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October 23, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 10/23/20

Friday Message – October 23, 2020

As I know all of you are aware, Tuesday, November 3rd is Election Day.  It is my belief that this year’s election has brought more focus on the United States Postal Service than any other election in history.   I know that we have had states in the past where there was an especially close race that had us making special provisions to make sure we had all of the political mail out of our buildings and that we got all of the ballots to where they belonged by election day.  However, we have never had the scrutiny and in some cases the negativity that has been leveled against us like we have in 2020.    What does all that mean?   It means that once again, as we always do, the United States Postal Service has the ability to rise to the occasion and show the politicians and the American public that we can and we will make this a very successful election.

Speaking of the election, I hope that all of you have either already done your part or will be doing your part on November 3rd by participating in the election and letting your voice be heard.   Your participation is important in any local races you may have in your area, but it is even more important in the national election.    The make up of the House of Representatives and United States Senate hangs in the balance and that balance may well determine what the future of the United States Postal Service looks like.   Thankfully, we have been able over the years to build some good strong relationships with members of Congress from both political parties that are very supportive of the Postal Service and the UPMA Legislative Agenda.   It is only by building that bipartisan coalition that we can really move forward to make sure that when the 117th Congress is seated in January that we can realistically have the expectation that we would see comprehensive Postal Reform legislation introduced and then the real work will start to make sure we get it passed into law and signed by whoever is occupying the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.   So, I cannot emphasize enough how very important it is that you all take the opportunity to cast your votes and help shape the future of the United States and with that, the future of the United States Postal Service.  

Yesterday the Postal Service released the final NPA scorecards for Fiscal Year 2020.    As I have stated in the past, I have been working with USPS Headquarters on a plan related to how we are going to look at those numbers in the light of everything that happened with COVID-19 and issues related to that pandemic.   As of today I have not received any definitive information on what is going to be happening.   The other information that has not been released at this time is the timeline for filing for mitigating factors.    I expect that that will be released in the very near future.   However, if you are planning to file for mitigation, do not wait until the mitigation timeframe opens up; make sure you have your supporting documentation together and are ready to file as soon as the window opens.   Keep in mind that in order for your mitigation to be considered whatever changes you are asking for must move your composite score to the next block.   This is not in one particular component of the scorecard, but the overall score must move you up.   So, if you are at a 5.45 and are in a block 5, if you can show through mitigation that your composite would move up to a 5.50, or 5.51, that would then move you into a block six.    Please look at all those factors before you go to all of the work of filing and find out that it was not enough to make a difference.

Next Thursday and Friday we will be having our National Convention in St. Louis.    We have 104 people registered for the convention with some participating in person and some participating on ZOOM.    The ZOOM feed is available to anyone to watch the proceedings and the ZOOM information is posted on our website.   In addition, we have posted the convention agenda on the website, as well, for you to see.   Just a reminder that if you are watching on ZOOM and you are an active employee you must be in a non-pay status and you cannot use Postal Service issued equipment to participate.    In addition to the convention business of voting on the proposed changes to the Articles and Bylaws and the National elections for Secretary/Treasurer and two National Vice Presidents each from the East and the West, we will have messages shared on Thursday morning, October 29 at approximately 9 AM (Central Time) from Krista Finnazo, the A/Area Retail and Delivery Operations Central Vice President who will be joining us via ZOOM and on Friday, October 30 also at approximately 9 AM (Central Time) Mr. Louis DeJoy, the Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer of the Postal Service will be with us in St. Louis to address the convention.

Take care and stay safe!
Daniel Heins
UPMA National President