Postal Service defends executive salaries as lawmaker looks to cap pay

Agency insists it must stay competitive with the private sector.

The U.S. Postal Service on Monday defended its top executive pay in the face of anticipated new legislation that would place a lower cap on executive salaries and bonuses.

Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-N.Y., announced Friday that she intended to introduce legislation reducing the salaries of the postmaster general and his immediate subordinates to the level of Cabinet secretaries. The legislation would overturn a provision in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, which authorized USPS executives to be paid salaries of up to 120 percent of the vice president’s annual compensation, plus bonuses.

“We’re obviously in tough economic times, and the Post Office is on the hook for billions of dollars of taxpayer money,” Fabien Levy, a spokesman for Hochul’s office, told Government Executive. “When that’s going on, you expect the top leadership there to make the sacrifices that everyone else is willing to make.”

The vice president’s salary is currently set at $230,700, meaning postal executives can be paid up to $276,840, according to USPS spokesman Mark Saunders. Levy said the proposed legislation would scale back the wages of top USPS executives to the level of Cabinet secretaries’, which was set at $199,700 in 2010.

Postal officials, however, argued because USPS functions like a company, it is important for executive salaries to remain competitive with the private sector.

“When you compare the size and scope of an organization that employs well over half a million employees operating among 32,000 locations linked by more than 210,000 vehicles, our officer compensation is well below that of similar private sector positions,” Saunders said.

He also said USPS has enacted self-imposed pay freezes for four consecutive years since passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act: Officer base salaries were frozen in 2009 and 2011, and no performance lump sums were awarded in 2010. Base salaries remained frozen this year and no bonuses were awarded. Decisions regarding executive pay for 2013 will be made later in the year.

Yet USPS Chief Operating Officer Megan Brennan and Chief Information Officer Ellis Burgoyne each received $25,000 in bonuses in 2011, according to Levy. Saunders said the executives received “recruitment incentives” for moving to areas with higher costs of living.

Hochul, who wrote to USPS Board of Governors Chairman Thurgood Marshall Jr. on March 9 expressing concerns about rising executive salaries, also expects to include a provision in the bill prohibiting executive officer bonuses in years where USPS closes any retail or processing facility. Saunders called the two issues unrelated.

“Network and retail optimization is part of our five-year business plan and is needed for the Postal Service to return to profitability,” Saunders said. “Our network was designed for a different era. Our networks need to be streamlined to match today's mail volume and the changing ways our customers do business with us.”

Amid billions of dollars in losses, USPS currently aims to shutter more than 220 mail processing plants and cut a total of 30,000 career positions through downsizing. The Postal Service wants Congress to eliminate mandates requiring retiree health benefit prepayments, return the Civil Service Retirement System and Federal Employees Retirement System overpayments to USPS, and grant authority to determine the frequency of mail delivery, according to Saunders.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.