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National Review thinks postal workers should earn less than they did 36 years ago- and be grateful…

The National Review, that bastion of traditional entitled conservatism, founded by the quintessential erudite elitist William F. Buckley, has weighed in on the Stop Staples campaign. The Review thinks that postal workers should be attacking their union rather than USPS management or Staples.

That in itself tells you a lot about the right wing mindset. They have a problem with democracy, and can’t quite grasp the idea that postal workers belong to unions by choice, and they elect the union leadership (or as the right wingers like to call them, “union bosses”). So telling workers to attack their unions is the same as telling them to attack themselves.

Here’s how the Review explains why postal workers should apparently be lobbying to slash their own pay:

Consumers benefit from having more options, and the Postal Service may also save, if a recent internal memo is any indication. The memo estimated that private-sector retailers could offer the same mail services for less than a third the cost, which gives a bracingly clear picture of how inflated mail workers’ pay has become. The memo also added that “the [Staples] pilot will be used to determine if lower costs can be realized with retail partner labor instead of the labor traditionally associated with retail windows at Post Offices.”

So as far as the heirs of Bill Buckley are concerned, postal workers wages are incredibly “inflated”? Really? A level five clerk at top step makes around $52,000 a year. That works out to $25 an hour. I’d love to see the writers at the National Review try to survive on that. Read More

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PMG tells employees he doesn’t want to privatize USPS

From USPS News Link:

The news media, blogs and social media often comment that some Postal Service initiatives — or recommendations in pending legislation — are steps toward privatizing the organization.

No one is planning to privatize USPS.

“USPS is doing all it can to grow business, not sell it off,” said PMG Pat Donahoe. “Initiatives like business and retail partnerships will benefit employees by helping build growth and financial stability into the future.”

Retail alliances — where USPS sells products and services through Approved Shippers, Contract Postal Units, or Village Post Offices —  give customers more choices where and when they can purchase postal products and services.

These relationships also secure the long-term future of the Postal Service — a goal all stakeholders want. “These partnerships provide greater value and convenience for our current customers and also will attract new customers,” said Donahoe. “This is good for the organization and for our employees.”

Donahoe said USPS is doing what any business that wants to survive and prosper does — adapting to a rapidly changing marketplace and meeting customer needs. “If we don’t adjust, we’ll become another outdated 20th century business — stuck with a rigid business model that doesn’t work,” he said.

Read more: USPS News Link Story – USPS sets the record straight.

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Tester says postal bill moves the Postal Service closer to privatization

tester(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today voted against a bill to restructure the Postal Service, saying the measure “moves the Postal Service closer to privatization and could hurt rural mail delivery.”

Tester voted against the bill as a member of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee that oversees the Postal Service. Tester has worked for years to reach a fair compromise that puts the Postal Service on sound financial footing while keeping mail delivery service standards strong.

“Half measures won’t balance the Postal Service’s books or preserve needed mail service in rural America,” Tester said. “This bill shirks our responsibility to fix the Postal Service and further leads the organization down the path to privatization, which will further cut mail service in rural America. Better solutions exist, and I will keep working with my colleagues to include them in the bill.”

Tester says the bill would do nothing to reverse the closing of mail processing facilities nationwide, which has resulted in delayed mail delivery throughout rural America. The bill also fails to fully address the requirement that the Postal Service prepay retirement benefits of postal employees at a rate higher than necessary, but includes sweeping changes to the federal workers compensation program, even though the committee has yet to hold a single hearing on the issue.

Tester backed a bipartisan Senate plan in 2012 that gave the Postal Service the flexibility it needs to restructure while protecting postal service in rural states like Montana, but the House of Representatives never voted on the plan.

Tester has a long-record of working to reform the Postal Service while making sure rural Montanans can still reliably get their mail and packages. He successfully got the Postal Service to keep Saturday delivery in 2013, protected rural post offices from closure, and kept the Missoula mail processing facility open.

The Postal Reform Act will next be considered by the full Senate. Tester will continue to work to amend the bill to make sure it works for rural America.

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Senator Tester: Donahoe “wants to privatize” USPS

testerSenator Jon Tester (D-MT) has been an outspoken critic of USPS service cuts. In today’s Washington Post he takes aim at the PMG’s actions in shutting down processing facilities and outsourcing retail operations to Staples:

“What I see this postmaster general doing is shutting down post offices, then saying let Staples do it,” Tester said. “Well, guess what: I don’t have a Staples.” Tester farms wheat outside Big Sandy, Mont., which has 600 residents.

And then Tester gets to the heart of the issue, suggesting that the PMG’s actions are part of a scheme to privatize the USPS:

Donahoe “can say whatever he wants,” Tester said, “but I think he wants to privatize. And I think there’s plenty of people in Congress who agree with that. I don’t.”

Read more: Staples’ selling postal products without USPS workers brings complaints of privatization – The Washington Post.

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Retired postal exec criticizes privatisation, “obscene” executive salaries

royalmailA SCOT who was in charge of Hong Kong’s postal service has strongly condemned plans to privatise the Royal Mail.

The Westminster government fired the starting gun last week for a £3bn flotation which will end the Royal Mail’s 378-year history of state ownership.

Michelangelo Pagliari, who was postmaster general in Hong Kong from 1992 to 1995, when it was a British colony, said he was “totally opposed” to the proposal and expressed disgust that Moya Greene, the chief executive of Royal Mail, earned £1.5m last year.

Pagliari, now retired, from Kilmalcolm, Renfrewshire, warned the move would pave the way for “obscene” salaries for more executives and higher delivery charges to remote areas such as the Scottish islands.

“The chief executive’s salary is a multiple of the combined salaries of the entire management of the Hong Kong post office,” he said. “No doubt this partly explains why we made a profit every year while maintaining among the lowest domestic and international postage rates in the world.”

Read more: Expert writes off postal sell-off | The Sunday Times.