News Listing Page

August 2021 transcript of From The President's Desk

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 08/31/21

Greetings everyone!

Welcome to the August edition of From the President’s Desk.

Let me begin by offering a word of encouragement to all of those that have been affected in any way by Hurricane and now Tropical Storm Ida.    The devastation that some of you have suffered through is something that I know you will not soon forgot and that it may take a significant amount of time for your life to get back to some form of normal.   Know that the prayers of many of our UPMA members are with you and we are praying that as you move forward you will be able to find the strength to get through each day for however long the recovery and clean up might take.   On behalf of all of us in UPMA, I wish you nothing but the best.

Once again, I would like to thank all of you that were able to join us in Sandusky for our fifth UPMA National Convention.    I want to thank the Ohio Chapter and our own Gerri Swarm for all their hard work in making the convention a success.   I would also be remiss if I did not thank Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Deputy Postmaster General Doug Tulino for spending time with us and for also authorizing all the excellent training and speakers, we had with us during the course of the week.   There was nothing but great comments on the training content and on the quality of the speakers that were there.   Thank you to Mr. DeJoy and Mr. Tulino and each and every one of the speakers, as well.

As I am sure you are all aware we have had a number of people that were at the convention that have tested positive for the COVID virus.   From what I have heard up to now, most of the cases that have been reported have been relatively mild ones, but that does not change the fact that they were positive cases.   I pray that that continues to be the case if anyone else is diagnosed from now on.    We should be reaching the end of the period where people that may have come into contact with one of those individuals at the convention that tested positive may have spread the germs and the symptoms should be showing up if they are going to.    As I have said previously, if you are one of the individuals that was at the convention and you feel you want to be proactive and get tested, I would encourage you to do so.    That decision is strictly up to you as an individual.

Last week we received our pay package that will run until May 20. 2023.   The package has been distributed via email and is posted on our website if anyone has not had a chance to look at it up to this point.    This week on Wednesday (September 1st) at 8 PM Eastern Daylight Time and on Thursday (September 2nd) at 9 PM Eastern Daylight Time I will be offering an opportunity for people to join an informational session via ZOOM.   During these sessions I will share the components of the package that we received.   In addition, I will be talking about the process to help everyone better understand how we got to the package that we finally received.    The links for these sessions will be posted on our website and they were available in my Friday Message last week (that is also posted on the website), as well as the information having been in UPMA Gold and on a number of chapter websites, or social media pages, so please check out those sources if you wish to join us for one of the sessions.

Last year we offered Chapter Member Representative training sessions for the first time.   Beginning on Saturday, September 11 we will have the first of our 2021 UPMA Chapter Member Representative (CMR) Academies.  That first session will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina.    A week later, on September 18, we will be offering a session in Albany, New York.    Then the last two sessions will be held on Saturday, October 16 in Boise, Idaho and on Saturday, October 23rd in Omaha, Nebraska.     Even though all the sessions are one day in length it will be necessary in most cases that the participants arrive on Friday and leave on Sunday.  In order to help defray some of the costs for the chapters, the national office will be covering the costs of the hotel rooms and two of the meals on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday morning.  The individual chapters are responsible for your transportation to whichever session you attend.   So, if you are a CMR, or you want to become a CMR, this training is for you.   You will need to contact your chapter president so that they can approve your attendance and they will also be taking care of making sure you are registered for one of the sessions.

In addition to the training being conducted by our National Adverse Action Committee we are working on having one of our attorneys attend each of the sessions, as well.   We will also have a representative from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) who will be with us to go over some of the issues that they are seeing when they are out visiting office to help our CMR’s do some coaching with our people to assist them in staying out of trouble.   I am very grateful to OIG Tammy Whitcomb and her staff for their cooperation in this effort.

As we move forward into the fall make sure that you continue to follow the guidelines as laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and the Postal Service.    As leaders in the organization, it is your responsibility to make sure that you and the employees that work with you are following proper procedures and taking precautions as much as possible to help bring the virus back under control.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to addressing you again next month.

Dan Heins, UPMA National President