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Friday Message – August 7, 2020
Last week I received an email from Dan Leonard the Chapter President from New York asking me for information regarding what was/is happening regarding discussions with Postal Service Headquarters on a number of issues. Early next week we will be posting my responses to Dan on our website so that if you are interested you can access the information under our resources tab using your membership number. As I told Dan and as I am telling all of you there are issues that are discussed between the representatives at L’Enfant Plaza and me that cannot be shared until a decision is made as to whether, or not, they are going to go ahead with a program, or other changes that may come up. The other reason that I put my responses to Dan on the website is because I am concerned about the proliferation of information on social media. By putting the information on our website, it is accessible to everyone that is a member of the UPMA organization. They all have a member number and would be able to access the necessary information without it being put out in social media where there may be information on discussions that should not be shared with the “world.” Thank you for your understanding.
Over the past week I have had several people contact me about the national convention and their feelings that the convention should be cancelled and also some that contacted me to say they feel it is important we go ahead with the convention. While I appreciate all that input and I am in the process of sharing that information with the National Executive Board, at this time we are moving ahead with the plans for the convention. Last weekend I was in Missouri for their chapter convention and then I stayed over in St. Louis to meet the representatives from the Marriott Grand to discuss plans for our convention that will take place, God willing, at the end of October. We went over the layout for the room regarding how many people we could get in with social distancing both for the general sessions and for the meals. The Marriott, as have most hotels, has implemented new and more stringent requirements regarding cleaning and sanitizing, as well as how they serve meals and snacks, etc. They outlined what they are currently doing for the groups that they have in house for meetings at this time and in the coming weeks and what they will be continuing to do when we are there to keep our members that attend the convention as safe as possible.
The UPMA National Executive Board will be holding a face to face meeting on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan Airport, in Arlington, Virginia. The tentative agenda calls for us to be done by noon on Tuesday, September 1, so people can travel home that afternoon if they wish. This meeting is taking place to replace the meeting that would normally have been held prior to the start of our National Convention.
At times we receive phone calls and emails here at the National Office with questions and concerns about something that is happening in a particular MPOO area, or perhaps in a District. While we would like to take care of all these items, it is impossible for us to do so. I just want to make sure that I outline what the procedure is that you should follow if YOU have an issue. The first point of discussion should be with your manager (be that your MPOO, your Postmaster or Manager if you are a Supervisor in customer service, or an MDO or Plant Manager if you are in a plant). If you are not able to reach a settlement at that level you should then contact your Chapter President so that they can address the issue, or issues, with the District Manager. If no agreement can be reached at that level, then the Chapter Presidents send the information on a Consultative Log to the Postal Area Coordinator. They then work with the Area office to reach an agreement. If they are unable to reach an agreement it would then be sent to us here at the National Office and we work with USPS Headquarters to reach a settlement. It is important that all of these steps be followed because when we take something to Headquarters the first thing they want to know is what has happened at the other levels in the organization. So, we need to be consistent in what we do and how we handle items and issues as they come up.
Later this morning, the Postal Service Board of Governors will be having a regularly scheduled meeting. I will continue to monitor any announcements that may be made at the meeting, or following the meeting, and as appropriate I will share those with the membership either on the website, or in my Friday message next week depending on the critical nature of what may be announced.
Thank you, stay safe and healthy, and have a good week!
Dan Heins, UPMA National President