In message to postal workers, PMG defends USPS plan to cut employee benefits

In a message to employees, Postmaster General Megan Brennan says the USPS must pursue “Medicare integration” (i.e. forcing postal retirees to pay for Medicare Part B, in addition to their existing health insurance premiums, thereby shifting some health costs to retirees and taxpayers), and to “implement best-in-class practices used by successful business organizations”. In other words, eliminating or drastically reducing postal workers pensions and other benefits.

Here’s the PMG’s statement:

The following message is from Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan:

The Postal Service provides the nation with a vital delivery platform that sustains and propels American commerce and binds the nation together by serving every American business and residential address.

Because of a dramatic shift in market dynamics over more than the past decade, and a limited ability under our current regulatory framework to respond to market forces, the financial challenges facing the Postal Service have grown more serious. In the absence of needed legislative and regulatory reforms, the organization has recorded annual financial losses over the past decade.

Each year, we deliver less mail to each address, as we add more than 1 million new addresses every year. Given our current business model, our operating losses will grow larger as this trend continues. No matter how you look at it, our flawed business model is unsustainable. However, while our financial challenges are serious, they are solvable.

The Temporary Emergency Committee, which includes our governors along with Deputy Postmaster General Ron Stroman and me, are developing a 10-year business plan to put the Postal Service on a sustainable path forward. The plan will focus on the key public policy questions of what universal services the Postal Service should provide, and how to pay for those services.

While our plan is being finalized and reviewed through third-party analysis — and it may change as part of this process — you may begin seeing reports or statements about various elements and proposals in the plan based upon premature disclosures.

While we will of course brief all of our employees about the plan when it is ready, here are a few ideas to keep in mind before the final plan is released:

• The plan is essentially based on the current business model, which requires the Postal Service to be self-funded, and to generate enough revenue through the sale of our products and services to pay for all of our obligations.

• The plan is intended to preserve the ability to provide and finance secure, reliable and affordable universal delivery service; to further economic growth and enhance commerce; to ensure long-term self-sufficiency; and to maintain fairness to employees and customers.

• A number of the core initiatives will require legislative action. Tough public policy decisions will be necessary.

• If some elements of our plan are politically unpalatable, Congress will need to find substitutes for those elements to ensure that the financial gap is fully closed and that we are sustainable for the long term. This could require Congress to fundamentally reconsider our current business model.

• In the plan, we remain committed to obtaining greater product and pricing flexibility that allows us to continually invest in the future of the organization as well as in our digital and physical infrastructure to keep the Postal Service innovative and relevant for the coming years.

• We continue to seek Medicare integration and the ability to implement best-in-class practices used by successful business organizations in today’s competitive and evolving marketplace.

• We will work closely with our stakeholders to build support for the plan. While many of the elements of the plan will be controversial and some will be unpopular with affected stakeholders, the Postal Service is striving to remain balanced, and the organization is focused on key objectives and fulfilling our responsibilities to the American public.

• We will keep all of our employees informed of developments. When we make the plan available, we will provide context and background information so that every employee can be knowledgeable and aware of key initiatives.

We demonstrate our value every day by delivering for our customers. The one clear principle that all of our stakeholders have rallied behind is that we provide a fundamental service to the people and businesses of this country that everyone wants to preserve. We need to grapple now with the key public policy issues that will ensure our long-term financial health. While we do so, I would ask each of you to stay focused on continuing to provide the secure, reliable and efficient service that every American has come to expect.

Thank you for your service.

Source: Planning for the future | USPS News Link

  • greg

    Screw you and your cuts to retiree’s P.M.G

  • Jeff

    Lying scamming pmg.

  • Doc

    After 30 plus years of hard labor now you want to put the postal service problems on the back of retirees. They have done enough. Get rid of Saturday delivery and leave the retirees alone.

  • John W. Shreve

    Great idea.

  • T. W.

    I don’t see upper management cutting any of there benefits. In fact there are getting more !!

  • Richard Johnson

    And when I went to sign up for Medicare I was told I’m not eligible. Why you ask, because I worked almost my entire life only for the P.O. When the Mrs. turned 65 then apparently I became eligible through her. But by then 4 years had passed & so it would have cost me 40% more to get part B. I think not. And because of the insurance we have had all these many years through the P.O. we both figure it’s just not worth the extra money for her to get part B either. Our coverage is about the same as Medicare. Am I now going to be punished to the point of poverty because of this nonsense?

  • postalnews

    That’s not true. If you were a career postal employee you paid medicare tax and are eligible for Part A, whether you were FERS or CSRS. The penalty for late enrollment in Part B doesn’t apply if you had other health insurance during that time period.

    Don’t spread misinformation.

  • Richard Johnson

    You are wrong. When I went to the SS office the day after my 65th birthday I was told I was NOT eligible. Was told the same thing when I went again with the Mrs. when she turned 63, I’m 4 years older than her. Yes in the beginning when Medicare first started I paid in then they stopped us from paying because we weren’t going to be covered by it. Check the history you’ll find out who is correct.

  • Bob

    “Medicare integration” can only apply to future retirees, otherwise it’s something we call “theft”.

  • Walker

    Every contract period we see the same threats… It gets old. I am so glad I will be leaving next year. The Post Office is completely mismanaged from the top down. It’s amazing it has lasted this far. Keep cutting the benefits Megan, we can’t hire now, imagine what it will be like when the Post Office is worth no more than working at McDonalds. This is a difficult job, you won’t be able to staff.

  • postal worker bruce

    uhhhh……didnt they bitch about prefunding health benefits for the next 50 years? Now its operating expenses? I retired 5 years ago and I see management is a effed up as they always have been. BTW when I started in 1987 they were bitching about going under and dont depend on the USPS for a career.

  • ellie d

    If they can tear up and throw away the contracts we signed with them over years of bargaining and givebacks, then we can too. Including the “no-strike” pledge. And everything else we ever agreed to. No more working the window and the back at the same time. No more allowing PM’s to do ANY craft work EVER. Sit down. Lock the door. It’s a two-way street, and we can’t deal honestly with thieves and liars. And don’t EVER throw retirees under the bus for present gain, you always lose.

  • Kelly Dickey

    If anyone ‘higher up’ is reading this….TRUST AND BELIEVE – the workers do NOT need so many supervisors and managers. The majority of us CARE about the customer and the mail and we know EXACTLY what to do. Most of the mgmt team everywhere simply rely on us to tell them what’s going on – so they are being paid for NOTHING! Cut them = save money

  • eddie Mulrenan

    What a embarrassing Disgrace of a Bogus Postmaster. My Grandfather at age 70 LOST his pension at the CR and L Bus company of Connecticut . Also he lived until age 92.. The low wage ,part time ,no benefit employees there ELIMINATED the retirees pension to get a paltry raise………. Obviously then the company shutdown not long afterwards,bankrupt and those employees LOST their paltry low pay jobs. A lesson for the Ludicrous PM and his flunky friends in the executive br, of Gov..j

  • Walker

    The thing is Ms. Brennan our benefits were already cut! CSRS was changed to FERS and now you want to cut it again to save money? How can UPS bring in the same amount as us, make a profit and pay there people better? I’ll tell you, they don’t have the BS pre-funding mandate nor do they have a top heavy infrastructure.

    Here’s how I would do it. Eliminate the AREA management, they are nothing more than talking heads and not needed, they do nothing to move the mail. Consolidate Unions and Union contracts. Eliminate all programs that do not move mail or enhance the movement of mail. There is a ton of fat out there and a great many things that could be done structurally to streamline operations, routes and offices.