by Lindamarie Peabody

Wow! What a winter this has been! I hope everyone has been surviving with the snow. As I sit here with yet another day off with the kids, my mind wanders to all the problems we are having with the Post Office. We can't get through one day without having a problem that seems to be an emergency. From branches not being covered, jobs not being done on a daily basis, and management putting constant pressure on us to do the work of three people, I can only wonder what the future will hold for us as Postal Workers. I am tired of all the lies, as management tries to make the numbers match whatever the POOM thinks they should be, and it has to stop. I have been put in that situation many times, as management will ask me to cover two or three jobs and then I am caught in the middle when deciding how to handle my response to them. If I complain or don't complete the duties, I wind up leaving my co-workers short-handed and then they get upset with me. I come from the "old school," whereby I actually get myself stressed over not finishing all of the particular duties of each position correctly. Sometimes it is impossible to do any job effectively, because of time constraints. Most managers do not understand, nor care about the actual job duties, they just need to say they put someone in to cover the job. One IMPORTANT fact is that if we mess up any of the duties, especially the financial part, we are ULTIMATELY responsible for them. The lesson is that if you are ever put in this position you should never rush or do anything that would come back to haunt you. If anything would go wrong, most of the managers would throw you under the bus in a hot minute! My recommendation would be to do what you can, take your time, ask the questions (window clerks), and if you can't finish and have to let things go undone, then LET IT GO! This is the hardest lesson most union members face, because we feel guilty or frustrated because we can't separate ourselves from the situation. We all know how the place SHOULD be run, yet we can't get the managers to do it right, so why should we get stressed if it is management's fault for improper scheduling or assigning multiple positions? The answer is that we shouldn't get stressed and we should do the best we can without breaking our backs! Just remember, YOU have the power, no matter what the supervisors say or do to ruin your day, to determine how your day will actually turn out! GOOD LUCK with changing your attitude in 2010. Don't forget, stress kills!

On the national front, we have had many encouraging signs from President Obama that he supports the Post Office and is dedicated to keeping it a vital and functioning organization. He publicly stated in early February that he is committed to keeping six day delivery and said that he thought privatization was a bad idea for the post office. The other good news is that the list of possible facility closures keeps reducing and the Post Office is finding it difficult to produce evidence that the closures are needed at all. This is good for all of our brothers and sisters who are fighting daily to keep their buildings open and to provide universal service to all people. Hopefully, with President Obama's confidence in our organization, we will be able to weather the storm and remain a successful business well into the future, despite the bleak financial condition around the world.

In other news, we had a wonderful Holiday party in December for union members and their children or grandchildren, and you should definitely check out the photos in this newsletter. I hope everyone can make it through the tough winter and have a happy spring. Also, March is National Women's History Month and I want to say thanks to all the women who work hard every day to take care of their families and contribute to the labor movement.

In union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor