Letter Carriers' Workload and Overtime Concerns at Irvington Station, Fremont, California

GGD-85-39: Published: Apr 15, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed letter carrier operations and the use of overtime to complete mail deliveries at a post office in California. GAO noted that the request was prompted by complaints from letter carriers at that post office.

GAO found that: (1) the high rates of overtime developed because of unanticipated rapid growth in mail volume; (2) the volume of mail caused carriers to be unable to deliver all mail during an 8-hour period; (3) supervisors did not perform required analyses of routes; and (4) managers did not act to eliminate the high use of overtime. GAO also found that: (1) a systematic analysis of route lengths would have demonstrated the need for more carriers; (2) overtime increased labor costs by about $43,000; and (3) the excessive use of overtime had a negative impact on the carriers' morale.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To aid in correcting the situation at Irvington Station and to help ensure that similar problems do not recur, the Postmaster General should direct the Regional Postmaster General, Western Region, to comply with Postal Service criteria for route evaluation at Irvington Station and establish work assignments that are as close to 8 hours as possible for each regular letter carrier.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To aid in correcting the situation at Irvington Station and to help ensure that similar problems at the station do not recur, the Postmaster General should direct the Regional Postmaster General, Western Region, to monitor routes in accordance with postal criteria so that carriers maintain 8-hour work assignments to the extent practicable.

    Agency Affected: United States Postal Service

 

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