NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101

NAPS 105 General Meeting Minutes

September 15, 2009

Kelley and Gazzerro

 

Meeting began at 6:38                                                                           Attendance – 37

           

The Pledge of Allegiance led by Al Poli

 

Michaela Saccoccio acted as master of ceremonies on behalf of Dean Ambrosino.

 

Roll call: In attendance President Dean Ambrosino, Vice President Michaela Saccoccio, Treasurer Sue Evans, Secretary Rose Russo, Legislative Rep Pam Monroe. Executive Board members Alan Conca, Brad Fish, Al Poli, Norma Johnson, Dan Guenette, Joanne Keeling, Gail Gagne and Cy Dumas.  Excused:  Roberta Menard

 

Treasurer Report given by Sue Evans – Sue said that no checks were written in August.  By the end of August we were in good shape again.  Sue said that the current month’s expenses totaled $0.  Year-to-Date expenses total $21,726.83.  The checking account ending balance is $686.50.  The savings account balance is currently $282.94.  The Money Market Balance is $33,763.27.  Total assets are $34,732.71 with year-to-date results of total income and expenses at $1502.34.  Sue said that she is expecting another DCO deposit of about $2300.00.  She does not expect too many expenses through the end of the year.

Motion to accept made by Alan Conca, seconded by Dean Ambrosino

 

Secretary’s report given by Rose Russo:  The number of current Branch 105 members is 237, adding in the 32 associate members equals a 269 total.

Correspondences received include two thank you notes for get well wishes and gift baskets - one from Bill Hill and the second from Bill Connors.  Rose reminded all to submit names to the executive board of members who have been out sick for more than 2 weeks so the Branch can send get well gift baskets.

Motion made to accept made by Rick Laporte and seconded by Dan Guenette.

 

Alan Freitas owner/operator of Boston Priority Management is also a National Certified trainer and speaker gave a presentation titled Organize or Agonize.  He covered topics such as defining purpose, hierarchy of choices, criteria for priorities and influencing people to give us a sense of how management training could benefit us.

 

Guest speaker Southeast New England District Manager John W. (Mike) Powers - Mr. Powers thanked us for the invitation and covered Postal happenings.  He said that Alan Freitas made him think about how in today’s world our jobs require many different skills. There is a need for us to be accountable for all we do.  Non-performance is being exposed as never before. Employee surveys say some are not being held accountable.  In the past, some things were lost.  Not now – the need to get results is critical today.  He said that from a leadership perspective – we have our employees’ attention.   All employees recognize the low volume. 

 

Mr. Powers pointed out that at the end of Sept. we will see operational losses that may exceed $8 billion.  What drives that? Significantly - the economy – and also a diversion of hard copy to the internet.    Looking forward, some believe a turn will happen around 2010, some think 2011.  How will that impact the USPS?  Some believe that some of the lost business will never be seen again. 

 

What is the USPS doing to address the loss?  Mr. Powers reminded us that he is in the SENE District due to a district abolishment where 140 EAS employees lost their jobs.  He complimented Cy Dumas for doing a wonderful job in representing these employees.  He called Cy a tremendous supporter and advocate.  Nationwide six districts were eliminated. 

 

They also looked at plant staffing finally agreeing that there should be one EAS employee to every 23 craft employees.  When calculations were reviewed we recognized that there were too many in people function 1- Mail processing. After abolishing the positions, those people successfully landed positions in other areas. 

 

Stations and branches have been impacted and continue to be reviewed.

 

Powers added, as an organization we are looking at closing Post Offices. We have 40,000 facilities across the U.S., a majority of which do not take in enough revenue to support themselves.  However, we recognize that they are part of our fixed cost.

 

He added that when there is no volume – there is no revenue.  The customers pay our salaries.  Since the ‘70s we have relied on the users of our system to support us.  Two years ago we peaked at 215 billion pieces of mail.  In 2010 they are forecasting 165 billion pieces.  We have an infrastructure designed to support 300 billion pieces of mail.  That leads us to do things much differently.

 

A Voluntary Early Retirement was offered 6 months ago.  Now we have an incentive for mail handlers and clerks.  Powers said that the goal for the organization is to put us into a position where we can end 2010 respectably.  A 30,000 reduction of employees will allow us to contend with a continued volume loss.

 

This year SENE District used 1.5 million fewer work hours. We will spend $7- 8 billion less than same period last year (SPLY).  A law was established by congress to support future retiree health costs which presently holds $35 billion with $5.8 is due 10/1/09 and these funds are inaccessible.  HR-22 provides the USPS the opportunity to pay only $2.2 billion. 

 

Last year (2008) we posted a $2.8 billion loss.  Without the tax law we would have posted a profit, this is because of our people are managing and doing what they should be doing.  Our major focus is to eliminate overtime.  We do not have money to pay overtime.

 

Next year promises an unstable economic challenge.  People that work for you look to you to provide leadership.  We may need you now more than ever. 

 

Q.  How is MIARAP doing?

A.  MIARAP is an agreement between the NALC and Postal management to adjust routes.  Most recent results - 94 full time equivalents were taken out of the original structure. The September results are critical for the next round of realignments.  It is a better process and more expedient than the old method. 

 

Q. How can customer service get a better product from the plant? 

A. Have you been to the Providence Plant?  Half the floor of the main structure is empty and the new area has empty space (in anticipation of FSS).  We have been bringing in CSBCSs from the field to make the operations more efficient – fill the plant with machinery.  Providence plant has had some challenges.  We’ll be in a good position real soon.  We know there is room for improvement and are working hard to stabilize. 

 

Q.  What happened to the Leadership Development program?

A. We are going to develop EAS leadership development programs; we can’t afford not to.  We now expect people to do things that they are incapable of doing.  Training is very important.  Training opportunities have been scratched.  We must be creative and we will do something. 

 

Q.  Where is the equipment? There is a lack of DPS cages and the field is constantly getting DPS in webbed cages from the plant. 

A. There is less volume than ever; this shouldn’t be happening.  The equipment has got to be out there.  If there are things that are causing you to fail - push back – don’t accept it. It’s a simple turn around of equipment.

 

Q.  Front line supervisors have hardest job. Some managers are saying, “My job is to delegate and hold you accountable.”  Managers should be developing, motivating and offering assistance to supervisors.

A: I don’t believe that you are correct.  If we have people who don’t value the people who work around them, we will not be successful.  We have people who are standing on their heads and successful.  We have offices showing a twenty percent volume reduction with a 10 -12 percent hour reduction.   But then there are offices with the same volume reduction and no hour reduction, it tells you that they have some issues. Is there pride/a commitment to your job?  From there you get reaction and results.  Look at it. Break it down.  Wearing blinders will not get results. 

 

Q. The government has bailed out banks and the car industry.  Can the present administration give us relief?

A. By law we may not show more that a $15 billion of debt and the most we may borrow is $3 billion.  Three years ago we were debt free.  Do I think there is a political need to save the USPS?  Yes, absolutely.  Has there been a hesitancy to save the Postal Service? Absolutely. The others have not done the things the Postal Service has done.  Five years ago the Postal Service stopped hiring – because we projected that as technology was improving we would not need the same number of employees in the future.

To run the USPS now costs money.  If the volume does not support the cost to deliver to each and every household every day, the government will have to step in.  Do I think there will be a Postal Service 20 to 30 years from now?  Yes.  Will it be the same as it is today? No.  Letter mail is gone and our future is in ad mail and packages.

 

The Postal Service spent $78 million in advertising on the flat rate Priority Mail boxes and experienced a 22 percent increase in packaging business.  In the mean time the competitors took a loss.  Package shipping is a big part of our future.  The business has been taken from the competitors and we don’t want to give it back.  In 2001 contracted with FedEx to transport our cargo.  Our mail and their mail travel together the only difference between us is FedEx costs much more to ship.  Also, we deliver some of their mail in the last mile and make money from them doing it. 

 

Q. Of the 30,000 projected to accept the retirement incentive how many have accepted?

A. Seventeen thousand as of last Friday. 

 

Mr. Powers concluded by reminding us to focus on the customers, focus on the bottom line, and focus on our employees.  Tell employees they are doing a great job.  We can’t tolerate bad relationships.

 

Legislative Report given by Pam Monroe:  Pam informed us that HR-22 has passed with a vote of 388-32.  Both Langevin and Kennedy supported this bill.

 

She said that the Government Accountability Office added the Postal Service to its list of Federal agencies and programs at high risk of waste, fraud and abuse.  The Postal Service hasn’t been on this list since 2007. 

 

Senate Bill S 1507, the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Funding Reform Act of 2009, needs your support.  Pam asked members to write and phone local representatives to support this bill.

 

Pam then directed members to the handouts on the tables that listed instructions to navigate through the website www.naps.org to contact representatives for their support.  She described the website and explained how user friendly it is.

 

Pam asked members to make Supervisors’ Political Action Committee (SPAC) contributions.  She explained that the donations help us communicate with legislators.  This national has donated to Congressman Langevin and Senator Reed.

 

Pam reminded us that donations may be made through an electronic funds transfer, by check or money order, online by credit card, online by payroll deduction, or payroll deduction by phone.  She pointed out that if each member donated just 50 cents per week at roughly 300 members we would donate $7,800.  So far, in 2009 branch members have donated $1,130.  In 2008 the branch donated $2,896. She asked us to please help, our future depends on it.

Motion to accept made by John Peters and seconded by Gail Gagne.

 

 

Branch 105 Vice President Michaela Saccoccio – Michaela spoke about the training she received through Priority Management.  She said that the one day workshop offered valuable information.  It allowed her to assess her own influencing skills and explained the influencing process.  She considers these skills important when negotiating on a member’s behalf.  She used some techniques at the last executive board meeting and was given some good feedback.

Michaela thanked all who attended the 4th annual NAPS Golf Tournament.  Over $125.00 was raised for SPAC on behalf of the branch.  Special thanks to Joe Murdock for organizing this event.

 

Officer nominations were conducted and nominees are on the enclosed ballot. Votes will be collected at the November meeting.  Details outlined on the ballot form.

 

Some announcements:

-The Combined Federal Campaign kick off will take place next week.

-Pay for performance 2007 will be archived on October 13th.

-Deb Wichert wants us to know that with the Voluntary Early Retirements some offices will be short staffed and some over. Those who desire to move to a new office should go to eReassign between September 25 and the end of October.

 

50 – 50 drawing winner Dave Goodrow number 9438961.

 

A motion was made to end the meeting by Rick Laporte and seconded by Alan Conca.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Rose A. Russo

Secretary

NAPS Branch 105

Providence, RI

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