APWU Web News Articles

VER Offers Expanded

Burrus to Maintenance, Motor Vehicle Employees: Don't Go!

Web News Article #: 

09/04/2008 - With news that the Postal Service will offer Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) to Motor Vehicle Services and Maintenance Craft employees — except Electronic Technicians — APWU President William Burrus is reiterating his advice to union members: DON’T GO! 

“My reasoning is simple,” he said. “Every APWU-represented employee who leaves early will save the USPS hundreds of thousands of dollars, yet the Postal Service is refusing to offer cash incentives.”

“Each employee who opts for the early-out will suffer a life-long reduced annuity,” Burrus said. “And with the economy spiraling downward, the opportunity to find another job after retirement has diminished. Eligible employees should be offered a cash incentive to cushion the shock.”

Postal workers should understand that management is offering Voluntary Early Retirement because of the prospect of heavy financial losses in the current fiscal year and beyond, Burrus said. “The opportunity to retire early may be tempting, but it is not being offered for the employee’s benefit: It is intended to improve the financial condition of the Postal Service.

“Early-outs have been offered in many industries,” the union president noted. “But elsewhere they are called ‘buyouts’ and employees have been offered healthy bonuses.

“Furthermore, the APWU believes that every eligible employee — including Electronic Technicians — should be given the same opportunity.” 

The initial VER offer — to 57,000 Clerks, Mail Handlers, and supervisory employees — was announced in July. On Aug. 29, the Postal Service announced that it had received approval to offer additional early-outs. 

A timeline of events dated Sept. 8 was subsequently provided to the APWU