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December 4, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 12/04/20

Friday Message – December 4, 2020

As you all face the hectic and in many, many ways very challenging PEAK season, please make sure that you are following all of the requirements when it comes to the COVID prevention measures that are in place.    One of those requirements is that all employees always wear masks when they are in the Post Office.   As Postmasters, Managers and Supervisors make sure that you are setting the example and are doing everything you can to ensure that the employees wear their masks, as well.    I have been hearing reports that there have been several cases where discipline has been issued to the EAS employees in an office who are not enforcing the rules on cleaning, etc.    I know for the majority of us we never believed that this pandemic would possibly go on this long; however, at this point we do not really see any end in sight for the vast majority of us.    At the time that the vaccine is finally approved for use and made available, all of the reports I am seeing are that the roll out will take a significant amount of time, but eventually it will be available to the general public.   We will have to see what changes that allows as far as all the requirements that are currently in place and what procedural changes may be allowed down the road.    I know that there are days that the requirements seem overwhelming, but when you keep in mind that these procedures are in place to protect everyone it makes it easier to keep our focus on the end goal.

Last week there was an email issued by the PES system regarding the mitigation timeline that may indeed have been confusing to many of you.    The email opened with a statement that the mitigation process was open until December 7th.    From the wording in the email it looked like you had until that date to file for mitigation.    That is NOT the case, however.   The December 7th date is the date for completion of the process based on the timeline that was originally put in place.   The original filing date of November 23rd has not changed and will not be changed at this time.    If you are one of the individuals that have filed for mitigation make sure that you keep your eyes open for emails regarding whether, or not, your particular request has been approved or disapproved by the District Manager because if it has been disapproved it is up to you to appeal it to the Area level at the proper time.

From time to time we get calls at the National Office regarding discipline that has been issued and the person receiving the discipline does not know what to do.    I just want to remind all of you that if you are called into your manager’s office for an investigative interview, or a pre-disciplinary interview, whatever they call it in your district, or Area, make sure that you take a representative with you.    If you are issued discipline, make SURE that you appeal that discipline.   You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you have received progressive discipline and you are presented with a Letter of Warning in lieu of the 14 day suspension, or worse a letter of proposed removal, or downgrade, it is too late to appeal any previously issued discipline.    We had the opportunity to certify almost 200 Chapter Member Representatives (CMR) over the past year at our Chapter Member Representative Academies that we held throughout the country.   The goal is to make sure that any time one of our members needs assistance we have a well trained and equipped group of individuals to work with you whatever the issue may be.   If you need more information on what UPMA has to offer, that is available on our website, unitedpma.org.    You can also call us at the National Office if you are unable to reach a CMR or your chapter president and you need assistance or advice.   We will make sure that we point you in the right direction.

Take care and have a safe and healthy week!

Dan Heins
UPMA National President