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Let’s Grow the Enthusiasm
By Liane Spaulding
President, Vermont State Branch 235
When considering the current status of pay talks for USPS EAS leaders, it’s difficult for me to imagine what goes through the minds of the negotiators. I start to wonder if we are the forgotten population of the Postal Service. But who could forget us?
Surely, our superiors know to whom all their emails and instructions are going. Surely, NAPS leaders remember for whom and what they are negotiating. So why do we feel so abandoned and forgotten? And then it hit me.
Our lives are consumed with the daily duties, worries, responsibilities, hardships, planning and critical staffing shortages with which we are faced, but I have allowed myself to forget me. We all have forgotten ourselves.
I have allowed the USPS to be all-powerful in my life and my employees to replace my family in the daily routine. And even in some of the more important times I missed being there for them—perhaps a carrier or clerk was ill or had an emergency and I didn’t miss a beat going in to work, ignoring my personal life yet again.
You won’t hear me complain much about it. Occasionally lamenting is about the furthest I go. Or maybe commiserating with someone else who also is missing out on their own life. Mostly, though, I am grateful for my postal family. I also am grateful for my postal salary and benefits. I feel proud of who I am in this company, as replaceable as I am. The fact is, though, it takes a lot to be what I am, what we are to the employees with whom we work and our managers who rely on us.
We have sat idly by while the crafts had one, two (are we on three?) contracts negotiated. We have passively allowed ourselves to be overlooked. We have many managers who are managing employees earning better salaries than they are. Where is our big payout? Where is our gold at the end of the rainbow? Where is our rainbow?
Did someone forget that, every day, we show up and play surrogate parent, confidant, guidance counselor, resource advocate, nurse, mentor, trainer, planner, coach, cheerleader and umpire all day long? Yes, someone did forget. It was me and maybe you. We forgot how to advocate for ourselves. We got tired and burned out. We lost our enthusiasm and forgot we have a mission and how important we are to NAPS.
My goal as a NAPS branch president is to reach 100 percent membership and encourage postmasters to come on board, as well. I want members to know what NAPS does and for what their dues are paying. I want to be here to help grow the enthusiasm of new and veteran leaders. We are the future of the USPS.
Communication is vital to calling attention to our issues and realities in order to get the support we need to continue building the success of the company to which we have given our life. As leaders, we naturally are inclined to give more than we take back, but we deserve more from our pay packages and we deserve more from each other, as well as ourselves.
Today, I want you to think about how excited you were when you got this job and then how excited you were about becoming a leader. I want to congratulate you for rising up and moving forward in what I consider a new USPS.
A lot of things are changing in this company. With those changes, we need to change. We need to evolve and uplift our peers. We need to demand better pay for the invaluable work we do. NAPS leadership only can go so far without the engagement and support of its members. Get excited, get enthusiastic!