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June 26, 2020 – Friday Message
Greetings fellow UPMA Members:
Last night the Chapter Presidents from the Northeast Area voted to elect Kathy Santo-Cristo from Connecticut to take over the duties as the Postal Area Coordinator for that Area. Kathy is replacing Frank Kouba who stepped down from the position last week. I want to thank Frank for his time in serving in the position and I want to wish Kathy well as she takes on these new duties. Kathy will be working with Mike Quinn, who is the National Executive Board member that is assigned as the advisor to that area. Kathy joins a very hard-working group of individuals that represent us with the various Postal Areas. I want to thank them for their work.
Yesterday some information came out regarding the financial condition of the Postal Service. Apparently, what is being said is that with the increase in packages that the financial position of the Postal Service is not at the level that we once thought it was. At this time our government relations team is looking at the information and we will share more as we know more. The big question at this time is, what effect, if any, will this have on the discussions for the $25 Billion appropriation that was part of the HEROES Act passed by the House and that has been discussed as the Senate looks at what they are going to do moving forward with the next assistance package that will be approved by Congress. We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed going forward.
Over the next few days and I am sure the next few weeks you will be hearing more and more about the need to control costs within the Postal Service. I understand that all of you are always looking for ways to control your hours, especially overtime and penalty overtime, but I just wanted to make sure that as much as possible you keep your eyes focused on that goal. With that said, once again, I am going to remind you that if you have issues in your offices that prevent you from making your goals and that cause you to use additional hours make sure that you are documenting those issues. Those issues can include things like employee availability due to COVID-19 cases, late trucks from the plant, late arriving parcel and the list goes on and on. Please, just make sure that whatever those issues are you document, document, document and then share that information with your manager. I know that none of you want to use more hours than necessary and that you will always do your best to control hours; however, when situations arise that make it difficult (or in some cases impossible) for you to do that make sure that you are keeping good records of those occurrences.
Next week the nation will be celebrating its birthday on July 4th. With the holiday being on a Saturday that means that everyone that has their scheduled day off on Saturday that the holiday will actually fall on Friday, July 3rd. I have been in discussions with the representatives at the Postal Service to find out what arrangements can be made regarding when the timekeeping will need to be done. As of this morning, I do not have an answer, I have asked that they make sure everyone is aware that they have until Monday to get all of the necessary changes made to get everyone paid properly. If we are able to get this verified so you do not have to go in on either the third, or the fourth, to do your timekeeping you are going to have to make absolutely certain that you make sure it is taken care of first thing Monday morning, before the cutoff.
We have had a request that when the National Executive Board has a telecom meeting that the information on how to participate be made available to the membership. So, with the next call I will make sure that the chapter presidents are included in the invitation that is sent to the National Executive Board for the ZOOM meeting and we will also make sure the information is placed on the national website, as well. This should give everyone that wishes to listen in on the call the opportunity to do so. Just to make sure that we know who is “attending” we will be verifying who is on. So, if you call in from a cell phone and we only have the number listed, we will be asking you, based on the last four numbers of your telephone number to identify yourself.
With the holiday next week, I will do my best to get the Friday message out on Thursday. Maybe that will make it a Thursday message for one week!
So, take care and stay safe and healthy.
Dan Heins, National President