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PMG Louis DeJoy Addresses NAPS Executive Board at Its Fall Meeting
Submitted by Chuck Mulidore
The fall 2020 Executive Board meeting via Zoom was called to order at 2 p.m. on Oct. 18 by Executive Board Chair Tim Ford. Mideast Area Vice President Tony Dallojacono gave the invocation. Western Region Vice President Marilyn Walton led the Pledge of Allegiance. Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore conducted the roll call of officers; all board members were present.
President Brian Wagner said he hoped everyone had safe travels to their computers for the fall board meeting. He welcomed the board members and thanked them for their commitment and dedication to represent NAPS not just at board meetings, but throughout their terms.
Wagner thanked former Central Gulf Area Vice President Cornel Rowel for his commitment and welcomed Roy Beaudoin back as interim Central Gulf Area vice president. He noted having the fall board meeting held via Zoom was a first for NAPS.
As noted in past board meetings, Wagner said the goal of the Executive Board is to promote the welfare of NAPS and its members by being productive and respectful of others’ opinions and final decisions made during the board meeting. Despite being a Zoom meeting, Wagner asked board members to stay focused on the agenda and continue to improve NAPS with positive actions that will make its members’ future even better.
He welcomed Dr. Bruce Bishop, NAPS parliamentarian, to help guide the board through the meeting. Wagner also noted it is always appreciated to have NAPS’ Legal Counsel Bruce Moyer and DDF Provider Al Lum be part of the meetings, as well as Rebekah Leo, his assistant at NAPS Headquarters.
Wagner informed board members they would hear from Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday. He said he looked forward to hearing about DeJoy’s initiatives and the direction in which he wants to take the USPS. He thanked the NAPS board for all they do for NAPS and its members.
Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts welcomed members to the board meeting, as well as Beaudoin back to the board. He thanked everyone for their activities in their home districts on behalf of NAPS’ legislative agenda. He also thanked everyone for participating in so many Zoom calls with legislators and their staffs. Butts said he would provide an update on SPAC, legislation and the DDF during the board meeting.
Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore welcomed everyone to the NAPS Executive Board meeting during a pandemic. He welcomed Beaudoin back, saying he will be an excellent addition to the board. He offered best wishes to Rowel and thanked him for his service.
Mulidore acknowledged the pandemic has impacted NAPS’ members in a host of ways—not only in their jobs, but in their personal lives, as well. These and many other matters will be on the board’s agenda this week, he said, leading up to their conversation with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.
Executive Board Chair Tim Ford welcomed Board members and guests, as well as Beaudoin. Since the spring 2020 meeting, Ford said they have faced personal and professional challenges and changes that NAPS never has experienced. He pointed out changes in USPS leadership and structure are not new, but the depth and speed of the current changes clearly have impacted business.
Ford said that, given the progression of the pandemic, NAPS members are challenged every day to make sure USPS products are processed and delivered, in spite of the absence of many employees due to COVID-19.
Regardless, Ford intoned, NAPS board members continue to deal with the day-to-day issues facing members, among them pay issues, involuntary reassignments, discipline, vacancies and excessive workloads. Board members are familiar with all these problems and continue to work toward solutions.
Ford stressed the challenge is to have open and honest communication with the Postal Service, address the issues and arrive at mutually satisfactory solutions. This is in the best interests of NAPS, the Postal Service and every customer we have, he said.
Since the spring board meeting, Ford said he has attended and participated in all monthly consultative meetings with the Postal Service, actively engaging in communications with NAPS and Postal Headquarters regarding member issues. He has been available to fellow board members for any questions or concerns they may have, as well as with members from across the country.
Also, Ford said he forwarded two ethics complaints to Wagner. Both were investigated and responses prepared; one was referred to the Ethics Committee.
Ford thanked board members for the support and confidence they have given him and one another in their efforts to represent the rights of NAPS members. He gave a special thank you to the three resident officers for their support and assistance. He said he is proud to be a part of the team and looks forward to future success.
NAPS Parliamentarian Dr. Bruce Bishop said he was honored to be part of the meeting to offer parliamentary advice as the board deals with emerging technology regarding in-person meetings. He said the Zoom meeting will be a bit challenging, but added the board will work through it. Bishop said he was there to help work through any issues.
A motion was made and adopted to suspend the reading of the spring 2020 board minutes as previously distributed. Central Region Vice President Craig Johnson made a motion, seconded by MINK Area Vice President Bart Green, to accept the corrected minutes of the spring 2020 meeting as previously submitted to the Board. The motion was adopted.
Mulidore presented the financial report. As of Sept. 30, 2020, NAPS investments totaled $12,035,827. On June 1, 2020, NAPS investments totaled $11,733,178. This is a 2021 fiscal year-to-date increase of $302,649, or 2.58%. As of Oct. 1, 2020, the NAPS General Fund Signature FCU Checking Account balance was $206,566.62; the Signature FCU Money Market Account was $1,021.51, for a total of $207,588.13.
As of Oct. 1, 2020, the NAPS Headquarters building was 91% leased by number of units (10 of 11) and 80% leased by square footage. On March 31, 2018, AACP vacated the second floor, which remains vacant. Tower Strategy notified NAPS Property, Inc. (NPI) it will not be renewing its lease, which expires at the end of November 2020.
Jim Stokes, STOLADI Property Group, indicated there has been some new interest in the second floor, but nothing will happen until January 2021 if the lead moves forward. NAPS did not receive regular owner distributions in FY18, FY19 and FY20. That process will continue through FY21 due to projected maintenance, tenant improvements, commissions and potential lost revenue through unrenewed leases.
NPI currently has $208,293 set aside to cover costs; $112,808 supports outstanding liabilities (security deposits, prepaid rents and accrued expenses), meaning available cash of $95,485. Assuming the second floor can be leased and, with the soon-to-be vacant Tower Space, as well as Strategic Partnerships renewing, it is projected NPI will need $625,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2021, to cover the shortfall due to tenant improvements ($547,000) and commissions ($144,000) related to the leasing activity.
To the extent the leasing activity does not happen, the contributions will go down equivalently. That said, there is enough cash flow with LRB paying its rent per terms of its settlement agreement and Strategic Partnerships’ lease, which is in place at least through Feb. 28, 2021.
As of Oct. 1, 2020, NAPS Headquarters web and social media results were as follows:
As of the August 2020 DCO (reflecting DCO membership through PPs 16 and 17), NAPS had 27,473 members (26,118 active and 1,355 associates, 95% and 5%, respectively). Total membership from a year ago (PPs 16 and 17, 2019) was 27,466 (26,117 active and 1,349 associate); an overall total SPLY increase of 7 members or (.025%).
As of the August 2020 DCO, the total number of active EAS nonmembers was 10,788. This number is based on USPS payroll files of nonmember EAS employees who are coded nonpostmasters. Based on current membership totals, there are approximately 29.2% nonmembers. NAPS continues to encourage membership growth by providing sponsors of each new member a $25 NAPS check.
Local and state branches continue to receive their NAPS Nonmember and Change Summary reports, along with their DCO and Mail reports, on a monthly basis.
Per a board motion, there are no contracts expiring before the spring 2021 Executive Board meeting.
The board was provided updates on the 2020 and 2021 budgets. Also presented were the results of the 2020 annual audit conducted by CohnReznick. There were no substantial issues cited as part of the audit. NAPS members can have great faith their dues are being spent properly and correctly.
Disciplinary Defense Fund Provider Al Lum, Labor Relations Admin Group (LRAG), and Butts gave a report. Updates on wins, losses, settlements and a review of current cases were covered. For NAPS FY20, DDF cases totaled 95, of which 79 were MSPB cases, 12 were Debt Collection Act (DCA) cases and four were ELM 650 hearings; 12 cases remain pending.
The most prevalent case types for FY20 were performance (46%), finance (20%), attendance (20%), violence (12%), sexual misconduct (6%), falsification (6%) and theft (4%). For NAPS FY21, which began June 1, 2020, there have been 27 DDF cases, 21 of which are MSPB cases. There are 18 DDF cases still pending. In all of FY19, there were 114 total DDF cases: 85 were MSPB cases, 23 were DCA cases and six were ELM 650 hearings.
Butts and Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Bob Levi provided the board with a review of legislative, regulatory and political activities over the past six months that impacted NAPS members. The report, supported by a PowerPoint presentation, addressed congressional activities relating to postal finances and operations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the report briefed the board on congressional reaction to the hiring of the new postmaster general. Levi reviewed House-passed bills intended to help the Postal Service manage the financial and operational impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including H.R. 748, the “CARES Act;” H.R. 6800, the “HEROES Act;” and H.R. 8015, “Delivering for America Act.”
Also discussed was House-passed H.R. 2382, the “USPS Fairness Act,” legislation to repeal the requirement that the Postal Service prefund retiree health benefits. Only H.R. 748 was signed into law.
In addition, the report discussed House and Senate hearings regarding the operational changes initiated by the new postmaster general and his leadership team, as well as the temporary suspension of a number of those changes.
The report sought to anticipate legislative and regulatory actions that may take place early next year. Such actions include nominations to the Postal Service Board of Governors and the Postal Regulatory Commission, legislation to sustain the Postal Service and how NAPS’ legislative priorities may dovetail with such actions.
Finally, the report outlined NAPS’ interest in the 2020 general election and political action supporting those electoral interests. The report examined the presidential campaign, as well as key House and Senate races and how the outcome of the election could impact NAPS’ legislative priorities. Discussion was also conducted on the Supervisors’ Political Action Committee (SPAC), including receipts and disbursements.
NAPS attorney Bruce Moyer provided the board with a confidential update on legal issues facing the organization.
There was no old or new business. The Oct. 20 consultative meeting with the Postal Service was held; minutes were printed in the January 2021 issue.
The Executive Board Committees provided updates:
Ethics—Chair Craig Johnson, Central Region vice president, and committee members Marilyn Walton, Tommy Roma, Shri Green and Richard Green met to discuss one ethics complaint received from Board Chair Tim Ford and President Brian Wagner since the 2020 spring board meeting. The committee is in the process of sending a final report regarding the complaint.
Recommended actions: The Ethics Committee believes notification should be sent to local branches to develop their own code of conduct and ethics guidelines to handle cases not related to the Executive Board. No other changes were recommended at this time.
SWCs—Chair Jimmy Warden, New York Area vice president, and committee members Tommy Roma, Troy Griffin and Tony Dallojacono reported the SWCs process still is under the guidelines agreed on through the consultative process in 2012. The agreement (instructions) can be found on the NAPS website and the USPS Blue page.
Over the past several months, many offices/stations have had concerns regarding their supervisory complement. It is strongly recommended every office/station review their SWCs calculations on a monthly basis. The Postal Service runs the automated SWCs for every office/station on a monthly basis. The results usually are posted on the Blue page between the first to the third day of each month.
Every office/station should review the data. If it does not coincide with the actual staffing they have or if they are in or close to being in jeopardy of losing a supervisor, they should perform a manual SWCs. To locate the automated SWCs data on the USPS Blue page, perform the following steps:
When the report opens, drill down to your specific district; the offices/stations can be viewed. As stated, if the staffing indicated is different from the actual staffing, an office/station may be in jeopardy of losing a supervisor; a manual SWCs needs to be conducted, adding the additional staffing.
This should be submitted to the respective district Human Resources manager, along with all documentation. The committee also recommends the local NAPS branch president and respective NAPS area vice president be notified. NAPS has been successful in some cases with performing a manual SWCs and being able to keep the supervisor.
The zone of tolerance (ZOT) has been a significant issue recently. The business rule before November 2012 was when an office/station falls below the range to qualify for the supervisor, the junior supervisor immediately would become reassigned. This business rule still stands, but with the addition of the ZOT. The business rule pertaining to the ZOT can be found in the agreement (instructions) in Section VII, pages 6 and 7. The SWCs agreement (instructions) can be found on the USPS Blue page and the NAPS website.
Inquiries have been received regarding the SWCs work study that has been conducted and the new program submitted to Postal Headquarters. NAPS was informed it would be taken under consideration once the new PMG had taken office. There has not been a recent update. With the new restructuring and current changes taking place, we are anticipating the new SWCs calculation method will be considered.
Duties and Responsibilities Committee—no committee report was presented.
Legislative Committee—Chair Marilyn Walton, Western Region vice president, said legislation is a responsibility of all NAPS board members. However, the committee works to promote ideas and activities others can replicate and expand in order to help educate and involve our entire membership in becoming legislatively smart and increasing our SPAC funds to support NAPS’ friends in Congress. Individual committee member reports follow:
Southeast Area Vice President Bob Quinlan said his team in South Florida has stayed as busy as possible while dealing with COVID-19 restrictions. Members managed to get nearly all Florida representatives to support H.R. 6085. Central Florida could not convince Rep. Daniel Webster (R) to support the bill. Quinlan still has not gotten an answer from Webster’s office as to why he did not support the bill. North Florida did well with support.
COVID-19 presented challenges in collecting SPAC funds, but Florida came through again with a SPAC raffle that raised $17,500. It was an outstanding job under the circumstances. Florida and Georgia are doing their best to stay connected with their legislative reps.
New York Area Vice President Jimmy Warden reported that members of the Northeast Region have been quite busy legislatively over recent months. They were asked numerous times to contact their respective representatives and senators to seek support for legislation that will help the Postal Service achieve economic sustainability.
Warden, Northeast Region Vice President Tommy Roma, Mideast Area Vice President Tony Dallojacono and New England Area Vice President Lisa Douglas, with the members from the local branches, have attended many Zoom meetings, seeking support for postal legislation with their respective representatives.
Warden gave special thanks to New York Reps. Nita Lowey (D) and Carolyn Maloney (D). Lowey introduced H.R. 6800, the “HEROES Act,” which passed by a vote of 208-199. The representatives whose districts are in the Northeast Region voted 51 yea and seven nay; there is one vacant seat (Buffalo). Six of the seven nay votes were Republicans.
Maloney is chair of the Oversight and Reform Committee. She sponsored and introduced H.R. 7015 and H.R. 8015. Although H.R. 7015 did not make it to the floor for a vote, 16 of the 36 cosponsors were from the Northeast Region.
H.R. 8015 passed with 257 yea votes, 150 nay votes and 24 not voting. Representatives whose districts are in the Northeast Area voted 58 yea and two nay. Six of the eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill.
Passage was achieved by writing letters and making phone calls to local offices, as well as reaching out to our Democratic “champions,” asking them to speak to their respective Republican peers, specifically those in New York.
Both Republican representatives in New Jersey voted in favor—one of whom is Warden’s representative, Chris Smith, who also cosigned a May 5, 2020, letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, with 25 other Republican representatives, requesting full consideration to addressing the needs of the Postal Service through proper legislation.
NAPS Long Island Branch 202 President Tom Barone invited Democratic candidate Jackie Gordon—candidate for New York District 2, the seat being vacated by Republican Peter King, who always was a friend of NAPS—to speak at their membership meeting. Warden and Butts attended the meeting.
In September, Roma and Warden held a New York Area Branch Presidents’ Meeting. A SPAC raffle was held; $2,170 was raised. All branch presidents were encouraged to hold SPAC raffles at their meetings. At Branch 100’s membership meeting, a SPAC 50/50 was won by Tu Tu, who, knowing the need and importance of SPAC, donated her winnings back to SPAC. Long Island Branch 202 held a 50/50 at their membership meeting, as well as a cigar bar following the meeting; all proceeds went to SPAC.
Maloney was in a tight Democratic primary race in Congressional District 12, but came out the victor. NAPS was invited to attend her Zoom victory celebration, which Warden was honored to attend. Maloney praised postal workers and promised to always fight for the Postal Service.
Thanks to Butts and Levi for arranging all the Zoom meetings with our elected representatives.
Walton reported that, since the NAPS spring board meeting, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all postal employees. Along with the unions and management associations, she logged daily into Zoom meetings to track the progress of the pandemic. Concerns from the field indicated proper PPE and hand sanitizers were a big issue. Daily and weekly reports were provided on employees reporting positive COVID testing. The tracking continues to be an ongoing reporting system.
Walton participated in NAPS legislative chairs’ Zoom meetings that focused on pursuing emergency postal funding assistance. The legislative chairs and members were encouraged to contact their representatives to support H.R. 7015 and H.R. 6800. As other proposed legislation was added, requests were sent to NAPS members to make legislative contacts.
Walton did a lot of outreach through the California Postal Legislative Coalition to provide legislative updates to many retirees. She worked locally on the Get Out to Vote campaign and helped instruct many people on how to vote by mail.
Walton participated in many branch Zoom meetings, using the opportunity to share any legislative updates and encourage members to contact their lawmakers to request support for postal legislation.
Walton represented NAPS and the Postal Service on a Zoom meeting with Rep. Ted Lieu (D) that also included representatives from the entertainment and movie industry, health care and tech. This was when there was high media interest regarding postal changes initiated by the new PMG. Walton stressed the Postal Service has delivered absentee ballots for many years and would be able to accomplish the task this year with confidence and integrity.
Everyone shared concerns about their respective companies. Walton has been working with the West PAC Election Task Force ambassadors to ensure they are receiving updated information. She has logged on to the daily Zoom meetings to ensure election mail concerns and issues are being addressed and shared with the field. Also, she checked to ensure all policy instructions, stand-up talks and training regarding political/election mail were being conducted.
Walton continues to promote SPAC in her monthly blog and encourage NAPS members to contribute by payroll deduction or direct payment. She also has encouraged everyone to get out the vote.
Texas Area Vice President Jaime Elizondo Jr. reported that, as with everyone, his activities were limited to attending several branch meetings via Zoom. He joined various groups and encouraged them to become politically involved. Elizondo, Butts and Levi have been working with candidates to gain Democratic seats in the House to turn Texas blue:
Elizondo covered current bills with all candidates and pointedly asked for their support. He shared USPS financial impact information in their districts, along with the current numbers of facilities and employees.
He spoke of the impact of the coronavirus on the USPS budget and the monetary support the agency needs. Elizondo checked voting records before each meeting to thank them for their support if they are cosponsors or firmly ask for it if they are not. He continues to donate to SPAC and encourage Texas members to do the same.
Michiana Area Vice President Kevin Trayer reported he keeps pushing SPAC and contributing by payroll deductions. He’s attended or hosted several Zoom meetings to tell NAPS officers to thank those in Congress who support us and reach out to those who haven’t and let them know the facts. It’s helpful to stress the importance of the USPS to the American public.
Trayer said he had the privilege to be called on by Rep. Fred Upton (R) to tour a southwest Michigan post office two days before the House vote on H.R. 8051. Trayer said he was pleased that Upton was one of the 26 Republicans who crossed party lines on the vote.
Trayer made it known to postal leadership their relationship goes back over 20 years. Upton also is part of a 50-member bipartisan group called “The Problem Solvers.” He and Rep. Debbie Dingle of Michigan support whistleblower protection for EAS employees.
Trayer said it’s important to reach out to those in that group to help move our agenda items to improve working conditions and pay for all EAS employees.
PFP Advisory Committee—Chair Dan Mooney, North Central Area vice president, shared a file he put together and a slide. The file showed EAS NPA results from January to August (EOY was not available at this time). It showed by month, area and district how many EAS employees were in blocks 1-15 (really only blocks 2-10).
Mooney also shared some analysis showing February was the best month for EAS payouts, relative to the highest number of EAS employees in payable NPA blocks. It was clear that February, pre-COVID-19, was the best NPA performance month for EAS employees. Things went downhill from there.
The file also shared the same EAS EOY results by block from FY17, FY18 and FY19 for comparison purposes. There was robust conversation about this year’s NPA results and what options are on the table. The committee also presented a slide that showed the preliminary area/district composite scores and rankings. Again, there was some discussion.
Resident officers have reached out to USPS Headquarters to ask for and make suggestions about COVID-19 mitigation. NAPS is awaiting a response. EOY NPA results are released the same as the quarterly NPA results—after the quarterly/EOY financial data is vetted and released by the USPS. This means it will be around Nov. 13 before the numbers are released.
That said, the EOY NPA mitigation period will be fast approaching and members need to be prepared to file with their supporting documentation. The timeline to file mitigation is only a few days. This also is a reminder it’s not too early to start a file for FY21 mitigation documentation.
Mooney thanked his committee: Jimmy Warden, Jaime Elizondo, Cindy McCracken and Richard Green.
Postmaster Committee—Chair Kevin Trayer reported on the committee’s efforts to increase postmaster membership in NAPS. There is not a lot to report because the USPS has opposed in court NAPS’ request to represent postmasters. NAPS continues to seek representation through the court system. Regardless, NAPS should continue highlighting concerns on behalf of postmasters and the area, state and local levels when speaking to members of Congress.
Training and Advocacy—Chair Myrna Pashinski, Rocky Mountain Area vice president, said that, since the spring board meeting, the committee has met twice and had email communications discussing the tasks assigned in March.
She said PowerPoint presentations are coming together. Officer training by titles and 650 training needs review. “Leadership Essentials” also is in final review. “How to Stay Out of Trouble” is a work in progress. Still pending is an article regarding a request for subject matter experts for The Postal Supervisor.
Pending topics on which to develop training include:
Pashinski provided the board minutes from her committee’s Oct. 1 and 15 Zoom meetings.
Wagner welcomed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to the Executive Board meeting; he attended via Zoom. Ford introduced the board members to DeJoy.
DeJoy thanked NAPS for the invitation, recognizing that working together and soliciting NAPS’ help is important to the Postal Service. He said he’s the type of leader who prefers working through problems and enjoys direct conversations to identify what’s important and matters that need to be addressed.
DeJoy said he works with his direct reports and two levels below so he can hear ideas that can help align the mission of the organization. He emphasized that frontline supervisors are the backbone of the organization.
He shared his views on his first four months as PMG, reflecting on his unique experiences with the media and testimony before Congress. Upon accepting the job, DeJoy said he assumed he largely would be dealing with organizational problems and the agency’s $22 billion loss.
The PMG shared some of his vision that will be dedicated to improving the Postal Service to better serve the public, including:
He has conducted much review and research since June, including reviewing hundreds of reports issued by the USPS Office of Inspector General. A portfolio of initiatives has been established by a strong team that he and his direct reports are evaluating. If adopted, he and his leadership team will engage and deploy resources to reach the expected outcomes.
DeJoy said he has had the opportunity to meet many people in the organization and has visited Lake Charles, LA; Houston; Richmond, VA; and Philadelphia and heard of different issues from employees and witnessed and learned of what the USPS does very well in serving America.
He agrees the Postal Service’s mission is unbelievable in that it delivers 45 to 50 million pieces of mail to 161 million addresses each day across the nation, to every community, including during disasters. The Postal Service is a conduit for commerce as well as providing a career path.
DeJoy affirmed there is a base on which to build, with a huge amount of public support that wants the agency to be successful. He said he’s an optimist and sees the USPS has a very talented workforce. There always are financial issues, volume declines and restrictions around any change. He feels the organization needs to better align with the mission and wants to move the organization forward with success.
DeJoy is delighted and proud of how the entire organization responded to aligning and protecting its employees around the pandemic; the organization and its employees should be applauded. Having this kind of focus, he stressed, is something he wants to apply toward the USPS’ daily mission to improve service and reduce costs.
He pointed out there is a gap between service standards and performance and wants to align the mission with parameters of the law. Precision is lacking across core operations; this will be a major focus going forward. He said supervisors are important to transactional success; it needs NAPS’ support.
DeJoy reflected on his days growing up in Brooklyn, NY. As a young man freshly out of college, he took over the family trucking business. The company operated out of a trailer, with little use of technology. He pioneered the use of technology to arrive at some of the most complex logistics in the world.
The PMG said he has experience working with the Postal Service under the authority of multiple PMGs. His company grew to 100,000 employees; the company merged in 2014 and DeJoy retired.
He talked about receiving a call regarding whether he would be interested in serving as the postmaster general. At first, DeJoy said, he offered to lend advice and share ideas, but admitted he always has been fascinated with the Postal Service and its rich history. DeJoy said he became excited at the opportunity to lead a very important and prestigious organization, its public mission and the opportunities to lead the Postal Service toward success.
DeJoy shared that, despite all the talents of postal employees, the organization is not where it should be. The Postal Service should be playing a larger role in e-commerce shipping and a more interactive role in the communities we serve, he professed. The Postal Service should be operating at a higher level and must become financially self-sustaining. He explained the Postal Service’s obligation of a six-days-a-week-delivery standard helps sustain its mission.
DeJoy indicated he wants to make change that’s better for the organization by greater use of its delivery services, making them more interactive and, thus, the preferred delivery service for the American people.
The economy has changed, he pointed out, and the USPS has been slow to evolve with those changes. The agency needs to become a public service that carries its own weight. He explained that part of his legacy will be providing good visibility and the ability to address changes that await the organization, such as destination storefronts, including connecting carriers and communities with service into one integrated unit. Delivery services in the marketplace require a winning culture, he said.
DeJoy stressed he is an advocate for employee advancement and wants to share this vision with employees so they understand how and why they’re rowing in a new direction. He acknowledged it’s a big commitment; everyone will need more definition about what they’re leaning into.
He’s focusing on the noncareer workforce and feels it’s beneficial to have a stabilized routine that relies on supervisors, one that is vibrant with inclusion. Working for the same objectives will lead to better precision in our practices, higher service and will get a portion of growth in our economy, he said. That will give the USPS greater revenue, growth and financial stability.
He noted two important areas where progress has been made:
First, he required trucks to adhere to a schedule during the summer. That’s important because the network is vital to what we do.
When trucks leave on time, they stay on time, he said. Domino’s does this. Networks must operate on a schedule: It provides reliability, predictability and stability.
DeJoy said he was surprised by the operational weakness of requiring adherence to schedules. People need performance goals; ours is a transactional business.
Second, a new organizational structure was announced in August, designed to align performance and outcomes. He said he is confident the restructuring will be looked back on as the key change in finding new levels of competition that drive performance improvement.
He confirmed that he and the Postal Service will work with NAPS as the agency structure is aligned. He defines the workplace as reassessing processes and aligning them with Postal Service goals. To help, supervisors can enhance performance. Otherwise, it’s more chaos that’s not helping the organization move forward.
The PMG affirmed he is committed to this; it will be a positive step forward. He recognizes we need to attract top talent. He’s proud to be the agency’s leader, including in what we do each day. Every day, supervisors set the tone for our culture, he said. Initiatives are announced and implemented and the supervisors are the ones who translate Postal Service goals into actions.
DeJoy will rely on supervisors to operate at a high level to assure we handle election mail, holiday volumes and future challenges. In the coming months, the portfolio of initiatives will be refined and shared with NAPS. He said he would appreciate feedback and sharing views on broader business strategies. This alignment is necessary.
DeJoy stated he has a mandate of change to better serve the public. He thanked NAPS for the opportunity to address its Executive Board.
Butts thanked DeJoy for taking time to address the board as he moves forward. Butts told the PMG he previously served on the PERF Board and thanked DeJoy for his support.
Mulidore said it was great to meet DeJoy and that he came in at a time of high drama; hopefully, things will settle down shortly. Mulidore pointed out the one thing lacking this summer was communication. Change happens slowly within the USPS. As you strive to make changes, Mulidore counseled, consider communication an ally.
DeJoy responded if he had to do it over again, first would have been to reorganize, then go for precision. Not everyone is judged the same on transactional initiatives, he said. He thanked Mulidore for mentioning communication. You can have no management and 60% of the work would happen every day, he offered. Management helps make it better. But if you’re not communicating, you’re not helping the situation.
There’s a lot of tribal knowledge in how things get done. DeJoy added, sometimes I think there’s too much judgment going on, but we need to improve; we’re not there yet.
Following is the Q&A with board members:
Q: Any plans for early retirements?
A: There’s no plan for an early-out and, right now, we will use attrition. We’re light on supervisors. I haven’t taken a look at the supervisor ratio and models yet. I’m more interested in how we engage supervisors and make them feel better.
Q: Any plans for plant closures or consolidations?
A: We need to get the utilization flow. I see some change in that, but not consolidation. Our plants are part of a network that’s the best in the world. Plenty of capacity on trucks and carriers. We need to run the network efficiently.
Q: What is your plan for changing the culture of supervisors?
A: I’ve had discussion with the Executive Leadership Team on this and how to connect better to the American people. How do we engage them? I expect to come up with ideas to do this. Without giving a lot of details, we’re working on an initiative to better engage with the public, using supervisors and management throughout the entity. We can’t win the battle without doing that. A holistic approach, align, communicate, deploy resources and engage in a fulfilling way.
Q: Our fleet is 30 years old. What are your replacement plans?
A: That’s a very valid question. We need trucks. We had this $10 billion loan that had remained unfilled. I’ve been talking with Treasury and the Senate. When we take on obligations, it can result in losses. In my opinion, we should be able to keep the loan and use it for capital. If I need to get low-interest financing, I can do that.
We’re in the initial procurement phase for vehicles; we need to move ahead. We’re behind on so many investment needs, but it’s understandable. We need to make those necessary moves to grow business, get costs out and get legislation. Vehicles are very important. I’m on it!
Q: What value do you see NAPS providing and how do we partner?
A: The biggest thing is who you represent. I need to lay out my vision in more tangible terms and what my expectations are in terms of contributions from supervisors and management. Then you need to tell me how to align.
The goal is to get your members to align to make the changes we need, with an open mind. That is the most important thing. It’s all about people. You’re the most important group in our organization.
Wagner thanked DeJoy for talking with the Executive Board during its Zoom meeting. He said NAPS wants the USPS to use NAPS as a resource to make it successful.
DeJoy thanked Wagner for his service on the Vote by Mail Task Force. Despite the bad press and trip-ups, he said, we’ve communicated the message to mail early. We know where the USPS is right now; we can’t stay at the same place, he stressed.
DeJoy said there are a lot of smart people who have helped build the place. You are an important component to the success of our plan; I look forward to future exchanges.
Sheri Davies, ConferenceDirect, provided the board with an update on continued planning for the 2021 NAPS National Convention in Grapevine, TX. She also discussed options for holding the 2021 Legislative Training Seminar virtually, rather than in-person, due to the ongoing pandemic.
Stacey Herndon, PNC Investments, gave the board an update on NAPS investments. There has been volatility in the market, she indicated, but NAPS has a good investment strategy that is conservative and balanced in nature. Thus, it is recommended that NAPS stay the course, Herndon said. It’s not a good idea to pull out of the market at the bottom and attempt to buy in when the market rises. She said 40% of the NAPS portfolio has no exposure to risk.
Jim Stokes and his STOLADI team gave the board an update on leasing the vacant office space in the Vincent A. Palladino NAPS Headquarters building. He also gave an overview of various issues that arise in the normal, day-to-day operations of the onsite STOLADI building management team at the NAPS Headquarters building.
The following motions were acted on:
Motion #1—Bart Green, seconded by Richard Green, that:
“The NAPS Executive Board reappoint Tim Ford chair of the board until the next Executive Board meeting that follows the next NAPS national convention.”
The motion passed unanimously; Ford abstained.
Motion #2—NAPS Executive Board Training Committee, that:
“NAPS Headquarters purchases a master Zoom business account (or its equivalent) with a minimum of 22 entities (users). The initial annual expense is estimated to be $4,399/year, not to exceed $5,000, versus an estimated cost of individual purchases at a total of $5,399—an estimated savings of $900. The single national account would include the following: host up to 300 participants, single sign on, cloud recording transcripts, managed domains and company branding.”
Voting “yes” were Wagner, Mulidore, Roma, Johnson, Walton, Douglas, Warden, Trayer, Moreno, Mooney, Quinlan, Beaudoin, S. Green, Elizondo, Pashinski, McCracken and Lum. Voting “no” were Butts, R. Green, Dallojacono, Griffin, Needham and B. Green. As board chair, Ford does not vote. The motion passed.
The 2021 LTS is scheduled for March 28-31; the spring Executive Board meeting is scheduled March 31-April 3. (Since the fall board meeting, the 2021 LTS was canceled. New dates for the spring Zoom board meeting are March 21-24).
Wagner thanked board members, guests and vendors for participating in the first Zoom board meeting. He wished blessings and good health to all NAPS members across the country during this difficult time.
The closing prayer was given by Bart Green. Craig Johnson, seconded by Kevin Trayer, moved to adjourn. The motion was adopted.