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Friday Message – February 5, 2021
Earlier this week bi-partisan legislation was introduced that would repeal the prefunding burden that was placed on the Postal Service by Congress back in 2006 with the passage of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). The new bill, H.R 695 in the House of Representatives was introduced by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Tom Reed (R-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Colin Allred (D-TX) and in the Senate bill number S 145 was introduced by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND). While UPMA supports these bills in principle, the bottom line is that this legislation will do nothing to solve the financial woes currently facing the Postal Service. Yes, repeal would alleviate the financial burden on the balance sheet, however, it would not mean any additional available cash because nothing has been paid toward this debt requirement for several years. Our Government Relations Team continues to work with members in both houses of Congress and from both sides of the aisle to get a comprehensive bill introduced that would indeed offer some long-term relief to the Postal Service and set the organization on a path to sustainability for years to come. We do not know when a bill might be introduced, but we will keep you informed going forward. Once the bills are introduced, we will post that information on our website, unitedpma.org.
We continue to work with USPS Headquarters on the Fiscal Year 2021 National Performance Assessment (NPA) and Pay for Performance (PFP) matrix and goals for this year. As of today, the USPS is very close to finalizing what the program will look like for 2021 and then it will be rolled out to the field. As soon as the final package is rolled out, I will be sure to share that information with all of you. It is my hope that you will see something in the next few days.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues and we seem to continue to have our lives disrupted by this terrible disease, I want to once again remind you that if he pandemic and issues related to the pandemic are bothering you either physically, or emotionally, be sure that you are seeking assistance with that. If it is bothering you physically seek help from your physician. If it is bothering you emotionally be sure to reach out to the support network that is provided to you by the Postal Service, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP is available by calling 1-800-EAP-4YOU. They are a fantastic resource for you, or your immediate family members living with you to cope with issues related to COVID and any other issue that you may have that you could benefit from talking to someone. They will give you the necessary resources to assist you near where you are to tackle whatever may need to be addressed. Please do not let issues build up to the breaking point before you reach out and seek assistance. These are trying times and we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can for the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families as we go through this.
As I said last week, if you wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and there is a clinic, or other provider near you that are offering it, please take advantage of that. While the USPS continues to work with the CDC to find out ways to perhaps make the vaccine available to Postal workers, we do not know when that might happen, so seize whatever opportunities are placed before you to avail yourself of the vaccine. The more people that get vaccinated, the sooner, I believe, we will be able to put this dreaded disease behind us if we can stop the mutations and all of that, as well.
As always, stay safe, practice social distancing when required, wear your masks and wash your hands often. It may not prevent you from getting the disease in every circumstance, but it may prevent someone else from getting it.
UPMA National President