Chapter 3 Our Workforce

The Postal Service and the NALC continued joint contract application training and dispute resolution process support by delivering training to 130 Postal Service and NALC representatives responsible for addressing and resolving disputes locally. The training has been instrumental in reducing disputes and improving relationships. The Postal Service and NALC also have jointly developed an intervention process that has been widely implemented to identify and resolve root causes of disputes at the lowest level possible, helping build more cooperative and productive labor-management relationships.

The Postal Service and NPMHU co-hosted the 11th annual Quality of Work Life Conference in September. Over 48 teams shared their ideas and over 47 teams displayed models of their solutions in the Resource Mart. All teams showed the type of initiative and creativity that continues to make our organization more efficient and effective. Six teams were distinguished for their outstanding projects and performances.

As prescribed by law, program consultation was conducted throughout the year with the national officers and representatives of the National League of Postmasters (League), the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS), and the National Association of Postal Supervisors (NAPS). This process presented an opportunity for the associations to participate directly in the planning, development, and implementation of programs and policies affecting approximately 65,000 managerial employees.

Complement Management

Total Postal Service employee complement decreased by 20,841 in 2008. At the end of the year, 765,088 career and non-career employees were on the rolls. Of this number, 663,238 are career employees. Career complement decreased by 21,524. Complement mix changed significantly with the addition of 13,100 carrier transitional employees. These were added in preparation for the implementation of flats sequencing. Overtime, sick leave, higher-level, and standby hours were also reduced. It is notable that these complement and workhour reductions were achieved as service scores increased and Voice of the Employee scores remained at high levels.

Achieving an optimal staffing mix of career and non-career employees is essential to the Postal Service meeting its goals of service reliability and financial stability. Changes in mail volume, mail mix, technology, and mailer behavior require optimal use of the flexible, non-career workforce, and may also require reassignment of career employees. Complement management provides managers with a suite of critical planning and tracking tools to accomplish this.


The Complement Information System (webCOINS) program is now the primary field tool for complement information, and has a user base of more than 29,000. The Corporate Complement Management System (webCCM) provides a contractually-correct means to reassign bargaining unit employees. Rapidly changing business conditions and mail volume changes are resulting in significant growth in the use of webCCM, and field training and support is continuing. Business rules for the addition of maintenance, motor vehicle, and rural carrier crafts components will be included in fiscal year 2009.


The Human Capital Enterprise (HCE) and Human Resources Shared Services (HRSS) initiative continues to evolve, providing employees with important human resources’ service improvements. In 2008, the Postal Service reached a major milestone with the national implementation of a shared services environment that:

  • Provides self-service for employees and managers to conduct personnel and HR activities online with access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Leverages technological advances and business partnerships to provide a new technology platform, the Human Capital Enterprise System (HCES).
  • Transforms HR by automating, standardizing, and centralizing business processes.

The services provided by the HCE/HRSS are supported by the Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC). In 2008, the HRSSC processed over 1.1 million personnel actions, 9,000 EAS job vacancies, over 83,000 bargaining unit job postings and awards, and almost 22,000 retirements. All districts, areas, and Headquarters are now serviced by the HRSSC, which handles an average of 3,000 calls each day.

Two key components of the HCE/HRSS initiative were implemented this year: eCareer and electronic Official Personnel File (eOPF). eCareer, the online job application and selection system used for hiring and promotion activities in the Postal Service, reduces the time between posting and selection while improving employee flexibility and ease of use. In addition to making the application process easier, eCareer makes the entire selection process quicker and more convenient, from posting vacancies, through assessments, to selection. It adds value by automating and streamlining processes, eliminating manual paper handling, and realizing significant savings in time and resources. And, with the implementation of the eOPF, employees now have instant, convenient, and secure access to their personal and work information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.