One of the Postal Service’s District Managers recently took issue with postal employees who have “become engaged in discontinuance study community meetings, to the detriment of USPS communications with actual (emphasis added) customers.”
Please allow me to paraphrase the acidic memo that was sent out to all postmasters and station managers in this person’s district earlier this week:
This is a memo that I expect you to share with all of your employees. I also expect you to re-educate everyone as to what they can and cannot do as postal employees. If you do not re-educate them and see to it that they refrain from this perverse behavior I will personally see to it that you are re-educated. Do you get my drift?
Some of your employees have written to their congressmen and senators “beseeching” their assistance in stopping discontinuance studies. I know as well as you do that these studies are a sham and that the targeted post offices will more than likely be closed. But we have to at least make the general public believe that we’re being “reasonable” about this.
As for these letter writing campaigns to their representatives, please re-inform your employees that as members of the Postal Service they have no constitutional rights. Didn’t they read the small print when they signed on to this outfit?
It has been brought to my attention from the Office of Homeland Security that some of your workers have “banded” together with postal retirees in an effort to sabotage our carefully orchestrated plan for returning the Postal Service to financial stability by closing thousands of post offices and mail processing facilities, laying off a hundred thousand employees, eliminating Saturday delivery, and by-passing all collective bargaining agreements. For some reason they don’t seem to understand that this is for their good and the good of our customers.
It has also been brought to my attention that some of your employees have provided either outdated, erroneous, or factual USPS handbook sections to local politicians for their use in fighting the closing of post offices. I don’t mind so much the outdated and erroneous being used, we can fight that, but when they start using the facts, then I get a bit perturbed.
In addition to all of the above, some of your employees have “instigated” letter writing campaigns and have misled customers on the costs, revenues and benefits of keeping local post offices open. Remember, if anyone is going to mislead the public it’s going to be management, not the craft.
When you give your standup talk immediately after receiving this memo, be sure and tell them that we expect our employees to be “faithful” to the United States Postal Service. Questioning their hard work and faithfulness will cut them to the quick and make them more open to their being re-educated.
Underscore in your talk that there are specific instructions they must adhere to, such as ELM 667.12, Engaging in Campaigns for Changes in Mail Service. Obviously it doesn’t matter that you and I only adhere to those regulations and contract provisions that suit our needs and violate everything else. But just because we ignore the contract, costing this outfit millions of dollars every year, doesn’t mean they can. We’re management, they’re not. Tell them to get over it.
Remember, if you fail to re-educate your employees, I will re-educate you. And, trust me, I won’t fail.
That’s the paraphrase from this unnamed District Manager. Now, for the actual memo, read on:
ALL DIRECT REPORTS
As you are aware, in specific circumstances some of our Postal employees have actively become engaged in discontinuance study community meetings, to the detriment of USPS communications with actual customers. Some of our Postal employees have written congressmen and senators, beseeching their assistance in stopping discontinuance studies. Some have banded together with Postal retirees, in an effort to sidestep or stop processes geared toward bringing our organization back to financial stability. Some have provided outdated, erroneous or actual USPS handbook sections to local politicians for their use in standing against possible post office closures. Some have instigated letter writing campaigns and may have misled community members on the costs, revenues and benefit of retaining their local Post Office.
This type of activity is restricted, and we must re-educate our employees of Postal regulations governing conduct.
ELM 667.12 Engaging in Campaigns for Changes in Mail Service.
Employees in active status must not engage in campaigns for or against changes in mail service. This regulation must not be construed to infringe on the rights to participate in labor organizations.
Certainly, these are difficult times for any Postal employee. And it can be especially difficult for an employee in a smaller operation facing possible closure; an employee who has truly embedded themselves in the community they serve.
However, it is my expectation that all Postal employees be faithful to the United States Postal Service. There are specific instructions we must adhere to, as part of the HQ initiated discontinuance process, and no paid Postal employee should hinder these efforts in any way. This process is not optional, it is absolutely necessary as a part of building back financial stability for our Postal Service.
If you have any questions, please contact our District Human Resources Manager.
(Name blacked out)
(Photo credit: Spirit 21)