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Friday Message – January 22, 2021
There have been a number of questions raised in recent days regarding possible changes in the District structure in the Postal Service. I am expecting to have a briefing early next week on what the proposal for the changes that we know are coming is going to look like. When I have more information that I can share I will do so; however, I believe that USPS Headquarters will be making the announcement regarding what the changes will look like in the next couple of weeks.
Tied to the changes in the District structure are two other very popular topics and those are the possible VERA and lifting of the promotional/hiring freeze for EAS employees. From what I have been told recently it looks like the promotional/hiring freeze will not be lifted until we see where those individuals that may be affected can have a landing spot. Also, with those changes the VERA is also tied into that and the decision on whether a VERA will be offered will not be decided until all of the changes have been implemented. As always, we will do our best to keep you informed on when changes take place so you can use that information for your future.
With the promotional/hiring freeze being in place I want to make sure that everyone is aware that there is still the possibility of laterals, or downgrades. If there is a position that you are interested in and it would be a downgrade, or lateral situation be sure to pursue that move. If you get pushback, make sure that you bring those issues forward so we can intervene if necessary. While the Postal Service does not have an obligation to give you the position, they have the obligation to at least give it consideration.
As I have shared previously with the changes that were adopted to the UPMA Articles of Incorporation and the National Bylaws at last year’s National Convention, the deadline for the submission of any proposed changes is now February 1. So, if you have any proposed changes you would like to submit, they need to be sent to us here at the National Office by February 1. The guidelines and the proper format are contained in the instructions that are on the policy page on the UPMA national website. If you have any questions you can direct them to me, or a member of the Articles and Bylaws Committee at any time.
On Wednesday of this week, we had our monthly Legislative/PAC telecoms. If you wish to listen to the telecom you can do so at our website. Here is the link to get to the page Legislative Teleconference Schedule and Recordings (unitedpma.org). You will need to go to the bottom of that page to find the latest version. Some of the issues that were discussed include the postponement of the Legislative Summit until September 26-29, 2021. Our Government Relations Team outlined the changes that have taken place in the House and Senate now that everyone has been sworn in and there is a very narrow margin in both the House and the Senate giving the Democrats control of both houses and the White House for the next two years. It was pointed out that Rodney Davis from Illinois has once again introduced his bill (H.R. 82 – Social Security Fairness Act) which would eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) that unfairly penalize millions of retired federal employees. This bill once again has bipartisan support. We would encourage you to contact your members of the US House of Representatives and encourage them to sign on as cosponsors. Also, the leadership on the House Oversight and Reform Committee has begun preliminary work on a Postal Reform bill. The team of Chris, Brian, and Joel will be working with the staffers of those committee membership to help shape what that bill might look like. As we have more information, we will be sure to share it with you. It was also pointed out that Rep. Stephen Lynch from Massachusetts has introduced H.Res. 47 which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that the Postal Service should remain a governmental agency and should not be subject to privatization. Again, we would encourage you to contact your members of the House to sign on as cosponsors. While a resolution like this does not have the same force as law, it is a very positive thing for the future of the USPS that they are willing to offer this support to what we do every day.
Once again, I encourage you to stay safe, wear your masks, practice good handwashing/sanitizing techniques and do the cleaning as necessary in your offices.
Have a good week!
UPMA National President