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by Rick Owens – PEN
January 4, 2010
Today’s Washington Times notes…
“The financially troubled U.S. Postal Service pays Robert F. Bernstock a $232,500 salary to oversee its shipping and mailing division, but a little-known hiring provision allows the executive to earn even more money from outside corporate sources.”
Courier, Express, and Postal Observer takes issue with this article stating…
“The scandal here is not Mr. Bernstock’s compensation, nor is it his positions on outside board of directors. The scandal here is that if the Postal Service needs a new senior management team to turn it around, it cannot easily hire from the entire executive talent pool available. The compensation limits and Washington political environment severely limits the choices available to the Board of Governors.”
I disagree with Courier, Express, and Postal Observer in that it is my opinion that U.S.P.S. is a quasi-government agency and NOT a private corporation…at least not yet. Therefore, USPS executive pay SHOULD NOT be compared to that of private corporations – just look at the salary of President Obama – and, postal executives should refrain from earning income, or any form of compensation, from large mailers that are customers of USPS.
In addition, craft employees of the postal service are held to strict codes of ethics regarding outside employment – postal executives should be held to these same rules and regulations. To say that USPS should be able to offer executive salaries comparable to large private companies/corporations and allow postal executives to earn outside income from customers of USPS [ and, at the same time, allow one section of the USPS workforce ethics freedom while forcing ethics laws on postal craft] is, in my opinion, the same as suggesting that we further the demise of USPS. Why? Because USPS simply cannot afford the large salary and perks that these private corporations pay.
I agree that if USPS were a private corporation it would enjoy a firm Fortune 500 placement and, as such, should command much larger salaries for postal executives – BUT, USPS is not a private corporation that can practice business in major retail markets.
USPS should refrain from allowing their executives to participate in outside employment that does business with USPS, should cease allowing these executives to earn income of any form from outside firms, and should practice ethics that apply to ALL postal employees…not just one group of employees.
Does USPS need a new senior management team to turn this service/business around? Yes, I believe they do – but, I also do not think paying current postal executives more money will do the trick – nor do I think allowing postal excutives to earn outside income improve, or retain, their commitment and service to USPS.
USPS is simply not a private corporation and should not act like one.