We have had the privilege of working with numerous postal unions across the country. As we reach out to more and more states to help Postal employees we have run into some interesting challenges from certain unions. Our hope is to raise the awareness among Rural Letter Carriers in hopes some of you will stand up and help us reach the carriers the National Office has forgotten.
Through 2009 and much of 2010 we spoke at several state conventions and district meetings. We had nothing but positive feedback from the officers and the members who attended those meetings. The theme was the same as it always is “Where have you been!” and “The Post Office doesn’t tell us any of this!”. Moving into 2011 we expected to see nothing but growth and expected to be working with several more states.
The Rural “Roadblock”
That didn’t happen because the National Office sent a letter to all states prohibiting them from allowing private companies to attend or speak at any functions. Their reasoning is because it may bring liability back on the national organization. They are afraid if we speak at their convention you may assume we are endorsed (even though we clearly say we are not at the beginning of our seminars) and if anything goes wrong the national union could be sued.
Our opinion on this is it is the classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Postal Benefits Group is one of very few organizations who is qualified to teach and counsel Postal employees. Instead of the National organization working with us to find a way to address their concerns AND serve their members they decided to make a quick decision that served THEIR purpose not that of Rural Carriers. Many of these members would’ve appreciated the opportunity to make their own choices and would’ve appreciated any additional information they could get no matter the source.
The unions serve a valuable role in negotiating for your best interests in contracts and with grievances. No one but the national organization can do that for you. The areas the national office neglect are education and training on retirement and benefits. They offer nothing.
How can an organization who offers nothing in the way of education on retirement and benefits PREVENT you from getting that information from another source? Makes no sense and I doubt the national officers understand the impact their decision has on Rural Carriers all over the country.
We’re always available
There are states out there who walk to the beat of a different drum. They understand that in some cases it’s ok to disagree with the national organization and do what they feel is best for their members. We look forward to hearing and working with these states in the future and with their help maybe someday National office will reconsider their irresponsible actions.