General Membership Meeting Minutes

February 5, 2004


Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM at 918 Benjamin NE, Grand Rapids.
Meeting was opened with the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation. A moment of silence was observed for Traci Izzo Hardman, former steward, whom passed away in January.

Roll Call of Officers:

Present: Jennifer Amos, President
Ronda Payne, AO Director
Amy Marcus, Executive Vice-President
Dan Quillin, Clerk Craft Director
Karen Hodges, Recording Secretary
Linda Chandler, Treasurer
Steve Karbutowski, Sgt-at- Arms

Absent: James Myszka, Maintenance Craft Director
Scott Larabel, MVS Craft Director

January General membership meeting minutes were accepted.

Applications for Membership

Michael Shanks Grand Rapids Clerk

Officers Reports:

Treasurerís Report: Chandler: Could not give the Report because they had a problem with the computer. Motion to table report until next meeting MSC

Clerk Craft Director: Quillin: Welcome back Steve Austin and John Hansma as recertified stewards. Itís been a long month spending much time as I can on all tours. Getting input from clerks on issues. I have convinced some of the non members to rejoin the union. Hope to see their applications for membership soon. Attended my first labor management meeting, thought it went OK. Got some positive things out of it. Greg Chanski gave the union a rather lengthy request to support the VOE surveys; he stated that despite our $500 drawing last year, the Grand Rapids office had a record high 33% response. He was upset that our drawing kept this office from ranking the same or better than some of the other offices in the state that had a 60-70% response.

I had a meeting with the postmaster about some overtime and casual concerns at the stations. She told me that she would hire two new PTFís. At least one if not both will go to the Northwest station. Will keep hammering away at these things each station at a time.

Jennifer will be submitting a letter to management asking that we go back to the policy where the union was involved in the job postings. I have asked Jennifer Gilbert to accompany me in that involvement and she agreed. I feel she is experienced and she was involved in the job summits when we had them before

AO Director: Payne: I want to alert the AO members that management will be out in the Associate Offices conducting Function 4 reviews. Cheryl from Holland told me that they are scheduled to be in her office for two days next week. Clerks need to be vigilant in documenting the mail volumes. If you are on the window you need to remember to document all of your non-revenue transactions. You canít try to save time and take shortcuts by not documenting these transactions. Management will cut hours and positions wherever they can.

Sylvia Taylor is on a special two year detail to conduct these Function 4ís. They are continuously reviewing the data from the POS system and the Flash report. So, if it looks as though your office is using more hours than the mail volumes warrant or if you are using more window hours than what your WOS reports indicate, you can bet they will be coming to your office.

Itís been a very busy month, getting calls daily. Had to file grievances in several offices over various issues. I can see why Linda was so busy. Once again I want to thank her for all the work she did representing the members of the Associate Offices.

Executive Vice-President: Marcus: Thank you for sending me to Secretary /Treasurer training. VOE, Chanski very upset with the percentages of VOEís returned. Stewards Training will be on February 14th. Linda, Jennifer and I will have JCIM training in Lansing on Wednesday February 9th.

President: Amos: Working hard for this union, have been putting in a lot of hours. Labor management meeting lasted more than two hours, because Scutt had filed labor charges, Chanski was kind of reluctant. The AMF closing has been pushed back to May. East Paris is adding another window section. Manual downsizing has been pushed back because of APPS. The budget committee met on the 11th, Linda has the report. I purchased two lap top computers for the Maintenance and MVS craft directors. I saved the local over $500.

Maintenance Craft Director: Myszka was absent but Steve Lang wanted to report that there were 2 new positions out at the P-1. An ET 11 and MPC-5.

Committee reports:

Budget: Chandler: Handed out the budget to the members at the meeting and reviewed it. MSC to approve the budget for the next year.

Retireeís: Hendricks: Iím updating the rosters and the by-laws, read off all the new officers elected and the months when meetings will be held. This was stated in last monthís minutes. Itís been a lot of work.

A & E: Marcus: The casino bus trip still has seats available. Stoddard: registration forms are available for the Solidarity for Charity Golf Outing on May 22.

Building: Karbutowski: There has been some renewed interest in looking into buying a building. I will be putting an article in the paper. My fellow committee members are Steve Austin and Jim Stoddard.

Audit: Tubbs: Committee members, Tina Meyer and Mike Hill The committee reviewed the Localís books from July 2003 through December 2004. Items reviewed included the Localís bond, visa statements, the contingency, checking, savings, ABA, and dental accounts and the meeting minutes to verify authorizations. Everything was found in good order, with two exceptions: There was an inequity found in the checking account from November 2003. There was a default entry to balance the computerís books with the bank statement. This entry changed the amount of deposit. It appears that perhaps a check cleared at the bank, but was not input into the computer resulting in the inequity. No end of month report was printed so it would not be verified. The other area of concern is the dental plan account. The local pays the premiums to the insurance company when billed and the treasurer transfers the money back into the localís checking account from the dental account when the funds are available. Every month there are several members who donít have the money in their personal accounts to be withdrawn. Fees are incurred plus there is a lapse in time between when the Local pays the bill and the Local is reimbursed. In effect the Local is floating the dental plan. The Committee recommendations are: The books should never be forced into balance and the monthly Reconciliation report should always be printed. The Dental plan should be evaluated to find a better way to Handle the finances and the member who are late in paying. Report was accepted as read.

R1 399 Committee: Steve Austin was named to it and Catherine Beemblossom will be the back up.

Correspondence: Thank you from the Jerry Martin family for the donation to the Boys Scouts of America, in memory of him. Thank you from Crystal Johnson, winner of the $500 VOE drawing.

Unfinished business: Motion: Long Second: Gilbert to untable last months LWOP reimbursement for loss time and sick leave usage when going over 80 hours of LWOP. Austin Moved to withdraw that motion. Carried.

The Veteranís Committee, Austin read the committee policies per the constitution. Motion: Austin Second: Long. To establish a Veteranís Committee (consider Don Kramer as chair) Discussion Carried.

Board Recommendation:

To accept the budget as authorization for the expenditure of funds from the WMAL treasury as well as Eboard authorization to shift funds from one category to another as long as overall disbursement is not exceeded. If overall distribution is exceeded, the board will address the specific overage in General Membership meeting along with a request to authorize that overage. MSC

To send any and all eligible certified stewards to the Educational Conference in Kalamazoo June 2-4th with lost time, registration, mileage, lodging, per diem and applicable taxes. MSC

To send the president, vice president, all craft directors (including APO director) along with 11 clerks stewards, 2 maintenance stewards and 1 MVS steward to the Multi craft conference August 8-10 at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. The motion will include registration, airfare, per diem for the location, exact cost of lodging, ground transportation and any applicable taxes. It is understood that if any paid steward withdraws prior to the conference and arrangements can be made at no additional cost to the Local, the next non paid steward will be sent to the conference. It is also understood that any cost incurred by the Local due to a steward withdrawing, he or she will reimburse the local. Emergencies will be considered and may be approved by the President. It is also understood that all compensated stewards are requires to attend all sessions of the conferences or are subject to repay the Local any funds expended for the day they fail to attend the conferences or are subject to repay the Local any funds expended for the day they fail to attend the conferences either full or partial days. Emergency situations will be taken into consideration and will be decided by the president if the delegate is excused. The President also has the authority to excuse a steward from a session. Discussion Amendment to the Motion: Austin Second: Hodges: to include members not just stewards to attend the Multi-craft conferences, 11 clerk members, 2 maintenance members, and MVS member. DiscussionÖ Amendment to the amendment to eligible members that have attended 3 meetings in the previous 12 months to include this meeting MSC Motion to table.Tubbs.ruled out of order withdrawn. Motion to postpone vote MSD. Austin Offer to amend original motion Second: Lang To send the president, vice president, all craft directors and AO director and including 15 members (who have attended 3 meetings with February meeting and the previous 11 months in order to be eligible to go) to include registration, airfare, per diem for the location, exact cost of lodging, ground transportation and any applicable taxes. Discussion MSC

Motion: Kramer Second: Austin to extend the meeting until close of business. MSC

Purchase Lap top computer per E-Board Poll

Purchase Flowers for Jerry Martin funeral per E-Board Poll

New Business:

Motion: Hendricks Second: Austin Policy to have full dues paying retirees to be included in $10.00 door prize drawings, friendly amendment to include all drawings, Discussion MSC

Motion: Norman Second: Kramer To pay lost time, up to 8 hours and mileage to attend and assist Rita Garland in her Workmanís Comp Hearing. Discussion MSC

Twenty one proposed Constitutional changes were submitted and read. These are to be voted on at the March meeting.

Motion: Long Second: Austin To make as a policy, to pay any union member, any annual leave or sick leave loss due to LWOP usage of 80 hours or more, due to Union business be reimbursed by the Local Friendly amendment Marcus To be approved LWOP for union business by the E-board, constitution or membership. This is for the leave year beginning in 2004. Discussion MSC.

Motion: Long Second: Roark To send all maintenance stewards, RI 399 representative/advocates, FMLA representative to the Area 1, 2 & 3 District Meeting on March 11th and 12th with registration, lodging, per diem, mileage, lost time and applicable taxes. Discussion MSC

Point of Information: Hendricks- Bushís front burner with the Social Security changes. Heads up, get involved, contact your congressmen. Leave Social Security Alone.

Point of Information: Kramer COPA is suffering because Sgt-at-arms wonít go around and sell tickets. Discussion

Labor Management:

Let president know. No more sit down discussion with soon to be retirees; this was stopped due to downsizing. Expanding capacity of DBCS. Safety Issues.


COPA $20.50 Joe Kresnak $20.50

$10:00 Door Prizes: Linda Norman, Barb Tubbs, Jennifer Amos, Dessa Long, Karen Hodges, Jennifer Gilbert

Meeting adjourned at 9:45 PM.

Respectfully Submitted

Karen Hodges
Recording Secretary


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