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Good Things Do Come
By Brian J. Wagner
NAPS Immediate Past President
The proverb, “Good things come to those who wait,” means if people are persistent and patient, they finally will achieve their goals. In other words, a person must exercise patience when working on something close to their heart even to reach the goal they desire. On Feb. 22, the wait was over for NAPS and our members. Here’s the scoop!
In September 2017, NAPS began FY16-19 pay consultations with the Postal Service. In brief, NAPS did not agree with the initial FY16-19 pay decision. In December 2018, for the second time in its history, NAPS sought fact-finding in accordance with Title 39.
The Postal Service rejected the fact-finding panel’s recommendations and ultimately gave NAPS an unacceptable final EAS FY16-19 pay decision in July 2019. At that point, NAPS’ Executive Board voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against the Postal Service to challenge the pay decision, as well as NAPS’ right to represent all EAS employees, including postmasters and EAS employees working at USPS Headquarters and area offices.
It is said a lawsuit is a marathon, not a sprint. I would know about marathons as I have run six of them. Just as a marathon, a lawsuit takes advance preparation in order to develop clear strategies to handle any challenges experienced during the race or, in this case, a legal case. NAPS was challenged when our lawsuit initially was dismissed in 2020.
However, NAPS exercised patience and never quit. Per an Executive Board vote, NAPS filed an appeal in February 2021 to challenge the judge’s dismissal of our lawsuit.
Although we may have wanted our marathon of a legal case to be over quickly, you can’t rush to the finish. The key is a steady pace in following the process to avoid potential legal roadblocks or missteps where you may be dismissed altogether without an opportunity to finish strong. Yes, waiting for the final results of NAPS’ appeal of our lawsuit felt like a marathon in time and patience.
However, on Feb. 22, 2022, it all paid off as “good things come to those who wait.” This is a proud and historic date for NAPS and its members. Through the due diligence of NAPS’ resident officers, legal and pay teams, Executive Board members and the support and patience of all members, NAPS finished strong by winning on all legal points before the federal appeals court in our challenge over USPS policies on pay, benefits and representation of all EAS employees.
Furthermore, this was a team and association victory where congratulations and thanks are in order for all who took part and supported NAPS’ legal efforts. I am so proud to have been a member of this team. To see the positive fruits of our legal labor ripen over time will give current and future members a fresh perspective of how NAPS is committed to representing its members with the highest level of professionalism.
Speaking of positive, NAPS now can say it legally represents all EAS employees: supervisors, managers, postmasters and other managerial personnel who work at USPS Headquarters and in field and area offices. NAPS branches should see their respective nonmember lists grow as they soon should include postmasters and area- and USPS Headquarters-reporting EAS employees. I encourage members to keep the momentum and positivity going from this court decision by asking all nonmembers to join our great organization.
If you need help with a positive message, here’s a tip. The auto industry dropped the word “used” and, instead, uses the term “pre-owned.” The Postal Service changed how it views non-career employees by calling them “pre-career.” For NAPS, let’s look to the positive and change the name of our nonmember list by dropping “non” and replacing it with “future.”
Now, take your upcoming branch “Future Member List,” which should be a little longer, and start signing those future NAPS members. Let these future members know that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia recognized the National Association of Postal Supervisors as the representative for all EAS employees, including postmasters, as it relates to consultation, compensation and pay policies. This is a good thing!
Well, good things come to those who wait and you have waited long enough for my ice-cream-flavor-of-the-month recommendation: chocolate raspberry truffle.