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.

  • Losmendoza

    Good job! Keep fighting for us!!! Thank you!

  • texasmailman

    Thank you for bringing this out Senator Tester. It is what we employees have known for some time now. Please keep fighting for us!

  • Nixie

    I say go ahead and privatize it. That way all of the brain dead supervision will be gone finally!

  • Joemac

    They say that these jobs are going to low wage employees who dont care about the po and killing good paying jobs. Sounds like the the cca’s that the nalc signed off on in our last contract. It’s all BS

    • matt

      Your statement is bs. The nalc didnt sign off on it. The contract was arbitated!! Know what you talking about before u spread bs!!

      • rula

        you are right. When the ages get lower, there will be no one to do the job. The new hire in our office makes $14 hr. I do not see her staying when jobs at aldi are 10-12 hr. Easier work , less stress.

        • matt

          Then you agree. Cca’s have a choice. They didnt have to take this job or stay at it if they were te to start with. The union didnt want to pose the regular work week as 40 hours like the apwu did with nifty clerk. When you go in front of an arbitrator you fight for what matters. They seen what the apwu did and didnt want to see that happen to carriers. I have 17 years in and started at 13.86. If ccas put in their time they too will get paid.

          • Wendy Johnson Knapp

            I believe CCAs will reach top wage rate in the same about of time that the regulars did…

        • matt

          Sorry I should have added that I started as a casual at 10 an hour for year and a half before being hired a 13.86.

      • Joemac

        The nalc was on board with the TE’s and the CCA’s as long as they could join the union and pay dues.

        • common sense

          The NALC had no option. APWU accepted a two tier wage schedule- when one union accepts a a contract, it obviously becomes the template for all subsequent arbitrations. That’s a plain and simple fact.

          If you want to blame someone for CCAs, blame Cliff Guffey and the members of the APWU who ratified that contract.

          Your original statement that the NALC “signed off on” CCAs is an outright lie.

          • matt

            100% agree!

          • Joemac

            The nalc fought to do away with casuals and replace them with TE’s who could join the union. TE’s take a $6 an hr cut and are now called CCA’s. So the nalc had nothing to do with this ???

          • matt

            No! At the end of the 2006-2011 contract the “te” position no long existed. The arbitrator created a new position called city carrier assistant or “cca”. Then the arbitrator said that those cca postitoins would be available to any of the “te” who chose to stay, but would take a 6$ hour pay cut. He also gave them some seniority and a path towards being regular. Which the “te” never had.

          • Joemac

            So what you and common sense are telling me is that the nalc did a terrible job at arbitration. That makes me feel a lot better. We lost over 30000 good paying jobs

          • matt

            No I feel they did a good job. You still have no lay. Full time is still 40 hr per week. Career carrier didnt take a pay cut, they will get 3 raises plus 8 colas. Nalc doesnt have a two tier pay scale. And the new cca will be regular some day if they earn it like the rest of us regulars HAVE!

          • DMule

            Many of us CCA’s were TE’s averaging 5+ working years at the Post Office. Now you said “” the new cca will be regular some day if they earn it like the rest of us regulars HAVE!” …..Many of you “regulars” became regulars after a year or so of been casuals and you have the audacity to say that we (old Te’s) haven’t earn the right to be regular! easy to say when you have “NEVER” been in our shoes……brother.

          • matt

            I was in your shoes! Casual making 10hr for year and a half! Ptf for 5 years! Working 7 days a week! Yes 7 we ran express on sunday! Then I EARNED the right to be regular. So you too need earn the right to be regular. I came to work did my job and was rewarded. You will to if you put in the time!

          • not living the dream

            I had been told that the USPS wanted to take all career letter carriers immediately back to 1995 wages and there would be no TEs – just back to casuals – also there would be a $10,000 pay cut to all career ‘
            city carriers – these cuts would be for all career city carriers currently working when the negotiations were being done. So while I definitely feel for our CCAs at least they have a path to a career appointment so they also can receive the same wage and benefit package we career letter carriers do now. Much better than 1995 wages and casuals. Us career employees will continue to keep fighting the fight for all of us – please join us – strength in numbers. Just saying…don’t let them divide and conquer us!

          • freecountry

            Not at all! In fact if you would engage brain before engaging mouth you would know that the USPS went to arbitration wanting to pay $10. an hour. The union countered at about what the TEs made at $22. an hour. The arbitrator split the difference to get $16 an hour. The union did all it could!

          • NALC Rep

            Bottom line, if the APWU had a president who wasn’t Donahoe’s stooge like Guffey was and did the right thing and gone to arbitration all of the postal union contracts wouldn’t have changed much other than an increase in casuals,who could still take the exam at different places,wait for their name to come up and become career much sooner than under these contracts.


    Of course they want to privatize!! Anyone who has been following the timeline of the garbage that the USPS employees have endured through closing, consolidations or scale backs should have seen this coming years ago. It’s only a matter of time. Wait until the Republicans gain control. OUUUUUUCH!!

  • Hank From The Cape

    About freakin time!

  • jim

    i hope it gets privilized so all management can go see what the private sector is like . they will get fired !!!!!!

  • common sense

    Maybe you could point out to us where you think I said that? What I am telling you is that when one union agrees to a contract voluntarily, and that contract is ratified by the members, that contract becomes the template for any and all subsequent arbitration awards. That’s what I wrote, and that’s what I meant.

    I realize that’s probably a bit complicated for someone like you to understand, but that’s the way grownups talk. If it makes you feel better to describe that process as someone getting “there [sic] asses kicked in”, then go for it. Just makes you appear to be slightly retarded.

    • joemac

      you don’t know anything about me but i do know grownups like you should know better than to use politically incorrect words like “retarded” just goes to show what kind of ignorant fool you are

      • common sense

        Keep talking- you just keep proving my point. So sorry if you were offended by the “retarded” comment- I was simply trying to talk to you in language you’d be able to understand. Feel free to substitute “learning disabled” if it helps your self-esteem!

        And by all means, keep avoiding actually addressing the substance of my comments. It just proves that you have nothing but schoolyard epithets to offer.

        • Joemac

          You have no point. One contract has nothing to do with the other. With fss and dps less clerks are needed to do the job. A well presented case would point this out to an arbitrator. Grow up and stop being a union suck up

          • common sense

            Well, now you’ve proven that you’re totally clueless. So is it just an incredible coincidence that the arbitrators ALWAYS provide provisions in their awards that are similar if not identical to what the other union(s) agreed to voluntarily? Tell you what- give us an example of an arbitration award that was significantly better than a prior negotiated contract in the same contract cycle.

            And thanks for proving yet again that you’re not quite up to having a discussion without resorting to name calling. How exactly does one “suck up” to a union? The union is made up of YOUR coworkers. What do you have against YOUR coworkers? When did you start hating BOTH management and craft employees?

          • freecontry

            You sure take the union pay don’t you “suckup.”

  • Wendy Johnson Knapp

    why so bitter, Joemac?

    • joemac

      being forced to work 50 / 60 hrs a wk while not being on the OT list for over two yrs out till 8pm in the dark overburden rts vacant rts being filled with cca nothing to be bitter about here

      • freecountry

        NOBODY is forcing you to work 50/60 hours a week or be out in the dark! The OT list must be maxed to 12 hours first. Then they can ask for volunteers. Then they can force non-list employees starting with junior first and working your way up. Once the non-list has been used from bottom to top they must start over at the junior. And as far as the dark issue. BRING THE MAIL BACK! They can not “force” you work in unsafe conditions! Arbitrators have ruled that you can not use darkness as an “unsafe condition.” But you can use things IN the darkness as safety issues. Can’t see black ice. Can’t see uneven side walks or ruts in the lawns. Customers can’t see you when backing out of their drives. You can’t see shady characters who might be following you to rob you or take the mail. Safety is YOUR responsibility. Tell them that it is unsafe. If they order you to go out ask for the # to OSHA and make the call. And do it with witnesses. You also can go to your doctor and get a 40 hour work restriction. And use the sick call #!! Or do you just like the V time and want to just complain……

  • nycarrier

    joemac IS clueless. There is no such thing as an overburdened route if you are a professional letter carrier that knows the contract. You fill out the 3996 and 1571, as needed, and you ask for a special inspection once you meet the criteria for one. How ‘good’ or ‘bad’ your route is is up to you and how professionally you work it. I am through with arguing with my ‘brothers and sisters’ in my office who continually do things the wrong way (like case their FSS or door-to-doors because it makes the street ‘easier’) and being told to STFU when I call them on it.

    • matt

      Well put!

    • freecountry

      AMEN brother!!!

    • jake

      don’t know who is clueless here but i am a professional letter carrier with an overburden rt i fill out 3996’s daily and have requested a special insp along with 15 other professional carriers that was 14 months ago and we are still waiting

      • freecountry

        Then one, vote out your useless union president. Two, go over their heads to your business agent. Third, bring the mail back. Four, withdraw from the union if you are getting no representation in enforcing the contract. You pay dues for a reason…..

  • Gregg Grubbs

    It’s just the same ole story.Talk,Talk and no action from the do nothing congress.In the meantime,the USPS closes offices and consolidates P+DC and reduces window hours at thousands of offices nationwide,then signs a sweetheart deal with Staples.You can blame this person or that union for the current problems,but still the pre-funding should be the first thing addressed.Absolutely no one in Congress has done anything substancial to try and find a fix for this issue.Come on Jon,how bout a little help in that area!!

  • harry nuts

    If Congress privatized the USPS, they would lose money! They got their hands into the money. Why do you think the did the pre-funded retirement!

  • freecountry

    Nice try Jakey! But as a 35 year letter carrier I’ve seen and done it all. You CAN NOT be disciplined for bringing mail back because it’s dark!! PERIOD!! Arbitrators have ruled as far back as 21 years that safety is your responsibility. I have never been disciplined and have been doing it since 1980 when I had a gun drawn on me. I won’t be the DC carrier. And neither should you…..

    • jake

      Who said the mail was being brought back because of darkness ? If a supervisor tells you to deliver all your mail even if it takes more than 8 hrs and you don’t you will be disciplined. Even tough talking carriers like you who have ” see and done it all” would be discipline.

      • matt

        Brought back two relays last night! Not because DARK but because I couldn’t see house number or walkways. Filled out my curtailment slip management sign it, so no discipline!! You are wrong it can and should be done. Just got to have the back bone to do it!

        • jake

          I don’t know where you are from but my office works from 730-400. No prob seeing house numbers or walkways when I’m there till 440 – 500. This is about arrogant supervisors and rts adjusted over 8 hrs when FSS was dumped on us. You should know all the facts and read my original comments before you make your no “backbone” comments

  • JC Fredlund

    I wish to speak to the specific issue of the Kasota, MN Post Office 1896 Landmark that risks sinking in the same boat as so many others:
    When I was a small child,(during the 1950s) Mr. and Mrs. Barklow ran the Kasota Post Office. They always let my little sister and I wait inside to watch for our school bus on freezing cold winter days. Later, I would go to the post office there to pick up our mail from our Kasota P.O. Box. To this day I still love that old building and was deeply saddened to see it modified into a home/apartment(?)
    Not to mention the historic and famous Kasota Stone quarried right there in that little village, and then ever so carefully crafted into that little building by our ancestors.(My grandfather, LaVerne Ross Carpenter, was one of them.)
    There is so much invaluable history woven into each and every stone of which that building is made! I would love nothing more than to witness the honor and respect bestowed upon the old Kasota Post Office that is so richly deserved.
    ~Jeanie Cooke-Fredlund, LADC
    Published Author of BAD RAP