April 2, 2021 Update from Dan Heins, UPMA National President

Posted by Frank Augustosky on 04/02/21

Friday Message – April 2, 2021

Ten-Year Plan Update – On Tuesday of this week I received an update on the ten-year plan from Kristen Seaver and her team at Headquarters.    She shared information on how the plan will affect Retail and Operations and is seeking input from the management associations on how to handle the roll out.   I stressed that one of the key components to making this work is to roll it out to the field and make sure that everyone understands their role in the long-term success of the Postal Service.    The logistics of how that roll out is going to happen still needs to be worked out and Kristen promised we would have another meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss some of the issues.   It was also pointed out there continues to be uncertainty in the field regarding what happens when there is an issue with one of our Processing and Logistics partners and how those issues are to be worked out.    We were assured that that would also be addressed so we all have a clear understanding of how those reporting structures should work.  It is a two-way street, and we all need to understand which lane we are supposed to be in so we can make whatever corrections are necessary to move the organization forward.   One of the ultimate goals in all of this is to find a way to rebuild the trust of the American people and by doing that to help us grow the business and improve our standing going forward.    As Kristen stated it is important that our customers know that we will show up and that we will deliver their mail.    We know that there are still challenges out there with employee availability and with staffing issues that need to be worked out; however, it is imperative that whenever possible we can get the mail delivered in as timely a manner as possible.    We will continue to collaborate to find ways to make that happen.

Possible Postal Reform Legislation – Also on Tuesday the Government Relations Team and I had the privilege of having a ZOOM meeting with Representative James Comer from Kentucky and some of the members of his staff.   Representative Comer is the Ranking Member of the House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee.    For those of you that are not familiar with what that means, it means that he is the top Republican member of the committee.   It was a VERY productive meeting.   We were able to hear from him what was going on in the Committee regarding some bi-partisan reform legislation and we were able to share with him and his Chief of Staff and Committee Legislative Aid what we felt was important to the future of the Postal Service while also protecting the rights and benefits of our membership.   Congressman Comer stated that any reform will have to be bi-partisan and that certain provisions being offered by progressives such as Postal Banking or other expansions of the core mission of the Postal Service is not acceptable to the Republican Conference. UPMA agrees with the Ranking Member and believes that the USPS should build upon what it does right, delivering mail and packages to every household to the United States.  Ranking Member Comer’s staff has been working with the staff for Chairwoman Maloney’s office to work out some type of bill that could pass the committee and ultimately the entire House.    

Ranking Member Comer stated that while it was great to finally have the Postal Service’s Ten-Year Plan in hand, there are some issues that he and his staff are still looking to receive more clarification from the Postal Service regarding how the components will be handled.    The other benefit that Chris, Brian, Joel and I received out of the meeting was the fact that Representative Comer was able to provide us with the names of some other key members of the Committee and in the House in general that we should be working with to gain that bi-partisan support we need to pass a bill when one is introduced.    I believe I am safe in saying that all four of us from UPMA left the meeting feeling very optimistic about the future and finally getting some movement on a bill.    It is not a done deal, but we feel much better about the possibilities.

Joint Service Task Force – We held our second meeting of the Task Force yesterday and I will be reaching out to some of you to see if you would be willing to help work on issues in the plants in the ten areas that have been identified and also in the delivery areas that have been identified, as well.    If you are willing to serve on one of these local task forces, please reach out to me soon so we can get the process moving forward.    The Processing and Logistics facilities that have been identified include: Atlanta Campus – four facilities; Baltimore P & DC; Central Pennsylvania Campus – five facilities; Chicago Campus – four facilities; Cleveland Campus – two facilities; Denver Campus – two facilities; Detroit Campus – three facilities; Philadelphia Campus – two facilities; Richmond P & DC; and the St. Louis Campus – three facilities.   Right now I am looking for an individual to be the point person for each of these sites, or campuses, to be the UPMA contact person and help lead the effort toward service improvement in these facilities.   The local task forces will be reviewing data, looking at what is going on in the facilities, look at best practices from other areas that are more successful and make some recommendations for improvement that you may see as a possibility.   So, if this sounds like something that might interest you please email me at dheins@unitedpma.org.     On the Retail and Operations side of the organization the sites that will be looked at are: Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.    The stations in these locations have not been identified at this point; however, the duties on the delivery side will be very similar to the processing side, look at data, look at what is going on in actual units, look for best practices and to implement them going forward.   If you want to help make a difference in the organization now and for the future, please let me know.

As we continue through the Passover Season and as we approach Easter Sunday, I want to wish each of you a very happy time whatever your religious preference may be.   I hope and pray that you all have time to spend away from work and if possible, the opportunity to gather with family to safely celebrate these holidays.

Have a great weekend and week ahead,

Dan Heins
UPMA National President