Skip to comments.Postal Service Executives get Extra Perks (while Postal Service drowns in red ink)
Posted on 09/28/2010 11:09:30 AM PDT by Qbert
More than 800 U.S. Postal Service executives receive health insurance coverage at no cost, in just one example of the excess and mismanagement that's costing the agency $800 million annually, according to a Republican lawmaker.
A USPS inspector general report released last week in response to requests from Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, found the Postal Service pays the full health insurance premiums for 835 Postal Career Executive Service employees, OIG directors and Senior Executive Service members, a perk not available to other federal workers. Fifteen members of the Postal Regulatory Commission receive this benefit, according to PRC spokesman Norman Scherstrom.
"It is unbelievable to me that the Postal Service -- awash in red ink and asking for huge postal rate hikes, service reductions and relief from its financial obligations -- is paying the full health care premiums for its top executives," said Collins, the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees USPS.
Agency officials have said the higher contribution rate helps attract and retain talent, according to the audit. The report also found the Postal Service contributes 79 percent of Federal Employees Health Benefits Program premiums for most employees compared to the government's 72 percent contribution for other federal workers. And USPS covers the entire basic Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance rate, while the government contributes only 33.33 percent. USPS could save $139 million in fiscal 2011, if it matched the lower FEGLI contribution rate and $567 in the same calendar year, if it decreased its FEHBP payments, the IG found.
Contribution rates are set during the collective bargaining process with the agency's four major unions. The Postal Service has negotiated a 1 percent annual decrease in FEHBP premium contributions through 2012, and officials have said they plan to discuss health benefit obligations during talks currently under way with the American Postal Workers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association. Collins also expressed concern about a second audit finding that the Postal Service has awarded contracts to former employees without competition and in several cases paid double their previous salaries to advise incoming executives.
In addition to cutting the number of delivery days and adding more flexibility to increase its part-time workforce, the Postal Service is seeking relief from obligations to its Civil Service Retirement System accounts. USPS Inspector General David Williams earlier this year found the agency had overpaid CSRS by $75 billion, the result of a misinterpretation of a 1974 law regulating pension funding. The Office of Personnel Management incorrectly made USPS fund a higher portion of the pensions than it owed, and postal officials are seeking congressional action to revise those calculations.
In a letter last week to PRC Chairwoman Ruth Goldway, OPM Director John Berry wrote the agency supports a recalculation of the Postal Service's pension obligations, but added OPM does not have the authority to change its methodology without Congress' approval. Lawmakers have introduced legislation in the House and Senate to reduce the Postal Service's CSRS burden, but both bills remain under committee consideration.
Gerald McKiernan, a USPS spokesman, said he thinks Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., is very serious about moving recently introduced legislation forward and is hopeful Congress will consider it if lawmakers convene for a lame duck session. McKiernan could not comment on the IG report before this story was published.
I read somewhere they purchased new machines ($$$) to streamline distribution of magazines but they never used them, instead its done by hand by union workers.
If they did they would have relocated to a suburban location around the Beltway decades ago ~ there'd be plenty of parking, views from the windows, and commutes would be far shorter.
Things tend to be a bit better in the Regional Offices, and even many Districts are quite decent.
By treating the Headquarters staff like a red-headed stepchild top management fails to get any good ideas about how to improve compensation for their top ranks without appearing to be playing tricks.
Frankly, the boys at the top at USPS are not really interested in the business ~ just themselves, and if they're comfortable, and are properly fawned on by people without real college degrees, that's all they care about.
A careful examination of USPS promotion records in EAS ranks over the last 25 years would reveal that it's actually disadvantageous to have earned a Masters Degree or Higher!
Susan Collins, R-Maine, found the Postal Service pays the full health insurance premiums for 835 Postal Career Executive Service employees, OIG directors and Senior Executive Service members, a perk not available to other federal workers.”
In perpetuity? That is the BIG question.
“A careful examination of USPS promotion records in EAS ranks over the last 25 years would reveal that it’s actually disadvantageous to have earned a Masters Degree or Higher!”
Government at its best. (/s)
ENOUGH!!!! WE pay for this, and WE DON”T HAVE IT OURSELVES!!!
“Susan Collins, R-Maine, found the Postal Service pays the full health insurance premiums for 835 Postal Career Executive Service employees, OIG directors and Senior Executive Service members, a perk not available to other federal workers.
—In perpetuity? That is the BIG question.”
Good question. Probably, I would guess...
(Does payment with Monopoly dollars count at some point in our future...)
“My Father worked for a company and he wrote the bid about 16 years ago that would have streamlined all mail using smart heuristics, new sensors and computer controlled distribution but would have lessened the need for employees. Congress was willing to spend the money but the leadership and the unions torpedoed it and as you can see we are in a worse mess.”
—Interesting. Thanks Liaison.
I totally agree. Also, can we take a look at the benefits and automatic pay increases enjoyed by our ruling elite in congress?
I worked for one government agency- they had a 30 year old mainframe leased for a half million a year that did nothing.
They were ‘planning on’ moving the applications off the mainframe the next year, but had not yet even looked at the database. They could have replaced the whole thing with a couple of spreadsheets and a Microsoft access database.
We had a PC Application's senior program who spent 6 months doing 4 hour job.
Another quarter million was spent on a program to transfer data from one database table to another- It took 5 minutes to do it manually. They agreed they ‘over charged’ us, so would give us free hours of technical support (for the 5 minute manual process)
There was no way to RETURN money- LITERALLY!!! If they were overcharged or bought some thing that was not correct, they had NO WAY TO RETURN IT OR ACCEPT REFUNDS
We had a database administrator who did not know how to turn on the database.
All run by 2 ‘directors’ making over 120K per year to manage 10 people, who mostly did nothing.
We have an ‘accounts receivable’ FULL TIME ACCOUNTANT with a CHEVY SUBURBAN AND PARKING SPOT IN FRONT OF THE BUILDING (there were no ‘accounts receivable see the above ‘no way to return money’ comment)
We had one guy who printed the monthly reports, and then shredded and burned last months reports (every month- no one looked at them)
I am hoping Paladino does a full computer audit and fires the entire computer staff in NY and replaces them with some calculators.
“I can’t wait until TEA party candidates do a top down audit of our entire government!!!!!! I would love to start with the computer systems in NY state.
I worked for one government agency- they had a 30 year old mainframe leased for a half million a year that did nothing...”
Those are some frightening examples- thanks Mr. K
You only get benefits if you don’t contribute anything of value. Engineers usually contribute value, thus are not appreciated.
Soooo- Is Sen Collins complaining about the USPS workers getting free health care benefits? Or is she mad that other Federal workers do NOT get such benefits?
Need clarification here, IMO.
If the USPS leadership is so "talented," why is the agency "awash in red ink and asking for huge postal rate hikes, service reductions and relief from its financial obligations?"
I suspect their only talent is kissing union butt.
Glad someone is bringing this kind of issue up. Didn’t think Collins would be the one.
I do think it’s funny she’s upset that 800-some postal execs get 100% paid for healthcare, when all of Congress does too. Glass healthcare plans, ya know?