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Aren’t We Members, Too?
By Beverly Torain
President of Raleigh, NC, Branch 177, and Retired Postmaster of Apex, NC
In December 2019, I received an email communication stating that the United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) was filing a pleading in the NAPS pay lawsuit against the Postal Service. UPMA asked the court to deny NAPS the right to represent postmasters.
UPMA seems happy representing only postmasters, even though the association solicits and collects dues from any employee—craft or management—willing to pay for membership, despite the fact dues are used to benefit only postmaster initiatives.
As a member of the NAPS Postmaster Committee since its inception and establishment by the late Vincent Palladino and chaired by Susie Warren, one of the main goals of the committee was and continues to be to include all EAS employees, including postmasters. As the largest postal management association, why can’t NAPS represent postmasters?
At the NAPS 2016 National Convention, there was discussion regarding the Postmaster Committee. A distinguished gentleman from Atlanta asked, “What do y’all do?” For starters, the postmasters in NAPS perform the same functions as all NAPS members.
Postmasters solicit new members, never denying any newly promoted employee admission to EAS ranks, which, in turn, increases membership in our local and state branches. Of the 27,000 NAPS members, well over 20% are active and retired postmasters—the number necessary for NAPS to represent postmasters in pay talks.
Postmasters in NAPS attend the same functions as other NAPS members, be it the Legislative Training Seminar, advocacy training, cabinet meetings or state and national conventions. Bringing information back to their local branches educates members on items of importance for the betterment of the association.
Postmasters in NAPS also hold executive positions in the association. These positions include, but are not limited to, local branch or state presidents and area vice presidents, as well as many other positions vital to the association.
Postmasters are just as passionate about NAPS as other members and serve as advocates representing all EAS employees, including postmasters, in all forms of disciplinary and adverse actions from letters of warning to removals. Let it also be known that just because you are a postmaster and a member of NAPS, you are not precluded from access to the Disciplinary Defense Fund (DDF). Unlike in other management associations, your dues pay toward the DDF for everyone who is a member in good standing.
Postmasters have the same passion for NAPS that every other member does, which is one of pride! Being a member of the largest postal management association, it stands to reason that we postmasters ask, “So, aren’t we members, too?”