• Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    I personaly had over 600+ hour's in 2008 and due too and on the job accupational healh injury which was w.p.c.a approve, I was force by management to used my sick leave, for almost four month's I stay home recovering from my injuries, twise managemnt deny my request to get back to work which extended my used off my sick time, I could had deliverd express mail, due collection pick ups, help customers coming to pick up accountable pieces os mail and packages,and maybe more, the point is after i recover suficiently I was deny the apportunity to continue saving my sick leave and to work temporaly limited duty. which I am sure is being counted as sick time usaged abuse by the postal service...

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    USPS should provide incentives for its employees to not use sick leave...and when you retire you should be able to cash that unused sick leave in.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    You answered your own question at the beginning of the article: "Career employees earn 4 hours of sick leave for a full pay period (80 hours), or at a rate of 5 percent."

    Their is no incentive for FERS employees to save their sick leave, except for the obvious "insurance" incentive. It is a simple matter of dollars and cents- if I don't use my sick leave, I lose it. It's not a matter of right or wrong, abuse or irresponsibility- it is an economic decision that people will make based on what is best for each individual.

    You can either stop offering the sick leave if you don't want it to be used (and, in a collective bargaining environment, that means you need to give up something in return), or provide an incentive to prevent its use.

    This isn't rocket science- if you don't intend for people to use a benefit, either stop offering the benefit, or give them an incentive to not use it. Stop wasting time and money searching for "solutions" to make believe problems!

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    We are an aging work force. Long ago I could make through work when I wasn't feeling 100 percent. But now if I'm feeling sick I call in. The body isn't what it use to be.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    My Shoulder hurts from carrying mail for 30 years...My knees are giving out, especially when a new cold front comes through..My back says hello each time I lift a crate full of mail..My neck requires chiropractic care because the weight of the bag on one shoulder causes my neck to pinch...FMLA has become a hassle for my doctor and myself to fill out, so the easiest answer is call in sick..The young employees have children who are sick, but thats family leave which is observed in every other federal agency but the Post Office, they get disciplined for using sick leave...There maybe some abuse of sick leave but a lot of it is used for bodys worn out...

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    One Question? If Congress OK's Credit for Unused Sick leave for all FERS Employees towards their Retirement, recognizing that this Act will allow FERS employees to finally be equal to CSRS employees. What happens to all FERS Employees that already retired. Sounds like Congress should consider Discrimination because of this injustice. What do you think OIG?

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    If the OIG really cared about helping the Postal Service in reducing sick leave they would allow agents to work sick leave abuse cases. Cases such as employees calling in sick to work a second job, altering medical documentation to extend the time off the physican allowed, or just plain old making it up on their PC to name a few. The fact they do not think these cases are worthwhile is evident in they are rated as catagory three cases. Catagory three is the lowest catagory. Only a very very small percentage of employees stoop this low to steal from their employer. Testimonies on how saving sick leave saved some ones home does not work on these employees. I have seen it for over 30 years. You either understand that sick leave is a benifit for when you are ill or you don't. Most have never seen the warning on the bottom of the 3971 that clearly states it is a violation of law to provide false information on the form. Yes, calling in sick when you are not is a violation of the law. It's called making a false statement. Can't wait to see the replies.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    Sick leave usage has always been an issue. It higher in the Plants, primarily tour one and tour three. It's too easy to use, just call in and it's approved. There's no accountability, no consequence for abuse. It has nothing to do with being FERS, these people are using it early in their careers. If they used it just before retirement, then I would buy it. I think one way of reducing sick leave is to not allow it as long as overtime is earned in the same pay period. Any leave type should be reduced by the amount of overtime earned during the pay period, charge the OT as straight time, and reduce the leave, sick leave first, then annual. To pay leave and OT in the same pay period is borderline stealing. My brother-in-law drives for UPS, no sick leave, call in and don't get paid. And they're represented by the Teamsters. It's time to take a hard stand on sick leave abuse, make it easier to fire someone, you'll see leave usage reduce real quick.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    I haven't taken sick leave in over 7 years because of the guilt thing. I like being counted on and accountable. Of course we all get a little sick once or twice a year, but we all have different defintions as to what warrants calling in sick. I also didnt miss many school days growing up. I agree, if the postal service gave something back to people who didnt use it, they would get less abuse. People say,"iearned it, I am using it" because you lose it if you dont. I find a lot of people take it for when their kids are sick and they dont have a sitter.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    A common pratice in the private sector is a three day waiting period. It is like a deductable. The first 3 days the employee takes the loss. After the 3 days the sick leave kicks in. Sick leave is looked at as something more long term or an accident. It gives the employee incentive not to take the day after a light night off sick. Sick leave is like insurance. Cover the major issues and let the employee take care of the occasional day here and there. There is no incentive not to mis use it with the current system.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    I think the problem with the Post Office is the constant abuse from supervision towards craft employees does make employees "sick" and they call in because of the stress. Stress does cause medical problems. The Post Office is a hostile work environment and when the OIG starts taking complaints seriously, changes can be made. The Post Office should be the model employer in the United States.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    take these things into consideration:

    1. Supervisors themselves burning up years of sick leave. Check MLS P&DC to see how many supervisors did this in the past 12 months.

    2. Supervisors won't grant employees temporary light duty anymore. So if you need a couple weeks in manual cases to rest your sprained wrist, they say no and send you home on sick leave. This is forced sick leave that the person didn't want to take.

    3. Mgmt sending injured on duty people home for good. Before turning them over to the Dept of labor, the people are told they can use up all their leave, including sick leave. These people did not want to be sent home. This is forced sick leave too.

    4. Physical work, graveyard shift, an aging workforce.

    5. Check out MLS P&DC and see how many cancer incidents we have had. When you have breast, prostate, brain cancers, you have to use sick leave. We have asked the question, is our site a cancer cluster site. No one pays any attention. Our original postmaster MLS (Margaret Sellers) herself, died of brain tumors.

    6. For abusers, Mgmt can do RSL letters. Then progressive discipline, if done correctly, can cull out people. But mgmt needs training to do it right, and they never learn proper procedure. Thank God.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    hey,

    First off come up with a Nationwide standard. Every facility has it's own formula for attendance discipline, that's absurd !
    Secondly, if the Service has a problem with sick leave use/abuse come to the bargaining table with it, don't try to change horses mid stream.
    Finally, treat your employees as Allies not Enemys !
    duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh1111111111111111111111

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    There must be a change contractual to allow swift action to be taken against abusers of the system. Good for one quarter then back to the old games to avoid discipline. Maybe not paying for the first day out would curb some calls. Replacing abusers costs overtime and is not good for morale when people that come to work to do their job are now saddled with someone elses workload. Crediting time towards retirement would benefit both parties. Sick leave would not be paid at a higher dollar amount than when it was earned, and people would not feel the need to burn it before leaving.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    When someone retires, pay them the full amount of the sick leave.

    Example:

    2000 hours of sick leave when I retire.

    If I'm making 26.00 a hour. Then when I retire, the USPS pays me $52.000 for the sick leave I didn't use.

    When some one calls in sick, it probably cost the USPS more than that they would pay you for the sick leave.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    unless and until you treat management the same as craft workers you will ALWAYS have craft using sick leave. management uses sick leave with NO consequences. fix that and then ask us for our opinion.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    Retired, but aware did an excellent job summing it up above. I am a FERS employee and have been a supervisor for many years. I have a high balance because I would feel guilty calling in often and forcing someone else to cover my area. But how can you give someone a benifit and then tell them not to use it? I get sick enough to call in maybe once a year. But do you think I like the idea of just watching all that accumulated sick leave disappear when I retire? The only way to cut back on usage is to provide an incentive for saving it.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    I'm trying to understand what's being said. There arer a lot of "%"s being thrown around in the article. If I've learned anything, it's that statistics can be made to say anything you want them to.

    Here is my question: Is the postal worker taking more than his/her alloted sick leave? I know that using sick leave for other purposes other than illness is not allowed. However, I take a bit of an exception to the agency (and government) deciding what a fair amount of hours of sick time is and then fretting about the fact that it's being used. If there were solid, tangible indicators that a particular person was misusing his/her sick leave, that person should be gone after...but to talk in generalities about a "problem" that may not even exist (because the amount of sick time estimated by the 'bosses' is about the amount of sick time needed) seems a bit counter-productive to me.

    The Postal Service has WAY too many REAL and PRESSING problems right now than to be searching out possible ones.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    Incentive to not use sick leave is the answer ,
    since when does the USPS do the right thing.

  • Reply to: The Postal Service’s Green Initiatives   4 years 11 months ago

    That is true, RealityChecker. When people criticize the Postal Service or printed communications for not being green enough, they often ignore the environmental deficiencies of electronic alternatives. After all, paper doesn't drain power when it is idling on a desk.

  • Reply to: The Postal Service’s Green Initiatives   4 years 11 months ago

    These sound as though they are great suggestions. I wish I knew more about OIG retail forms. I wonder if there is a way for offices to just print out rarely used forms.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    The demographics and type of work may be responsible. Look at the median age of USPS employees. Plus, letter carrier and other USPS work is more physical than most fed jobs.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    Regardless of what the postal service says about mail volume being down. They are piling more and more mail on their employees. This can not be done without there being more repetive injuries to the employees.

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    Sick leave use/abuse is not a new topic. It has been a constant source of discussion, but never resolved. Granted FERS and the disincentive to save SL is a problem. Also, Managment just gets used to people calling-in sick with the real or imagined illness and charge it off as a cost of doing business. If fact, as volume declines, people not coming to work may be of benefit. Supervisors and managers at the field level don't see the specific cost of SL usage. It is lost deep in the financial reports, so $$$ awareness is an issue. Those supv/mgrs who have been around awhile know the drill...crack down on SL...next month OT...the next month LWOP...and, oh yea, service. They know discipline for SL gets settled downstream (so why bother) and Labor Relations has gotten out of the discipline control business.
    So, what's the solution? There needs to be an incentive for employees not using SL. Whether it is an annual buy out at a reduced price offset by some form of long-term disability coverage or combine AL/SL into a merged personal leave (but the later would have to "booked" in the financal reports like AL is booked now). (SL is not booked, as it is not a liability). (Side note here, when making the comparisons with private industry, remember, they either don't normally have a separate SL program or the earning rate for SL is not even close to the 104 hours per year).
    We have learned throughout the years that cracking down on SL using the stick doesn't work in the long run. Under CSRS, we were able to slow the rate as employees had an incentive to save. Today, a similar incentive has to be developed that has a cost benefit as it looks like employees are approaching a national ratio of 5.2% which is using SL as it is earned (104 hours/2000 hours).

    Good luck with this one. Many have tried to solve it and no one has been successful

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   4 years 11 months ago

    How is extended sick leave for off-duty injuries/illness, such as a broken leg or a major surgery, factored into the private sector to postal sector analysis? Most private sector organization provide short-term disability coverage for employee's off-duty injuries/illnesses. Without input about short-term disability absences in the private sector, the comparison is moot. Or, provide a breakdown of postal sick leave usage of 40-consecutive hours or less versus more than 40-consecutive hours.

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