NAPUS Letter sent to Postmaster General Jack Potter
August 25, 2009
Honorable John E. Potter
Postmaster General, Chief Executive Officer
United States Postal Service
475 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Room 10022
Washington, DC 20260-0010
Re: Your Letter of August 25, 2009
Earlier today, I was advised that the U.S. Postal Service will extend to employees represented by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union a $15,000 retirement incentive. The USPS projects that the offer will reduce operating costs by $500 million.
I urge you to make a similar offer to Postmasters. Equity demands that Postmasters be offered the same retirement incentive as the individuals whom they manage. In fact, at NAPUS’ May consultative with the USPS, I asked for such a Postmaster retirement incentive, but was advised by your representative that there were no funds available for my request. Apparently, funds are now available for clerks and mail handlers. Jack, NAPUS’ request must be revisited in light of to day’s news. Failure to provide Postmasters with a meaningful retirement incentive will further degrade Postmaster morale, and will confirm an incalculable level of disrespect.
At the same time, I am alarmed about the operational implications of the clerk and mail handler retirement incentive. Currently, postal operations are compromised by grave staffing inadequacies. These complement deficiencies yield late-arriving mail at destination Post Offices, and letter carrier scarcity that results in Postmasters performing after-hour delivery functions. Managers cannot safeguard quality customer service, while also filling processing, window and carrier vacancies. Among the situations that confront my members are: too many Postmasters work ten and twelve hour work days, six and seven days a week; and an increasing number are forced to violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. Consequently, the clerk/mail handler retirement incentives, as rolled-out, will intensify staffing problems – not increase operational efficiencies. Please recall the misguided reductions implemented by your predecessor, Marvin Runyon.
In sum, simple fairness requires that Postmasters be extended a financial retirement incentive, and the clerks and mail handler incentive may degrade postal service, rather than improve it.
O Dale Goff, Jr.