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March 1998
Vol. 1 No. 6 Page 5

SUBJECT: Voice of the Employee -
Workplace Relationships

ED Note: This document was sent to me via an E-Mail asking if I would be interested in the content. You be the judge of its meaning, and the sincerity of the approach.

February 18,1998

During the last several years, the Postal Service has attempted to address and resolve the complex issues associated with the workplace environment and the relationships with our employees and their representatives. Recently, we have made some progress and enjoyed certain successes, We need to build on that momentum and continue to strive to improve workplace relationships and to treat each individual with dignity and respect. To ensure success in this critical area, all managers and supervisors must take the lead and set a positive example to continue to improve workplace relationships at all levels of the Postal Service. Not only does this make sense but it is the right thing to do as well.

From our standpoint, we believe that our approach in focusing on the Voice of the Employee has several key elements:


While the vast majority of managers and supervisors are capable concerning all aspects of their jobs, renewed emphasis must be placed on treating all employees with dignity and respect. Each of us knows how we wish to be treated. We must provide that same treatment to our employees at all levels of the organization. As stated at the National Executive Conference in Norman, Oklahoma, each of us is responsible for ensuring that we recognize our employees when they do a great job. Conversely, when employees make mistakes, we are responsible for ensuring that we and the employees learn from those mistakes. To the extent that any manager or supervisor cannot treat employees consistent with this philosophy, appropriate counseling should be conducted, followed by relevant training as necessary. If the manager or supervisor does not accept training or is not successful, other appropriate corrective action should be considered.


Emphasis must be placed on the corporate objective that all managers and supervisors must give the highest priority to compliance with our collective bargaining agreements with the various unions. No manager or supervisor at any level of this organization has the authority to override the terms of those agreements. Those collective bargaining agreements represent the commitment of the Postal Service that is, the commitment of each of us-to abide by the terms contained therein, in our dealings with our employees. Appropriate corrective action should be considered for any manager or supervisor who knowingly, or repeatedly, violates the clear terms of any of those agreements.

In keeping with that responsibility, all managers and supervisors are expected to resolve meritorious employee complaints and/or grievances at the lowest possible level. That includes handling grievances within the contractual time limits and promptly implementing any settlements agreed to or remedies awarded. Managers or supervisors who have questions regarding the legitimacy of a complaint or grievance should avail themselves of the necessary labor relations guidance and support.

Compliance with contractual terms and prompt resolution of meritorious cases will enable us to concentrate our efforts an vigorously defending those cases in which we believe no violation has occurred. It will also lend support to our statements to the unions that the filing of repetitive or frivolous grievances is not conducive to a mature collective bargaining relationship and must be halted at once.


Responsible managers are to ensure that they are conducting regularly scheduled Labor-Management Committee meetings as outlined in our collective bargaining agreements. These meetings are excellent communications vehicles to address, resolve, or diffuse local issues. Additionally, whenever necessary, managers should communicate with local union officials to keep them informed of local matters which they should be aware.

While these key elements may seem ambitious, their accomplishment is critical to the continued success of the Postal Service. Additionally, there can be no doubt that this is the correct direction for us to pursue as an organization.

We are counting on each of you to assure that this focus on the Voice of the Employee is communicated to all operations manuals and supervisors within your respective areas and that they vigorously pursue its accomplishment.

Scanned 2/27/98 -

Original signed by

Marvin Runyon, Postmaster General

Michael S. Coughlin, Deputy Postmaster General

William J. Henderson, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President

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