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Friday Message – August 14, 2020
On Friday, August 7, the United States Postal Service announced a restructuring plan that is being put in place by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. We have posted information on our website regarding the plan and the new reporting structure, etc. related to this issue. One of the items discussed how the USPS was going to request a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VER) from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The important information here is that they are going to “request” the authority to offer a VER. Even if OPM does approve a VER for non-bargaining that does not mean that this option will be offered to anyone, it just means the USPS has the authority to make the offer, if necessary. When a VER is approved it can be offered to a very select group of people if that is what the Postal Service determines they want to do. At this time there have been no parameters given on what a potential VER may look like if one is offered. I do not believe it would include any kind of a financial incentive.
As the Postal Service rolls out the new restructuring plan there may be other changes implemented. In the original letter that we received here at the national office it mentioned that there may be future consolidation of some of the districts. At this point we do not know how many that may, or may not be, or when those decisions are going to be made. However, Postmaster General DeJoy has tasked those individuals who oversee implementation of the new plan to have everything in place and ready to go by the end of September. So, it appears that the new restructuring plan will be how we will do business in Fiscal Year 2021. With this as with any major change of this magnitude, we are going to see some bumps in the road. We need to be ready for that and know that we may well have to adjust on the fly. Make sure that you stay on top of your email correspondence from your district as to what changes, if any, may be put in place in your particular area. You want to make sure that if there are changes that are implemented that you are aware of what they are so you know you are doing what is required.
During our national executive board meeting this past Monday, a question was posed to Bruce Nicholson from Labor Relations at Postal Service Headquarters regarding how the restructuring plan may affect our NPA for Fiscal Year 2020. Bruce stated that this is obviously an item that we will need to discuss; however, at this time it is too early to give a definitive answer on what effect, if any, it may have on the NPA. These changes will also, more than likely, effect what our goals and requirements are for Fiscal Year 2021. NPA is one of those topics that comes up often in my discussions with Headquarters and it will continue to be a hot topic going forward until we can come to an agreement on how we should proceed. I will do my best to keep you posted as decisions are made and as information can be released.
We are trying to do our best to make sure that as we receive information on the restructuring and who is being put in what positions we will keep you as informed as possible. So far, all the information that I have received has been put on our website, under resources. I would encourage you to go there to find the information to see if that answers whatever questions you may have. If you do not find the answers you can reach out to me at the national office and I will do my best to answer the questions, or get an answer for you if I do not have it readily available.
The national executive board will be holding a meeting on Monday, August 31 and Tuesday, September 1 here in the DC area. If you have issues you would like to see your board discuss, please get those issues to us here at the national office, or send them to one of your area vice presidents and we will put the issues on the agenda for the meeting. We plan to meet all day on Monday and until noon on Tuesday.
Thank you, stay safe and healthy, and have a good week!
Dan Heins, UPMA National President