"We all we got."

Tiffany Foster

May 20, 2024

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As postal employees and customers, many of you have seen and experienced the effects of the 10- year plan led by Postmaster General (PMG) DeJoy. Delayed mail, excessing, short staffing, etc., are all effects of the Sorting and Delivery Centers (S&DCs), Local Processing Centers, and Regional Processing and Distribution Centers, which are rapidly popping up nationwide, some under the guise of Mail Processing Facility Review (MPFR) studies.

Have you noticed that the MPFRs yield the same outcomes and regurgitate the same language? It’s like copy and paste.

DeJoy has a team at Postal HQ making decisions for an organization they have no knowledge of. It’s like the consolidations and implementation of these new facilities are an extension of DeJoy’s business.

The MPFR study requires the Postal Service to hold a public input meeting, but they don’t publicize the meetings as they should.

It’s always the union that notifies the community and elected officials about these meetings. Locals in the Northeast Region paid for postcards and postage that the community could send to their state senators. Others copied the USPS public comments QR code and passed it out at the public meeting. Others took out ads in the local paper. The great job that locals have done, and continue to do, cannot go unrecognized because their fight is your fight.

The public meetings are not intended for public participation, otherwise, they would be scheduled for after work and meeting spaces would accommodate large groups. The union, community, and local officials must often fight to get the Postal Service to select suitable times and obtain large enough spaces to facilitate full public participation.

At the public meetings, postal management never have answers to any of the public’s concerns, as the MPFR states they should. In fact, they said they were not there to answer any questions. They were there to take input. How do you give input without information? You don’t. You can’t. If you have attended one of these meetings, you know what occurs.

Then there’s this part: “There will be no career employee layoffs.” This is mentioned in the final decision letters and at the public meetings.

The Postal Service may not be issuing pink slips to the employees, but consolidating facilities and implementing S&DCs will trigger excessing. The idea of being excessed is enough for some to call it quits, resulting in employees retiring, resigning, or transferring to another facility that may face the same fate. In essence, it’s a silent, unspoken forced layoff.

The Federal News Network reported, “Postmaster General Louis DeJoy says the Postal Service may need to reduce its employee headcount by 50,000 positions, as the agency looks to consolidate its network of facilities that process mail.”

Is this how DeJoy will get his 50,000 reduction – by discouraging and angering folks enough that they leave? You have a right to be frustrated about the changes negatively impacting you, but it should not be directed at the union. That’s what management wants you to do. I want to remind you that it’s management who decides to excess employees from their office, not the union.

I also want to remind you that the union is fighting together with you and for you when management makes these decisions. We understand that the damage has already been done when you’re excessed, but that doesn’t mean we don’t fight to rectify the harm. We’ve gotten employees retreat rights. We’ve gotten excessings canceled. Without the union, we would be workers-at-will and moved beyond the 50 miles they are contractually limited to.

On behalf of your Northeast Region NBAs and my fellow coordinators, Omar Gonzalez, AJ Jones, Yared Wonde, and Amy Puhalski, please don’t give up on your union. As the saying goes, “We all we got.” ■

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