A 'New Normal' at the End of 2020

Anna Smith

November 17, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the November/December 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Who would have thought what we considered the “norm” at the beginning of 2020 would look so different today? Ringing in the 2020 New Year was in some manner similar to ringing in the New Year back in 2000. The significance of the number 2020 seemed to have this cool new vibe to it. No longer in the teens and great things were going to happen in 2020. We were looking forward to the New Year with a new perspective on life, setting goals and off to new adventures.

Well that did not work out so hot. Who would have thought our lives would change so drastically, and go in different directions by the end of the year?

We were all thrusted into this new way of life, managing everyday tasks while maintaining our households, and trying to keep our composure together through it all.

By years-end, many organizations had to find new ways to meet. Those who may have been doing things maybe a little “old school” – swearing off virtual meetings and electronic communication other than a telephone call – were all of a sudden forced to invest in technology upgrades. The most technology stubborn are learning how to answer calls thru their computer and shop online. Deciding whether you were going to show your face on Zoom, have a still picture, or just have your name appear were decisions you possibly made in 2020.

Every day, you can read how people are saying they want things to get back to normal. The reality is while there may be eventually be a vaccine for this, there will not be any going back. In many aspects of our lives going forward the new “norm” will look much different.

What has not and will not change is our union’s fight to preserve the gains we have struggled tooth and nail for. This includes livable wages, regular work hours, safe working conditions, annual and sick leave pay, seniority rights, overtime pay and provisions, and paid holidays. This fight will still be there in 2021. Just because the occupant of the White House is changing does not mean our fight is over. We cannot let the movement and support for the Postal Service die and its employees take a back seat.

Join Together to Take United Action

Our future as postal workers will be dependent on our strength, and that comes from us standing on the same side, being on the same team. We will continue to be tested by forces who will attempt to divide us. None of us will be able to take on these forces standing alone. In unity there is strength.

As an APWU member, your active participation in our union is vital. Participation is not about just paying your dues. If you have not logged into the APWU Members Only section of the website before today, I encourage you to do so now at apwumembers.apwu.org.

Once you have logged in, you can not only view Members Only communications, your local union contact info, and update your address, but you will also have the opportunity to select how you can actively participate in the APWU. Select “Help in the fight” and check the areas that interest you.

Thank you for all you do each and every day! Happy and safe holidays to you and yours!

Reminder for local leaders during our peak season, do not delay sending in Membership Applications (1187s). In order for membership to be automatically reinstated when a PSE is rehired within 180-days after the conclusion of their current term of employment, the original application must have been submitted and entered.

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