Management/Employee Relations Problems at the Bennettsville, South Carolina, Post Office

GGD-82-35: Published: Jan 18, 1982. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 1982.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the management and employee problems at the Bennettsville Post Office, South Carolina. Information was compiled on incidents which led to employee grievances, and the disposition of those grievances filed during the previous 3 fiscal years was determined. Information was further obtained by interviews with various postal officials.

GAO found that grievance activity at Bennettsville was extremely high relative to the activity at other post offices under the jurisdiction of the Management Section Center (MSC), a designated postal facility whose manager has full management responsibility assigned for all post offices within an assigned zip code. Grievances by the carriers generally concerned incidents occurring during count and carrier route inspections made by the MSC employees. The inspections resulted in management being criticized for not adequately controlling city carrier operations and for the post office's failure to stay within its budgeted workhours. In turn, such criticism resulted in Bennettsville's management taking actions which caused employee grievances. MSC decided that Bennettsville should participate in the Model Delivery Office Program to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery services. Bennettsville demonstrated significant improvement in these areas and was certified as a Model Delivery Unit. The MSC manager informed GAO that he and his staff visited the Bennettsville Post Office and opened a dialogue between management and employees. He believes that labor and management relations are improving. However, the prospects for improved management and employee relations at Bennettsville remain uncertain without personnel changes.

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