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Something Has to Change
By Chuck Mulidore
NAPS Executive Vice President
I recently attended the National Postal Forum in Charlotte, NC. I found the information presented to customers, vendors and the mailing industry to be very informative. In many ways, I learned more from attending those sessions than we have learned at NAPS Headquarters from senior postal executives in our various meetings on these subjects: the Sorting & Delivery Center (S&DC) process, or the planned realignment of mail processing into Regional Processing and Distribution Centers (RP&DCs) and the subsequent downstream Local Processing Centers (LPCs).
Much fanfare was given to these various initiatives and others, as well. While we can agree or disagree on the merits of these planned changes to how mail is processed and delivered in America, there was one overriding theme—one keynote message—that was repeated in nearly all the sessions by the Postal Service’s Executive Leadership Team (ELT): the concept of transformational change. It is the idea that the Postal Service is undergoing transformational change based on the “Delivering for America” plan (DFA) developed by the Postmaster General and being executed by his senior leadership team.
Again, we can debate the merits of the DFA plan and whether it is the proper pathway for America’s Postal Service to travel. The jury still is out on that. But one thing we cannot debate is whether the Postal Service is in the midst of a huge overhaul—one that will change the way most Americans receive their mail.
Yet one issue that is not undergoing transformational change—one issue that never was discussed at the forum—is the treatment of EAS employees and the climate in which they often are forced to work. The topic that was not and has not been on the agenda of senior ELT members is how EAS employees who ultimately will be responsible for this “transformation” envisioned by the PMG are treated by those same senior executives.
You know what I mean—being called out on telecons, being forced to attend meetings on weekends, having schedules randomly changed, being told not to report delayed or nondelivered mail, then, when confronted by the OIG, those instructions are conveniently “forgotten.” You know what I’m talking about, right?
EAS employees are being harassed, threatened and disciplined for making mistakes or lacking the knowledge to perform certain tasks. Where is that transformational change? When will that change happen? When will EAS employees be treated with respect, dignity and fairness?
Perhaps another executive position can be added to the many newly created senior vice presidents bumping into each other at L’Enfant Plaza. Maybe we could call it the Senior Vice President of Dignity and Respect. This SVPDR would be responsible for implementing a culture transformation at the USPS that would bring real change to how we EAS employees are treated.
I am here to tell the Postal Service that, until that change occurs, they can erect new plants and delivery centers, realign any network and seek to transform the business, but unless and until they decide to treat their managers, supervisors and postmasters at all levels with the decency they deserve, the foundation of any plan to transform America’s Postal Service will fail.
You, the EAS employees of this proud and historic Postal Service, are the ones who drive the business and “make it happen” each and every, single day on workroom floors, in offices and in the field. You deserve the kind of transformational change that will lead to a workplace of harmony, innovation and motivation—a workplace where threats and harassment are replaced by training, teaching, encouragement and leadership. When will that change come?
In the song, “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke sings:
There’ve been times that I thought
I couldn’t last for long
But now I think I’m able
To carry on
It’s been a long
A long time comin,’ but I know
A change gon’ come
Oh yes, it will
It is my hope, my prayer and my work that a change will come because it has to, it must. If we keep the faith, it will come!