UPMA 2022 Legislative Summit
February 13-16, 2022LEARN MORE
To all of UPMA, Happy New Year. 2022 will continue to be challenging but also with great promise. Together we can grow membership; together we can encourage participation in UPMA activities; together we can represent our members like only UPMA can.
This year, there was nothing but positive press on the fantastic job that all of you delivered for the American people this past peak season. I know it was an enormous amount of stress and hard work, however, it did not go unnoticed and I wanted to take the time to thank you again for all that you do. You moved 13.2 billion pieces of mail over 96% of it on time; amazing! My hat is off to you!
The Chapter Membership Academy training session will be held in St. Louis, MO, on Saturday, January 15th, 2022, and run from 8:30 AM to approximately 5 PM. 184 UPMA members from 46 different Chapters have registered. It may be possible to add a few more; contact Gerri Swarm to see, especially if you are from ME, VA, WV, AK, SD, or NV.
The USPS notified UPMA on January 4th that the United States Postal Service plans to request a temporary variance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) "COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing; Emergency Temporary Standard". The Postal Service also plans to request an Interim Order allowing the Postal Service to temporarily use alternate means of protection until OSHA renders a final decision on its Variance Application. Those alternate means of protection would be the Postal Service's existing COVID-19 mitigation policies and protocols. Any affected employee may request a hearing with the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health on the Postal Service's Temporary Variance Application.
The USPS is seeking temporary relief and maintenance of the status quo on an interim basis to avoid the additional problems with implementing the Standard. They are further seeking this temporary relief to allow the Postal Service to adopt policies and procedures that comply with the ETS' requirements while adhering to our other legal obligations. At the same time, we all will continue to enforce the existing extensive COVID-19 mitigation program developed and deployed by the Postal Service to protect our employees and customers nationwide against the effects of COVID-19.
You may have read reports that The White House is talking to the USPS about delivering coronavirus test kits. The details have not come out yet, but by all accounts, this will be a boon for the Postal Service and help in relations with a White House that is under some pressure to appoint members to the board of governors that will remove the PMG. On the heels of a successful Peak Season, collaborations like this one will strengthen the Postal Services position as it looks for postal reform, etc. As more details come out, UPMA will share them.
UPMA 2022 Legislative Summit
February 13-16, 2022
Hyatt Regency Crystal City
2799 Richmond Highway, Arlington, VA 22202
Hotel Reservations: The room rate of $179 will be honored until January 10th, 2022, or until the room block is sold out, whichever comes first. Hyatt Regency Online Hotel Reservation - Group Code: EHQC
Or Call 1-800-233-1234. Use group code EHQC when making your reservation.
Sunday, February 13th, 2022 --- UPMA Superbowl Watch/Mandy's Birthday Party -- all delegates invited!
Monday, February 14th, 2022 General Business Session (in the hotel)
Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 Visits with Representatives/Senators (in-person or virtually)
Wednesday, February 16th, 2022 No events planned; travel home day..
UPMA has successfully convinced the Postal Service to adjust one of the "Functional Effectiveness" NPA goals. Specifically, TEI% will be replaced by (Deliveries per hour) DPH% to SPLY. CSV/SOV Opportunity % to SPLY and Employee Retention remains. While not ideal, the proof will be in the (numeric values of the goals) pudding. Finally, the service has scheduled 'consultations" with both management associations to finalize these. Although it may be reflexive to disengage from this process, we must be vigilant and influence as much as we can to improve this process. UPMA has already messaged that preliminary framing of NPA for FY23 needs to start now to avoid another repeat of this year's late release.
UPMA Headquarters has received a few questions on the SDA and EAS pay in general. Over the last decade or so, many factors have created some anomalies with managerial pay levels for some individuals. Concessions won in pay talks from the service for one group of employees may appear to disadvantage another group. Please remember that no money was "given back" to the service with any of these advances. Raising the lower level of pay bands is a positive for all EAS employees and the service as those jobs now are more attractive to qualified employees. The Supervisory Differential Adjustment (SDA) ensures that EAS who supervise two or more full-time craft employees are compensated at a higher level than the employees they manage, per Title 39.
The New Year has started, 30 Chapters have shared the details of their Annual Conventions with the National office. Gerri compiles these and posts to https://www.unitedpma.org/events/chapter-conventions-schedule. Chapters need to set up these necessary meetings early and publicize them. Gerri is also available for assistance with hotel and meeting space/food and beverage contracts. Further, Chapters should consider 3-Digit type meetings for communication and potential recruiting purposes. Many Chapters have found these as effective as anything they do to reach members and grow the organization.
The Postal Service has reached a tentative agreement with the National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA) for a new 36-month collective bargaining agreement. The Agreement is tentative until ratified by union membership, which could take up to ten weeks. Once ratified, the Agreement will expire May 20th, 2024.
Highlights of the new agreement include the following:
• General wage increases of 1.3 percent annually over the life of the Agreement with a Cost-of-living Adjustment (COLA), base month of January 2021.
• Improvements to the Rural Carrier Associate (RCA) work experience, including the ability to earn annual leave to assist with recruitment and retention, consistent with the Postal Service's ten-year Delivering for America plan.
• Modification of the criteria for implementing the "formula" to change the relief days in rural offices, allowing for stabilization of work schedules and increased flexibility to use RCAs.
• Increased opportunities for RCAs with at least one year of service to convert to career positions in offices that implement the formula.
• Creation and implementation of an interim process that will allow the parties to implement the revised standards that resulted from the RRECS study more quickly.
Together We Can
Edmund A Carley
United Postmasters and Managers of America