Category: Articles

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

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


After 46 years of service to the USPS, I am officially hanging up my postal shoes! This has come with mixed emotions because I felt I could still make a difference. Dealing with the public and the employees is what I did best. We always managed to get the job done through the employees and public because I had one belief, “Treat everyone the way you wanted to be treated and the rest would come naturally”. I instilled in everyone I ever interacted with that, “The impossible would just take a little longer to achieve,” and that, “You could accomplish anything you put your mind too.”

The term ”JUST DO IT” was first used by me before it became famous with Nike sneakers.

Naps will be the beneficiary of my retirement as I now can devote 100% of my time to them. I will maintain 2 offices in Brooklyn and have acquired a third one on Staten Island, N.Y. I have done all this to keep the lines of communication with the membership I love to serve at an all-time high.

My last Christmas in the Postal Service after 46 years proved to be a profitable one. With the Amazon account leading the way, we proved that we are truly the Best of the Best. With the expected increase of first class mail (Christmas cards) our employees once again rose to the challenge. Every parcel and first class letter was delivered on time. Our lobby windows were staffed, lobby directors breaking the lines whenever necessary. We again met the challenge. Our trucks kept rolling helping Santa to fulfill the wishes of many children and adults. I can truly say that I am retiring with a sense of pride, knowing that our employees, when the chips are down, can’t be matched.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas,

Federal Agencies Abandon the U.S. Postal Service

This is an interesting article written about a subject that I have complained about many times in the past. The author is Truman Lewis a former reporter and bureau chief for broadcast outlets and magazines.

Everyone knows the U.S. Postal Service is in trouble, but is anyone doing anything about it?

Well federal agencies are. They’re taking their business elsewhere. A new report finds that out of $337 million spent on shipping last year, federal agencies spent only $4.8 million with the Postal Service, less than two percent. The lion’s share of the money went to FedEx and the United Parcel Service.

Please put your thinking caps on, as NAPS members; how many times have we visited our Congressmen and Senators offices only to see FedEx and UPS mailings on their staffs desks? I always see FedEx and UPS trucks idling outside their office buildings making pickups. Where are the USPS trucks? Very few if any.

Why you ask?

One big reason is that, unlike private companies, the Postal Service can’t sell any products below cost, even if doing so would enable it to snag contracts that would be profitable overall. Who would impose such an onerous and un-business like restriction on what is supposed to be a semi-independent government corporation? CONGRESS, of course.

Case in point, as a former Customer Service Rep for the USPS, I was charged with selling our products to the general public and businesses. When speaking with the decision makers of the firms it was not the service in question, it was the discounts and giveaways that FedEx and UPS offered. We offered nothing and guess who got the business?

Mr. Truman went on to say the Postal Service has much in common with Amtrak and the District of Columbia. All are hamstrung by Congressional micromanagement that leaves them often unable to pursue simple initiatives that would improve their fortunes and provide better service to their subjects.

But while the Postal Service is forbidden from, say, granting a big discount on one service that would let it sell additional, profitable services, we are also hampered by the 5.1.billion dollar a year pre funding of our future retiree’s health benefits. This was imposed upon us by Congress in 2006. No other federal agency was ever asked to do this.

The Postal Service’s Inspector General says that while the situation looks grim, all is not lost. Although its competitors have consistently captured more than 98 percent of shipping revenue from federal agencies through GSA contracts, the Postal Service has opportunities to increase its share of this market, the IG said in its report.

On the other hand, the situation is not going to be resolved quickly. Because the Postal Service missed out on contract opportunities, many federal agencies have several years to go on their existing contracts with FedEx and UPS.

Stay Strong!
Tommy Roma

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