Tri-State Convention Canceled, and Other News
Tri-State Convention: Our WA UMPA Executive Board met last week as did the boards of Oregon and Idaho. We all are agreed that with the health, welfare, and priorities for individuals and families that we have decided to cancel the Tri State event planned for Jun 4-7, 2020 in Hood River. Our WA Chapter Exec Board, will be meeting in mid-May and decide how to move forward prior to the National Convention scheduled for August 1-7, in St. Louis, MO. We may gather for chapter business in WA prior to the National Convention, in a less formal format. We have many issues including Chapter and National Bylaw proposals, and National Candidates for positions as well as Chapter Officer positions. This is such an important time for us to be engaged for so many reasons. It is up to you how you do, what you do, to learn, teach, and help each other grow, for the important ESSENTIAL part we play in our communities. I hope we can be together in person sooner than later, to do what we do best. United!
Meetings: We are still meeting with USPS at the District, Area, and HQ level. Safety of our employees and customers is paramount. Administration of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is currently underway within the Postal Service. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave
As with most new timekeeping and leave mgt programs (which usually are rolled out over a year long period), this information is fast and furious and as you may think changes with the different and unique dynamics of our USPS organization.
We are also discussing, individual office, issues regarding supply chain of Covid related cleaning and protective items, as well as regular operating needs, which are both interrupted in a profound way. Yet, with innovations and creative responses the system is working as well as can be expected and improving as we move along.
We did postpone our normal SEA District Mtg, as we have been in constant contact and many of the other issues are still being addressed. Some of those issues, have taken a back seat to keeping our employees and customers safe and the essential mail being delivered.
General Thoughts: This global, national, and regional event has touched every single person in a physical, social, emotional, and psychological way. As USPS and UPMA we still have a supportive role to play and while it is not business as usual, we must move forward with our mission, with resolve and a resolute fortitude. As individuals with elder care, childcare, family and school aged care, I see so many daily examples of our human spirit and what binds us together.
Our legislative efforts REALLY need a boost right now as the financial condition of the USPS prior to, and especially now, is as perilous as it has ever been. The messaging from our PMG and UPMA National President posted are both stark warnings against inaction from our Congress and Administration.
In 1650 the poet Thomas Fuller wrote, “It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn”. Reality is a bit different as the darkest of night, gradually comes to light until the sun rises and daylight splashes over this big blue marble. I would implore you all, as postal leaders, to support and encourage your employees, provide tangible and organizational support and acknowledgements for what they are going through in their work and home lives. Share the positive and appreciative feedback from customers during these difficult times.
Please reach out if you have any issues especially supplies or PPE for your units. Be kind, calm, and stay safe and be well.
Gordon Williams UPMA WA Chapter President.