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The Missing Link of Membership
By Kevin Moore
Columbus, GA, Branch 281, Postmaster of Fortson
Have you noticed when you attend a NAPS event—whether your local branch meeting or a state or national event—increasing membership is discussed? It’s an important topic because membership numbers in organizations across the U.S. have been decreasing.
The recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals affirming NAPS may represent all USPS supervisors, managerial personnel and postmasters in regard to compensation and pay policies is a golden opportunity to gain more members. Who wouldn’t want to be a member of the organization that went against the grain and fought for the betterment of its members?
Signing new members as they become EAS employees is the easy part, but there is a missing link: participation. NAPS recently held the 2022 LTS; it was great! I saw many familiar faces— the same ones I see time and time again. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. The problem is first-timer numbers continue to decrease.
For our younger EAS employees, NAPS basically is an insurance policy. You don’t think about your insurance until you are in an accident; that is how our younger EAS employees tend to see NAPS. So, how do we increase participation?
It must start at the local level with new members getting involved at branch meetings. It may initially require something such as door prizes to attract them. Branch officers must show genuine interest in their members.
Staffing could be another issue. Maybe a member would like to attend and participate, but their office is short-staffed and they can’t get to meetings. If the member has a hard time getting annual leave, the last thing they want to do is use leave for NAPS events. They want time with their family or time away from anything dealing with the Postal Service.
NAPS has had many membership drives and those should continue. But we also must find a way to increase participation. The future is with our younger EAS employees as our current, faithful participants begin to ride off into the sunset.