Excerpts from National League Postmasters President Charley Mapa:
I just returned from the LEAGUE’S Western Area II meeting held in Kansas City Missouri. In the thick of times when the constant message of the Postal Service is doom and woe, here was a group of LEAGUE Postmasters gathered to do the things that the LEAGUE does so well; train, brainstorm, problem solve, network, train some more and take time to have fun!….Where the Postal Service seems to spend an inordinate amount of time in some districts tearing Postmasters down and humiliating them, LEAGUE Postmasters gathered to support one another and build one another up. There was no Area VP, no district manager, and no POOM. The entire atmosphere of the conference was refreshingly positive.
I don’t want to make the 3 day meeting sound like some it was a modern day Postmasters’ Woodstock love fest, for it was not. Serious issues were discussed, issues like the future of an NPA/PFP program that might have lost its effectiveness, districts hounding Postmasters for having the courage to stand up for other Postmasters, districts whose management styles reflect something more in tune with some Banana Republic Dictators than with what should be expected of Public Servants treating their managers with respect, dealing with the threat of a Postal Service turning its back on the American people by wholesale closings of post offices and the constant shifting of workload from hardworking clerks, carriers and supervisors to the backs of Postmasters.
Recently your National Board agreed to urge Postmasters not to participate in the VOE survey. The process itself is really not the issue. We’ve been involved in it for a long, long, time. The LEAGUE helped to develop it. I could have urged Postmasters to go ahead and take the survey and give the lowest scores possible for every item that applied to district managers and MPOOs, but that would not have been right; there are good district managers and MPOOs out there. The fact is, the work environment for so many Postmasters across our nation continues to deteriorate. Postmasters are not whiners; they suck it up, they suck it up some more and they continue to suck it up, day after long day, month after long month, year after year. They are Postmasters absolutely dedicated to serving the people of America and doing the best they can for the Postal Service, but the Postal Service has turned its back on them.
Workhours continue to be shifted from clerks, carriers and supervisors to the backs of Postmasters. District
Managers, chasing phantom EXFC numbers, take another day from Postmasters by scheduling them in on their day off, Saturday (many Postmasters are already working that 6th day for free because they don’t have the staffing, clerks, carriers, PMRs, supervisors to cover the day).
It is easy to see why the Postal Service nonchalantly shifts this workload to Postmasters; they are working for free and anyone else has to be paid! It would be easy to say that the Postal Service has been forced to do this because of the tough economic times. The only problem with that defense is that the Postal Service has been doing this for years longer than the year and a half that the economy has been in the dumper.
The Postal Service has done nothing to relieve Postmasters of the seemingly bottomless pile of proliferating redundant reports and logs that waste so much of a workday. Those same logs and reports send the
Postal Service’s loud message that it doesn’t trust Postmasters to use their intellects to do their jobs.
The degree of micromanagement that Postmasters are subjected to is insane, and the demeaning disrespectful manner in which Postmasters are treated in too many districts is bad management at least and criminal in some places. Disciplining Postmasters and threatening them with firing for missed scans by a clerk or a letter left in a case by a carrier is inconceivable, except in the Postal Service. It is time for all of this lunacy to STOP! We, the Postal Service can do better; we are supposed to be a world class organization. We should be treating all of our employees, clerks, carriers, mail handlers, PMRs, supervisors, and POSTMASTERS with fairness and respect. Give Postmasters the tools, effective training, and resources to get our jobs done and back off!