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Feedback From the Field
By Marilyn Walton
NAPS Western Region Vice President
I had the opportunity to speak with supervisors who attended the recent Postal Service Chief Retail and Delivery Office (CRDO) symposiums. At this writing, there have been four sessions, two in Atlanta and two in National Harbor, MD.
Attendees shared that it was a great opportunity to travel and meet peers from other areas of the country. It also was an excellent opportunity to hear the postal message from top Headquarters officials, including the Postmaster General.
The two-day symposiums consisted of back-to-back presentations. I heard comments that some presentations were impressive, some were interesting and some were just okay. One concern was so much information provided in one seating; it was welcomed, but overwhelming, as well.
Attendees were informed there was no time in the agenda for questions. Information booths were set up, but when attendees asked follow-up questions at the booths, they were directed to various websites. Attendees said they wanted to directly ask the subject expert presenting the information regarding their questions.
Additional feedback from attendees was the information was great, but they questioned what tools and assistance would be available once they returned to the workplace. Many offices are waiting for additional staffing. The symposiums identified a significant lack of resources in the districts to assist supervisors with the technology related to tracking data and preparing daily and weekly reports.
Regarding supervisors’ travel to the symposiums, what actual expenses are covered? Several supervisors’ travel expense were denied for travel to and from the airport. Supervisors have been informed there is no pay for travel time.
There are ongoing local disputes as to what time is paid for each day away from home. NAPS’ position is what is paid should be the same, whether flying or driving, and the time spent to accomplish the required travel and attendance time at the symposium.
USPS Headquarters should be commended for their efforts to bring the message from the top directly down to line supervisors. In many cases, this was supervisors’ first opportunity to see USPS Headquarters officials in person and understand what the goals are regarding introducing so many programs and processes to the field.
These symposiums could help supervisors glimpse the vision of a future Postal Service and implementation of the “Delivering for America” plan. However, one topic not addressed was the tone of messages directed to supervisors in the field during telecons and Zoom meetings. NAPS feedback from members in the field is the messaging is angrily curt, perceived as a threat and “just get it done by any means necessary.”
The USPS is investing a lot of money in these symposiums. It is suggested that the same professional manner in which information is presented at the USPS Headquarters level be mandated for all postal officers and managers in the field.
Margarete A. Grant Branch 127 Celebrates Its Retirees
Branch 127, led by President Charles Patterson, hosted over 100 attendees at its annual retiree brunch at Smith’s Landing on the Marina in Antioch, CA. It was a beautiful Sunday overlooking the East Bay. The branch had 17 members retire in 2022.
Specially invited postal guests were Ernesto Avila, Antioch Postmaster, and Ramon Martinez, senior MDO, Bay Valley P&DC. Both managers offered congratulations to the retirees and words of encouragement to attendees still working.
NAPS California State President Marilyn Jones spoke and reminded everyone the California State Convention will be in Oakland in May. She brought several state board members to the event.
NAPS Pacific Area Vice President Chuck Lum congratulated the retirees and encouraged them to continue their membership in NAPS. He urged all members to reach out and encourage nonmembers to join.
I asked that EAS employees get legislatively smart. We all need to step up and contact our lawmakers and push for positive postal legislation. Retirees should focus on H.R. 82, legislation to repeal the WEP and GPO, which would help many annuitants receive their fully earned Social Security benefits.
I was happy to hear the branch collected $320 for SPAC! Branch 127 Trustee Valerie Loera—a new retiree—was recognized for her 35 years in the Postal Service by Martinez.
Valerie and her committee organized the outstanding brunch. The food, venue and fellowship were outstanding. Seven local California branches sent representatives. A special thanks to Patterson and his officers for a wonderful, relaxing event in the scenic East Bay!