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October 23, 2020 transcript of From The President's Desk

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 10/23/20

Greetings everyone! 

Welcome to the October edition of From the President’s Desk.   I do not know about all of you, but these months seem to just go by faster and faster all the time.   

It is hard to believe that as this month of October draws to a close I will be ending my second year as your national president.    As an organization and as a country we have faced and continue to face some unprecedented challenges that have been placed before us.    While the challenges may at times seem insurmountable, we are always able to work through the issues and come out better on the other side of whatever is laid before us.    As I have told a number of you over the past two years and for those that have known me well for longer than that, I believe that God has a purpose for everything that happens both in our world and in our lives.   So, while we, in our human minds, cannot always understand why things are happening the way they are, we know he is in control and will watch out for us along the way.   I hear from many of you on a regular basis that you are praying for me and Karen and for the UPMA organization, as well.    We very much appreciate that and thank you for the support.    As I head into my final year as president, I know that we have much work to do to stabilize things in the organization and in our relationship with the United States Postal Service.    I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to solidify both of those areas moving forward to set the organization up for much success prior to turning things over to a the new president next November.

As I am sure all our active members are aware by now, the Postal Service released the National Performance Assessment scorecards yesterday.    From what I am hearing things improved for a number of you and for that we are thankful.   However, I continue to work with Postal Service Headquarters to see what we can do for each and every one of you on the tail end of this very challenging and disruptive year.   You have had to face staff shortages (both COVID related and from difficulties hiring), new cleaning procedures like we have never seen before and then we have the issue of the packages.    Oh, and did I mention the increase in packages.    You are currently seeing packages levels as a result of COVID-19 that in many cases exceed anything that you saw last PEAK season.    However, with all of that you and the employees that work with you have risen to the occasion.  You have made sure that you have done everything in your power to make sure that those packages are delivered and your customers receive the goods and services they have entrusted to you.     Thank you and thank you to everyone you work with for all that extraordinary effort!    Even though you may not hear it enough, it is appreciated!  

The election mail season has also proven to be one like we have not seen before based on the amount of scrutiny from all levels of government and from the citizens, as well.    Elections are nothing new to the Postal Service, we have always played a role in the elections by handling ballots and other political mail; however, from what I am told in many parts of the country, we have not had these types of volumes in the past.   Again, with the pandemic, more people will be taking advantage of vote by mail and absentee balloting than ever before.   With that said, just like with COVID package volumes, I know you will rise to the occasion and make sure that the ballots get where they need to go.    As always, if you have issues in your office REPORT IT!!   Contact your MPOO and if you have been instructed to report it to the Election Mail Coordinator for your district, please do that as well.    Having participated in a number of the meetings involving the National Election Mail Task Force formed by the Postmaster General which involves a number of individuals from Headquarters and representatives of the management associations and the craft unions, there is a lot of emphasis being placed on this issue.    It is imperative that we get through this successfully and making sure the Postal Service is not a headline related to this election, unless of course it is to sing the praises of the women and men who do the work every day and helped make this election a success.

Earlier I spoke about NPA and PFP for Fiscal Year 2020, I just want you to know that I continue to work with Headquarters on issues related to Fiscal Year 2021 and what the expectations will be.   Right now, there is a tremendous amount of time being spent on the issue of election mail and NPA has somewhat taken a back seat.   I am sure that once we get to November 4 and beyond, we will get into some more substantive talks and get the information out to you on what the goals and objectives will be for FY 2021.   Please be patient.

In closing, I once again want to thank you for your hard work day in and day out.    Your efforts and the efforts of those that work with you do not go unnoticed and they are very much appreciated by many many people.   Keep up the good work and stay safe and healthy.   I look forward to speaking with you again next month.  Take care.