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Mary Alice Burkhard - NAPS Branch 244 President

Mary Alice Burkhard - NAPS Branch 244 President

The following articles have a response from Mary Alice Burkhard.

Convention opened giving top officers present a chance to address the group before tomorrow's scheduled sessions.

NAPS National President Louis Atkins remarked that this convention is the most professionally dressed group of all conventions and said "thanks for giving me Ivan-he has been a godsend." NAPS HQ is currently working on the following issues:

-With Megan Brennan to help EAS a little more than has been done in the recent past.

-"We are talking about real issues."-Workplace violence, threats, stress, people taking work home with them, working extra hours, etc. These workplace issues are resulting in documented health issues, strokes, heart attacks and suicides for EAS.

-VMF HQ Reorganization-They have a meeting scheduled in the next weeks becasue information was withheld from NAPS and they are getting reports that it is not going well for EAS. 

Eastern Region VP, Chuck Mulidore spoke about his golf game withe the goup and "his dad," John Geter, the day before and the Cavs game they all watched later. "It is an honor and a privilage to be here before you-you voted for me-being an elected official comes with the responsibility that goes with that and I take it very seriously." " I hope I live up to that all of the time. We need to work on workplace violence issues-I have been working on it with AVP Dr. Colin-there is a recognition that we have to start talking to people nicer and treating them better-when messaging gets out to the field it comes out different-We need to watch the messaging that comes out." " I don't think the people above want people abused." "Everyone needs to be treated with dignity and respect." " I appreciate everything you do and now let’s talk about the games." 

Dave Mills-HR-Cap Metro Area

-Went over operational window changes and 24 hour clock. 

-Most of the scheduled plant closure are now TBD-(see picture chart) until next year. Need to find landing spots within 50 miles for all and this is probably also good since we are having delivery time issues that were not expected from prior changes. 

-Most of issues were with maintenance employees and veterans.

-New MDD scanners are almost all deployed in Area and will open up opportunities for improved service and efficiencies.

-New Supervisor Program, new 16 week program has resulted in 164 Eastern Area promotions since October 1, 2014. 133 are now in NSP.

-Safety-Lean Six Sigma programs are trying to get to root causes. For example-motor vehicle accidents are up this year due to more CCA's and first year employees-most hitting stationary objects with mirrors.

-Employee Engagement Programs-Lead programs are getting a few less leads-we all need to praticipate and work with.

-Lean Opportunities-to make our working environment more conducive to work-example-get rid of piles of paper on desks and floors and have quiet appropriate space. Example-work on resolving differences-improve communication.

Congressman Elijah Cummings-Noted that "You all sure look good-well dressed and alert." Went over his personal tragedy that was in the news this week-his house burned down due to clothing being put on stove to dry. "No matter what I am going though, I know that I still have a job to do-just like you-I will continue doing my job in spite of personal issues." "Thanks for doing what you do." He discussed front page of USA Today article regarding dog bite issues the USPS has nationally and thanked us again for doing a great job in spite of difficulty and public issues.

-"I've got your back-not becasue it is good politics, but becasue it is what I believe. I don't pretend and play games with peoples lives-we are better than that. There is a big difference between the word conviction and convince."

-"It is amazing to me that I can mail a letter across country and it gets there in a few days without a smudge on it." We were encouraged to keep doing the job we do and thanked us for allowing the public to take us for granted becasue we are so good. He went on to discuss how he considers handwritten letters to be the best if we want to impress anyone-the time it takes and the preparation for handwritten makes it meaningful. (finding paper, the address, stamp, written drafts, etc) He has a scrapbook of every handwritten note he has ever received.

-"I don't just talk about peoples lives, I talk about families lives."

-"The uniqueness of the Postal System is lost on some and the fact that you have all sacrificed so much and tried to work with the Postal Service to make it work-I don't know of any other unions that have worked so hard-they have given all the blood they can becasue they have a committment to service-you have been really nice." 

-"Some take "nice" as a substitute for "weakness." "Normal in Congress is to leave things undone-that is not the way to do it." There has been a refusal to act on Postal legislation-they can't have it both ways-want you do do this and that but not into banking. 

-Happiness-"As I get older I think what is it that makes me happy.There must be something that makes you happy to work for the Postal Service or you would not-love serving people." 

-When having an important end of life conversation then do 3 things-be there in person and no cell phone or distractions, tell them everything they have done that has affected your life-we all want to know that we will be remembered through the things we did and made a difference, no matter how bad the person looks do not let on that they are that bad off-always have and offer hope. 

-We all have to realize we have a destiny. You may not understand it now but there is a reason you do what you do-you believe in a system that should work for you-you get to be there and mentor, watch people grow and promote them. 

-Most people simply want to be recognized-the challenges, success, the laughs bring you happiness becasue you are touching peoples lives.

District Manager presentations and Q & A:

VP Richard Green facilitated a round table with 6 District Managers, Jason DeChanbeau, Greensboro District (A), Kelvin Williams DM Capital District, Kevin McAdams, DM Mid Carolina District (Santa Clarita origins), Jeffrey Becker, DM Richmond District, Sharon Owens, DM Northern Virginia District, Darryl Martin, DM Greater South Carolina District and the HR Area Manager, David Mills. 

Comments and responses to questions:

-Many DM's are having career conferences for employees later this year, many awards being given out and all expressed the need to share this information and all information with other employees.

-There will be cross training in the future-all EAS 21 positions and above.

-The recent Delivery Symposium information was discussed-(see this posting on our site)

-"Our success depends on you and your ability to communicate information to your employees."

-Most are concerned about EAS vacancies and the amount of time it takes to fill some positions. It was noted that we have to speed it up because many EAS are in multiple packages.

-We need to change how we talk to each other.

-MDD scanners being deployed and will allow us to be more efficient. Greensboro is a pilot site for iPads for supervisors.

Q & A:

-Have we identified the gaps to the operational window change and how are we going to improve service? 

A number of things may have been overlooked in planning and we are now making corrections and adding airlift with Fed Ex. You can see a steady improvement now. We have slowed down plant consolidations till next year. This was the single biggest change made in the last 50 years. They were much more significant than many thought. At the Postal Forum our largest customers noticed the problems but trust us and you to repair the systems. Normally when a plant retools in private companies they close down, we kept running and that made it different. Our only reason to exist is to provide service to our customers.

Our service standard changes hurt us at the same time as network rationalization. We need to go back and change the mindset of our employees to understand that we do not process mail like we used to. We need to educate and communicate to employees that actually do the work.

-NSP-How much time is allocated to coaching and mentoring?

The Learning & Diversity Specialist is required to track this. Area tracks it every week. We recognize the benefit so if there is any situation where that is not happening then please bring it up to the DM.

-We are currently so focused on CCA and PSE retention, what about supervisor retention?

Because of MOU's it is almost impossible to go back to the craft now so we need to pay more attention. There is a great variance in training & upward mobility and we set the tone as District Managers. We need to be receptive to what their needs are.

-To Kelvin-MDO jobs are being posted over and over and not getting filled-Why?

We are looking for the best qualified so you need to work to find the best by reposting sometimes. Need to keep looking at the whole packages.

-Driver training for new hires?

Needs to be done in a timely manner.

-Discipline-7, 14 and proposed removals not always coming with mediation form attached-should not be up to NAPS president, it is LR and HR that are responsible. (was stated by questioner that they should write themselves a letter of warning) There is a hole in the process that needs to be fixed and should be addressed by DM.

-EAS release after 45 days of being awarded another position.

Effective day should be the date of release. May need to get Tony Vegliante letter re-issued so we can move people into their jobs.

-Plants-making a cultural change and did not take the time to do it right in January, 2015.

Many of us thought that USPS HQ was going to delay it again and so we did not do a good job of communicating. Need to let NAPS know also.

-Multiple questions at mic regarding specific small post office rules and regs, APWU and changes.

Policy is made in HQ and we implement-there are usually options-get HR mgr to assist you. 

-Discipline-EAS are many times not given same rights as craft regarding exhibits and information it was based on-told that can see it but not copy or take out of the room.

You are right, if I am giving info to the craft I should provide same type to EAS. HR managers have a boss, so if not doing that then go to DM. Articles 17 & 41 say we are obligated to give relevant information to anything discipline is based on. Use chain of command and keep going up. 

-Salary increase.

Anything over 5% need to be signed off by Area for EAS 21 and above.

-Issues brought up with our supervisors sometimes not having interpersonal skills and needing training and also others regarding HR and LR managers not being trained and not knowing their jobs. 

-Questions/statements regarding Amazon being the focus and not other customers.

-We should have training and town hall meetings with supervisors and managers to get the status of what is going on. Many do this or are going to do it with  more regularity.

-Supervisor dress code-when hot and doing 3999's can they be more casual or even shorts like carriers-some districts allow stained shirts and jeans?

There is not a uniform dress code for EAS across all districts-is up to DM. Shorts in  general is not good. Inappropriate dress needs to be addressed individually. How you look sets the tone-if relaxed atmosphere many of the employees and customers don't even know who the supervisor is.

-New Supervisor Program-Is there training for older supervisors?

It is something being discussed with HR and DM's. Many fell between the cracks of both of the older training programs. HR should look at that.

-When EAS ask questions they should get answers.

Grievance Training-ELM 666.24 John Geter

Turned into a Q & A discussion with many attendees hungry for answers. 

-EEO's were a hot topic-many did not fully understand the complexity of the process and the time involved to keep one going.

-Positions for EAS being created that are not in matrix. 

-Much discipline in field for falsifying clock rings because EAS are stressed into it. (get a backbone)

-EAS working many hours daily off the clock. (make sure you have some proof you worked the hours either clock rings, emails, video etc..and ask to be paid-no one has ever said we should work without being paid for all hours.) See ELM 519-17 Use common sense.

-EAS of same level making discipline decisions.(depends on the situation-get HR input in writing)

-So many EAS managers get promoted so quickly that they have no idea what the rules and regs are and make up stuff. (give them the rules and regs, use email to document, ask for it in writing if say no OT, no P/L no time card usage allowed, etc.)

-EAS not allowed to use leave due to no coverage-(plan for use early in year-or get paid out-get in writing early in year. Do not wait until the end. Should show up on Area list in  August.)

-EAS don't understand the process-should use NSP to explain.

-EAS asked to sign documents-(if ordered to sign then next to signature put you were ordered to do this)

-NAPS reps being told about discipline at the last minute-(they should think of us as an insurance company-tell right away)

Conclusion-"People do all sorts of crazy stuff when they are under pressure." Use common sense, if you allow them to do it to you and don't stand up for yourself then no one else will. Learn the policies for EAS. Act as if it is your company and someone wanted to be paid-what would you want before you paid them?

EAS that are in trouble should be doing most of the leg work for their defense unless you are in one of those branches where the EAS gets paid a salary or hourly to do it and then they do it off the clock. "We all have jobs and they are the ones that created the problem."

Next events-October 9-10, 2015 Sheraton Disciplinary Defense Training.

Saturday 5/6/15

-state break out meetings and official business

NAPS Nat'l President Louis Atkins Comments:

-"Relationships are everything" 

-"All of your officers represent you well-Chuck, Richard and Hans-they work for you."

-I don't need "yes" all of the time.

-You many not think you are affected by something happening to someone else but what affects one affects you too.

-We have to not just say that but live it-"You dictate your future-you be in command."

-Consolidations on hold

-"We can make a difference if we stand up and tell it like it is."

-"If you want to create your future then do the right thing."

-PFP and COLA are what Ivan and I are working on. "Over the last years we have lost our buying power." We have been hurt.

-If you get a promotion now it will be at least 3%.

-Workplace violence has to be addressed-telecoms-we get threatened and humiliated.

-"Zero tolerance in the workplace-this pertains to upper level managers and the way they treat us-humiliation is part of psychological aggression and needs to be used against them."

-"Humiliation and disrespect in public is wrong and need to prosecute these EAS that do it."

-2 killers to success-impatience and greed.

- We re working on changing the pay scale and making less differential from top to bottom of each level.

-Working for some type of COLA and NPA combination for future years.

Q & A:

1-Supervisor training program-ongoing and we need to go in and talk to them-even graduation. Still over 4,000 EAS vacancies so will continue.

2-VMF-HQ has shared nothing with us other than basics of 57 positions lost and EAS 23 and 25 created and going to HQ. "This stunk from the very start-you know how the head of the fish stinks-we have another meeting coming up for VMF issues."

3- Involuntary Reassignments latest letter not being followed and it is from Megan Brennan-People apply for positions for personal needs and reasons. Days and hours off matter and mean something. If going to change then need to have clear operational reason and give proper notice and follow all the old letters-maybe need a new one. Will talk to Megan.

4-New Supervisor Program-What are we doing to support them?

We need to get into class and speak at graduation. Are being locally monitored.

5-NAPS HQ issue of DCO-members move between branches and HQ and Area members go to specific branches and not where are domiciled. Finance # driven. Need to get exception. Members money and vote weight going to wrong branches and they don't want to fill out paperwork or sign and want to drop out due to confusion and concern about this. Louis says we need to look at old resolutions and make new ones to fix these issues.{seemed like a common one in the room.}

Chuck Mulidore updates: 

-"Thank you again,it is an honor for me, since way back in San Diego. "(Told stories of rough winter and minus 16 degree weather at times in Ohio and went over two trips made for scholarship and branch re-naming events.) 

-Some are already getting in trouble and he is going to new supervisor classes in Cleveland.

-"Tell them about the fellowship." (not just about defense)

-"Why somebody is not a member of NAPS I don't know. Everybody should be a member."

-"We are representing some people that only made mistakes and now are being removed."

-We need to mentor and protect them-be proactive.

-upcoming events-Eastern Cabinet Meeting-January 14-17, 2016 Atlantic City. Talking to hotels now. Spoke about Congressman at last Cabinet Meeting.

-When people are giving SPAC money they are giving hard earned money.

-"I came in (to office) in 2008 and created strife. It needed to be done. We had some internal strife too, come on, but now gone-we have good cohesive leadership."

-"We need to start talking better to people-stop the beat downs-that is not right-"

-I get emails at all hours-that is up to them-but we should not be worrying about all of them at off work hours-"We are all not Area VP's in waiting."

Richard Green updates: 

-"I want to thank you-I serve at your pleasure." I think all of the work is done. 

-Upcoming events: September 12th-tickets on sale for two prices-member and non-branch member-Crab Fest Branch 22 -Sheraton, Next convention-Raleigh, NC-Crabtree Valley Marriott Hotel Arrive on June 2 and leave on June 5th.

-August 13-20, 2016 Gaylord National Hotel (near DC)

General session was a mixture of local state issues and convention  budget questions due to confusion over vendor donations (bags) at the convention of and other issues. 

****Was an outstanding convention that was well attended and exceptionally planned with activities in off hours for networking and fellowship.

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See our website for a group of pictures from this event that were put on the website this weekend.

California Postal Legislative Coalition event February 7-8, 2015, Sacramento, CA - PICTURES

NAPS attendees from all over CA met the evening of Feb 7th snacking and networking for hours in the hotel meeting room about various branch and district issues. Many from Branch 273-Jim Isom’s branch- had just returned from a week long cruise and driven to Sacramento from San Francisco where they landed. Many have been requesting that we start our famous 7 day Branch 244 NAPS Training Cruises again, but that is a lot of time I just don’t have that much time anymore, plus, I think it would be hard to get trainers scheduled all for the same week. (If you recall, we used to have representation from multiple parts of the USPS, such as LR, PI’s, etc. and EAS from all over the nation participated.) Maybe a few years down the road….

Most issues we discussed are similar to ours in Sierra Coastal: Many EAS vacancies that are only starting to be filled, 204B’s that are CCA’s and PSE’s instead of the career employees that we had up until the contracts changed 2+ years ago. Concerns from many working attendees were over the use of Lead Clerks that are taking EAS workload but will likely impact SWC and future jobs down the road. Discipline is about the same, New Supervisor Program will roll out next month, and general agreement that our pay increase was paltry and that few EAS understood how they got it.

Ivan Butts, NAPS Executive VP was there and I took the advice of Louis and invited Ivan to Sierra Coastal District for a visit as soon as he can schedule it. (Last week I wrote him a formal written invitation and he responded in writing that he would not know his schedule until late April.) Ivan was very kind in his compliments to us and our district after having discussed Louis’s recent visit here with him.

Ivan Butts was the featured guest speaker on Sunday morning.

He had a multiple slide presentation introducing us to the new Congressional and Senate leadership heading committees and tidbits about each. He went over the legislative issues we have as an agency and stressed that all the unions and associations present had alignment issues in common.

The Obama Budget-released February 2nd, similar to past regarding Postal issues-It again proposes that overpaid monies be returned to the USPS. “This is important so people can get over the notion that we are financially insolvent.” Ivan stressed that this problem is well known to most legislators and does not need to be explained as all of the unions and associations have done a great job doing this over the years since 2007 when this started.

“The credit card and medical folks say we need 6 day delivery.” While some Senators think the Federal Government is bankrupting America (Ron Johnson R-Wisconsin said “Let the USPS go broke.”) Senator Carper is the hope with -S 1486.

Ivan also discussed that we need MSPB rights for all EAS. We have 7,500 without this protection, which is a due process right.

The Oversight Committee should be “more friendly” now that Congressman Issa is off it-termed out.

The new PMG Megan Brennan is asking for a 6 month hold on Postal Legislation. Ivan says “Would she be willing to put a 6 month hold on closing plants and other changes?” If not, then no moratorium.

Ivan said “Republicans are holding back the USPS.” He showed a comic-see website pics.

Ivan mentioned that the government does not use USPS but uses Fed Ex-we need to get them to change and use USPS.

Ivan says that “some areas of the country have cut back mail delivery to 2x per week.”

“Mail is ‘secret’ and everything else can be hacked, so more should be using mail.”

NARFE and NAPUS both had their DC specialists do Skype presentations.

NARFE has been focusing on Postal issues and was instrumental in stopping the proposals to change our health care system which would have eventually affected other Federal employees. We need to be vigilant regarding our benefits-even retirees are at risk but many do not seem to realize that.

NAPUS had an excellent presentation regarding our health care and dangerous proposals that would change it and force all 65 and older onto Medicare without any choice as they now have to save the USPS money at the expense of breaking a promise to employees when they were hired. Bob Levi said that “PMG Donahoe also had mislead people regarding his Medicare proposals and confusing Part A-he wanted to use the Postal Service as a test lab.”

“The PMG misrepresented to Congress the benefits USPS employees get and are entitled to-he wanted to get (take) our employee benefit programs.” By doing this he made it even more challenging for the organizations to present their ideas. The PMG also created a culture of excessive executive compensation in the USPS.

Mike Evans-State APWU President-(Many of you may remember him when he worked at the Pasadena Plant before it closed.)

There have been 12 plant closures in CA and 5 more planned. Bakersfield is off and on lists-is half closed.

We, California, have had more closures than any other state. None have been reopened. Closures are devastating to the community-local jobs and businesses are affected and go away.

The APWU State convention will be in Pasadena in May at the same time the State Democratic Party is meeting in Anaheim-Mike will try and get some legislators to his convention “to amplify our voices.” The APWU will be in DC on March 3rd, right before NAPS.

Jeanne Landi-Rural Carriers Union-NRLCA

“RCA’s are out delivering on Sundays now, not real happy but they are doing it.” She discussed three week mail count currently going on and the financial impact to each carrier-many have been losing money each year and are relying on this count. Mail is not hidden but the rumors persist. Went over various rules and regulations unique to rural carriers that directly impacts their yearly wages. Much of the same information provided as above.

NARFE-Helen Zajac-Regional VP

There is a new president of NARFE in DC and they have officially joined in the national boycott of Staples-joined the Grand Alliance to save the USPS. Their association objective is to save Federal earned benefits.

NARFE is also switching from UPS to USPS for delivery!

Ann Marie McClure-NAPUS

Went over the Bob Levi presentation that is covered in the page above. The focus now is on saving health benefits that the USPS and others are trying to un-fund.

Shari Hetzler-NLPM

Spoke about the plight of rural postmasters and the fight to stay open for the community. Also discussed the subject matter already covered above.

Ron Jones-NALC

Concerns over benefits and MTAC-major mailers group in DC.


Q & A


Lively discussion regarding MTAC and the fact APWU tried to join and were turned away, concerns regarding mailers not being held to agreements yet still getting discounts, “zip sort houses are privatizing the USPS-we created this industry,” we should not try and help rural carriers by putting extra mail in boxes or sending in letters to the editor on how to help them get a good count, if you know of a mailer not following established rules for discounts then they should be turned in for investigation.


This was the 17th Annual Meeting and this is the only group such as this, mixing all Postal organizations, in the nation. Even though every year it is discussed that other states should follow the California lead, the reality is it would be difficult for other states that are much smaller to replicate. There were about 90 attendees.


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FYI-this issue is the source of at least 10 calls to me per week-here is my standard explanation since it was a question sent to our website.

EAS nationally are being asked to do regular daily street supervision. For over a year this has been tracked by Dean Granholm. It does not mean that you are forced to use your personal vehicle-it does force the EAS to ask how they are expected to do this and be provided transportation if they do not want to use their personal vehicle. No one can mandate anyone to use their personal vehicle and it is not up to supervisors to figure out how to get a vehicle to do their mandatory street supervision.

If you are provided a delivery vehicle to use  then you need to request and be provided driver training on it and feel safe before you take it out. You need to put all of this in writing via email to the station manager and/or postmaster.

If you choose to use your own car then the mileage used should be claimed and paid out. USPS HQ has recently been working on an initiative regarding paying EAS to have an extra rider attached to their regular insurance policy. This will be months from now if ever. I have been told that no insurance will ever cover you under any circumstances if you are driving mail in your personal vehicle (POV).

There is no requirement to use your own vehicle-in fact NAPS HQ has always officially been against doing that. This is why we should not get started using a POV when it suits us.

No one can mandate that you do that. Simply send an email to whoever is giving the order and say that you cannot use your vehicle for street supervision because it is not insured for use at work. Unless you have a special rider, you do not have coverage. Accidents are not planned events-they happen when we least expect them.

Staff cars are only going to come back if we show a need. We have all stepped up to be EAS, we do not have shop stewards and there is no specific violation if someone wants to use their own car. It is necessary for the EAS to raise the objection-“NAPS” can’t come in each time and do the objection-that makes no sense-plus, unbelievably many EAS want to use their own cars and get upset when I tell them they should not because they are not insured.

The solution is to schedule use of whatever staff cars you do have, don’t use your staff cars as delivery vehicles-no matter what, train EAS to drive “extra” delivery vehicles, rent vehicles like we did during Christmas for parcel delivery, demand payment for mileage if you volunteer to use your vehicle so that this is not a “free” option to the USPS and/or locally start paying for insurance riders for those that volunteer use of their vehicles for Postal work.



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Today they (PMA) just posted their by-laws and rules that will be voted on this summer.

Dues look reasonable-based on salary, they take every EAS, you have to be working to be an officer, there are 3 year term limits for all-so you can’t just stay in the same position…….these guys are going to give NAPS a real run for their money and I think the competition will do us good. Having officers at the top that stay there for decades, like NAPS does, is crazy and leads to the good ole boy club, bullying of those that dare try to change things and the perception of a tired and disconnected ineffectiveness that working members complain about.

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1-Why do we keep asking for information on plants when we supposedly have all of these great contacts in HQ and we are located in DC and should be routinely getting information and not just waiting for these monthly “hour of power” events?

2-EOY Ratings-the ratings were open to everyone and every EAS received an auto email on Monday, 1/12/15, so why on 1/14/15 do we sound like we don’t even work for the Postal Service? The bigger question should be why did NAPS allow such confusion and misinformation about NPA all year?

3-Every EAS should be taking the initiative to do the NPA Scorecard-it is available to all on the Blue Page and no log in required. You can go look and see the NPA ranking for any group anywhere in the nation.

This # 5 question again looks like those asking the questions don’t even work for USPS…why request the step by step-many of us were sending that to EAS all year and most did not even try……it is self-explanatory because each EAS should know what position they hold and which district and area they work in.....it was only tricky for people that are attached to HQ and areas and districts as well-the EAS in sales. Other EAS know if they work for a district or not.

The rest of this Consultative were questions simply following up on their responsibility to present each voted on resolution from the convention that pertained to USPS HQ.

The only one noteworthy is question #5-pertaining to Resolution # 85-Violence and Behavior in the Workplace. This is becoming more of an issue for supervisors-SDO’s and SCS’s but much of the problem seems to stem from real actions of EAS that should not have occurred.

I think the statement in these minutes at the end of #5 is illogical, because if there are craft employees that are violating “The Joint Statement” (exhibiting unacceptable actions and behavior in the workplace) then it is likely an issue that their immediate supervisor should be working to correct. Right?

I am putting this attached document on the website under Consultative.



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View Event Pictures

Louis had a tooth emergency and then another event to attend so he was not able to come to any of this as he had planned.

The other officers were there along with over 125 attendees for 3 days.

I wish some of you had been able to attend with me-there is always great information at this yearly event since the postal executives that attend are very open with information and give everyone the ability to Q & A. This event comes at a critical time for EAS with Network Rationalization, 82 proposed plant closures, Amazon package growth and new delivery of groceries, new legislative players in Congress, etc…. They also had a Member of Congress, Don Beyer (D), speak and answer questions.  DPMG Ron Stroman was there for a full night and day as well.

They also had a 4 hour seminar-Monty Lobb,  Professor of Business and Government at Ohio Christian University, who also has extensive government experience and law school graduate, spoke on the value of ethics, honesty and integrity. He spoke about 2 years ago at an Ohio event and was impressive so I was glad that he was brought back. This is a topic that we can all learn a lot from and feel validated in the process by finding out why we are doing the right thing and making hard choices.

Class ran daily from 8-5, was well organized and professional and attendees were very professionally dressed, which reflects positively on our organization. The hospitality room from 6pm on provided wonderful multi-course sit down meals along with all the other stuff with wonderful networking opportunities.

Think about attending next year, it is always on this holiday weekend and next year it will be in New Jersey. (You do have to be an officer, attend meetings, contribute to the branch by doing some work etc., etc., etc.,) If you make reservations 2 months in advance you get very reasonable fares. The weather was pretty good-got into the 40’s during the day.

Here is a synopsis which I will cover in depth at next weeks’ monthly meeting on Wednesday at Cocos (1/28/15)7pm. I have only put the information that I think is most important from my 17 pages of written notes below:

1-82 plant closures-most may not happen as currently planned, but the USPS will continue to try and figure out how to do it. Currently most of them were really on hold because they have a large # of clerks and are remote-over 50 miles from another Postal facility. According to the APWU contract the employees would have to be on “stand by” and they would have to be paid for no work or to be bussed to work. Since we just hired a lot of carriers there are few vacancies for them locally to transfer as carriers so we will probably not be closing those plants until this issue can be worked out. We will probably have to modify this plan and the sites-per Eastern Area USPS VP Dr. Joshua Colin.

2-Network Rationalization EAS schedule changes-they should not have an “emergency” type of situation and be forcing changes of schedules as they have in some areas of the country. Should be working with local NAPS as well.

3-New Overtime tool for ODL-Article 8-takes about 5 months to get meaningful results but saves USPS money in grievances for no work done and saves supervisor from discipline and/or extra headaches.

“Over $50M paid out across the nation last year because we write off grievance settlement money as a cost of doing business and it is not.  It was the fault of leadership, not supervisors, that we were spending so much money because leadership did not have a process in place.”

4-Sunday Amazon-this is fully funded from HQ for EAS to be staffed. We should be rotating or working with EAS that want to work Sundays. Megan has told them that she just does not want to hear complaints about “being forced to work Sundays” from supervisors. They all get paid Sunday premium pay as well.

No one should be on call. Everyone should be paid for every hour worked-First 3 weeks have supervisor at each site and then have duty manager for multiple sites-per Eastern Area USPS VP Dr. Joshua Colin. Could have Relief Supervisors work Sundays if adopt this concept in future.

5-There is a Leadership Compass-we need to make employees feel valued and model leadership. Instead of using the word “engage” we must  “embrace” employees.  We need all employees to have pride in the Postal Service as exemplified by new commercials. We must also communicate and talk continuously with employees. We need to resolve differences-this is a huge cost for us when we do not do this-it slows down processes and costs our organization money needlessly when we do not communicate because most differences can be resolved in that manner. (David Mills-HR Manager, Richmond)

6- They are doing SDO/MDO Symposium-on site training-cover leadership principles. If asked, Area VP Dr. Colin said most in plant think success is judged by how much mail they processed and those in the field think success is how many carriers are back by 5pm “but success is about building leadership and accountability-wanting to be accountable.” He has trained all 10 of his districts. They have a 2.5 day training planned for SCS’s.

7-New PMG Brennan will most likely change messaging. She will be messaging to mirror our commercials-growing the business and our success. DPMG Stroman will message our legislative issues.

8-One of the questions was about scheduling EAS lunches longer than an hour to avoid paying T time. Answer-“This is not a policy-tell me where-we will not condone that.  Hours are set to manage effectively and if someone is requesting an occasional longer lunch then it should be the exception and not the rule.”

9-Question regarding requests for information and stating that NAPS does not seem to get the same cooperation that unions do. “You should be getting timely responses, this should be tracked and certainly within 7 days, at most, you should have the information.”

10-“Sometimes you find out that relationships start coming before the good of the Postal Service-when we purposely overlook things or favor individuals it hurts the organization.”

11-Telecons-should hold them to one hour-people loose attention span and effectiveness after that.

12-New proposed Personal Vehicle Policy-you would still need to have extra insurance and you should not ever put mail in your vehicle per insurance companies. Ask for training and make sure you feel safe if told to drive LLV.

13-New Supervisor Program-March 1st-instead of 52 weeks is 16 weeks. First 2 weeks are classroom and NAPS needs to be in there at that time. After the second week the new EAS is under the wing of their manager.

14-NAPS HQ has submitted a proposal to USPS HQ regarding EAS annual leave policy (a week ago) and is awaiting a response.

15-Many of the Eastern Region issues are similar to those in Pacific Area but some of the info/answers given by USPS officials are very different from what we are being told.

16-New vehicles for carriers are being sought and the USPS will probably submit a RFP (request for a proposal) and order by year end. New equipment to handle parcels that will bring down our handling costs and make us more productive is being purchased.

17-SWC-Status of SWC team-want to look at it in a totally different way since Admin functions have been pushed to the field as the support positions that once did them were eliminated over time. We get no credit for the extra work being done and capture the hours. Job descriptions for supervisor are not reflective of all of the work actually performed and the increasing responsibilities.

To me, since you all know my passion for 10 years has been to properly address and improve ethics, integrity and trust in NAPS, I loved the half day training outlined below:

Monty Lobb-Trainer, lawyer, Professor of Business and Government at Ohio Christian University, “Building a work environment of High Character”

Character counts. Character builds order and creates trust.

There are consequences to having low character-lack of trust-processes slow down and there are costs to the group, especially if you do not have conversations and clear the air and try and build understanding and trust.

Monty likes taking pictures of questionable behavior and says we should all question things that don’t look right.

“Some people have an operative conscience and others rationalize their behavior-there should always be consequences to bad activity.” “People should apologize and ask for your forgiveness but that does not make it OK or go away or not have consequences.”

“Good people can make bad decisions and need to be challenged.” “Sometimes people are not what they appear to be on the surface.”

“If the core of our character is not strong then we can’t weather storms (bad times)”

“Some folks have an attitude of entitlement and others have conditional relationships-can’t be trusted.”

“If you say you are going to do it, THEN DO IT.”

“If there are no consequences to violations of the Code of Conduct then everyone does what they want to do-this breaks the culture of an organization.”

“If leadership does not demonstrate high character then no one else will.”

“If on gets away with something then all will.”

“We need to change the individual in order to change the culture.” “We each need to look at making ourselves better.”

Transcendent Cause-heroic, timeless and supremely significant issue that means something to you. To go into an uncomfortable environment to do what you believe is right and fight for it.

“To be surrounded by people that are not of good character causes stress, poor health, conflict, public humiliation and costs to the organization.”

Leaders must develop trust by these 4-they can’t just talk about it-must do it or eventually the word gets out:

1-Visually see how they behave

2-Fairness-procedures and outcomes

3-Integrity and honesty


“Leadership needs to step up to the plate and deal with behavior and call it what it is. They need to have a strong sense of justice-a conviction and courageous conduct. We are not a family-if we say that then it makes some feel safe in doing what they want because they think they will never be kicked off the team.”

The most difficult group of people to deal with are the people with high competency/performance but low character. They are the most destructive if we don’t deal with them because then the rest of the group sees two sets of rules and this drives a wedge into the organization causing rationalizations and destruction of trust/integrity.

“Leadership must always demonstrate by actions-they can’t just talk about it. We owe it to the rest of the team to make the environment good and get rid of those that hurt the team. We need the people at the table to have high character or there is little chance of getting anything done.”

“Real leaders are willing to risk their comfort and reputation for the cause. Many will say “I am with you!” but don’t get involved because they don’t want to risk being stigmatized-they will wait until you get it done and then try and join in again.”

“When you have a problem you need to address it-first by communication with all involved and then you need transparent accountability.” “If you forgive someone, then there still need to be consequences to the action.” “Stop being with people that are quick to judge, do not reflect on information and cause unnecessary drama.”

“People have to want to change and want to do the right thing-the best way to help is to have consequences. “ There were handouts, movie clips and power points covering and reinforcing this information. Self-testing as well.

It was a very informative meeting with great speakers and questions from the group.

See you at our meeting next week for the rest of the information! I will have the pictures on the website soon.



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I have been getting lots of questions, calls and emails all day regarding PFP-in case you did not save this document I provided to many of you earlier this month, here it is again. All the rules, how details, retirements, LWOP situations are paid, etc., etc., are on this form.

It is also on our branch website: Napswhatsinitforme.com under the heading PFP/pay agreements. PES for FY 14 is now open. When you go into PES and see what your rating was, you put that rating into this grid to see what % your pay increase will be.

This pay started on Saturday the 10th and will be on our next pay check, January 30th.

Yes, your health care contribution went up because Postal employees were paying less than other government employees, even though they get COLA and Locality Pay and EAS do not, which is an issue unrelated to PES. Your taxes may have also gone up too, but some EAS groups still did very well and it is our first PES payment in 3 years. (Last year was the Obama raise given to all government employees and was only 1%)

While PES used to be individual, this is now a group ranked goal/payment due to nation-wide complaints against favoritism and manipulation.

If you do not like what you received, then check what your goal was so that in FY 15 you can do better-most EAS I have been talking to do not even know what their goals are. For that information, go into NPA on the Blue Page or ask your manager who should have told you what your PES goal was at the beginning of FY 14. As a matter of interest, our Sierra Coastal District did well, thanks to great EAS.




EAS PAY RULES FY 2014 PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE (PFP) Prepared December 10, 2014

EAS PAY RULES FY 2014 PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE (PFP) Prepared December 10, 14

EAS PAY RULES FY 2014 PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE Prepared December 10, 2014

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Hi All-I have been in DC and am just back. See the article below:

I have met with Goldway many times-(not on this trip)-she was nice and helpful regarding issues I brought to her and others on the Commission in the past.  She was also really sympathetic and biased toward the unions and did not want us to close anything or eliminate any positions. With all the questionable exotic travel she would not quit taking, it was only a matter of time that she would not continue in her position. She is the one that NAPS HQ-Louis-recently wrote to regarding the closure of the plants that are supposed to be closed starting next year, so I guess that letter requesting they wait a year is moot.

Taub, her replacement, has been more for these major changes, so you can see where this is probably going. The Obama administration has worked with Postal leadership to make closing facilities, and eliminating career Postal positions easier. The Federal budget for two years has contained language to eliminate Saturday letter mail delivery and relied also on the USPS going forward to eliminate more plants. Now they  will have this regulatory commission in line too.

This will assist the USPS is containing costs and getting more revenue, which NAPS HQ should insist results in more full time EAS positions and more meaningful wage increases-since we were frozen in the years they say we did not make money. (this year costs down and revenue up-just like last year)


By Josh Hicks

President Obama replaced the globetrotting chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission this week after years of criticism over frequent trips she charged to U.S. taxpayers.

The PRC confirmed on Friday that Obama tapped commissioner Robert Taub to take the place of Ruth Goldway as head of the panel, serving on an interim basis until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement. The Washington Free Beacon first reported the change on Friday.

Goldway racked up nearly $71,000 in official travel expenses during her first three years as chairman, outpacing her predecessor, according to a 2012 Washington Post review. Her trips included visits to Portugal, Switzerland and China to meet with international postal regulators, as well as a trek to Scotland two years ago, where she talked with European envelope manufacturers just days before the Postal Service announced record-setting losses.

The former chairman spent another $36,000 on travel to Rio de Janeiro, Stockholm and other popular foreign destinations between 2012 and 2013, according to a Free Beacon report  last month.

Additionally, the PRC’s Office of the Inspector General issued a report in June saying Goldway used a personal credit card to pay for over $18,000 in travel expenses, which the commission later reimbursed. Such uses of personal credit cards for official travel is prohibited, since it could be used to accrue credit card rewards for the cardholder. 

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who has been one of Goldway’s most vocal critics in Congress, had questioned her travel habits. “While personal days are paid for with her private funds, documentation detailing Goldway’s trips raise questions about the business importance of the trips,” he said in his 2013 Wastebook, an annual list of federal expenditures that the Republican considers to be questionable.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who heads the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has suggested that Goldway should have been more mindful of her travel amid the Postal Service’s recent financial troubles. “When organizations are struggling, good leaders often make a pointed effort of curbing their own expenses as an example,” he said in 2012.

Goldway has been with the commission since 1998, serving as its chairman since 2009. She remained as head of the panel after her most recent term expired at the end of last month.

Coburn and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who have worked together on postal legislation, urged President Obama in July to name a new chair before Goldway’s term ended. They said the move would “remove uncertainty” and allow the panel to “continue its work on postal reform with a better sense of who will be implementing it in the coming years.”

PRC spokeswoman Gail Adams on Friday said Goldway plans to remain with the commission until her replacement has been confirmed.


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They put more effort into getting a good night’s sleep than they did their job…



Agents from the USPS Office of Inspector General raided the Hicksville NY Vehicle Maintenance Facility early Friday morning after receiving a tip that night shift workers were sleeping on the job. In October a Hicksville VMF employee died in a workplace accident.

A Hicksville postal facility was raided early Friday by U.S. Postal Service special agents in a probe that could lead to criminal charges against some employees, authorities said. 

In a meeting with employees Friday, the facility’s manager said all 10 workers on the 11 p.m.-to-7 a.m. shift — who do mechanical and body work — are to be fired for sleeping on the job, according to a worker who attended the meeting.

At the 24-hour maintenance facility on Ludy Street, the misconduct was common knowledge, with graveyard-shift workers often sleeping on bedrolls and blankets in postal trucks or in supervisors’ offices, with windows covered by cardboard, the employee said.

The employee said those workers locked the gates with their own chains and locks so others wouldn’t catch them sleeping.

They’d position a truck near the gates and hang a baby monitor to watch and hear anyone coming, the worker said.At the meeting Friday, facility manager Robert Kasten told employees that surveillance cameras have been installed, the employee said. Kasten told the workers that investigators took pictures during the raid, then "woke them all up," the employee said. "How sad is that?"

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in President 584

Thought this one was amusing because the editor did what many of us have accidentally done before-left a personal string of email information under the article below….see under Morning Report-I want to read the article he is referencing about employee misconduct and sleepovers at the Hicksville post office!


On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 6:04 AM, Buffi Wilder <[email protected]> wrote:

Hi Sarah, good morning.

Thank you. I'm taking care of your edits right now.



On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 10:55 PM, Ninivaggi, Sarah A - Washington, DC <[email protected]> wrote:

Thanks Buffi, and thanks again for sending me a draft earlier, I apologize I couldn't respond sooner. Awesome job!!

Just a couple suggestions that Toni can use for the morning if she chooses.

1. I would suggest removing the Newsday article (Sleepovers at Hicksville Post Office) - we usually try to avoid these types of stories about employee misconduct or crime where it pinpoints a specific office or name
2. The "Saving the Postal Service" story from the Post and Courier should go to the Opinion section.
3. I would remove the "Slashing Holiday Shipping Costs..." story from the Industry section - it is a press release which we try to avoid including

Also, I wanted to share this article highlighting Megan Brennan: http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20141117/NEWS/141119517/101010/NEWS

It should ideally be the first story in the Postal section.

Again, really great job! Thanks for everything.
From: Buffi Wilder [[email protected]]
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 10:37 PM
To: DeLancey, Toni G - Washington, DC; Partenheimer, David A - Washington, DC
Cc: Ninivaggi, Sarah A - Washington, DC; Palmore-Drummond, Leisha I - Washington, DC
Subject: November 18, Morning Report


Below is a copy of the Morning Report for your review. I have attached the full text version as well.


Buffi Wilder
Senior Graphic Designer, Contractor


The Morning Report is produced by HQ Corporate Communications and is distributed to all officers and executives as well as several hundred postal employees in communications-related fields. The report has a business focus, and is a compilation of relevant current news intended to keep readers abreast of postal activities in the marketplace.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Ninivaggi ([email protected]<mailto:[email protected]>).

To be added to the Morning Report distribution list, please do so via eAccess. Click on "Distribution Lists," then search for and request "#CC The Morning Report".

November 17, 2014


Sleepovers at Hicksville post office?


Buffi Wilder

Senior Graphic Designer, Contractor



Buffi Wilder

Senior Graphic Designer, Contractor




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