January 30, 2020 transcript of From The Presidents Desk

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 01/30/20

Greetings everyone!

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

Preparations are underway in earnest for our annual Legislative Summit which takes place here in the DC area February 23rd through the 26th.     I am very pleased to report that as of this morning we have 391 individuals registered and that is a very significant increase from the 311 we had registered last year.    Due to the increased numbers and the fact that Congress will be on a recess until Monday the 24th, we have had to make some changes to our itinerary.    We will still have people staying at the Renaissance Capitol View and the Residence Inn hotels as we had planned from the beginning.   However, our Monday agenda call for us to have the meeting in ballroom sections D and E at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel.    They were just not able to get us enough space at the Renaissance, so we are moving across the street.  In addition, a departure from previous years is that we will be staying at the hotel all day on Monday.    Since Congress is not in session, our ability to get members to come and speak to us on the Hill is limited, so we are just going to stay in Arlington for the day.    Summit attendees will have a free evening on Monday to have chapter dinners, or to do some sightseeing while in the area.

On Tuesday we will once again be going up on Capitol Hill to meet with our Representatives and Senators, or their aides, to share our UPMA and Postal Service message with them.   In preparation for these meetings will be doing some training during the Monday session at the hotel.   Then on Tuesday afternoon/evening from 4:30 to 6:30 PM we will be hosting a reception for the members of Congress or their aides that can attend.    This reception will be held in the Montpelier Room located in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress complex.    The Madison Building is located across the street from main Library of Congress building that most people think about.  

We have received some calls here at the national office regarding our Position Paper that we will be using for the presentations on Capitol Hill.    With the almost daily changes that are happening on the Hill and in Congress we will not be putting the final touches on the paper until mid-February this year.   It is our belief that there is a possibility of a Postal Reform Bill being introduced in the not too distant future and we want to make sure that we have the most up to date information available when we do go on the Hill.    As soon as we have it available, we will email it to the Chapter Presidents and Legislative and PAC Chairs and post it on our website.

As many of you are aware, we will be having the Town Hall Meeting regarding the Articles and Bylaws procedure for 2020 on Sunday, February 23rd at 7:30 PM.   The town hall will be held in the Potomac Ballroom which is located in the Residence Inn adjacent to the Renaissance Hotel.    The Residence Inn can be accessed through a connecting door on the second floor of both hotels.   The ballroom is located on the first floor.    During this meeting, the Parliamentarian that was hired to review our governing documents and give input on our procedures will be present to answer questions and to give clarification.  

Today I want to touch briefly on a topic that is on the minds of many of you if you are currently trying to hire employees in your offices.    In December I had a meeting at Postal Service Headquarters regarding the Fast Track Hiring System.    The report that I received at that time was that many of the glitches and issues with the system seem to have been worked out.    Well, I am hearing from many of you on a daily basis that there are still many issues with the process and I have a commitment from the individuals I met with at Headquarters that we will address these issues.    I am going to be gathering some real life scenarios from some of you that I can take forward and we can then hopefully meet with the people in charge of the program to determine where the problems originated and what could you as Postmasters and Managers have done to make it go more smoothly and what are some programing, or operational changes, that the USPS could be making to enhance and improve this process.  I know that the USPS leadership wants to make this process work as much as those of you in the field want it to work and I am confident that with some hard work and determination we can get to a solution that will, hopefully, work for everyone.   In the meantime, keep plugging away and work to get the employees you need for your operation.

Starting in early April we will be in full swing for our Chapter Conventions.   In the next issue of the UPMA Leader you will find the latest schedule of when your chapter’s convention will be taking place.   Be sure to make plans to attend your chapter’s convention.   The convention offers you an excellent opportunity to meet with fellow Postmasters, Managers and Supervisors and to gain some valuable information and insight from the many retired members that attend, as well.    In many cases you also have the opportunity to meet the leadership from your District or Area offices and to ask them questions either in the large group, or in many cases one on one.    I know that all of our chapter officers work long and hard on planning a convention that is meaningful, enjoyable and obviously very worth the time you spend to attend.    If you ever have any questions about your convention, or suggestions of ways to make it more beneficial, do not hesitate to reach out to your chapter president or any of the officers with that information.    The more informed you are and the larger support network you can build the better for you and the organization.

Thank you all for your time and I look forward to talking with you again next month!

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