General Membership Meeting Minutes

February 1, 2003


Meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM at 918 Benjamin St. NE, Grand Rapids; Meeting was opened with the US Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation and moment of silence for the lost Columbia Space Shuttle astronauts.

Roll Call of Officers:

Ray Novakoski, President
James Sweeney, Recording Secretary
Sandy Henkel, Treasurer
Bill Scutt, Clerk Craft Director
Linda Norman, Associate Office Director
Jim Myszka, Maintenance Craft Director
Mike Long, Sergeant at Arms
Scott Larabel, MVS Craft Director

Absent: Richard Page, Executive Vice President; Excused.

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

New Members:

David M. Cichon, Clerk, GR Tawney D Hart, Clerk, Fennville

December: Rick Velasquez, Clerk, GR

Bills: $30.00 for Santa outfit cleaning submitted by Catherine Beemblossom.

Officer's Reports:
Treasurer's Report: Treasurer's report was accepted as presented. For future LWOP or EXPENSE voucher, make sure entire form is filled out including signature.

Associate Office Director's Report: Attended an investigative meeting in Big Rapids on the 9th and did some mystery shopping at four offices. Three postmasters failed to ask all the questions and one postmaster didn't ask any of the required questions. Then visited the Howard City PO and was asked all the questions in a perfect transaction by a clerk whom I then gave my previous month's $10.00 gift certificate door prize to. Will be letting Sylvia Taylor know the results. Still having problems with Byron Center and Holland postmasters. Optimistic on Big Rapids resolutions.

Clerk Craft Director: Arbitrator McAllistor's decision on Casuals in lieu of grievance due any day soon. Pre-arbed 34 cases-resolved. Won all three arb cases this month. Removal overturned. Pay adjustment for Vet's Day grievance should appear in paycheck. Saukas award of $10,000.00 should soon be at closure. Manual jobs not properly posted Jennifer Amos and Missy Vanderslick will be working together on this with each section by tour selecting jobs, from seniority down. Had a change of schedule at the request of stewards. New Holiday sign-up form will now have employees entering their qualifications if wanting to work in other areas. Labor charges from a 21 day casual employee being resolved.

Maintenance Craft Director's Report: Two step 2 grievances resolved. Arb case settled. Developemental Training update.

MVS Craft Director's Report: There is an opening for a mechanic at the VMF. Still looking for steward(s) for MVS Craft. Step 2 meetings with favorable settlements. Still having problems with employees transporting mail. Soon to be 5 or 6 runs taken over by contract drivers. Constantly losing more and more work. There are three tours for MVS and is sometimes difficult to work with all employees' complaints. Step two designee, Dennis Cremeans seems to be listening to our grievances unlike Sam Smith's denial of everything.

Legislative Report: Jim Sweeney gave information on individual county results for the Governor's race, a breakdown of President Bush's economic plan and information for Women Veterans.

President's Report: Low cost sorter coming to MPO sometime this month. Maintenance employees doing a good job moving the equipment, we appreciate it. PO and Union came up with a compromise on the work but the MH union wouldn't agree so it now becomes a RI399 issue. Lockers moved and emptied inappropriately with necessary grievances being filed. New machine (APPS) which sorts approximately 8500 pieces per hour for P1, replacing small parcel machine, coming in August of 2004. CFS: no decision on PARS yet; no decision on mega-site yet. Kim expects a decision within 60 - 90 days and will hold two positions till the end of April. Successful arb cases with the help of Tina Myers, also in Flint. National is looking at grievance procedure and arb cases. President Bush appointed a Postal Commission and employees can supply the commission with info through e-mail. Labor/Management: Mail processing Clerk duties (new position) include input of schemes, running reports, starting and stopping machines, running labels. Clerks should be doing these duties, not supervisors. Received withholding notices.

Committee Reports:
Cans for COPA: $28.00 turned in by Cat Beemblossom. $21.00 turned in by Bill Scutt for P1.

A&E: WMAL Picnic/Solidarity for Charity scheduled for June 8th with proceeds going to Gilda's House. Spring Dinner/Dance: tentatively scheduled for April 12, 2003 at Westgate Bowling Alley to include door prizes.

Correspondence: Request from the American Cancer Society. Letter to the Executive Board and the Membership from Executive Vice President, Richard Page.

Unfinished Business: None.

New Business:

Motion to accept the letter, dated 01/31/2003, apology and $72.00 from Richard Page to include minimum of one hour in the dunk tank. Discussion. Carried.

Motion to include Phyllis Reil in the ORGANIZING DRIVE and consider the application timely. Discussion. Carried.

Motion to re-subscribe to the LABOR NEWS publication at a cost of $30.00. Discussion. Carried.

Motion to purchase 20 tickets to the upcoming WM UNION LABEL COMMITTEE pancake breakfast being held on March 16, 2003 from 9:30-12:30 at the TEAMSTERS Union Hall, 3315 Eastern SE, Grand Rapids at a price of $5.00 each, to be given out to members first come/first serve. Discussion. Carried.

Motion for the President, Executive Vice President and Clerk Craft Director to attend the upcoming WM Postal Customer Counselor Spring Training being held on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 at a cost of $40.00 each (includes lunch) and loss time; to be reported on at the next meeting. Discussion. Carried.

Motion for Treasurer and President to attend the upcoming Secretary/Treasurer training being held March 5-8, 2003 in Boston, MA to include airfare, lodging, registration, perdiem, loss time, transfers and applicable taxes at an approximate cost of $3300.00 total. Discussion. Carried.

Motion for Nancy Gingery to attend the upcoming Deaf Conference being held May 14-17, 2003 in Texas to include airfare, lodging, registration, perdiem, loss time, transfers and applicable taxes. Discussion. Carried.

Motion for WMAL Members who refuse to participate in the national VOE Survey and turn in a coupon from an upcoming WMAL publication to a steward or officer, will be entered into a drawing for a chance at one of two $500.00 prizes, to be held at the December meeting. Discussion. Amendment by B. Howerton, C. Beemblossom to change motion to 20 $50.00 prizes. Call for question, end debate; carried. Motion as amended, defeated. Amendment by J. Myszka, M. Gregory to start the contest in January 2004. Carried.

Motion by Norman, Beemblossom to pay any WMAL local Steward lost wages during their regular scheduled tour to attend up to three general membership meetings in a calendar year, not to exceed three hours per meeting. Discussion. Carried.

Point of information: Cat Beemblossom clarification on 12 months prior to event under article 11 of the constitution.

Motion by M. Long, Beemblossom to interpret the constitution's language form this day forward to mean 12 months prior to the event's date, person must have attended a minimum of three meetings. Discussion. Carried. Division: 18 for, 5 against.

Motion by Beemblossom, S. Meredith to interpret article 11, Education Conference as that being the MPWU Education Conference, not craft conferences. Discussion. Carried.

Point of Information: Scutt pointing out under article 12 of the constitution requires us to send to national for clarification. Last two motions declared invalid.

Motion by Beemblossom, Long to extend the meeting till the end of business. Carried.

Labor/Management: Let steward or officer aware of any concerns.

COPA: $29.50 to COPA and $29.50 to Myszka.

$10.00 Door Prizes: L. Norman, M. Bulsock, B. Howerton, CJ Lozon and E. Lesiewicz.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

James Sweeney
Recording Secretary


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