Postmaster General to Retire, Postal Board of Governors to Appoint Successor

November 19, 2019

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

In mid-October, the Postal Service announced the upcoming retirement of Postmaster General Megan Brennan, after serving in the position for five years. Her retirement will be effective Jan. 31, 2020. The task of appointing the next Postmaster General now falls to the Postal Service’s Board of Governors. In a climate of increased financial and political pressure on the USPS, the selection of the next PMG will be essential to the Postal Service’s future as a public institution.

One of the key goals of the postal reorganization in 1971 was removing political influence from the Post office. Previously, the Postmaster General was appointed directly by the President of the United States. Since 1971, members of the Postal Board of Governors are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and the Board in turn selects the Postmaster General.

In August of this year, the Senate confirmed three nominees appointed by President Trump to the Board of Governors and the Board reached a quorum for the first time since 2014. Now with a quorum, the Board is in a position to hire Brennan’s replacement and set the course for the Postal Service’s future. With the prefunding debacle still unresolved, there’s real concern that the Trump Administration will pressure the Postal Board of Governors to appoint a Postmaster General who shares the White House’s views

on important issues of privatization, service standards and collective bargaining rights for postal workers.

“We must ensure that Postmaster General Brennan's successor shares postal workers’ vision for a vibrant Postal Service that continues to belong the people of the country,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein.

Petition to Appoint a Postmaster General Who Supports a PUBLIC Postal Service

Signatory Organizations of A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service are rallying their members onto a public petition demanding that the Postal Board of Governors appoint a new PMG who is committed to continuing public ownership of the Postal Service and to providing quality postal services to everyone – no matter who they are or where they live – at reasonable and uniform rates.

“Postal workers! Now is the time to rally the public in support of our national treasure, the public United States Postal Service,” said President Dimondstein. “Talk to your co-workers, neighbors and friends, and ask them to sign the petition. Meet outside of post offices and talk to customers about the importance of a public Postal Service. Let’s send a clear message to the Postal Board of Governors that the people demand a public Postal Service – our jobs depend on it!”

The petition to the Board of Governors states:

We, the undersigned, believe in a public Postal Service committed to providing quality service to everyone, no matter who they are or where they live, at reasonable and uniform rates. Our United States Postal Service is an essential part of the fabric of the country and a source of good, living wage jobs for our communities. We call on you to appoint a Postmaster General who is fully committed to universal service and the public ownership of the Postal Service.

Go to or to sign the petition today! Get a link sent to you by texting PETITION to 91990. You can download a PDF of the petition to print

Pew Poll: Postal Service Takes Top Marks Among Federal Agencies

The Pew Research Center released in October the results of an opinion survey where the public ranked their views of various federal agencies. The United States Postal Service once again topped the list of any federal agency, edging out the National Park Service and various law enforcement agencies.

Fully 90 percent of the public views the Postal Service favorably, with 37 percent saying they view USPS “very favorably.” Unlike many other agencies, the public’s view of the USPS was consistent across political parties: 87 percent of Republicans and 91 percent of Democrats hold a favorable view of USPS.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Postal Service’s favorability has grown consistently in the last several years. In 2010, total favorability was 83 percent, it was 84 percent in 2015 and 88 percent last year.

While postal workers and allies well know the hard work and dedication to mission required to move and deliver the mail, the public’s confidence and appreciation in the Postal Service is remarkable in the context of the challenges facing this vital public good. After years of declining mail volume, political attacks, and management’s short-sighted and ultimately ineffective slowing of delivery standards, the people of this country still value the important role the public Postal Service plays in their everyday life.

Mail after privatization: UK posties gear up for dispute over future of Royal Mail

The United Kingdoms’s postal union, the Communication Workers Union, has returned a 97 percent “Yes” vote authorizing strike action in the Royal Mail heading into the busy holiday season. The dispute centers around the future business model of Britain’s postal service, which was privatized in 2013.

Royal Mail management has floated plans of separating the mail company into two separate business entities – one for parcels and one for letters. Postal workers believe that would inevitably lead to service reduction. “Our dispute is about the very future of our industry – the future of postal services, and it’s about change. The change that we want to see is postal workers still being able to have a role in society,” said CWU General Secretary Dave Ward. “All it needs is the will to invest in the people’s post and the people who run it.” Read more on p. 35.

Attacks on Federal Workers Continue

A recently leaked memo from the White House shows that the Trump Administration is keeping up its attacks on federal employees and their unions. The memo shows the Administration’s plans to severely restrict union rights for workers across a number of government agencies and even recommends that the government stop bargaining entirely with TSA security screeners.

The memo suggested that President Trump should issue an executive order exempting certain Defense Department workers from collective bargaining. It also considered including employees in parts of the Departments of Homeland Security, State and the Office of Personnel Management in the collective bargaining restrictions.

Veterans Administration (VA) workers continue to fight for their rights, after the Trump Administration moves severely restricted union time and other union rights, leading to ongoing court challenges by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and other federal unions. VA workers are now attempting to bargain for their next collective agreement, and have filed a national grievance alleging the VA is bargaining in bad faith amid White House attempts to shutter additional VA facilities across the country.

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