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DDF: No Deposit Required!
By Brian J. Wagner
It’s important that NAPS members are educated about the benefits of our Disciplinary Defense Fund (DDF), especially if they hear conflicting information when NAPS’ DDF is compared to similar postal employee defense programs. I do not want members’ heads to spin when false information is being spun about NAPS’ DDF. We want members to have the facts; here’s the scoop!
One of the greatest benefits of NAPS membership is our excellent DDF program, which has been in existence for over 30 years. The DDF is a valued member benefit funded through active members’ dues. Specifically, according to NAPS’ Constitution and Bylaws, Article XIII, Dues and Assessments, Section 7, $13 of each active member’s annual per capita shall be set aside for the DDF, to be administered by the Executive Board. Basically, NAPS’ DDF is fully funded.
Qualifying for the DDF is explained in Article IX, Section 2, of the NAPS Bylaws. In part, Section 2 reads: “(a) the active member must have signed an application for NAPS membership sixty (60) days from the effective date of promotion from the craft,” and “(b) the active member must have been a NAPS member no fewer than ninety (90) days prior to the charge being issued..."
When a member’s postal job is on the line, the last thing they need to worry or stress about is having to prepay monies to receive disciplinary defense representation. NAPS does not require any member to reach into their wallet or pocketbook to make a deposit of one penny, dime, dollar or thousands of dollars to receive the benefit of quality and qualified NAPS DDF representation.
As a dues-paying NAPS member, if you need the DDF more than once in your EAS postal career, there is no requirement for a member to prefund any of their DDF cases. For example, if a member has an adverse action and a debt collection case going on at the same time, the member is not required to make a financial deposit before qualified NAPS DDF representation is provided. Thank goodness NAPS’ DDF is free with membership.
Furthermore, NAPS Headquarters—not the member—pays for all travel expenses related to a member’s DDF case. With prior approval, NAPS also will pay up to $1,000 in evidentiary expenses an experienced DDF advocate may incur. These expenses cover an initial appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) or a debt collection case.
In the past 25 years and thousands of DDF cases, NAPS members never have had to personally pay additional expenses above NAPS’ established DDF threshold—a threshold only established to manage costs. Fortunately, NAPS advocates are excellent at member representation and keeping DDF costs down.
Because our DDF advocates do not breach NAPS’ established threshold, we can continue our trend of ensuring members do not have to pay any additional funds to receive the professional and quality DDF representation already included in their membership. It deserves repeating: Dues from NAPS membership cover all DDF expenses. No prepayments, advance deposits, additional personal funds before, during or after a DDF case are required for a NAPS member to receive or continue to receive DDF representation to cover an initial MSPB or debt collection case.
Not only is NAPS’ DDF available to qualifying active members, it’s available to associate members, as well. That is what helps make NAPS’ DDF the best postal management adverse action and debt collection representation program available to NAPS retirees and all eligible EAS employees: supervisors, managers, postmasters and other managerial personnel.
November is a month for thankfulness. I am thankful that NAPS has the best postal management disciplinary defense representation program in the country. I am thankful for all the benefits NAPS membership provides. I also am thankful to our military men and women and veterans who have given so much to protect our great country.
Finally, I am thankful to provide you this month’s ice-cream-flavor recommendation: pumpkin spice latte! Happy Thanksgiving to all.