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November 27, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 11/27/20

Friday Message – November 27, 2020

This past Wednesday, the Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a collective bargaining agreement.  The reason this is especially significant to us in UPMA is that once that contract is ratified, the Postal Service has forty-five days to send us a notice that we will be opening pay consultations.    Our current pay package expired at the end of fiscal year 2019, so we have been operating under the provisions of that package until the current time.    As we move forward, I have assembled a team of UPMA members that will be meeting to look at items that we feel need to be included in our upcoming pay package.   The members of the team are Edmund Carley, Tony Leonardi, Tammy Powell, Richard Zurowski, Dave Ravenelle, and me.   We ae going to be having our first meeting in early January to plan our strategy going forward.   Throughout this process we will have to keep the items that are under discussion secure until an actual package is agreed to.     The goal of the pay talks team is to address issues related to pay and compensation, working conditions, and how our members are treated in the workplace.    So, as much as I can, I will share information as we move forward.   

It is my hope that all of you were able to enjoy some time with friends and family members yesterday for the Thanksgiving holiday.    Now you will be transitioning into what has historically been the most challenging time of the year for the Postal Service and for you as the EAS leaders in your offices and operations.    As we have spoken about previously, this will, most likely, prove to be the busiest PEAK season that most of you have ever encountered.   Along with the increase in packages that is always part of PEAK, we now have the Coronavirus and the sheltering at home on the increase in many parts of the country that is going to make it that much more problematic in many, many offices.     If you run into any issues in your offices, or operations, with the process and delivery of the mail make sure that you keep in constant contact with your manager so that they are aware of issues the you have with getting the mail processed and delivered.  Seek their assistance in dealing with whatever you are facing.   

Many of you are facing ongoing staffing shortages because you cannot get people onboard in a timely manner.  COVID absences and quarantine situations also make getting the mail handled a problem in many cases.    Here again, I want to encourage you to share resources as much as you possibly can.    Have that difficult discussion with your employees so they are aware of the issues facing every office and alerting them that you may be asking them to assist a neighboring office, or coming in on overtime in your office to allow your support staff to go to neighboring offices.   It is only by working together that everyone is going to be able to get through these unprecedented times.

The mitigation timeline for the initial appeal to the District Manager has passed and we are now in phase two.   If your appeal is denied at the district level be sure that you make the appeal to the Area office.    If you do not take that step there is no way that we can take the matter any further.  All the steps in the timeline must be followed.   If your appeal is denied and you feel you have a valid case, please forward all of the information to me at the National Office so that I can look it over and if appropriate take it to Postal Service Headquarters.

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

Dan Heins
UPMA National President