Why do PSEs go through the demeaning process of being separated and rehired every year? Their counterparts, Rural Carrier Associates (RCAs) have been appointed without a time limitation since 1987.
During the 1960s and early 1970s, the Postal Service hired “temporary indefinite” noncareer employees for entry level jobs (I was one in 1966). Their appointments were not time-limited. They could be laid off, but few were.
Temporary indefinite noncareer employees were represented by unions and enjoyed the same benefits, like health insurance and pay, as career employees with one main exception – retirement. Noncareer employees paid into Social Security, whereas career employees paid into the Civil Service Retirement System.
Temporary noncareer employees were an integral part of the bargaining unit until 1975. The only noncareer employees that were excluded from the bargaining unit were Christmas casuals and public policy employees (disabled workers). See Article 1, Section 2 of the old contracts.
That all changed in July 1975 when the craft unions created a new category of employee called the “supplemental workforce” that were excluded from the CBA. Temporary noncareer employees with equal pay and benefits were replaced with casual employees with 90-day appointments, lower pay and no benefits. The rest is history.