Category: Articles

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

Pearl Harbor Day- December 7, 1941

To some who were not born yet or somehow forget, today December 7th is known as Pearl Harbor Day, a day President Roosevelt in his address to Congress as the U.S. entered the war against Japan labeled it as a day of infamy. The sneak attack by Japan killed over 2400 Military and civilian personnel.

I can remember as a young boy growing up in Brooklyn N.Y. every December 7th the newspapers, radio, television, and all means of communication centered around Pearl Harbor Day. Today I am sorry to say not so much. I had to look hard to find an article on the internet, if an article about Pearl Harbor is printed in today’s newspapers, you would find it on page 40. What a shame, these proud Americans gave their lives to protect our freedom, and we don’t fully honor them with a day of remembrance. Whenever I see Military personnel in my travels, I go out of my way to thank them for their service, and I donate to all Veterans organizations to show I care.

I would hope that the present generation would never forget what our Military went through during WW2, the Korean conflict, and Vietnam and honor them in any way we can. God, please bless America.

Tommy Roma

A Man on A Mission

As many of you know, I have been around for a long time and my memory is even longer remembering hacks and cronies who have run the United States Postal Service. Since he started in the position in June, 2020, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy cleaned house at the upper levels of the Postal Service leadership team.

DeJoy selected and promoted people from within the organization to key leadership roles and developed a ten-year plan to make the Postal Service a viable operation in the long term. In my opinion, since he became the Postmaster General, the Congress has done nothing to help either DeJoy or us as postal employees.

While I have different political views from the Postmaster General, his work ethic is unmatched as the leader of the Postal Service. When DeJoy started, he said the trucks will leave on-time and if the mail isn’t ready, the carriers will deliver it the next day. Far different from holding an entire office full of carriers for a couple of trays of mail. Congress and the media had a field day with this.

When it came to taking out excess processing equipment that we truly didn’t need, the media trumped up (pardon the pun) a whole scenario about the ballots not getting processed. But; what happened? All the ballots were processed efficiently because of the efforts of all the employees in the Postal Service.

The Postmaster General is renowned as a knowledge-leader in transportation services. Isn’t that what we do, transporting mail and parcels around the country and the world? The Postmaster General wants the same thing that we do; to give the public the best possible service at the lowest possible cost. Since he implemented his ten-year plan, the Postal Service is looking better than ever, even with the ravages of Covid.

If we were part of the Amazon empire, what would your pay and benefits packages look like? If the Postal Service were privatized, do you think your salary and benefits would increase? If you do, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you.

From my perspective, DeJoy is the right person for the times to lead the Postal Service, regardless of what the mainstream media says. Journalists are sometimes like weather forecasters; they are wrong more than they are right. Should DeJoy’s plans work, it might just mean that you can continue to earn the salary and benefits you enjoy today. I’m not betting against Louis DeJoy and neither should you.

Where Do We Go From Here

With the 2020 Presidential election over and President-elect Joe Biden ready to become our 46th President of the United States the question still remains, (Where do we go from here). I would tell you that President Joe Biden a moderate senator all his life is the perfect choice to bring Senators from both parties together for the good of the nation. I certainly hope he is given the chance.

As for the Postal Service, we did it again. Our employees are seen as hero’s here in New York and around the nation. I also would like to give credit to PMG. Louis Dejoy and the leadership team, along with our employees, for raising the bar to make sure we delivered the Ballots in a timely manner. Remember my motto, When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

The future of the Postal service would be bright if we got a little help from Congress. We know we can’t continue to operate under present conditions. If they would relieve us of the 5.3 billion dollar albatross for future retirees’ benefits, that would be a great help. PMG Dejoy has stated that we are now players in the Parcel business and need to upgrade our truck fleet, let’s not talk about it, let’s do it. What we really need is to be left alone to do our job, not be micromanaged, and have the respect of the U.S.P.S. I remember the words of Naps greatest President Vince Palladino when he said to me, we must show the USPS that we are not the enemy and only want what is best for Naps and the USPS. A lawsuit and an appeal of the decision of the lawsuit, certainly does not bode well with the USPS. History will show that NAPS should be going to Congress to modify Title 39, which in my opinion favors the USPS over all management associations. We have gone down this road before and never have been successful. In the eyes of the Postal service and Title 39, we are a supervisors association and represent EAS supervisors and managers, and are not entitled to represent Postmasters, yet when faced with the same problem years ago, Vince Palladino told the USPS, anybody can represent anybody is how he got around that problem. We represent about 3500 Postmasters today in Naps and the only way we can represent them officially is to change the verbiage of Title 39. This is why we should have gone to Congress rather than suing the USPS.

In closing let me say, in my opinion, now that the election is history, we should all rally around our new PMG, give him the full cooperation he needs to furnish us with a new working model that will last for years, and give us a bigger and better USPS, ready to take on all challenges. I am putting my trust in the PMG, how can I not back a guy born and raised in Brooklyn N.Y. not to do the right thing.

Changing Times

The Postal Service is in a state of flux as we speak. COVID-19 has drained the already financially strapped Postal Service of any reserve funds we might have had, and the man occupying the White House is hell-bent on destroying us. He refuses to include us in any stimulus bills he has offered, saying to his minions, fix it up and sell it to the highest bidder. His disdain for Jeff Bezos, Amazon C.E.O. goes back long before he settled into the White House. Jeff Bezos the C.E.O. of Amazon is also the owner of the Washington Post, a tabloid which has been unkind to Trump over the years. So, in the interim we the Postal Service become the pawns in their private war. Let’s face it; the Republicans want no part of vote by mail. They will do anything to destroy it. Could this be the reason why the man in the White House wants to kill the Postal Service? He would not have to worry about vote by mail if the Postal Service were not around. President Obama said just that recently at Congressman John Lewis’s Funeral. Everybody knows it, but it took President Obama to say it. MY KIND OF GUY. So now Congress wants to call P.M.G. Louis DeJoy to testify about the disappearance of mail boxes from routes, and the removal of all kinds of machinery from the plants, he will give the corporate answer, that in order to make the Postal Service viable again, these matters had to addressed. It is funny that his plan, even if viable, was enacted just before the Presidential elections in November, and the vote by mail controversy has raised its ugly head. Everyone knows that Trump and the Republicans fear vote by mail and will do anything to stop it. Our delivery standards really went down the drain when Mr. DeJoy stated in a letter to the field that if the Plant can’t get the mail to the carriers on time, the carriers would tie out and go to the street with whatever mail they had, and the rest of mail, which arrives late from the plant, would be delivered  the next day. We were never taught to leave mail behind, our motto always was, EVERY PIECE EVERY DAY. I don’t believe that the rest of the letter which stated, no overtime or T time, no calls ins for a full 8 hours, and no extra transportation, could be attributed to the P.M.G. That came from one of his minions in delivery on the new leadership team. The COVID-19 virus dictates our daily rosters on who comes to work. Our employees have gone above and beyond to deliver the mail every day to our customers, they don’t deserve what is happening today. If the Postal Service wants to really help us, they can relieve us of the 5.1 billion dollar retirees prefunding bill that the Republicans slipped in on us in 2006. No other federal agency has ever been asked to do this, why did we get stuck with this? We are in dire need of new Postal vehicles to deliver the enormous amount of parcels we deliver every day, our present fleet is antiquated. We should instruct all Federal agencies including Congress on the use of the U.S.P.S. when mailing articles from their offices. It really hurt me when visiting the hill to lobby Congress on our Postal bills, to see FedEx, and UPS trucks getting the bulk of the pickup business. I personally have spoken to Postal officials on this matter and they stated, they would have to wait until the contracts they signed with these companies expired in order to come back to the U.S.P.S. If you want me to believe that, I still have that bridge in Brooklyn that is for sale. We definitely need the 25 billion dollars in the current stimulus package. Yet the President stated that he would not sign the package if the Postal service was included, he is hell-bent on destroying us and vote by mail. I could go on and on but will conclude with this, please make sure you exercise your right to vote this November and make sure your vote counts, Medicare and Social Security are next on his agenda? As for the appeal of our failed Lawsuit, we were told by the President to be on a telecom to discuss what we would like to do if anything, on an appeal. I immediately addressed the entire Executive Board with the following statement, now that we have received a response from the courts advising us that we should be going through Congress first, which I urged us to do from the beginning, I would like a full accounting of the amount of money we have spent on this lawsuit to date, including our attorney Bruce Moyer and all consulting attorneys and pay experts, before we convene any board telecom to discuss this issue. Further, I want to go on record that I will oppose any recommendations or motions that will continue the use of outside attorneys for future appeals should they be necessary. Title 39 has provisions for us to appeal problems we have with pay and benefits through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. We already had all the data needed, and I would consider appealing this with our own lawyer Bruce Moyer and getting rid of the other lawyers to cut our losses. The President called for a telecom and immediately made a motion to appeal the decision through the courts once again with all the lawyers on board. It should be noted that we have already lost $750,000 on the lawsuit up to now, and the President puts a motion up to the Board to continue with the appeal, and the board voted to continue the lawsuit 20 yes, 2 no, 1 abstain. Keep in mind they stated that the appeal would cost 6,000.00 dollars, what we don’t know is the cost of the lawyers who will now be on retainer until the spring of 2021. Now we await the U.S.P.S. response to our continuing the lawsuit. We were having good dialogue with the U.S.P.S. I will venture to say we have taken a step backwards.

On the issue of the new P.M.G. I believe NAPS should have gotten out in front of it. The President will tell you that he invited Mr. DeJoy to NAPS Headquarters to meet with the Resident officers without success. I know if I were President of this great association and the P.M.G. did not meet with me, the Palladino in me would have rose to the top. I would have been at Postal Headquarters demanding a meeting and possibly getting arrested to get the exposure I need for our membership, to show we were not backing down. The APWU President does not back down to the Postal service, why do we. As I have always told you my Northeast membership I am here to represent your wishes, 19 Branches in N.Y. voted not appeal, about 19 branches in N.E. voted the same way, N.J. said they were voting not to appeal, the rest was easy.

Stay Strong.


Brian Michaelson, A Man for All Seasons

I first met Brian in the early 1970’s. I was a recovering letter carrier who fell on the ice while delivering my route, breaking my ankle, and needing surgery. When I was well enough to come back to work in a light duty status, I reported to Injury Compensation at the G.P.O. Brooklyn Division of the U.S.P.S. Brian was an Injury Compensation clerk assigned to my case. We hit it off right away because we shared a lot in common. We both liked sports, rock-n-roll music, wrestling, boxing, collecting old baseball cards, signatures of sports idols, and mostly, old-time movies. After returning to work, I used to run into him occasionally.

I was promoted to Supervisor of Mails EAS 15 Tour 1 in 1976. I was also the President of the Columbia Association in Brooklyn N.Y. As luck would have it, Stanley Michaelson, Brian’s father, was the timekeeper on Tour 1. Stanley told me straight out, if you want to get paid properly, please take care of Brian. When I transferred from Tour 1 to Customer Service Rep, I made sure Brian got a detail and a job in Customer Service. The rest was history, the Brooklyn Division led the country in sales, first class presort, Express mail/custom design, and naturally, The Ben Franklin Stamp Club. We were both natural salesmen.

In 1981, I decided to go back to my first love, the Stations in Brooklyn, serving the public. Brian eventually went to Staten Island in a support role in retail sales. He was also doing the Master of Ceremony duties for the Staten Island Postmaster, a job he loved. We were both officers in our local Naps branches in Brooklyn and Staten Island N.Y. We both eventually became Presidents of Branch 68 Brooklyn N.Y. and Naps Branch 110 in Staten Island N.Y. We took our branches to new all time highs in membership and revenue, Brian’s branch was at 100% membership.

Vince Palladino who was a friend and mentor to both of us asked me to run for New York Area V.P. in Naps, and Brian volunteered to be my campaign manager along with another legend, Frank Spatola. I am now entering my 20th year as a National Officer, keeping the legacy of Vince Palladino alive.

Brian has always reminded me the Naps building, which Vinny broke his back to buy, should be named in his honor. I am happy to report that in March of 2020 the ceremony renaming the building will take place. Brian also served the State for many years as President of N.Y.S. Branch 935. He was always doing something to raise money to keep the State solvent, another job well done.

At his funeral services on January 23, 2020 in Ephrata PA, the real Brian Michaelson came to light. We in New York always knew that Brian would help anyone , that he would go out of his way to do some good, like volunteering for programs in Hospice, Feed the Children, Meals on Wheels, ASPA, fostering animals, among others. There was a segment which the funeral home called sharing, where anyone who wanted to say something about Brian could go to the podium and share. It was astonishing to see and hear the local people from Brian’s new church saying how helpful he was, even when not asked he would volunteer. I was so proud of him that day. Rest easy my friend, your work here is done, I am sure Stanley, Kris, Vinny, Ruby, and Evelyn welcomed you home.

Tommy Roma N.E.R.V.P.


On Sunday, September 22nd, 2019, I was overwhelmed with a surprise 80th birthday celebration and the renaming of my Home Branch 68 Brooklyn N.Y. to the Thomas Roma Branch 68, Brooklyn N.Y. at LaFontana Restaurant in Staten Island N.Y. The celebration was attended by my family, my Naps Family, and members of the U.S.P.S. I was told this celebration was in the works for over a year. I would like to thank Jim Warden, John Vincenzi, Phyliss Morrissey, Jamaal Muhammad, my lovely wife Cathy, The Resident officers, and everyone who was in attendance. It was a spectacular affair. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.