NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101

NAPS Branch 105
Meeting #2 Minutes  – 5/22/2014
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Chelo’s Hometown Bar & Grille – Warwick, RI 02886.

Members present: 38

Pledge of Allegiance led by John Knapp

Moment of Silence: Passing of Associate Member Norma Johnson

Roll Call of Officers: Michaela Saccoccio, Nancy Walkden, Sue Evans, Frank Halm, Rose Russo, Donna Machala, Joanne Keeling, Victor Giorgio, Betty DiSalvia, Colleen Sherratt, Cy Dumas.
Not present/Excused: Brian Holt.

Recognition of members attending for first time: Neil Fitzgerald, Don Bernard.

Open Forum/Branch Business: No Guest(s) attending.

Break for dinner at 6:18

Meeting resumed at 6:46

President Michaela Saccoccio spoke about the NAPS New England Convention that she, Brian Holt, Frank Halm, Victor Giorgio, and Sue Evans recently attended along with District and Area Leadership.  She told us that there were 17 Executives present, among them Area VP Rick Uluski, who spoke about the present numbers regarding Safety, Service, and Budget.  Michaela said that Mr. Uluski encouraged everyone to move these numbers forward since this is an NPA year and he would like to get us into a box where we could see raises. 
Michaela told us that NAPS National VP Jay Killackey spoke about legislative issues, and that although we were heading closer to lame duck sessions, we should still use our voices and continue to email our congressmen and senators to inform them of our needs. 
Michaela said that other presentations at the New England Convention included a financial information seminar, a seminar on the role of Occupational Health Nurses in the Postal Service, and a Blue Cross/Blue Shield presentation on retiree health care.  Delegates at the convention received newly revised copies of “Roberts Rules of Order,” and “NAPS Strong” bookmarks created by Sue Evans. 

Michaela reminded us that there will be a Memorial Mass for Dean Ambrosino on Sunday, June 8, 2014 @ 11:00 at St Gregory the Great Church in Warwick, RI. 

Michaela reported that all those delegates nominated to attend the National Convention in August have shown proof of registration.  2014 delegates are Frank Halm, Victor Giorgio, Nancy Walkden, and Michaela Saccoccio.  The bylaws of our constitution require delegates to show proof at the general meeting prior to the National Conference. 

Legislative report – Frank Halm
Frank informed members that Jimmy Warden, Area VP from NY, gave a presentation on legislative issues at the NE Convention.  Frank told us that Mr. Warden was put in charge of the NE Region for legislative action and had told everyone that less than 2% of membership gave $100.00 or more to SPAC this year.  He said that this was in contrast to last year’s record of $176,000.00 collected for SPAC. 
Frank described the reason why Continuous Contribution was so important for NAPS legislative agenda, comparing it to the Combined Federal Campaign, whereby anticipated donations can allow NAPS to budget donations throughout the year and make dollars work harder.  Frank reminded us that this year, 1/3 of the Senate, and all of Congress’s seats, are to be voted upon.  In the Senate, a swing of 6 Senators could make it a Republican controlled Senate, making this a critical year.  Funds are needed to assist in key states.
Frank told us that he and 7 other Branch 105 members recently attended Senator Reed’s Breakfast and had the opportunity to speak with Senators Reed and Whitehouse, as well as Congressmen Langevin and Ciciline, highlighting how SPAC is useful even in Rhode Island. 
Frank explained that legislative action has been frustrating regarding 1486.  Although it looked good, amendments were added that would likely make it difficult to pass.  One of those amendments was the allowance of guns on Postal property.
Frank said that Daryl Issa’s committee just passed a motion to eliminate house delivery in favor of a “fee for service” cluster-box or curb-side delivery.  He said that there isn’t much of a chance that this will pass.  Frank told us that NAPS Legislative Rep Bruce Moyer feels that we are quickly heading into a Lame Duck session.  Frank said that Post Office upper management may now be forced to do something, even though they had put a moratorium on the closing of Plants. 
Robert Conroy Sr. asked about the bills currently in Congress/Senate.  Frank told him that they looked pretty dead, and it was frustrating because we seemed to be back to square one.
Victor Giorgio noted that during the NE Convention, several delegates signed up for SPAC Continuous Contributions, using an IPad.  Frank told him that he had brought his IPad to this meeting and would be happy to assist anyone who would like to sign up. 

Motion made to accept the report was made by Donald Taylor.  Seconded by Regina DelSesto. 

Secretary’s report – Nancy Walkden
Nancy reported we currently have 136 Regular and 34 Associate members of NAPS 105.
NAPS 105 received the following correspondence: Thank you notes from retirees Colleen Sherratt and Carl Papino, a postcard from the Committee to Re-elect Brian Wagner for the NAPS National Secretary/Treasurer, and a response from the IRS regarding Branch 105’s request for Tax Exempt status stating that our application was in process.
Michaela Saccoccio requested a motion to accept minutes from the last meeting.  Robert Conroy Sr. believed that this was not necessary since we voted at the last meeting to have the President, Vice President, and Secretary approve the minutes.  Cy Dumas disagreed. 

Motion to accept was made by Steve Ravo – Seconded by Victor Giorgio.

Treasurer’s report – Sue Evans
Sue told us that our current expenses included $2600.00 for the NE Convention and $280.00 for eBoard meeting expenses.  She explained that the Branch had authorized $3000.00 for the convention, so some money was saved.  Year to date expenses total $11, 168.25.  Sue said that our Money Market account was doing well, but that we were running over on spending because of the NE Convention and general liability insurance for officers.  She said that we would be able to build up the accounts again before the National Convention.  Michaela spoke about the need to keep the insurance in case Branch officers faced law suits, and that NAPS National Secretary/Treasurer Brian Wagner suggested it be continued.

Vice President’s report
Michaela said that Brian Holt mentioned there was one adverse action he was assisting with, a Letter of Warning.  She also told us that Brian recently attended a meeting with the Providence P&DC Plant Manager, the Manager of Maintenance, and the Tour 3 Maintenance Supervisors.  She said that it was a perfect example of all the times we said that you shouldn’t let things get too far if there was a problem, and that supervisors should speak out to NAPS and try to resolve things prior to people getting corrective action or going out on stress.  She said that Nancy Walkden overheard something and got the ball rolling by putting together a meeting to open communication.  Michaela said that Managers perceived things one way while Supervisors saw things differently.  She said it was a rocky road, but that everyone can hopefully get their points across.  She said that Brian told her it was a positive start, and it demonstrates that things can work better when people communicate that they are having problems.  She hoped that more supervisors might reach out when faced with problems with their managers/Postmasters so we can sit down and try to improve things before they get out of control. 

NAPS NE Area Vice President Cy Dumas spoke to active members and associate members, mentioning that they have different issues, but that each perspective is valuable in meeting discussions. 
Cy said that at the last National Convention, by-laws relative to voting strength of a branch had changed to include both active and associate members combined.  He said the new bylaws would afford us 17 votes, and that by increasing our associate membership, we could become even stronger with our votes for NAPS leadership, resolutions, bylaws changes, and the 2018 Convention city site.  Cy told us that Branch 105 is highly regarded by USPS leaders such as NE Area Mgr Rick Uluski as well as by NAPS National officers. 
Cy spoke about the NE Convention and told us that Branch 105 President Michaela Saccoccio sent more agenda items to the convention than all the other 7 branches combined. 
Cy told us that elections during the National Convention in August are going to be critical in the outcome of our future in the US Postal Service.  He said that it is crucial that we have the best leadership possible, someone who is well respected in L’Enfant Plaza and around the country.  Cy said that we need Jay Killackey as President of NAPS.  He said that he is also supporting Brian Wagner as National Secretary/Treasurer.  Cy told us that Brian has been extremely helpful to many branches who have had to deal with IRS issues. 
Cy spoke about the Providence Mentoring Meeting that took place on May 21, 2014, noting that 16 supervisors and 204B’s came to learn from experienced managers Gary Neirinckx and Mike Kocak.  He commented on how important it was to have support from those who know the system, and how words of advice & experience can make a big difference in a new supervisor’s ability to handle day-to-day challenges.  Cy said, “We really need to get back to team building within our units.”  He told us that he had heard that 50% of USPS leadership is eligible to retire within 5 years, so it is essential that we share our knowledge with the newest USPS leaders.
Cy told us that one of the items that will be voted on at the National Convention this year is the site of the 2018 National Convention.  One of the potential sites is Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, as well as venues in Denver, CO and Las Vegas, NV.  Cy believes that by having the 2018 convention in CT, many New England NAPS members would be afforded an opportunity to attend an event they might never had had a chance to experience due to significantly reduced travel costs.  Cy said that he and Louis Atkins visited Mohegan Sun and were very impressed.  Cy said he is committed to bringing the National Convention to Connecticut.  eBoard member Rose Russo asked Cy to give us an idea of how large National Conventions are.   Cy responded that there are 1500 or more delegates that attend NAPS National Conventions. 

Branch 105 President Michaela Saccoccio spoke about mentoring and employee development.  She said that after the February general meeting, when the idea of mentoring was introduced, no one responded with any inquiries or ideas. Michaela said that she, Mike and Gary became pro-active and chose a date, agreed upon the topic of “discussing employee performance,” and advertised it to the field.  She said that 17 supervisors responded.  Michaela told us that she thought the meeting was very successful,  and that anyone who is looking for networking and advice should plan to attend the next meeting scheduled for June 25, 2014.  Warwick Supervisor Wendy Demarais attended the Mentoring meeting and said she thought the meetings were a good idea, and a good way to share information.  Wendy also said she was glad she saw some 204B’s there.  Cy Dumas asked everyone what they thought of inviting promising 204B’s as guests at NAPS meetings as a way of recruiting and inspiring them to apply for supervisor positions.  Michaela agreed and said that there were 204B’s who had been invited to tonight’s meeting.  East Bay Supervisor Don Taylor suggested having meetings at different times in order to accommodate different schedules since 204Bs are often required to stay at the office.

Old Business:

Re: Motion to raise Associated Members’ Annual dues from $45.00 to $90.00 for 2015.   

Michaela asked if anyone wanted to speak for or against the motion. 
Robert Conroy Sr. wished to make an amendment to the main motion.  The amendment states that dues for the associate members shall be $60.00 per year and shall include the ½ of the National per capita tax due the National Association.
The amended motion was seconded by William Barker. 
Mr. Conroy argued that he understood the local branch does not keep any money from current Associates’ dues, however, money sent to either Local or National still helps NAPS.  He said that Associates purchase raffle tickets for SPAC, they serve on committees and boards, etc.  He said that he believes that by doubling the amount of dues, the branch may lose many associate members.  Mr. Conroy said that we are a branch that continues to offer food at meetings, but that less than half of all associate members attend each meeting.  Mr. Conroy said that should associate members not be present at meetings, there would likely be situations in which a quorum could not occur, thus making meetings illegal. 

There were no speakers against the amended motion. 

Speakers for the amended motion:

Jim Ulinick spoke for the amendment, saying that he has been retired for 11 years, yet a member of NAPS for 40 years. He said, thanks to Branch 105 and Cy Dumas, he has received the great gift of an honorary membership to NAPS and he feels that NAPS has certainly helped the USPS to prosper.   He also said that he believes Associate Members contribute to NAPS and to Active Members.  Mr. Ulinick asked us to understand how customers might feel if we suddenly asked them to double what they are currently paying in postage…he said that is how Associate Members feel regarding the motion to double their annual dues.  He said he feels that we should endeavor to keep Associate Members within our Local, and that he is pleased that we have grown to include new Associates.  He said he would like to see more Associate Members join to offer support to our branch, and that he supports Mr. Conroy’s amendment to the motion. 

Michaela asked again if there were any speakers against the amendment.   There were none. 
Michaela asked if there were any speakers for the amendment. 

Cy Dumas said that he understands the rationale behind the original motion to increase Associate’s dues.  He said that the amount paid to the branch is absorbed fully by National, yet the branches must absorb the cost of meals, etc.  He said that he had done some quick calculations, and that the amended motion would net Branch 105 approximately $645.00 per year in additional funds.  He said he believes that for a difference of a few hundred dollars, the amendment is fair and will hopefully provide camaraderie and goodwill within the branch. 

Al Poli spoke for the amendment, saying that originally, he was prepared to voice his disapproval.  He said that he had been on eBoards for years and had encountered similar motions every five years or so.  Al said that he consistently voted against increasing Associate Dues because he considered it to be an insult to retirees.  He said that he does, however, support Mr. Conroy’s amendment to the motion. 

Cy Dumas moved the question.  Amendment to the Main Motion to raise dues for Associate Members was voted on.  Amended Motion Passes.

Vote to pass original motion as amended, to increase Associate Dues to $60.00 beginning 2015.
Motion passes.

Michaela Saccoccio supported Cy Dumas’ suggestion to support a “blocking of votes” of Branch Delegates during the National Convention for Jay Killackey for President, Brian Wagner for Secretary/Treasurer, Tommy Roma for NE Region Vice President, and Cy Dumas for NE Area Vice President.  Seconded by Robert Conroy Sr. 

There was no suggestion to support a candidate for NAPS National Vice President at this time. 
Sue Evans said that she had the chance to see both VP candidates at the New England Convention, Jaime Elizondo Jr. and Ivan Butts.  Sue said that she thought that they were both good, but her opinion was that Ivan Butts was more personable and had engaged in more discussions during the convention.  She said that at this time, she was leaning towards Mr. Butts. 
No agenda for Good and Welfare.  Sue offered that she thought the Branch 105 delegates should be able to make the right decision during the 2014 National Convention. 

Frank Halm agreed that both candidates were certainly capable.  He believed that Ivan Butts was very data oriented and focused on numbers, while he perceived Jaime Elizondo to be more comfortable in “one-on-one” situations.  Frank said that he was considering which candidate would be best suited towards situations involving L’Enfant Plaza, and believed that although Ivan Butts would be better suited, both were still very capable. 

Cy Dumas took over the meeting so Michaela could speak to the subject:

Michaela agreed with Sue and Frank and also considers the implications of Jaime or Ivan working with Pat Donahoe or Megan Brennan at L’Enfant Plaza.  She thought that Jaime is considerably more “laid back” and his style is different from Ivan’s. 

Robert Conroy Sr. called for a vote on Cy Dumas’ motion to support a block vote for National President, Secretary/Treasurer, NE Region VP, and NE Area VP. 
Motion Passes.

Cy Dumas asked for a personal point of privilege.  He offered that his goal as NE Area VP in the next 2 years is to mentor the 17 Branch Presidents in New England Area and to help all of the Branch Officers to do their jobs better.  He also seeks to increase membership, and wants to provide advocacy training to every branch in the New England Area.

Robert Conroy Jr. stated that since there was no consensus among us for National Vice President in the forthcoming elections, he wished to move to allow Branch 105 delegates the authority to decide for a candidate at the National Convention in San Diego. 
Seconded by Bill Barker. 
Motion voted.
Motion passes.

Michaela asked whether anyone had any additional questions or issues they would like to introduce. 

Frank Halm mentioned once again about the Health Care representatives who spoke at the New England Convention.  He said that they were not selling anything, but were focused on trends and information regarding employee and retiree healthcare options. 
Al Poli said he read that an additional category, “self + 1” would be introduced for future options, which he hoped would reduce health care costs for those who were supporting a spouse but no children.  Robert Conroy Sr. said that currently, only Vision Care offered options for “self + 1.” 

Robert Conroy Sr. mentioned that he was still not satisfied with the timeliness of getting the meeting minutes on the website and said that he felt that 2 weeks should be a sufficient target.  
Jim Ulinick said that he noted that the last minutes were more detailed than were previously and understood the longer time frame.
Michaela Saccoccio said that she understood that members relied on the website for information but that the active members worked each day and volunteered their time to the Branch. 

Dan Guenette asked about reaching out to members using email instead of sending minutes or invitations to meetings using USPS mail.  Michaela responded that Branch 105 was eager to build the email list but that she did not wish to give up mailing information to members since that was essentially our “bread and butter.”  She also emphasized that members should provide us with their personal email addresses if they wished to receive email from the Branch. 

Michaela told us that the next General Meeting will be in September 2014, potentially at Lancellotta’s Restaurant.  She is eager to invite CTV District Manager David Mastroianni Jr. as a guest speaker.


50/50 Raffle was won by Kristine Moore, ticket pulled by Michaela Saccoccio.  She donated the $90.00 to SPAC.

Special Red Sox Tickets Raffle was won by Donna Machala.  Michaela Saccoccio thanked Cy Dumas for donating the tickets. 

Michaela announced that Joanne Keeling is now the NAPS representative for the Cafeteria Committee.  The committee is hosting a Pawtucket Red Sox outing in August.  Information regarding this outing will be available on the Branch 105 website. 

Motion to adjourn by Michaela Saccoccio

Respectfully submitted

Nancy Walkden
NAPS Branch 105