Category: Articles

Winter Board Meeting

Having just returned from our winter board meeting at NAPS Headquarters, I was quite frankly surprised at some of the motions the board entertained. Most notably, a resolution from Utah to buy the three resident officers condos while they are in office, which was soundly defeated by the body at the convention, was re-introduced by a Board member at our meeting. In attempting to explain why he was re-introducing the motion, he alleged that the membership was not fully informed about the resolution at the convention.

Needless to say, the motion failed again. Two of the three resident officers voted No because they realize that it’s not right to go against the vote of the convention body. While some on the Board are persisting on wanting to purchase the condos, the motion was again defeated. One resident officer voted YES and the other two abstained, or refrained from voting, which was quite different from the first vote.

Members persisting who spoke in favor of the motion stated that, at a cost of 2.1 million dollars, it would be a good investment for NAPS. They cited NAPS’ purchase of our Headquarters building as an example. However, that is not a valid comparison. Our building was purchased for somewhat over 3 million dollars, which much less than its actual value at the time. The ideal circumstance had presented itself because the builder had defaulted, as had the bank which had financed it. When NAPS purchased it in the early 90s under the leadership of Vince Palladino, it was purchased from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which was quite anxious to get it off its hands. Additionally, Vince often recounted how, when NAPS showed up at the auction, we were the only ones who seemed to have the money needed to buy. Consequently, NAPS ended up with all four floors, whereas the original intention had been to purchase only one.

Those in favor of purchasing the condos contend that while the resident officers are serving NAPS, they would be required to pay $1,600.00 a month rent. Do the math: at that rate, it would take 46 years to pay for the condos. While I don’t think that investments that benefit NAPS are a bad thing, I know that I will never go against the membership wishes. I definitely will continue to vote NO on this issue. The board member who wants to vote Yes should not attempt to use the executive board to obtain, through the “back door” method, approval of a resolution that was defeated by the membership at the convention.

Jimmy Warden and I have been investigating the contracts of Martin Communications our publisher of the Postal Supervisor and soon to be ex-event planner for NAPS conventions. His last convention will be in 2014 at San Diego California. After examining all paperwork and bills submitted by Martin Communications we found a lot of irregularities. Our findings were turned over to the 3 resident officers at NAPS. They agreed to gather questions from the board to ask Ray Martin to try to find answers. This did not happen as they turned the questions over to him and he had to answer to the board. Jimmy and I led the charge with questions that Ray Martin did not answer correctly or could not answer at all, using such terms as “there were a few OVERSIGHTS,” “I DON’T REMEMBER,” “ABSOLUTELY NOT,” and other similar, evasive non- answers.

Our comparison check with another large printing firm using the NAPS bills submitted by Martin communications resulted in a finding that he has been overcharging us by 10-40%. When asked about this, Mr. Martin told me a contract is a contract and if I disagreed, I should get my lawyer and he will get his. To my surprise a board member who I had considered a friend, accused me of being unprofessional and having gone “over the top” in order to get answers. In my opinion I did not go over the top, what I was trying to do was get answers from someone who was not being truthful. The investigation will continue until we can get the truth.

–Tommy Roma

Heading to Reno

Tommy Roma
Northeast Region Vice President

We are now getting ready to head to Reno to conduct the business of NAPS at our 2012 national convention. This will be the first year that a long-time convention attendee will not be sitting in the delegate area. The person that will be missing this year is my personal friend, Andy Sozzi.

Andy loved NAPS and served with distinction as an officer and president of the largest NAPS branch in the country, Branch 100. Andy was elevated to serve on our national executive board as the Northeast Region Vice President, the job that I proudly serve in today.

Andy and I developed a strong bond over the years even though we came from different backgrounds. Andy graduated from the prestigious Fordham University while I got my degree on the streets of Brooklyn. Together we became the “one-two punch” for members in the New York Area and the lessons that I learned in diplomacy from Andy, coupled with my street-sense have helped me in following in his footsteps in the NAPS Northeast Region.

I am proud to have worked so closely with Andy and to have gained so much from his skills. When times were tough, Andy brought his objectivity and rallying skills to bring successful outcomes to difficult situations. Many times when I wanted to fly off the handle, Andy would calm me down, dissect the problem and, by the time we were done, the problem was solved.

Now, working with my team of Area Vice President in the Northeast; Jimmy Warden, Cy Dumas and Hans Aglidian I am remembering what Andy taught me. Our team of leaders in the NAPS Northeast Region is continuing to serve the interests of our members and it’s not a coincidence that we lead the country in NAPS membership percentage.

We recently held a successful one-day meeting in New York City, where branches from throughout the Northeast Region met with postal executives from postal headquarters, the Northeast and Eastern Regions. Our meeting included an opportunity for face-to-face dialogue between local branch leaders and their respective District Managers, where local issues were discussed and resolved.

Both the Postal Service and NAPS are going through some trying times, but as long as we keep the focus that my friend Andy fostered in his work for NAPS, we will weather the storms we now face and will face in the future. I know that Andy will be watching us in Reno this year and rooting for our continued success.

Fact Finding

Fact finding with the U.S.P.S. and NAPS convened on Monday June 4th 2012. I know our leaders did their homework preparing for this event. I am sure the U.S.P.S. is equally up to the task. What can NAPS expect to achieve from the proceedings? We all know that money at this point is non-existent. The Government just came out with an additional freeze on pay for Federal workers in its 2013 budget. Let’s just say for example that the fact finding committee recommends a pay package for all EAS based on NAPS presentations, the U.S.P.S will counter with sorry we are not agreeing to it and that’s the end of it. We have no other recourse. We would have the panel’s recommendation and try to work with the U.S.P.S. in other areas. We could enhance job security, finally get our jobs posted, receive a realistic SWC’S formula, getting credit for the extra things that are filtering down to the stations, that are taking valuable time away from the supervisors. We have been working on reducing redundant forms and whenever possible putting supervisors who are on detail back to their assignments, reducing the need for 204’bs. We can work with the U.S.P.S to show the need for jobs that were done away with, only to have the impacted EAS or 204’b still do the job that does not technically exist.

We have to be proud of the fact that NAPS after being thrown under the bus by the other associations stood its ground and pursued Fact Finding when every thing else failed. This is nothing new when it comes to pay negotiations. NAPS will never say, We had to go to fact finding only because the other associations went, please reopen pay consultations or I was able to save the jobs but not the Postmaster. While I do respect the other associations I am a firm believer in NAPS negotiating on its own with the U.S.P.S., it’s been that way for years. My mentor and friend Vince Palladino always told me we have different agendas then our counterparts in the other associations so it beneficial to both to negotiate with the U.S.P.S. on it’s own. They accepted what the U.S.P.S. gave to save money and not go to fact finding, our organization put the membership first and pursued fact finding regardless of the cost. Our Resident officers and Executive board members who voted to go to fact finding must be commended. An old Roma saying applies here, While I might not win every fight, my opponent will definitely know they were in one. GO NAPS, STAY STRONG.

Tommy Roma

Washington Article

Washington, DC – On May 31, the Postal Regulatory Commission issued Order No. 1361 establishing Docket N2012-2 to provide a public hearing and issue an advisory opinion on the U.S. Postal Service’s Post Office Structure Plan (POStPlan). The primary focus of the proposal is to reduce costs by changing operating hours at approximately 17,700 of the 32,000 postal retail locations nationwide. The Service’s previous plan, the Retail Access Optimization Initiative, to close 3,700 post offices has been put on hold.

Vice Chairman Nanci E. Langley will serve as “Presiding Officer” for this docket. “This proceeding will provide all interested persons with a full opportunity to provide input,” said Vice Chairman Langley. “At the same time, the Postal Service has said it would like to be able to begin to implement its plan in September, and the Commission will conduct a timely review with this in mind.”

The Commission proceeding provides a transparent, on-the-record process to ensure that any nationwide changes in postal services are consistent with the Postal Service’s obligation to provide prompt, reliable, and efficient postal services to customers in all areas and to all communities. The public is encouraged to share their written views with the Commission. Comments may also be shared via the Commission’s online customer service form at

“The public should have a clear understanding of the changes the Postal Service is currently proposing to reduce the overall level of rural post office service,” said Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway. “I encourage postal customers to become familiar with the new proposal and to let the Commission know of their interests and needs.”

An LTS to Remember

An LTS to Remember

Tommy Roma, Northeast Region Vice President

I have been attending our annual Legislative Seminar for more years than I care to remember. We have had many good LTS programs over the years, and have been fortunate enough that we haven’t had any lemons due to the hard work of our Resident Officers and our Legislative Counsel, Bruce Moyer.

This year, going back to our old home at the Marriott was fabulous. Not only was it great to be back at the Marriott, the changes in the program also freshened and energized all of the delegates. I know that I personally liked the new training materials, the upbeat programs, and the perks that all the delegates received.

Something else that was different this year was our new meeting planner, Ms Sheri Davies from Conference Direct. Conference Direct is something new for NAPS headquarters, but not something new to the Executive Board.

Many board members have been using Conference Direct for several years now. After a long string of successful events at the state and local level, last year the national executive board voted overwhelmingly to have Conference Direct negotiate with our hotels and manage the LTS program for the next several years.

The feedback that I received from delegates from my region told me that everyone was very satisfied with the 2012 LTS. Because we had a great location and the best training anyone could ask for from our lobbyist, Bruce Moyer, it was a win-win situation.

Those of you who attended the 2012 LTS, and for those members who didn’t, don’t forget…. stay in touch with your Senators and members of Congress. Making contact with them needs to happen frequently in order to save the Postal Service.

Boy, I am glad that baseball is back! Let’s go Mets!


Key lawmakers have expressed concern that the Postal Service’s top regulator Ms. Ruth Goldway, Chairmen of the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), is spending too much time on the road at a time when the agency faces serious financial challenges.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif), the chairmen of the House Oversight Committee has suggested that Ruth Goldway’s trips are hampering the (PRC) ability to offer advice about proposals that would change how mail is delivered in the United States. What he really means is Ms. Goldway does not necessarily agree with his take on reducing delivery from 6 days to 5 days and to shutter perhaps thousands of plants and Post Offices. Her initial findings were the Postal Service in it’s hast to consolidate plants and to close Post Office’s did it all wrong and had to go back to the drawing board to get it right. The May 15th deadline on the moratorium would be in jeopardy.

This is what happens when you disagree with Congress, they start looking for skeletons in Ms. Goldway’s closet. In my opinion this Lady is beyond reproach. That is more then I can say for Mr. Issa. He has a RAP SHEET a mile long dating back to his college days. He was convicted of having an unregistered gun in his possession, was convicted, paid a fine and served probation. Why is the media and Congress giving this man a pass? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Ms. Goldway a Democrat who has been at the (PRC) since the Clinton administration, sees the interest in her travel as something of a red herring, and driven by officials who disagree with her on certain postal proposals. Ms. Goldway has suggested that her travel costs were higher than usual last year. In addition to the (PRC’s) international duties, Goldway also said that her travel schedule is necessary to meet with U.S. stakeholders on postal issues. The chairwoman also argued that her travel expenses and her agency’s total annual budget are just a drop in the bucket compared to how much it costs to run the USPS. The Postal Service spends that amount in 20 minutes, Goldway said about the PRC’s roughly $14.4 million dollar budget, which is not funded by taxpayer’s dollars. And when you are talking about my travel, the Postal Service can spend that in a blink of the eye.

Still with Congress pressing to reform postal operations this year, lawmakers say it is unfortunate that the PRC’s advisory opinion on the closing of mail processing centers won’t be ready for months. USPS has said that the consolidations are a key part of its efforts to pare down its annual budget by 20 billion by 2015. But the closures will also, in many cases, eliminate next day delivery of first class mail.

Ms. Goldway stated that the PRC had to follow certain legal processes in developing their opinion, and added that commission had to wade through thousands of pages of documents on the issue and hear from dozens of interested parties. We’re going to try to do it in the most efficient manner possible, said Goldway. We simply aren’t able to do it as soon as some people want.

Stay Strong
Tommy Roma

What is going on here?

A few close friends have advised me that my articles lately don’t have the fire they used to have. Well let’s see what may have caused that. The Postal Service decided to implement an old pilot program previously known as the Dallas, Kokomo, and Hempstead program, put a new dress on it, renamed it the Ryder route/delivery test program and rolled it out at Ryder station in Brooklyn N.Y, which is the largest classified station in that borough. They implemented this test program taking out 3 routes on top of taking 10 routes out for the F.S.S. program. Do the math, 13 routes out of 65 leaves 52. This equates to total disaster for our service standards. Carriers out in street delivering mail 9 o’clock in the evening, mail being misdelivered, thrown on the floor in apartments with Government boxes, scans being missed, complaints running rampant, local politicians’ and community boards in an uproar. What is more upsetting is the Postal service has expanded this pilot program to other area’s and said that after 6 months of gathering information the stations will revert back to its original delivery methods. What purpose does that serve? We are our own worst enemies.

Wait time in line is another issue. We must have clerical staffing in order to man the windows. This does not always happen do to sick calls and annual leave, and cut to the bone staffing. If you fail a Mystery shop you are taken downtown sometimes early in the morning for what management calls a retail drill down. Managers have the task of proving why they failed the Mystery shop. In most cases it would be what you could have done to insure a successful mystery shop. Sometimes an over zealous retail specialist can be overly aggressive. If this happens please let us know and we will get it to the proper upper management official.

Another thing that bothers me as I compare the good old days when employees were treated with dignity and respect with today’s management officials. How can a direct report tell a supervisor or manager that they can’t go on scheduled annual leave unless they find a replacement. Since when is it my job to schedule vacation coverage? That is the job of the Poom or Area manager. When an Area Mgr changes your schedule it is his or her responsibility to find you coverage if necessary. Don’t let them tell you the responsibility of coverage rests with you, or the famous DON’T MAKE YOUR PROBLEMS MINE STATEMENT. I wonder if they know what their job description really is. We are our own worst enemies.

Darrell Issa Republican from California who chairs the Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform committee has a RAP SHEET. It includes arrests for weapons charges and auto theft, suspicion of arson, and accusations of intimidation with a gun, but you would hardly know it from the media’s recent coverage of the chairmen of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. While Issa was substantially mentioned in 15 articles in the nation’s largest newspapers since the last election including several major profiles, only one of those articles mentioned any of these allegations. Likewise, interviewers did not ask Issa about his alleged criminal past in any of the cable or network interviews he sat for during that period. My question is why this individual is being given a pass on these criminal allegations by the media? My second question is why are the good people in California allowing this man to hold office? In New York even with a misdemeanor conviction you can lose your right to vote and to serve on jury duty. Mr. Issa was convicted of possession of an unregistered handgun paid a fine and served probation in Michigan while in college.

These are just some of the things that are bothering me and I wonder what we will do about it.

Stay Strong
Tommy Roma.

Time to Save the Post Office

Recently I read the article by Mr. Ralph Nader, it’s time to save the Post Office. Mr. Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. In the article he describes the real reasons the Post Office is failing. Truthfully, I could not disagree with his findings. He states, the battered national consensus behind a national universal postal service- conceived by Benjamin Franklin-is heading for a free fall due to bad management, corporate barracudas, and a bevy of editors and reporters enamored with the supremacy of the internet which makes up their world.

He states that Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is pursuing a strategy of cutting or delaying services while increasing prices. Usually that is a sure prescription for continuing decline. For Mr. Donahoe, the drop in first class mail has left the Post Office with over-capacity. He is closing over 200 processing centers, and shuttering hundreds of post offices, including Philadelphia’s original Ben Franklin post offices. He mistakenly thinks closing additional USPS facilities will not result in revenue reductions and service abandonment.. Never mind the intangibles of convenience, safety, receiving medicines, and collegiality that characterizes many rural, small town and suburban post offices.

Mr. Donahoe tells reporters that he is acting the way any beleaguered business executive would, even though he knows that the Postal Service is not just another big business feeding off corporate welfare. The USPS has not taken any taxpayer money since 1971.

By contrast the federal government has taken money from the USPS and owes our Postal Service between $50 and $70 billion dollars in excess retirement benefits payments. The other overpayments to the federal government are for the unprecedented advanced payment of health benefits of future retirees of the next 75 years by 2016, amounting to $5 billion a year, (Congress is considering a bill to rectify this problem). Without corrective legislation, the Postal Service says it would have lost $8.5 billion this year. (By comparison, in addition to lost lives and destruction, the Afghan War quagmire costs the U.S. taxpayer over billion a week, thanks to the Bush administration.

If all this sounds bizarre to you, it is. No other public department is a defacto creditor of the federal government. The USPS is a hybrid corporation, created in 1970, from the old Post Office Department. It has been run into the ground on the installment plan by commercial competitors and by a corporate Board of Governors ideologically rooting for corporate privatizers. Moves to privatize the Postal Service go back to the senior Bush administration

Mr. Naders article is right on the money and only recently has the public and Congress finally realized it. Congress has asked the P.M.G for a moratorium of 5 months to have realistic studies done on future closings and it was granted. Hopefully the Postal Service will survive the latest attempt at privatizing and remain a strong symbol of the greatest country in the world.

Tommy Roma


As the New Year 2012 arrives, there is finally some positive press concerning the postal service. NAPS, showing good faith, agreed to return to the bargaining table with the USPS to try to come up with a pay package that we all can live with during these trying times. If an agreement cannot be reached by the end of January 2012, NAPS will proceed with fact finding….It’s a win-win for both sides.

I read the following article on Postal and felt that I should share it with all of you. In my opinion it sum’s up what we are going through. “USPS nets 152 million from operations, loses $1.8 billion to politicians.”

The USPS took in 40 million more then it spent in November, and after two months of the new fiscal year, has a net income of $152 million. In the private sector that would be called a “profit”. Thanks to Congressional accounting gimmicks, however, the USPS will report a net loss of over $1.8 billion for the two month period. The entire 1.8 billion loss is due not to USPS operations, but to legislation enacted by the Bush administration and the GOP controlled Congress in 2006 that requires the USPS to contribute $5.6 billion to a so called “trust fund” which has so far amassed over 42 billion from USPS profits.

While right wing politicians claim the trust fund is simply a “prudent measure, no other agency or company has a similar burden. The real reason for the requirement appears to be the shifting of billions of dollars of the national debt on to the USPS which is, conveniently,” off budget”. The politically induced “bankruptcy” also provided cover for draconian legislation proposed by Darrell Issa, which would dismantle USPS bargaining agreements, and set up a postal “death panel” to gut the service’s infrastructure.

As far as “real world” financial results are concerned, USPS expenses remained level with the prior year, but revenue was down 3.5%. The decline in revenue reflected the continuing drop in mail volume, which dropped 6.3%, or 2 billion fewer pieces of mail. Standard mail, which has shown some growth last year, is down 7.3% in FY 2012 so far.

The only bright spot in the volume numbers was the 33.6% increase in shipping services volume. While ecommerce driven package delivery is an obvious growth opportunity for the USPS, the problem is that it still represents just 15% of total revenue.

In my opinion if Congress relieves us of the 5.6 billion which is used for prefunding retiree’s health benefits, streamlines through attrition, or incentives, allows us to compete on the open market, the Postal Service will be a viable option for years to come.

Stay Strong,
Tommy Roma.

Paul Lewis Letter


I have let some time pass before I prepared this message to you, because it took me some time to compose myself from the level of disgust and disappointment that I had in your accusations that I have sold out NAPS to management and that I only did so because I also hold a senior management position in the Postal Service.

I take my role as an executive board member very seriously and I represent everyone in my region to the best of my ability. I spend long hours on the phone, on email and on the road making sure that the members of NAPS in the Northeast Area receive the best representation possible.

I have toiled for many years representing members and take extreme offense to your characterizations of me undermining members of NAPS. As a retiree you appear to have ample time at your disposal to sit at your computer and take shots at the leadership of this organization. I regularly see emails from you and your posts on the website where you disparage leadership of NAPS at all levels. For the most part I read your posts and remind myself that you have a right to your opinion about how the organization is managed.

I have known you since we first met in Las Vegas and we have interacted numerous times in person. Although I don’t always agree with your position on certain matters, I have given you the respect that you should have in both your opinions and positions.

However, you have crossed the line when you challenge my integrity as a NAPS officer. First, you don’t have all the facts. As usual, you have this penchant for saying: “Ready, Fire, Aim” and you shoot buckshot at a target before you even know what you are shooting at.

I’ll tell you something Paul, you can challenge decisions I make, how I do my job, etc., but don’t ever, ever challenge my integrity in this organization. By the way, the issue that caused all of this consternation doesn’t even involve your area, it is a Northeast Area issue but, as usual here you go again with “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

Although I don’t believe that I have to explain any of my actions to you, I will let you know that the discussions that were held between NAPS leadership and the Northeast Area concerning the Postal Service’s decision to abandon the requirement to conduct Pre-Disciplinary Interviews was initiated by the Postal Service, not NAPS! PDI’s are not referenced in the ELM and are not required as a precursor to discipline.

The elimination of the PDI process does not take away any rights to representation of NAPS members by our organization at any time a member believes that they need representation. No member of NAPS in the Northeast Area has lost any of their rights under Title 39, ELM 650 or any other handbook or manual.

By your own admission, you claim to be an expert in collective bargaining with your many years as a steward and a craft representative. This coupled with your service in NAPS one would think that you would understand more than you do. It is apparent to me that you lack a common understanding of how things work in this business. When virtually anything happens in postal management you immediately point to the failure of NAPS to accomplish something and tout our use of Title 39 as the remedy.

Paul, I am so disappointed in you, words cannot describe it. You have the right to disagree with how I do things, but I will not allow you to trample on my integrity. I don’t even know if an apology could repair the damage you have caused in our relationship. In the future you should think a little more about what you write before you write it, get all the facts and then if you want to put your foot in your mouth, go right ahead.

Tommy Roma
Northeast Area VP