As I sit back and reflect on my 24 years as your N.Y. Area V.P. and your N.E.R.V.P., I can truly say I left it all on the field when it came to representing my membership. I fought hard for every member’s rights that I represented. My mentors Charlie Scialla, Vince Palladino, Ruby Handelman, Ray Perri, Frank Spatola, and John Santoro taught me to fight the good fight, and do it with dignity and respect. Never to demean your opposition. I remember Frank Spatola telling me to read the Management Instructions issued by the USPS monthly, which would contain all information about the job and its latest updates and changes.

Vince and the others told me to fight to the end when I knew I was right, but to know when to back off when a settlement could be the only option. I am the last of the original SWCS team to be active with NAPS & the USPS. We worked hard with our USPS partners and came up with 1,068 new supervisory positions. It took us almost 5 years to achieve this goal. That is something I am very proud of, and I thanked both my partner, Jim Warden, my team members, and the USPS for seeing this through.

NAPS was able to partner with the USPS on the new pilot program for the Supervisors Apprentice program, and Brooklyn was chosen as one of the test sites. I was chosen by NAPS Branch President Jamaal Muhammad to represent NAPS in the Brooklyn program, which was concurred with by NAPS President Ivan Butts, and the USPS. The original plan was for Brooklyn only to have the customer service side represented. I reminded the Postal Service that we have two sides of the house, Customer Services and the Plant side, and both should have a class. The Postal Service added the plant to the program much to my delight. On Friday, January 26, 2024, I am happy to report that the first class of the Supervisor Apprentice program, both Customer Services and the Plant, graduated and became EAS 17 relief supervisors. I must admit that we suffered some hiccups along the road to success, but in the end, the pilot program was a success, and I look forward to the next class in Brooklyn. I am also happy to report that NAPS has 12 new NAPS members because of this successful program.

I wish I could be as positive about the next challenge I am involved in, the use of EAS to deliver mail. I have never, and will never, be a proponent of EAS delivering mail. The USPS, because of hiring shortages and retention of said employees, feels that they can use EAS to pick up the slack. This in my opinion is not true.

While NAPS does not have a C.B.A. (collective bargaining agreement), the craft organizations do, and it clearly states that EAS cannot do craft work. The A.S.M. (Administrative Support Manual) clearly states that EAS cannot do craft work except in a time of emergency. Ditto for the E.L.M. (Employees & Labor Relations Manual). Our M39 and the carriers M41 clearly states that EAS cannot cross crafts, or they will be subject to grievances, and boy, have we paid them grievances for keeping their mouth shut and hand open. So, I ask you, where are the savings if we are paying out all these grievances, and the safety of an EAS is at stake? While I must admit that the USPS is slowly rectifying this problem, fixing it is the only solution, so it won’t happen again. I want to remind all our members that “today’s favor is tomorrow’s assignment”. My promise to our members is, I will see this through until the end. As we say in Brooklyn, “Stay Tuned,” and stay strong.

Tommy Roma

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