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July 3, 2020 – Friday Message
Greetings fellow UPMA Members:
With the Fourth of July holiday falling on a Saturday and since the USPS, along with other businesses throughout the country will be observing the holiday on Friday, I decided to send this Friday Message on Thursday this week.
Let me begin by saying I hope and pray that all of you have a chance to spend some time with family and friends over this upcoming holiday weekend. I know that with the shortage of help some of you are being forced to work on your holiday. Make sure that you are communicating this fact with your manager and come up with some type of a solution to take another day, or to be compensated if your having to work is related to the COVID-19 situation. If you have to cover your office, or do the time keeping in your office this weekend and over the holiday it is up to you to work it out with your manager as to how those hours are covered and if you will be compensated in any way. Nationally, USPS Headquarters is not in a position to put out a blanket statement about how individuals should be compensated in these situations. It is unfortunate that the holiday falls on the final day of the pay period. It just makes it that much more important that the timekeeping is done properly so that your employees can be paid properly.
We continue to hear about COVID-19 and the pandemic and in some areas of the country we are seeing a rise in the number of cases that are reported. Please remind your employees to take all precautions by practicing social distancing, wearing their face masks when and where required (or if it helps them to feel safer, at all times) and proper handwashing or sanitizing. Please, as Postmasters, Managers and Supervisors make sure that you are leading by example and setting the tone in your office that always promotes safety, especially now.
We have been receiving word at the national office that in some parts of the country the districts and areas may be looking at cutting back on some retail hours especially in our level 18 offices. PLEASE, if this is happening in your area forward that information up to me and Dave Ravenelle so that we can work on getting these issues addressed as they come up. What we really need is specific information and copies of emails, etc. that outline what the plans might be and what action the USPS may be taking in these cases. Preserving the hours is one of the most important things that we can do as an organization not just for our members, but for the customers that you serve, as well. So, again, if they are talking about making those changes share that information.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been hearing a lot about doing the rural inspections and using your privately owned vehicle to do those inspections by following the carrier. Since these decisions are the decision of the local leadership in your district, or in some cases the expectations are coming from the Area Office make sure that you are addressing those items on the local level. Get clarification from your District or Area Office on how they want you to complete this if you are not comfortable using your own vehicle. Also, with the safety concerns in how you do an all-day inspection safely driving your own vehicle and taking notes, address that as well. Since these are local decisions, they need to be dealt with at that level initially and if there can be no resolution then send your issues to your Chapter President who will work with the Postal Area Coordinator to address it at the area level.
In closing, I want to once again wish all of you a very Happy and Safe Fourth of July weekend and I thank you for all that you do each and every day.
Dan Heins, National President