Don't Be Taken In!

Don't Be Fooled! ***UPDATED to Postal Pulse now***
"Don't let management take your pulse! Our voices are more powerful when we raise them together, through our union, than when we speak individually with management."
- Mark Dimondstein

By Sam Wood
Pres. of Southwest Florida Area Local

7/23/2011 - This week, while visiting one our local offices (Bonita Springs, Fl), Clerks and Letter Carriers informed President Wood that employees who had filled out the last batch of Voice of the Employee Surveys had been taken aside by the Postmaster and asked if they had marked in their surveys that they had been "Sexually Harrassed" or "Discriminated Against". What seems interesting is that a Postmaster would be allowed to know specific results and be able to attempt to find the person who felt this way. Clearly, this is not supposed to be the intent of the VOE Surveys but are being used in devious ways as with contract negotiations back in the 1990's. This is why our local has a $5 bounty on VOE Surveys. These surveys serve no purpose. When Postmasters and Supervisors are using surveys in the way that the Bonita Spring Postmaster is using them, this is proof that the VOE is a total JOKE.

Don't Be Taken In!
By H. Lee Simons
Nashville, Local #5

Have you seen your share of films lately, presenting Management as being "open" to your personal ideas about making positive changes in the workplace? Management has spent big bucks for actors with Hollywood accents to sell us the idea of "Employee Opinion Surveys". But it's time to consider the balance between words and actions. Are your personal ideas really sought, or are you one of the many, lost in "The Numbers Game" of broad statistics?

We once had a program for submitting personal ideas and innovations, though somewhat lacking in giving due credit for good ideas. It was our Suggestion Program, which indeed gave an outlet for personal ideas to improve the workplace. But the Suggestion Program was withdrawn and now substituted with "opinion surveys" which purport to be "The Voice of the Employee". (Just think of all the money Management now saves by not giving monetary rewards for good ideas under the Suggestion Program.) Furthermore, the questions in the opinion surveys were not formulated by representatives from the work floor (your Union), but by Management. Being formulated by Management, the "questions" are really "points"for Management to use to their advantage during meetings with higher powers such as contract arbitrators or representatives of national organizations such as the N.A.A.C.P.

Did you not know that responses from a former "opinion survey" were actually used by Management against the Postal worker? Yes indeed! On a former survey, an overwhelming majority of Postal workers indicated that they were well pleased with their wages and benefits. This fact was used by Management at the bargaining table during the negotiations for the 1998 contract to show arbitrators why all workers should be only given the barest, minimal future compensations. Do you not think they will try this again? Any "pat on the back" we give Management can be used against us later! To that end, many of the questions on the survey form are "loaded". Let us consider one such question: "How well do you think the USPS has achieved diversity?" You may be one who agrees that any hiring must be done without regard for race, culture, or religion. You may also agree that people should not be "profiled" and divided by skin color, culture, or religion. Yet, the very concept of "diversity" is based on just such divisions of people. Consequently, if you are like this writer, you find concepts supporting the idea of dividing people by skin color, etc. highly offensive. But look at the question again. It is a trick question - like the one you probably remember from childhood school days that went something like this: "Does you mother know that you are an idiot?" No matter how you answered this childish question, you lend credence to the idea of being an idiot. In the same way, no matter how you answer the question of "achieving diversity", you lend credence to the idea of dividing and classifying people based upon race! So you see, survey questions do not take personal thoughts into mind, but at best only represent a narrow cut of employees with certain agendas in mind such as those on "diversity committees", or Management training classes.

Now let us consider an area outside the survey questions themselves. Does Management ever consult the common worker, the Union for personal advice for making improvements? Hardly! They are more open to letting others come in for the purpose of cutting and rearranging our jobs and tour schedules! They have hired an outside company, Synovate, to conduct these broad opinion surveys with slanted questions, and call that "The Voice of the Employee". Synovate is a company based in Illinois that does nothing but compile broad statistics for gullible companies with major dollars to waste for something that that could be had for free by going directly to the workers' unions. Do you think for one minute that Synovate has any concern whatsoever for your personal welfare? They are only in business to make money!

These "opinion surveys" are touted as "working for you", but in truth, they only work for Management. If Management were truly interested in the "voice of the employee", they would address concerns like comfortable work chairs for everyone, and having lives turned upside down by altered schedules! So don't be intimidated the next time you are herded into a room with an MDO watching your every move. Just politely check the box that says, "I do not wish to participate at this time" (or any other time).
***Webmaster's note: Members who turn in their blank surveys to the union will be eligible for $$$ drawings at the General Membership Meetings.***
There is so much truth in the admonition to "Just Say NO!"

H. Lee Simons <>
Nashville, Local #5
- Tuesday, July 12, 2005 at 11:25:33 (PDT)

Be informed, stay informed. In knowledge there is power, in unity there is strength.

Back to SAAAL Home