LOCAL BUSINESS

TEMPLATE FOR GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

Updated January 2009

Meeting Order of Business

Date

1. Call to Order

2. Salute Flag

3. Roll Call Officers:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Recording Secretary
  • Administrative Secretary
  • Director of Industrial Relations
  • Business Agent
  • Legislative Director/Director of Services
  • Director, Clerk Craft
  • Director, Maintenance Craft
  • Assistant Director, Clerk Craft

4. Minutes

  • *Motion: Suspend Reading of Minutes (Minutes: Provided)
  • *Motion to Accept: Any changes (if any)

5. OFFICER REPORTS

  • Vice President
  • Recording Secretary - Correspondence Received
  • Legislative Director/Director of Services and Human Relations
  • Director of Industrial Relations
  • Business Agent
  • Director, Clerk Craft
  • Director, Maintenance Craft
  • Assistant Director, Clerk Craft

6. TREASURER'S REPORT

  • *Motion to Accept
  • *Motion to Pay: All bills as received, duly authorized and vouched by President

7. PRESIDENT'S REPORT

8. Report of Special Committees

9. Unfinished Business

10. New Business

11. Nominations/Elections of Officers

12. Floor Open to Discussion

13. Drawing

14. Adjourn


DIRECTIONS TO OUR UNION HALL

Directions to the Tri County APWU union hall


GENERAL MEMBERSHIP CONSIDERS PROPROSAL TO RESTRUCTURE WITH FULL TIME STEWARD POSITION

At the Tri County First Area Local general membership meeting in October, Clerk Craft Director Joanne Brown presented a proposal to request the release of one Officer from their office on union time on a full-time basis, with no change to their USPS salary and benefits. The idea arose after discussions about proper representation for members of our smaller offices where there is no steward available, and the Local is not able to pick up the tab to release a steward on LWOP to travel to the small offices. Clerk Craft Director Brown proposed that USPS management might find some merit in the position, especially in consideration that the new President of the United States, Barack Obama, is known to support partnerships between labor and management. The proposal was tabled to allow time to consider other advantages or disadvantages of the proposal and to see who won the Presidential election.

Advantages of the proposal include having one person handle Step One and Step Two grievances for all of the small offices, ensuring these members receive the best representation in a fully trained Steward/Officer. Additionally, this Officer could travel to visit offices to meet with members and management to help prevent problems before they happen. When not handling business for these small offices, this Officer could be on hand at the union hall, responding to telephone calls from both members and management requesting their expertise, and assisting in administrative tasks such as keeping members informed through mailings and phone calls.

Disadvantages of this proposal are that this would displace some current stewards in our small offices. One way of handling this might be to retain current stewards until their term has expired, and then eliminate the position with the eventual goal of the local having five stewards total - the full-time Officer/Steward, and four area stewards, including Chester, Media and Norristown.

Another disadvantage of this proposal might be the possible controversies about who is selected for the position. This could be addressed in a number of ways, such as rotating the position on a quarterly basis amongst those who meet a set of conditions, such as having attended training in West Virginia and other critical trainings.

Please read the letter presented at the October meeting (below), and come to our next General Membership meeting prepared to offer your input on this important matter. We need a full airing of all the "pros" and "cons" before making our pitch to USPS management.

District Manager
United States Postal Service
3190 S. 70th Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153

Dear (District Manager):

The Tri County First Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) would like to make a formal request for a meeting with you to discuss a proposal regarding union representation for our members in the Philadelphia Metropolitan District, United States Postal Service.

By way of introduction, the Tri County First Area Local has offices in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania and represents approximately 360 clerks employed by more than 50 Associate Offices. Many of these offices have only one or two clerks, which is how we came to be the first Area local. Our local has a full seating of Officers, a Constitution, a charter from the national APWU, and we offer benefits to our members including accident benefits, dental benefits, legal benefits, a quarterly newsletter, and a web site.

Currently, our local has approximately 20 certified union stewards, and in the remaining offices, an Officer is certified to serve as the steward. Our local conducts business on a small budget limited by the dues paid by our members, and so our emphasis has been on certifying an on-site steward for each installation in our jurisdiction. According to the National Agreement, certified stewards employed in an installation conduct union business on behalf of our members on the clock. However, if our local is unable to certify a shop steward in an installation, an Officer must be assigned to this task and the local is obligated to pay for the time spent by the Officer handling union business for that office.

Over the past two years, the Philadelphia Metropolitan District has been reducing the staffing complement of clerks, and at the same time, the number of issues requiring representation for our members has increased. These issues include early retirement, eReassign and transfer opportunities, abolishing and excessing, the Mystery Shopper, and many other issues that have arisen from the fast pace of change experienced within the USPS. The result has been that our local has less dues money and fewer clerks to ask to act as stewards, but more issues to handle, and these issues have become more complicated.

What we would like to propose at this time is that the United States Postal Service authorize the release of one employee to perform as a full-time Officer for our local. We are requesting that this employee continue with the full pay and benefits of their current bid assignment, but be treated as an employee detailed to the operation number for on-the-clock union time on a full-time basis. This employee would be chosen from the local’s team of elected Officers who have been certified as union stewards at our national APWU training center in West Virginia, and would be domiciled at our union hall in Swarthmore. This employee would handle Step One and Two grievances, assist with the administrative operations at the union hall, and assist members with discipline, benefits information, and other employment matters.

I feel that this proposal would be of benefit not just to our local, but also to the USPS. We would be able to provide this designee with the full benefit of training so that our members would receive the proper information. This designee would be available on call not just to our members, but also to management officials seeking information or representation for one of their clerks. This designee would eliminate the time and effort needed to arrange scheduling for Step One union stewards who are also assigned as Sales and Service Associates.

Please let me know of a date and time you might be available to discuss this matter. If you find this proposal of interest, we would be glad to discuss the particulars of such an arrangement with you and hear your ideas.

Sincerely,
Mark Hennessy
President

cc: Manager, Labor Relations


GENERAL MEMBERSHIP VOTES TO SEND TWO RESOLUTIONS TO THE NATIONAL APWU CONVENTION

At the Tri County First Area Local, APWU, General Membership meeting on May 28, we voted to send the two resolutions below to the national APWU convention held in Las Vegas this fall. The resolutions must first be considered by a screening committee. If eventually accepted by the convention, they would become a part of the negotiations process for our National Agreement and for the Health Plan.

Title of resolution: “EACH ONE HELP ONE”
Re: Article 21
Sponsor: Tri County First Area Local, APWU, Media, PA 19063

WHEREAS, Under current FEHB regulations, the definition of "member of family" is limited to: 1. The spouse of an employee or annuitant. 2. An unmarried dependent child under 22 years of age, including an adopted child or recognized natural child; or a stepchild or foster child but only if the child lives with the employee or annuitant in a regular parent-child relationship. 3. An unmarried dependent child regardless of age who is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical disability which existed before age 22. and

WHEREAS, more than half of the nation’s “Fortune 500” companies offer health benefits to the domestic partners of lesbian and gay employees; and

WHEREAS, United Parcel Service has announced its intentions to include domestic partner benefits in its next contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; and

WHEREAS, since FEHB definitions were originally established, the nature of the American family has changed significantly and is no longer based on a relationship of marital intimacy between a "breadwinner" male husband and a stay-at-home Mom; and

WHEREAS, the American family now consists of, but is not limited to, lesbian and gay marriages occurring legally in Massachusetts, California and Canada; lesbian and gay civil unions occurring in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey; single parents uniting with other single parents in order to raise children without a relationship of marital intimacy; neighbors assuming the care of a beloved neighbor; friend assuming care of a beloved friend; and single adults assuming care of a beloved godmother, aunt, godfather, uncle, and other relationships not recognized by the current FEHB definition of a family; and

WHEREAS, each and every employee of the United States Postal Service is now legally entitled to marry one adult member of the opposite sex without scrutiny as to the nature of the intimacy, intention to bear children, fitness to enter such marriage, or reliable prediction as to the duration of the marriage; and

WHEREAS, the expected eventual recognition of gay marriage across the country, similar to Canada, will do nothing to help the situation of adults who are the primary caretaker for a non-recognized adult relationship of a non-intimate nature; and

WHEREAS, the lack of universal health care in the United States adds a greater burden to all of us to help our neighbor; and

WHEREAS, it is doubtful this provision would be abused by frivolous claims, since the employee would be liable for a family premium which is more expensive than the premium for self;

Resolved, Article 21, Section 1, “Health Benefits,” be amended to include Section 1-F, to read: Each FEHB enrolled employee will be entitled to designate one and only one adult individual, regardless of relationship, to their family enrollment. All other rules and regulations currently governing family enrollments will remain in effect.


Title of resolution: “THE EIGHT HOUR DAY ”
Re: Article 8, Section 1
Sponsor: Tri County First Area Local, APWU, Media, PA 19063

WHEREAS, The history of the American Labor movement has been built upon the fight for the eight-hour workday; and

WHEREAS, the goal of the American Labor movement has always been to establish a 35-hour workweek that includes a paid hour lunch break each workday; and

WHEREAS, historically, overtime and penalty overtime rates were established as a means to discourage management from extending the eight-hour workday; and

WHEREAS, USPS management has made continual attempts to erode the eight-hour work day, whether it is excessive use of overtime due to understaffing, or the use of overtime to avoid hiring new employees and having to pay them benefits, or the repeated attempt to eliminate or shorten break time and wash-up time; and

WHEREAS, at the present time the USPS has experienced an alleged drop in mail volume and revenue, causing management to attempt to eliminate overtime without hiring new employees and therefore seek other ways to extend the eight hour day, such as the use of Article 8, Section 1, “eight (8) hours per day within ten (10) consecutive hours…” and is now attempting to unilaterally change regular clerk bidded schedules to include a two-hour lunch in offices with less than “100 full-time employees in the bargaining units” based on Article 8, Section 1; and

WHEREAS, many employees do not live near the post office where they work and therefore can make little use of a two-hour lunch; and

WHEREAS, very few if any employees would choose a two-hour lunch on a daily basis, and therefore the benefit of a two-hour lunch is only to USPS management seeking flexibility and coverage without the payment of overtime;

Resolved, Article 8, Section 1, “Work Week,” be amended to read: The work week for full-time regulars in all offices shall be forty (40) hours per week, eight (8) hours per day within nine (9) consecutive hours. Part-time flexible employees in all offices will not be assigned an unpaid lunch break longer than two hours.