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October 2021 transcript of From The President's Desk

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 10/26/21

Welcome to the October edition of From the President’s Desk!

With the approach of the end of the month of October also comes the approach of the end of my term as your National President.   

It does not seem possible that three years have passed already and that the end of my time in this role is coming to an end.   As I have stated to many of you previously, it has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve you in this capacity.    There have definitely been some challenges over the past three years that have affected all of us in various ways.    One of the great things about our organization and the members and leadership that we have is that we were able to work those challenges and I feel we have come out much better on the other side of all of this.    I know that it does not appear we have in any way really moved beyond the pandemic and this may be something that is with us for a number of years to come (I certainly hope not, but reality says it might be here for at least a while longer) we have been able to have meetings and conventions and we have had the opportunity to get together to support each other and work for the common goals of the organization.   At many times I know we feel like we would want things to just stay the same and everything go smoothly all the time, but we all know that is not how life is and you have all shown your resiliency as we have moved forward and taken care of the UPMA business.

As my time as National President comes to an end, there are a great many people I need to thank.   First, I want to thank my wife Karen for her love and support on this journey and all the everyday things in life that she has put aside for these three years that she was with me in Alexandria, Virginia.   Without her love and support I would not have been able to do this.    I want to thank the National Office staff, David Ravenelle, Executive Director; Gerri Swarm, Executive Assistant to the President and Frank Augustosky our Membership Director.    These three have helped me through some obstacles and they give unwaveringly to the organization whenever called upon to do so.  

In addition, I want to thank the many members that I have had the honor and privilege to serve together with on the National Executive Board over the years.    These individuals have taken time away from their families and their lives to give to the membership and to look forward to doing what they felt was best for you, our members, as we move forward.

We are still working with the Postal Service to make sure that we get the work teams that have been promised in the pay package and that were committed to at the National Convention up and running.   We will continue to press Headquarters to find ways to improve the hiring process (or at a very minimum to identify the bottlenecks and find ways to move beyond the problems) and the team that is going to look at the PS Form 150 program to actually bring the process for determining the levels of offices into this decade (well, maybe this century) with all of the changes and added responsibilities that you as Postmasters deal with on a daily basis.    Also, we continue to work with Headquarters on improvements to the National Performance Assessment (NPA) and Pay for Performance (PFP) programs to have those items also align more closely with what you are doing in your positions with the organization on a daily basis.    There will definitely be more to come on these issues over the next few months.

As you enter PEAK season make sure that you take care of yourselves and focus on the things that you can control.   If there are days that you cannot get everything done, just realize that and make sure that you are reporting it properly and you will be just fine.    If you, or someone you work with, gets overwhelmed, make sure that you reach out for help either from a neighboring Postmaster, Manager, or Supervisor, or if necessary, reach out to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).    You need to make sure that you take care of yourself as much as possible!

As I stated at the beginning, this month brings my term as National President to an end and that means that as of November first, we will have a new President.   I want to wish President Carley all the best as he assumes these new responsibilities.   As many of you already know, I will have the opportunity to work very closely with President Carley in my new role as Executive Director for UPMA.    So, my position will change, my office location in the building will change, but my commitment to you the membership will not change.   Any time that there are issues you feel need to be addressed, or if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to us here at the National Office and we will do our best to address those and get the items taken care of.

So, in closing, remember to stay safe, wear your masks where appropriate and follow the current guidelines as it relates to cleaning and taking care of yourselves, your families, and the employees that you work with for the good over everyone involved.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve and I wish you all the best into the future.