An Open Letter To USPS Employees From PMG Jack Potter

As most of you have heard, I talked to Congress last week about the economic situation of the Postal Service. I told them we are in a financial crisis. I told them how it came about. Then I offered some proposals that could help us through a very difficult economy. 

The biggest problem we’re facing is the economy itself. Business is down. It’s harder for companies and families to get credit. Unemployment is up. People are worried about the future.  Spending has slowed down across the board — on homes, on cars, on household goods, and even on the mail. And some of the businesses that were our largest mail users have had the most difficult time — so they’re mailing a lot less, as well.

That’s had a real effect on our business. You can see that every day where you work. There’s less mail to process and less mail to deliver. Volume was down by more than 9 billion pieces last year. That’s about 4.5 percent. It’s falling even faster today. By the end of the year, we expect to lose another 12 billion to 15 billion pieces. At the same time, costs have been growing — but revenue has not. This year, the money we bring in will be less than it was 2008, when we lost $2.8 billion. We could lose more than $5 billion. 

Before I asked Congress for help, I explained that everywhere in the Postal Service — at every Post Office and every plant — our people have been doing a great job helping to make ends meet. We were able to reduce more than $2 billion in costs last year. And we’re doing even more this year. We’re reducing administrative positions and costs that we just can’t afford. We’ve stopped new construction. We’re going to keep adjusting operations as volume keeps falling. We’re on track to reduce 100 million workhours this year — double last year’s reduction. 

Another thing I was very clear about with Congress was the fact that you brought service to the highest levels we’ve ever seen — during one of the toughest times we’ve ever faced. I appreciate that. You’ve kept our customers first. That will make a difference for us when the economy does get better.

But despite everything we’ve done, and everything we’re doing, volume is falling faster than our ability to adjust to it. That’s why I asked Congress for help.

The one thing that can help most is changing the way we pay for retiree health benefits. About two years ago a new law, for the first time ever, required the Postal Service to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. The Postal Service is required to pay $55.8 billion over a ten-year period, heavily front-loading the payment schedule. The Postal Service is the only federal agency that is required to pre-fund this obligation. This is a payment usually spread out over 30 years or more. It’s like having a 30-year mortgage on your house that you have to pay off in only 10. It’s not easy, even in the best of times. 

Our retiree health benefit fund has a strong and growing balance — more than $32 billion. We pay more than $5 billion into the fund every year. We pay another $2 billion for current retirees.  Last year, those payments were the difference between making money and losing money. I explained to Congress that if we paid our costs for current retirees out of the fund, we could save almost $25 billion over the next eight years. That would go a long way toward protecting the future of the Postal Service. This is a good solution. It won’t raise the premiums paid by today’s retirees or by you when you retire. And it wouldn’t have any impact on your benefits—they’d still be secure. 

I made one other point to Congress. I said that if the economy doesn’t improve, and if our finances keep getting worse, we could reach a point when we may not be able to afford six-day delivery. If that happens — and it hasn’t happened yet — I asked Congress for flexibility in the number of days we deliver mail. I know you’ve heard and read a lot about this. So it’s important that you hear it right from me. That’s not a choice that’s at the top of anyone’s list, and it may be a decision we’ll never have to make. There are other things we can do, things that we’d prefer to do, and that can help us financially.

Thank you for everything you do. I know it hasn’t been easy, but it’s made a difference. I’m asking for your continued help as we work to weather this economic storm so we can continue to serve America, now and long into the future. 

Jack Potter

source: USPS

19 thoughts on “An Open Letter To USPS Employees From PMG Jack Potter

  1. bamagirl, managers are “working” 13 or 14 hrs. a day? HaHa. My idiot supervisor is there 8 or 9 hrs. but “work” isn’t part of it. His day is one big smoke break broken up by sitting in his chair with his feet on the desk. His “relief” comes in with her feedbag strapped on, sits on her way-to-big-for-her-chair- ass and doesn’t move until a change of feedbags is required.

  2. Stop the union from protecting people that should get fired, they are only a bad influence and bad for morale. Stop paying ET’s PS 10 pay when they can’t pass any schools but still get ET pay. Don’t give MPE’s higher level to work on a machine that they failed the school, I guess rewarding for failure is the postal way. Just look at Potters salary. Do not give bonuses to management, give them COLA increases, just like us. I agree with light duty and lame losers. Increase the management to employee ratio. Use shop foremen instead of supervisors and pay them Level 11 or 12 pay. Stop unnecessary spending, like renovating break rooms, carpeting, and all the nonsense. Stop sending management to NCED, that should be done all online or by video conference. WASTE OF MONEY. Just a few ideas.

  3. Get rid of all those do nothing supervisors and problem solved please start with deerfield beach florida, the worst supervisors in the nation, all guilty of hiding and throwing away mail, instead of firing them they transfer them out what a crime.

  4. Overtime has all been eliminated and with route adjustments, continued pivoting persists. You have a district manager who eats, sleeps, and drinks the Postal Service and wants you written up for 1 min of overtime. On the days, when the subzero wind chills and freezing rain hits, you deliver, and yet you never hear one single word of ‘thank you for a job well done’ from this man. You only hear his constant complaints. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. If you would have tried to curtail unauthorized overtime years ago, you wouldn’t be in this predicament today. I haven’t noticed any down mail volume on my route. I still have to walk 9 miles to each house with all the third bundles we have throughout the week.

  5. Funny now your killing all the tour 2 jobs (to get rid of the old farts who can’t do the job and didn’t take the early out)

    No big deal but why wouldn’t the Post Office want to save 10% in night pay and move all the tour 1 employees to tour 2? I know makes sense but then you wouldn’t have to go to a 5 day delivery and if your worried about delaying the mail an extra day, we ALREADY are! I know I’m a DCT!

  6. Welcome to Pottersville, Its A Wonderful Life. Why don’t you offer Fers employees incentive to leave. We cant touch our thrift, without penality, because most of us are under the age of 56, we cant get a Social Security supplement for the same reason. You are offering us 1000 a month average. Lets do some deductions, tax, health care, surviveship bennifits, that should leave us with a total of 350 to 400 a month to pay bills and live on, wait thats this year, with expected rise in health care cost next year might be 250-300 a month, wait what about the following year 150-200, lets look 5 years down the line, oh I get it we will be paying the Postal service 200 a month to cover health care, total five years from now -200. Of course we all can refiance our homes with CountryWide and since we work for you, Mr. Potter, perhaps we can get some points shaved off the loan, you would put in the good word for us won’t you? P.S.: Have u ever told Senate, Congress or the American People while it is true that mail volume is decreasing, more then a great part of our upcoming 6 billion dollar loss is equipment purchases, DPS Flat Sorters and service contracts.

  7. to MoreBloatedManagament: Managers,level 22 and below, are working 13-14 hour shifts in Birmingham,AL., with only a 10 minute lunch break and no other break, and no OT pay. Lazy???!!! i think not.

  8. Funny, all the “managers” I have worked with over the years WERE the lame and lazy. BTW, at “any other company” there are requirements to be in management.

  9. Dear bull$%^&, you can’t blame the PMG for earning his salary in these economic times. For the job he does, he is probably paid 1/3 of what a CEO should (or would, anyway). If I blame any of our troubles on the “Service” in any way, it would be how we do not enforce accountability across the board among our employees. The late, lame, and lazy permeate what we do everyday leaving those of us actually DOING our jobs holding the bag everyday. And the Unions have such a stranglehold on the daily ability to “get the job done” with frivolous greivances amounting to pure insanity. Go get a job as a custodian ANYWHERE else and get $20 an hour? Ain’t happening. The same with any of the other crafts. If it’s so bad, go find your “Pot of Gold” with another company…. Bet you won’t because you actually might have to DO SOME WORK! So shut the hell up and go back to work! Should I even start with the FMLA fraud seen everyday? No wonder we’re going broke.

  10. save it. why not stop taking the money you are stealing for doing a failing job. bonus and your pay raises are suppose to be on how good a job you did. you have been throwing millions to inept sup.all over, ask the employees.

  11. save it. why not stop taking the money you are stealing for doing a failing job. bonus and your pay raises are suppose to be on how good a job you did. you have been throwing millions to inept sup.all over, ask the employees.

  12. save it. why not stop taking the money you are stealing for doing a failing job. bonus and your pay raises are suppose to be on how good a job you did. you have been throwing millions to inept sup.all over, ask the employees.

  13. save it. why not stop taking the money you are stealing for doing a failing job. bonus and your pay raises are suppose to be on how good a job you did. you have been throwing millions to inept sup.all over, ask the employees.

  14. “we have stopped new construction” does that mean the facility expansion to house the FSS machine is postponed? Is the FSS machine itself considered to be “construction”? How many billions in savings there?

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