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Going the Distance
By Chuck Mulidore
Legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali is quoted as saying: “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
During our pay consultations with the Postal Service, NAPS offered several new pay proposals that would have ensured all EAS employees are properly rewarded for their efforts each year with a pay increase, a fair wage to raise their families, pay for their kids to go to college, afford a new car and so much more. We do not fear change; in fact, NAPS embraces it.
We tried to explain to postal leaders the benefits that would accrue to the Postal Service if all EAS employees were able to receive regular pay increases. Yet, we were told by postal officials that such ideas were “not possible” or “there’s too many systems to change” or “this agency is too big to make those kinds of changes.” Thus, the words of Ali ring so true and clear to us.
Perhaps for postal officials it’s easier to live in the world they have designed rather than explore the power they have to change that world. If only they would—and they could—but they won’t. So, NAPS is willing to use all the tools we have at our disposal to push to make this necessary change happen. Unlike our sister management association, which accepted the pay package presented by USPS senior officials, NAPS chose to stand up and fight.
We took our case to a fact-finding panel of mediators who essentially found the Postal Service’s EAS pay system has “serious flaws” and did not meet the requirements of Title 39 to provide a compensation system that attracts and retains qualified career managers and supervisors, provides a reasonable differential in pay between supervisors and the employees they manage and reflects a well-motivated workforce to improve the effectiveness of postal operations. The fact-finding panel essentially agreed with NAPS’ longstanding complaints.
Even then, though, the Postal Service could not bring itself to see that “impossible” only was an opinion and the potential for change was not impossible. Thus, as the fact-finding recommendations were rejected by the USPS, NAPS felt it necessary to move forward and continue the fight for fair pay, to accept the dare of impossible and work to make change happen.
On July 26, the NAPS Executive Board voted to take the matter to the U.S. District Court to seek to remedy the injustice of an inadequate and unfair system of EAS compensation that provides neither pay nor performance. Also, to seek to expand our rights to represent all EAS employees—area and Headquarters employees, as well as postmasters—in pay and benefit consultations.
You see, there is only one postal management organization with the financial resources, the strength, the vision and the courage to stand up to the USPS and seek the change that our members have demanded and well deserve. As NAPS moves forward from round 1 of this fight, the great Muhammad Ali again echoes in our minds: “You lose nothing when fighting for a cause... In my mind the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about.”
Rest assured, NAPS has a cause we care about. It’s you, our members and all EAS employees in the Postal Service. Is the outcome certain? No, it is not. Is the path fraught with unknowns? Yes, it is.
The fight is a just one. And we promise to carry the fight to the end, wherever that path may lead. We are committed to going the distance.