NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101

NAPS Branch 105

Meeting Minutes 

NAPS 105 General Meeting Minutes
 November 20, 2008

Meeting began at 6:35                                                               Attendance - 59
Pledge of Allegiance led by Alan Conca

Branch 105 President Dean Ambrosino recognized guests NAPS National Secretary Treasurer Jay Killackey and Area Vice President Cy Dumas.
Dean acknowledged newly attending members SENE District Finance Manager Carrie Damon, Maintenance Operations Supervisor Manny Macedo, Business Mail Entry for Southeastern MA Supervisor Eric Cohen and Customer Services Analyst Eileen Lewis.
Roll call: In attendance President Dean Ambrosino, Vice President Michaela Saccoccio, Secretary Rose Russo, Treasurer Sue Evans, Legislative Rep Pam Monroe. Executive Board members Alan Conca, Al Poli, Norma Johnson, Dan Guenette, Joanne Keeling and Roberta Menard.  Late:  Gail Gagne

Treasurer’s Report by Sue Evans– Branch 105’s biggest expense so far was the national convention trip to Kentucky of four members. Then we had one retirement gift, one Executive Board meeting and one Health and Welfare gift totaling $1,770.49. Total spent YTD $29,397.  Total in savings account (checking, savings, and Money Market) $30,344.91. YTD results total Income $30,064.34, Total Expenses $29,397.09 leaving a balance of $667.25.  Sue added that this is very good for a convention year.
No questions. Motion made to accept the report by Peter Wood, seconded by Steve Linden.

Secretary’s report by Rose Russo – Branch 105 has 24 associate members plus 263 active members giving us a total membership of 287. One correspondence was received from Steve Rodowicz and Maureen.  It was a thank you for all of the well wishes received and the contribution to the American Cancer Society in memory of his mother and sister.
Al Poli sold out all of the Entertainment Books he brought to the meeting but he can obtain more.  If you have an interest in purchasing one at $15.00, please contact Al so he can determine how many he needs.
No questions.  Motion made to accept the report by Skip DelSesto, seconded by Betty DiSalvia

Legislative report Pam Monroe - Election Results Could Mean Change for the Postal Service -
Here’s what an Obama White House and a larger Democrat majority in Congress could mean for the PS, its workforce and retirees.

The Economy and Postal Service Finances - Congress and the White House will devote their foremost attention over the coming months to curing a sick economy and restoring jobs. For the PS, the sooner the economy returns to normal, the sooner the PS’s finances will become more stable. 
Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund Payments - As a result of financial pressures, the PS is expected to seek Congressional approval of a change in the payment schedule, imposed by the 2006 Postal Act. The thinking is that if the Postal Service’s payment schedule for future retiree health benefits were revisited and spread out over a longer term, lowering annual USPS costs, that its financial health would be strengthened, without harming retiree health benefits.

FEHBP - The Obama White House is still expected to try to make good on its promise to install a national health care plan, one that is based on benefits available to members of Congress.
Medicare Part D - An Obama White House may be more receptive to assuring that the PS receives the rebate for the Medicare Part D prescription coverage that USPS makes available to postal retirees, a reimbursement that could provide several hundred million dollars annually to the PS.  The Bush Admin had opposed USPS efforts to permit the PS to receive the rebate, which is made available to all employers who provide prescription coverage directly to their retirees.

Voting by Mail -The expansion of voting by mail – which could provide additional volume and income to the PS – is likely to pick up steam in 2009. 
Pam said that she will be looking for our assistance again with a letter writing campaign regarding these issues. She asked us to please consider making a donation to SPAC to strengthen our relations with legislators, adding that she has received numerous thank you note’s from Senator Reed for our support.
She said that the Legislative Training Seminar is scheduled for March 28.
Motion made to accept the report by Steve Rodowicz, seconded by Pat Bennett.

Dean thanked the Executive Board for all of their help in running the branch.

Guest Speaker Jay Killackey – Jay extended the greetings of NAPS National President Ted Keating and Executive Vice President Lou Atkins.
Jay made it clear that there will be no pay freeze.
NAPS, NAPUS and The League of Postmasters were offered a letter by the USPS announcing that the USPS is reopening pay talks. NAPS went to their attorneys to examine the legality of this proposal.  If the letter is unanswered, they may assume that they can reopen the talks.  After legal council NAPS replied in a letter that under title 39 we have a pay agreement and they cannot reopen talks unless we agree with them.  We do not agree.  At a second meeting, USPS said that they could freeze our pay.  But we would rather not do that unless you agree with us.  Upon attorney council, Ted said that NAPS replied - no we do not agree. Likewise the presidents of NAPUS and The League said they do not agree.  Jay said that we worked hard and deserve the increase we are going to get. 
To eliminate rumors Ted said that the word from the PMG is that there will be no area or district consolidations at this time.  However, there will be a reduction of support positions by 15 percent on National/Area/District levels.  Right now, Western Region AVP Sylvester Blast and Eastern AVP Megan Brennan are coordinating the identification of positions in the support functions that will be affected.
Jay said that NAPS wants to make sure anyone in an impacted position has an opportunity for training to get another job.  There are enough vacancies (about 5,000) that can be used as landing zones.
NAPS Hdqts. –is in the process of preparing a lawsuit to represent all EAS employees including area and headquarters offices since the USPS will not allow NAPS to represent many dues paying members.
Regarding changing scores - Board of Governors has the right to change scores but the USPS does not have the right to change the scores.  No consultations were done.
Jay assured us that NAPS, NAPUS and the League are working together in preparing a defense because there was not one meeting about developing of NPA goals.  Our attorneys will be getting involved with that.
Big issue rolling out in the December Postal Supervisor- NAPS will be filing a bill for Locality Pay for EAS employees.  Every government agency has locality pay.  There are 32 areas in the country that get locality pay in other government agencies.  Other agencies have gotten locality pay through legislation.  Right now the Inspection Service and the Office of Inspector General are the only two agencies within the Postal Service that get locality pay.  It’s a matter of doing what’s right. 
For non-PCES employees Pay Bands is an effort by the USPS to offer higher income to EAS level employees for working in high cost areas. 
We are requesting this only for EAS employees and union resistance is anticipated.  We hope that when they see the plan, the unions will want to get on the band wagon too.  Locality pay is also computed, by certain formulas, into retirement.  We will have to do much letter writing and push very hard on this politically.
Field issues – There is too much discipline for people who are falsifying TACS. It is hard for us at headquarters when people call who are losing jobs for TACS tampering.
We have had Article 8 violations where one was not utilizing the overtime desired list correctly resulting in violations of the NALC national agreement.
Another thing that pops up is Acknowledgement of Rules where your boss approaches you and says, “This is something you are supposed to do every day - read it and sign it.” If it is an inherent part of your job every day, we are not required to sign. 
Members here have a very good relationship at SENE leadership and we have a good relationship with the USPS at a national level…we just don’t agree on everything.  Jay commented that the USPS, from an operational stand point, is running better than it ever did.
He reminded us to do everything we can do to protect ourselves.  Let someone know if you have a problem like having carriers out after 5:00, right away, there may be some way someone can help you.

NAPS Area Vice President Cy Dumas - Cy said that that since ’76, in his opinion, there has never been three resident officers working so closely together for the benefit of the constituents.  He said that Jay is largely responsible for that.  Cy said that we have the best District Manager to work for and we should give him our discretionary best.
Where would you get an NPA if there was no NAPS? Your Executive Board has begun a campaign with a goal of 100 percent membership.  The more motivated they are the more motivated Cy said he is, and the more motivated Jay is.  Branches cannot afford non-members with the anticipated attrition.
Cy added that Jay has a wonderful relationship with NAPUS and The League.
There is an upcoming Northeast Regional LTS training seminar March 12th–17th in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The main thrust of that is representation. Since the September convention there have been 20 removals; 14 were TACS violations.  Since January 2008 there have been 200 removals across the country and the majority have been due to TACS violations. The USPS is not going to be as forgiving to people who are making serious mistakes as they may have been in the most recent past.
May 14-17 will be the New England Convention.  Cy said that he is still working on the program content.

President’s report Dean Ambrosino:  Dean pointed out that the SENE District’s Net Income is $1.9 million under plan.  We must all work diligently to hold down costs and increase revenue.
He said that the consultative meeting was very productive. Everyone is aware of the freeze on EAS positions.  The district is in good shape in that there are plenty of vacancies that can help those people that are impacted by the reduction in force.  Hopefully in the near future headquarters will move forward to fill in these positions.  He encouraged members to think about what positions are going to be here and training to prepare for these positions.
Reduction in T-Time is meant to reduce expenses and we need to look at how we are doing it.  For instance, does using a 204B financially make sense?  Dean doesn’t think so.
Dean reminded us that our own time needs to be correct.  If you’re staying late with the understanding that comp time will be issued at a later date, remember that comp time is not recognized by the OIG.  If you are an exempt manager and you change your day off you should make sure that it appears correctly in TACS. 
Dean reminded members to be smart about computer use and the emails that we receive.  Incidental personal use of Postal computers is acceptable, but long periods of personal computer use is not.  Remember that every stroke made on the computer is traceable.
Cy added that Dean gave great advice.  If a member thinks that his/her office is having trouble eliminating T-Time and you need some advice, contact Dean.  Nip it in the bud.

Question by Bob Conroy:  As a retiree the biggest thing we have going for us is the cost of living adjustments (COLAs). Why has NAPS gotten away from the cost of living adjustments in their pay packages?  Unions have two COLAs in their contract resulting in thousands of dollars in their checks.
Jay’s response:  When COLA was given up to EVA, and then NPA, they were right in thinking that the difference would be slight.  But now we are in a time of high inflation.  This pay package lasts until 2010 and COLAs cannot be renegotiated until then. 

Recognition:  Dean recognized people who have helped NAPS in many different ways.  First he recognized Roger St. George who has been the webmaster of for four years.  Eboard members try to make sure current information that needs to get on the web page gets to Roger.  Next, Dean awarded dine out books to the two members of the scholarship committee:  Joanne Keeling and Gail Gagnon.  Finally, Dean recognized three member of the audit committee Donna Machala, Norma Johnson and Genie DelSesto.

New Business:  Dean named new members of the Budget Committee:  Sue Evans, Betty DiSalvia and Andy Meynard.
New members of the Audit Committee were named including:  Russell Fontaine, Paula Johnson, Genie DelSesto and Donna Machala.
Dean recognized recent retirees Joe Murdock, Bob McCall and Ben Veloso.
Brad Fish encouraged members to attend the Holiday Party on Dec. 20th.
Cy commented on the contributions of retirees of Bob McCall and Joe Murdock.  They strengthened the local branch and Bob carried the local branch while Cy’s wife was sick.  And Joe may not have said much but when he did he was right on the money.  Those who worked with them realize the contributions that these two have made.  When you see these members tell them thanks from NAPS for all that they did.

50-50 SPAC drawing winner of $150.00 is 3979940 Bob Conroy.  Four drawings were made for $25.00 gift certificates to Shaw’s and the winners are: 3979741 – Eric Cohen; 3979676-Genie DelSesto; 3979335-Sue Evans, and 3979704 -Skip DelSesto.

Dean asked members to encourage others to attend the NAPS meetings.  It’s hard to get the information out and the best way is in person.  The eboard is making an effort to get people to attend.
A motion was made to adjourn by Alan Conca and seconded by Roger Johnson.

Respectfully submitted,

Rose A. Russo
Secretary-NAPS Branch 105, Providence, RI