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Report from our Eastern Area UPMA Coordinator Mari Beth Kirkland, Postmaster Middlefield OH


The Eastern Area AVP, Dr. Joshua Colin, has gone on a detail. Acting AVP is, Angela Curtis. I have worked with her on a few items.  
Some states have been mandating their Postmasters to work Saturday’s for the Safety Blitz. I was able to get the District Manager to withdraw this for all Postmasters, except offices that had accidents. It worked for two weeks, and then it was reported to me that 4 out of 5 Saturday’s were mandated. The second time, I did not get a response from the DM or (A) AVP, so I went to our National office. It took about 10 minutes for President Dan Heins to get a response. He sent it up to Bruce Nicholson. The state, and the (A) AVP, could not come up with a good enough reason to issue this kind of a mandate. It was stopped immediately. 
New York State is doing full reversal of DUO routes, that did not make the financial criteria of the SOP. They are looking at office levels with these changes. There will be many routes in Ohio that qualify for “DUO overs”, if it is put in place. It is interesting that one state is implementing this, and the rest not.  Perhaps other states will follow. 
Denial of leave during PEAK has been an issue in one of the states. Our contention is that if there is coverage for the office, there should be no reason to deny leave. President Dan Heins, received this email;.. "December is one of our busiest months and we shouldn’t expect to use personal leave every day and take annual leave throughout the month. We shouldn’t drop a leave slip already approved by ourselves (installation heads) on our POOM and say, “I’m off, you need to figure out staffing my office.”  We should have planned to use any leave that we are over the ceiling (560) prior to peak season.  However, the statement from the POOM is unacceptable.  There is nothing in our polices that prohibit annual leave in December. The POOM should consider sending a more effective message that conveys to employees that he realizes peak season can be tough and he appreciates their dedication.  He should state that peak season will be challenging as it always is and he is counting on the PM’s as leaders to service our customers and be as efficient as possible and that starts with the PM being in the office and available.  If he wants to discourage hundreds of leave slips, then he could ask Postmasters to submit a sound plan for the Operations of their office prior to taking leave to prevent any customer service failures. "
I think we all know that employees can’t have weeks off at a time during Christmas but there may be situations where it would have no impact and the POOM should determine that on a case by case basis. Please reach out to an Ohio officer if you get in this situation. Also please understand, you have to have your office covered. It is not the POOM’s responsibility. 
The area has a few Postmasters out on IMIP’s, and out of their offices due to investigations. In many cases, the Postmasters do not know what the allegations are. Please understand if you are placed out of your office, on Administrative Leave, to an involuntary reassignment temporarily, we cannot proceed with anything as long as you are in a Pay status. 
The Lean Communication Team is fading away. I have been successful in Northern Ohio to reduce emails, and compliance requirements. I would hope that you have noticed a reduction in some of reporting in this district. I have to commend our Northern Ohio District Manager, Sharon Young, whom I believe to be very instrumental in reducing redundant reporting. Her assistance has been outstanding.  Many other states, that I have spoken with have done nothing with this program. 
On the UPMA front, an amendment to the bylaws, has been submitted to change the Area Postal Coordinator term to one year, rather than a three year term. I will be submitting a job description, to the Executive Board of the duties and responsibilities of an Area Postal Coordinator. I can honestly say, it took me a full year to get acclimated to the position. We need at least a two or three year term. 
Respectfully submitted,
Mari Beth Kirkland
Eastern Area UPMA Postal Coordinator


to Angela Curtis, Eastern Area                                                      10/26/2019

Subject: Holiday Collections
Good Morning Ms. Curtis,
I hold an Eastern Area Telecom for all State Presidents, each month. Each state reports out on their state. Last night, I held the October telecom. 
Some of the states discussed the requirements for collection on the holiday. I will forward one email to you, as an example. 
Some states are reporting, that all offices have to do collections on the Holiday. The issue is, in many offices collection mail go nowhere, until the following morning, because there are no dispatches in many offices. One state reported out that she paid $225.00 for a person to do collections. 491 pieces were collected, and it went nowhere until Tuesday morning. 
If clerks reports to do collections, they have to get paid 2 hours (PTF, PSE), even if it actually takes minutes. 
In our District, we only collect dedicated routes. If we do not get a dispatch, we transport the mail to the closest hub. I don’t believe any 18’s work collection mail.
I understand the customer experience, and our obligation, however we see many things that impact the USPS financial situation. This appears to be extremely costly in many offices, and it impacts TOE. I just think of what this costs the USPS throughout the country. 
It would be helpful if we could please get consistent instructions, at least throughout our area. A suggestion would be an SOP for the area. I would appreciate it if you could look into this and message out your decision to all DM’s.
Thank you for your time,
Mari Beth Kirkland
Eastern Area UPMA Postal Coordinator



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