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Amazing Days at 2020 LTS
By Chuck Mulidore
As you probably have noticed, the May edition of The Postal Supervisor magazine largely is devoted to the recent 2020 NAPS Legislative Training Seminar (LTS). I couldn’t resist the temptation to offer my thoughts on this very successful event, as well, because LTS is more than a meeting to discuss postal legislation and initiatives, although that is the primary motivation for the seminar.
We were fortunate to have LTS on the cusp of the COVID-19 outbreak. As we continue to hope and pray for our country, please keep safe and well. So, let’s take a moment to walk through LTS.
The event started this year with our traditional, uplifting, nondenominational church service on Sunday morning. So many of our delegates love and enjoy this beautiful service. Again this year, the Holloway Family offered uplifting, moving and beautiful music that provided the landscape and backdrop to the talents of NAPS’ own Mac Littles who preached to the assembled group.
Also on Sunday, I, along with Jovan Duncan from NAPS Headquarters, provided training for secretary/treasurers. We provided an outline for branches to complete and file their taxes yearly, as well as an overview of the monthly reports sent from NAPS Headquarters.
On Sunday afternoon, the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery took place. This solemn event each year honors NAPS members who have served our great nation in the armed forces. I am privileged to be in the presence of such men and women. It is a humbling experience to honor them in such a beautiful, historic and majestic place as Arlington National Cemetery. If you have not attended this event before, please do so next year when you come to LTS. You will not be disappointed.
As the opening day of LTS progressed from Arlington Cemetery back to the Crystal City Gateway Marriott, what would LTS be without first-timers? This year, we had 72 first-time delegates, most of whom attended the First-Timers Orientation on Sunday. This orientation provided them guidance on their upcoming visits to Capitol Hill.
The first day of LTS wrapped up with the Town Hall meeting, where LTS attendees could interact, give comments and ask questions of the NAPS resident officers and other Executive Board members. Wow! And that only was day1!
Day 2 began with our LTS program. I’d like to recognize the efforts of Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts and Director of Legislative & Political Affairs Bob Levi in putting together an engaging and interesting program for the day. Kudos, as well, to the other members of the NAPS staff who worked hard in support of LTS: Jovan from NAPS Headquarters; Charles, my assistant at NAPS Headquarters; and Emily, our new membership manager at NAPS Headquarters.
Of course, this NAPS event, as with so many others, could not have been successful without the efforts of the National Auxiliary under the fine leadership of President Patricia Jackson-Kelley. Thank you, NAPS Auxiliary!
The delegates heard from National President Brian Wagner, as well as yours truly. But the star of the day was the program itself—a mix of politics, congressional speakers, education, some humor and information on ongoing postal issues. While there currently is no pending postal legislation that would provide overall relief to the Postal Service from the onerous demands of the PAEA passed in 2006, all NAPS delegates were briefed on supporting H.R. 6085, NAPS-sponsored legislation to reform how NAPS engages with the Postal Service in the pay consultation process.
NAPS went through the pay consultation process with the Postal Service in 2018 and 2019, then into fact-finding when that failed. We ultimately filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Postal Service when most of the fact-finding panel’s recommendations were rejected by the Postal Service. We realized that the law governing our relationship with the Postal Service, Title 39, needs to be reformed. H.R. 6085 could reform that process by making the process fair and balanced.
Day 2 wrapped up with a photo shoot of the members present who contributed to SPAC, our political action committee. We cannot say enough about the generosity of these members and continue to look to their example as inspiration for all NAPS members to follow. Remember, the future of the Postal Service will be decided by Congress, so sign up today and give to SPAC.
LTS concluded on day 3, as our delegates converged on Capitol Hill to spread the message to legislators and their staffs. They provided that “reality check” our members of Congress often need to understand postal issues and be educated on the benefits of H.R. 6085 to all EAS employees. Congratulations to the men and women who “hit the Hill” and gave such strong momentum to our legislative agenda. Thank you!
There you have it—a whirlwind few days of inspiration, information-sharing, knowledge, education and good, old-fashioned footwork that will be the cornerstone of our legislative efforts in 2020 and beyond. This year is a critical one, from the presidential election, congressional elections and all the way to state and local elections.
We need NAPS members involved to support those who support our agenda. You see, NAPS’ agenda is the agenda of its membership. And that agenda is good for NAPS, the Postal Service and the American people.
If you did not or could not attend LTS this year, please make plans for LTS in 2021. It’s a unique and refreshing experience—one you will never forget.