in its global Delphi study published in June (click here to view the study). The Delphi method is a technique to develop predictions about the future. The Deutsche Post study involved two stages. In the first stage, a group of specialists working in a wide range of theoretical and practical fields put forward various theses about possible future developments. These were discussed and debated until the experts converged on a set of 81 theses.

    In the second stage, a different wider panel of 900 industry experts reviewed the 81 theses and rated how much they agreed with them. There were regional differences in the responses, but several trends stood out such as the rising importance of Asia, the growing interest in green issues, and the continued growth in Internet technologies.

    The poll below lists some of the most relevant predictions from the Deutsche Post survey that may affect the Postal Service.

    Do you agree with these predictions? Do you think the Postal Service is ready to meet the challenges of the next decade? If not, how should the Postal Service respond?

    This blog is hosted by the OIG's Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

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