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December 20, 2019 transcript of From The Presidents Desk

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 12/20/19

Greetings everyone!

Welcome to the December installment of From the President’s Desk.     Thank you so much for taking the time to watch the video, or to read the transcript, I do appreciate it.

While it may not feel like it for those of you working out in the field the end of PEAK season truly is in sight.    I am hearing varying reports from throughout the country as to how this season has compared with the past couple of years.    For some of you the loss of many of the packages that you received from Amazon in the past has had a very positive effect on your operation and the ability of the carriers to get done earlier.   For others of you the Amazon volume has increased significantly and you and your employees are putting in longer hours than you have in the past, so it is a balancing act depending on where you are in the country and what your office workload looks like.    I know that there are some of you that are receiving the recognition for you and the employees you work with in your office for all the extra efforts you are putting forth.   For the rest of you, I want to let you know that your efforts are appreciated by your customers and ultimately by the United States Postal Service, as well.    Too often the leadership in the Postal Service gets so caught up in putting out fires and doesn’t take the time to really focus on what is going on and how very hard people are working every day.    I am sure they mean to tell you that you are doing a good, no in many cases doing a great job, but they just don’t take the time to do that.  One other thing to keep in mind is that as frustrating as it is not to receive recognition for a job well done by your manager, or Postmaster, make sure that you do not fall into that same trap.   Make sure that your employees know how very much you value the job they do day in and day out and that their extra efforts, especially at this time of year are very much appreciated.

I wish I could say that once we get past the PEAK season it would be smooth sailing from there but we know that is not true in many parts of the country where you will be facing the continuation of, or the ramping up of, weather issues that you have to deal with.   Remember, to always stress the importance of safety to your employees and keep safety in mind for yourself, as well.   

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been hearing from more and more of you throughout the country regarding the issues that you having with the new fast track hiring system and the pitfalls that are involved in that process.    I am happy to say that I have a meeting set up this coming Monday at Postal Service Headquarters to address that very issue.     As I receive more information on the program and what issues, if any, they are looking at at the Headquarters level I will do my best to keep you informed and up to date on what is happening.    Hiring has been an issue for almost as long as I have been around the organization, but it seems the challenges and availability of good quality employees has become more and more of a stumbling block all of the time.    I am hopeful that we can get to the root of what some of the issues are and if possible get to a solution that will be beneficial to all of us.

Last month I talked about the pay package changes that I was able to negotiate with Doug Tulino regarding the PFP payouts for 2019 being at the 2018 levels, the pay increase to the tops and bottoms of the pay bands, the issues with changing the leave formulas for some employees, and the change of the composite score breakdown from 60/40 to 50/50.    While at the time those changes were only going to affect Postmasters and employees at the Area and Headquarters level, I am pleased to say that as of earlier this week these meaningful changes have been rolled out to all EAS employees in the organization.   This is very good news.

Our Legislative Summit is coming up at the end of February 2020.     Over the past week, or so, we have found out that our room block at the hotels that we have contracted with has been sold out.    So, if you are still looking for a room you can contact us here at the national office after January 2nd and we will be able to give you some suggestions on some other possibilities.    Also, if you have a room and you will not be needing it, please let the hotel know that so that they can share those rooms with those that still need them.   In addition, if you have not yet sent in your registration for the Summit there is no time like the present to do that.   

Due to the change in the Congressional calendar that was announced earlier in December we will be changing up the format for this year’s Summit.   Instead of meeting at the hotel on Monday morning and then going over to Capitol Hill, we will instead be spending the day at the hotel.   This is due to the fact that Congress will be in recess from February 16-24, so it will be very difficult to get speakers up on the Hill on that Monday.     We are working with some folks from the local delegations, as well as others who have their finger on the pulse of what is happening with postal issues and we will indeed have a meaningful and informative program for you that day.  Then on Tuesday we will go up on the Hill and visit the offices of our Congressmen and women and our Senators to share our message.   Then beginning at 4:30 we will have a reception in the Montpelier Room in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress.   This will be an opportunity for us to invite the people we meet with to thank them for their support.

On behalf of myself and my wife Karen I want to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Hanukkah, a very Merry Christmas and a most Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2020.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to speaking with you again next month.

Daniel M. Heins
National President
United Postmasters and Managers of America