USPS Will Consolidate Accounting Positions

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The U.S. Postal Service expects to save about $25 million from a consolidation program it will begin Nov. 2 that eliminates 833 accounting technician positions from 85 district accounting offices.


"A lot of the work the accounting technicians did at the district level, such as paying post office utility bills, is redundant work, especially since a lot of [their work] has moved from paper into electronic payment, USPS spokesman Gerry Krienkamp said.


The plan, to be completed by the end of 2003, also will add 350 jobs at the postal service's three accounting service centers, located in San Mateo, CA; Eagan, MN; and St. Louis.


Krienkamp said union agreements with the USPS prohibit layoffs of these employees. They will be offered window clerk or mail processing positions in their areas. If they do not apply or are not selected for a new position, managers will reassign them.


"This is part of our overall transformation plan to increase efficiencies and reduce costs," Krienkamp said.


One element already introduced is a paperless travel system called the e-travel system that lets employees file electronic travel vouchers, which then are transmitted automatically to a data center.


The postal service also is looking at activity-based costing, which is a way the USPS can better identify costs at the operational level.


"Everybody, in all operational functional areas at the postal service, is looking at ways to reduce costs," Krienkamp said. "It is an ongoing program."


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