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One Important Benefit of Your NAPS Membership
By Chuck Mulidore
NAPS Executive Vice President
During a recent NAPS Chat podcast, Bob Levi, NAPS director of Legislative & Political Affairs, and I discussed one of the many great benefits of your NAPS membership—the NAPS Disciplinary Defense Fund (DDF). The DDF represents working NAPS members, as well as retired members who were in good standing at the time of their retirement. This is found in Article IX of the Bylaws portion of the NAPS Constitution and Bylaws:
Section 1. NAPS is committed to representing its membership in all areas, including adverse action. The Disciplinary Defense Fund (DDF) was established by the membership, for the membership, to provide representation for NAPS members in appealing adverse actions, RIFs and debt collection actions taken against them.
The DDF will represent you in any type of adverse action, reduction in force (RIF) or debt collection notice you might receive in your managerial career, as long as you maintain your NAPS membership. An adverse action is defined under the Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM) Section 651.71 as “discharges, suspensions of more than 14 days, furloughs for 30 days or less, and/or reductions in grade or pay.”
This means that if, by chance, one of these unfortunate actions might happen to you, NAPS will be there to defend you. Best of all, that defense will not cost you a penny out of your own pocket! Your right to be defended by the NAPS DDF is a benefit of membership in NAPS.
Now, compare that to another postal management organization that asks you to pay thousands of dollars up front to even be considered for representation under its disciplinary fund. Imagine being in a removal situation or potential downgrade and you have to pay that organization several thousand dollars out of your own pocket just to be considered for representation!
That is not right, but, then again, that other organization has barely a third the number of working EAS members as NAPS, so it does not have the financial wherewithal to defend you as a benefit of membership. But we do!
Obviously, we hope you never get into that type of situation. NAPS’ belief is we would rather keep you out of trouble than get you out of trouble. We offer a plethora of training to accomplish that. But if you face an adverse situation, NAPS will be there to defend you with an array of advocates including attorneys and former MSPB judges and USPS Labor Relations managers.
One of my duties as your executive vice president is to administer the DDF on behalf of your Executive Board members and, of course, you. So I thought I would provide an update as to the types of cases, the numbers of the various types of cases and our NAPS DDF successes in defending our members in these types of cases.
Through the end of NAPS’ fiscal year, May 31, 2023, NAPS received 76 DDF cases, including MSPB, debt collection and ELM 650 cases for those who do not currently have MSPB rights under the law. The average cost of those cases was approximately $2,500 per case. Again, none of that cost is borne by the member we are representing.
Of the 60 MSPB cases, only four were lost; the others were wins, settlements, withdrawals or cases still pending. Our positive results are reflected in the debt collection and ELM 650 cases we have, as well. As you can see, not only does NAPS represent you in these types of actions, we also do a great job in getting positive outcomes for our members!
You may be wondering what types of DDF cases NAPS receives. Finance, sexual misconduct, performance and falsification are the most prevalent, but violence, attendance and theft also are significant. I encourage you to protect yourself from these types of issues in your career. In any of these situations, you can keep yourself out of the way of adverse actions simply by following one rule: Always do the right thing!
You know what that is, you know what is right. Do not allow your manager, co-worker, POOM, MCSO, MDO or PCES executive in any way to influence you to compromise your integrity. I can promise you, when push comes to shove, they will not stand by you—but NAPS will, now and always.
As you can see, NAPS membership is the best insurance policy you ever will have in your career. We hope you never will need the excellent services provided by the NAPS DDF. But, if you do, we will be there to stand and fight with you!