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May 7, 2021 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 05/07/21

Friday Message – May 7, 2021

Pay Consultations – On Wednesday of this week Dave Ravenelle and I had the opportunity to meet with Kate Attridge, the Vice President of Labor Relations at USPS Headquarters and Bruce Nicholson, from her staff, to start the pay consultation process.    It was a very productive meeting, and we reviewed the proposals that the Postal Service had sent to us and the proposals that we had provided to them last week.    We plan to have our next meeting in about two weeks to give both parties the time to do some research and come back for further discussion.    Our goal is, if it is at all possible, to have our final pay decision decided within the ninety-day window that is called for in Title 39.     As I have stated previously, we are not able to discuss the topics we will be working on until we have completed the process. 

Board of Governors – On Thursday this week I had the opportunity to have lunch with members of the USPS Board of Governors.    President Brian Wagner, the president of NAPS, and I were given a chance to share information with the Governors about our organizations and what areas we are focused on in representing our membership.   The luncheon also gave us an opportunity to discuss the recently released ten-year plan and our shared goals as it relates to Postal Reform.    I want to thank Postmaster General DeJoy, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), Doug Tulino, and the members of the board for being welcoming and open to discuss a number of different issues.    At this time, we are still waiting for the full Senate to approve the three new nominees for the board.     Ron Stroman, Anton Hajjar, and Amber McReynolds have been approved by the committee and are now awaiting full approval by the Senate.    When they are approved it will bring the board to almost full strength.

Restructuring – A memo was released by CHRO, Doug Tulino, outlining the process regarding how those employees that are affected by the restructuring will be applying for positions and the process to fill those positions.   There will be a number of postings over the course of the next few weeks for those in the impacted areas.    Please note that even if you are not one of the employees that are identified as impacted if you see a position that interests you, you are permitted during the process to request a lateral, or downgrade, at any time during the process.     A portion of the memo dealt with the announcement that the hiring freeze was being lifted on May 3rd with the first positions being posted on May 25th.    As the memo says, the freeze is only lifted for the limited areas of consideration for the employees working at USPS Headquarters, the Area offices, and in the District offices that are impacted by the current and ongoing restructuring.    If you want to see more information the memo is posted on our website,   

Postal Reform Legislation – Over the course of the last two weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak with the legislative aides for both House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman, Carolyn Maloney and Ranking Member, James Comer; as well as a number of other members of the committee.   With the assistance of Chris and Blair from Gray Robinson and Brian and Joel from Imperium Global Advisors we have had doors open to us to reach out to these individuals to make sure they understand the importance of passing Postal Reform legislation with strong bi-partisan support.    It is essential that we have the strong bi-partisan support coming out of the committee to help make sure that we can secure that same support in the full House of Representatives.    The discussions between the Government Relations Team and I have also centered on reaching out to key members of the Senate to make sure we can keep them informed and secure their support there when the bill comes over from the House.

Emergency Federal Employee Leave (EFEL) – As of now, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), has issued the guidelines on this leave and how it will affect us as Postal employees.    We have posted the latest information on our website if you need more information on how to handle requests for this type of leave at this time.     Please make sure that you are following the guidelines and having your employees fill out the proper paperwork and that you are using the proper codes to enter the leave in TACS.    Also, remind your employees that in order to use the EFEL leave it will be funded until the funding from the Office of Personnel Management that was approved in the most recent legislation, the American Rescue Plan, has been exhausted.    Once the funding runs out, the leave will either need to be converted to approved annual, or sick leave, or Leave Without Pay (LWOP).

Happy Mother’s Day – to all of the mother’s out there, I want to wish each and every one of you a very Happy Mother’s Day and I hope and pray that you are able to spend time with your family this weekend.

As always, stay safe, stay healthy and practice the CDC recommended guidelines.

Have a good week!

Dan Heins
UPMA National President