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Friday Message – November 20, 2020
Next week we pause as a nation and give thanks for all of the blessings that we have. I realize there are times that we may want to say, what do we have to be thankful for and we may get very frustrated. Please remember that as hard as it may be to go to work everyday and face the rigors of dealing with personnel shortages and the number of packages, we need to be thankful that we have jobs that we can go to and that provides us with a pay check every two weeks. There are way too many people that do not have a job to go to, or where it is very limited in what type of work they can do because of the pandemic. I know you are challenged every day and I want to say thank you for all you do. I encourage you to take time over the next few days to really focus on your blessings and the family and friends that you have and not look on the negative side of things.
Yesterday it was announced that there will be some personnel changes at the USPS Headquarters level and these changes will have a direct impact on our reporting relationship at the Headquarters level. For many years now, our National Presidents, myself included, have worked closely with Doug Tulino who has served as the Vice President of Labor Relations. We have had the opportunity to work with Doug on issues of pay consultations and other concerns we have had over the years. Our relationship with Doug and his willingness to work to solve issues as they arose has been a very positive thing. As you are most likely aware by now, Doug has been promoted to the position of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and will now become part of the Executive Leadership Team at Headquarters. On behalf of UPMA I want to congratulate Doug on that promotion and say that I look forward to working with him on a continuing basis, even in his new role. Taking Doug’s place as Vice President, Labor Relations is Katherine (Kate) Attridge. Early this year I had the opportunity to meet Kate on one of my visits to Headquarters and I look forward to getting to know her better and to establishing a good working relationship to the benefit of our UPMA members. Prior to this promotion, Kate was the Manager, Collective Bargaining and Arbitration and worked closely with Mr. Tulino on all contract negotiations.
All these changes were the result of Mr. David E. Williams announcing his retirement early next year from his position as Chief Logistics and Processing Operations Officer and Executive Vice President. I want to wish Mr. Williams a long, healthy and much deserved retirement from the Postal Service. Replacing Mr. Williams when he retires early next year will be Isaac Cronkhite who has been serving in the position of Chief Human Resources Office (CHRO) for the past few years. Over the years we have had a very good working relationship with both Mr. Williams and with Mr. Cronkhite and I do not see that changing with this announcement.
Today and tomorrow your National Executive Board will be meeting at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio, the site of next year’s National Convention. Gerri Swarm, Rodney Boland, and I had the opportunity yesterday to meet with the representatives from Kalahari and some of the members of the Ohio Chapter that oversee planning the convention for next year. We were able to cover a lot of ground yesterday and we have the plans well in place to have a very successful convention next year. The Ohio group is very excited to be hosting and they are going to work very hard to make your experience at Kalahari a very good one. As a reminder, those of you that were registered for the convention in St. Louis this year had your registrations rolled over to 2021, unless you have requested a refund. I just want to encourage you to start making your room reservations at Kalahari so you can be assured that you are included in our room block. There will be more information on this coming out in the next issue of the UPMA Leader and the information is available on our website, as well. I am praying that we will be on the other side of the issues currently facing us with the pandemic and that we will be able to come together again August 14-20, 2021 and have a convention like what we have been used to for many years.
In closing, on behalf of Karen and myself, I want to wish all of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Take care and stay safe,
National President UPMA