Ready to Go

Tiffany Foster

January 23, 2020

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

Happy New Year from the officers in the Northeast Region. I wish you good health, peace and happiness. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the members who participated in this year’s APWU National Election.

I would also like to express my gratitude to those who voted for me. I do not take your vote, support, trust and the responsibilities associated with this position lightly.

Congratulations to all the re-elected and newly elected APWU National Officers. I want to recognize Ron Suslak, our outgoing Northeast Region Coordinator, for all his work in the region and his continued support during my transition period.

A special appreciation goes out to our recently retired Northeast Region Coordinator John H. Dirzius for allowing me to tap into his wealth of knowledge and for being a resource to me during my beginning stages in the position.

I cannot leave out the NBAs and the locals in the Northeast Region. Thank you for welcoming me with open arms. I am excited for what the future holds for our region.

Maya Angelou said, “I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going.”

I am standing on the shoulders of giants and following in their footsteps. Moe Biller, Elizabeth “Liz” Powell, John. H. Dirzius and Ron Suslak, all respected and strong leaders who led the Northeast Region as our coordinators. Each one of these trailblazers made a mark on the position and left a legacy for me to follow. I cannot duplicate or imitate them and I won’t try. In addition to the foundation they have laid, I will bring my talents and gifts to the Northeast Region to continue the stellar representation our region is accustomed to.

With your support and involvement, the Northeast Region will continue to rock!

It is time to move on. The theme of the 2019 APWU Installation of Officers was “Moving Forward Together.” This is what we now must do. One team. One dream. We are stronger as one than we are as many. Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This is a true statement. The fight for our jobs, good wages, benefits and good service requires us all to work as one.

As your coordinator, I will be available and accessible to you. The long-standing practice of sharing information will continue. We will fight as one, because we will be one.

Reversions, here we go again!

Management has once again ramped up its unjustified attacks on our jobs. Reversions in the clerk craft are out of control. The reduction in staffing not only has a negative impact on the employees, but the communities we serve as well.

Management says the reversions are necessary because the “workload doesn’t justify the need” or “the station or section is over its earned/authorized complement.” This means nothing. Earned Hours and Earned Complement are not contractually sound positions. It is not in our contract and arbitrators have described the idea of “Earned” as “Legal Fiction.”

The reduction of clerk craft duty assignments creates long lines that frustrate customers and employees alike. But most importantly, the lack of staffing casts a negative image of the Postal Service in the customer's eyes and turns them away.

All parties within the APWU are working together to combat this attack and we need your help. You are on the work room floor and see the violations. Your statements are essential in this struggle to protect and preserve our jobs. We must work collectively to create a Postal Service that benefits everyone - the employees and the public. This battle will not be easy, but we can do it. I’m ready. Are you?

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