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When Someone Shows You Who They Are
By Chuck Mulidore
Maya Angelou, celebrated American poet, singer, memoirist and civil rights activist, is credited as saying: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” So now that the organization known as the United Postmasters and Managers of America (UPMA) filed with the federal court to join with the U.S. Postal Service against NAPS in its claims against the agency, we must believe them. They have shown us all who they are or, perhaps most importantly, who they have become.
UPMA decided not to join NAPS in the fact-finding process, choosing instead to accept a pay package from the Postal Service that took pay from EAS employees. They chose not to join NAPS in its lawsuit against the Postal Service that contends the Pay-for-Performance (PFP) system violates the Postal Reorganization Act that requires EAS employees’ pay be comparable to the private sector, be sufficiently higher than the pay of the craft employees being supervised and be sufficient to attract and retain qualified supervisors and managers and maintain a well-motivated workforce.
We have further validation that UPMA is all in with the Postal Service. In the words of the UPMA national president: “UPMA has made the decision that we will continue to work within the system for improvements in NPA and PFP and other pay and salary issues. I have done this because your board has felt in the past and continues to feel that this is the right thing to do.”
There you have it. While NAPS has chosen to take the USPS to federal court to eliminate the unfair PFP system that provides neither pay nor performance, UPMA has chosen to work with the Postal Service to perpetuate that very same system—a compensation system that, once again, has left thousands of EAS employees without an increase in their base pay.
The UPMA national president further admits: “I know there still is frustration in the field and at Headquarters and the area offices regarding the NPA and PFP systems and there needs to be continued work in this area.” Continued work in this area? Really? Part of the lawsuit NAPS brought against the Postal Service deals with the unfair pay system forced on area and Headquarters EAS employees. Thus, while UPMA pleads with the USPS, NAPS is making pleas in federal court—alone in its efforts, but unequivocal in its resolve.
I realize UPMA may not have the financial resources to take on this fight against the Postal Service, considering the size differential in our two organizations. Based on court documents filed by UPMA in its enjoining action against NAPS in our federal lawsuit on Oct. 1, 2019, UPMA indicated it had 8,979 postmaster members, 2,743 non-postmaster EAS members, 2,440 craft employees (whom they cannot represent anyway), 111 postmaster relief members and 9,620 retired members. Broken down a different way, UPMA has 11,722 working EAS members, 2,551 craft employees and non-career PMRs and 9,620 retired members. Essentially, for UPMA, 51% of its members are non-career, craft or retired.
Contrast that with NAPS, which on Oct. 1, 2019, had 26,075 working EAS members including, by the way, 4,250 postmasters and 1,347 retired members. In other words, 95% of NAPS members are working EAS members and 5% are associate members. NAPS does not sign craft employees we cannot represent. We do not need to artificially inflate our membership numbers; they speak for themselves.
I think it’s pretty clear there is only one management organization that has the strength, financial wherewithal and guts to stand up and fight for all EAS members in the Postal Service. NAPS is not willing to take crumbs from the USPS table and tweak a broken and flawed EAS compensation system. We stood up and took the matter to court to destroy that pay system and replace it with a fair and just compensation system that will benefit all EAS employees—now and into the future.
Earlier I quoted the late Maya Angelou’s wisdom about believing someone who shows you who they are. Now, I would like to quote another amazing woman—my mother—who told me in her down-home, southwestern Virginia way, that “If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas.” I’ll let you take it from there.
Please have a safe, wonderful, blessed and happy New Year.