Category: Articles

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

Postal Supervisor


There is an old cliche, “When your neighbor loses his job we are in a recession, when you lose your job we are in a depression”! Well, we all still have a job so I guess we are in a recession and anyone who has been on the workfloor over the last couple of months just might think differently. All our bread and butter mail, the credit card solicitations, the catalogs, the magazines, even the charity (non-profit) mail has diminished.

It is not our fault, do not blame yourself, just pick up the paper and turn on the TV and another long established firm has folded putting more of our neighbors on the unemployment lines. Then there’s the Big 3 automakers begging for money from Uncle Sam with so much riding on the outcome. Besides the current employees, hundreds of thousands of retirees are in jeopardy. Parts manufacturers depend on the auto industry for their livelihood, no cars sold, no need for parts, another business gone. No cars selling, no advertising mail for USPS. My home Borough of Staten Island, part of the Big Apple with a population of over 400,000 had one Ford Dealer, go under.

All of this comes back to USPS and our future. This era makes the 1992 reorganization aka RIF look insignificant. I have never felt the pain from every level of employee. Carriers who for years shrugged off the clerk automation woes with the crack “What are they going to do, get robots?” Now wonder if they will have a route and even the senior carriers are concerned with their real street time in the DPS, FSS and no volume mode.

The most popular website is the appropriate Union WWW and the contract is read over and over with the inevitable question, Can they really do that? Several months ago I was honored when another member asked for re-print rights to my article “The Job we Love to Hate”. No one wants to lose their job especially if you are in mid career and recognize just how tough the brutal, cold reality of this economy can be.

We have survived every challenge from the telegraph, telephone and now computers with their e-mail. We have managed to re-invent ourselves time and time again to survive as The Post Office. Will the government come to our rescue and realize we perform a PUBLIC SERVICE? Do the Police and Fire Departments pay their own way? As someone who started his career as POD being a cabinet level position with appropriations from Uncle Sam, providing universal Postal Service. Is it time to look back to our future?

Will the very same politicians who say no, no, no to any and all consolidations to save money be willing to step up to the plate and provide the funds to continue reliable Postal Service? These politicians hear the daily complaints of no and late delivery. Make a few phone calls and everything is good or is it? The local station, branch, Post Office is the most visible part of our government to the entire country. Politicians know this and jump on the slightest chance to play the part of the hero with a press conference and “I will not tolerate any cuts in service”.

We have our greatest opportunity at this LTS to send the message from Maine to Alaska, YOU cannot have it both ways, we can not continue as a cash cow and maintain the level of service your constituents expect and deserve.

We have a new administration, that must be educated on what is going on in the Post Office real world, this is NOT a game show, This is the future of a 233 year old American Institution with its roots to Ben Franklin and all the founding fathers. We dare not fail!

Tommy Roma

No one asked me but . . . . . . . .

The vast majority of our NAPS membership were craft employees. I entered the Post Office (along with Ben Franklin) as a Letter Carrier. I took pride in my position, realized I held a position of importance to my customers and worked well with others, including “Supervision”. As an Adult I recognized that I would not agree with every decision on every day but knew this was the nature of the position and on LIFE!

As I travel through cyberspace and visit the various Postal Blogs, The personal, obscene, denigrating comments posted embarrass an old US Navy sailor to the point of tears. Yes, I understand frustration but this type of behavior feeds the fire of hatred, mistrust, and division. We continue to find the enemy and unfortunately, It is US! These termites destroy the organization from the inside and only contribute to an increasingly volatile situation.

The parallels of the 1993 Runyon RIF again jump out at me: “I have a job but my ‘dream’ job is posted only for affected employees”. “My specific position title was eliminated but in the MARS District, they have the same job”. WOW, Tom got a promotion out of the RIF and I am still stuck with my same job! There is no perfect solution to this RIF. Realize you are in a damage control status and need to accept this situation which was not created by you! I miss the ‘Old’ Post Office more than any of my readers. I grew up in it, lived all of my adult life in it, and am saddened by what has happened to it! We must make the best of this horrible RIF and insure YOUR continued employment with USPS. A recent retiree with over 36 years of service, an MBA degree found out the cold reality of the new workforce, Turkey Hills “Sales Associate” at minimum wage The world is as cold as their Ice Cream in six months he will be up to $8 per hour.

nuff said,

Tom Roma


When you accept the Presidency of your local Naps office, I hope you know you will be put on the hot seat when you must take an unfavorable stand against the local USPS. Don’t let any one kid you, if you become a thorn in the side of upper management, they will look to retaliate. It’s all part of the job. If you are looking for upward mobility, they will tell you that your on the wrong side. In my time I have been asked to take a step back if I was looking for upward mobility in the future. My answer to these people was, I was here before you got here and I will be here after you leave. Forty four years later I am still standing. In my opinion anyone who can’t take the pressure of the responsibility of the Presidency should not be President. I love when I hear I cant get involved for fear of retaliation. This tells me you are a marginal EAS and afraid for your job. If that is the case you are not giving your members honest representation. As President of Branch 68 in Brooklyn, I showed Management I was not the enemy and wanted to partner with them for the betterment of both the USPS and NAPS. My track record proves that I gained the respect all through my career. (Roma quote) I don’t want you to love me, I want you to respect me as I respect others.

During this holiday season let us not forget our dear departed President Vince Palladino who left us suddenly on Dec 21, 2004. It was Vince who instilled a lot of what I discussed above in me through the years.

If ever I needed an answer to anything my friend Vince always had the right answer for me. I often wonder if he were alive today, would he have the answers to the Postal problems of today? Im sure he would be right in there fighting for our rights during these trying times. They say the great ones like Vince Palladino only come along once in a life time. Even though it was cut short, I’m happy that I was able to be part of his life while he was here. Rest in peace my friend, you will always be missed.

In closing from my house to yours, Happy Holiday’s and a Happy Healthy, Safe, New Year.

Stay Strong
Tommy Roma

arrow back to top