Category: Content

Message from Senator Charles E. Schumer

Dear Mr. Roma:

Thank you for your letter regarding horse slaughter and the humane treatment of horses. I share your concern for these wonderful animals and you will be happy to know that I co-sponsored the S. 727, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, a bill which would prevent the slaughtered of horses for human consumption.

Animal welfare is personally important to me. In the 110th Congress, I cosponsored several bills to protect companion animals: S. 714, the Pet Safety and Protection Act; S. 1880, which would make dog-fighting a federal crime; and S. 2439, which would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track animal-cruelty crimes nationwide. Provisions very similar to the Pet Safety and dog-fighting bills were included in the 2007 farm bill, and I am happy to report that they are now law. I also strongly supported the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which passed the Senate in April and is now federal law and I have pushed the Appropriations Committee to provide funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop plans for evacuating pets during emergencies, such as should have happened in Hurricane Katrina. In addition, I was proud to support the passage of P.L. 106-152, a law banning the interstate trade in “crush videos.” Under this law, it is illegal to engage in the interstate commercial distribution of materials depicting animal cruelty, specifically the crushing of small animals by women wearing high-heeled shoes.

Although I am proud of the accomplishments made on behalf of animal welfare so far, I am aware that there are still many animal welfare issues remaining to be addressed. Rest assured that I remain strongly committed to protecting animal welfare.

Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. If I may be of further assistance on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Please do not respond to this email. To send another message please visit my website at http://schumer.senate.gov/SchumerWebsite/contact/webform.cfm . Thank you.

Memories of a Friend

Over the course of our ten year professional association, I was fortunate to know the real Andy Sozzi. There was his NAPS person and so much more as a human being.

We shared many things in common and it began with our sports teams, we both loved The Mets and The Jets. The Mets were a mystery to me for this Bronx aka Yankee resident but then I knew Andy had good taste. We were both animal lovers and all of our trips consisted of a stop at a nearby Petco or Petsmart. We would bring home toys for our furry friends. Andy would always look to adopt another cat.

Our travel schedules were arduous and overlapping at times and we believed in attending new Catholic churches in each new city. The first time worship would entitle us to one wish and it was always Good health, luck, safe travel and please help our Mets. Naturally we both loved Italian cooking and fine wines from all over the world, for it was Andy who was a true wine connoisseur.

NAPS business put us in the classic good cop, bad cop roles with Andy of course always playing the good cop. I nicknamed him Mr. Spock because he always had the logical answer which would defuse a potentially hostile situation which as the bad cop I may have initiated. His classic line was ” What Tommy really meant to say” was a signal it was time to back off and calm down a situation.

The memorial service hosted by NAPS and Branch 100 created a flood of memories as I waited my turn to speak and try to summarize my partners life in 5 minutes. We both started in the USPS as Letter carriers, became front line supervisors at almost the same time. We were both Presidents of our beloved Columbia association and local NAPS Branches.. Both of us retained our mutual respect for each other during all of our NAPS adventures. NEVER a single disagreement.

STAY STRONG is the motto that Andy left us, try to live his words. Rest in Peace my Friend.

Tommy.

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES FRANK SPATOLA

I first met Frank Spatola in 1968 when he was a Shop Steward for the N.A.L.C. in HOMECREST STATION..I WAS A SUBSTITUTE CARRIER from Blythebourne station who was loaned out for the week to Homecrest. To cover vacation vacancies. At first I was intimidated by the presence of this man who everyone at Homecrest respected. I wondered at that time why he was not part of Management because nothing happened at Homecrest unless Frank was involved. Even the overtime desired list was handled by this man. After working at Homecrest for a few days Frank approached me and said ,KID, I like the way you move mail, do you want to transfer to Homecrest. I thanked him for the kind words but stated, it was much easier for me to commute to my home station because I did not have a car. He said ‘If you ever need help for anything call me at Homecrest.

I ran into him on the picket line the N.A.L.C. formed at the G.P.O. in Brooklyn during the Postal work stoppage in 1970. Frank was leading the workers INCLUDING ME across the Brooklyn Bridge to meet up with our N.Y. Postal Brothers and sisters in SOLIDARITY. The USPS and Police Department considered this illegal and detained Frank and others as ring leaders. They all were later exonerated of any wrong doing and the rest was history. The U.S.Postal service was born and my friend Spats had a lot to do with it. Frank went on to management a job he was born for. I met up with him again when he was on the route examination team testing routes in Blythebourne station. He advised me that being a carrier was a good honest job but being a supervisor meant more in retirement benefits. He kept after me to join Management and I FINALLY MADE IT IN 1976. My first assignment was a supervisor in mail processing on tour 1 at the Brooklyn G.P.O. The first one to congratulate me was Frank. He was now an Area Mgr and asked me to transfer back to the stations. My first assignment was Williamsburg station and guess who was my Area Mgr.? After a tour in Customer services I returned to supervision in Kensington Station. My friend Frank treated me like his son and guided my career all the way up to Manager of Ryder Station, a position I STILL HOLD TODAY. He then advised me to get active in Naps and helped get me elected New York Area V.P. NAPS in Alaska in 2000. Even in retirement he would call me and say T, whats happening in D.C. always interested in the Postal Service and its survival.

Frank was a powerful force with Postal legislation and was instrumental in getting the Postal reorginazation act enacted by changing the mind of Senator Jacob Javitts N.Y. to vote for the act instead of against it. That was no easy task. He held the deciding vote.

The Hatch Act HR20 would never have come to fruition if not for Frank Spatola. Then Senator Al D’Amato threw both Frank and myself out of his office because we asked him to Support HR20 when he opposed it. Frank made him an offer he could not refuse

And 2 weeks later the Senators office advised us that he would back the bill if the I.R.S.

And F.B.I. were exluded from it. The rest is history.

I could go on an on about all the things my friend and mentor accomplished for the Postal Service, NAPS, N.A.L.C. and Narfe but I WOULD NEED TO WRITE A BOOK. Everything I KNOW ABOUT THE Postal service and NAPS I owe to my friend Frank. While he was a father figure to me I could always go to him for advice about anything.

As his health was failing he asked me for one more thing, help keep NAPS the respected organization it always was under Don, Ruben, and Vinny. Make me proud of you and remember I Love you like a son Tommy. Right back at you Frank, Rest in Peace.

Christmas Movies

Two movies which always get a tremendous amount of airtime and reaction are: It’s A Wonderful Life”, and “Miracle on 34th Street”.

First, It’s a wonderful life Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey the head of the household always trying to do the right thing. From childhood on George is there helping people i.e. Mr. Gower and the drug store. Frank Capra, the director of this classic paints the central theme of this movie that the actions of one man affects the life of so many other people. I think of all the NAPS members and Postal employees who as a single individual can and will do so much action that they help the entire body. Be it a donation to SPAC, a letter to a politician or using the great internet communicator capwhiz on the Naps web page. each person is their own George Bailey helping individually for the greater good of all. My specific thoughts go to Vince Palladino who was our George Bailey, Yes, just like George he made a difference by himself and you can too. Don’t be disheartened keep up the good fight and we will win!

“Miracle on 34th Street” has a different theme but its relevancy to the Post Office Department is even more pronounced. Think of Jack Albertson (Chico and the Man) as a Postal Clerk working the old time culling tables. He is perplexed he has all these letters to Santa Claus and does not know where to send them. Just at this time Edmund Gween (Santa) is on trial for being Santa Claus. Well the ending remains timeless as Sack after Sack of Santa Claus letters are delivered to the court and the Judge rules that Gween must be Santa Claus as the Post Office an agency of the Federal Government recognized that this man must be Santa as the mail is delivered to him. In real life for many years, Andy Sozzi played the Post Office Santa at GPO/JAF. Art does indeed imitate life and this was always a special project, held close to Andy’s heart.

So to all the George Baileys and Santa Claus’ in NAPS , YES your work does make a difference!

Stay Strong

Tommy Roma

Use Mail

When was the last time you put a stamp on an envelope to pay a bill or just to communicate with someone else? As a postal worker this is your lifeline to a successful career. Think about it, if we in the Postal service alone used the mails instead of the computer we would be in much better shape today.

I fault the Postal Unions, Management Associations and the USPS also for not using the mails when communicating. Recently I was speaking to an NALC official who was requesting some information from me about a Letter Carrier. He said Tommy just fax it to me, I informed him that I was putting the information in the mail. We are our own worst enemies. Another incident was when some Management official in the Postal Service decided to give our in house Fax numbers to private law firms requesting information. They were faxing all their requests for information instead of using the mails. I solved that at my station by calling the law firm, instructing them to use the mails for their requests and to address all inquires to me. I would not honor any fax requests for information. Case closed. A few years ago a local management association president sent out a private email to anyone who would listen to stop the Postal Service from introducing a bill to tax users of the computer who send emails rather then sending letters through the mail. Just think about that for a minute, if enacted it would subsidize the postal service for loss of revenue, ensure that our jobs were safe, etc. To the best of my knowledge this bill was never enacted but like I said we are our own worst enemies When customer service reps from private industry try to get me to sign up for bill pay online, I notify them that I work for the USPS and will put a stamp on all my mailings .They immediately back off.

It is Labor Day 2011 as I write this article and difficult to see what the future holds for USPS and its employees. My thoughts run the gamut of over 40 plus Labor Days with this company be it as a carrier, supervisor or manager. Tomorrow was always the start of the Fall Mailing List and we knew we would get hit hard with mail. This year September 6th is significant for another reason, Senator Lieberman Chair of the Senate Government Affairs will hold a full emergency hearing on the Post Office. Let us hope that by the time (November) you are reading this, our beloved Post Office Ship has been righted and we are sailing full speed ahead (Navy Man).

A web site of interest is Savethepostoffice.com. Great timely articles of interest, plus a Legislative Action Page called “Send The Love”. Our own New Naps Web Page is another great resource. Please become familiar with Legislative tab and utilize same to contact your Representatives. You can still write your reps using the mail, remember the time lapse due to the radiation of hard copy. So do both!

Spac has never been more important so my Yogi Berra story is still available for anyone especially Yankee fans who make a donation to Spac. If all our members donated just $10.00 we would have another $300,000. Think about it. Money always talks in the world of Politics so please donate today.

It seems like only yesterday that my late partner and friend Andy Sozzi re-enacted some memories of 9-11 on stage in D.C. We will observe the 10th anniversary of that dreadful day this coming week. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

Stressed out? Seek professional health care, EAP is still an excellent resource for referrals.

Stay Strong

ACCOUNTABILITY

This is one of my “mad as hell” articles so please excuse the emotion, As a station manager we are told practically daily and sometimes hourly we are responsible and ACCOUNTABLE (key word) for everything that goes on in our station. In the plant, every piece must go every day or else is frequently heard and of course YOU will be held ACCOUNTABLE. A carrier comes back four minutes late and is put in a V time situation and you ARE held ACCOUNTABLE with a LOW, usually in this new post office a notice of removal. I wish upper management would treat us the same as the craft, progressive and corrective discipline, NOT the off with their head mentality which is so prevalent today and generally goes nowhere and just wastes valuable Postal resources, ie time and money as we do the mediation, EEO, M.S.P.B. dance. Anyway, ACCOUNTABILITY, when someone at the District/Area Level allows the casual cap to be exceeded and the Union wins a giant class action settlement in the millions of dollars, Is anyone held ACCOUNTABLE? An active duty military reservist in a LWOP status is removed and it is overturned on appeal, is anyone held ACCOUNTABLE for the million dollar back pay and benefits settlement?

I know someone is thinking right now, arbitration is “A crap shoot”. My question is simply, “Are our feet held to the fire for minor infractions that may cost the service hundreds of dollars for action WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER?” Poor decisions that are excused as “It’s a Crap shoot” are just routinely ignored.

We are all in this USPS situation together. Discipline for the sake of vengeance, PYOA or the naive, will enhance their performance is idiotic. Let us all work together for a better Post Office as we continue to transition into a leaner USPS.

BTW, (By the way) Did you hear the new expression for leaving mail back (and of course not reporting it) “mail does not bleed”.

Folks, we continue to meet the enemy and it is us! Remember, There is no justification for falsification, DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED!

Tommy Roma NYAVP

HERE WE GO AGAIN

For years I have held the feeling that a majority of postal employees don’t appreciate their jobs until something happens that might work to take their job away from them. In cases of discipline, NAPS does our level best to represent you. In the restructurings we have faced, NAPS has again done yeoman work to protect our members.

Because of overstaffing in supervisory positions in the New York Metro area (by postal evaluations), NAPS has been able to get the USPS to offer incentives for supervisors in both delivery and plant operations. Even with the incentives, we are hearing that members can’t afford to leave for financial reasons; kids in college, mortgages and car payments, and such.

So, what happens next here in my region? I hope that our members who are in harms way are ready to move to vacant positions that do exist, even in instances where they may have to move outside of their local commuting area. NAPS will continue our efforts to minimize the impact of change on our members, but the fact is; some of our members will be forced to make a difficult decision, keep a job, move their families or end their careers with the USPS.

I believe that there will always be a Postal Service. But, it most likely won’t look anything like it did five years ago, or even how it looked yesterday. With FSS coming on line and First Class volume continuing to evaporate, we will have to rely on package services and new products and services to increase revenue.

What is now happening is something I never could have dreamed of in all my years of work for the Postal Service. If it weren’t for NAPS, things could even be worse than they are.

Stay Strong!

Tommy Roma
N.E. Regional V.P.
NAPS

A Broken Record

A cliche from my youth was, “You sound like a broken record”. Meaning; you repeat yourself, over and over again. So, I look at the Naps Forum and see the same old problems.

1. You CANNOT be made to use your POV. You are putting yourself into extreme jeopardy unless you have advised your insurance company you are doing street/safety observations i.e. using your car for commercial use and be prepared to pay the increase in your premium. I know you will not be a favorite anymore but does it really matter in the midst of this downsizing? You are not going to get promoted, forget about it.

Stand up for yourself. Have your spouse drive you to work and the car will not be there for you to be a nice guy. In the words of Leo Durocher of Baseball Fame, “Nice Guys Finish Last” or in this case ‘No auto insurance”.

2. DOIS-Time manipulation: Want to get put up for removal, this is the express train to Labor. Better to be written up for failure to perform than falsification charges. Charlie Scialla has repeatedly stated that “MSPB judges take a dim view of these types of allegations”. Think about this scenario, the carrier who you hit out at 1600 hours but is still working gets into an auto accident and is seriously injured or even killed. How are you going to explain he was off the clock and still delivering mail? If you cannot make a return to the office goal, document the reasons why. Print and keep all the threatening e-mails, send same up the ladder plus to your Naps officers.

3. Unprofessional conduct: Screaming, telling, threatening behavior is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Either by you to your employees or by your upper management down to you. Cursing peppered with threats must cease. If you cannot reach detente with the person, move it up to the next level. You do not have to tolerate this type of behavior, we are all under stress. Irrational behavior does not help the situation and in most cases makes it worst. Stay calm and tell the offender that you do not appreciate the tone, content or language that they are using.

Please feel free to e-mail me if you need help, We are all in this together.

Tommy Roma

[email protected]

Vince Palladino – A Lifetime of Love

Vince Palladino – A Lifetime of Love

palladinoI first met Vince when we were both Letter Carriers. Vince from his beloved Staten Island and me the Lifetime Brooklyn Dodger, Yankee Hating Brooklynite. At this time, I was President of the Christopher Columbus Association of The Brooklyn Post Office. This was the 1970?s when it was a much kinder and gentler Post Office and the words respect and dignity were actually something we believed in and actually DID!

The Columbian Association was a fraternal/ethnic organization dedicated to furthering the Italian-Americans in The Postal Service. Staten Island was part of our MSC and I could not make any inroads with forming a Staten Island Branch of The Columbians. Staten Island had many Italian-Americans who both lived in Staten Island and worked in Brooklyn. A mutual friend told me about a real go-getter on “The Island”,Vince started the Staten Island part of The Columbians & this would prove to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. One that still lives inside of me as I search for the wisdom to continue to help our NAPS Membership.

Time moves quickly and we both become delivery supervisors. Vince becomes “The Legend of Rosebank”, for he had a gift of leadership. His men and women would follow him, working and playing and getting the job done! His first female carrier who I met years ago, asked me if I really knew Mr. Palladino and she was ecstatic when I told her yes, we were good friends. She was very anxious to meet him again and the next time he was on “The Island”, I arranged a surprise visit. Thanks to Vince and his caring ways, this lady was able to work her way through Dental School as a Letter Carrier and became a Dentist.

vince palladinoOur paths continued to cross over the years with both of us making Manager and Vince starting his road to the NAPS National Executive Board. As my children grew older, there was more time for NAPS and I became Brooklyn NAPS Branch 68 President. This is when the real fun began with Palladino. To this day, I can not recall a single conversation that did not begin and end with NAPS and the Post Office. He was always incredulous over the poor treatment of Postal Supervisors and was continuously trying to improve working conditions. His famous story of the “Lady and The Tiger” is a personal favorite. Vince told me that it is USPS Headquarters that determined which Palladino they would deal with, The Lady by communicating in a gentlemanly fashion, reasoning together for the good of all! The “Tiger” unsheathed his claws when the threats and the screaming started. Most of the time, “The Lady” prevailed.

It was 1992/1993, that he faced the real test, “Runyons’ RIF”. Panic, anxiety & pain rushed through the entire EAS workforce. Vince joked about thanking Rubin for passing the baton of leadership to him BUT it was no joke. People’s jobs were in jeopardy and something had to be done. The results are well known with upgrades, promotions, transfers and saved grade. Palladino achieved what few thought were possible, a VICTORY that enhanced the working lives of all EAS.

Vince for years wanted me to move up in the organization and finally I agreed to become New York Area Vice-President . Roma, he said you must hit the ground running. There is no OJT, too much to do, we must come up with better ways for the membership to be compensated. WE must convince the Postal Service that we need to be partners in order for USPS to succeed for ALL of us! “We must get on the train or risk being run over by it”. This early mentoring led me to the halls of Postal Service Headquarters and my ability to be on the team. Not the enemy but someone who recognized that the common goal of USPS and NAPS is mutual respect and dignity. With Vince as our leader, this was the reputation we enjoyed with The Postal Service.

This year, 2009 marks the fifth anniversary of Vince in Heaven. I miss my friend and mentor but I know that he is listening to me with my prayers.

God Bless you Vince and Thanks for all you have done for us and The Postal Service.

Tommy Roma

Remembering Vinny

I had been serving the insurance needs of NALC and APWU members for ten years when I met Vinny Palladino in 1979 at the Rosebank Post Office in Staten Island, New York when he was NAPS Area Vice President. I learned then that behind his easy going manner and casual laugh was a bright gentleman with a mathematical mind. He explained the pension and life insurance benefits of FERS and gave me some material which he thought would be helpful in counseling Postal employees. I also found that he and I shared a passion for detail to service.

Shortly thereafter, he suggested that I contact Frank Torres, who was the President of the NAPS branch in Puetro Rico, because Vinny believed that those members were probably underserved by the insurance industry. Little did I know that I would spend the next nine months living in Puetro Rico and eventually opening an office in Hato Rey! Needless to day, I was grateful to a man who not only took interest in the welfare of his members; but also in helping me, a complete stranger. Later on that year, Vinny introduced me to the Northest Director of Labor Relations, Charlie Scialla; and the three of us remained acquaintances and friends until Vinny’s death five years ago.

While Ruby Handleman was NAPS President, I introduced Guaranteed Acceptance Disability and Life Insurance. Ultimately, those programs, along with the annual Vincent Palladino Memorial Scholarship (dedicated in 2005) were approved by the Executive board in 1993. The disability and Life Insurance programs and scholarships still serve NAPS members today.

In closing, I feel privileged to have known Vinny for almost thirty years. I witnessed his intelligence, negotiating skills, and most importantly, his humanity, first hand. He was a great president who could lead with strength and humor at the same time. He loved his family, and he loved his job. He was fiercely dedicated to both. Like every one who knew, respected, and admired Vinny, I miss him.

John Pescitelli, President
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