Potter defends USPS health insurance policy


Postmaster General John Potter is standing by his agency’s policy of paying the full cost of health insurance premiums for senior executives. According to a recent audit,  the U.S. Postal Service could save about $567 million in fiscal 2011 if its employee contribution rate matched that of the federal government. For most employees, the Postal Service contributes 79 percent, compared to 72 percent elsewhere in the government.

But postal executives don’t do as well as feds in other ways, Potter suggested at an end-of-the-fiscal-year news conference Friday.

“Postal managers do not get locality pay,” he said. “Postal managers only get raises if they perform.”

While not ruling out changes,  Potter added: “I believe our total compensation package is fair.”


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  1. he only wants to take away from those that do the work.The carriers pay more each year but the exec.pay nothing from there hugh salaries.Get rid of all the upper dead weight and a fortune could be saved.But we know this will never happen

  2. Of course it’s fair, why would Potter want to save $577 million? And what about all the no bid contracts he’s shelled out? Potter needs some SERIOUS oversight! The BOG and PRC just are not getting the job done!

  3. Only about 800 Postal officers receive 100% USPS-paid health care. How can that possibly equate to $577 Million?

  4. if their package is not as good as other execs in the fed, then make them pay like the rest of us and watch them stay in their cushy jobs. what a joke! this is the man in charge, while he cries for an increase in postage. consolidate these district’s and area’s to the bone and let postmasters be postmasters and close down the tiny offices that we pay dearly for. get evaluated routes for the city carriers and watch them perform at unexpected high levels. get rid of most of the supervisors at the city carrier level (they won’t be needed anymore…no DOIS) this should be a start.

  5. Potter has no clue! how can he ask craft for concesions on health care? is he smoking crack? Sure other agencies get locality pay but does any GS-15 get paid as much as him and Donohue?

  6. The Postmaster General is long overdue in cutting the fat that surrounds him. Waste, fraud, mismanagement and incompetence have ballooned under his watch and lack of inspired leadership. Always behind the curve in taking advantage of market opportunities, Mr. Potter has run the United States Postal Service like a couch potato using a remote control. It’s so sad. America deserves better! There are dedicated carriers and clerks throughout the country getting beat up every day by supervisors that lack education, training and the qualifications required to do their jobs, while scores of Vice Presidents twiddle their thumbs and rely on expensive outside consultants to do their bidding. It’s so sad. The best thing Mr. Potter can do for himself and the USPS is to get off the couch, put down the remote, retire, and go on a diet. Maybe then he and the postal service will be restored to a healthy lifestyle with longevity for all of its stakeholders… customers, employees and communities throughout the United States and abroad.

  7. They don’t receive locality pay but they get paid better to make up for that! There are too many managers. There is too much waste. Many Top managers seem to be taking extra for themselves. Mr. Potter received a nice pay and retirement package. The only ideas they come up with are to cut services and the jobs of the low paid clerks and carriers that do handle the mail!

  8. Postal managers only get raises if they perform. what a bunch of bull. they are all micromanagers that only ask how high do you want me to jump for you.Its the same old business as usual in the PO. Dump the whole lot of management and replace them with people who know what they are doing.

  9. What a hypocrite. Wants employees to pay a higher percentage for their health insurance but he isn’t willing to do the same!!
    If he really cared about the financial health of the Postal Service he would put his money where his mouth is and lead by example. No wonder employees have absolutely no confidence or trust in him!!!

  10. Another of example of NIMBY-ism. The USPS wants to save money by cutting customer services and asking the bargaining unit employees to make concessions, but when it comes to the bloated ranks of layer upon layer of executives, they aren’t interested in sharing the sacrifices. Not in My BackYard!

  11. Thanks Jack!!
    Now bring that information to the bargaining table. Oops it’s all ready public information.
    Craft employees do not receive locality pay, does that mean we get our FEHB 100% paid?

  12. BP CEO Tony Hayward: ‘I’d Like My Life Back”
    ‘“Postal managers only get raises if they perform.”
    Loosing money since 2006 means your giving money back,
    right John?

  13. The savings can only come from cutting back employees who actually work / deliver the mail or closing down facilities that aid in this function.

  14. Hmmm. I do not see any employees that actually do the work getting locality pay. Let’s analyze the sentence ” Postal managers only get raises if they perform.”, They lost 7 Billion dollars , GREAT PERFORMANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The postal service wants their union employees to give concessions during the contract negotiations, but they continue to reap the benefits. There is an old saying, “LEAD BY EXAMPLE”. Hey, GM’s old CEO Wagner lost 50 Billion dollars, I guess he performed well according to postal performance standards. Maybe he should get double the locality pay.

  15. Mr. Potter…..If the working class are asked to pay more for their health care, then it makes perfect sense that the Top dogs should
    be asked to pay their fair share. Really King Potter, you are very out of touch with what the working class have to do. You should look into that new show under cover boss…..

  16. I just can’t believe the mindset of postal management! Retire a $130k per year exec and contract them back @ $260 per year. The whole management system of the USPS is out of touch at best. Believe me, the craft employees can’t even get a decent uniform allowance or treated like a human being. This country really is getting more like communist Russia and the USPS management seems to think that’s a good idea. The service we give is amazingly good due to us craft employees who work our asses off to keep our job. If it gets any worse, I think things will change. If we were paid for our performance, it would be us receiving 6 digit incomes and most management would qualify for welfare!

  17. I hit a timeclock on

    Craft workers don’t get locality pay either and certainly no PFP.

    The higher level execs can better afford to pay the same premiums the clockers do.

    In a recent News Release, Potter is asking the workers for tools to help sustain the Postal Service. Well, I guess he doesn’t want any tools that affect him and his cronies, just tools from the lowly hourly rated slobs on the work floor.

  18. “Postal managers only get raises if they perform.”

    Well said, Potter. So I am to assume none have gotten raises in at least three years? You will rot in Hell with all other criminals someday.

  19. And herein lies the problem. Bills have been introduced into Congress in order to give Postal Executive greater power to lead the Postal Service. Aren’t these the same executives that got the Postal Service into the mess it is in in the first place. Obviously under scrutiny their performance does not stand up as exemplary. The top five Postal Executive make (not earn) over a million dollars a year in base salary, collectively. They intend to ask for concessions from labor? When you trim a tree you begin at the top, so too should the Postal Service. When you chop away at the root the plant dies.

  20. Guy Nohrenberg on

    Fair. He says it’s Fair. New staff cars all around boys. We’ll save the money for them by not washing our LLV’s for 6 months. Somebody needs to come out and carry mail to regain perspective.

  21. The example must start from the top. If Potter isn’t willing to make cuts to top executive perks (and that’s just what free health care is) then he’s surely not willing to do what’s necessary for the good of the Postal Service. He’d like to make all the cuts on the workers end while keeping the “lifestyle” the top execs are accustomed to.

  22. Why is the PMG’s salary higher than Vice-President Biden’s?
    Why does he have 38 more vice-presidents than President Obama?
    Why does the USPS have one supervisor to seven employees?
    Why does the USPS seek to fire front-line employees for any and all reasons but allows Bernstock, Lazaroff and Jaffar to leave after major fiscal improprieties.
    Why are the BOG and PRC derelict in their oversight of the PMG?
    Why is Potter still working at destroying the USPS?

  23. Let’s get the facts straight. The $577 million was the savings if ALL postal employees paid the same percent of health care insurance as the rest of the federal government. That’s carriers, mail handlers, clerks, and postmasters, etc.

    Paying the full cost of executive health insurance, instead of the same rate as all others, costs the USPS about $2.5 million a year.

  24. Of course its fair. Why should Potter or his council pay anything. Make the workers pay. So OPM says my insurance costs will rise 7.3% this year. Now also know that the opening of labor contract talks the PO put a raise of 7% in employee contributions to health care on the table. If they get it my cost will rise by almost 15%. while Potter, who makes at least 4 times my salary pays nothing. How’s that ….”Hope and change.” working out for you? Not well at all for me.

  25. Craft employees do not get locality pay either.they also do not get performace bonuses.But Potter thinks they are to blame for the Post office ills.

  26. I cant believe the executive compensation package when the USPS is wanting concessions from APWU. Potter justifies this even though the ship is sinking and has been sinking for some time. ??? Yes, the no-bid contracts for the “buddy-system” this is sounding all to familiar. As a postal worker, I am so tired of listening to the pleas of crooks, more so, tired of listening to the lame ducks who can, but don’t do anything about it. The reality of this whole recession is the exposure of the corrupt who have been so for years, and the humble who have to shoulder their burden, while crumbling under their weight. Enough already. do something about it or just let the crooks alone.

  27. Come on Potter has been belly aching about have to pay their share of craft emplyees healthcare. Those are the employees in the trenches GETTING the mail delivered! But he can try to justify this, HA. Pay for performance wheres the letter carriers pay for performance in the hurricane, blizzard, or 110degree weather while thier in the climate controlled enviroment. Bless their hearts. Steak or Lobster tomight honey?

  28. What about the 40,000 or so employees who are “non-career” and get no health insurance benefits? Many of whom are NOT part-time? I pay 450 a month for govt health care and he qualifies to get on the same plan. I imagine he can better afford it. Potter and his cronies need to go.

  29. The problem is simply this. You can’t be a public/private business. Either you run the place like private industry or you run it just like a federal agency such as the IRS, FBI or SSA and appropriate a budget. Right now congress has their nose in everything and nothing will get accomplished. And the PMG is right, the Postal Service is the ONLY goverment entity that does not get locality pay.

  30. I’m a carrier and I don’t receive locality pay either. I don’t receive raises either (unless under the contract.) COLA’s…haven’t seen one of them in a very long time.

  31. Sure–just harass the letter carriers some more. 55,000 fewer carriers than last year and mail volume increasing. Jack knows he can bully, harass, intimidate and deny Worker Comp to legitmate on-the-job injuries to honest, hardworking employees. Why? Because Congress and most media never call him on his sociopathic tendencies. And retaliation is common practice for those who dare stand up for justice.

  32. So the benefits are terrible? The only other thing they have is pay for performance?
    How valid is the PFP.
    Hypothetically, let’s say I run a major government mailing industry. During my tenure, I make numerous disasterous decisions that cause this entity to bleed money in the amount of billions of dollars.
    Let’s say that, hypothetically, I still receive my pay for performance check to the tune of $73,771.
    Essentially, I just got a bonus for destroying the business, plus 100% of my health insurance premiums are paid for.
    Where would I sign up for the sympathy for how terrible it is to be me?

    P – Potter
    M – Must
    G – Go!

  33. the fat pig..he and his buddies have benefits not offered to regular postal workers…i’m with don when the hell are the oversight people going to get serious…NO BID CONTRACTS are costing a fortune…fed-ex gets richer and richer and their bottom line is fatter than POTTER the PIG…congress needs to act and once again take control…of course if our unions would do ANYTHING..it might help..another no bid contract..36 yrs.and am ashamed of the people in charge…maybe it will get so bad they just go out of business

  34. I say we should go to 5 day delivery so that Postal Exec’s can continue to be treated fairly. We should not stop there either. Lay off more workers, cut pay and benefits to low life workers, etcetera, so that our Exec’s can continue to be treated fairly. I also think that it’s appropriate that the Exec’s themselves get to decide what is fair or is not fair. GO USPS EXECUTIVES! LIVE ON!

  35. Sir, This must be part of the thinking at postal headquarters that the head postal attorney, Maryanne Gibbons evoked when, during the Bernstock scandal she said that there were two sets of rules, one for the executives and one for everyone else. Managerial arrogance knows no limits.

  36. Oh for crap sake…craft employees don’t get locality pay either and we have to pay our own medical with WAY less wages!!! GIVE ME A BREAK POTTER!!!

  37. As a low-level USPS employee, I am appalled by this. The long list of efforts the Service IS making to save money is undercut by the perks that the executives can receive.

  38. PO executives don’t do as well as others feds, lets start with Potters salary and delayed bonuses, PMG makes more than the Vice President, that sound pretty well to me and it doesn’t’ t stop their, another lie from the big cheese. Know lets talk about the many executives he as hired who have had to slink away due to illegal activity, which craft employees would fired and jailed for!!!!

  39. I think it’s sickening that I’ve worked more than 40 hours a week for thirteen years and the Post Office will not give me benefits or consider me a full time employee, but they will pay 100% of executive’s benefits and have the nerve to defend it. I have a terminally ill husband and have to PAY 100% of my insurance premium! After medical expenses, I clear approximately $400.00/month. Let those executives live on that! Some of those executive benefits and pay need to be spread out amongst the employees who actually do the work. They’ve been living high on the hog long enough at our expense.

  40. Potter received almost 100,000 raise last yr. bringing his salary to just short of a million. He has bankrupt the po. He should be fired

  41. Jerry Wardlaw on

    UNTIL the NALC and all the other Postal Unions SHINE the LIGHT on ALL the mismanagement in the USPS we as employee’s will suffer the Force of Pain!!! Our Unions and management seem to be in a situation of holding hands under the table!! The Union does not have the BALLS to call for a picket on all Post Offices for ALL the INCOMPETENT management so we SUFFER with our Pay and Benefits!!!!!!!! compare USPS to UPS and FedEx the craft workers of the USPS are woefully behind our competition in this level of pay yet there are THOUSANDS of unnecessary MANAGERS we have to carry on OUR backs at the USPS!!!!!STAND STRONG for the Employees USPS UNIONS Don”T sell us out!!!!! Signed all CRAFT Employees

  42. I’m part of management, I don’t get Locality pay and i pay for my health premiums. Only executives get a free ride on this. EAS is included.

  43. No locality pay? Oh! you mean like all other fed employees ,but not postal. That must be the reason I had to move away from my family (mother and older kids) to afford to live, but wait don’t Potter and the rest of management get moving expenses? Yes but not the union labor force.

  44. Mr. Potter is among that level of management that thinks the little people owe them. He has no concept of what goes on in the real world. His world consists of the upper crust, and the people that are making the postal service what it truly is don’t count. When was the last time he came down off his pedestal and visited any postal facilities and got his hands dirty. We should bust our backs so that him and his elite team in Washington can get free medical and all the other perks for running the Postal Service in the ground? I think not. It is time for a very big management change and lets start from the top.

  45. PhiCrappaZappa on

    “Postal managers do not get locality pay,” he said. “Postal managers only get raises if they perform.”
    Oh, …and bonuses out the butt if they meet the numbers that …well,… they decide need to be met.
    The Postal Service is NOT broke. It IS broken.
    Do you thimk the elites will correct the problem of elites?

  46. The whole top management of the U.S. Postal service is so far removed from the regular public, that people like Mr. Potter, can defend me the taxpayer covering the full cost of medical benefits for his “senior executives”

    It’s absurd and points a damming indictment of no oversight or poor (your choice) from the individuals charged with protecting the taxpayer. Deals like this are unheard of in the private sector.

    I say throw Mr. Potter, and his senior executives who have run the postal service into an uncompetitive monopoly out the door and privatize the Postal Service. We can begin with the “senior executives”

    Private industry will show again that they can do it better and cheaper!

  47. Well, Potter & the majority of the republicans are for business & not for the worker. On a Bill O`riley show some time ago, I remember that goofball Dennis Miller explaining the truthful republican point of view. He said something along the line of ” Hey! its the Serengeti out there. Somebody has to eat & somebody has to be eaten”. Meaning that the folks with money are the ones who should be protected, & everyone else is just cannon fodder.

  48. Wake up & smell the roses thru your rose-colored glasses!
    There is not a single leadership role in the USPS but only positions of POWER and thereby, absolute POWER corrupts as is the case of the PMG.

  49. Correction: They get raises if WE (carriers, clerks,etc) perform. If we do our jobs it doesn’t matter if they lock themselves in their office playing video games!

  50. The PMG and his team are purposely running the Postal Service in the ground so that they can step in as a private company and reap the benefits. Don’t let the upper management team get away with it, stand up for what is right. Keep asking that the PMG and his team be replaced with people that have come from the front lines and understand how mail is delivered.

  51. Wow. It takes a lot of gall for Mr. Potter to defend stealing from the American government. Running the agency into the ground and giving your top execs a health care bonus is no less less than thievery. Why does it not surprise me that this is allowed to go on with no repercussions? Too bad this wasn’t on the “100 days of change” agenda.

  52. I would like to have a breakdown of the average postal employees wages and benifits of 83000. I only make 52000
    how can I get my other 31000 like they say we make?

  53. 1) I think PMG Potter should follow the example of the CEO of Ford and make his salary $1/yr until the USPS becomes profitable again. 2) I thnk that the “Postal Executives” should have the same insurance packages and pay the same premiums that all other postal employees pay. 3) I am APPAULED that there are a total of 835 people considered “Postal Executives” and have to wonder WHAT all those people do as jobs? Surely they are what private industry considers “non-revenue producing employees;” meaning their salaries come from the efforts of other people on the “front lines, doing the work” which includes craft and supervisors. However, many postmasters and some supervisors do not get appropriately engaged in their operations. Just like craft employees, there are management employees that do not work hard or have any sense of urgency regarding the preservation of their jobs or employer – THE U.S. Postal Service. People in Congress mess around making ignorant statements obviously not understanding the complexities of the way the Postal Service actually works. They have already drug their feet for over a year. And, yes, I think everybody should realize that things need to change – in every respect – employees will need to be eliminated including craft employees, management, DEFINITELY upper management ( especially those in Washington) and all those Postmasters and other favored few that sit around in the District office doing virtually nothing. And bly-the-way, the PFP is pretty much a JOKE!

  54. Part of realizing that things need to change for the Postal Service definitely should include 5 day delivery. The Post Office and Congress need to quit being run by the large mailers and lobbyists and should think of the regular citizens, making postal prices fair for everyone. I also think that the Postal Service should be given the authority to tell people where to place their mailboxes without the intervention of the elected political officials. The USPS should be able to be run the most efficiently, as any other private business (UPS and FedEx) is able to do. Elected officials intervene in mailbox placement and end up making the Postal Service’s operations more costly just to get a “thumbs up” from a possible voter. The elected officals also send their mail for free, as I’m sure the public is unaware. So they cost the postal service money for their personal use of politically-based information. It’s unfair to compare the Postal Service to other Federal agencies because at least part of any other agency in the Federal government is supported by taxpayers. The Postal Service is self-supporting – or is suppose to be. When they passed the last “Postal Transformation Plan,” it was conveniently left out that many higher executives in Postal management received ridiculously high salary increases. I’d like to see what public officials voted for that!

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