General Membership Meeting Minutes

April 16, 2003


Meeting was called to order at 6:18 PM at 918 Benjamin St. NE, Grand Rapids; Meeting was opened with the US Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation and moment of silence for our troops.

Roll Call of Officers:
Ray Novakoski, President
James Sweeney, Recording Secretary
Richard Page, Executive Vice President
Sandy Henkel, Treasurer
Bill Scutt, Clerk Craft Director
Linda Norman, Associate Office Director
Jim Myszka, Maintenance Craft Director
Scott Larabel, MVS Craft Director
Mike Long, Sergeant at Arms

March General Membership meeting minutes were accepted as printed and posted.

Ray apologized for the late start and the cancelled meeting.

Bills: Approximately $100.00 rebate for Richard Twilling, Jenison PO. Carried.

Treasurer's Report:

Treasurer's report was accepted as read. Notification to members that we are covered by insurance if there is a terrorist attack. LIFECARE holds a zillion scholarships, information on CHILDCARE, help with the elderly, TRAVEL and much more. If we don't use LIFECare, we will lose it. LWOP reimbursement from local for S/L and A/L if over 80 hours if it becomes a "policy" and/or constitution language.

Officers Reports:

Executive Vice President's Report: Thank you for coming. Thank you for sending him to St. Louis for the President's Conference. Early out status: Homeland Security Act has changed the rules. Burrus was apparently unaware of the change. PO may withdraw the EO with the intention of offering it only in specific areas ie: Chicago and then look at offering to the rest of the country. Currently there is no EO offer, may come about later and with no incentives. Attended a privatization rally in St. Louis due to Bush's privatization attempts for federal departments. The PO is currently trying to minimize service at the PO windows. PO is driving customers away. St. Louis Dispatch Newspaper employees were supported as well by the APWU attendees. MVS craft also being affected. Big major mailers discounts. Only recourse is through CONGRESS. There will be a national campaign to have HALLMARK stores sell PO services up to 20 pounds. COPA: President's commission report due July 31, 2003. COPA campaign: Stamp for COPA where members donate $.37 for a stamp per pay period to fight Privatization and build up the COPA fund which is currently only at $60,000.00. APWU wants $600,000.00 in the COPA fund by August 1, 2003 in order to persuade our Congress reps to fight against privatization. Stewards are being tasked to collect from members a $5.00 - $10.00 initial donation. Stewards training took place and if you were not present, contact Dick.

MVS Craft Director's Report: Welcomed the many MVS craft employees to the meeting. VMF has filled a mechanics position and am currently working on signing up the new employee. Studies going on with MVS drivers. Area rep has come in and claims to have been studying the MVS section. The rep claims to have posted his intentions in the MVS room as well as notifying the APWU. Met with Mike Gordon, Ray and Samm Smith. The report appears to have new routes, schedules, delivery points and other changes. Management claims that the new changes will benefit the MVS drivers and there will be no drivers eliminated. There will be a cut in contractor's routes. Cutting out overtime. Cutting out numerous runs and overlapping. Management wants to implement immediately and the APWU is asking for a couple weeks to review and talk with drivers. They assured there would be no cuts. No change in duties and responsibilities. 4200 hours a year must be cut. Full consideration to MVS for new business.

Associate Office Director's Report: Was on vacation last week and a half. Been doing grievances in Spring Lake, Comstock Park and Lowell. Byron Center grievance sent up. In Holland, supervisor was deducting time from PTF clerk's hours. Supervisor is now transferring to Muskegon and a courtesy call to the Muskegon employees on this supervisor's behavior was made. Holland PM is siding with the APWU.

Clerk Craft Director's Report: Hauling mail is not the job of a CLERK. MVS will grieve this and now the Clerks will also grieve this. Moratorium on arbs except for removals. Trying to purge many files. Caught up on removals. MPWU Education Convention coming up in MAY. Thank you to Jennifer Amos and Michelle Gregory for their work on the "casuals in lieu of" grievance. Thank you to Dan Quillin for his work on the 1723 grievance and thank you to Linda Chandler for her assistance to Dan Quillin. Stewards need to attend training. Clerks being told to do "mailhandler work". Go for it. At labor management meeting Fred Quillin admitted that they are not running the company effectively. Thank you for the support, "free Billy shirt". Charges for the arrest have been dismissed.

Maintenance Craft Director's Report: Thank you to all the Maintenance employees for coming to the meeting. Senior "scab" custodian has retired, new level 3 posting going up. "casuals in lieu of" grievance update. Consideration should be by score not first come first serve. A new policy by Blundell on attendance control. Supervisors will now have a conversation with employee for the first time, then a discussion and then a letter of warning. Showed him a settlement that says he can't do this. Went to BASIC ARB Training, the best training ever attended, thank you. At L/M, management said they will be contracting out the removal of the FS100. Lot of crap coming from management on completed work assignments. Don't falsify documents, contact steward if problems.

President's Report: COPA: Can now use direct deposit from checking account. Can't use union dues for donations to COPA. Can't solicit on the workroom floor. Must be from union members. Can't just be a union fight, rather an AMERICAN PEOPLE fight. This will be our biggest fight. Was tasked to review all cases from our area (450 cases). Meeting set up for next Tuesday to start. Step 2 designee will now be Labor Relations rep starting April 26.

Committee Reports:

A&E: Dinner dance this Saturday. A lot of good times planned. $20.00 for members, $25.00 for non-members and $10.00 for VETS. Live band: BIG DOGS. 10th annual SFC scheduled for June 8th, 2003 in conjunction with union picnic to benefit Gilda's Club of GR. Still in need of volunteers for events.

Cans for COPA: $27.00 from Cans for COPA; $20.00 anonymous donation given to Jim Sweeney.

Parking Committee: Plans for resurfacing the upper back dock. No personal cars will be allowed during this time.

Motion by Austin, Norman to extend the meeting until completion. Carried.

Retiree Chapter attachment to Ray: medical, savings account.

Correspondence: Letter of thanks form Tim Caron from the Sheet Metal Workers Union, Local #7. Letter of information from the Kent/Ionia Labor Counsel for the Workers Memorial Day. Letter from Tunstall and Frank Romero on the APWU Organizing Drive. Letter from the western MI Union Labor Coalition Inc thanking membership for the coloring books and crayons.

Unfinished Business:

Interpretation of Art. 12, section 1 of the constitution. Ray read the letter from national.

Motion for eligibility to be a delegate, members must have attended three meetings in the year prior to the month nominations were made.
Point of Privilege form Cat Beemblossom for an explanation of the language already present and the motion from February's meeting. Point of Parliamentary procedure from Austin. Point of information from J. Gilbert. Discussion. Call for question by Kramer, Norman. Carried. Main motion, carried. Division: 24 for/22 against. Motion carried.New Business: Motion to authorize an additional 80 hours of LWOP for the Associate Office Director, Linda Norman for union business. Discussion. Carried.

Motion by Scutt, Gilbert to compensate Clerk Craft Director, Bill Scutt, 27 hours of loss time providing if/when grievance is won he will reimburse the local. Discussion. Question called for by Myszka, Sweeney. Carried. Main motion carried.

Immediate resignation by WMAL Treasurer, Sandy Henkel.

Motion by Page, Sweeney to pay registration for any member to attend the MPWU Educational Convention providing they pay the rest themselves. Discussion. Carried.

Motion by Sweeney, Norman to pay a flat fee of $400.00 for any ineligible WMAL steward for expenses to attend the MPWU Educational Convention on Mackinaw Island. Discussion. Question called for by S. Lesiewicz, Austin. Carried. Main motion, carried.

Point of privilege from S Henkel on explanation of "free Billy" shirts.

Motion by Austin, Myszka to donate $250.00 to the SMWU Local #7 for refreshments.

SCHOLARSHIPS: Winners: Julie Smiegel, daughter of Paula Sheid. Laura Myszka, daughter of Jim Myszka. Neil Sakocius, Son of Lucy Sakocius. Matthew Stachowiak, son of Larry Stachowiak. Daniel Nash, son of Dan Nash. Alternates: Amy VanderLaan, daughter of Cynthia Downer. Corey Roepcke, son of Gail Roepcke. Daniel Tabor, son of Rick Tabor. Kirk Wagenvelt, son of Alice Wagenvelt. Jason Helms, son of K Helms.

Motion by Stoddard, Amos to pay G Pierzchala incentives for new membership, carried.

Motion by Austin, Long to extend sign up incentives for an additional 6 months. Motion by Scutt, G. Meredith to table until Dick can make inquiries. Carried.

Motion by Scutt, Austin to pay Phil Iorio for services for city and labor board. Discussion. Motion by Austin, S. Karbutowski to table until there is a clarification of cost. Discussion. Carried.

Labor/Management: scheduled for the end of the month, bring issues to Ray.

Drawings: Copa: $47.00 to COPA and $47.00 to Tim Pepper.

Hams: S Meredith, J Mason, S Karbutowski, L Norman, L Chandler, D Kramer, D Bourassa, M Long, A Puhalski and S Austin.

$10.00: D Kunst, J Sweeney, P Krueger, S Page, T Pepper, G Meredith and J Amos. Meeting ended at 9:27 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

James Sweeney
Recording Secretary


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