Correct step taken for rural mail service

Sidney Herald

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., should be commended for his role in the National Rural Letter Carriers Association’s recent agreement with the U.S. Postal Service to increase rural mail carriers’ pay in Sidney and Fairview.

We have seen the struggles our post offices have experienced first hand as they have been short-handed because of the low pay mandated by the federal government. Some carriers have put in long hours just so we received our mail on a daily basis.

Tester is right when he made the statement, “Mail carriers work hard and travel long distances to provide a critical service to eastern Montanans. This is a well-deserved raise, and I will keep working to make sure compensation for all federal workers keeps pace with economic growth in the region.”

Last June, the Herald first reported the challenges facing the local post office. At that time, two carriers were attempting to cover the city of Sidney’s four routes. For that article, the Herald received this response from Tester, “The situation in Sidney shows exactly why the Postal Service needs to get its books in order without cutting service in rural America. I’ve been pushing Congress to enact real postal reform for two years now, but until reform passes, the Postmaster General needs to stop trying to balance his books on the backs of communities like Sidney.”

Like anything involving the government, progress took a while, but we are glad that Tester listened to us here in eastern Montana about this concern. Hopefully the increased pay will translate into a full staff at our post office.