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Submitted by Chuck Mulidore
All references and actions regarding the 2020 National Convention will be effective in 2021 due to postponing the 2020 National Convention to August 2021.
The spring 2020 Executive Board meeting was called to order at 1 p.m. on March 11 by Executive Board Chair Tim Ford. North Central Area Vice President Dan Mooney gave the invocation. New York Area Vice President Jim Warden led the Pledge of Allegiance. Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore conducted the roll call of officers; all board members were present.
President Brian Wagner welcomed the Executive Board and thanked members for their commitment and dedication to represent NAPS not just at board meetings, but throughout their NAPS terms. He also welcomed Lisa Douglas, the interim New England Area vice president.
Wagner congratulated Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts and his Legislative Team, including the NAPS staff, for another successful LTS. He thanked Butts, Mulidore, the NAPS staff, Sheri Davies of Conference Direct and the STOLADI team for all their efforts in making that morning’s ceremony to rename the NAPS Headquarters Building in honor of late President Vince Palladino successful and memorable. The entire dedication planning truly was a team effort.
Wagner told board members they would hear from Postmaster General Megan Brennan during the meeting. The tight agenda included the 2020-2021 budget, declaration of board members running for office and selection of board seating at the convention.
He reminded everyone the goal of the board meeting is to promote the welfare of NAPS and its members by being productive and respectful of each others’ opinions and with the final decisions made during the meeting. President Wagner asked the board to stay focused on the agenda items and continue to improve NAPS with positive actions that will make its members’ future even better.
Butts welcomed everyone and thanked them for their thoughts and prayers on the death of his cousin. He also thanked the board for its support of the 2020 LTS program. He reiterated there is hard work ahead to gain passage of H.R. 6085, the “Postal Supervisors and Managers Fairness Act of 2020,” not only on the Hill, but at the local level, as well.
Mulidore welcomed the board to Alexandria. “We have been using the word ‘historic’ to describe our past several meetings,” he said. “I believe it applies to these times, as well. Our organization is moving forward on a number of fronts to improve the well-being and work lives of our members, from the ongoing lawsuit with the Postal Service to the now-introduced H.R. 6085 that would change how our pay consultations are conducted with the USPS. There is much work to do; I know we all are up to it.”
A motion was made by Texas Area Vice President Jaime Elizondo Jr., seconded by Southeast Area Vice President Bob Quinlan, to adopt the agenda and program. The motion passed on a voice vote.
Elizondo moved, seconded by Cotton Belt Area Vice President Shri Green, to suspend the reading of the fall 2019 board meeting minutes as previously distributed. The motion passed on a voice vote.
Elizondo moved, seconded by Eastern Region Vice President Richard Green Jr., to accept the minutes of the fall 2019 meeting as previously submitted to the board. The motion passed on a voice vote.
Ford welcomed the board to Alexandria for the spring 2020 Board meeting. Over the past months, he said he dealt with another ethics issue that was resolved. He also has attended all the NAPS-USPS consultative meetings via teleconference. Ford also set the rules the board would follow during the board meeting.
Mulidore presented the financial report. As of March 1, 2020, NAPS investments totaled $11,775,832.12. On June 1, 2019, NAPS investments totaled $12,175,732.70. This is a 2020 fiscal year-to-date decrease of$399,900.58 or (3.28%).
As of March 1, 2020, the NAPS General Fund Signature FCU Checking account balance was $257,327.63; the Signature FCU Money Market account was $119, 888.08, for a total of $377,215.71.
As of March 1, 2020, the NAPS building was 91% leased by number of units (10 of 11) and 80% leased by square footage. On March 31, 2018, AACP vacated the second floor, which remains vacant. NAPS did not receive regular owner distributions through FY18 and 19. That is continuing through FY20 due to projected maintenance, tenant improvements, commissions and potential lost revenue through unrenewed leases.
NAPS Property Inc. (NPI) currently has $251,000 set aside to cover these costs: $110,000 supports outstanding liabilities (security deposits, prepaid rents and accrued expenses), meaning there is $141,000 in available cash. Assuming LRB continues to make on-time payments according to the settlement agreement, there will be sufficient cash flow to cover NPI operating expenses through the end of the fiscal year.
As of March 1, 2020, NAPS Headquarters social media results were as follows:
Traffic to the NAPS webpage has more than doubled since January 2018, with approximately 3,000-4,000 visitors per month then, and between 7,500-8,500 per month now. The average increase from January 2019 to January 2020 has been about 1,500 more visitors.
In 2019, the NAPS website had 303,201 page views; viewers went to an average of 2.25 pages per session. For this year so far (January to February) the NAPS website had 61,252 page views, with an average of 2.55 pages per session.
For the entire year of 2019, approximately 13% of NAPS website visits came from social media. This year to date (January to February), about 10% of website visitors have come from social media.
In 2019, about 54% of NAPS’ web traffic was direct and about 29%from organic searches online (Google, Bing, etc.). The rest came from referrals (6%—top three are blue-search.usps.gov, fedsmith.com and postalnews.com), email and other. So far for 2020 (January to February), 55% of traffic to the naps.org website is direct and 36% from organic searches online, with 4% coming from referrals.
As of the January 2020 DCO (reflecting DCO membership through PPs 1 and 2), NAPS had 27,601 members (26,248 active and 1,353 associate; 95% and 5%, respectively). Total membership from a year ago (2019 PPs 1 and 2) was 27,285 (25,951 active and 1,334 associate); an overall total SPLY increase of 316 members or (1.16%).
As of the January 2020 DCO, the total number of active EAS non-members was 10,475. This number is based on USPS payroll files of non-member EAS employees who are coded non-postmasters. Based on current membership totals, there are approximately 28.52% non-members.
During the week of February 24, 2020, NAPS launched a membership drive targeting all EAS non-members; approximately 10,400 mailers were sent to post offices nationwide. As part of this drive, NAPS is providing a $50 Signature FCU gift card to new members who complete the 1187 in the mailer. 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.
Per a board motion, there are no contracts expiring prior to the fall 2020 Executive Board meeting. However, the contract for NAPS Disciplinary Defense Fund provider Al Lum, Labor Relations Admin Group (LRAG), expires Dec. 31, 2020.
Butts provided an update on LRAG wins, losses, settlements and a review of current cases. So far in NAPS’ FY20, through January, DDF cases totaled 54, of which 44 were MSPB cases, nine were Debt Collection Act (DCA) cases and one was an ELM 650 hearing.
Most prevalent case types in FY20 are performance (44%), finance (17%), attendance (12%), sexual misconduct (10%), falsification (10%), violence (5%) and theft (2%). As of January 2020, 24 cases still were pending action at the MSPB. In all of FY19, there were 114 total DDF cases, of which 85 were MSPB cases, 23 were DCA cases and six were ELM 650 hearings.
NAPS Legal Counsel Bruce Moyer provided the board with a confidential update on legal issues facing the organization, including the NAPS v. USPS lawsuit, Title 39 reform based on H.R. 6085 that recently was introduced in the House and other legal matters.
There was no old business. Under new business, Foxwoods Hotel in Mashantucket, CT, and Minneapolis were selected by the board to be presented to members for consideration at the 2020 National Convention to host the 2024 National Convention.
Postmaster General Megan Brennan addressed the board. She said NAPS and the USPS must find ways to continue to work together. “We have enough detractors outside the Postal Service,” she stressed. “We do not need more inside from our internal stakeholders.”
She said there is increasing capacity in the network due to continued volume declines, yet the situation also provides opportunities to gain additional business from other companies and competitors to fill the excess capacity in the postal network.
On the legislative side, Brennan said the USPS appreciates the work of NAPS on the Hill to advance legislative reforms needed by the Postal Service. Medicare integration remains a critical piece of any legislative reform effort due to the significant cost savings associated with it, although stakeholder discussions regarding how to achieve integration are ongoing.
Brennan reported that the coronavirus has impacted international volume by 30% to 40%, which largely is from China through the JFK facility. Other factors have played a part in this decline, so it is yet to be seen how much of the international volumes returns. The USPS remains concerned about the potential economic downturn associated with the coronavirus, as well as the drop in the markets.
She said it is likely the USPS will see more employee infections simply due to the size of the workforce. The agency is implementing plans to address concerns of the employees, as well as those who may become infected through the normal administrative channels and policies. The Postal Service will continually update its messaging to all employees as developments warrant, she assured board members.
Brennan said she was honored to have been asked to represent the Postal Service at the morning dedication of the NAPS Headquarters Building in memory of Vince Palladino. “In his spirit, I remain optimistic about the future of the Postal Service,” she declared.
The March consultative meeting was held with Bruce Nicholson, Phong Quang and Henry Bear from USPS Labor Relations Policy Administration. The minutes were printed in the May 2020 issue.
The Executive Board committees provided updates:
Ethics—Chair Craig Johnson, Central Region vice president, discussed an internal ethics investigation his committee conducted, with a full report given to NAPS Board Chair Tim Ford and President Wagner. The matter was fully resolved.
SWCs—Chair Jim Warden indicated there is no additional report on the SWCs process at this time.
Duties and Responsibilities—Chair Shri Green indicated her committee had no updates to the Executive Board Duties and Responsibilities Guide; therefore, there was no report at this board meeting.
Legislative—Chair Marilyn Walton, Western Region vice president, gave the board an update on legislative activities by the committee members.
Since October, she had been working on the California Postal Coalition’s 22nd annual event, Feb. 9. This year’s meeting was successful due to the commitment and participation of all postal unions, the two management associations, NARFE and the local labor council. She thanked Wagner for traveling to Sacramento to participate and NAPS Legislative & Political Affairs Director Bob Levi, who provided a presentation via Skype.
There was a full day of training and information sharing, as well as welcome remarks from a member of Rep. Doris Matsui’s (D-CA) staff who informed attendees that Matsui is a co-signer and supporter of postal legislation. The meeting, with a capacity crowd, was hosted by the Sacramento Engineers Local 3, which provided the hall, coffee and video assistance.
Walton also has coordinated several state NAPS reps’ town hall visits to follow up in an attempt to get support from representatives to co-sponsor bills on NAPS’ list. She worked with NAPS California state delegates to LTS to coordinate coverage of California’s 52 congressional representatives and two senators.
Legislative Committee member Jim Warden, New York Area vice president, reported he has worked with Joe Amash, New York State legislative chair, to provide him contact information for the branch presidents and legislative chairs so he could prepare for LTS. He explained to Amash the procedure where each branch contacts its respective congressional representatives and should inform him of the time of those meetings. Also, Amash should contact both New York senators to arrange for a meeting.
Warden broke down each congressional district for Amash, aligning a congressional district with the respective branch(s) in that district. Amash arranged meetings with both New York senators and has been sharing information with the local NAPS branches, thus ensuring a positive and successful LTS.
Legislative Committee member Kevin Trayer, Michiana Area vice president, said he had started a discussion with Rep. Fred Upton’s (R-MI) staff. Upton represents the 6th Congressional District where a rural carrier fatality recently occurred. Trayer said he is asking for legislation that would impose penalties of fines and jail time as justice for carriers killed in the line of duty by distracted drivers. The Michiana Area and its legislative chairs are pushing the SPAC fundraising message to all branches in an effort to increase NAPS’ legislative efforts on the Hill.
Legislative Committee member Bob Quinlan, Southeast Area vice president, said he had great news when he was informed Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL) opened an office in Quinlan’s town, Leesburg. He said persistence pays: H.R. 2382, legislation to repeal the Postal Service’s prefunding mandate, was the first bill Webster co-sponsored. But Quinlan said Webster did not vote for the bill.
Quinlan made an appointment to discuss this issue with Webster this week. Quinlan said South Florida continues to provide strong legislative support. There is very strong support from South Florida, legislatively. Also, Bobby Bock is on Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-FL) advisory committee. The Florida contingency is stronger than ever.
Legislative Committee member Jaimie Elizondo Jr., Texas Area vice president, attended a December meeting for Branch 103 in San Antonio and met with Gina Ortiz-Jones (D), a candidate for Texas District 23. He contacted Butts and Levi regarding her request for SPAC support.
Elizondo said Ortiz-Jones was given a questionnaire to complete, detailing her stance on postal issues. He met again with her and her chief of staff to further identify her needs and express NAPS’ political goals. The office currently is held by Rep. Will Hurd (R); he has not been supportive of postal issues during his tenure in Congress.
Hurd is retiring, so this is an opportunity to pick up a seat in the House with a representative supportive of NAPS and postal issues. Ortiz-Jones handily won her party’s nomination on Super Tuesday with almost 50,000 votes. Elizondo said she is a strong candidate for November.
He also attended several branch meetings since the fall board meeting, stressing the importance of continuing to support SPAC. He also emphasized the need to send members to the LTS. Elizondo said he continues to contribute to NAPS SPAC and, once again, reached the $1,000+ President’s Ultimate SPAC level.
PFP Advisory—Chair Dan Mooney, North Central Area vice president, explained that NAPS has not been involved in developing any part of the FY20 NPA. The major changes between the FY19 and FY20 programs—percentage/weight changes, new indicators, dropped indicators, etc.—were explained. Mooney passed out NPA spreadsheets for the end of year FY19 (this data wasn’t available at the fall board meeting) and through January FY20 (the latest data available).
Spreadsheets showed, by area and district, how many EAS employees were in blocks 1-15. There was discussion and some comparisons were made. Per Mooney, it is important to understand that how the numbers look at the end of January does not provide much insight into how they will look at the EOY.
As he pointed out, flexes will be made to workhours and budgets before the end of the FY20. There will be jockeying, banks of workhours and monies from areas and districts that are spread in quarter four. Bottom line, the NPA program, as the fact-finding panel found, is not fair or valid and needs to be jointly reviewed by NAPS and the Postal Service.
Postmaster—Chair Kevin Trayer provided an update on the committee’s efforts to increase postmaster membership in NAPS. There still are challenges with USPS Headquarters recognizing NAPS’ concerns regarding postmaster issues in the field. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped NAPS from getting answers at the area and district levels.
One initiative Trayer said NAPS should push for is enhancing state move-over laws to include postal vehicles. Also, Wagner will be scheduling a meeting between the Postmaster Convention Committee and the Executive Board Postmaster Committee at the national convention to address the needs of postmasters in the field.
Training and Advocacy—Chair Myrna Pashinski, Rocky Mountain Area vice president, indicated the NAPS Officer Training Manual (OTM) has been updated and is on the NAPS website. The committee would like to update Section 10 for Debt Collection with quick steps first, followed by detailed steps.
Chuck Lum, Pacific Area vice president, is finalizing his Leadership presentation, with the first presentation scheduled for the California State Convention. Pashinski is finalizing the ELM 650 presentation with the ELM and other references. There will be a section on appeal-letter writing in the presentation. Tim Ford is reviewing his “How to Stay Out of Trouble” presentation, with the recommendation of co-presenting with a representative from the local HR department.
The committee would like to create a list of presenters and subject matter experts (SMEs) willing to coach and mentor new supervisors and managers. The committee asked for recommendations of NAPS members who are good presenters, as well as topics; committee members will compile lists.
Any referrals should include contact information and topics/areas of expertise for the mentor list. Also, consider contact information that outside trainers can think about bringing to their local or state meetings and conventions.
Wagner is going to evaluate the officer duties and nonprofit application presentations. Other areas the committee is looking to add to training include financial, what does the OIG look for when doing audits; and dealing with generational differences in the workplace. The committee will place an article in The Postal Supervisor asking for trainers, speakers and SMEs.
Membership—All Executive Board members are responsible for increasing membership. NAPS Headquarters recently sent out over 10,400 mailers to non-members in an effort to increase membership.
Plant Staffing—Chair Chuck Lum reported that committee members started their meeting with an open discussion on their vision of the committee’s purpose and how to benefit NAPS members. The committee agreed to establish key actionable items to develop strategic plans related to plant staffing. Current state: Decrease of letter and flat volumes has resulted in machine and workforce reductions. Supervisors are managing multiple operations, which results in a larger area in the facility. Unanswered questions:
Actionable items for committee members are to survey members in their areas of all plant concerns and attain a list of daily supervisor tasks and current plant structuring in their areas. Information and data gathered by the committee will be used to develop strategies to drive the mission of the Plant Staffing Committee.
Sheri Davies, ConferenceDirect, updated the board on progress in planning the 2020 NAPS National Convention in Grapevine, TX, as well as the status of cities vying for the 2024 National Convention. A review of the 2020 LTS was provided; the event was successful in terms of room pickup and the upgraded SPAC reception.
Stacey Herndon, PNC Investments, discussed 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. The coronavirus has plagued the markets for the past several weeks; the market is repricing in the absence of a lot of information.
PNC, at this point, is not anticipating a recession and feels the U.S. has the ability to get through the issues associated with the coronavirus. Volatility in the oil market also has rattled the world economy. It’s not a good idea to pull out of the market when it’s at the bottom and then attempt to buy in when the market rises. Forty percent of NAPS’ portfolio has no exposure to risk. The portion in equities currently is down about 6%, while the overall market is down 15%.
Butts and Levi updated the board on NAPS’ legislative efforts. This year’s LTS was very successful, with a few changes to the program from previous years. Capitol Hill visits were successful; most meetings were with staff, with the emphasis on support of H.R. 6085. There will continue to be outreach to members to lobby for the legislation at the local level with their House and Senate leaders in their home districts, seeking co-sponsors for the bill. LTS contributions to SPAC totaled $36,893—a tremendous, record-setting performance.
Motion #1—Brian Wagner, seconded by Kevin Trayer, that
“On or after June 1, 2020, NAPS Headquarters purchases 50 National Auxiliary Luncheon tickets, two tickets for each Executive Board member, to support the NAPS National Auxiliary’s Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, luncheon at the 2020 NAPS National Convention at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX.”
Motion #2—Brian Wagner, seconded by Luz Moreno, Illini Area vice president, that
“On or after June 1, 2020, NAPS Headquarters donates $10,000 to the NAPS National Auxiliary to financially support the Auxiliary in helping offset any and all expenses associated and incurred with Auxiliary attendance and activities at the 2020 National Convention at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Motion #3—Bart Green, MINK Area vice president, seconded by Bob Quinlan, that
“The budgets presented to the Executive Board by Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore be approved: the NAPS Headquarters FY21 budget, the LTS 2021 budget and the 2020 National Convention budget.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Motion #4—Submitted by Myrna Pashinski, seconded by Kevin Trayer, that
“The three resident officers request at least three requests for proposals for a DDF provider, inclusive of Al Lum.”
Voting “yes” were Trayer, Pashinski and Moreno. Voting “no” were Wagner, Butts, Mulidore, Roma, R. Green, Walton, Warden, Douglas, Dallojacono, Griffin, Needham, Elizondo, McCracken, Johnson, Mooney, B. Green, Rowel, Quinlan, S. Green and C. Lum. As board chair, Ford does not vote.
The motion failed.
Motion #5—Tommy Roma, Northeast Region vice president, seconded by Cornel Rowel Sr., Central Gulf Area vice president, that
“The resident officers retain Labor Relations Admin Group (LRAG) as the NAPS DDF provider for two years from the expiration of its current contract.”
The motion passed unanimously.
The 2020 NAPS National Convention Board Meeting will be Aug. 15, at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, TX, as well as a follow-up meeting of the newly elected board on Aug. 22.
Board members announced their intentions to seek or not seek re-election or seek other positions on the board at the 2020 National Convention. President Brian Wagner indicated he was retiring at the end of his term. Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts indicated he will seek the position of president. Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore indicated he will seek the position of executive vice president. New York Area Vice President Jim Warden announced he will seek the position of secretary/treasurer, as will Northwest Area Vice President Cindy McCracken. All other board members indicated they will seek re-election to their current positions.
For the good of the association: Many board members congratulated Wagner for his successful tenure as president and his 10 years as a resident officer.
Wagner thanked the board for their hard work during this board meeting. He reminisced about the first time he met Vince Palladino and the career he has had in NAPS over the years. “It is time to go home,” Wagner said. “I will keep my love of NAPS in my heart, but it’s time to enjoy life with my family.”
The closing prayer was given by Luz Moreno. Craig Johnson moved, seconded by Richard Green, to adjourn. The motion passed on a voice vote.