News Listing Page

May 29, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 05/29/20

May 29, 2020 – Friday Message

Greetings fellow UPMA Members:

Now that we have the Memorial Day holiday behind us, we can move forward into the summer season.   With the reopening of all the country as of this morning when the District of Columbia moved into Phase 1 of their plan to get the city back on track everyone is at least into Phase 1, I know that some of you are farther along than that..    As we work toward the implementation of the numerous phases that are all part of this plan please be mindful of the various requirements in your area as it governs your life outside of the Postal Service and when you are not on the job.  

With that said, however, be sure that when you are at the Post Office, or your carriers are on the street that they need to adhere to whatever regulations have been put in place by Postal Service Headquarters.    For now, the Postal Service is telling us that we must adhere to guidelines as set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).    So, for the time being you are limited to groups no larger than ten people and that you must practice social distancing or wear a mask.   In some cases the District Managers, or the Area Vice Presidents have put out their own guidelines for wearing of masks, etc.   These guidelines may be more in depth than the ones put out by the CDC, but it is your responsibility as the Postmaster, Manager or Supervisor to make sure that you are setting the goals and expectations for your employees and making sure that you, along with them, are making sure we are in compliance.

Last week I talked about the implementation of the new Special Exempt Status for all Postmasters and I have had several questions on what is covered and what is not covered.   The letter from Mr. Doug Tulino contains the guidelines that we need to use when asking for approval to work the extra hours.     The most important thing to keep in mind is that if you are working the extra hours because of COVID-19 ASK TO BE PAID FOR THEM.  Please, please do not work the hours without asking to get paid.  That defeats the purpose of us working toward this benefit at the national level.   It is your responsibility to get the hours approved and to make sure that you are getting paid for the time that you are putting in.    This is a benefit that we were able to secure and we need those of you on the front lines to make sure that you avail yourself of the extra pay rather than just letting it go and thinking “my boss will never approve it”.   If you meet the criteria and you ask for the extra pay and your manager chooses not to approve you being paid that needs to be escalated up through the chapter president, the Postal Area Coordinator and then if there is no resolution to us here at the national level.    However, you cannot be paid if you don’t ask and then put the hours on your timecard.   They will not magically appear.

The final decision on the future of the national convention has not been made as of this time.    The National Executive Board had a meeting this past Monday and tabled the issue until this coming Tuesday to allow me to go back to the hotel and see if we could get some modifications on what they had previously offered to the organization.    As soon as a decision is made, we will make sure that we let you all know and get the information on the website.   Please stay tuned for more details.

As I am sure most of you are aware the national office has essentially been shut down since mid-March when most of the country was shut down as a result of the pandemic.    All the members of the staff here at the national office have been working from home to adhere to the Governor’s stay at home mandate.   With the easing of some of those restrictions over the next few days we have made the decision that beginning Monday, June 8, we will have one person working from the office on a daily basis.   The staff of Gerri, Frank and Dave will be taking turns coming in for a week at a time so that we, too, can start that path back to some type of normalcy.    As the Northern Virginia area works through the phases, we will look at the operation and determine when we can get back up and running on a continuing basis.    Again, we will keep you informed of developments as they occur.

In closing there are a couple of items/issues I want to touch on.   Based on all the information I received this week for many of you the day after the holiday was a real challenge and a challenge for your employees.   Thank you to all of you for your efforts to get the mail delivered and to keep your employees as safe as possible even though some of them were out until very late in the evening.   Your dedication, leadership, and commitment to this great organization that we know as the United States Postal Service is to be commended and you need to know how much those efforts are appreciated.

As most of you are aware home for me is in southern Minnesota and our Northland District office is located in Minneapolis.    I am sure you have all seen the items on the news regarding the unrest that is currently going on not just in Minneapolis, but also in St. Paul and across the country, as a result of the senseless death of the Mr. Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police.     As of this morning there are three stations in Minneapolis that are shut down and the management team there is working through the issues and planning the best course of action to make sure that our customers are served as soon as possible.    In this case it is over 57,000 deliveries that cannot safely be made.   I would ask that you keep Northland District Manager Tony Williams, the Northland management team and every single employee in those communities affected by this violence in your prayers.    Please include in those prayers a request a resolution to the violence and unrest would be found as soon as possible for the good of all citizens.

Thank you for your time and for reading the message this week.   I pray that all of you stay safe and that you will be unaffected by the pandemic, now and in the future.

Have a good weekend and a great week ahead!   Stay safe!


Dan Heins
National President