Postal Service needs fewer supervisors, more workers

By David Berg , Special to the BDN
Posted Feb. 17, 2011, at 8:15 p.m.

I was appalled to hear on the news that there is any discussion about closing our nation’s post offices. There is no civilized nation in the world without postal service.

In fact, in his misguided war in Iraq, one of the first things George W. Bush did in rebuilding the country was to rebuild its postal service. If the greatest country in the world can do this for our enemy, why then is it declaring war on its own citizens in this manner?

It may seem as if this is a cost-saving thing to do, but how does the government expect the poor who don’t have the Internet or cars to get to a neighboring town? In all likelihood, they do not have enough money to have bank accounts and rely on postal orders to pay their bills. Just walk into a poor area at the first of the month to see how many are there just buying postal orders.

The real problem is the mismanagement of the system as a whole and the individual post offices themselves, with too few workers and with supervisors who blatantly leave the premises. Whether they get paid for this time off-site I do not know, but I do know how often there is no supervisor on-site to see that the workers are properly supervised and their concerns answered (such as how to perform a function they were not trained to do). Luckily, my local post office is an exception to this, but as I travel the state, I have found this to be too true an event.

Similarly, our last postmaster general was allowed to give himself $100,000 raises yearly for the last three years he worked, thereby raising his lifetime pension. Where was Congress then overseeing this, especially when it was well known that the Postal Service was in a decline?

The management in general looks to cut the drones who actually move the mail and leave unscathed the supervisors who do little but collect salaries far beyond their services rendered. It makes me think of when I was an elementary school principal and had a sign that described the phases of a project and ended with “punish-ment for the innocent.”

What we need is fewer supervisors, especially as the work force has been so diminished, and that money put into hiring more workers.

If, indeed, the Postal Service is looking to close down the less-efficiently functioning branches, is it going to fire the supervisors who are responsible for this lack of efficiency or just punish the residents of the town and the carriers and clerks who have to fight to try to do their jobs effectively? How many of these workers are ex-military and are instilled with a work ethic not seen in many places?

Once again, the rich benefit and the poor and elderly are being assaulted by their own country. What a reputation for a nation to have.

It is time for this nation to set its priorities right. Once again, Congress has left a business (the Postal Service) to self-regulation, and once again, we see the result — greed and deception and the common man left to fend for him- or herself.

Congress must step up to the plate to save the Postal Service.

David Berg of Searsport is a retired elementary school principal.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/02/17/opinion/postal-service-needs-fewer-supervisors-more-workers/ printed on December 26, 2014