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National League of Postmasters of the United States

The Education Organization
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The President's Message

US Mail

One Beltway Center
5904 Richmond Highway
Suite 500
Alexandria, VA 22303-1864
Tel: 703-329-4550
Fax: 703-329-0466

President's Message

October 16, 2009
Charles Mapa, President

Dear Leaguers,

Area Meeting
I just returned from the LEAGUEíS Western Area II meeting held in Kansas City Missouri. In the thick of times when the constant message of the Postal Service is doom and woe, here was a group of LEAGUE Postmasters gathered to do the things that the LEAGUE does so well; train, brainstorm, problem solve, network, train some more and take time to have fun! Some had driven 8 hours to be there, coming from as far away as Minnesota and North Dakota. While the Postal Service had cut out most meaningful face-to-face training, the LEAGUE was training. Where it has become extremely rare for districts to bring in speakers to address the Postal Serviceís important issues, the LEAGUE brought in such speakers. Where districts have ceased to have annual Postmaster meetings, the LEAGUE had such a meeting that gave Postmasters that so important opportunity to network and share ideas. Where the Postal Service seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in some districts tearing Postmasters down and humiliating them, LEAGUE Postmasters gathered to support one another and build one another up. There was no Area VP, no district manager, and no POOM. The entire atmosphere of the conference was refreshingly positive.

I donít want to make the 3 day meeting sound like some it was a modern day Postmastersí Woodstock love fest, for it was not. Serious issues were discussed, issues like the future of an NPA/PFP program that might have lost its effectiveness, districts hounding Postmasters for having the courage to stand up for other Postmasters, districts whose management styles reflect something more in tune with some Banana Republic Dictators than with what should be expected of Public Servants treating their managers with respect, dealing with the threat of a Postal Service turning its back on the American people by wholesale closings of post offices and the constant shifting of workload from hardworking clerks, carriers and supervisors to the backs of Postmasters. I was impressed with this group of Postmasters that was so dedicated to the Postal Service and the LEAGUE that they came on their own time, spending their own time and resources to be at the meeting. Kelly McCartney, Richard Wendt and their team did a marvelous job putting together a super meeting. Past President Mark Strong traveled all the way from Arizona to present NPA and SOV and VPs Deb Egemo and John Olson traveled from afar to be there. There is life in the Postal Service!

Recently your National Board agreed to urge Postmasters not to participate in the VOE survey. The process itself is really not the issue. Weíve been involved in it for a long, long, time. The LEAGUE helped to develop it. I could have urged Postmasters to go ahead and take the survey and give the lowest scores possible for every item that applied to district managers and MPOOs, but that would not have been right; there are good district managers and MPOOs out there. The fact is, the work environment for so many Postmasters across our nation continues to deteriorate. Postmasters are not whiners; they suck it up, they suck it up some more and they continue to suck it up, day after long day, month after long month, year after year. They are Postmasters absolutely dedicated to serving the people of America and doing the best they can for the Postal Service, but the Postal Service has turned its back on them. Workhours continue to be shifted from clerks, carriers and supervisors to the backs of Postmasters. District Managers, chasing phantom EXFC numbers, take another day from Postmasters by scheduling them in on their day off, Saturday (many Postmasters are already working that 6th day for free because they donít have the staffing, clerks, carriers, PMRs, supervisors to cover the day). It is easy to see why the Postal Service nonchalantly shifts this workload to Postmasters; they are working for free and anyone else has to be paid! It would be easy to say that the Postal Service has been forced to do this because of the tough economic times. The only problem with that defense is that the Postal Service has been doing this for years longer than the year and a half that the economy has been in the dumper.

The Postal Service has done nothing to relieve Postmasters of the seemingly bottomless pile of proliferating redundant reports and logs that waste so much of a workday. Those same logs and reports send the Postal Serviceís loud message that it doesnít trust Postmasters to use their intellects to do their jobs. The degree of micromanagement that Postmasters are subjected to is insane, and the demeaning disrespectful manner in which Postmasters are treated in too many districts is bad management at least and criminal in some places. Disciplining Postmasters and threatening them with firing for missed scans by a clerk or a letter left in a case by a carrier is inconceivable, except in the Postal Service. It is time for all of this lunacy to STOP! We, the Postal Service can do better; we are supposed to be a world class organization. We should be treating all of our employees, clerks, carriers, mail handlers, PMRs, supervisors, and POSTMASTERS with fairness and respect. Give Postmasters the tools, effective training, and resources to get our jobs done and back off!

I encourage all Postmasters to unite with their fellows by ignoring the VOE survey during this cycle. Not participating is your option. You may choose freely. It doesnít make you a bad Postmaster, nor does it make you disloyal to the Postal Service; you are the Postal Service!

Adverse Action Training
Iím excited about what is going on with the Adverse Action Program. Our Advisor to the program, John Olson, our excellent LEAGUE Attorney, John Difalco, and our lead counselors have been working hard to put together some phenomenal training for Adverse Action Counselors that will be presented at our upcoming legislative Forum. The two full days of training will be conducted on the Friday and Saturday leading into Forum. If you are a counselor, mark your calendars now and make your appropriate travel plans. If you are interested in becoming one of these very important people send me an e-mail and ask for an application. This is an essential benefit to all of out members and we are keeping the program strong!.

Enjoy the Autumn
It almost seems like weíve skipped fall and moved right into winter in many parts of our country. Large amounts of snow have fallen already in places like California, Oregon and Colorado, but Iím sure fall isnít through with us yet. Take some time off, if even for a couple of days, to enjoy the cooler weather. Get out of your offices and let you postal cell phone battery go dead while you recharge your own spiritual and mental batteries. To so many of you, the Postal Service and your Postmaster positions have become your lives, and to an extent, maybe it should be that way. But there are more important things in life. Make a special effort to spend some quality time with your families and friends. Reconnect with the good things in life that you may have forgotten. Take a deep clear breath!


Charley Mapa
National League of Postmasters

League Events

January 30 - February 2, 2010

League Legislative Forum

Crystal Gateway Marriott
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202

July 18 - July 22, 2010

National League of Postmasters Convention

Town and Country
Resort & Convention Center
500 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108