Some misleading news reports published Wednesday suggested the U.S. Postal Service is slashing 30,000 positions by the end of September. Not so, according to postal officials.

Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe will formally unveil plans to cut 7,500 jobs by the end of the month -- reductions expected to focus primarily on administrative positions and postmasters.

In an interview earlier this week, Donahoe suggested USPS would likely see the departure of about 30,000 total employees this year, because 22,500 of them retire or leave the agency on average each year. (So do the math: 7,500 expected job cuts plus 22,500 retirements/departures equals 30,000 total departures.)

In turn, two trade publications (that The Eye reads regularly and admires) incorrectly characterized Donahoe’s statements as meaning that he was ordering the elimination of 30,000 jobs.

Postal officials privately concede however that many more workers may leave this year in order to avoid potential layoffs or a more perilous financial condition in the coming years.

In response to declining mail volume, the Postal Service has cut more than 230,000 positions in recent years by implementing hiring freezes, offering early retirement packages or through attrition.

Negotiations with two of its largest unions -- the American Postal Worker Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association -- are ongoing.

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