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December 11, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 12/11/20

Friday Message – December 11, 2020

With the continued rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide, I cannot stress enough that you as the managers in your post offices need to make sure that you personally are following all of the guidelines as set forth by the Postal Service, the CDC and your local governments.    Make sure that as the Postmasters, Managers and Supervisors that you are wearing your masks while on the work room floor and make sure that your employees are doing the same.    Also, make sure that you continue to do the required cleanings of the facilities.    In these very challenging times with all the volume you are receiving, it is as important as ever that you make sure you provide a safe working environment for yourself and your employees as well as for your customers.     With the huge upswing in volume, it is more important than ever that you have the maximum number of people possible present every day.

Speaking of PEAK and the upswing in volume.   I know that the goal is to make sure that all the volume gets delivered every day; however, we all know that there are situations where that just is not possible due to a whole host of different reasons.   As I have said in the past and will continue to say if you find your office is in a position that you will not be able to deliver the mail, make sure that you are reporting that fact to your manager.    With that said, do not wait until the end of the day to report problems if you are aware of them early in the day.   Make sure that you reach out to your manager to find assistance throughout the day to make sure that the work can get done, if possible.     Many of us are praying for all of you that faced with all the challenges you are that there will be some relief and also much understanding when anomalies present themselves.   

We have had a number of questions asked about possible changes to the pay bands (the tops and bottoms of the pay scale) for next year before the new Pay for Performance numbers take effect on January 2nd.   I expect that any changes that may be implemented will be announced in the next few days so that the adjustments can be put into effect as it relates to your pay starting with the new year.   As I get more information on this, I will let you know.   Based on the information that we have seen from the rest of the Federal Government, which is usually what the Postal Service uses as a guideline to making these adjustments appears that it will be a very modest change, at best.

Legislatively we are still waiting to see what will happen as it relates to any type of COVID-19 relief package.   There have been a number of ideas that have been floated on Capitol Hill; however, they still appear to be quite a way apart on what a relief package should look like.    There is basically a week left before Congress goes on a year end break, so if we don’t get something passed soon, it is not going to happen during this calendar year.    One of the latest versions of the bill that has some bipartisan support would call for the Postal Service to receive the $10 Billion loan that was part of the CARES Act passed earlier this year to be converted into an appropriation when the criteria to receive the monies have been met.     Our government relations team continues to monitor the situation and work with some of the key stakeholders on the Hill to make sure that the Postal Service is not forgotten in this entire process.

Another topic that we have been receiving some inquiries about at the National Office has to do with the awards that we would normally have given out at the 2020 National Convention (i.e. Star Chapter Awards, Editorial Awards, Secretary-Treasurer of the Year, etc.) that were not presented due to the limited scope of our convention this year.   These awards will be presented at the 2021 Convention in Sandusky, Ohio.    The National Executive Board voted to adopt those plans so that individuals and chapters could be recognized in front of as many of their fellow members as possible.    With that said, we will be giving double the awards this coming year.

As always, I encourage you to stay safe and wish you continued good health as we inch ever closer to Christmas Holiday.    For those of you that are celebrating Hannukah, I wish you a very Happy Hannukah.

Dan Heins
UPMA National President