Senator says USPS executives need to make sacrifices too

February 28, 2012

(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.

  • Terri Robinson

    There are trying to close the GMF in Topeka, KS and I have been here for 22 years and I do not think that it is fair.

  • jo

    The biggest problem in the post office is that there are still far too many in management with farr too much downtime.For years “friends”were given suspect jobs and when the current crisis hit,the chickens came home to roost and the house of cards fell.As usual the workers are bearing the brunt of this mismanagement and cronyism.

  • LV

    Senator Tester specifically stated this in the congressional hearing and he is absolutely correct! What was pathetic, was Sen. Carper’s response. Stating that the “top brass” is entitled to higher pay because they are tasked with figuring out solutions and running the USPS. The C-Span video of this exchange is well worth watching! This one comment from Carper and how he made it convinced me it was all a “dog & poney show”. Just a short time later, the “top brass” spent money to hire Evercore to figure out a business paln. So much for Carper’s opinion? The sad fact is PAEA has destroyed the USPS and section 105 provides raises to the “top brass”. PM Donahoe is just a “mouthpiece” for thr GOP who want nothing more than the destruction of Organized Labor AND the middle class. Abolish PAEA = Problems solved. Cut the pay & benefits of the “top brass” and help solve this problem even more. Heck, a US Senator is paid less than Donahoe!

  • American Nana

    The top 20 USPS officials make $6,000,000.00 and that is the amount we are expected to loose yearly. Let’s cut them and we are even, naturally this will not happen, but we really only need less than 1/4the of them and at much reduced salaries. “Oh no they would quit,” so what lots of good people in field who never “drank the kool-aid” from HQ who could step in and not do any worse than these folks have. What the hey, give it a try.

  • jim

    Although I agree that the top USPS managers should shoulder some of the burdern, it is the pot calling the kettle black when Senator Tester calls for this to happen. The US is running a trillion dollar defecit and I don’ see anyone in congress taking a pay cut nor have they ever taken one. Has the senator ever heard of the saying “People who live in class houses shouldn’t throw stones”

  • Nutzy

    Cut them A break. There is ONLY 37 Vice Presidents! Who together could not run A Hot Dog Cart. Donoho is A incompetent ninny. so there is A need for all these Execs. Who would put mustard on the buns at the turn.Besides if checked I would guess most are related some way.

  • vinny from the Cape

    THE US SENATE IS THE POSTER CHILD FOR AMERICAN LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bob komar

    WELL SEN JON TESTOR… RALLY YOUR TROOPS and LETS GET IT DONE!