Sen. Tester questions Postal executive salaries as USPS considers drastic cuts

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is taking the leaders of the U.S. Postal Service to task, demanding that executives be willing to cut their own salaries as they propose cuts to the nation’s mail service.

Tester said that if senior postal executives were willing to cut mail delivery standards and close rural post offices, they should also be willing to “forgo bonuses or reduce salary.”

The Postal Service’s Board of Governors recently told Tester that cutting the salaries of its top employees would have a “chilling effect on the management of the organization.” Although the Postal Service is struggling financially, the Postmaster General last year earned $800,000 in pay and benefits.

Tester responded by pointing out that the heads of both the Treasury and Defense departments – facing their own difficult challenges – earn much less than they might in the private sector.

“Civil servants, like the Postmaster General, have unique public responsibilities and sacrifices inherent to their positions,” Tester wrote the Postal Service’s Board of Governors. “The reality is that many of our government’s senior leaders share this distinctive burden. Public service is uniquely different [from the private sector] and the Postal Service must rise to meet that expectation.”

Tester also took issue with the Board of Governors for suggesting that the Postal Service is a “private enterprise whose operations should be dictated solely by the private marketplace.”

‘The Postal Service is a public entity with unique service requirements that are critical to rural America,” Tester wrote. “Yet the Service’s plans to erode service standards, close facilities and thus reduce its own effectiveness suggest that this public requirement is lost on the Board of Governors and senior executives of the Postal Service.”

The Postal Service in August announced plans to consider closing 85 Montana post offices, and more recently recommended consolidating mail processing facilities in Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Butte, and Wolf Point. Pressure from Tester and Montanans eventually convinced the Postal Service to keep Missoula’s facility open.

Tester, a member of the Senate committee that oversees the U.S. Postal Service, said that he remains committed to reforming the Postal Service in a way that preserves the “public nature of the institution.”

Tester’s letter to Board of Governors’ Chairman Thurgood Marshall Jr. and Board Member Louis Giuliano is available below and online HERE.


February 28, 2012

Mr. Thurgood Marshall, Jr.
Mr. Lou Giuliano
Postal Board of Governors
United States Postal Service
458 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, D.C. 20024-2114

Dear Governors Marshall and Giuliano:

Thank you for our recent meeting and your follow-up letter regarding the issues we discussed. I appreciate that your responsibility as the Board of Governors is to advocate for the United States Postal Service and report to Congress on the Service’s best interests. However, I am deeply concerned by several of the assertions in your letter and the organizational culture being fostered at the Postal Service.

Make no mistake: I appreciate your perspective on the state of the Postal Service and the willingness of the Postmaster to reconsider the wisdom of closing post offices and other facilities in Montana and elsewhere. But I believe we have vastly different visions about the future of the Postal Service.

You wrote that the Postal Service is required by Title 39 to compensate its leaders at a level commensurate with the private sector, while providing a public service. However, civil servants, like the Postmaster General and other senior Postal Service executives, have unique public responsibilities and sacrifices inherent to their positions. The reality is that many of our government’s senior leaders share this distinctive burden. The Secretary of the Treasury presides over our nation’s economy at one of its most turbulent times in history on a civil servant’s salary. The Secretary of Defense is responsible for maintaining our nation’s security while overseeing 1 million men and women in uniform who were until just recently, engaged in two wars. Both secretaries have accepted compensation that is likely much less than they would receive in the private sector and four times less than the Postmaster General’s annual compensation package.

Public service is uniquely different and the Postal Service must rise to meet that expectation. I am concerned that your letter suggests that the Board of Governors views the Postal Service as a private enterprise whose operations should be dictated solely by the private marketplace. It is not.
The Postal Service is a public entity with unique service requirements that are critical to rural America. Yet the Service’s plans to erode service standards, close facilities and thus reduce its own effectiveness suggest that this public requirement is lost on the Board of Governors and senior executives of the Postal Service.

Finally, the Postmaster and members of the Board are urgently requesting changes to the law that will result in financial benefit to the organization. At the same time, the Postmaster has proposed a dramatic restructuring of the Postal Service that would reduce employment in the coming years. As I have mentioned before, at this time of restructuring, it seems appropriate that senior executives at the Postal Service and members of the Board should acknowledge this sacrifice. As other private companies have done when they have sought favorable treatment from Congress, senior leaders of the Postal Service should forgo some compensation. Yet to date, not a single executive has offered to forgo bonuses or reduce his salary during this difficult time.

I still expect that Congress will ultimately pass postal reform legislation that improves the financial situation of the Postal Service while preserving the public nature of the institution. I am committed to working with you and my colleagues to ensure that happens quickly.

Jon Tester
United States Senator

46 thoughts on “Sen. Tester questions Postal executive salaries as USPS considers drastic cuts

  1. APWU says have no fear…next week we’ll have another version of the contract that will cover this issue!

  2. OIC must have attained position as a graduate of the BULLY BOY-UGLY BETTY
    district harassment management headed by dean MPOO who uses these low self esteem hybrids to take their frustations to create chasos and havoc in the workplace to eliminate someone or create pressure on offices that have stewards that know and employ articles of the contract. The OIC preadators are used to eliminate resistance by knowledgeable employees that resist prison work treatment. VOE is totally nonexistent and subject is ignored as only one voice is recognized that being the misfit puppet of an OIC creating work place chaos and havoc while being groomed for upward mobility in management.

  3. Schedule with an small immediate payment
    25% paid July, 2012
    25% paid October, 2012
    50% paid October, 2013
    Schedule with a large imediate payment
    50% paid July, 2012
    25% paid October, 2012
    25% paid October, 2013
    Schedule with delayed initial payment
    50% paid October, 2012
    50% paid October, 2013
    Right now it is not clear how much cash the Postal Service has to pay in incentives.  Clearly, it would be willing to pay incentives immediately that equaled the savings in salaries for the remainder of the fiscal year  if the current budget includes paying the salaries of employees that will not be needed due to the network restructuring.  If this assumption is true then, the Postal Service could offer an incentive no larger than 25% of the average salary of a retiree with a possible payment  this summer.    If the current budget does not include that cost built in, than the Postal Service would appear to have little financial wherewithal to pay the incentives in this fiscal year that it needs to offer in June to convince employees to retire
    Click here to take action and send a quick message to your representative. Tell them to vote Yes on S-1789
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  4. Hats off to Tester. Finally somebody in Washington has the balls to say the obvious. And my comment to the idiots on the Board of Governors is: Donahoe and Potter and the highest management in the USPS have had a “chilling effect” on the operations of the US Postal Service, as well as the American public! Perhaps, the Board of Governors is not needed either!

    It’s about time that those people in the highest levels of the USPS take the hit they expect everybody else to take! Right is right and wrong is wrong, and what Donahoe and others making the decisions in Washington are doing is WRONG!



  6. There is only one fix for this sky is falling scam implemented by management. A nationwide lock-out of every inbred weasel manager that slithers to work every day to pretend that they actually do or micro-manage anything. The 6 most senior WORKERS would rotate daily operations at plants and stations Monday to Saturday. Every postal worker needs to put the spotlight on our real enemy which is postal management. Here is a simple math problem. “If you lined up the 6 foot desks of the 110,000 management slots in a line. How long would it be?” Answer: 125 miles. I say send those desk jockeys to line the California/ Mexico border and deduct their worthless salaries from the PO and drop a dime off of a stamp. One, it won’t affect the mail stream at all and 2 management is only good at taking workers jobs away. So line them all up on our southern borders to keep the illegals from taking away American jobs. 2 birds 1 stone.

  7. No, this insane plan will only breed more inbred make work micro managers. It will force Seattle downtown business customers to pay a $1700 will call fee every 6 months to pick up their own mail. The idiot manager who planned this scam retired Oct 1st. If they manage like this then even H.R. 1351 won’t be enough to save our postal service.

  8. Here is proof management is INSANE! Here in Seattle the routes downtown are all foot routes. Just last week management began converting high-rise buildings downtown into a park and loop route. So converting walking routes and using 44 more postal trucks is a money saving idea. These routes went from 8 hour routes to 12 hour routes overnight. To top it off there is zero parking downtown. So management orders us to park illegally and bring the tickets back for him to pay. This will eat up his $5000 bonus in about a month. We have news for him that 2 carriers that were forced into retirement now work for the city in parking enforcement. To top it off, a clerk complained to management and tried to file a grievance. Weeks later she showed up as a 204b in management training at a different station in Seattle. A month later she transferred to California and is most likely finding jobs for her relatives there by now. This is what we are faced with every day.

  9. Imagine a struggling restaurant that decides to fix itself by replacing fresh ingredients with canned ones. The cuts only expedite the demise. Now imagine the same struggling restaurant that decides to quadruple the amount of bus boys (managers) waiting tables and sells half the tables and chairs. Like most decisions made out of financial panic, all of these are recipes for making a bad situation significantly worse. This analogy is what the Postal Service is faced with today. I say it’s about time we fire the bus boys and hire more chefs. The chefs are the ones doing the work and the bus boys are the ones hiding the tips from the customers.

  10. “Chilling effect” means they will not make their “numbers”, like if they ever truly do. Then whine and moan and abuse their sick leave, and be uncooperative to their brethren [other managers]. But one thing I know, if I made $800,000.00 last year, I would not give a diddly squat what anyone thought of me……………And so the proverb goes,”The rich rules over the poor…..”. It’s been fun gang, but I’m afraid it’s over.

  11. OIC-just a way to shift management people around. An ‘Officer-in Charge’ takes most directions from a POOM or other higher level management. If a Postmaster were assigned and mail volume was heavy and carriers needed help ONLY a PM can deliver mail, not an OIC. My little station (14 routes in yr 2000, now 11 routes, has had 25 PIC’s in the last 12 years). Every one comes in and shifts route territory around, then moves on to another management position (supervisor, sales, route inspection, plant support, operations suppor, etc,etc, or another OIC job),

  12. We need to seperate from the “Government”. We are a Government Agency not paid by the taxpayers. The Handcuffs need to come off. The Post Office is being used in many ways by our Government………. Especially in the Political Forum. Honest Hardworking Veterans and Blue Collar Workers and Field PM’S and Supervisors Too…. are all getting the $%#@ end of the stick. Our PMG getting 800K a year!! Even if its 100k or so off……….WTF? Thats Crazy.

  13. Embezzlement is the key word here. 800k plus perks for being a failure? And that’s just the money that’s reported. Anybody who doesn’t think management has been skimming billions through numbers games over time is a very naive individual. These assholes want to run and play with the big boys of industry and finance, but have no aptitude or brains to do it.
    And the arrogance of believing they’re a private enterprise! What a crock of shit. Here’s the sad truth: the amount of management that oversees a relatively simple operation with no inventory is grossly inflated. The Service basically moves products from mailing centers to homes and businesses on behalf of paying customers. That’s it. It takes a certain amount of time to move the product, and despite all the harassment, dependency on a crooked and horribly inaccurate DOIS system and stupid edicts that do nothing but aggravate already oppressive working conditions, the job remains much the same as it did when Ben Franklin first developed a post office for the colonies.
    We have mail at our cases. We sort it, deliver it, take what time it needs, and go home. It has never changed from that basic mode of operation, yet upper level morons truly unqualified, out of touch with the employees and the public they serve, and just plain stupid are always fucking with the system to prove their self worth, and it changes nothing.
    Not only are they criminally overpaid, they are the most disposable and worthless segment of the whole Service. A reform package without addressing the bloat and malfeasance that is postal management will perhaps give the Service some breathing space, but ultimately will not cure its ills until truly qualified personnel are put in place in higher positions at a much more reasonable pay grade.
    The deadwood is the management, and they should suffer the first job cuts in response to their dismal performance.

  14. S1789 is at least the best to offer an early retirement, but in reality many are within a few years to go, why is it the only craft union, the APWU would rather see the members excessed and their lives unraveled than push for the incentive retirements, GM and others had to do it, and they were bailed out, but why is it, that even the President cannot stop the Postmaster General ?, this is sick, he is above the laws or immune to it ?, offer us a way out, please !
    S.1789 is the Senate bill the members are for and their unions against, we want out, and our unions want the dues and have us suffer under this Taliban regime called the USPS.

  15. OIC is spot on. Thank you for another refreshing view, other than craft people here hating on anyone but themselves or some of the other craft goof-offs. Man-up craft workers, and lets all be part of the same team. Sen. Tester – Thank you for noticing how White Castle management at HQ mostly, are in another world and do not ask or acknowledge the craft and management in the field at all. Currently field EAS management and craft are under a salary freeze, however HQ management got their large raise recently, even if they are making $200,000 or more each. Postal HQ should be evaluated by senate committee, for a makeover. We have some poor HQ leaders, who are selfish. Its really embarassing!

  16. Let me guess how the OIC got his or her job. They either knew somebody, or they sucked at doing craft work. How can you justify paying somebody 80,000/yr without a college education. There are more craft employees with degrees. We have had 3 different POOMS in less than a month. Where is the stability? Why is it we continue to hire TE/PSE when we are supposedly losing money? The future of the post office is looking darker and darker. Our office us paying 80 hours of OT come Friday to all the TE carriers.

  17. What a bunch of self-entilted, unionized, blowhards! How many of you have ever sat in a management position? How many of you have even had the stones to step up to the plate and try? Probably none. Take the supervisors out of the units and let it be run by craft? Are you people crazy? Accountability is the only thing keeping this ship afloat. And most managers/supervisors are the ones holding employees accountable. Maybe if a bunch of clerks/mailhandlers weren’t standing around with their thumbs up there butts, getting paid to do nothing, the plants would be more productive and wouldn’t need to be conolidated. Maybe if the carriers were not still convinced that their routes are the same 8 hours they were ten years ago, with 25% less mail, we could get more production out of them. It is time for the craft employees to stand up and take some responsibility. All the years milking this organization has come back to haunt you. Maybe you should be thinking about giving something back to the Service that put a roof over your head, wheels under your ass and your kids through college! I have never seen a bigger bunch of self-entiltled jerk-asses in my life that have such a low level of loyalty to a company that pays so well. Thank your Unions and the silly grievances. People getting paid for not being productive or sitting home doing nothing. The only thing your Unions reward is longevity, not hard work and you have all felt that sting. Wake up folks! You cannot continue to blame managers/supervisors, without taking some of the burden of blame for teh condition of the Service on your own selfish shoulders!

  18. I second that motion, Sen. Tester! Cut top managrment salaries, and their positions! Cut out the bonuses and the perks also! Then cut out Postmaster General Donahoe, who hasn’t a clue on saving the Postal Service! Why is congress letting this go on! He makes more than the President of the United States! Something is wrong with this picture! The average worker at the plants that are set for closure is $52, 000 a year, no where near $800, 000 a year! Congress need to get off of their butts and make and vote in policies to keep the American citizens with mail service delivery as we now know it! This move now n process would help lead this country down a spiral direction! What country don’t have a decent and universal mail service in place, that affordable to the people! Postmaster General Donahoe is a hypocrite and have double standards for himself and the people jobs he is attempting to destroy! Keep up the good works Sen. Tester and other congressmen who are working to keep the Postal Service open! The postal Service should have federal finanical support just as other federal agencies has!

  19. It’s about time we had a senator who realizes with reduction in postal operations all over the country there is also less responsibility. Senator Tester has a valid point. Let’s take it a step further, we are billions in the hole and upper management still receives lucrative salaries and bonuses. This is beginning to sound like Wall Street! In the mean time postal workers are under a two year pay freeze. What congress and senators on the postal reform committee need to do is investigate how upper management in Washington and the trickle down to all facilities and station management refuse to tighten spending within their own ranks. They over staff higher level assignments all over the country. Hirings are not being conducted on a best qualified basis it’s the good ole boy system of it’s not what you know but who you know. My hat is off to Senator Tester he is on the right track. The reduction in force for supervisors of a few years ago was just a shuffling of employee’s and had it not been for the early out incentive offer to retire of $10,000 to supervisors they would not been able to show a reduction at all!! Hopefully this committee delves deep there are all kinds of buried treasure within management that can be found.

  20. I have a question for the ‘Bored’ of Governors regarding paragraph 3 of the Tester article. WHAT MANAGEMENT?????

  21. Many of these X HIGH SALARIED POSITIONS CONTRIBUTE NO REVENUE GENERATION. The fear factor OIG should do internal investigations to determine why and how these high salaried slots came to be and what is the need for their financial existence. OIG replaced postal inspectors as they evidently are more forceful and like to cuff office employees. Inspection service should do higher level investigations as to headquarters, area and disrict operations as to need and salaries of high salaried X POSITIONS as inspection service employees appear to be more educated high caliber people than OIG force factors.

  22. On weekends and certain (golf) holidays, and when they go on vacation, the PM and supervisors don’t come in. The mail gets sorted, gets up, gets delivered and we’re all done for the day without the usual interference. If the PMG and the not to few VPs didn’t come in again -ever- the same thing would happen Nationwide.

  23. Everyone that knows what is going on knows that Management has run this thing into the ground. Tell them all to stay home next week and we will show that billions can be saved. And as an added feature the women wont feel like they are working naked since the pervs wont be undressing them with their eyes all night………

  24. It all comes down to greed. They won’t voluntarily give up any part of their salaries or bonus’s. They think they deserve that high level of pay…. we know they don’t come close to earning it, they obviously don’t do anything but take the money. I think the time for any type of management have their “right to mismanage” be addressed and stop this spiral into the toilet.

  25. I asked this question before. What is the price of the bargaining unit? What is the price of management? What is the split in the 80% cost of labor?

  26. Some great points here.We need more Senators like Tester and Bernie to start asking questions about ALL MANAGEMENT.I’m for firing everyone in LeFlunk Plaza and starting over,but that won’t happen.Instead there should be a 39% reduction in pay(that’s what they gave themselves in 06),and any exec should have to sign a contract that they cannot go to work for a private company that delivers mail/packages.I think these guys are trying to kill the PO because they got some sweet deals brewing in the private sector.Also look at private sector companies,and there’s no way they have as many donothings at the upper level as the PO.And don’t even get me started on Local and District Mangement.Talk about WASTE.

  27. chilling effect? Does that mean that that they will have attitude problems? Does that mean that they will give less than their best effort? The same behavior they accuse craft of having after uprooting their lives? They are supposed to be the professionals, more should be required of them than the workers. They need to investigate just what “chilling effect” means. If it means any of the above, they need to be let go anyway.

  28. Management is TOTAL Bullshit
    they should be cut by 3/4, All Upper Management should be fired, they caused this with their Stupidity n Greed
    Our Union is no help, say what you want, but they throw us under the bus on a daily basis. Instead of giving 5, so they could go to Washington and Blow Congresmen. They should be taking that 5 and fighting to rid ALL of Management, right down to the stupid uneducated supervisors.. Give the Post Office back to the People who’ve made it work for so long THE POST EMPLOYEE not the dickhead Management team who lie n steal !!!!

  29. Each operation should just have a crew chief that works and just puts out informational changes giving by the Tour Manager thats it 1 Tour Manager per-shift they can handle all the annual sick leave and the other admin duties thats it!

  30. I agree Management really needs to be downsized the Postal Service has the people that move the mail dispite management!! When there are changes they don’t even tell us of a change 10 times out of 10 we find out on our own so what are they getting paid for I had to find out a truck route was changed by the expiditor!! And still waitting on the stupidvisor to tell me like it really would help now!! LOL and what about those quality control jobs they have what are they doing NOT A DAMN THING!! This is a HOT MESS!!

  31. Eliminate 110,000 managers equals 7 billion 150 million dollars in savings. Create 10k new t6′s to replace management costs only 500 million. It can be done. This is what our union should be pushing for. Then we won’t have to negotiate with a middle man like we are with management. It will be with an arbitrator. It goes to arbitration every contract anyway.

  32. The only fix for this is to separate management and craft. Management should have no authority over craft at all. Let us see if they can work for their salaries. They will be responsible for customer service and increasing revenue for their check. If they can’t generate at least their salary in revenue then they are terminated. Just like in the private sector which they are trying to turn the postal service into. Create a new t6 position for daily operations and have the 6 most senior carriers switch off every day. This way we will be managed by our peers and not make work inbred micro- managers. The current management scam has no accountability and thinks the postal service needs them. WE DON’T! The other crafts can do the same.

  33. The salary of these high salaried so called exectives is a negative return on the investment in most cases. The politics in most cases is a return for special treatment to gain an assignment or eliminate someone from a paticular situation.Regional sales managers develope marketing techniques and personnel to increase revenue by creating new business or getting customers from competition or do they have position by being right clique at right time. Paid for performance in meeting sales goals or paid for just being in a position that has a high salary pre established.
    Headquarters, areas, district have high salaried STAPH positions that must be eliminated as the return on the investment is negative results. and must be adjusted to operate cost effective comparable to area,district management as well as craft and management unions. Top heavy management cost keeps balance sheet ratios negative in all financial indicators.

  34. “chilling effect” ??? They are so far out in the cold now on what and how and who we are. If every single member of senior management left——–how long before someone noticed that they were gone?

    Then let Bernie Sanders hand pick their replacements with real down to earth people.

  35. Its about time upper level management was finally scrutinized for the wastefull,lieing, unprofessional, unethical, hypocritical garbage that they are.Paycuts and a congressional audit following the managers in washington on a daily basis for one month would reveal that they do nothing .The pyramid game should be chopped from the top, not the bottom. How about ptf managers, ntft managers, and te managers. Supervisors should make 20% less than craft.

  36. Dear Sen. Tester:
    I think your testies are quivering, is that all you can come up with you pencil pushing home wrecker. You need voted out, and the sooner the better.
    You have big ones, after you voted yourself a hefty 13% raise last year.
    Hope they fall off.

    This is how most Americans feel about you white house people, don’t take it personal, you people are nothing but trouble making fools. You and all those creepy lawyers are NFG and never will be.


  37. Up yours, Senator! I’m keeping my 39% the last PMG gave himself and I’m giving another 39% raise to myself and my boys!!

  38. Amen, “This sucks”. Mgr keeps covering there on butts while throwing the carats under the ” llv”

  39. Rich get richer, Poor get poorer.
    Less jobs for workers, more managers!
    When will the INSANITY END!!!!

    1 in 3.75 people who work (?) for the USPS

    They lie and say they eliminate management jobs BUT IT IS A LIE!
    They create jobs, switch jobs and eliminate old jobs for the new jobs at a HIGHER pay level.

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