Non-career employees, or temporary workers who do not receive full employee benefits and privileges, make up a significant part of the U.S. Postal Service’s workforce – about 130,000 in fiscal year (FY) 2016. The USPS uses non-career employees throughout its operations.

However, turnover is a problem with temp workers, particularly for the city carrier assistant (CCA) position that delivers mail on designated city routes. In FY 2015, the Postal Service spent about $95.1 million to hire and train new non-career employees or replace those who left, our recent audit report said.  

Turnover was higher in FY 2015 than previous years despite the USPS’ concerted efforts to address it by creating a CCA recruitment and retention strategy for field Human Resources staff, managers, and supervisors. In addition, the Postal Service created initiatives for FY 2016 to reduce turnover and improve training.

Non-career employees are vital for providing flexibility, supplementing the regular workforce, and reducing staffing costs. To that end, the Postal Service established a goal of keeping the monthly turnover rate at 2.9 percent for all non-career crafts in FY 2016. It missed that goal this past year, seeing an average monthly turnover rate of 3.6 percent. (The monthly rates of 2.9 percent and 3.6 percent equate to 34.8 percent and 42.7 percent annually.) Had it hit its goal, the Postal Service would have reduced its hiring and instructing costs for FY 2016 by more than $23 million.

Our report identified opportunities for the Postal Service to improve non-career staffing, especially in light of a tightening labor market. For example, USPS could address scheduling flexibility, the physical demands of the job, and supervisory relationships that contributed to non-career employee turnover. These were among the top reasons for leaving in a survey of non-career employees who resigned. Other reasons included low pay, few benefits, and lack of training.

What other ways could the Postal Service improve retention of non-career employees? 

Comments (1)

  • anon

    Hello I'm a newly hired CCA and the one thing I keep hearing about as far as the turn over, are the encounter with dogs. Also over worked career employees who have very long routes which wear and tear their bodies. I've heard complaints about having to 1) Case your mail within 11/2hr-Suggestion/have part-time clerks case the mail 2) Load your mail/packages in the trucks and out the door before 9a-Suggestion/have part-time clerks or CCA load the mail before sending them home for lack of work 3) Long walking routes-Suggestion/split the long routes with newly hired CCA for full time hours 4) Deliver all that mail in a timely matter/pressure for TIME versus quality work-Suggestion/STOP PRESSURING CARRIERS TO RUSH DELIVERING THE MAIL THAT'S WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN. QUALITY BEFORE QUANTITY Now I know I'm just starting out and was not clear about newly hired CCA complaining about the position? being part time? Is this from lack of work or Career Carries not wanting to share their routes. I'm looking forward to working with the Postal Service as a new career, but if I feel that my co-workers will not support me in my success then I will have to consider another career choice. Wish me luck and keep me in your thoughts

    Jan 21, 2018

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