Postal Service plans to hire 300 city carrier assistants

Posted at: 01/23/2013 8:03 AM
Updated at: 01/24/2013 7:23 AM
By: Christine VanTimmeren

The postal service has 300 new positions, opening up in western New York.

With email so popular, the U.S. Postal Service has been struggling financially, creating these lower paid “city carrier assistants” is another way to keep it profitable.

For you, this guarantees that you get your mail on time six days a week, but for those applying for these jobs, it means less stability and the possibility that they could get laid off at any time.

When it comes to those who are unemployed, a job is a job, temporary or not. The fact that the postal service is making jobs available is a great time, but News10NBC wanted to find out all the details about these positions for you, information you'll want to know before applying.

Karen Mazurkiewicz, U.S. Postal Service Spokesperson, said, “We still are a lynch pin of a business, of a community of businesses that rely on the postal service for their products, their goods, their business mail, their personal mail.”

But you've seen the headlines, fewer people are sending letters, the postal service is facing a huge deficit. So Wednesday's headline, “Postal service hiring 300 city carrier assistants”, kind of came as a surprise.

Mazurkiewicz said, “As career employees retire, we're not replacing them at a one to one ratio and these types of employees give us that flexibility and give us the ability to still serve our customers.”

The postal service says 300 city carrier assistants are being created in all of western New York. City carrier assistant is just another name for those already deemed transitional employees. Those jobs are going away, meaning transitional employees are going to be applying under this new title as well as the general public.

News10NBC's Christine VanTimmeren said, “That really leaves significantly less for people who aren't already part of the postal service?”

Mazurkiewicz said, “That's a good assumption, however, we don't know if everybody will come over. But you're right, it's a good assumption that probably most people will.”

Those 200 transitional employees would have to take a major pay cut though. Under the new National Association of Letter Carriers' contract , carrier assistants would make $15 an hour. Transitional employees made $22. The trade off, transitional employees had no option to become a career employee. Carrier assistants will.

Mazurkiewicz said, “Is it part of our industry and the way its going? I guess yes, but is it part of how American business is trying to deal with economic pressures? Absolutely.”

To be hired as a carrier assistant, applicants will also have to take a two part test. The postal service wasn't able to say how many actual jobs will be coming to Rochester, but they did say even if transitional employees apply and are rehired, there will be at least a handful of jobs available.

Adding the temporary positions is good for career employees. If layoffs are needed, the postal service won't go to them, they'll go to these carrier assistants. According to the new contract, the postal service needs to maintain a ratio of 85% career employees and 15% temporary employees. So no full time, full benefited positions will lost their jobs because of this.

The deadline to apply is January 27, 2013.

The USPS says the openings are organized by the following geographical areas (within 50-mile radius):
Rochester - Job Posting # 68813157
Lyons - Job Posting # 68815899
Buffalo - Job Posting # 68810003
Lockport - Job Posting # 68815070
Fredonia - Job Posting # 68814317
Jamestown - Job Posting # 68814815
Olean - Job Posting # 68815436
Warsaw - Job Posting # 68815641
Elmira - Job Posting # 68813822

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