NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101

NAPS Branch 105

Regular Meeting #3 Minutes  – 09/17/2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Lancellotta’s Banquet Restaurant – North Providence, RI 02904.

Members present: 31

Pledge of Allegiance led by Michaela Saccoccio

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

Michaela Saccoccio recognized former NAPS HQ Vice President Jay Killackey and EAP Representative Kathy McKenna. 

Michaela wished to let us all know about what is happening with Branch 105, and the succession planning that everyone was alerted to in the meeting announcement mailing.  She said that back in May, she had spoken about the VMF’s Restructure; and subsequent VMF RIFF Avoidance that took place.  She said that the Providence VMF Manager position went from a Level 21to a Level 19, and was reduced by one supervisor.  She said Headquarters added 32 new Level 23 Managers of Vehicle Programs nationwide, and 7 Regional Managers.  Michaela said that since her position was being downgraded, she either had to get promoted or do the same job, with less help, for less money.  She said that at that time, she was working on a detail as acting Manager of In Plant Support, and thanks Bob Conroy for giving her that opportunity.  She said that job was a challenge but she enjoyed it a lot, and that Bob was a great teacher. 

Michaela said that she was fortunate enough to have been selected as one of the Level 23 Managers of Vehicle Programs, and that she now oversees the Greater Boston and Northern New England Districts’ VMFs.  She said that her absence allowed Rick Laporte the opportunity to stay in Providence, along with Andy Maynard.  She explained that by taking on the Level 23 Manager position, her finance number and domiciled office changed, and as of September 10, 2015, she now belongs to the Central MA NAPS Branch.  This means that she can no longer be the President of Branch 105. 

Michaela said the timing was good, since Officer Nominations were currently being entertained for Branch 105’s Annual Meeting in November.  She said that Vice President Brian Holt was recently promoted to President of the Branch, and that he selected Joanne Keeling to act as his Vice President for the rest of the year, and Joanne was kind enough to say yes, and has already been working with Brian Holt on some things.  She said that since it was so close to the end of the year, Brian decided not to appoint another member to the Executive Board, although he could have selected someone to replace Joanne if he had chosen to. 

Michaela asked us to think about and reflect on the possibility of throwing our hats in the ring, and making a difference on the board, since people were moving up and creating opportunities for others to step in and join us. 

Michaela said that when she was promoted, she was happy and relieved, but also sad when she realized that she would not be able to be President of the Branch any longer.  She said she really enjoyed working as the President of Branch 105.  She said she was on the executive board for over 10 years, including her time as Vice President, and enjoyed working for all the members.  She said it was a labor of love, and started to become part of her.  She said she was always thinking about how she could help members, and how to make things better for everyone.  She said that she would be assisting Brian in the transition so she could share skills and help him through her own experiences, and hopefully help him carry things forward. 

Michaela offered her thanks to the past and current executive boards, for everything they have done to help her, keeping things straight, offering information, doing legislative work, advocacy, and everything else they do to keep our members strong.  She also said she would be remiss if she didn’t also thank Cy Dumas, who pushed her and helped her move forward, not only in NAPS, but in her career, teaching her, mentoring her and helping her whenever he could.  

She said that integrity and professionalism have always been the hallmark of this branch and that she was sure it would continue under Brian’s oversight.  She said she has some advice to Brian about utilizing the eboard team and helping members.  She said he will learn a lot about compromise, and that sometimes you lead people, sometimes you follow, and sometimes you meet in the middle.  She said she knows Brian will make a great president and he’ll do a great job.  Michaela said she intends to make herself available to Brian and help him whenever he calls.  She said Cy had told her that no matter where you go, this is your branch, this is where home is, and she definitely agrees. 
Michaela mentioned that she received a lot of good feedback from the social gathering the branch had back in May in East Greenwich, and that she strongly urges Brian and the eboard to consider having a similar event every year.  She said members were able to bring spouses, enjoy good food, music, gifts, and have a great time.  She wanted to thank the eboard for all of their work in putting the evening together. 

In closing, Michaela said that she recently attended a kick-off for CFC, a gathering meant to inspire people to go out and engage fellow employees in giving back through charitable donations.  She said that this year’s theme is “You can change a life!”  She said that a story she had planned on using for the meeting tonight was shared at that meeting.  She said the story went like this: A grandfather and his young grandson were walking along a beach and they came upon hundreds and thousands of starfish that had washed up on the sand.  The tide was going out and the starfish would surely die.  The young boy started racing toward the starfish and, picking them up, threw them back into the water.  He continued to do this for several minutes, when his grandfather called out to him, asking him what he was doing.  The boy replied that he was getting the starfish back into the water so they didn’t die.  The grandfather saw that the starfish on the beach went on for a mile or more, and told the boy, “It won’t matter, son.  You can’t possibly save all their lives.” At that, the young boy held up the starfish in his hand and said, “It matters to this one.”  Michaela then addressed Brian and the eboard, “current and future,” saying she would suggest they keep the starfish in sight, and should they doubt they are making a difference, remember the starfish, and that it does matter.  

NAPS 105 President Brian Holt gave his Vice President/President report, telling us what is going on with discipline.  He said there is still an ongoing Pub 552 Harassment investigation in the Providence P&DC, and hopes there will be a conclusion soon, or if there has been a conclusion, no one has given out any information to NAPS.  He said there are also a couple of letters of warning, and mediation.  He said some SIPS were issued that the branch disagrees with.  He said that he and John Knapp are representing members right now. 
With regards to representation, Brian told us that he and Joanne Keeling are looking for members to step up and help represent and advocate; he suggested that retired associate members who have some time to give would also be welcome.  He said there was a lot of knowledge in the room and that retirees would be great resources to bounce things off of in order to help working members.  He said if anyone is interested to please reach out and let us know. 

Nancy Walkden gave the Secretary’s Report.  She said that NAPS 105 currently has 148 Regular Members, and 32 Associate Members. NAPS 105 received one piece of advertising for trinkets/charms as correspondence.
Motion to accept Secretary’s report: Victor Giorgio, Seconded by Rick Laporte. 

Frank Halm gave the Legislative Report  
Frank said that not much has changed, that everything was status quo.  The Postal Service is doing too good a job, so the priority to help is not there.  He said we should be attentive to any new legislative information on the NAPS National website, although he did say that nothing has been updated since April.  Frank spoke about SPAC, saying that although he is preaching to the choir here, money does talk.  He said HQ does a great job giving the money back to RI, and that he had been to a dinner with Jim Langevin where he had spent a good amount of time speaking to him about the Postal Service.  He said that he was hoping to have Senator Sheldon Whitehouse speak at our next meeting.  He said although our Congressmen and Senators are our friends, they are not currently on any committees that promote our agenda.  He said helping SPAC helps promote the USPS in other states that are not friendly towards our organization’s needs.
Motion to accept the legislative report: Michaela Saccoccio, Seconded: Peter Wood. 

Treasurer Sue Evans gave the Financial Report.
Sue spoke about the August statement, saying we had no expenses for July and August.  She said so far we have only spent $14,000.00 but we had budgeted for $21,000.00.  She said that we have $33,137.00 overall in Money Market, and Checking is in the black with $4953.00.  She said she transferred $3000.00 to cover the September branch dinner, some envelopes, and other minor expenses but expects that we will finish out the year in good shape, especially with some healthy DCO’s coming in. 
Motion to accept the treasurer report: Skip Delsesto.  Seconded by Andy Maynard

Brian introduced Jay Killackey to say a few words. 

Jay said that he wanted an opportunity to say a couple of things.  He said that he had been affiliated with Branch 105 for 17 years.  He had come down 17 years ago to campaign for our support.  He said he was a Boston person, but in all the time he’s been a NAPS member, he’s never seen a better branch than this one.  He said our branch deserves a lot of credit, and that we have had some great leaders.  He said the leadership we’ve had has been so good that two of them were being groomed to go to Washington: first Dean and then Michaela.  On the National succession plan, he said that they were looking at them for National leadership.  He said that he was happy about the good things happening for Michaela.  Jay said that Michaela has proved that you can be a good NAPS person and still be a good Postal leader.  He said that even though we are losing Michaela as President for 105, he sees that we will now have someone in a senior leadership position that is going to walk the talk, and that will make the USPS better.  He said that in some respects, it is one of the most important things Michaela can do, in helping solve some of the problems we have.  He said we need someone like Michaela, one who is willing to always do the right thing, even if it means leaving Branch 105. 
Jay said that he knows Brian Holt has been through the storm.  He said that Brian does things the right way and stands on his principles.  He said he has also seen Joanne come through the years, always there to step up and work hard.  Jay said if every branch in the country was run like 105, then NAPS would have no problem.  He said we still have to keep plugging away though.  He said he goes back to the days with Vinnie Palladino, from whom he learned not only how to run the organization and a branch, but also how to lead.  Jay congratulated Michaela and applauded her on all she was able to accomplish.  He said he feels emotional that Michaela isn’t going to be a bigger part of NAPS than she would have been, however he was pleased that she was moving further with the USPS, and thought that was a wonderful thing. 

Brian Holt took a moment to recognize the EAP Coordinator, Kathy McKenna.  He said that one of his employees in Warwick was there one day and gone the next.  He said it was the first time he experienced that kind of situation and so the first thing he did was place a call to EAP.  He said Kathy’s response was outstanding, and that she arrived at the office the next day to speak with employees who might have had problems dealing with the situation.  He said the employees really appreciated it.  He said he always recommends EAP, and hands out the cards to employees who might be having problems, and urged others to do the same with their employees.  Kathy said that when contacting EAP, the new procedure urges the use of the 1-800 number, which is the fastest way to get things moving.  She also said not to hesitate calling her if there is a problem, and she can arrange to come to the office to assist.

Break for Dinner at 6:45

Meeting resumed at 7:11

No Old Business

New Business: Nomination of NAPS 105 Officers

President - Brian Holt– Nominated by Richard Laporte

Vice President – Roger Johnson - Nominated by Joanne Keeling
- Joanne Keeling –Nominated by Richard Laporte
   (Joanne Keeling declined the nomination.)

Secretary - Nancy Walkden – Nominated by Alan Kesack

Treasurer – Sue Evans – Nominated by Betty DiSalvia

Legislative Rep – Frank Halm – Nominated by Donna Machala
Executive Board (6 positions)
            Betty DiSalvia – Nominated by Sue Evans
            Alan Kesack – Nominated by Colleen Sherratt
            Donna Machala – Nominated by Frank Halm
            Donald Taylor – Nominated by Joanne Keeling
            Joanne Keeling – Nominated by Peter Wood
            Colleen Sherratt – Nominated by Sue Evans
            Lori Bruzzi – Nominated by Donna Machala
            Victor Giorgio – Nominated by Frank Halm
            Rose Russo – Nominated by Sue Evans
            Peter Wood – Nominated by Joanne Keeling

Robert Conroy Sr. reminded members that any nominated officer and/or e-board member not present must present a letter to NAPS 105 within 10 days saying that they accept the nomination.

Brian Holt presented the Ballot Committee members as follows: Steve Rodowicz, Andy Maynard, and Barbara Bouchard.  Barbara Bouchard will be the Chair for the Ballot Committee.  Brian said that ballots are to be mailed out with the next meeting announcement.  Brian gave instructions regarding the rules of ballots, saying that ballots must be returned to the Committee at the Annual and anyone who can’t come to that meeting due to their work schedule, illness, vacation or a death in the family needs to give their ballot to someone in the Committee before the meeting. 

Robert Conroy Sr. said that he gave Brian a letter, which details corrections or changed dates in the Constitution & By Laws regarding actual meeting dates (for example, there are no meetings in January, nor in April, yet both meeting dates exist in the current By Laws.)  He said that no vote was necessary at this time since a vote had passed earlier regarding discrepancies.  He said what was what needed was someone to go in and implement the updates to reflect the current meeting dates.  He provided a letter detailing those Articles needing attention, including Article VI – Section 1 – Delegates, and Article X – Budget.  He urged that changes be implemented before delegates were chosen for the next National Convention.

Continued New Business: Motions

Associate Member Betty DiSalvia made a motion which read, “Whereas, Article V. Duties reads in part:
Sec. 1 reads in part…He/She shall be reimbursed for their membership duties and shall receive up to a maximum of $1000.00 for expenses for association business.  Whereas the branch membership has declined to approximately 150 members from a high of 300 at the time of this expense amount; I would like to make a motion to reduce the maximum to $500.00 for expenses for association business.

Sec.2.  Secretary position, © reads in part... He/She shall be reimbursed for their membership due and shall receive up to a maximum of $500.00 expenses for association business.  Section (d) Treasury position, reads in part…He/She shall be reimbursed for their membership dues.  I would like to make a motion to add the following: and shall receive up to a maximum of $250.00 expenses for association business.  Motion seconded by Rick Laporte.  No vote required at this time. 

Member Andy Maynard made a motion which read, “Whereas, Article 3, Section 2 (c ) states that…Any employee eligible for membership who is employed in an installation having a local branch or in an installation affiliated with a district or state branch shall be eligible for membership in the National Association of Postal Supervisors only by affiliation with said local, district, or state branch. 

Whereas Michaela Saccoccio is now a member of a Greater Boston District branch, she is now the immediate past president.  I would like to make a motion to vote to make Michaela Saccoccio an “ex-officio” of Branch 105, which is a non-voting position; to assist with transitional issues and mentoring of new officers and eboard members.  Motion seconded by Roger Johnson. 
Vote for Motion:  Passed unanimously.  Motion is accepted.             

Brian told members that Cy Dumas was holding an Officer’s Meeting on November 1, 2015 in Shrewsbury MA, starting at 8:00 am, open to any member who wishes to learn about the latest information from NAPS Headquarters Fall executive board meeting. If interested, members should let someone on the eboard know so they could give Cy a head count.  Brian said it was a good event with lots of valuable information coming from the HQ level.  He said there’s always a lot of good information regarding the National pulse of NAPs.  Michaela piggybacked on that, saying that Cy also plans on doing advocacy training at that event, and mentioned that the branch is always looking for people to step up to help other members facing discipline.  She said that anyone interested would get valuable training at Cy’s November 1st meeting.  Brian re-emphasized that Cy does a very good job with advocacy training.

Brian told members that NAPS 105’s next meeting will be Thursday, November 19 at a location yet to be announced and that he will be inviting Connecticut Valley District Manager David Mastroianni Jr. to be the guest speaker.  Brian said that should Mr. Mastroianni be available to speak, he asks that all members, regular and associate, do their best to try to attend that meeting.  He said that since the meeting bridges the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of another, we could all gain some valuable information. 

Michaela Saccoccio also mentioned that we should focus some attention on the next NAPS National Convention in Baltimore MD in 2016, and that there are only a few meeting left before then.  She told us that should this branch wish to push forward any resolutions or changes to the National Constitution or By Laws, they need to start preparing things now. 

Michaela also told us that she received correspondence from Ocean State Theatre in Warwick, offering group rates for some of the plays they offer.  She said it’s sort of like Theatre by the Sea, parking is free, and they often have deals and they are pretty good. 

Brian reminded members to try to get the message out to other Supervisors and Postmasters to come to the regular meetings; and that everyone can learn a lot about what is going on with the Postal Service by attending a NAPS regular meeting.  He said we should all be trying to bring awareness of NAPS, and that we should try to recruit more Postmasters to join.  He said the meetings are good, and more members means more voting strength at National Elections to get people we want voted in. 

Michaela said there were handouts on the tables regarding involuntary reassignments, and that it has been reiterated that people cannot have their schedules or days off changed arbitrarily; she said there is a process that must be followed.  She said there is also a handout that describes actions to be taken regarding personal benefits should members experience life changing events, such as births, deaths, marriage, divorce, etc. 

E-Board Member and CFC Keyworker Coordinator Rose Russo spoke about the Combined Federal Campaign, reminding active employees that they would be approached by keyworkers soon.  She urged them to look at the literature for which charities are seeking help, and that the agencies represented were local, national, international, and range from charities that helped children, animals, and the environment.  She said that the literature showed the breakdown of how the money is spent, and also explains what each charity does or represents.  She told us that this year’s theme is “You can change a life,” and said that together, we can change many lives.  She explained that donations can be made via a one-time payment by check or by payroll deduction, and that if anyone had any questions, they should contact her.

50/50 Raffle:  One half benefits SPAC.  Proceeds from raffle ticket sales = $170.00.  Jay Killackey drew the ticket.  Associate Member Peter Wood won $85.00.

7:40 - Motion to adjourn by Skip Delsesto, seconded by Donna Machala

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Walkden