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NAPS Board Meeting Follows Successful LTS
Submitted by Chuck Mulidore
The spring 2019 Executive Board Meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. on March 13 by President Brian Wagner. New England Area Vice President Cy Dumas gave the invocation; Northeast Region Vice President Tommy Roma led the Pledge of Allegiance. Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore conducted the roll call of officers; all board members were present.
Wagner welcomed the Executive Board members and thanked them for their commitment and dedication representing NAPS not just at board meetings, but throughout their NAPS terms. He said he appreciated everyone’s counsel and leadership and he thanked Butts and Mulidore for their leadership.
Wagner congratulated Butts and his Legislative Team for another successful LTS. Members appreciated having the opportunity to hear from the PMG. Wagner said the board members later will hear from USPS Chief Operating Officer Dave Williams. He asked the board to keep their questions nationally based and make sure any issue they may bring up already has been through the district and area levels.
He asked members to please notice the NAPS state convention assignments; at this time, they are official, but subject to change. Wagner said NAPS had offered, and Jovan Duncan accepted, a promotion to the position of executive office manager. The position is exempt and included a salary increase commensurate with her new responsibilities, which includes managing NAPS’ new office assistant. The effective date is March 16.
The goal at the board meetings is to promote the welfare of NAPS and its members by being productive and respectful of each other’s opinions and final decisions made as an Executive Board during its meetings, Wagner said. He urged board members to stay focused on the agenda items and continue to improve the organization with positive actions that will enhance the livelihoods of its members well into the future.
Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts welcomed everyone to the spring board meeting and thanked them for their support during the LTS, especially regarding contributions from board members for the Executive Board raffle. He also thanked Director of Legislative & Political Affairs Bob Levi, Legal and Legislative Counsel Bruce Moyer and the office staff for their help in again making LTS so successful. He expressed special thanks to the NAPS Auxiliary, without whom NAPS would be hard pressed to have a great LTS. It is a team effort, he said.
Mulidore welcomed the board and offered his congratulations to the NAPS Headquarters Legislative Team, led by Butts, for another outstanding LTS. He pointed out there is a full agenda for the board meeting at an exciting and consequential time for NAPS.
A motion was made by MINK Area Vice President Bart Green, seconded by Central Gulf Area Vice President Cornel Rowel Sr., to adopt the agenda and program. The motion passed on a voice vote.
Central Region Vice President Craig Johnson moved, seconded by Roma, to suspend reading the minutes of the fall 2018 board meeting. The motion passed on a voice vote. Johnson then moved, seconded by Cotton Belt Area Vice President Shri Green, to accept the minutes of the fall board meeting, previously submitted to the board. The motion passed on a voice vote.
Executive Board Chair and Southern Region Vice President Tim Ford welcomed the board to Alexandria and reminded members they are present to do the work of the membership and be respectful of each other’s views.
Mulidore presented the financial report. As of March 1, 2019, NAPS investments totaled $12,589,624.22. On June 1, 2018, NAPS investments totaled $14,157,521.51. This is a 2019 fiscal year-to-date decrease of$1,567,879.29, or 11%.
As of March 1, 2019, the NAPS General Fund Signature FCU Checking account balance was $302,873.02 and the Signature FCU Money Market account was $51,884.51, for a total of $354,757.53.
NAPS filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Feb. 20, 2017, to trademark two NAPS logos: the most-recognized, red/white circle logo, as well as the modern-looking logo. This is an effort by NAPS to have control over who or what entities use the logos for various purposes. This process is now complete. NAPS has finalized the new logos with trademark identifiers and will issue policy guidance on the use of the logos no later than Aug. 1, 2019.
As of March 1, 2019, the NAPS building was 90% leased. The third-floor space, formerly occupied by Marstel-Day, has been vacant since Jan. 1, 2018. However, an agreement to lease this space is pending for May 2019. On March 31, 2018, AACP vacated the second floor. NAPS did not receive regular owner distributions through FY18 and is continuing that process into FY19 due to projected maintenance, tenant improvements, commissions and potential lost revenue through unrenewed leases. NAPS Property Inc. (NPI) currently has $403,538 set aside to cover these costs.
NAPS Headquarters social media results were as follows:
Traffic to the NAPS webpage has doubled from last year, with 7,000-8,000 visits per month, compared to 3,000-4,000 visitors per month in 2018. This trend started in December and corresponded to the launch of “NAPS News,” which goes out bi-weekly to approximately 15,000 NAPS members.
From January through December 2018, the NAPS website had 229,045 page views, with an average of 3.11 page views per session. For all of 2018, about 5% of website visitors came from social media. But, more importantly, social media is being used to build community and also share other relevant postal news and photos of members, information about events, answering questions and more.
For 2018, about 46% of our web traffic was direct; about 40% was from organic searches online (Google, Bing, etc.). The rest came from referrals (8%—top three are blue-search.usps.gov, fedsmith.com and postalnews.com), email and others. So far this year, however, 64% of traffic to the naps.org website is direct and 29% is from organic searches, referrals, email and others.
As of the March 2019 DCO, the total number of active EAS non-members was 10,310. This number is based on the USPS payroll files of non-member EAS employees who are coded non-postmasters. Based on current membership totals, there are approximately 27.42% non-members.
NAPS continues to encourage membership growth by providing sponsors of new members a $25 NAPS check. Local and state branches continue to receive their NAPS Non-Member and Change Summary reports, along with their DCO and Mail reports on a monthly basis.
Current contracts, per board motion, expiring before the fall 2019 Executive Board meeting are Jack Wallace (May 31, 2019), NAPS accountant; and Balent-Young Publishing, Inc. (actually December 2019).
Disciplinary Defense Fund (DDF) provider Al Lum, Labor Relations Admin Group (LRAG), and Butts updated the board on the DDF regarding wins/losses/settlements and a review of current cases.
LRAG’s first year as the DDF provider has been eventful. While it took some time to get acclimated, standard operating procedures were put in place to address calls from members, hire staffing and organize activities of the DDF. Currently, there are 12 advocates working for LRAG; four are attorneys.
From January through December 2018, 150 DDF cases were processed; the DDF has been very busy. The top issues include performance, followed by falsification issues, sexual harassment (often involving the use of postal cellphones to send pictures and texts) and issues surrounding the NALC’s use of the Joint Statement on Violence in the Workplace against EAS employees. So far in 2019, there have been 84 DDF cases, with the major issues continuing from 2018.
Legal and Legislative Counsel Bruce Moyer provided an update on the current state of pay talks. There was discussion among the board about the pay consultation process.
There was no old business.
Under new business, there was discussion about the new SPAC envelope to be used for contributions. National Auxiliary President Patricia Jackson-Kelley told the board over $30,000 had been collected so far from LTS. She expressed her thanks and appreciation to Butts and the Legislative Team for their support of the Auxiliary at LTS.
She thanked Auxiliary Executive Vice President Laurie Butts and Secretary-Treasurer Bonita Atkins, as well as staff members at NAPS Headquarters, for their help during LTS. The resident officers thanked the Auxiliary for all its hard work, not only at LTS, but throughout the year and at so many events.
David Williams, USPS chief operating officer, thanked the Executive Board for the opportunity to address NAPS leadership. The USPS and NAPS must work together to meet the challenges ahead for the Postal Service, he stressed. Service has gained momentum; there were gains over last year in most categories.
Williams said scanning performance has not improved; it’s slightly behind last year’s score. Overall performance has not met overall goal in many categories, yet the momentum is encouraging. He said headwinds ahead for the Postal Service include a decline in Amazon volume, periodicals and marketing mail.
Advertising competition from social media has further led to declines in advertising revenue and mail volume. UPS and FedEx, along with Amazon, are building delivery point density to grow package volumes, further eroding parcel select volumes.
Williams said the USPS must find ways to respond to volume declines and continue to right-size the agency in order to keep costs in line with the challenges in revenue. Every interaction with customers happens on the frontline with our EAS employees, he said.
He told board members the fiscal YTD is 9.3 million hours over plan. Frontline EAS employees must drive efficiencies, manage overtime, dispatch trucks on time from the plants and get carriers out on time from delivery units. This is a systems issue—not a plant or delivery issue.
Air transportation scores are much worse than surface scores, Williams noted. While this has been widely accepted for years, data indicates 75% of First-Class parcel delivery failures arrive prior to air departure times. So, he professed, we do have control over the air delivery network. Only 70% of surface trips leave on time, which certainly impacts service. In closing, he stressed NAPS is part of the management team.
The monthly consultative meeting was held with Bruce Nicholson, Phong Quang and Henry Bear representing Postal Headquarters (see page 8).
Following are Executive Board committee updates:
Ethics—Chair Craig Johnson explained the Code of Ethics was revised in October 2018; there were no further updates at this board meeting.
SWCs—Chair Jimmy Warden, New York Area vice president, reported that the three resident officers, along with Roma and himself, met with USPS Labor Relations Vice President Doug Tulino and members of his staff on Feb. 21 at Postal Headquarters. Northeast Area Vice President Ed Phelan retired and no longer will represent the Postal Service on the SWCs team. Tulino is seeking a person with vast knowledge of Delivery to join the team.
It was agreed to perform the new SWCs proposal in one site in each area. The sites were discussed and selected based on the new SWCs module. Tulino will discuss the sites with Delivery Operations Vice President Kevin McAdams. Once approved, the sites will be released. Hopefully, the test will be done over a 60-day period.
At the conclusion of the test, a final proposal will be developed for consideration by USPS leadership. Warden recommended that, before conducting the tests, a meeting should take place with the respective district managers and/or respective representatives to emphasize the importance of conducting the test, as well as show them the program. Warden said it was agreed there need to be oversight and adherence from the districts.
Duties and Responsibilities—Chair Shri Green discussed that the D&R Guide was updated in October 2018; no further updates were made at this board meeting.
Legislative—Chair Marilyn Walton, Western Region vice president, updated the board on legislative efforts. Since the fall Executive Board meeting, she was busy helping plan the 21st Annual California Postal Employees Legislative Coalition event in February. She said the coalition was honored to host President Brian Wagner and Bob Levi, NAPS’ legislative & political affairs director, at this year’s event. She explained that, for many years, Levi had attended via Skype. He has many friends in California and everyone was happy he was there is person.
All the unions, both postal management associations, NARFE and the California Labor Council attended. There were Skype presentations from the national legislative directors from the APWU, Rural Carriers and Mail Handlers. Walton said attendance was up at this year’s event; her counterpart from the APWU, Western Region Coordinator Omar Gonzales, led the discussion.
Walton reported that, during the various presentations and panel discussions, it appears everyone is in lockstep preparing to go to Capitol Hill and push to ensure the USPS is not privatized, six-day and door-to-door delivery are maintained and work continues on a fair postal reform bill. While the organizations support other bills, the consensus is we need to maintain a strong, viable and secure Postal Service.
A highlight of the annual legislative event was when Walton; Marsha Danzy, California State legislative consultant; and Yolanda Grayson, Los Angeles Branch 39 legislative director, participated in a podcast with Levi. She said it was a great experience and a good way to spread the word on the coalition’s and everyone’s commitment to promoting postal legislation on the homefront.
Since the 116th Congress was sworn in, Walton reported she has been working with the California State legislative consultant to update the state’s 52 congressional members, their building/room numbers and committee assignments. The updated listing was out in time to assist the California delegation in booking their appointments at LTS.
Walton said she also attended her congressman’s—Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)—annual Crab Fest, sponsored by NAPS. NAPS was able to take eight of Garamendi’s postal constituents to the event held at the local community center. There were over 800 attendees representing labor, military and community groups. She said it was great to spend quality time with her congressional representative.
Southeast Area Vice President Bob Quinlan reported that he visited his congressman’s office at home, where he informed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) of the importance of postal reform. A meeting was scheduled with Webster on Capitol Hill for March 12.
Florida and Georgia finished number one in SPAC for the Southeast Area; Florida was number one in total SPAC contributions in the country. Quinlan said Florida continually strives to be number one and always challenges other states to raise the bar for SPAC. At every branch meeting, they sponsor 50-50 raffles, which helps for the year. There also is a silent auction at the state convention, to which members donate items.
Jimmy Warden reported on his Oct. 28 legislative training where he asked all the branches to establish or designate a position for their respective branch as the legislative chair; Butts also attended and assisted at the training. Information was shared with each participant on how to conduct a meeting with their respective congressional representative. A binder with information specific to the representative in their area of their branch was distributed to each participant.
All participants were urged to visit their elected representative in their home district, in addition to visiting them in Washington at LTS. Regarding LTS, there were some minor issues in getting appointments with some of the representatives. Because some NAPS legislative chairs do not live in the representatives’ districts, the representatives’ aides did not want to schedule meetings. Thanks to Bob Levi, these issues were rectified and meetings were scheduled.
Warden said they presently are working on scheduling meetings in those districts that were unable to send a person to LTS. A meeting has been scheduled with freshman Rep. Max Rose of Staten Island and Brooklyn to meet with Roma and himself, along with representatives from the branch. Max Rose was unable to fit the NAPS delegation in their schedule on March 12 in Washington, DC. They will meet with Rose in his district office (see page 11).
Texas Area Vice President Jaime Elizondo Jr. reported that, since the fall board meeting, he has reviewed the legislative information from Levi. He forwarded the emails to his Texas NAPS members and stressed the need for everyone’s legislative involvement in order to build support for NAPS’ efforts.
Elizondo said he continues to be on the email lists for both Texas senators and continues to review their positions on national topics affecting the USPS and NAPS. He sends them personal emails regarding NAPS’ stance on legislative issues and stresses the size of the Texas delegation. He continues to push for their support on postal reform legislation, as well as with his congressman.
Elizondo said every time he has attended branch installations or branch meetings since the fall board meeting, he has pushed for support for SPAC and talks about the current political climate the USPS faces with President Trump and his USPS agenda. He makes sure to mention the NAPS legislative agenda and the need for a good legislative presence.
PFP Advisory Committee—Chair Dan Mooney, North Central Area vice president, discussed the committee’s input to the Postal Service regarding the 2019 PFP program. NAPS has been involved in the process, offering input and suggestions. Despite its efforts, this does not mean NAPS agrees with the final product.
Postmaster—An update was given on the committee’s efforts to increase postmaster membership in NAPS and to effectively address postmaster issues.
Training and Advocacy—Chair Myrna Pashinski, Rocky Mountain Area vice president, discussed the committee’s work on updating the Officer Training Manual, as well as other projects, including Pacific Area Vice President Chuck Lum’s effort to continue developing his leadership training program. Tim Ford’s presentation on how to stay out of trouble is being converted to a PowerPoint presentation, as well as Marilyn Walton’s Representation 101 program.
Membership—All Executive Board members are responsible for helping increase membership. Discussions centered on new ways to increase membership with potential revisions to the current membership award program, as well as social media opportunities.
Plant Committee—It was discussed that EAS staffing of MDO and SDO positions is inadequate. Variances between plants in size, equipment and staffing require a new model that accounts for the diverse differences in plants. This model cannot be effective with the “one-size-fits-all” premise. In addition to the primary purpose of Function 1 issues, the support functions of in-plant, maintenance and transportation have similar needs to be addressed and corrected.
Committee members will acquire and analyze the latest available data and model for EAS matrix in all plant functions. The committee plans to review the various-size plants in their respective regions/areas to document and recommend a corrective solution to what the SWCs committee has attempted. A more detailed and comprehensive report will be made at the fall 2019 board meeting.
Sheri Davies, ConferenceDirect, provided an overview of the 2019 LTS. An outstanding feature has been the year-over-year growth in sponsorship dollars, which reduces overall costs.
Stacey Herndon, PNC Investments, gave the board an update on NAPS investments. There has been volatility in the market, but NAPS has a good investment strategy that is conservative and balanced in nature. It is recommended that NAPS stay the course over the next months.
Butts, Moyer and Levi reported on the just-concluded successful LTS. Capitol Hill visits were productive; many members got to meet their representative or senators in person. Approximately 300 delegate feedback forms were received for review by the Legislative Team. LTS SPAC donations exceeded $30,000.
The House should schedule a hearing soon on postal reform, potentially previewing a bill to be introduced. There was discussion about President Trump’s Task Force on the Postal System. While many of the proposals most likely will not get a hearing in the current Congress, NAPS must stay focused on the long-term goals of the task force report.
An update from Signature Federal Credit Union focused on its successful and beneficial banking relationship with NAPS. There was a proposal to provide Signature gift cards to NAPS members at a discounted rate.
Legal and Legislative Counsel Bruce Moyer provided the board a confidential update on pay talks/fact-finding and other pending legal matters.
Motion 1—Jaime Elizondo, seconded by Tommy Roma, that “NAPS continues contract negotiations with Karen Young to publish the NAPS magazine for the standard time frame.” The motion passed unanimously.
Motion 2—Mideast Area Vice President Troy Griffin, seconded by Pioneer Area Tim Needham, that “The resident officers take data and information from April and take appropriate measures to investigate the feasibility of establishing status and proceed to create a NAPS Members Relief Fund.” The motion passed unanimously.
Motion 3—Chuck Mulidore, seconded by Chuck Lum, that “NAPS Headquarters funds a scholarship of $5,000 per year in honor of former NAPS President Louis Atkins to be distributed equally among the NAPS regions.”
Voting “yes” were Butts, Mulidore, R. Green, Johnson, Walton, Dallojacono, Griffin, Needham, Trayer, Mooney, B. Green, Quinlan, Rowel, S. Green, Elizondo, Pashinski, McCracken and Lum. Voting “no” were Wagner, Dumas and Moreno. Not voting were Roma, Warden and Ford (as board chair, Ford does not vote.) The motion passed.
Motion 4—Bart Green, seconded by Roma, “To accept the NAPS Headquarters budget as presented.” The motion passed unanimously.
Motion 5—Submitted by Marilyn Walton, seconded by Cornel Rowel, that “That, based on the three proposals submitted to assume the duties of NAPS Headquarters accountant effective June 1, 2019, for a three-year period, NAPS accepts the proposal submitted by Jack Wallace."
Voting “yes” were Wagner, Butts, Roma, R. Green, Johnson, Walton, Dumas, Warden, Dallojacono, Moreno, Mooney, Quinlan, Rowel, S. Green and Lum. Voting “no” were Mulidore, Griffin, Needham, Trayer, B. Green, Elizondo, Pashinski and McCracken. As board chair, Ford does not vote. The motion passed.
The fall 2019 Executive Board meeting will be held Oct. 19-24 at NAPS Headquarters.
For the good of the association, there was discussion about articles from members that are published in The Postal Supervisor magazine.
President Brian Wagner thanked the board for its due diligence, taking part in LTS and continuing to move forward as a team.
The closing prayer was led by Tim Ford.
Wagner moved, seconded by Mulidore, to adjourn the meeting; the motion passed on a voice vote.