Category: Articles

BACK TO REALITY

I just returned from a productive Executive board meeting, the first in a long time as far as I can see. Under the new leadership, spear headed by incoming President Brian Wagner and his resident officers, the feeling is very positive. We had four decision makers visit the board which produced positive results. Our consultative meeting with U.S.P.S. produced a lot of answers something that was lacking in the past. The old saying “The answers are right here in the room prevailed at this session.”

Violence in the work place is a top priority of this administration, and we are working hard to resolve what we feel is an injustice to all EAS. The way the program is designed it definitely favors the craft. If charges are lodged against a supervisor our only defense is to write a statement on what we believed happened. Presently we can’t face our accusers, H.R. specialists at the lowest level, DRT. team members and of course Arbitrators who render a decision. What we would like is to be able to face our accusers get our side of the story told, and a remedy each side can live with. A motion was passed by the Executive board to get out of the Violence in the workplace program, but we are still hopeful that something can be worked out to keep us in the process. (STAY TUNED)

SWCS process

Jimmy Warden and I are in talks with Doug Tulino and Ed Phelan of the USPS and I am confident we will be able to work something out concerning the SWCS process. We mutually agreed that the present SWCS calculations are not conducive to today’s business environment. It was also agreed that the state of the business must be taken into consideration in the final determination, and any positions that are added, the EAS must perform the duties the position was intended for and not be placed on details. Non Traditional Supervisors was also discussed. These supervisors will have Sunday as a regular work day to cover the Amazon hubs. Their schedule would require them to work in different stations and their hours of work will vary from station to station. After everything is agreed upon and put in place Mr. Phelan has agreed to use the Northeast area as a test site. Stations from level 18s 20s,22s,24s and above will be used and NAPS will be consulted on all stations picked. Reviews will be conducted and monitored to establish how many EAS are needed to properly manage these stations and branches for that group level. This information will then be compared to the present SWCS calculations and adjustments made if necessary. This is not an easy process and the fact that USPS is allowing us to try this out in a certain area shows me that they are willing to work with us to end the SWCS issue once and for all. Seven day operations, expanded hours of operation rest days, and additional duties for supervisors that have been added in fiscal year 2016 were also discussed.

DDF

Charlie Scialla addressed the board concerning adverse action representation. He advised us that some cases are being sent to him without an address and telephone number of the appellant, making it hard for him to contact the person who the adverse action is being taken against. The officer of the branch submitting the case must acknowledge that the appellant is a member in good standing of the submitting branch. We have had cases in the past where non-members were represented and the branch who submitted the paper work were billed for their representation. Branches submitting cases must be sure paperwork is filled out properly and that the member is a member in good standing at the time adverse action is taken against them.

Seminar

The Northeast area will be hosting another seminar in Puerto Rico March 24th-25th 2017 at the Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino. We have put together another outstanding training agenda consisting of SWCS, NPA, Violence in the workplace, the State of the Postal service, officer training and much more. Rooms will be at a premium so if you have intentions of attending, please book your rooms, they will be on a first come first served basis. We have always sold out this seminar and this one will be the best ever. The seminar is being hosted by Jim Warden, Hans Aglidian, Greg Murphy, and myself.

In closing I would like to say that I am happy with the direction our NAPS organization is headed under the new leadership of the present resident officers and their staff. I believe that they have the best interests of NAPS at heart and will represent the membership proudly. They in a short time have renewed my confidence in our future as the greatest management association bar none. Good luck Gentlemen and I will serve proudly.

Stay Strong

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

Forward

As I look around at the upcoming changes on the Executive Board, Resident Officers, and possibly our DDF provider Scialla associates, I can’t help but wonder the faith of NAPS. It will be a very challenging time for the Executive Board to come together for the future of NAPS. It is time to put aside our petty differences and all work for the betterment of NAPS.

The report of the finance committee was incomplete. The chairman gave her report and stated that she would not give the report on the building at this time because she did not want to upset some board members. What did she mean? Were they planning on getting bids for the sale of the building, your guess is as good as mine. The building is the mainstay of naps and perhaps the greatest accomplishment of our late and great president Vince Palladino. It is completely paid for, fully rented, tax free, and we pay no rent. It was purchased for close to 4 million and in today’s market is valued at 17 million. I know that this stupidity will never get past the floor if presented, the membership will vote it down. What the hell are some board members thinking?

As for violence in the work place, the Executive Board passed a motion made by Hans Aglidian that NAPS secede from our commitment to this program based on past and present history that it favors the craft and management associations really don’t have a say in the process. I believe I have come up with a solution that is favorable to both NAPS and the postal service which would enable us to stay in the program and finally have our day in court.

The restructuring committee was formed after the last convention to comply with the wishes of the membership as to what NAPS s was doing to streamline the board and areas. The committee reported at the last Executive Board meeting some pretty good ideas which will be reported to the membership at our convention.

The SWCS committee has been working hard to come up with some solutions to help the front line supervisor who is on the firing line. I agreed to help Jimmy Warden in his quest to get something from the USPS for the SWCS process. We have met with the postal service and laid out our plan. They took our information and agreed to get back to us. Recently they called to set up another meeting which in the past meant that our information was good and they would like to share what they came up with. This is the way it is done and it takes time.

Finally, I am running for another term of office as your Regional Vice President. I will put my record up against anyone who has served for as long as I have. I was elected as the N.Y. Area Vice President in Alaska in 2000 and immediately set out to make a difference. After the untimely death of my friend Andy Sozzi I was elevated to North East Region Vice President a job I was doing along with mine. I am proud to report that we have the best region in membership, along with adverse actions won or settled. I have never lost a case during my tenure as the New York Area V.P. or the Regional V.P. I will continue to do the job I love most defending supervisors and hope that you will send me back for another term. Let me conclude by saying it has been an honor and privilege for me to be the Northeast Region Vice President for the greatest membership any one can have. God bless you and god bless America.

Stay strong
Tommy Roma

To Own or To Rent – I Call for the Question

Tommy Roma – Northeast Region Vice President

I just returned from the Spring, 2016 executive board meeting. We meet twice a year to discuss the direction of NAPS and each spring we work on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. At the board meeting we had a report from our Finance Committee that included a recommendation to sell our NAPS headquarters building and for us to rent out our current office space from the new owners after we sell our building.

I am a life long friend of Vince Palladino and you need to know Vince worked his butt off to get the resources together to purchase our headquarters building early in his presidency. He was so proud of our headquarters building. Do you know that the value of the building has grown from a purchase price of just under $4 million to what is now estimated to be around $16 million dollars.

In Virginia, non-profit organization’s pay no taxes on revenue they receive from leasing out space in buildings they own and our building is fully leased. It goes without saying that I was furious when this discussion started with a recommendation to sell the building and invest the money. How many of you would sell your house and then rent it back from the new owner.

As long as I am a living and breathing NAPS member you can rest assured that I will vigorously oppose any effort that may be attempted to sell our headquarters building. Our beloved President Vince Palladino is looking down from eternity wondering just what is going on in the heads of some of the leaders of this organization. I hope that you will agree with me that the sale of our building would be a terrible mistake.

What’s Going On Here

Years ago, the best Naps President I ever knew, President Vince Palladino told me that when the USPS does not know what to do they start cutting jobs. They believe that by cutting jobs the bottom line will improve and that Congress will love us. In my humble opinion that thinking by the Postal Service is so far from the truth because of the following reasons; take the VMF restructuring for example, they consolidated EAS positions and have the level 10 mechanics doing the supervisors job. If that is the case, then who is doing the level 10 mechanics job?

I visited a station during the Christmas rush and noticed the lines going out the door with only two clerks on the window. When I questioned one of the clerks, asking why four clerks were not manning the windows during this critical period, I was told “our regular window clerk who is assigned to that station was taken out of her position and is detailed to the District with no replacement!”

What could be so important in the District that a regular employee who has a window job is reassigned smack in the middle of the Christmas rush! The supervisor was busy with the carriers so no lobby sweeps were being done. I was so disgusted that I did not ask where the 4th clerk was.

In my time, Safety and Staffing were keys to a successful outcome during heavy mailing periods. By what I saw, this is definitely not happening today. The hiring practices of yesterday are long gone. The Civil Service list is gone, replaced by computer applications, and newspaper notifications. New hires are placed on the job, poorly trained and given ninety days to show that they can be postal workers. Here is the difference; in my time if you failed your probation you were terminated.

Today, if new hires don’t meet the minimum standards of the job, managers are told to keep these inferior employees. Because of the current hiring practice, the turnover rate is high and the cost to train these probationary employees runs about $10,000 an employee. Now, in my opinion, with the former Civil Service list we took a test and, depending on your mark, you were placed on the register and called for employment when your mark was reached.

One of many requirements was that your record must be clean. A conviction ranging from a felony to a misdemeanor were grounds for automatic disqualification. Today we are hiring anyone, convicted felons, employees who were terminated, and rehired again, people without driver’s licenses, etc. why aren’t we hiring qualified or dedicated people. I do know the USPS is going to the supplemental work force. Twenty percent of all temporary employees are now non-career. Managers and supervisors are always asked to do more with less EAS. What is going on here?

Parcel Post is the future of the Postal Service. We are fortunate to have a piece of the Amazon contract along with UPS, FEDEX, and AMAZON itself. Oh, Amazon will say their vehicles are only in the test stage but you can bet your bottom dollar bigger things for the future are in the works. While I can’t speak for UPS and FEDEX, I would like to share some of my experiences with Amazon delivery of parcels by USPS.

I believe in order for the USPS to profit on the delivery of these parcels, the cost to us for delivery must be $1.75 a parcel. NOW I WANT YOU TO HOLD THAT THOUGHT. Last year while in a station I heard this Management Official ask the station manager how he intended to get the 5,000 parcels which were stacked against the wall delivered that day. The station manager assured this Postal official that all packages would be delivered that day, what he did not tell him was he had trucks out until 1.a.m in the morning attempting to deliver these parcels.

I am sure it cost the USPS more than $1.75 a parcel to have these delivered. If you were on the receiving end of one of these parcels and your doorbell rang at 1 a.m. and someone said, Post Office, we need a signature, would you open the door?

The local newspaper ran an article on this very subject for their subscribers to see. What I am trying to say is we are not giving the service to the public and, in some cases, we are not making a profit on delivery, yet we will say on countless telecoms how successful we were in on time delivery of Amazon parcels. Who is kidding who?

The latest rumor has Amazon giving UPS the two-day delivery back only because we can’t guarantee a two-day delivery and they can. When I ask upper management officials about this, their answer is I have not heard anything about this, or when they want to be honest their answer is I have heard these rumors but they are only rumors.

Let’s face it; if the rumor is true and they go back to UPS, the Postal Service will lose about 40% of the Amazon business. Does this sound familiar? Why is UPS in business today? Years ago we did not want the parcel post business and UPS went into the parcel business, the rest is history. We put UPS on the map.

In closing my only wish for the New Year that the Postal Service remain a vibrant service and, with the help of Congress, succeed in doing what we do best, deliver the mail.

Stay Strong,
Tommy Roma

USPS/NAPS – Where Do We Go From Here?

Our recent seminar in San Juan Puerto Rico March 27-28th was a tremendous success and I would like to thank everyone who participated from the USPS, and NAPS, and especially the membership who took time out of there busy schedule to be with us. It would also be remiss of me not to thank Jimmy Warden and Hans Aglidian who financed this seminar. THANK YOU.

From the very start of the seminar to its conclusion, Communication was the top subject, sharing the latest information with the membership. Mr. Doug Tulino, V.P. Labor Relations USPS Headquarters, answered any and all questions for a period of 2 1/2 hours. He wanted to hear from the membership in attendance what they were concerned with. In all my time as a National officer running these seminars have we had a USPS official stand in front of our membership and ask what is on your mind? Tell me what is bothering you and I will address your concerns. In my opinion Mr. Tulino was communicating with our membership, something that has been forgotten over the years. If we can’t communicate with one another how are we expected to be successful.

Recently issues with the Joint Statement on Violence and Behavior in the workplace have come to light. EAS employees in the Northeast region were taken out of their bid positions for alleged violations of the Joint Statement. They were told they can’t supervise craft employee’s because of their alleged behavior. This is not right because an EAS employee is not entitled to their day in court. At this point we are not allowed to face our accusers. In my opinion the Violence statement heavily favors the craft organizations. At the spring board meeting a motion was made by Hans Aglidian for NAPS to drop out of the Violence and Behavior contract and it was passed. Our Resident officers are meeting with USPS officials to discuss the statement in June, hopefully something will come of this.

In conclusion let me say I am happy and proud to represent NAPS in the Northeast area, and remember I have the greatest membership any Regional V.P. could ask for.

Stay Strong
Tommy Roma

Putting the Organization First?

When I returned from our national convention in San Diego at the end of August, I left with the feeling that we would start fresh with a new resolve to work together. We had changes on the executive board, both at the resident officer level and on the rest of the board. While things didn’t go exactly as I would have liked it, nevertheless like many of us, I felt that we would move on and move forward.

I was looking forward in some respects to the fall board meeting to see how things would go. Well, they say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. One of our president’s first acts was to establish committees to oversee aspects of NAPS operations – the very same committees that his opponent in the election had campaigned on. When the idea was first proposed by Jay Killackey at the end of 2013, I thought it was a great idea. It turns out; our president thought it was a good idea too!

But, the plan first laid out over a year ago wasn’t totally copied as I was to learn during the board meeting. When the committee chairmanships were announced, as a regional vice president I was placed on the SWC committee as a member while our own New York Area vice president, Jimmy Warden was assigned to be the chairman of the SWC committee.

I wasn’t the only person on the executive board that was surprised by this announcement. After the announcement was made, numerous members of the executive board approached me on the side and asked me what I had done to the president that he would disrespect me so severely? After all, I have been on all of the prior SWC committees and am probably the most knowledgeable delivery person on the current executive board. I am the most senior person that is left from the prior SWC Committees.

Not being someone to stay quiet when I get insulted, I challenged this decision by our president. The response was a phony affront that the president wanted to have Jimmy Warden head this important committee because he was still an active postal employee while I am retired. Keep in mind that three of the five regional vice presidents are also retired and the two other retired regional vice presidents are the heads of other committees.

I believe that this appointment was made to place a wall between Jimmy Warden and I and the close knit team we have been since I took over for Andy Sozzi and Jimmy Warden became the New York area vice president. The day after this insulting action took place, and he got so much negative feedback from me and other board members, our president asked me for a private meeting where he then offered me the chairmanship. His decision was like having an MDO report to a supervisor. Yes, we do have a chain of command in NAPS, just like the Postal Service.

After the way I was disrespected the prior day, I declined this feeble offer and advised the president if he thought so little of my position or past contributions in his original selection, it was too far gone for him now to try to appease how he disrespected me in front of the entire executive board.

I have to say that I was also concerned about other discussions held that didn’t seem to make the minutes of the meeting, where the resident officers floated the idea of selling NAPS Headquarters and then rent out our current space from the individuals who would purchase our beloved building. Why Vince Palladino had to have been rolling over in his grave like a rotisserie as he looked down on our meeting from above. Do you know anyone who sells their property and then leases it from the new owners?

For those of you who come to my website for information, I have to say – things aren’t going well in our organization when things like this are happening. Our president won his election by a mandate of a margin of two to one. This was a huge win but now our president seems more intent on excommunicating those who did not support him rather than using his mandate to lead this organization to greater heights.

At the same time certain other members of the board are being singled out in the same manner as I am, NAPS isn’t getting anywhere. There is less information being disseminated to the board and the membership. We haven’t received any word from NAPS headquarters about how our 2014 NPA will turn out. The Mailhandlers just got over a $2,000 annual increase in their pay and nearly half of our members are going to go without a pay increase for another year.

Like many of you, I give everything I have to my job as your regional vice president. Something I will continue to do . It is a good thing that NAPS doesn’t have a VOE survey. Many of you are dissatisfied with the current state of NAPS. I will continue to do everything I can to remain diligent and put these childish acts aside as we get ready to fight more job cuts and consolidations. One thing that they haven’t realized is; this New Yorker is as resilient as all New Yorkers. We get ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get back into the game. It’s too bad that it has come to this – but in my opinion that is where we are today.

Stay Strong
Tommy

Report of Thomas Roma

I have had the honor of serving on the Naps Executive Board since August of 2000, when I was first elected as your New York Area Vice President. I must admit that the last two years were the most challenging that I have ever known. As your Northeast Region Vice President, we managed to place over two hundred employees who were excessed and without jobs. One hundred and sixty were in New York City alone. While some may have lost their comfort zone, they did not lose their job. We could not have accomplished this in the Northeast area without the help of upper management who worked with us to place these employees. I have gained a lot of respect for Postal Headquarters employees along with the Area and District people as well. This was a monumental task placed on my partner Jim Warden and myself. Once again we proved that we could partner with the USPS to get the job done. Believe me this was a match made in heaven.

Everyone realizes the future of the Postal Service is in packages as the first class mail continues to decline. This past Christmas we met the Amazon challenge and from all reports all packages were delivered by dedicated Postal Employees in time for the holidays. Our competition can’t say the same. It seems to me when the going gets tough, the Northeast area gets going.

I am proud to report that in all my years of representing Postal Supervisors, we have never lost a case. We were always able to resolve the issue to the benefit of both the supervisors and the USPS. This was no easy task and I would like to think that Jimmy and I have gained the confidence and respect needed to accomplish this task. As our greatest NAPS President Vince Palladino would say, I give and take in a manner that will make the USPS and NAPS successful. We want the Postal Service to recognize that we are a partner in working with them for the best interest of both organizations. This will be our fifth national convention without Vince Palladino wielding the gavel. Yet his presence in everything that is good will always be with us.

In closing let me say it has been an honor representing supervisors in the Northeast area for the past two years. My fondest wish is that I am returned for another term to the job I truly cherish as your Northeast Region Vice President of NAPS.

God bless the greatest membership any regional vice president could have.

Stay Strong

Tommy Roma