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NAPS Should Represent PMs in Pay Talks
By Jimmy Salmon
I was very grateful to have been a part of the Postmaster Committee at the 2018 NAPS National Convention at Mohegan Sun. The 12 of us on the committee discussed EAS issues generally, with an added interest in issues that apply to postmasters. At the convention, NAPS delegates were addressed by UPMA Co-Presidents Tony Leonardi and Sean Acord. There was a lot of information to take in between the committee meetings and those presentations.
Postmasters’ biggest takeaway from the convention is that we should be able to be represented by NAPS in pay talks. Part II, Chapter 10, Section 1004 of Title 39 reads, in part, “An organization that represents at least 20 percent of Postmasters … such organization or organizations shall be entitled to participate directly in the planning and development of pay policies and schedules ...”
As of August, there were 3,752 postmasters in NAPS. That is well over the 20 percent threshold required by Title 39. A question was asked from the floor as to when NAPS reached that 20 percent threshold. That information was not readily available, but NAPS President Brian Wagner said the organization would be seeking to represent postmasters in pay talks. It will depend on the willingness of USPS Headquarters to recognize NAPS as eligible to represent postmasters in pay talks.
Some of the other issues we discussed included:
1) A recommendation to send issues of The Postal Supervisor magazine to non-member postmasters once or twice a year, with the hope it would encourage them to become members of NAPS.
2) The Executive Board Postmaster Committee should provide a representative to attend the national convention’s Postmaster Committee meetings to update members regarding what the board had discussed and to help the committee.
3) It is becoming more and more common throughout the country that postmasters personally are having to deliver mail on an increasingly regular basis because, in most cases, there is a shortage of carriers. USPS Headquarters needs to fill vacancies faster to alleviate the need for postmasters to deliver mail. In some cases, postmasters are delivering mail in their personal vehicles; this situation must be alleviated.
4) The excessive number of telecons PMs are required to be on, some of which are on Saturdays or after normal work hours.
5) Postmasters not having a relief for when they need to or would like to use leave.
6) Certain EAS employees are entitled to “Christmas Pay” that at least some, if not all, postmasters do not receive.
7) Postmasters are concerned about having to pay out 1260 issue grievances when reasons for going over 15 hours are lack of staffing or proper staff being unavailable (sick calls, details, etc.).
There are other topics of concern relative to the presidential Task Force on the Postal System and privatization. A hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee scheduled for later this year may shed light on the task force’s findings and what the prospects are going forward into the future.
Lastly, the Postmaster Committee made a commitment to provide a column for each issue of The Postal Supervisor.
Jimmy Salmon is Phoenix Branch 246 vice president and postmaster of Clarkdale.