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December 25, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 12/26/20

Friday Message – December 25, 2020

Regardless of how you celebrate your holidays based on what your background is everyone knows that today is Christmas Day and as a result it should actually be a day off after some very long grueling and often hard days over the past 10 months.   That is especially true since the early part of October when the election mail rolled in along with the package volume that had already been there as a result of COVID.     I know that in certain parts of the country because of the serious backlog of packages you were asked to volunteer, or perhaps you were voluntold to go into work today.   It seems like that should not have been the case, but in these unprecedented times it calls for unprecedented measures.   I know that those of you that have been around for some time remember the years that we were asked to go in to do an “Express Run” on Christmas Day.   Generally, we were able to find a good-hearted soul who would go in for the two, or three hours, that were necessary to meet the driver from the plant and deliver the few packages that we actually received.  My how things have changed, at least in 2020.    With the backup at the plants and in some of the post offices I am sure we are talking far more than a few packages that will need to be delivered.   For those of you that had to give up your holiday, I say thank you for going above and beyond to get this done.   Your efforts and those of your staffs are very much appreciated

With the passage for the COVID relief bill earlier this week there is language contained in the bill that allows the Postal Service to get the $10 Billion that was in the CARES Act as a loan as an appropriation that will not have to be repaid.    This should help the bottom line of the Postal Service going forward.  We will be sharing more information on this as we move forward and when it finally gets signed into law.    It now looks like there may be a revision to the law early next week, or it could just not be signed into law and we could have to wait until after the first of the year to actually see some relief for the Postal Service and all of the Americans that are suffering deeply from the results of the Pandemic.  

On Wednesday this week along with the extension of all the craft memos regarding work related to the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to let you know that the Special Exempt pay for Postmasters that meet the COVID-19 criteria contained in the original letter from May 20, 2020, has been extended to March 26, 2021.   Just as a reminder you need to have the use of these hours approved by your manager prior to doing the work and then getting paid for it.    The original memo and the new extension letter are both posted on our website,  Remember, this is not something that you should shy away from using.   If you need it, use it, you should not be donating time on your days off and after your regular hours, get paid for it if you meet the criteria.

On behalf of myself, my wife Karen, and the entire staff at the National Office we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays over these next few days.   

Just so you are aware, the national office is on leave until January 4th; however, if you call the office you will be given options to either leave a message, or to get in touch with us via cell phone.   Also, if you send an email I will respond as rapidly as possible, as well.   If you have questions we will do our best to get you an answer in a timely manner.

Take care and stay safe,

Dan Heins
UPMA National President