Retired Postmaster Dennis Schoenefeld made four presentations on behalf of the Butte community.
SPC George P Schulte
SPC Jesse L Vogt
SPC Michael A Roth
SGT Timothy J Hansen
153rd Engineer Battalion
Wagner South Dakota
National Guard Unit.
The following message was printed on the back of each
Heor's Plaque presented:
"A small token of appreciation from the community for
the sacrifices you have made for your country, the
community of Butte and most of all to your families,
during the last year."
Postmaster Sharleen Miller made a presentation of a Hero's Plaque on behalf of the Chambers community
SGT Christian R. Mueller
735 TC Company B.
National Guard Unit.
The following message was printed on the back of the Hero's Plaque that was presented: "This is a small token of our appreciation from the community for the sacrifice you have made for your country, the community of Chambers and most of all to your family during this year."
Join the League: THE Organization that is WORKING for YOU!
Words of wisdom from Former National Sec/Tres
Because I have been involved with League membership for some time, I am often asked the following question.
"WHY SHOULD I JOIN THE LEAGUE?"
There are many benefits that we as League members receive that we may take for granted or not even think about until we have a need for them.
GOVERNMENT RELATIONS The League represents the "Voice of the Postmaster" in efforts to enhance the pay, benefits and working conditions of Postmasters. A registered lobbyist provides a direct line of communication with Congress on issues of concern to Postmasters, retirees and the US Postal Service.
SECURITY LEGAL SERVICES AND ADVERSE ACTION The League is the ONLY Postmaster organization that includes legal services as part of it's monthly membership dues. The League is the nation's premier advocate for protecting the jobs and rights of Postmasters. We can feel secure in the knowledge that we have the best legal representation available should the need arise. Adverse Action legal services benefit offers representation by an attorney before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at significantly discounted rates.
IMPROVED MANAGER'S PROCESS This program offers support for League members and their families to help them to cope with a wide range of medical, behavioral, psychological and addiction issues. A 24 helpline is available at 800-524-4771
LEAGUE PUBLICATIONS The Postmaster's Advocate, Advocate Express and in Nebraska, our award winning publication, The View Newsletter.
POST OFFICE CONTINUANCE CONSULTANT The League employs Mario Principe who was a former discontinuance coordinator with the USPS to deal with Post Office closings.
A SENSE OF FAMILY AMONG YOUR FELLOW LEAGUE MEMBERS.
This is only a partial list of the benefits available through the League. The list could go on and on. If you have any questions concerning benefits or membership, contact any member of the Board .
Membership in the League is an honor and a privilege and we encourage every Postmaster, PMR and EAS employee to join.
Parade was held July 31st in Fairmont at the
"Old Settlers Picnic".
All from Fillmore County...
Vicki ozenbaugh PM of year 2008 and current State President of Nebraska Branch
Georgia Schropfer PM of the year 2002 and current StateBranch Retiree's President
Peggy Roit 2010 PM of the year
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF POSTMASTERS
NEBRASKA BRANCH 2013-2014 OFFICERS
PO Box 544
Sargent, NE 68874-0544
Sargent NE 68874
515 Road 18
Ohiowa NE 68416-3029
86762 478th Ave
Atkinson NE 68713
Stuart NE 68780
90368 474th Ave
Naper NE 68755-3021
Spencer NE 68777
86762 478th Ave
Atkinson NE 68713
Stuart NE 68780
720 W Piedmont St
Ravenna, NE 68869
ST Paul Post Office
Adrian MO 64720
WILLIAM (BILL) KREJCI (RT)
NE State Legislative Chair
1410 M St
Aurora NE 68818
Marquette NE 68854
807 N Collins St
Atkinson NE 68713-4889
401 Martin Ave
Beaver Crossing NE 68313
Dorchester NE 68343
90368 474th Ave
Naper NE 68755-3021
Naper NE 68755
KS District Coordinator & Kansas President:
PO Box 1113
Lawrence, KS 66044-1113
Office: (785) 843-8777
Home: (785) 841-0259
NEBRASKA RETIREE OFFICERS
P O Box 247
Fairmont NE 68354-0247
WILLIAM (BILL) KREJCI (RT)
Retiree Vice President
1410 M St
Aurora NE 68818
Marquette NE 68854
807 N Collins St
Atkinson NE 68713-4889
ADVERSE ACTION COUNSELOR
1334 Whitetail Ave
Sumner, IA 50674-9586
C: (319) 240-6289
JOHN P. DiFALCO and
Centerstone Business Park
8010 South County Rd 5, Suite
206 Fort Collins
O: (970) 530-2121
F: (970) 530-2122
Click on Congressional picture above for contact information
CONGRATULATIONS EMP and PAC Pin Achievements
Donita Painter - 1000 RS
Sharleen Miller - 1000 RS
Sherri Helman - 100 Gold
Dennis Schoenefeld - 100 Gold
SAVED HOURLY WAGE!
After multiple attempts to secure a saved hourly wage for all level 6 Postmasters, Postal HQ has agreed to just that. This announcement brings much overdue good news to approx. 1100 Postmasters. Mark Strong and Tony Leonardi began these talks in late September and I was able to pick up where Mark left off and continue to pursue the ethically correct decision.
Tony and I were able to use the recent APWU arbitration to show a disparity in pay between the craft and this group of Postmasters. Sixty percent of my most recent emails have concerned this issue. Megan Brennan stepped up and approved this arrangement despite opposition. (The official notice is posted on our website)
Ms. Brennan’s main focus is now on the Postmasters who have yet to find a landing spot. We are currently at approx. 475 +/- yet to be placed. Due to this, Ms. Brennan has decided that only this group (to include those that signed their offer letter on Nov. 3rd) is eligible to apply for any job posted during an LAC posting. Allowing the current level 6 Postmasters to apply would not allow for a landing spot for the others since those level 6 jobs would become a craft position.
I want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays. May your time before and after be blessed.
G. Sean Acord
G. Sean Accord
Calls/letters to Senators on the Homeland Security Committee urgently needed.
July 3, 2011
Issue: Fresh efforts are underway in Congress to close massive amounts of small rural post offices. These efforts encompass not only eliminating existing statutory protections against closing small rural post offices solely for operating at a deficit, but also eliminating the Postal Service’s statutory mandate to provide a maximum degree of effective and regular postal services to rural areas, communities, and small towns where post offices are not self-sustaining. One proposal would create a post office closing Commission, and it is designed to close almost ALL small rural post offices. These efforts tend to focus on post offices as retail facilities and generally ignore the role post offices play in the distribution system, and the critical role they play is rural communities..
League Position: The League strongly opposes these efforts.
Please see the linked information clicking on the above buttons
- League Legislative Action Alert
- Talking Points
- Sample 1, 2 and 3
- Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
Follow the instructions in the Action Alert using this linked info
National League of Postmasters Legislative White Paper
Forum 2010 Legislative Issues
Postmaster Hours and Post Office Management Practices.
January 28, 2010
As is well known, the Postal Service is facing difficult financial times. The economy has had a damaging effect on the Postal Service, and there will not be much relief until next year.
No one knows this better than America's Postmasters. Postmasters are on the front lines and see and feel the effects of the recession on operating budgets and employee complements more than anyone. Throughout this crisis, Postmasters have responded heroically to the challenge.
Shifting Hours. In FY 09, the Postal Service cut over a million work hours. While some of those hours are hours saved because mail volume is down, the vast majority of the time has not been driven out of the system, as claimed by the Postal Service. In fact, many of the so-called work hour savings are actually hours shifted to the backs of Postmasters who must not only perform their job, but also perform much of the job of clerks and carriers. Over the last several years, the Postal Service has failed, by design, to adequately staff post offices, or the Postal Service has deliberately failed to budget sufficient work hours to adequately operate a post office. The result has been that either the Postmasters took up the slack, or the system crumbled.
For example, instead of having five or six clerks or carriers work two to six additional hours per week, that 10 to 36 hours of work has been shifted from those clerks or carriers who get paid by the hour to the one person who does not get paid by the hourthe Postmaster. The result, as this example shows, are six (sometimes seven) day work weeks, that range from 50 hours to 76 hours per week for Postmasters. Critically, instead of being occasional occurrences, this practice has become standard operating procedure, month in and month out, throughout the country.
Additionally, in those offices that are supposed to have supervisors, the Postal Service initiated a freeze on the hiring of supervisors. In some cases, this left Postmasters little choice but to do two or more jobs where supervisor vacancies opened up or existed. In other cases, where extra hours by supervisors were needed, those extra hours were denied by upper level management, since supervisors are entitled to be paid for all hours worked. Again, the Postmaster had to make the time up, since the work did not disappear and service had to be maintained.
For the past 3 or 4 years, this has become an increasingly popular strategy in thePostal Service. During this same time period, the Postal Service also willfully shifted work from other employees to Postmasters. As the Postal Service eliminated or reduced different functional groups in districts, such as Finance, Human Resources, and Training and Development, Postmasters had to take up the slack as best they could, because there is no one else to do so. Although Postmasters are accustomed to regularly and routinely working extra hours each week, when needed, the situation has escalated to where it is not unusual for many Postmasters to work fifty, sixty or seventy hours a week, week after week, month after endless month.
This additional workload is taking a tremendous toll on many Postmasters. A recent League survey shows that 60% of FLSA Exempt Postmasters are working 50 or more hours a week. This same survey reports that 45% of Postmasters are working 2 or more weekends a month. These Postmasters are men and women trying to raise families and play active roles in their churches, schools, communities, and other local
organizations. Their overloaded workweek is negatively impacting their families, personal lives, and health. Ultimately it is affecting the postal service.
The survey reports that almost 73% of Postmasters state their health is directly suffering from their workload, including bouts of depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, ulcers and other problems.
Inefficient and Ineffective Post Office Management Practices by Upper Level Management.
In many districts the working climate for Postmasters is destructive. Every facet of a Postmaster's day and operation is micromanaged. Chasing numbers has cultivateda climate where verbal abuse and threats from senior managers are now in vogue. Not long ago, a high-ranking manager was quoted as saying "those non-performing supervisors should be taken out and executed." Management associations complained about this inappropriate comment. Our complaint was ignored; nothing was done.
Many Postmasters live in fear of their district leaders and are reluctant to speak up on important district issues. Often, small office Postmasters , who are entitled to overtime pay and not represented by unions, refuse to claim those overtime hours because of intimidation from senior managers who do not want overtime to appear on district reports. That is not only morally wrong, it is illegal. Postmasters are even being "disciplined" for the inadvertent errors of their employees. A Postmaster who employs one hundred mail carriers may be suspended if one of his carriers fails to scan even one collection box.
Another pressing issue is that Postmasters have been saddled with a pay for performance program that is largely ineffective. It is supposed to be a motivator; it is anything but. This is not a bonus program; it is the only avenue through which a Postmaster can get a raise. Last year, because of the manipulation of the program andrevenue goals being set artificially high, tens of thousands of hardworking Postmasters were termed "non-contributors" and received no raise while practically every other postal and federal employee received something. If management is going to be honest and respectful of its employees, it should say that there will be no increases, regardlessof pay for performance results, and not "fix" the system so that everyone fails. That is neither honest nor respectful.
Finally, the Postal Service has failed the American people, especially those in rural communities, by not filling Postmaster positions in smaller post offices. In many cases, these offices have been staffed by temporary personnel for more than two years.Sometimes a series of managers have been cycled through such post offices, placing the Post Offices generally under management that is neither as trained nor as experienced as the Postmaster, and generally does not know the community as well as the Postmaster. This deprives communities of the Postmasters they deserve, and the service and continuity a Postmaster would provide. This is costing the Postal Service millions of dollars in lost efficiency each year.
For over two hundred years the Postal Service has faithfully filled Postmaster positions in these offices, but now, in 2010, it is failing to do so. The dedicated employees managing these offices deserve better from the Postal Service as do the American people in the communities these post offices serve. This may not be a pretty picture, but it is an accurate one. Granted, the financial state of the Postal Service is not good. But that is because, as the Postal Service's Inspector General has pointed out, the Postal Service has overpaid $75 Billion into the Federal Treasury for the CSRS pension obligations. In any case, the state of the PostalService cannot be used as an excuse to treat people poorly. Postmasters are among the Postal Service's most loyal and dedicated employees. Over the years they have worked under adverse conditions with very little complaint. The National League of Postmasters has taken every issue recounted above to Postal Service Headquarters in efforts to get relief for, or resolution to them. The Postal Service has repeatedly refusedto even hear our voices.
Coming to Congress is not an easy move for Postmasters. That choice was not made lightly. But in view of the Postal Service's refusal to consider their issuesmuch less positively resolve themCongressional oversight must be exercised.
Congress should open an investigation into these issues and hold hearings. Ultimately Congress should instruct the Postal Service to cease shifting workload from supervisors, clerks, and carriers to Postmasters and get them to realize that such actions are not a long term solution to anything. In doing so, Congress should instruct the Postal Service to institute and follow standards for senior management interaction, cease frivolous disciplinary action, and put into place a reasonable and less complicated pay for performance system for Postmasters.
Finally, the Postal Service should immediately fill all Postmaster vacancies. The increase in efficiency will be notable.
The U.S. Postal Service is besieged by financial losses, and the cavalry doesn’t appear to be coming.
After years of debate, Congress remains stalled on legislation to prop up an agency weighed down by heavy employee costs and still struggling to remake itself in the Internet era.
Two years ago, lawmakers worked furiously to hammer out postal legislation, negotiating up to the very end of 2012’s super-size post-election session.
But asked what the chances were for a deal this lame-duck session, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) made a circle with his thumb and index finger and said: "Zero."
“It’s over,” Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, added before lawmakers left Washington last week.
Not everyone’s as pessimistic as Cummings: Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, is still pushing to get his bipartisan bill considered after voters head to the polls in November.
And outside advocates like unions and industries that heavily use the mail – like banks and the paper industry – haven’t given up on a lame-duck session.
But almost everyone working on postal issues agrees that there are heavy obstacles in the way of a deal, especially since neither the House nor the Senate has passed postal legislation yet this Congress.
“There is a slender chance of something happening,” said Art Sackler of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, which represents the mailing industry. “We haven’t given up hope yet, and we’re still working on it.”
Lawmakers and outside parties can’t find a consensus on several of the most pressing issues facing the Postal Service, including a required prepayment for future retiree healthcare and whether the agency should deliver letters six days a week.
Unlike many other issues on Capitol Hill, postal reform doesn’t break down cleanly along party lines, with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle worried about how the Postal Service’s downsizing plans will affect their constituents.
Perhaps most importantly, the Postal Service’s finances have improved significantly over the last two years, blunting the momentum for negotiations and prompting some outside advocates to suggest that doing nothing is better than backing the leading proposals on Capitol Hill.
“Before there was much more a sense of urgency, and I don’t think that sense of urgency is still there,” Cummings said.
The Postal Service announced in August that it lost $2 billion in the third quarter of this fiscal year, putting its losses for the year at over $4 billion.
That red ink comes on top of a $5 billion loss in 2013. But the news wasn’t all bad for USPS: Revenues also grew 2 percent in the most recent quarter, and the recent losses are a far cry from the almost $16 billion the agency lost in 2012.
In fact, postal unions, perhaps the most fervent backers of six-day delivery, argue that USPS would be operating at a profit if not for the roughly $5.5 billion prepayment that the agency has defaulted on in recent years.
Labor officials also insist that the Internet – long blamed for the decline in first-class mail volume – is now a net winner for the Postal Service, because of the rise in the agency’s package revenues from online shopping. The mailing industry, meanwhile, is fighting a temporary increase in stamp prices.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and other top postal officials have called on Congress for years to pass postal reform legislation that would allow them to limit Saturday delivery and to grow other revenue streams.
In the meantime, the service continues to expand its package delivery. USPS is about to start testing a grocery delivery program, and is delivering seven days a week in some places for the online shopping giant Amazon.
Unlike other top lawmakers working on the issue, Carper is keeping up hope that Congress can make progress on postal reform during the lame-duck session. Senate aides say Carper hopes that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will show more interest in the issue after November’s elections.
“I’m encouraged to hear from Democrats and Republicans that they want to be part of the solution,” Carper said in a floor speech last week.
Carper crafted his bill with Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.), the Homeland Security panel’s top Republican, and critics say that Carper had to yank his bill to the right to get the conservative Coburn on board.
But Coburn said last week that he had no clue what that bill’s chances were anymore.
“You need to ask Carper what his conversations have been with the majority leader,” said Coburn, who has a notoriously frosty relationship with Reid.
In the House, Cummings said that postal reform could have been more of a priority for Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has launched investigations into the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups and the attack in Benghazi, Libya.
But Cummings also said that even making USPS more of a focus might not have helped. “It was just hard to come to consensus, generally,” he said.
Issa, who’s not often on the same page with Cummings, agreed.
Now in his final weeks with the gavel, Issa has hoped that a postal deal could be a final achievement of his chairmanship. He’s even released legislation based on Obama’s own proposals for the Postal Service – which overlap quite a bit with his own – to try to gin up support among Democrats.
Issa said last week that Senate Democrats might be willing to deal on postal reform if they lose control of the chamber in November. But for now, he added that he didn’t think that his favored proposal would even make it through the House, despite estimating that 90 percent of GOP lawmakers supported it.
“Zero Democrats are willing to do it,” Issa said. “And candidly, 90 percent of Republicans doesn’t get us to 218.”
2015 Nebraska Postmaster of the year
Tracy Bondegard with her family at State Convention