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September 18, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 09/18/20

Friday Message – September 18, 2020

National Convention – The National Executive Board voted on Monday, September 14 to set the dates for the 2020 UPMA National Convention to take place at the Marriott Grand Hotel in St. Louis, October 28-30, 2020.    In order to meet the safety and health guidelines from the CDC and those that are in place in St. Louis at the present time, it is necessary to limit the in-person attendance to up to 122 people.   For that reason, we are limiting attendance to two active members per chapter who will be registered by the Chapter President directly with the National Office.    The materials for this registration process have been sent to the presidents.    In addition, for the first time (and hopefully the last time it will be necessary because of the pandemic) we will be offering an opportunity for the members to view the convention via ZOOM.   We have contracted with an audio-visual company in St. Louis to provide us with that technology.    The individuals that are registered by the chapter president as representatives from a particular chapter will be able to participate in the convention via ZOOM; however, for everyone else, the ZOOM will be for viewing only.   Also, it should be noted that in order to enter the convention hall in St. Louis you will have to have a badge issued by the National Office.     We will only be issuing badges to those individuals registered by their chapters, members of the National Executive Board, members of the national office staff, and others who are invited to attend by the National President.   Everyone else will have to use the ZOOM option to view the convention.   Also, I want to make sure everyone is aware, if you are an active employee of the Postal Service and you wish to either participate in the convention in person, or if you are going to be viewing the convention remotely via ZOOM, you CANNOT be on the clock and you cannot use United States Postal Service equipment to view this convention.    If you have any questions, please contact us at the National Office.

Legislative Update – On Wednesday of this week, we sponsored our monthly telecoms with the chapter Legislative and PAC Chairs.    During the call we stressed the fact that while we do not currently have any particular bills that are pending that we want you to reach out to your members of Congress about, we do have a Legislative Position Statement posted on our website that was developed earlier this month that gives you some talking points to contact the members now.   We need to stress the importance that they get on board with support for a COVID relief package that contains a direct appropriation for the United States Postal Service to cover the costs incurred as a result of the COVID pandemic.   The figures that have been contained in other pieces of legislation have had figures ranging from $10-25 Billion.   While we believe it should be the $25 Billion figure, at this point any relief would be appreciated.   However, the position statement that we have on the website also encourages you, when you are talking with your members or their staffs, to remind that this relief is just that relief; in no way does it address the long term needs for comprehensive Postal Reform and that we will be working on that in the next Congress.   I invite you to take a look at the information available on the website regarding legislative issues and to contact your members of Congress on a regular basis.

The USPS Election Mail Task Force continues to meet on a regular basis and is looking at a number of initiatives to assure that we stay on top of the ballot processing to make sure that we assist the country in having a seamless election process when it comes to mail in/absentee balloting.   One of the items that is being looked at is putting together a team at each plant that would meet on a regular basis and then daily in the time leading up to election day.   The teams will be made up of individuals from each of the craft unions and the management associations.   With that in mind, after I receive the list of plants that are going to have the teams associated with them, I will be tapping a number of you on the shoulder to see if you would be interested in serving the organization and the Postal Service in this way.

Karen asked that I include the piece she put together at the end of this week regarding those chapters that have held, or are planning to hold conventions from the standpoint of the First Lady of UPMA.

As always, stay safe and take care of yourself, your family, and your employees.

Have a great weekend,

Dan Heins
National President

As First Lady of UPMA, I have the honor of traveling with my husband, the President, to chapter conventions. It has brought me much joy to see the many people who are dedicated to the good of the organization and see the need to conduct the necessary business in a safe setting during this unprecedented pandemic. The presentation of the news from the National Office informs those in attendance of the great things that UPMA offers to its members in regard to communication, education, representation, and national events. There is time for questions to be answered and concerns to be addressed. Learning about national candidates, as well as chapter candidates, and voting for them is another important task carried out at the chapter level. The submitted changes to the articles of incorporation and bylaws are read, discussed, and voted on. These are all important issues which need to be accomplished to move the organization forward. The chapter conventions allow the members’ voices to be heard. I am so thankful for the leaders who channel their energy in a positive manner to move the organization forward and who realize the importance of keeping their members informed. It is heartwarming to also see the first timers who attend during these trying times to learn about the beneficial things that UPMA offers. I applaud the efforts taken by these dedicated individuals to carry on the business and move UPMA forward. Thank you!

Karen Heins

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. –Henry Ford