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NAPS Executive Board Holds Productive Fall 2019 Meeting
Submitted by Chuck Mulidore
The fall 2019 Executive Board meeting was called to order at 1:01 p.m. on Oct. 20 by President Brian Wagner. Cotton Belt Area Vice President Shri Green gave the invocation. Eastern Region Vice President Richard Green led the Pledge of Allegiance. Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore conducted the roll call of officers; all board members were present, except Northwest Area Vice President Cindy McCracken, who had an excused absence.
Wagner welcomed board members to NAPS Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, and thanked them for their continued commitment and dedication to represent NAPS and its members. He said Carol sent her best for a successful board meeting and hoped everyone stays healthy as she is not there to play NAPS nurse!
He informed board members they would be hearing from Dave Williams from the USPS Board of Governors. There also will be presentations from vendors and special guests, including the OIG, Sheri Davies and American Public University, which has a proposal for NAPS to consider. The board also will hear an ethics issue.
Wagner indicated there is a 2020 National Convention Executive Board resolution to discuss and, hopefully, pass without reconvening the board’s Constitution & Bylaws Committee. If necessary, Wagner said, he will reestablish the committee.
“At each board meeting,” Wagner noted, “our main goal is to promote the welfare of NAPS and its members by being productive and respectful of each other’s opinions, including the final decisions we make as an Executive Board. Let’s stay focused on the agenda, save a few horses and continue to improve our organization with positive actions that will enhance our members’ livelihoods well into the future.” Wagner presented Mideast Area Vice President Tony Dallojacono and Pacific Area Vice President Chuck Lum their NAPS Executive Board rings.
Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts welcomed everyone to the board meeting. He said he was looking forward to the upcoming consultative during the board meeting, particularly the discussion relating to the ongoing BMEU RIF. He affirmed his appreciation of all the hard work done by board members throughout the year.
Secretary/Treasurer Chuck Mulidore also welcomed board members to the meeting. “There is much to be done,” he stressed. “The board will receive updates on a variety of pending issues.”
A motion was made by Central Region Vice President Craig Johnson, seconded by Southeast Area Vice President Bob Quinlan, to adopt the agenda and program. The motion passed on a voice vote.
MINK Area Vice President Bart Green made a motion, seconded by Michiana Area Vice President Kevin Trayer, to suspend the reading of the spring 2019 board meeting minutes as previously distributed. The motion passed on a voice vote.
Northeast Region Vice President Tommy Roma moved, seconded by Central Gulf Area Vice President Cornel Rowel, to accept the minutes of the spring 2019 meeting as previously submitted to the board. The motion passed on voice vote.
Executive Board Chair Tim Ford welcomed the board to Alexandria. “I have attended every NAPS/USPS consultative meeting, except one, by phone this year,” he said. “The work of the board this week will be challenging, but if the board stays on track and focused, all our work will be completed.”
Mulidore presented the financial report. As of Oct. 1, 2019, NAPS investments totaled $12,272,079.03. On June 1, 2019, NAPS investments totaled $12,175,732.70. This is a 2019 fiscal-year-to-date increase of $96,346.33 or (.79%).
As of Oct. 1, 2019, NAPS’ General Fund Signature FCU checking account balance was $203,483.03; the Signature FCU money market account was $51,547.23, for a total of $255,030.26.
As of Oct. 1, 2019, NAPS’ General Fund Signature FCU checking account balance was $203,483.03; the Signature FCU money market account was $51,547.23, for a total of $255,030.26.
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 less used, modern-looking logo. This is an effort by NAPS to control 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 has issued policy guidelines on their use. This information has been disseminated to the board and is posted on the NAPS website.
As of Oct. 1, 2019, 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 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 $260,630 set aside to cover these costs.
As of Oct. 1, 2019, NAPS Headquarters social media results were as follows:
In 2018, the website had 230,045 page views; members went to an average of 3.11 pages per session. Year to date (January to September 2019), the NAPS website had 230,576 page views, with an average of 2.18 pages per session.
For the entire year of 2018, approximately 5% of NAPS website visits came from social media, yet, for 2019 to date (January to September), about 15% of our website visitors have come from social media.
In 2018, about 46% of NAPS’ web traffic was direct; about 40% was from organic searches online (Google, Bing, etc.). The rest came from referrals (8%—top three are bluesearch.usps.gov, fedsmith.com and postalnews.com), email and other. However, so far in 2019 (January to September), 52.6% of traffic to the naps.org website is direct and 27% from organic searches online, with 7.4% coming from referrals.
As of the August 2019 DCO (reflecting DCO membership through PPs 16 and 17) NAPS had 27,466 members (26,117 active and 1,349 associate; 95% and 5%, respectively). Total membership from a year ago, (2018 PPs 16 and 17) was 26,998 (25,670 active and 1,328 associate); an overall total SPLY increase of 468 members or (1.73%).
As of the August 2019 DCO, the total number of active EAS nonmembers was 10,274. This number is based on the USPS payroll files of nonmember EAS employees who are coded nonpostmasters. Based on current membership totals, there are approximately 28.20% nonmembers. 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 Nonmember and Change Summary reports, along with their DCO and Mail reports, on a monthly basis.
Per board motion, there are no contracts expiring before the spring 2020 Executive Board meeting.
NAPS Disciplinary Defense Fund provider Al Lum, Labor Relations Admin Group (LRAG), and Butts gave a report to the board. NAPS’ total costs for DDF cases in FY19, which ended May 31, 2019, were $250,499.03. The average cost per DDF case was $2,556.11. For FY19, 85 DDF cases were MSPB appeals, six were ELM 650 hearings and 23 fell under debt collection, for a total of 114 cases.
Of the MSPB cases, 66% were settled, 4% were won, 7% were lost and 23% were withdrawn; six cases are pending. For debt-collection cases, 21% were won, 32% were settled and 10% were lost; 37% were withdrawn. Lum provided an update on the MSPB process called MAP (Mediation Appeal Program) as it is being used more by administrative judges in MSPB cases in an attempt to resolve them.
NAPS attorney Bruce Moyer provided the board with a confidential update on legal issues facing the organization, including the NAPS v. USPS lawsuit, Title 39 reform and other pressing legal matters.
There was no old business.
Under new business, an issue has arisen at the HRSSC in Greensboro, NC, regarding the APWU seeking to unionize Level-18-and-below career and noncareer specialists. NAPS is continuing to investigate and will initiate a response based on the information it develops.
USPS Board Governor David Williams thanked the Executive Board for the opportunity to address NAPS leadership. He pointed out NAPS is critical of the Postal Service, but he has a high level of respect for NAPS and its members.
Williams said it’s likely some new legislation may be proposed soon in Congress. The BOG is trying to focus on a new business plan and a strategic vision for the future of the Postal Service. “The market is changing dramatically,” he pointed out, “much of it driven by the emergence of Amazon. Many other companies are attempting to develop a similar business strategy to stay relevant in the market.”
He said the USPS is positioned in a unique way to capture this market, as no one delivers to each home and business every day. The decline of single-piece mail continues and likely is now baked in the Postal Service’s business plan. Economic headwinds remain in terms of potential recession in the U.S., although the banking system is strong and economic expansion is in its ninth year, although at a slower pace.
Williams told board members the USPS continues to bring in $72 billion in revenue per year; with its huge infrastructure, many of its competitors need the agency to deliver their last-mile packages. Also, the American public wants the USPS to stay relevant. The Postal Service delivers 30% of all parcels and 67%of parcels under one pound. The agency is placed to take store-to-door delivery from companies such as Target and Walmart, he said.
“Prefunding reform legislation is long overdue,” Williams declared. “Had the Treasury not taken money from the retirement accounts the USPS already has funded, that obligation would have been met.” While operational challenges remain for the USPS, the financial losses mostly are from the prefunding requirement. When that requirement is taken out, the USPS is not a money-losing operation, he affirmed.
Williams stressed the USPS must stay closely aligned with universal service obligations, continue lifecycle reviews, resolve prefunding, construct a functional business plan and restore Postal Service liquidity as a result.
He said he’s not sure if all the governors understand the PFP/NPA process, although he does as a former inspector general.
OIG Assistant Inspector General for Audits Mark Duda and OIG Senior Counsel and Director of Government Relations Alex Fiske addressed the board. They explained Congress created the Inspector General’s office in 1996 to ensure efficiency, accountability and integrity in the Postal Service. All IG audits are in compliance with government rules and regulations and all stakeholders stay fully informed and engaged during the process. All functional areas of the USPS can be audited, they said.
The IG employs 285 auditors nationwide, so the process to decide what to audit can be mandated by law or based on congressional requests. Also, audits can be self-initiated or initiated by a stakeholder request. Currently, the IG has initiated an audit of the work of first-line supervisors; 72% are Customer Service supervisors and 28% work in plant-oriented positions.
The audit is focused on FY14-18. This overview will look at all aspects of first-line supervisors’ work. The process will begin with a white paper to assess recruitment and retention of first-line supervisors and examine first-line supervisor resources and results.
USPS Vice President of Labor Relations Doug Tulino said these were interesting times at the Postal Service, especially with the Jan. 31 retirement of PMG Megan Brennan. He said the agency currently is in negotiations or arbitration with three of the postal unions. The largest cost center in the Postal Service is delivery, which puts importance on the NALC negotiations.
The October consultative meeting was held with Bruce Nicholson, Phong Quang and Henry Bear from Labor Relations Policy Administration.
The Executive Board committees provided updates:
Ethics—Chair Craig Johnson indicated the committee is reviewing ethics rules and guidelines and will present potential updates at the spring 2020 board meeting. The Executive Board heard an ethics complaint from a member, reviewed the concerns and affirmed the Ethics Committee’s decision.
SWCs—Chair Jim Warden said the committee had no new updates other than what appears in the minutes of the October consultative meeting.
Duties and Responsibilities—Chair Shri Green recommended several updates to the Executive Board Duties and Responsibilities Guide, which ultimately were passed by the board.
Legislative—Chair Marilyn Walton said that, since the spring 2019 board meeting, she attended Rep. John Garamendi’s annual barbeque event. She has coordinated with California’s state and local branches for outreach to various congressional town hall meetings and provided feedback and photos from the events.
She co-chaired two meeting of the California Postal Legislative Coalition at its quarterly meetings in Richmond, CA, and continues to serve as the coalition’s communications director. The coalition is planning its 22nd annual event for February 2020 in Sacramento.
Walton has attempted to work with NAPS’ local auxiliaries and provide information and support. She sent four Auxiliary members—two from San Francisco Branch 88 and two from Sacramento Branch 77—to Rep. Mike Thompson’s annual cookout in NAPA Valley. At this event were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and California Governor Gavin Newsom.
She said she continues to promote SPAC and the committee’s “Drive for 5” campaign, using her monthly blog for outreach to NAPS members.
Walton said she has noticed that, while attending recent postal meetings, the USPS is using IMAX-type media to get their message to attendees. Many focus on engagement, safety and ethics. Also, the Postal Inspection Service is using media videos to promote their goals and successes as a postal law enforcement agency.
Based on Walton’s observations as to how groups respond to these impact videos, she suggested the National Executive Board consider looking at the cost of doing an introductory video for NAPS officers to show when they attend various postal and NAPS functions.
She commented on the success of the NAPS Chat podcasts, pointing out how NAPS’ younger members react to verbal and action media. Most venues have projection media, so this would be a great way to modernize introduction to NAPS.
Walton said she was pleased that the Legislative Committee was selected to appear on the 50th episode of the NAPS Chat with Bob Levi at last fall’s board meeting.
Legislative Committee member Jimmy Warden, New York Area vice president, reported that, aside from 50/50s being held at branch meetings throughout the New York Area, Long Island Branch 202 decided to hold a Cigar Bar Night to raise money for SPAC.
At the New York State Convention, over $3,000 was raised for SPAC. It was decided not to have a table selling SPAC raffle tickets. Members Carina Parsons, Branch 164, and Tu Tu, Branch 100, approached the attendees during breaks to let them know that for every $10 they donate to SPAC, they would get a raffle ticket. This approach was successful; more money was raised at this year’s convention than in many past years. It also allowed Parsons and Tu to sit in during the sessions.
Warden said Northeast Region Vice President Tommy Roma, Staten Island Branch President John Schlosser and he visited freshman Congressman Max Rose, Congressional District 11. Rose is a Democrat who won election in a Republican district. Rose endorsed all the postal issues the NAPS officers presented.
They also put Rose in touch with the Staten Island postmaster because he had concerns regarding package delivery. Parcel lockers since have been set up in key areas in Rose’s district.
Legislative Committee member Jaime Elizondo Jr., Texas Area vice president, reported that during the 2019 spring board meeting, he attended a fundraiser for Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX). Elizondo shared with Allred and his staff the need for their support for postal reform, including Medicare integration and full MSPB appeal rights for all members.
During the Texas State training in Corpus Christi in June, Elizondo spoke about the need to continue supporting SPAC in all NAPS’ activities on the state and local levels. He said he donated many items, including a Galaxy Tab, to the Auxiliary for the SPAC raffle held during the Texas State convention. The convention had a good fundraising effort with the 50/50 drawing and the SPAC raffle. Several hundred dollars were raised for SPAC.
Elizondo said he continues to donate to SPAC and has reached the VP Elite level ($750). He fully expects to reach the $1,000 President’s Ultimate SPAC level by the end of the year.
In September, he was contacted by Allred for a plant visit in the Dallas area. Elizondo personally coordinated the visit with the Southern Area, the Dallas District and the Dallas MPO. On Oct. 4, the congressman, his aide, Dallas plant manager, senior lead MDO, the Dallas Marketing manager, the IPS manager and Elizondo met for a tour. The goal was to show Allred all the “behind the scenes” work that takes place to move the mail.
Elizondo also took the opportunity to thank Allred for cosigning several postal-friendly bills and to point out other bills that need his support. Information on Allred’s voting record was provided by Executive Vice President Ivan D. Butts and Legislative & Political Director Bob Levi. The meeting was very productive and went extremely well.
Legislative Committee member Kevin Trayer, Michiana Area vice president, said he has kept pushing SPAC throughout the Central Region. The Central Region Training Symposium just raised approximately $6,400 for SPAC. Trayer said it’s important to be diligent with boots on the ground in grassroots efforts. Republicans or Democrats—NAPS still needs to seek hyper support for its legislative causes.
Legislative Committee member Bob Quinlan, Southeast Area vice president, said the Florida delegation hosted a fantastic state convention and conducted a dynamic SPAC fundraiser that collected over $28,000. Quinlan said Florida challenges NAPS members nationwide to beat that total.
Florida’s legislative reps visited with Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). Quinlan expressed special thanks to Bobby Bock and Patti Lynn for their outreach to Florida’s legislators.
The recent Southern Region Training had another successful 50-50 raffle. Quinlan pledged to continue to work hard raising funds for SPAC.
PFP Advisory—Chair Dan Mooney, North Central Area vice president, discussed and reviewed the latest national NPA numbers available (August), showing how many employees were in each block by area and district. PES end-of-year discussions were due close of business Sept. 23, before the final end-of-year NPA numbers were scheduled to be released on Sept 24. He said that’s a flaw in the program.
Mooney said be aware that FY19 mitigation will start earlier in November. Only the facility head can file for mitigation. If the district denies a member’s mitigation, they can resubmit it to the area. The mitigation process is all done through the PES system.
NAPS is not participating in FY20 NPA development with USPS Headquarters.
Postmaster—Chair Kevin Trayer provided an update on committee efforts to increase postmaster membership in NAPS and be concerned with postmaster issues. The committee recommends that NAPS members continue to reach out to postmasters:
1. NAPS has filed to represent postmasters at USPS Headquarters in pay, benefit and working condition consultations.
2. Ask and attend Postmaster Essentials training to recruit new or current postmasters who are required to take the class.
3. Spell out the benefits of NAPS’ DDF and stress that no deposit is required.
4. Staff tables at all USPS Career Awareness conferences. Have NAPS membership kits, as well as DDF materials and copies of past issues of The Postal Supervisor magazine.
Committee members are Bart Green, Tim Needham and Cindy McCracken.
Training and Advocacy—Chair Myrna Pashinski reported the committee’s work on updating the NAPS Officer Training Manual. The committee reviewed and recommended changes to sections 8 and 9, including appropriate ELM citations and PS Form 8043, and requested to remove information from eOPF. Sections 8 and 9 were reordered; a quick reference page was added.
Also, Section 10, Debt Collection, needs to have the ELM citations added. Section 7 was updated by Bob Levi. Sections 1-6 and Section 11 were updated with Labor Relations Admin Group’s new address. Section 12 is unchanged. Section 13 was added using the NAPS trademarked logos.
The timeline to have the manual on the website is early to mid-November 2019. Lum is working on his Membership & Leadership presentation. Pashinski is updating the ELM 650 training PowerPoint to match changes with sections 8-10.
The committee is working to standardize the templates for creating new presentations. The goal is to have consistency in the appearance of training presentations. Special thanks go to Bob Levi and Jennifer Rae for their contributions in updating the manual.
Submitted by Brian Wagner, Tim Ford, Chuck Lum and Myrna Pashinski.
Membership—All Executive Board members are responsible for increasing membership. Discussion centered on new ways to increase membership, potential revisions to the current membership award program and social media opportunities. Lum gave the board a presentation on his efforts to increase membership in the Pacific Area.
Plant—Chair Cy Dumas, New England Area vice president, and the committee discussed the 22-1 ratio in plant EAS staffing, as well as plant sizes in terms of equipment, volume and impact on delivery. The transportation model does not work for all plants; it needs to be modeled more on individual plant profiles to be successful.
Warden gave the board a presentation on the USPS Mentoring Program pilot. It’s an eight-month program broken into two-week modules in which mentees will meet with their peer-to-peer groups and with their mentor to complete assigned activities. On Nov. 4, feedback from the pilot will be given to Postal Headquarters.
Sheri Davies, ConferenceDirect, discussed progress to date in planning the 2020 NAPS National Convention. She also provided an update on cities vying to host the 2024 National Convention.
Carina May and Rick Morris from Smith Haroff Marketing talked about social media efforts through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and NAPS News to provide information to members and to drive new membership outreach.
Boris Duvnjak, 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; thus, it is recommended that NAPS stay the course over the next months. The performance of the investment portfolio since its inception March 1, 2008, is 6.79%; the 10-year performance is 7.98%.
The Stoladi team gave the board an update on the NAPS property, 1727/1729 King St., purchased in 1992. NAPS Headquarters moved into the building in 1994. The building property currently is valued at$11.4 million by the city of Alexandria. Current onsite property management discussed the projects regularly undertaken to maintain the NAPS Headquarters building property for the betterment of tenants in the building.
Also discussed were the two additional associations in the immediate vicinity of NAPS Headquarters to which NAPS belongs, which is necessary in terms of shared parking and drive lanes with the neighboring properties. The market in Alexandria was discussed: Business vacancy rates are over 15%, or 9 million square feet, which is an improving picture. NAPS Headquarters has no debt on its property, so it can align lease rents to the challenging market in Northern Virginia.
Butts and Levi gave the legislation and SPAC update. They said the nation lost a giant with the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings—a true friend of NAPS. The association will be monitoring the selection of a new chairman for the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
While there are specific postal-related bills proposed on a variety of issues, there is no postal reform legislation expected to be introduced in Congress. There currently are four vacancies on the USPS Board of Governors, although there is now a quorum of governors. A discussion of the NAPS Chat podcast, initiated by the NAPS legislative team, touched on a variety of issues.
NAPS intends to play an aggressive role in the House and Senate races in 2020 to protect the interests of NAPS and its members.
A representative from Signature Federal Credit Union gave an update on the NAPS gift cards, as well as the NAPS affinity card program.
Chris Garvey and Eric Morris, American Public University, explained that the American Public University and American Military University form one of the largest online higher-education providers worldwide. They would like to partner with NAPS members to benefit their educational goals.
Motion #1—Tommy Roma, seconded by Craig Johnson, that
“Whereas there are two past presidents who have served NAPS members honorably and their service has earned recognition from this organization, therefore be it resolved NAPS Headquarters will create plaques for Past Presidents Ted Keating and Louis Atkins to be displayed in the Executive Board room. Cost to be determined; plaques to be similar to existing plaques.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Motion #2—Brian Wagner, seconded by Kevin Trayer, that
“NAPS Headquarters approves daily hotel and per diem expenses associated with required overnight travel of a NAPS DDF advocate who has been officially assigned by the NAPS DDF provider to represent a member during an MSPB, ELM 650 hearing or debt collection case and that said expenses be allocated to the NAPS DDF Travel Expense General Ledger account.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Motion #3—Chuck Mulidore, seconded by Jimmy Warden, that
“NAPS names its Headquarters building the Vince Palladino NAPS Headquarters Building in recognition of the vision and commitment that Vince Palladino exhibited in purchasing the building, and that NAPS Headquarters purchases the appropriate signage to install on the building.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Motion #4—Jaime Elizondo Jr., seconded by Shri Green, that
“Whereas NAPS expects the Executive Board to conduct training for its members; whereas the Executive Board attends training in other areas in their regions in support of training; and whereas expenses for non-training-related items are charged to the officer’s expense account, therefore be it resolved that the Executive Board be allowed to take substitution pay, if so submitted.”
Voting “yes” were Butts, Griffin, Quinlan, Rowel, S. Green and Elizondo. Voting “no” were Wagner, Mulidore, Roma, R. Green, Johnson, Walton, Dumas, Warden, Dallojacono, Needham, Trayer, Moreno, Mooney, B. Green, Pashinski and Lum. As board chair, Ford does not vote; McCracken had an excused absence. The motion failed.
Recommendation #1—Chuck Mulidore, seconded by Shri Green, to adopt the updated Executive Board Duties and Responsibilities Guide, to be dated Nov. 1, 2019. The recommendation passed.
The spring 2020 Executive Board meeting will be March 11-13 at NAPS Headquarters, following the 2020 LTS.
For the good of the association, Northeast Region Vice President Tommy Roma thanked board members for the well wishes he received for Brooklyn Branch 68 being renamed in his honor. Eastern Region Vice President Richard Green thanked board members for the kind thoughts and wishes on the death of his father. Central Region Vice President Craig Johnson also thanked board members for the kind wishes on the death of his father.
Thanks were expressed for the due diligence of the board at this meeting and the support they give their members in their respective areas. “Take care of one another.” The closing prayer was delivered by Kevin Trayer.
Tony Dallojacono moved, seconded by Myrna Pashinski, to adjourn. The motion passed on a voice vote.