APWU local says PMG should step down

New York, NY, September 15, 2011 – In the face of the financial crisis that the United States Postal Service is facing, the New York Metro Area Postal Union, APWU, AFL-CIO, led by President Clarice Torrence, has called upon the Postmaster General and CEO of the United States Postal Service, Patrick R. Donahoe, to step down from his position immediately. If Postmaster General Donahoe refuses to resign, the union calls upon the Postal Board of Governors to fire him.

Postmaster Donahoe took the oath of office as the 73rd Postmaster General of the United States on January 14, 2011 after having been appointed to the position by the Board of Governors on December 7, 2010. He had served as Deputy Postmaster General under Postmaster General Potter since 2005. In April of this year, Donahoe successfully negotiated a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with the American Postal Workers Union. Donahoe praised the agreement, “We worked together to negotiate a responsible agreement that is in the best interest of our customers, our employees and the future of the Postal Service.” He took credit for the agreement which he claimed would save the USPS $3.8 billion in labor costs. Less than three months after the agreement was signed, Donahoe called upon Congress to nullify part of the contract to allow him to layoff 120,000 postal workers.

The New York Metro Area Postal Union concludes from his actions that Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe is either a well-meaning incompetent or a duplicitous agent of forces who actively want to destroy the Postal Service and have it privatized. Whichever case is true, Donahoe is violating his oath of office and failing to meet the requirements of his position to be responsible for the overall operation of the Postal Service. Donahoe has contracts remaining to be negotiated with the three remaining postal unions. NYMAPU questions how the other postal unions can bargain in good faith with Postmaster Donahoe after his actions following the contract with the APWU.

New York Metro Area Postal Union is also calling for an independent investigation into the unprecedented sweetheart retirement package that was given to Donahoe’s predecessor, former Postmaster John E. Potter. Potter stepped down on December 3, 2010. He was retiring with $3.1 million in pension benefits accumulated during his 32 year career. Potter was also able to use a separate pension established for him by the Postal Board of Governors in 2001 based on performance goals that was worth $1.35 million when it was frozen in 2007 in favor of direct performance incentives. Potter’s base salary in 2010 was $273,296 but he had already built up $881,000 in deferred compensation in awards and incentives that he could draw out in annual installments once retired.

If the Postal Service is in such dire straights, as is being reflected by Postmaster Donahoe’s recent testimony, there needs to be an investigation into why former Postmaster Potter received such elaborate performance bonuses and awards in his retirement package while leaving the Postal Service on the brink of failure.

It is the position of the New York Metro Area Postal Union that the current financial crisis in the Postal Service is caused by mandates imposed by Congress in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act and the overpayments into the CSRS and FERS retirement plans that have been expropriated from the Postal Service by the Treasury. H.R. 1351 introduced by Representative Stephen Lynch will correct those inequities and enable the Postal Service to carry out its functions without closing post offices, cutting back on delivery and eliminating hundreds of thousands of living wage jobs in the middle of a recession.

  • wilbur517

    hell ya!

  • Linda

    The people that should step down are
    the leaders of our union. Our union needs
    to help make this organization work.
    That starts with accepting the reality
    that mail volume has plummeted and
    is not coming back.

  • bd

    pmg should should clean house from top down to many vice presidents. maybe if they lost there jobs they would see what it is all about on the bottom.

  • SB

    Every union naysayer will be singing a different tune when their wages and benefits are reduced to the levels Darrell issa and his crew are pushing. I don”t live an extravagant lifestyle, drive a used car and have a disabled family member

  • Martin Spielman

    I agree with President Torrence. When a PMG advocates business suicide then its time he was ousted. We need a leader, not just another flunky doing the business of outside interests. Donahoe knows good and well that passage of HR 1351 would put the USPS on a course to set its house right and instead he campaigns for ruthless, business destroying layoffs. The last thing the country needs is another 120,000 people out of work! For shame, Donahoe.

  • SB

    I need my paycheck. I work hard and am definitely not “overpaid”. Once we lose our pay and benefits, it’ll be the days of pre-1971 all over again. None of us can possibly be ready for that:(

  • NY Metro employee

    With Area VP Steve Forte retiring next month, will he also be given a golden parachute?

  • Cynthia Cox

    I am a huge supporter of values in America that do not make the headlines, news and begins in each community of America. The USPS is the foundation and cornerstone of life in and out of communities. I agree that PMG has to go and he needs to take Issa with him! These jokes for leaders are so out of touch with what it takes for middle class Americans to work, survive and thrive. Every occupation deserves medical benefits, wages that suffice raising a family and with USPS we need the security we pay for and the first class mail service. Yes there needs to be cuts but not at the expense of American working class citizens and the USPS customers. Give Potter, Donahoe and Issa a middle class American salary & our taxes and see if they can juggle the pennies that we have too. I am not a USPS employee but I use to be and I can tell you this country’s government leaders and the USPS officials have forgotten who American citizens are and it’s time we show them and get their fantasy filled ideas of greed and weighted pockets of financial comfort & kick them to the curbs!

  • wesley

    Isnt it still obvious that it is overmanagement that is killing the po sure he needs to step down his salary and bonuses are one of the leading causes for failure….

  • shawn

    I think that PMG is out of line but so are the union leaders. The fact that they don’t think the sat delivery should stop is crazy because the volume on sat is so bad its not worth coming in and the union just wants to keep all the dues coming in, also curbside delivery should be implemented immediately, if city has 20 routes and could be carried by 10 people that makes sense from a buisness point of view. Make the changes that are needed..and believe me I know what 5 day and curbside means for carriers

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  • Micster

    I agree with the APWU leadership in New York. Donahue is untrustworthy, a snake in the grass and an enormous liar. He shouldn’t be holding the reigns of one of the greatest organizations of American history. He will tell the employee what they want to hear and conspire to be conniving behind their backs. Give the reigns to a deserving patriot you lying coward and back stabber. You send a memo to all employees not to talk to the media. What happened to the Voice of the Employee? You threatened your managers to keep quiet. Now you want us to while you connive to have us unemployed you wretched man. Guess what, you don’t deserve that respect. F.U.! Go APWU!

  • BM

    Good one Linda.

  • James

    It’s actually much simpler than that. As head of an organization that is losing so much money, name any other instacne in which the CEO would not have been fired or removed?

    The USPS needs a professional business rebuilder, not a old mail clerk to run the shop.

  • Cornelius

    The truth is that the American people have suffer long enough to this type of business where workers have been taken advantage of. Unions were created to give the common man some back bone, when it came to these companies that took a vantage of work hours, conditions, and the wages. Congress needs to appoint an committe to investigate the postmaster general and the board of trustees

  • mike lundberg

    We all know exactly what Mr Donahoe is doing. Break the Unions, cut the benefits, get rid of the retirement fund and sell to a corporation. And then he, of course, will be richly rewarded. The American people will have lost their postal service, and greed, will once again, prevail. I am deeply saddened by what this once great nation has become. The rich are becoming wealthy beyond belief, and the middle class sinking into poverty. I cannot believe we are letting this happen.

  • Joe B.

    Check out postal reform act of 1970. There are four steps we are, at step three . They didn’t skip a beat. Mike,the union has been broken since step one. They don’t work for us. They are part of afl-cio the worse union out there. A management union. Just google postal reform act of 1970.

  • Randy

    I totally agree with the clerk union. This pmg needs to go, how dare he insist that the organization layoff 120,000 postal employees. Why doesnt he give up part of his salary and help the postal service. This guy makes more than the US President! Give up your salary and help the organization, you are way overpaid, or resign.

  • Paul Grzesiak

    I have expressed my concerns to Ways and Means Chairman, Congressman Dave Camp, on the ill advised 2006 Transformation Plan that sent the USPS further down that dark path of insolvency. HR 1351 will help to correct the many mistakes but will not correct the upper management that has been in control for the 35 years I have been employed at the USPS. Make no mistake in allowing this business model and is a mistake. The purchasing of EAS and PCES management properties in order for transfers to new job positions, the promotions and bonus awards to management, breaking of the Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA’s) by front line management and cost to ajudicate and the job seeking by management for new job positions only to be a perk for additional vacation time by management is being paid by the USPS. Unethical supervisors, managers and postmasters is normal rather then the exception. The stories repeated by the USPS employees through out the United States describing the behavior by postal management is constant and cannot be made up. The paperwork that is used to justify actions by USPS management is created by those who are in control and gain rewards and bonuses from such actions. An outside independent source would serve all US Citizens better

  • Clerk

    Way to go New York!!! Your APWU rocks! I don’t feel our PMG has our best interests in mind.He is pushing us closer to privitization.Less facilities means less service and even slower mail,where is the profit?
    There are other ways to make money. We own the mailboxes why not let newpapers rent them and pay us, raise the price of bulk mail,use gas efficient vehicles,cut pay from the top.Make the upper manangement and pencil pushers get a smaller paycheck. And like you said recover Potter’s pension.
    I’m behind you guys all the way!!!Good luck!!

  • Just Average

    Sounds like Clarice is planning on a run for higher office. Nothing there but a bunch of stories. Sure Potter has a 3 million dollar retirement package. However, this is not the cause of the PO going broke. How many CEO’s of companies 1/10th the size of ours make many times that every year? Now look at what the leaders of all the unions make and spend every year. How many of them sit in the coach section when they fly. If we could follow the daily movements of any one of them and this would also include Clarice himself we would see that lavish is reserved for political speeches and in this instance very misleading. In order for the PO to survive it would take the efforts of all involved and not the pay restructuring of the top to make it possible. If everyone and I really mean everyone gave a real effort at their job every day the PO would be able to stay in business. Albeit with many less people, but those with jobs would be secure. It is all about the money and always will be but a company cannot spend more than it takes in and keep all of the people employed when the need of that company have changed. The structure of the business has changed and if something is not done to protect the existence of the company then we will all be without jobs. Clarice, you need to be more realistic and less political if you are going to be part of the solution. Remember it was your union that sold out its own for its own survival during the last contract negotiations.

  • kt

    Please start at the top of pay scale, we have too many Chiefs now. We have 74 district offices and only 50 states, condense these districts down to 8 offices like OIG recommended. It costs 70 million dollars to run 1 district office, these employees don’t even handle the mail, offer window services to our customers. They are telling the little postmasters, OIC’s and PMR’s to do their crap work for them. Stop picking on small, rural, poor communities. Stop with closing the post offices, where will customer service be then.
    How about the PMR/OIC/RCA, some of them are doing the same amount work, but no benefits, that’s a shame.
    How many of you put in extra hours of work, but don’t put it down just to stay within the budget?

  • Timbo

    Get your bills paid up for the next year, because once they break these contracts we are going to revisit the 1970’s, and see if we can redo our past mistakes.

  • sad to be us

    I have worked for the postal service for several years. I used to be very proud of that, but as the years went by, I became ashamed that I could work for place that cared so little for it’s employee’s. Today that shame is trifold, because now they are treating our customers with the same disregard.

  • Don

    I agree whole heartedly with my brothers and sisters of the New York Metro Area !!!!!!!!!!

  • sad po employee

    i think the whole PO should wildcat strike…..let’s shut down for a week and see if congress gets some attention from the people that voted them in……….

  • angelfire1812

    sure…most of us with some level of fairness would agree he should step down…but in reality…how do we do this? I’m sure in favor of it…can we start an on-line petition? Why not snail mail?….because in this situation we need an immediate and widespread response.

  • angelfire1812

    strike…I’m in agreement…start putting a little strike money away folks…I believe our hand will be forced to do and extreme measure here in the near future. Nothing like a christmas strike to put those we voted in a chance to reflect.

  • angelfire1812

    I’m a rural carrier..but I don’t think that that crowd has very much back bone. I’d like it if our union would join forces…numbers count a great deal…but one has to look to the past to see that the rural carriers never wanted a union and that when the postal strike occurred back in the 70’s …someone made sure we all were separate associations; well it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the phrase, “divide and conquer”…I think that rural carriers were enlisted to work from an agricultural background and those people have a distaste for unions and to some extent still do. It’s difficult for me to be a part of such a clan…not all are like that but way too many are. If there were some way to convince these people that there’s safety in numbers…that unions actually bring balance to the work place…and that we’re not all farmers. I realize that some farmers will take offense…I didn’t say ‘all’ were like that. If only we had a charismatic leader to come out and bring us all together…union, city and mail handlers…I know we’d be a force to reckon with. It’s a real need at this time in history when the private sector wants to abolish unions all together. I firmly believe we will otherwise perish.

  • brian

    Hey ‘Linda’ Is your last name Issa ?