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June 19, 2020 – Friday Message
Greetings fellow UPMA Members:
On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, Mr. Louis Dejoy was officially sworn in as the 75th Postmaster General of the United States. In his message to employees and stakeholders he outlined the issues he is looking at as he takes over the helm at Postal Service Headquarters. He spoke about a “trajectory for success”. When I had spoken with him prior to his taking office he talked about the importance of the Postal Service to the American public, the importance of providing excellent customer service and also, taking care of the most valuable asset the Postal Service has and that it its employees. I am sure that having only been officially in office for a few days Mr. Dejoy is still learning his way around and getting to the know the organization better every day. I know that he plans to schedule regular meetings with the leaders of the management associations and the unions, I look forward to having that dialogue with him. Hopefully, we can and will tackle the tough issues that are facing our members in the field. While the pandemic has presented a whole new set of issues for the country and the Postal Service, there are still underlying issues related to staffing and the number of packages received every day that have a direct effect on our ability to provide the service that our customers have a right to expect. So, whether it is with Mr. Dejoy, or with other representatives from USPS Headquarters we will continue to address these issues and more as they come up.
On Wednesday evening we held two telecoms for our Chapter Presidents and our Chapter Legislative and PAC Chairs. The Government Relations Team (Chris McCannell, Brian McLaughlin and Joel Riethmiller) had put together a PowerPoint outlining what we should look for in the coming elections. They went over the issues with the Presidential election and how that might, or might not, affect many of the US Senate and US House of Representative races, as well. We talked on the call about the continuing importance of supporting our UPMA PAC and the efforts we are trying to make on a bi-partisan basis to support those candidates that have the best interest of UPMA and the Postal Service at heart and who have shown that they will do the work necessary to keep the Postal Service in front of some of the other members of the House and the Senate. Recently you should have received the PAC mailing giving you the opportunity to contribute. Thank you to those that have already contributed and if you have not had the opportunity to send in your donation, I would encourage you to do so as soon as possible. As always, ePAC remains an option, as well. If you want to pursue that option further there is information on the UPMA website on how to get signed up. That way you know that your contributions continue to be made on a regular basis. There is a recording of the call on the website, unitedpma.org.
Last night the Senate made the following two appointments to the United States Postal Service Board of Governors. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE: Executive Calendar #713 - William Zollars, of Kansas, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2022, vice James H. Bilbray, term expired. Executive Calendar #716 - Donald Lee Moak, of Florida, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for a term expiring December 8, 2022, vice Alan C. Kessler, term expired.
The COVID 19 pandemic continues to be something that we need to continue to monitor on a regular basis. In most areas of the country we have the public areas reopening and expanded opportunities for eating in restaurants and going to other public events and to public areas. Remember to keep your employees informed about what the restrictions are in your particular area and locality. Encourage them to practice safe social distancing, use masks whenever called for, or when it makes them feel safer and to always wash their hands on a regular basis. With this reopening and some expanded testing, we have a rise in the number of cases in many areas. Again, it is important that you are taking the precautions that you feel are necessary for you and do what you feel comfortable doing for yourself and your family.
Back in March we had started hosting the Chapter Member Representative Academies throughout the country. We were able to conduct the training in Atlanta and in Salt Lake City before we felt that we needed to suspend the program because of the pandemic, so we did not have those Academies in St. Louis and Pittsburg. Gerri Swarm and I are working with the hotels in those cities to look at rescheduling those sessions. We are tentatively planning to have the Academy in Pittsburg on Saturday, November 7 and the one in St. Louis on Saturday, November 14. As always, while we need to get the rooms secured at the hotels we will move forward based on the current guidelines that are in place at that time and will monitor the situation closely as time moves on.
As far as setting dates for the postponed National Convention it is looking more and more like we will wait until after August 1st to set those dates. As I mentioned earlier with the changing numbers related to COVID 19, we will take a look at where we are at that time and make a determination as to when we should set the dates for the convention and also to determine based on space at the hotel how large a gathering we can have.
In closing I want to wish all the fathers out there a Happy Father’s Day!
So, take care and stay safe and healthy.
Dan Heins, National President