GAO Criticizes Postal Service Benefits System

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The Government Accountability Office released a report Thursday laying out broad plans for fixing the finances of the Postal Service. The agency is projecting a 25 percent decrease in mail by the year 2020.

The GAO was pointedly critical of the Postal Service’s payment system for retirees health benefits, a model they say is flawed because it is a hybrid of both private and public standards.

More recommendations from the GAO include a fully subsidized government agency, which would be the current structure, but with increased flexibility or an entirely private sector entity.

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), respectively the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said they will review GAO’s findings and write legislation they say will improve the agency.

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  1. Pay and benefits in the Postal Service are the result of negotiations between the USPS and the Unions reprsenting employees. People join Unions to negotiate pay, hours, benefits, and working conditions with management. That’s why working people join Unions.

    The fact that only 9% of the work force is Unionized is not the problem of Postal Service Union’s and their membership. It is an example of how private sector Unions and workers have been beaten down and prevented from joining Unions.

    The Postal Service is in the financial straights it is as a result of Congress and the control it has exerted over rates. Increasing the price of a stamp by one or two cents instead of five and being required to prefund retirement and health care 75 years into the future are burdens initiated by Congress.

    The current attacks on pay and benefits are part of a long running effort by anti-union forces in this country and they continue with the complicity of Congress.

  2. The problem with the USPS started when Superiors and Managers were allowed to both write their goals and receive bonus’s for their goals. In each case they would set goals that never were in the best interests of the US Public, efficiency of the mail, protection of the mail or even simple metric like the right mail at the right house at the right day. Even today goals push loads to other areas, delay mail and provides the worst possible model of a government run program.
    In the end the workers are getting blamed for their long and hard work, they are getting blamed for using health care and for the mess. Why not start putting the blame where it belongs?

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