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’Tis the Season
By Ivan D. Butts
Executive Vice President
Greetings, NAPS brothers and sisters. I would like to take some time to thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to fulfilling the mission of the USPS. I also want to wish you and your family the very best of the holiday season—the times we can truly hold on to and cherish into the New Year.
Unfortunately, for some of us, the holidays also bring extreme challenges in dealing with prior losses in our lives. Know that you are not alone and there are resources available to help you through these times. Whether you use the USPS EAP or your FEHBP provider, help is available to get you through the tough times. My family and I appreciate my NAPS family and pray for your safekeeping this holiday season.
We are preparing to sit down with the USPS and the fact-finding panel to present our case concerning the Postal Service’s continuous failure to provide any financial growth for the EAS employees who run the day-to-day operations. This has been an educational process for me as your executive vice president that will continue to help me grow in my service to the members of our association.
For me, this pay-talks process started optimistically, with Postal Service leadership proclaiming they understood the feelings of exclusion that EAS employees have felt from years with little to no financial increases and that it was going to be addressed. This soon turned into a campaign for your NAPS leaders to accept a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” pay package that, in the end, took more wealth from EAS employees. The feeling of dismay over how USPS leadership revealed its “no pay talks” strategy now has given way to full preparation to tell the story straight to the fact-finding panel in early December.
During our fact-finding preparation phase, I have questioned how this leadership could adopt “we failed to perform” as the reason EAS employees have received no financial growth. This has happened while all other employee groups receive economic growth, whether it’s scheduled pay raises, COLAs, billions in grievance settlements or PCES EL-380 lump-sum payments and other secret bonuses.
In talking about pay at our national convention, the PMG stated, “NPA is a balanced scorecard approach and while I can appreciate the frustration—obviously, we all would prefer if we were in a year where we had consistent increases in our base salary—it’s a pay-for-performance process. So, we have work to do to improve service reliability, safety and operating efficiency.” I find these smooth words much easier to speak when you are receiving financial growth for the very non-performance you claim is holding EAS employees back from monetary gain.
So, maybe the real takeaway here is that we need to advance our level of leadership—strive to a degree where you can get PCES EL-380 lump-sum payments and other secret bonuses. Because what is clear is this financial growth is not based on providing reliable service, safety and operational efficiency.
In 1974, Stevie Wonder released a song with the following lyrics that come to mind as I consider how USPS leadership is addressing the concerns of EAS employees:
We are amazed but not amused
By all the things you say that you’ll do
Though much concerned but not involved
With decisions that are made by you
But we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong
’Cause if you really want to hear our views
“You haven’t done nothing!”
In solidarity …