October 9, 2020 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 10/09/20

Friday Message – October 9, 2020

Our National Convention is set to take place on October 28-30, in St. Louis.    As I have stated previously because of restrictions at the hotel it is necessary for us to limit the attendance to up to two representatives per chapter.    The registration materials for this convention have been sent to the chapter presidents and I want to remind them that the registration deadline is this coming Wednesday, October 14.     We will be offering a ZOOM feed of the convention for viewing by our members; however, I do not have that information at this time.   It will be shared when it is available.   If you have any questions, please contact me and I will get you an answer.

On Wednesday of this week the UPMA National Executive Board voted to adopt the changes that had been proposed regarding the Postal Area Coordinator position.    The decision was made based on the restructuring within the Postal Service that we would realign our Postal Area Coordinator position to align with the new areas.    For those of you that may not be aware following his appointment as the Postmaster General, Mr. DeJoy made the decision that we would go from seven areas to four and that those areas would be renamed.    When the Postal Service had the seven areas, UPMA actually had eight Postal Area Coordinators.   There was one in each area with the exception of the Western Area which was divided into Western 1 and Western 2.    For each of the eight Postal Area Coordinator positions we annually have assigned a member of the National Executive Board to be the advisor to one of the Areas.

With the new reorganization, the board has made the decision that we will have four Postal Area Coordinators, one in each of the areas.   Another change that is part of this reorganization is that there will be two National Executive Board members assigned to each area.    So the new areas, the Atlantic, the Southern, the Central and the Western/Pacific Areas will have one Postal Area Coordinator and two Executive Board Members that will handle issues that arise in those areas.   

The other change that the board adopted was a change to Article VII of the National Bylaws that changes the term of office from three years to one year.   However, we did not change the language that says that the Postal Area Coordinator is the only position on the national level within UPMA that can run for unlimited terms.    Normally the election of the Postal Area Coordinators would happen during the Area meetings that we have historically held during our National Convention.    So, with the change in format for the National Convention for 2020, we will be holding special elections this year to fill these one year terms.   It should be noted that all of the Postal Area Coordinators terms were due to expire on October 31, 2020, because it was in 2017 that we held the first full term elections for this position.  

With that in mind, the National Executive Board members that are assigned to each of the four areas will be working with the Chapter Presidents to hold these elections within the first few days of November this year.   So, if serving as a Postal Area Coordinator is something you would like to do, speak with your Chapter President to let them know you are interested.    Once the Executive Board members have opened up a nomination period for five days, they will then have a meeting of the Chapter Presidents where formal nominations will be done and a vote will be taken to elect the new Postal Area Coordinator.    The plan calls for those that are nominated to be allowed to give a speech outlining their desire to serve and their qualifications before the vote is taken.    Once the election takes place, those persons elected will serve until the 2021 National Convention.    If you have any questions about the position, or the election process do not hesitate to reach out to me and I will do my best to answers those questions for you.

There has been a lot of talk about the Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) option being offered and who will be receiving the offer.   At this time the Postal Service has received the authorization from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), to offer the VER.   What has not been determined at this time is who may, or may not, receive an offer.    I have been told that the letters to those that are eligible will not go out until sometime in December.    When I have more details and have the okay from the Postal Service to release them, I will do so.

With the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, I know that some of you will be able to enjoy some time off.   For others of you it is going to be a workday and for all of you it will add to the stress level on Tuesday with all of the added parcels and from what I am hearing the amount of political mail in some parts of the country is over the top compared to some elections.    You couple all of that with the weather and fire issues that are prevalent in many parts of the country and it may seem at times that there is no end in sight.   Just remember to take care of the things that need to be taken care of.   Get as much of the mail delivered as you possibly can and if there is mail that just cannot be delivered, REPORT IT!!   You need to make sure you let your manager know early in the day if you are going to be struggling in your office and ask them for their assistance.    If they are unable to help you find support let them know what your office will look like at the end of the day.    While I know that it is ingrained in us to make sure that we deliver every piece every day, there are just some times that that is not possible and we need to recognize that and make sure that the managers above you are aware of the situation and what the outcome will be in your office.

In closing, I want to wish you all the best this weekend and continue to stay safe.

Thanks,

Dan Heins
UPMA National President