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Aug. 28-29, 2021
Welcome to the Gaylord Texan
Host Branch Committee Chair Robert “Texas Bob” Bradford, Waco “Heart of Texas” Branch 203, and his committee members from Branch 203, Dallas Branch 86 and Fort Worth Branch 124, with help from North Texas Branch 428 and Dallas NDC Branch 559, extend a Texas-style welcome to the 67th National Convention.
Sunday’s activities include the Non-Denominational Worship Service from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Grapevine A. The NAPS and Auxiliary Delegates’ Orientation is 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. in Grapevine A. All registered delegates, including the Auxiliary, are encouraged to attend. Delegates will hear from the resident officers and National Auxiliary President Patricia Jackson-Kelley. Also, NAPS Parliamentarian Dr. Bruce Bishop will provide an overview of “Robert’s Rules of Order” and how NAPS conducts its convention business. The convention committees meet on Sunday. Refer to page 6 of the One Book for times and meeting rooms. The Host Branch is hosting a welcome reception Sunday evening at 8 p.m. in Grapevine Ballroom C&D. Wear your favorite baseball team’s apparel; music will be provided.
Listen to the Latest NAPS Chat
Download the latest episode of NAPS Chat, a weekly podcast to inform NAPS members about the latest legislative and political goings-on in our nation’s capital, hosted by NAPS Director of Legislative & Political Affairs Bob Levi. NAPS President Brian Wagner joins Levi on this week’s edition to discuss the Postal Service’s Aug. 24 pay package for EAS-level employees. Wagner also reflects on key events from his five-year tenure as NAPS president; he is retiring at the end of the 67th National Convention. He also talks about his experiences working with senior USPS leadership. You can listen to the pocast at https://naps.org/NAPS-Chat and most podcast platforms such as Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Pocast and more.
Please visit our exhibitors’ booths located in the foyer of the Texas Ballroom. Following are the sponsors and levels:
NAPS Approves USPS EAS Pay Decision Through May, 20, 2023
NAPS has engaged in consultation with the U.S. Postal Service since April 22, 2021, over changes in pay policies and schedules and fringe benefits for employees of the Executive and Administrative Schedule (EAS) represented by NAPS from FY20-23.
On Aug. 23, NAPS Headquarters received the Postal Service’s final pay decision through May 20, 2023, for supervisors, managers, Headquarters-reporting personnel and other managerial personnel represented by NAPS.
The NAPS resident officers and Executive Board reviewed the pay decision on Aug. 24 and recognized that the USPS gave full and fair consideration to many of the pay issues of concern to NAPS members. As a result of the USPS pay decision, over 10,000 EAS personnel in customer service-related positions will see salary gains through improvements in the Supervisor Differential Adjustment.
Additional features of the USPS pay decision include a 10-cell pay-for-perfor-mance (PFP) system that recognizes individual performance; a doubling in the percentage for an EAS upgrade from 2% to 4%; increased annual leave carryover and buyback hours; minimum and maximum salary level increases; and the continuation of current levels in EAS employee health insurance premiums.
In addition, the USPS agreed to establish joint USPS/NAPS work teams to improve the PFP system, supervisory staffing, upgrades of designated EAS positions and premium pay. The pay decision covers pay policies and schedules and fringe benefits for EAS employees represented by NAPS through May 20, 2023.
NAPS looks forward to the startup of the work teams to address the pay issues identified in the pay decision. The decision is posted on the NAPS website at www.naps.org. Monday Opening Ceremony: Due to an emergency, Scott Hooper, USPS District Manager, Texas 1, cannot attend. Acting District Manager Yulonda Francis Love instead will address convention delegates.
67th National Convention Gets Underway
Host Branch Chair Bob Bradford welcomed delegates to the 67th NAPS National Convention. Reggie Quintero, San Antonio Branch 103, gave the invocation. The Grapevine City Fire Department Honor Guard presented the Colors.
Vesta Bartie, Dallas Branch 86, led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Bartie’s grandson, Marquis Barnes, sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem. Manuel and Barbara Trevino, Fort Worth Branch 124, read the much-too-long list of the names of members who have died since the 2018 National Convention.
Bradford introduced Grapevine, TX, Mayor William Tate who told delegates it was an honor to address them. He acknowledged it’s been a tough couple years. “Our cemetery is filled with new graves,” he said. “We share your grief and loss.”
The mayor highlighted the history of Grapevine and encouraged members to visit the historic downtown area. “Be glad you’re an American and know you are free,” he exhorted.
Javier Falcon, Grapevine postmaster, welcomed NAPS members. He told delegates that, back in the 1800s, the city’s name was two words: Grape Vine. In 1914, though, the Post Office Department asked the town to make it one word.
Falcon said he had the honor of having been a former Lubbock Branch 265 president. He encouraged delegates to make great decisions this week that will have a lasting effect on the organization.
Next, Yulonda Francis Love, Dallas postmaster, thanked NAPS for keeping its members informed and more grounded for the Postal Service. “It’s part of your goals in your leadership circle and we appreciate that,” she declared.
Love talked about staffing shortages and other challenges. “You’re dealing with these issues while keeping your employees motivated and serving your customers,” she said. “For all the postmasters and district managers: Thank you for what you do! We don’t say that enough.”
She described supervisors as the truly essential employees in the organization. “You are the MVPs of the Postal Service,” she stressed.
Love urged NAPS members to find mindful time for themselves during their workdays. “Take 30 minutes, one hour, to walk away,” she offered. “Go to your car, meditate, take a walk—commit time to yourself for mindfulness. We’re busy taking care of everyone else; we lose ourselves. Don’t lose yourself!”
Following the greetings, Bradford handed the gavel to NAPS President Brian Wagner. “Thanks to Bob and his posse for doing a fantastic job of hosting this convention,” Wagner declared. “And thank you for attending; it’s been a long time coming.”
Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts expressed his appreciation to delegates for being at the convention. “Thank you for doing the business of NAPS and being our NAPS leaders to advocate for your members.” He introduced former NAPS Executive Board members in attendance.
Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore told delegates it’s great to be in Grapevine. “It’s been a tough year with a lot of loss,” he observed. He asked for a moment of silence to recognize the 13 Marines the United States just lost in Afghanistan, calling them heroes who were protecting our country. Mulidore introduced the current NAPS Executive Board.
Wagner introduced National Auxiliary President Patricia Jackson-Kelley and thanked her for being part of the NAPS team. Jackson-Kelley said her heart bursts with pride as she reflects on the Auxiliary’s accomplishments over the past three years. “With the support of my officers, I am proud to have been the leader of the Auxiliary,” she said.
Jackson-Kelley thanked her Executive Board members for going the extra mile on the organization’s behalf. She also thanked Wagner for his consistent support and the support of dedicated members.
She talked about the challenge of membership. “Let’s work together to increase our membership—encourage your family members to join. As I give the torch to others, I will always support NAPS.”
Butts told delegates he was honored to work with the Auxiliary. “They help us with what we need to do legislatively,” he explained. “It makes a difference to have a strong Auxiliary backing us.”
SPAC is another vehicle that helps NAPS in its legislative advocacy. As of Sunday at the convention, Butts aNnounced, over $5,000 had been raised for SPAC.
NAPS also just held its second virtual SPAC raffle: over $35,000 was raised. Butts said these contributions encourage him that NAPS will reach his goal of raising $50,000 this year.
The 67th National Convention SPAC Hall of Fame members were recognized virtually earlier this year, and were called to the stage to be recognized in person:
Northeast Region: Raymond Amergian, Branch 96 (not present)
Eastern Region: Darnel Croswell, Branch 225.
Central Region: Sherry Maxwell, Branch 255.
Southern Region: Kym Mullins, Branch 81.
Western Region: James Salmon, Branch 246.
Butts thanked the hall of fame members for their commitment to SPAC. He talked about how rewarding it has been to promote legislation and said NAPS packs a punch in Washington, DC, thanks to the grassroots efforts of members.
“We have to keep you in front at the local level,” he stressed. “When you talk to legislators at the local level and ask for their support, it makes so much of an impact. We’re putting ourselves in a better position to be successful.”
He next presented the 2021 Stanley Gold Legislative Leadership awards. The award was named in honor of the late Stanley Gold, a stalwart of legislative activism.
Sadly, the two awards were awarded posthumously to Mary Burkhard, Branch 244, CA, and Frank Gallegos, Branch 295, NM.
Burkhard was a great legislative advocate for NAPS. She fought hard to gain MSPB rights for all EAS employees.
Gallegos was a legislative giant for New Mexico , as well as the entire organization.
Members of Branch 244 and 295 came to the stage to accept the awards.
Mulidore then made a very special presentation to Branch 244: a certificate renaming it the Mary Burkhard Branch 244. Branch members accepted the certificate, saying it was a fitting tribute to Mary.
Butts then invited members of Branch 548 up for a special presentation: a certificate renaming the branch in honor of the late Luther B. Manuel Jr. Butts called Luther the “Floor Parliamentarian” because of his knowledge of parliamentary procedure and his efforts at NAPS meetings and conventions to keep everyone informed and in line.
The branch now is the Luther B. Manuel Jr. NAPS Branch 548. Grimsley Nurse, a member of 548’s Executive Board, said, “We will not see anyone who was as dedicated as he was to NAPS.”
Representatives of Branch 466 were invited to the stage to accept a certificate renaming the branch in honor of former Pacific Area Vice President Hayes Cherry. The branch now is called Hayes Cherry Branch 466.
Videos were shown remembering Mary Burkhard, Frank Gallegos, Luther B. Manuel Jr. and Hayes Cherry. It has been hard losing these members who were such strong leaders in the organization.
Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts announced the latest 2021 SPAC total Tuesday morning that includes contributions at the convention and the two virtual SPAC raffles: $42,877. He said he is further encouraged that NAPS will reach his goal of $50,000 this year for SPAC.
Butts urged delegates to sign up for “Drive 4 Five,” the way for members to contribute via monthly deductions through payroll or annuity withholdings. “If everyone contributed $5 or $10 a month, we could sustain SPAC for years,” he declared.
Monthly contributions also allow the NAPS legislative team to better forecast what it needs to support legislators who support NAPS. “Please help in this grassroots legislative effort and consider supporting SPAC with monthly payroll or annuity deductions,” he stressed.
Butts announced the two winners from the earlier promotion to encourage current members of “Drive 4 Five” to increase their monthly payroll and annuity deductions. Winners of the iPads were Kym Mullins, Tampa, FL, Branch 81, for the highest increase in payroll deductions; and Tom Hughes, New York City Branch 100 president, for the highest increase in annuity deductions.
Delivering to the American People
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy addressed NAPS delegates Tuesday morning, saying he was excited to be with them at the convention. “You are important whether you are working—helping me lead the charge to right the Postal Service—or retired because we need cheerleaders, help and support. We’re involved in a transformation of the organization whose business model has been significantly disrupted over the past few years.”
DeJoy said the agency’s 10-year plan is pretty straightforward: strategically direct the USPS’ processing and delivery assets in a way that increases operational precision and preserves its core, but doing it better and more cost effectively; also, finding strategic ways to grow. He said he wants to energize the entire organization and achieve success by covering costs and investing in the network.
The PMG referenced that, when he joined the Postal Service in June 2020, the agency was forecast to lose billions and run out of cash in September; mail volume was declining and projected to continue to decline over the next 10 years. “The focus was on mail,” he observed, “but the best minds have focused on the mail for over 10 years. We needed to come up with a better plan. Our greatest assets are our network and our people.”
DeJoy talked about reorganizing the agency; he now has 16 direct reports. He pulled people up through the organization. “I’m very proud of the team I have around me,” he declared. “I don’t have far to look from me to you. It’s important for employees to know they will be listened to.
“Organizational structure and alignment to people and mission are the most important things in a large organization such as ours. We have the structure now and good management. We need to have a vision for where we’re going.”
DeJoy thanked NAPS delegates for their service and commitment during the pandemic and the national election. “I understand our mission: Serve the American people and go to every address six days a week. Everything else revolves around that. It’s pretty clear!”
He said the 10-year plan is employee-friendly and has support from employees. “We have very competent people throughout the organization, which is why I’m confident we can do this. Our employees are very committed and working hard.”
The 10-year plan commits to maintaining six-day delivery. “It’s important because we can’t delete service; it’s our ticket to success,” he stressed. “We go to every house, every day. Our job is to convince the American people to use us more.”
The 10-year plan also focuses on stemming employee turnover, including converting people, which stabilizes the workforce. “Our mission is aligned to stability in the organization, which will bring profitability,” he explained. “We have to be self-sustaining and cover our costs; it’s the law. It’s also an important attribute of a service business. Covering costs forces you to evolve.
“We have to believe we can do this and that we are a growing concern. We have a vision for the Postal Service 10 years from now and how we serve the American public. When you have the mission laid out and a vision, it forces you to take action, make decisions and do the uncomfortable things to get there for the long-term health of the organization.
“That’s what the plan is about. We are not confused about our mission: Serve the American people and cover our costs. But we need revenue to do that.”
New to the plan is growth. DeJoy talked about USPS Connect Local, calling it a winner. The new program allows retailers to drop packages at a local postal facility during business hours for next-day delivery. Alternatively, merchants can fill orders overnight and drop off packages in the early morning for same-day delivery. “This is the ticket forward,” he stressed, “and where we’re going to get more revenue.”
It’s part of a broader USPS Connect program designed to help businesses of all sizes meet growing consumer demand for affordable, fast, local and regional deliveries and returns, as well as support Main Street-style commerce. “We’re going to create an ecosystem around communities, enable commerce to happen and help us cover our costs,” he declared.
DeJoy said he is encouraged by the progress with postal reform legislation. He, as well as the agency’s Government Relations team, continue to meet with Congress. Current legislation that has been approved by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform would give the Postal Service the ability to move forward. “We have support because we have made known we have a problem and that we’re going to fix it ourselves,” he offered.
The PMG said peak season pricing will continue. He intends to invest in facilities and is modernizing the IT department. New vehicles have rolled out. “It’s very exciting,” he exclaimed. “We have high expectations of everything; it’s all on a schedule. We look at service. I’m in service meetings with our executives looking at everything.
“You all know that anything bad that happens usually rolls downhill. We’re not that kind of organization anymore. We’re going to be leader-responsible and accountable. It’s an example to take as you go forward. Help your employees every day; that’s what we’re all about in the USPS.
“I need you to believe in the plan. I love my team and the people I meet when I go out in the field. I love the mission. I need you to believe and talk it up. When you have the vision, we will work smarter and more collaboratively, talk smarter and be used a lot more and bring in revenue.
“Have expectations of yourself and your team. Engage in the new employees; welcome them and speak to them. There is something really special in the Postal Service and it starts with its people. Let’s make new people feel good; we want them to make it.
“I’m very humbled to lead this organization and all of you.”
Host Branch Committee Chair Bob Bradford announced the results of Sunday’s golf tournament held at the Cowboys Golf Club. There were 52 golfers.
Members of the first-place team were Tony Viers, Chad Viers, Bill Spurling and Jimmy Archibald.
Second-place team members were Jay Van Horn, John Felicioni, Bruce Moffett and Cash Moffett.
Ballot Committee Named
NAPS President Brian Wagner announced members of the Ballot Committee:
Roe Herzog, 154, chair; assistant chairs, Bruce Kuiper, MN, 16; and Robert Tolman, SD, 946.
New England Area: James Misserville, NH, 498.
New York Area: Phyllis Morrissey, NY, 935.
Mideast Area: Sue Bartko, PA, 20. Capitol-Atlantic Area: Larry Martin, MD, 42.
Pioneer Area: Debra Jackson, OH, 46. Michiana Area: Laurie A. Cogar, MI, 268.
Illini Area: Annetta Joseph, IL, 14.
North Central Area: Theresa Newcomb-Evans, MN, 16.
MINK Area: Virginia Price-Booker, MO, 131.
Southeast Area: Syl Johnson, GA, 595.
Cotton Belt Area: Robert Wakefield, TN, 947.
Central Gulf Area: Trueva Richardson, AL, 26.
Texas Area: Robin Young-Williams, TX, 589.
Northwest Area: Pamela Simpson, WA, 66.
Rocky Mountain Area: Jackie Clayton, NV, 463.
Pacific Area: Karyn Rahming, CA,77.
Assistants: Carol Randle, CA, 39; and Catherine Brady, FL, 420.
Committee Chair James Salmon, Branch 246, AZ, reported on the Postmaster Committee meeting. The NAPS Executive Board Postmaster Committee met with the convention committee. Recommendations included:
Online training for postmasters that would entail five- to seven-minute videos available on the NAPS website on topics such as job skills, legislation, membership and representation.
In-depth training on representation to strengthen NAPS’ cadre of representatives so they are more available and better prepared to represent members.
Aggressively recruit more postmaster members. Let them know NAPS is the best organization for them.
Promote NAPS’ DDF, available to new members after 90 days at no cost.
Address work conditions and staffing. Postmasters at all levels are being forced to perform craft work just to get the job done. Offices that have supervisors need these positions filled. Craft positions need to be filled; Fast Track Hiring needs to be fixed.
If postmasters are working more than 40 hours, they need to be compensated for that time. With the restructuring, postmasters need to know whom to contact for support.
The entire Postmaster Committee report will be printed in the September/October issue of The Postal Supervisor.
Following are nominations for Executive Board officers:
Executive Vice President—Ken Bunch, Chuck Mulidore
Secretary/Treasurer—Cindy McCracken, Jimmy Warden
Northeast Region VP—Tommy Roma
Eastern Region VP—Richard L. Green Jr.
Central Region VP—Craig Johnson
Southern Region VP—Tim Ford
Western Area VP—Marilyn Walton
New England Area VP—Bill Austin, Lisa Douglas
New York Area VP—Dennis Gawron, Dioenis D. Perez
Mideast Area VP—Tony Dallojacono
Capitol-Atlantic VP—Troy Griffin
Pioneer Area—Tim Needham
Michiana Area—Kevin Trayer
Illini Area—Gregory Harris, Luz Moreno
North Central Area—Dan Mooney
MINK Area—Richard “Bart” Green
Southeast Area—Bob Quinlan
Central Gulf Area: Roy Beaudoin, Dwight Studdard
Cotton Belt Area—Shri Burns-Green
Texas Area––Jaime Elizondo Jr.
Northwest Area: Aric Skjelstad, John Valuet
Rocky Mountain Area—Myrna Pashinski
Pacific Area—Chuck Lum
2024 Convention Cities: Foxwoods Resort Casino, CT; Hilton Minneapolis
Thirteen chairs were placed in front of the convention hall, each with an American flag, to signify the 13 U.S. service members who were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan. Gary Rutter, South Jersey Branch 74, told delegates the average age of those killed was 22. “Let’s honor these heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect America’s highest ideals,” he pronounced. Veterans among NAPS delegates came forward and saluted the flags.
Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts announced the latest 2021 SPAC total Thursday morning that includes contributions at the convention and the two virtual SPAC raffles: $45, 572. There still are two days lefts to reach his $50,000 goal. Butts thanked delegates for all their support of SPAC. “You are legislatively smart and strong,” he declared.
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Audit Committee Report
Audit Committee Chair Arnie Rosario reported that the committee met on Aug. 29 to review the financial activity for 16 vendors and 24 Executive Board members for September 2018, April and November 2019 and May 2020. No major findings were discovered; a couple minor issues were noted:
NAPS Lawsuit Update
Bruce Moyer, NAPS legal counsel, discussed the NAPS lawsuit against the Postal Service, which is about affirming EAS rights and fairness of EAS pay as required by Title 39. Congress created the Postal Service in 1970 with the Postal Reorganization Act. It recognized the vital role supervisory and managerial personnel play in converting postal policy into successful postal operations.
Congress took the deliberate step of protecting the rights of supervisory and managerial personnel for fair and adequate compensation through a participatory process known as pay consultation or pay talks. This process is mandated in federal law: U.S. Code, Title 39, Section 1004. Pay consultation is not the same as collective bargaining. The USPS exclusively makes the final decision on pay and is obligated only to give full and fair consideration to NAPS’ requests for any changes.
As part of the Postal Reorganization Act, Congress requires a pay differential between supervisors and the employees they supervise. Congress also required the USPS to pay supervisors at a level competitive with comparable private-sector work.
Also, pay consultations are to begin no later than 45 days after the agency reaches a collective-bargaining agreement with the largest postal employee union, currently the NALC.
But the start of pay talks between NAPS and the USPS may be potentially delayed by years due to the linkage to the completion of unions’ collective-bargaining agreements. This is what happened in the FY16-19 pay package and in the earlier pay package and is why NAPS has helped craft new legislation. H.R. 1623, “The Postal Supervisors and Managers Fairness Act,” would require the Postal Service to propose a new pay package to NAPS no later than 60 days before expiration of the prior pay package.
The FY16-19 decision is the subject of the current lawsuit. The most recent pay decision for FY20-23, which the NAPS Executive Board accepted just last week, avoided fact-finding and litigation.
For the FY16-19 pay package, consultation between NAPS and the USPS started a year late, then took 10 months. So, one year already into the pay package, NAPS just began consultation with the Postal Service after the agency had submitted its proposal to NAPS for field EAS employees. In late June 2018, two years later, the USPS issued its pay decision.
After review, the NAPS Executive Board rejected the decision and authorized NAPS to pursue fact-finding with a request to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to form a panel as authorized by Title 39. NAPS asserted the USPS ignored Title 39’s substantive and procedural requirements: The supervisory differential was minimal and meaningless. And procedurally, the USPS failed to set pay at levels workers in the private market earned and had not even studied pay rates.
The USPS limited its decision only to employees the USPS classified as field EAS—not Headquarters or area employees or postmasters. Another ongoing dispute between NAPS and the USPS is NAPS’ right to represent all EAS personnel, including postmasters and EAS personnel at Headquarters and area offices.
NAPS clearly satisfies Title 39’s requirement that membership includes 20%of the affected class of members to be represented. There are about 4,100 postmasters who are NAPS members.
On Oct. 1, 2018, NAPS, outside of pay talks, requested the Postal Service recognize its right to represent postmasters. Five months later, the USPS responded and refused.
As noted earlier, NAPS, in July 2018, requested the FMCS to establish a three-member fact-finding panel. The fact-finding panel may make recommendations to the USPS, but it is free to ignore them as provided under current law. The USPS is required only to explain why it has rejected the fact-finding panel’s recommendations.
H.R. 1623 would upgrade the fact-finding process to be binding on NAPS and the USPS similar to arbitration.
On Dec. 10, 2018, the three-member fact-finding panel convened a two-day hearing. The work of NAPS’ team of excellent litigators and the team’s collaboration with the resident officers resulted in a unanimous FMCS panel report issued on April 30, 2019, with recommendations.
The panel agreed with NAPS that the FY16-19 pay package violated the Postal Reorganization Act and Title 39 provisions by failing to take into account private-sector compensation and pay differentials between supervisors and staff.
The panel also found that EAS compensation was not comparable to private-sector compensation and the Pay-for-Performance (PFP) program was, in the panel’s words, “seriously flawed.” Also, the supervisory differential was unreasonably calculated and inaccurate.
Two weeks later, the USPS sent its final decision that rejected the vast majority of the panel’s recommendations.
The next step was the lawsuit NAPS brought on July 26, 2019, in federal court in the District of Columbia, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief that would prevent the USPS from continuing to implement that pay package and declare it illegal in violation of Title 39. The lawsuit also sought to overturn the USPS’ refusal to recognize the rights of Postmasters and Headquarters and area personnel to be represented by NAPS.
UPMA intervened in the lawsuit, contesting NAPS’ right to represent postmasters. A year later, the district court granted the USPS’ and UPMA’s motions to dismiss the lawsuit. Notably, the court did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit.
The judge ruled that, despite the fact the court has original jurisdiction, Title 39 does not specifically authorize NAPS to sue the USPS, regardless of the law’s mandates on compensation and representation. The judge suggested NAPS go back to Congress to cure alleged defects in the law.
In September 2020, NAPS appealed the district court’s decision to the higher U.S. Court of Appeals to contest its decision that NAPS did not have the right to bring the lawsuit. Three weeks from now, NAPS and the USPS will enter a courtroom and argue the case on appeal before a panel of three judges.
NAPS continues to work for the best interests of its members on three fronts: