Eye Opener: 23,000 Postal Workers Opt for Buyout
Happy Friday! Approximately 5,000 full-time Postal Service employees eligible for retirement ended their Postal careers this week, accepting $15,000 buyout offers as part of a cost-cutting move. Another 18,000 full-time workers have also accepted the offer, but have until Oct. 31 to complete the paperwork or opt out.
The Postal Service announced the buyout program in August as a way to save up to $500 million during the new fiscal year, which began on Thursday.
Officials stress that these are preliminary figures and likely to change as workers make their final decisions. In addition to the full-time staff, part-timers have until Oct. 16 to initially accept the buyout and until Nov. 30 to make a final decision.
The offer was extended to post office retail clerks, distribution center mail handlers and clerks, and vehicle technicians. Letter carriers were not eligible, because the Postal Service only targeted areas of its where it has an excess of workers, and the number of addresses grows, on average, by 1.5 million each year.
The Postal Service secured $4 billion in financial assistance from Congress earlier this week, meaning it will pay only $1.4 billion to pre-fund retiree health benefits. Postal officials soon also will release updated information on the possible closure or consolidation of Postal facilities. Fewer than 700 sites have been considered.
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The Bidens on Friday: He hosts a Middle Class Task Force meeting with Council of Economic Advisors Chairwoman Christina Romer, OMB Director Peter Orszag, National Economic Council Director Larry Summers and aides Jared Bernstein and Terrell McSweeny. She hosts a conference call with community college presidents at the Education Department in the afternoon.
• Mark Your Calendars: FedScoop.com hosts “Lowering the Cost of Government with Technology" Oct. 14 at the Newseum. It's the first of a series of events designed to address White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra's "five pillars" (read: goals) to lower government costs with technology, transparency, security, engagement and innovation. Sign up for the event at FedScoopevents.com.
• Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!: The Post announces the launch of The Sunday Agenda & The Sunday Roundup. Get a Sunday morning e-mail with top headlines and a look at the likely political talk show agenda, followed by an afternoon recap of what newsmakers (many of them your bosses) had to say. Sign up now and don't miss the highlights from the Bob, Chris, David, George and John shows!
• Cabinet and Staff News: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed next to Ireland, U.K. and Russia. Ben Bernanke subdued on the Fed's consumer protection role. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood defends DOT's stimulus spending. Dick Cheney's interview with FBI in CIA leak case ordered released. Obama senior foreign policy adviser Mark Lippert going back to the Navy.
• Federal Employees Banned From Texting While Driving: The ban, in the form of an executive order signed by President Obama, was announced Thursday by LaHood at the culmination of a two-day meeting on the issue of distracted driving.
• Too Old for Foreign Service Work?: A Foreign Service officer files suit alleging age discrimination.
• Latinos Kick Off Campaign to Counter Census Fears: In a campaign called "Ya es hora. Hagase contar!" or "It's time to make yourself count," Spanish-language television and newspapers plan to run a barrage of messages stressing that federal funds for communities and political power rise out of the count.
• Former DEA Agent Reaches Tentative Settlement in CIA Case: The lawsuit, brought by Richard A. Horn, accused the CIA of illegally bugging his residence in Rangoon, Burma, when he was stationed there.
• Homeland Security to Hire Cyberexperts: The announcement follows a wave of cyberattacks on federal agencies, including a July assault that knocked government Web sites off the Internet and earlier intrusions into the country's electrical grid.
| October 2, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener
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