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Learn to Do Things Correctly
By Tim Ford
NAPS Southern Region Vice President
Welcome to the new world. It is painfully obvious that our world and way of doing business have changed. We need to address these changes and adapt to them in order to survive. Without change, our way of life will cease to exist. I cannot ignore these things and I cannot remain silent.
First, recognize that you are not a postal employee. You are a human being who works for the Postal Service. This doesn’t mean you are not a good, dedicated and caring employee, but it does mean your first priority is the health and care of yourself and your family.
We are and always have been essential workers for the people of America; I applaud you for coming to work every day. The true definition of a hero is a regular person who takes extraordinary action in the face of and in spite of potential danger. You all fit that description.
Be aware of the protocols and processes necessary to limit exposure for yourselves and your employees. Monitor cleaning supplies and PPE for employees; make sure they are available. And be sure to report any illnesses or potential exposures as timely as possible. Most of all, if you need help or guidance, don’t wait. Ask for it. Failing to do so will not make things go away; they only will get worse.
Second, as I write this column, the U.S. District Court has dismissed NAPS’ lawsuit regarding the 2016-2019 pay structure for all EAS employees. This issue has been addressed, readdressed, extended, discussed and litigated and still is not resolved. From 2016 to 2019, every single craft employee received annual raises—not one of the contractual raises is based on “performance standards” that must be achieved.
Legal opinions differ between NAPS and the Postal Service regarding this suit. I understand that—lawyers do what lawyers do. But enough is enough. It is time to just do the right thing and pay EAS employees for the work they do, the additional duties that have been added to their daily workloads and the efforts they put forth every day in the face of all the challenges and still serve our customers. It is insulting to tell our members they are the “backbone of the Postal Service” and are “where the rubber meets the road” and then not compensate them for their efforts.
Third, the Postal Service has a new direction that seems to be more focused on budget than service. As the employer, it is their responsibility to direct us in performing our duties and it is their right to do so. As new directives are received—even if you disagree with them—follow the instructions. You may disagree with the instructions you are given, but you need to protect yourself.
Document and report any delayed/curtailed mail, staffing issues, leave issues, overtime assignments or any other issues that result from the instructions you are given. You will not remember what happened two weeks ago if you do not have documents and emails to confirm your actions.
Finally, the Postal Service has manuals, directives, guidebooks and handbooks that cover every aspect of our business. As the employer, that is their job. My advice is to learn the rules. Doing so will help you know how to do the right thing.
The role of supervisors and managers has been expanded to include serving as Timekeeping specialists, Labor specialists, Human Resource specialists, Safety specialists, Injury Compensation specialists, counselors and on and on. You cannot know everything. Learn to do things correctly; you will protect yourself and your boss. It also will help you become better at your job. And remember: Stay safe out there.