Author: tommyroma

Use Mail

When was the last time you put a stamp on an envelope to pay a bill or just to communicate with someone else? As a postal worker this is your lifeline to a successful career. Think about it, if we in the Postal service alone used the mails instead of the computer we would be in much better shape today.

I fault the Postal Unions, Management Associations and the USPS also for not using the mails when communicating. Recently I was speaking to an NALC official who was requesting some information from me about a Letter Carrier. He said Tommy just fax it to me, I informed him that I was putting the information in the mail. We are our own worst enemies. Another incident was when some Management official in the Postal Service decided to give our in house Fax numbers to private law firms requesting information. They were faxing all their requests for information instead of using the mails. I solved that at my station by calling the law firm, instructing them to use the mails for their requests and to address all inquires to me. I would not honor any fax requests for information. Case closed. A few years ago a local management association president sent out a private email to anyone who would listen to stop the Postal Service from introducing a bill to tax users of the computer who send emails rather then sending letters through the mail. Just think about that for a minute, if enacted it would subsidize the postal service for loss of revenue, ensure that our jobs were safe, etc. To the best of my knowledge this bill was never enacted but like I said we are our own worst enemies When customer service reps from private industry try to get me to sign up for bill pay online, I notify them that I work for the USPS and will put a stamp on all my mailings .They immediately back off.

It is Labor Day 2011 as I write this article and difficult to see what the future holds for USPS and its employees. My thoughts run the gamut of over 40 plus Labor Days with this company be it as a carrier, supervisor or manager. Tomorrow was always the start of the Fall Mailing List and we knew we would get hit hard with mail. This year September 6th is significant for another reason, Senator Lieberman Chair of the Senate Government Affairs will hold a full emergency hearing on the Post Office. Let us hope that by the time (November) you are reading this, our beloved Post Office Ship has been righted and we are sailing full speed ahead (Navy Man).

A web site of interest is Great timely articles of interest, plus a Legislative Action Page called “Send The Love”. Our own New Naps Web Page is another great resource. Please become familiar with Legislative tab and utilize same to contact your Representatives. You can still write your reps using the mail, remember the time lapse due to the radiation of hard copy. So do both!

Spac has never been more important so my Yogi Berra story is still available for anyone especially Yankee fans who make a donation to Spac. If all our members donated just $10.00 we would have another $300,000. Think about it. Money always talks in the world of Politics so please donate today.

It seems like only yesterday that my late partner and friend Andy Sozzi re-enacted some memories of 9-11 on stage in D.C. We will observe the 10th anniversary of that dreadful day this coming week. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

Stressed out? Seek professional health care, EAP is still an excellent resource for referrals.

Stay Strong


This is one of my “mad as hell” articles so please excuse the emotion, As a station manager we are told practically daily and sometimes hourly we are responsible and ACCOUNTABLE (key word) for everything that goes on in our station. In the plant, every piece must go every day or else is frequently heard and of course YOU will be held ACCOUNTABLE. A carrier comes back four minutes late and is put in a V time situation and you ARE held ACCOUNTABLE with a LOW, usually in this new post office a notice of removal. I wish upper management would treat us the same as the craft, progressive and corrective discipline, NOT the off with their head mentality which is so prevalent today and generally goes nowhere and just wastes valuable Postal resources, ie time and money as we do the mediation, EEO, M.S.P.B. dance. Anyway, ACCOUNTABILITY, when someone at the District/Area Level allows the casual cap to be exceeded and the Union wins a giant class action settlement in the millions of dollars, Is anyone held ACCOUNTABLE? An active duty military reservist in a LWOP status is removed and it is overturned on appeal, is anyone held ACCOUNTABLE for the million dollar back pay and benefits settlement?

I know someone is thinking right now, arbitration is “A crap shoot”. My question is simply, “Are our feet held to the fire for minor infractions that may cost the service hundreds of dollars for action WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER?” Poor decisions that are excused as “It’s a Crap shoot” are just routinely ignored.

We are all in this USPS situation together. Discipline for the sake of vengeance, PYOA or the naive, will enhance their performance is idiotic. Let us all work together for a better Post Office as we continue to transition into a leaner USPS.

BTW, (By the way) Did you hear the new expression for leaving mail back (and of course not reporting it) “mail does not bleed”.

Folks, we continue to meet the enemy and it is us! Remember, There is no justification for falsification, DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED!

Tommy Roma NYAVP


For years I have held the feeling that a majority of postal employees don’t appreciate their jobs until something happens that might work to take their job away from them. In cases of discipline, NAPS does our level best to represent you. In the restructurings we have faced, NAPS has again done yeoman work to protect our members.

Because of overstaffing in supervisory positions in the New York Metro area (by postal evaluations), NAPS has been able to get the USPS to offer incentives for supervisors in both delivery and plant operations. Even with the incentives, we are hearing that members can’t afford to leave for financial reasons; kids in college, mortgages and car payments, and such.

So, what happens next here in my region? I hope that our members who are in harms way are ready to move to vacant positions that do exist, even in instances where they may have to move outside of their local commuting area. NAPS will continue our efforts to minimize the impact of change on our members, but the fact is; some of our members will be forced to make a difficult decision, keep a job, move their families or end their careers with the USPS.

I believe that there will always be a Postal Service. But, it most likely won’t look anything like it did five years ago, or even how it looked yesterday. With FSS coming on line and First Class volume continuing to evaporate, we will have to rely on package services and new products and services to increase revenue.

What is now happening is something I never could have dreamed of in all my years of work for the Postal Service. If it weren’t for NAPS, things could even be worse than they are.

Stay Strong!

Tommy Roma
N.E. Regional V.P.

A Broken Record

A cliche from my youth was, “You sound like a broken record”. Meaning; you repeat yourself, over and over again. So, I look at the Naps Forum and see the same old problems.

1. You CANNOT be made to use your POV. You are putting yourself into extreme jeopardy unless you have advised your insurance company you are doing street/safety observations i.e. using your car for commercial use and be prepared to pay the increase in your premium. I know you will not be a favorite anymore but does it really matter in the midst of this downsizing? You are not going to get promoted, forget about it.

Stand up for yourself. Have your spouse drive you to work and the car will not be there for you to be a nice guy. In the words of Leo Durocher of Baseball Fame, “Nice Guys Finish Last” or in this case ‘No auto insurance”.

2. DOIS-Time manipulation: Want to get put up for removal, this is the express train to Labor. Better to be written up for failure to perform than falsification charges. Charlie Scialla has repeatedly stated that “MSPB judges take a dim view of these types of allegations”. Think about this scenario, the carrier who you hit out at 1600 hours but is still working gets into an auto accident and is seriously injured or even killed. How are you going to explain he was off the clock and still delivering mail? If you cannot make a return to the office goal, document the reasons why. Print and keep all the threatening e-mails, send same up the ladder plus to your Naps officers.

3. Unprofessional conduct: Screaming, telling, threatening behavior is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Either by you to your employees or by your upper management down to you. Cursing peppered with threats must cease. If you cannot reach detente with the person, move it up to the next level. You do not have to tolerate this type of behavior, we are all under stress. Irrational behavior does not help the situation and in most cases makes it worst. Stay calm and tell the offender that you do not appreciate the tone, content or language that they are using.

Please feel free to e-mail me if you need help, We are all in this together.

Tommy Roma

[email protected]

Vince Palladino – A Lifetime of Love

Vince Palladino – A Lifetime of Love

palladinoI first met Vince when we were both Letter Carriers. Vince from his beloved Staten Island and me the Lifetime Brooklyn Dodger, Yankee Hating Brooklynite. At this time, I was President of the Christopher Columbus Association of The Brooklyn Post Office. This was the 1970?s when it was a much kinder and gentler Post Office and the words respect and dignity were actually something we believed in and actually DID!

The Columbian Association was a fraternal/ethnic organization dedicated to furthering the Italian-Americans in The Postal Service. Staten Island was part of our MSC and I could not make any inroads with forming a Staten Island Branch of The Columbians. Staten Island had many Italian-Americans who both lived in Staten Island and worked in Brooklyn. A mutual friend told me about a real go-getter on “The Island”,Vince started the Staten Island part of The Columbians & this would prove to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. One that still lives inside of me as I search for the wisdom to continue to help our NAPS Membership.

Time moves quickly and we both become delivery supervisors. Vince becomes “The Legend of Rosebank”, for he had a gift of leadership. His men and women would follow him, working and playing and getting the job done! His first female carrier who I met years ago, asked me if I really knew Mr. Palladino and she was ecstatic when I told her yes, we were good friends. She was very anxious to meet him again and the next time he was on “The Island”, I arranged a surprise visit. Thanks to Vince and his caring ways, this lady was able to work her way through Dental School as a Letter Carrier and became a Dentist.

vince palladinoOur paths continued to cross over the years with both of us making Manager and Vince starting his road to the NAPS National Executive Board. As my children grew older, there was more time for NAPS and I became Brooklyn NAPS Branch 68 President. This is when the real fun began with Palladino. To this day, I can not recall a single conversation that did not begin and end with NAPS and the Post Office. He was always incredulous over the poor treatment of Postal Supervisors and was continuously trying to improve working conditions. His famous story of the “Lady and The Tiger” is a personal favorite. Vince told me that it is USPS Headquarters that determined which Palladino they would deal with, The Lady by communicating in a gentlemanly fashion, reasoning together for the good of all! The “Tiger” unsheathed his claws when the threats and the screaming started. Most of the time, “The Lady” prevailed.

It was 1992/1993, that he faced the real test, “Runyons’ RIF”. Panic, anxiety & pain rushed through the entire EAS workforce. Vince joked about thanking Rubin for passing the baton of leadership to him BUT it was no joke. People’s jobs were in jeopardy and something had to be done. The results are well known with upgrades, promotions, transfers and saved grade. Palladino achieved what few thought were possible, a VICTORY that enhanced the working lives of all EAS.

Vince for years wanted me to move up in the organization and finally I agreed to become New York Area Vice-President . Roma, he said you must hit the ground running. There is no OJT, too much to do, we must come up with better ways for the membership to be compensated. WE must convince the Postal Service that we need to be partners in order for USPS to succeed for ALL of us! “We must get on the train or risk being run over by it”. This early mentoring led me to the halls of Postal Service Headquarters and my ability to be on the team. Not the enemy but someone who recognized that the common goal of USPS and NAPS is mutual respect and dignity. With Vince as our leader, this was the reputation we enjoyed with The Postal Service.

This year, 2009 marks the fifth anniversary of Vince in Heaven. I miss my friend and mentor but I know that he is listening to me with my prayers.

God Bless you Vince and Thanks for all you have done for us and The Postal Service.

Tommy Roma

Remembering Vinny

I had been serving the insurance needs of NALC and APWU members for ten years when I met Vinny Palladino in 1979 at the Rosebank Post Office in Staten Island, New York when he was NAPS Area Vice President. I learned then that behind his easy going manner and casual laugh was a bright gentleman with a mathematical mind. He explained the pension and life insurance benefits of FERS and gave me some material which he thought would be helpful in counseling Postal employees. I also found that he and I shared a passion for detail to service.

Shortly thereafter, he suggested that I contact Frank Torres, who was the President of the NAPS branch in Puetro Rico, because Vinny believed that those members were probably underserved by the insurance industry. Little did I know that I would spend the next nine months living in Puetro Rico and eventually opening an office in Hato Rey! Needless to day, I was grateful to a man who not only took interest in the welfare of his members; but also in helping me, a complete stranger. Later on that year, Vinny introduced me to the Northest Director of Labor Relations, Charlie Scialla; and the three of us remained acquaintances and friends until Vinny’s death five years ago.

While Ruby Handleman was NAPS President, I introduced Guaranteed Acceptance Disability and Life Insurance. Ultimately, those programs, along with the annual Vincent Palladino Memorial Scholarship (dedicated in 2005) were approved by the Executive board in 1993. The disability and Life Insurance programs and scholarships still serve NAPS members today.

In closing, I feel privileged to have known Vinny for almost thirty years. I witnessed his intelligence, negotiating skills, and most importantly, his humanity, first hand. He was a great president who could lead with strength and humor at the same time. He loved his family, and he loved his job. He was fiercely dedicated to both. Like every one who knew, respected, and admired Vinny, I miss him.

John Pescitelli, President
M3 Technology

Where do I begin?

Vince Palladino? Where do I begin? He was the most intelligent, serious, hard-working NAPS officer I ever had the pleasure to work with, who showed much understanding and compassion to those who needed help at work. Vince knew that there were a lot of problems that couldn’t be solved at the local level or through the NAPS chain of command, and never hesitated to help a member in need.

Although I don’t remember the exact year, I believe I first met Vince in 1987 or 1988, when San Antonio Branch 103 was preparing to host the 1988 National Convention. One of our local Branch 103 officers asked me to pick up the national NAPS Secretary at the San Antonio airport. I was branch president at the time, and because I was not familiar with NAPS protocol, I was informed that as local president, it was my duty to pick up NAPS officers whenever they came to our fair city. Ruby Handelman, who was national president at the time, and his lovely wife Evelyn, also came in to visit. All of our branch members who met them were pleased to be working with them.

Upon first meeting Vince, I was taken aback by his friendliness, boldness and frankness. And sense of humor? His pranks, teasing, jokes and hearty laughter were legendary. If I had to sum it up, I would say that initially I was just a little afraid of that New Yorker. Whenever he would go off on his tirades against the Postal Service, I would tease him about being such a ray of sunshine, and Bob McLean once quipped that “Vinnie had finally met his match.”

The 1988 convention Branch 103 hosted was a resounding success, prompting Rubin to tell us, (as he was prone to tell everyone else who hosted a national convention), YOUR convention was the best ever!!

Postal duty called me to USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, in 1990, when I was sent there to work on a “three week detail.” Postal officials kept me there for over two years. After having taken the Early Out offered in 1992, I was promptly hired back as a contractor. I was still working for the USPS in 1997 when Elaine Traylor, Vince’s highly esteemed and very capable secretary, suddenly passed away.

Vince was understandably distraught at Elaine’s passing, and was trying to figure out how to replace her. As I recall, it was two of his closest friends, Ruby Handelman and our head of the NAPS Disciplinary Defense Fund, Charlie Scialla, who came up with the idea that perhaps I could go work for NAPS Headquarters. Both Ruby and Charlie knew me as San Antonio branch president and as a USPS Headquarters employee. They knew I had worked not only as a small-town postmaster, but had worked at the local, regional and USPS headquarters levels. They figured that my background would serve Vince and NAPS well. When I heard of their proposal, I told Vince it might be worth a try, and that if it didn’t work out, I could always go back to the USPS as a contractor.

I was constantly amazed at how fast Vince worked–not only did he read all relevant information that came into the office; he knew everything that was going on in the Postal Service, and never allowed anything to sit on his desk for long. I was in awe at how he could answer any question put to him, whether it had to do with mail processing, customer service, sales, whatever. The only time he had to say “I’ll get back to you,” was when he had to call some USPS manager or postmaster to plead a case for a member. And boy, did he have a wide network of USPS friends and acquaintances. But whether he had ever met them or not, he never hesitated to call the “deciding official,” or whoever it took, to get what he wanted–to help the membership. He was afraid of no one, and never hesitated to call throughout the country when necessary.

One time he received a letter from a member in the Northeast area who desperately needed a transfer to Las Vegas to be with her ailing mother and father. She had already tried the NAPS chain-of-command, and even the local Las Vegas branch had tried helping her, to no avail. We couldn’t understand why, since we knew that Las Vegas was growing at an unprecedented pace at that time. Vince promptly got on the phone and contacted the appropriate district manager, who asked us to send her application for transfer. She was promptly hired and happily working in Las Vegas not long after that. Actually, while working in his office, I found many letters and cards thanking Vince for what he had done for them. He understood that sometimes even knowledgeable and capable local officers are unable to solve all issues. Sometimes all it took was a phone call from NAPS headquarters to get the job done, sometimes it took more. But whatever it took, Vince did it.

Whenever I accompanied him to any NAPS function anywhere, he tried to be a gentleman, making his way to the bar to get me a drink. While his intentions were great, he never came back–I would look around, and there he’d be, surrounded by a bunch of NAPS members wanting to talk to him. I knew how important this was to them, and how he reveled in answering questions. If he had my drink in his hand, I quietly went up to him and grabbed it out of his hand, leaving some people wondering who I was and why I was grabbing a drink away from him. It didn’t take me long to figure out that if I needed a drink, I had to get in line and get it myself, also getting him his favorite–diet Coke, and taking it to him–I figured by then, his throat must be dry and he needed a drink!

He was equally at ease and happy speaking to the Postmaster General, or any NAPS member, especially the newest or youngest, giving each his undivided attention, The last NAPS function that Vince and I attended was a Branch 1 Christmas party held in conjunction with a business trip for the planning of the 2008 convention. I distinctly remember a nice new NAPS member coming up and introducing himself to Vince. They both proceeded to carry on a very animated conversation concerning the young man’s experience, and his new job and responsibilities in mail processing. I again thought at the time, how wonderful it was that Vince was so willing to encourage, inform and give advice to the youngest of our members. He was equally at ease doing this, as he was in talking to Postmaster Generals and Senators, one-on-one.

I consider Vince’s sudden passing an enormous loss not only to those of us who loved him, but to the Postal Service as well. He knew and understood, and never forgot the fact that without the USPS, there would be no NAPS.

My trial period as Vince’s assistant lasted from March, 1997, until December 20, 2004, when Vince’s generous, compassionate, loving heart stopped. One thing I am very thankful for is that through him, I met the most wonderful people from New York and New Jersey, especially Vince’s long-time branch 110 president Brian and Kris Michaelson, Tommy and Cathy Roma, Andy Sozzi, Charlie and Marie Scialla, John and Susan Yuen, John and Antoinette Pescitelli, plus too many others to single out.

I am back home in San Antonio and active again in my local NAPS Branch 103, but will never forget the wonderful people and times I spent with so many members I met while traveling throughout the U.S. Again, I say: “HE WHO LIVES ON IN THE HEART OF ANOTHER, NEVER REALLY DIES”

Rosa Flores

Remembering a Legend

Jay Killackey
National Association of Postal Supervisors

In 1994, I was the branch president in Boston for Branch 43. Vince Palladino called me one day and asked me if I would represent NAPS on a workgroup that was being established to come up with a new method of making supervisors. I told Vince that I would gladly do this for NAPS.

On a cold, snowy day I landed in Chicago where it was 14 below and, for the next year, I travelled every week to OakBrook, Illinois to work with a group of supervisor and managers to develop the Associate Supervisor Program. During this same period of time, we had a Postmaster General named Marvin Runyon. As most of you will remember, NAPS did not initially have a good relationship with “Carvin Marvin” and he and Vince were always sparring over their differences.

In early 1997 the ASP program was being rolled out in the field and the first graduating ceremony was going to be in Dallas, Texas. Once of the individuals who I worked with from Postal headquarters called me and asked me if I was going to attend the graduation. I responded that I hadn’t received an invitation.

I contacted Vince’s secretary, Elaine Traylor, about the graduation ceremony and asked if NAPS headquarters knew anything about the ceremony. Elaine said that she would contact Marvin Runyon’s secretary.

It turned out that NAPS had not yet been considered to attend and; but much to my surprise, the Postal Service invited Vince Palladino to attend the graduation. This invitation actually turned into a dramatic change in the relationship between NAPS and Marvin Runyon.

As fate would have it, upon arriving at the airport gate for the flight that day, Vince and Runyon met up and greeted each other. As they boarded the plane, Vince walked past Runyon who was seated in first class and Vince took his seat in coach. Runyon insisted that the airline brought Vince up to first class to sit next to Runyon. Vince later related how surprised he was at the sudden, unexpected seating change.

For those of us who knew Vince and also Marvin Runyon, you would just have to appreciate the significance of Vince and Marvin side-by-side on two planes for over seven hours! Vince re-told the story many times about this trip and how he took full advantage of the opportunity and how he wondered if Runyon ever regretted inviting Vince up to the front of the plane.

Nevertheless, during the flight down and back from Dallas and the time that they spent together in Dallas, both Vince and Marvin found many things to talk about and established a lot of common ground that their prior battles never could have accomplished. Vince would later say that he was convinced that the trip resulted in Runyon agreeing to upgrade station managers who had long been rated lower than postmasters in performing comparable work.

Following that trip, the relationship between two monumental leaders took a turn for the better and both NAPS and the Postal Service were better off for it. How could anyone not agree with Vince if you gave him seven hours to do the convincing?

Vince was the kind of person who always left an indelible mark on everything he did. Marvin found something out about our president on that trip, that Vince was honest, Vince knew the Postal Service, Vince cared about NAPS and its’ members, and Vince could negotiate win-win situations where everyone benefitted. From that time forward Vince became a trusted ally of the Postmaster General and some of the best things that ever happened in the Postal Service and NAPS occurred during this period of time.

I was very happy to know that by having made that call to Vince’s secretary, in some small way I was able to help Vince in his relationship with Marvin Runyon. It goes to show you that somehow anyone can change the course of history.

Every day when I come into the office, I look at Vince’s picture and say “good morning”. I am proud to say that I am a “Palladino guy” and that Vince mentored me for many years.

As a New Englander, there are many reasons why we are competitors with New Yorkers; from the Red Sox, to the Bruins, the Patriots, and the Celtics. I have come to love New York and New Yorkers because it is their passion that was embodied in everything that Vince stood for; tough yet compassionate, smart yet humble and always there for the little guy.

Vince, your leadership of NAPS and the love that you had for everyone will never be forgotten! Thanks for all that you did to guide me to where I am today.


I was working in GPO Staten Island, the morning the phone call was received by one of the new supervisors. She reported to the Managers’ office and told us, “I don’t know what to do with Anthony Palladino?”
Of course, we both thought it was a work floor issue, until she answered the question what happened? In stunned silence we were in disbelief, but me being the Postal cynic/skeptic figured it was a cruel prank and called NAPS Headquarters. The news did not reach NAPS yet, so for a brief moment we had hope. Hope which left in minutes as my cell phone rang and it was Mary Lou Palladino, (Vince’s oldest daughter)who simply said, “isn’t it terrible”.

Five years have now passed and I am afraid that the adage of Time Healing All Wounds has NOT worked for me. If you were not fortunate to know Vince as I did, you missed a man who always cared about the other people. He consistently put the needs of the members above anything else, including his health. There has been much written about the 1992/1993 RIF, the bottom line He not only saved many of us from the unemployment line BUT enhanced our relationship with PMG Runyon and USPS Headquarters.

I thank the family for sharing their ‘Prince’ with us, the NAPS family.
He is in a better place, watching all and I know we will never see the like of him again!

Brian Michaelson, President
Handelman-Palladino Branch



0241-copy-199x300Andy Sozzi
Northeast Regional V.P. NAPS,

jimmy warden 03-11James Warden
NAPS Resident Officer

Tommy Roma HeadshotTommy Roma
Northeast Regional V.P. NAPS

Dioenis D. PerezDioenis D. Perez
New York Area V.P. NAPS

0111Jay Killackey
NAPS Consultant

0272-copy-199x300Charles Scialla
D.D.F. Emeritus Provider NAPS

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