Category: Content

Tribute to Jay Killackey

A Man’s Man

When I was elected N.Y. Area V.P. in Alaska in 2000, the first person to congratulate me was Jay Killackey, who would become my friend and mentor. Along with Andy Sozzi, we formed a force to be reckoned with in the Northeast Area of NAPS. I can remember our greatest NAPS President, Vince Palladino, saying, “Now I don’t have to worry about the Northeast area anymore.” We as a team took on all the problems and resolved them. Jay told me, “I am here for you whenever you need help or advice.” I leaned on him for the first year and true to his word, he would always give me the right advice on how to handle different situations.

We resurrected the Northeast Region training seminar in Puerto Rico, at the old Howard Johnson hotel, with great success. Jay was very involved in the seminar held at the Boston Renaissance Waterfront hotel, his hometown, in 2010. That is when my friend and I started visiting historic sites in Massachusetts and New York. When in Massachusetts, we visited the JFK museum, something I will never forget, Fenway Park, the Red Sox iconic stadium, and Gillette stadium, the home of the New England Patriots.

When visiting New England, Jay always picked me up at the airport or train station and took me to the hotel before going out to dinner with his family and members. We had a lot in common and the fact that we both served in the Navy did wonders for our relationship in later years. As an 18-year-old youth being away from home for the first time, the Navy stationed me in Chelsea Massachusetts Naval shipyards, while awaiting my ship, which was in for repairs. I managed to come home on weekends when I got a pass and took the train at South Station in Boston into Grand Central Station in New York. When I did not get a pass, I used to sightsee with my Navy buddies, and built up a good relationship with the people around the Chelsea area. When we shipped out, I figured that would be the last time I would see Chelsea Massachusetts, boy was I wrong. Jay set up a whole tour for me of Chelsea, without my knowledge and much to my delight. The shipyard was still there, the Naval hospital was now a unit of condos, and some of the stores were still there. Jay took me to the site of the condos which had a bronze plaque stating, “site of Chelsea Naval Hospital” and took a picture of me standing in front of it. This is the type of person Jay was, and all he asked of you was your friendship. On another occasion, while we were in for an executive board meeting, Jay, who was then the V.P. of NAPS, took the Roma’s & Warden’s for a sightseeing tour of all of the famous monuments in D.C. without getting out of the car. The description of each monument was so complete, a tour guide could not have done it better. I share these stories with you to show what type of person Jay was. If you were his friend, he would do anything for you.

Jay was the master of writing letters, something Andy, Jimmy, and myself always marveled at. I would tell him what I think should be in a letter, and a half hour later the finished product would appear on my computer screen. I never had to change a word. When I had surgery in 2006, Jay visited me, and in 2012 after I had another stent put in, the whole Killackey family visited me, Jay, Sue Ann, Linda, Helen, and Jessalyn. We always had a special bond with Jay and his family, who I believed would have been the greatest President in NAPS history. He was respected by both the USPS and the members of the Northeast area. His overall knowledge of the Postal Service was outstanding, and his communication skills were second to none. In my eyes, a man like Jay Killackey only comes along once in a lifetime, and I want to believe he thought the same about us. So now my friend, your work here is done, rest in peace, and may the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand. In my eyes you were truly a Man’s Man.


As I sit back and reflect on my 24 years as your N.Y. Area V.P. and your N.E.R.V.P., I can truly say I left it all on the field when it came to representing my membership. I fought hard for every member’s rights that I represented. My mentors Charlie Scialla, Vince Palladino, Ruby Handelman, Ray Perri, Frank Spatola, and John Santoro taught me to fight the good fight, and do it with dignity and respect. Never to demean your opposition. I remember Frank Spatola telling me to read the Management Instructions issued by the USPS monthly, which would contain all information about the job and its latest updates and changes.

Vince and the others told me to fight to the end when I knew I was right, but to know when to back off when a settlement could be the only option. I am the last of the original SWCS team to be active with NAPS & the USPS. We worked hard with our USPS partners and came up with 1,068 new supervisory positions. It took us almost 5 years to achieve this goal. That is something I am very proud of, and I thanked both my partner, Jim Warden, my team members, and the USPS for seeing this through.

NAPS was able to partner with the USPS on the new pilot program for the Supervisors Apprentice program, and Brooklyn was chosen as one of the test sites. I was chosen by NAPS Branch President Jamaal Muhammad to represent NAPS in the Brooklyn program, which was concurred with by NAPS President Ivan Butts, and the USPS. The original plan was for Brooklyn only to have the customer service side represented. I reminded the Postal Service that we have two sides of the house, Customer Services and the Plant side, and both should have a class. The Postal Service added the plant to the program much to my delight. On Friday, January 26, 2024, I am happy to report that the first class of the Supervisor Apprentice program, both Customer Services and the Plant, graduated and became EAS 17 relief supervisors. I must admit that we suffered some hiccups along the road to success, but in the end, the pilot program was a success, and I look forward to the next class in Brooklyn. I am also happy to report that NAPS has 12 new NAPS members because of this successful program.

I wish I could be as positive about the next challenge I am involved in, the use of EAS to deliver mail. I have never, and will never, be a proponent of EAS delivering mail. The USPS, because of hiring shortages and retention of said employees, feels that they can use EAS to pick up the slack. This in my opinion is not true.

While NAPS does not have a C.B.A. (collective bargaining agreement), the craft organizations do, and it clearly states that EAS cannot do craft work. The A.S.M. (Administrative Support Manual) clearly states that EAS cannot do craft work except in a time of emergency. Ditto for the E.L.M. (Employees & Labor Relations Manual). Our M39 and the carriers M41 clearly states that EAS cannot cross crafts, or they will be subject to grievances, and boy, have we paid them grievances for keeping their mouth shut and hand open. So, I ask you, where are the savings if we are paying out all these grievances, and the safety of an EAS is at stake? While I must admit that the USPS is slowly rectifying this problem, fixing it is the only solution, so it won’t happen again. I want to remind all our members that “today’s favor is tomorrow’s assignment”. My promise to our members is, I will see this through until the end. As we say in Brooklyn, “Stay Tuned,” and stay strong.

Tommy Roma