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Great Day, the Righteous Marching
By Ivan D. Butts
NAPS National President
I thank all who attended as we took to the Hill on foot and via Zoom to thank the 342 congressional leaders who voted for the long-sought-after relief so desperately needed for the sustainability of America’s Postal Service. We also urged support for other important legislation, including H.R. 3077, 1623, 5587 and 82.
The journey to passage of this historic legislation took its final step on Wednesday, April 6, when your resident officers attended the bill-signing ceremony at the White House and watched as President Joe Biden signed the bill into law. I am truly humbled and honored to serve and represent our association.
Our road to this moment has been paved with your work of engaging members of Congress in new and more focused ways. Your meetings at multiple LTSes and follow-up meetings in your home districts helped deliver this restorative legislation. Your use of innovative technology in these meetings represented a younger, more progressive and vibrant postal leadership team that is looking toward the future greatness of America’s Postal Service.
I said at our 67th National Convention in Grapevine, TX, this past September that your resident officer team would need to hit the ground running to carry on the objectives already put in motion. I truly thank Executive Vice President Chuck Mulidore for accepting that challenge and helping move the postal reform ball across the goal line.
Your Legislative Team at NAPS Headquarters over the years has helped us focus our efforts and funds to maximize our engagement in this moment. Thanks to Elliot Friedman and Katie Maddocks for their legislative work with NAPS over the years. And special thanks to Bob Levi who has come and helped take the engagement of the resident officers to new levels of influence on Capitol Hill.
NAPS also celebrates the unanimous ruling handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) on Feb. 22. The indepth article on p. 46 provides the latest update. But, as a quick recap, on July 26, 2019, NAPS filed a lawsuit with the Circuit Court alleging the USPS violated the Postal Reorganization Act (Title 39) by failing to provide a pay differential and comparison to private-sector compensation and benefits and refusing to consult with NAPS over pay for Area and Headquarters employees and postmasters.
On Nov. 7, 2021, the United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) moved to intervene in and oppose a portion of NAPS’ lawsuit against the Postal Service, contesting NAPS’ entitlement to represent postmasters in the pay consultation process with the USPS. The Circuit Court ultimately sided with NAPS in its unanimous ruling on Feb. 22, declaring that NAPS was entitled to represent all EAS personnel in pay consultation, including supervisors, managerial personnel and postmasters. A postmaster organization, the court also found, was entitled to represent only postmasters.
Curiously, UPMA petitioned the Circuit Court on March 22 to rehear the case (see p. 47 for a detailed explanation). What I find odd and counterproductive is UPMA’s insistence that NAPS is not entitled to represent all EAS personnel, as though the pay relief afforded by the Circuit Court to postmasters should not have occurred because UPMA did not file the lawsuit.
NAPS believes UPMA’s position falls short of the relief to which all EAS personnel are entitled. The Circuit Court clearly found that all EAS personnel are entitled to some pay differential. That is why NAPS last year negotiated and secured changes in the 2020-2023 pay agreement that included new supervisor differential adjustment (SDA) categories for EAS-18 and -18B postmaster positions.
NAPS looks forward to future opportunities to meet with the USPS and directly participate in planning and developing pay policies and schedules, fringe benefit programs and other programs relating to supervisory and other managerial employees under Title 39, as validated by the U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 22, 2022.