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July 29, 2020 transcript of From The Presidents Desk

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 07/29/20

Greetings everyone!

Welcome to the July edition of “From the President’s Desk!”

Change is a word that conjures up different images and feelings for different people.    To a certain extent, I believe, if things are going well, or we think they are going well, we do not want to see anything change.    However, if things are not going so well then, we might welcome change as long it is not too dramatic a deviation from what we are used to, or what we consider normal.

In the United States Postal Service, we are currently staring change right in the face and for many this is a very frightening prospect.    I hear statements like, “that is not the way we do things”, “don’t they care about service”, or “what is this world coming too?”  

It is not like we have not seen change before, and it is not like we have not had to adjust over time.   However, right now with the new Postmaster General in charge it seems some of the very foundations that we believe have sustained our United States Postal Service for the past few years, and in some cases for the 245 years of our existence are being changed, or questioned.    I think that for many the frustration lies in how things have been rolled out and the fact that it seems we have each of the Areas doing things their own way, then we have the Districts that are putting their own spin on things and then we get to the MPOO, or POOM, level and they are then deciding how they want things done, as well.   This can be very frustrating at times; however, we all need to understand that we will get through this.

Here at the national office we are working hard to have a dialogue with Postal Service Headquarters regarding all these changes and how they have been rolled out to find solutions and when possible to at least standardize the processes for implementation.    We need to make sure that everyone understands the expectations and the ultimate goals in all of this to better be able to manage the operation and achieve the desired results.    For now, however, until we get those standardizations in place, continue to follow the directions of your manager and work with the employees that work with you in your unit to get the job done.   Make sure that you are reporting the conditions in your office as they exist and make sure those reports are accurate.  

As Postmaster General DeJoy stated in his Postmaster General Statement on Operational Excellence and Financial Stability released on July 27th, and I quote “changes must be made, and we will refocus on all of the items within our control, and propose changes to some that are not, in order to ensure that we will be able to continue to fulfill our universal service obligation to all of America.”     So, we all must be clear that there are changes coming and perhaps there is nothing that is not on the table for consideration, and we all need to be prepared to deal with those changes.   It doesn’t mean that we have to agree with everything and it doesn’t mean that if there are issues that we feel as an organization that we need to push back on that we will not do so.    The bottom line is that as I stated earlier, the Postal Service has been around for 245 years and we need to make sure that we here at UPMA are looking out for the needs of our members and for what is in their best interest while also looking at the long term sustainability of the United States Postal Service and how we can assist in helping the USPS move forward.

As your national president along with the input from the National Executive Board we continue to monitor the situation regarding how we will conduct the business of UPMA at a National Convention.    At this time, we are planning to move ahead with a convention in whatever form we are able to and we will make adjustments as we have to as the time for the convention approaches given whatever parameters are in place at that time.   While we had hoped to have dates set by now, we see that that is not possible given the ever-changing environment we are in with the COVID-19 pandemic.   It may actually be early to mid-September before we are able to really decide on the official dates.  

Our government relations team and I continue to work with members of Congress as they work to reach a comprise on a new COVID relief package.    As the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate work to iron out their differences on what should, or should not, be included in the bill, we are working hard to make sure that whatever the final package looks like that there be some type of appropriation for the Postal Service to cover the costs of the issues related to COVID 19.   If there would be provisions to cover things like infrastructure and the longer-term outlook for the USPS, that would be all the better.   However, the appropriation for an amount in the neighborhood of $25 Billion, would definitely be a step in the right direction.   I want to say thank you to those of you that have contacted your Representatives and Senators on this issue.    It is our hope and prayer that we can at least receive some of the asssistance that is needed.

In closing, make sure that you are taking the precautions necessary to stay safe and healthy and that you look out for your families and for the employees that you work with, as well.

Take care and God bless!

Daniel Heins
UPMA National President