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Friday Message – March 19, 2021
Possible POStPlan II: Over the course of the past few weeks there have been many questions raised as to if there is, or if there is not, going to be a POStPlan II, or some other evaluation of the Post Offices throughout the country. What I have been told by the Postal Service up to now is that everything is currently open for discussion, but nothing formal has been proposed at this time. One of the questions in all of this is, if there were to be a POStPlan II, what would the procedure be for implementation. On Wednesday of this week I, along with Brian McLaughlin from our Government Relations Team and Edmund Carley the Executive Vice President, had the distinct privilege to have a ZOOM meeting with the Vice Chairwoman of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), Ashley Poling and her Senior Economic and Public Policy Advisor, Ian Stanford to discuss procedural issues related to filings by the Postal Service. Currently there is no filing before the Commission so there was no case to discuss. With that being said, however, because of the ex parte rules that govern the workings of the Commission, Vice-Chairwoman Poling cannot discuss any case while it is under consideration by the Commission. So I just wanted to get clarification on what the procedure is that would be followed in case that something related to a second POStPlan like request were to come before the PRC and how much notice there might be. As Vice-Chairwoman Poling and Ian explained it, before there is a formal proposal the USPS would request a pre-consultation on the issue and then they could, at that time, or at a later date, enter a formal request to the Commission to do a review of what would in this case be called a “nature of service case.” Once that formal request is entered into the record, then the Commission has 90 days to do a review and then they offer a non-binding advisory opinion on whatever that issue might be. We were told that all the information regarding the request for the pre-consultation and then if, and when the formal request is filed would all be posted on the PRC website along with information on timelines, etc. If you want to check on the action of the PRC, you can do so by visiting their website at Postal Regulatory Commission (prc.gov). As I hear more, or as any filings on the issue of a nature of service case are entered, I will do my best to keep you all informed of where the process is at as it progresses through the Commission. I want to offer a huge thank you to both Ashley and Ian for taking the time to meet with us and to help enlighten me further on how the process works.
Proposed Article and Bylaw Changes: By now you should have received the March issue of the UPMA Leader magazine. Included on pages 24-67 are copies of the three proposed changes to the UPMA Articles of Incorporation and the 25 proposed changes to the UPMA National Bylaws. Please note that Bylaw change #12 has been withdrawn by the submitters because with the new restructuring plan rolled out by the Postal Service, it is no longer necessary. Please look over these changes. The active members will be voting on these at the Chapter Conventions, and we wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to look them over before that time. The National Executive Board member that attends your Chapter Convention will be bringing copies of these proposed changes with them along with the sheet to vote on whether you support adoption, or rejection, of the proposed changes. Those votes taken at the Chapter Convention will govern how the votes are cast by your Chapter President at the National Convention in Ohio in August.
Training/Informational Sessions: Just a reminder that we will continue to have our monthly training/informational sessions on the second and third Thursdays of the month in April. Kerry Nichols who is a member of our National Education Committee and the Postmaster in Dewitt, Iowa and a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for hiring in her District will be walking everyone through the Webcoins program and offering some tips on navigation and helping you understand what information is available to you in the program. The information to sign up for the sessions (you can do that ahead of time if you like), is available on our website under the Future Events/Online Training Sessions tab. Here is the link to take you to the site if you choose, Online Training Schedule (unitedpma.org).
Legislative/PAC Telecom: This past Wednesday we had our monthly Legislative and PAC telecoms with the Chapter Legislative and PAC Chairs and the Chapter Presidents are invited. Some of the topics we discussed were the meeting with Ashley Poling from the PRC (covered earlier in this document), the Government Relations Team talked about pending legislation and we discussed PAC efforts at the Chapter Conventions and an upcoming mailing. I just wanted to let you know that the recording for the call is now posted on the website, if you were unable to get on the call, or if you just want to get the information.
As always, make sure you are taking care of yourselves, your families, and employees to keep everyone safe as we continue to move through the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you are required to wear a mask, be sure to wear a mask and make sure your employees are doing the same. I have heard from a few areas of the country where people are frustrated because their managers are not wearing their masks and are not enforcing the requirement with the craft employees in the office and people that are really concerned feel their voices are not being heard.
UPMA National President