October 25, 2019 transcript of From the Presidents Desk video message

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 10/25/19

Greetings everyone!

Welcome to the October edition of From the President’s Desk.    It does not seem possible but this is the twelfth edition of this video series that we have now done.   Yes, on November 1, I will start my second year as your National President.   

While we have faced some challenges and weathered a few storms, overall it has been a very good year. 

Last November, your executive board developed a mission statement for UPMA.    That mission statement is what guides what we do as an organization.    The mission statement says, “United Postmasters and Managers of America exists to support our membership through communication, education and representation.”    This mission statement has been what I have used and what your board has used when we are making decisions that we feel are best for the organization and in the best interests of you our membership.    So, as we close this first year I want to once again thank you for the opportunity to serve the membership in this capacity and I pledge that I will continue to strive at all times to do what is in the best interest of our members and consequently in the best interest UPMA.     At any time if there are issues that you feel need to be addressed, please bring those to my attention and we will work to get them resolved.

As we close out this first year I want to once again thank our national office staff: Dave Ravenelle, the Executive Director; Gerri Swarm, the Administrative Assistant to the President and Frank Augustosky our Membership Director for their hard work.    The three of them are an invaluable asset to the organization and I want them to know how much I appreciate their work on behalf of you, our members.   All three of them always strive to give you the assistance you need and find the answers to questions whenever possible.  

The National Performance Assessment (NPA) scores are being released in the next couple of days.   Please make sure that you look over your scorecard carefully.   If you see an anomaly and you have the documentation to support filing for mitigating factors, please be ready to do so when the filing period opens on November 4.   This year the submission period has been extended to 14 days.    Be sure that you get them filed in a timely manner using the online submission system.    When you file for mitigation it is essential that you remember that in order for your mitigation to possibly be approved, the change needs to move you an entire cell for the composite score.   Sometimes we look at just one factor and it moves that factor over one cell, but when you combine the corporate and the unit scores with the percentages attached, it does not move that number.    So, if you have questions, you have a few days to watch the two videos we have in our UPMA Learning Center on the national website, unitedpma.org.   The titles of the two videos are, “Unit Mitigation Process Overview” and “How to Figure NPA Mitigation.”    Wayne Francis has done an excellent job of laying out the process, the procedures and what to do in these videos and if you feel you are eligible for mitigation, they should be a tremendous help to you.   To access the videos go to the website, click on Resources/Educational/enter the required information/click on Enter UPMA Learning Center and find the videos.   If you have any questions on mitigation, I would suggest you reach out to one of your chapter officers, or to us here at the national office and we will do all we can to assist you.   At the end of the process and if your request for mitigation was denied and you believe that you have the data and the rationale to back up your request and you would indeed have been moved one full block, please send those to me here at the national office and I will work with USPS Headquarters to see if we can get a resolution.

With the announcement this past week of the retirement of our Postmaster General, Megan Brennan, we do indeed face an uncertain future.   At this point we know that the USPS Board of Governors is going to be conducting a nationwide search to find a replace for Megan.    So, will the 75th Postmaster General be someone from inside the organization, or outside the organization that remains to be seen.   As we receive information, we will do all we can to share that information on the website.    The retirement of Megan Brennan means that UPMA will be losing an individual who was caring, open and honest with use as often as she could be.   Obviously, there are always things going on that can not be shared; however, whenever possible she would share the information with our presidents when appropriate.    On behalf of UPMA I want to wish Megan a long, happy and fulfilling retirement.

On the legislative front we know that we do not yet have any legislation and with the Megan’s retirement and the passing of House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman, Elijah Cummings, we are not sure what effect, if any, that will have on possible legislation.  Again, as things progress we will do our best to keep you informed and alert to any changes.   For now we have scripts posted on the website that we would encourage you to use in contacting your Senator’s and Representative’s offices to encourage them to contact the leading advocates for Postal Reform in both the House and Senate to get a bill introduced and then to move it along.

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

Daniel M. Heins
National President
United Postmasters and Managers of America