NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101

NAPS Branch 105

Regular Meeting #4 Minutes  – 11/19/2015
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Lancellotta’s Banquet Restaurant – North Providence, RI 02904.

Members present: 45

Pledge of Allegiance led by Chuck Narcisso

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

Brian Holt recognized Acting Providence P&DC Plant Manager Rick Goodwin, NAPS Area Vice President Cy Dumas, and Kim Lewin, President of NAPS Branch 118. 

Brian asked that all ballots be given to a member of the ballot committee to accommodate an 8:00pm deadline.  He also cautioned everyone who purchased raffle tickets for the 50/50 drawing to keep their tickets since there would be additional drawings for (4) $25.00 Stop & Shop Gift Cards. 

He told us that EAP Representative Kathy McKenna was unable to attend the meeting, but Michaela Saccoccio mentioned that Kathy had reached out to her with handouts regarding Holiday stress issues and that they were on the tables if anyone was interested.  Brian also mentioned that items relating to the 2018 National Convention were available on the tables as well.

Treasurer Sue Evans gave the Financial Report.
Sue spoke about the October financial statement, saying we had no expenses for October.  She said so far we have only spent $15,173.22, and that we are in really good shape.  She said that we have $34,897.00 overall in our Money Market, and we’ve brought in more than we’ve spent this year and now have $7713.00 in the checking account.  She said the DCO’s have been going up lately and we still have two left with limited expenses this month.  She said she expects a really good end of year balance, which she will report on for the February meeting.  In the meantime she said that we have spent in the low $15000.00 range and are well under the forecasted $21460.00 budget.  She said she wanted to thank everyone for cutting back on expenses and keeping good counts on meetings so we don’t overspend.  She said one of the best benefits was getting more members, and thanked those who continued to bring more people into Branch 105. 

Motion to accept the treasurer report: Bob Conroy Sr., Seconded by Michaela Saccoccio

Frank Halm gave the Legislative Report  
Frank said that although a bill was introduced in September by Senator Carper that might benefit the USPS, Congress is currently engaged in events concerning Syria and the Middle East, so Postal reform is probably the last thing on their minds.  He said that in addition, Election primaries will start in the next 4 to 5 months, and then the Government shuts down.  Frank said that NAPS will basically keep trying, pushing, and hoping for the best. 
Frank said that we, especially retirees, just dodged a bullet regarding the new Government fiscal budget. He said that Medicare was supposed to go up by 50%.  He said many opposed the increase; the result is that there will now be no increases for two years. 
Frank said that Health Plans are now offering Self plus One, in addition to Self, and Self plus Family.  He said he looked at the numbers and there isn’t much of a savings, but he noted that every penny counts.  He urged retirees to talk to one another regarding the changes
Motion to accept the legislative report: Brian Holt, Seconded: Rick Laporte. 

Nancy Walkden gave the Secretary’s Report.  She said that NAPS 105 currently has 147 Regular Members, and 31 Associate Members. NAPS 105 did not receive any correspondence.
Motion to accept Secretary’s report: Dave Girard, Seconded by Lori Bruzzi. 

NAPS 105 President Brian Holt said that he knew NAPS NE Area Vice President Cy Dumas would be talking about the HQ meeting that he shared with officers throughout the NE Area, but that one of the things that he was proud of was that NAPS 105 has 94% of eligible EAS employees as members.  He said that he believed that was towards the top in New England; Cy Dumas echoed “in the medium and large branches, it’s clearly the best.” 
Brian said that there was some “re-mapping” going on in the 029 Area that could result in more (new) EAS jobs.  He said we haven’t seen that in a long time. 
Brian said that he felt he needed to address the use of government credit cards.  He said that personal purchases, although prohibited, seemed to be a current issue.  He told members that they should only use government cards for travel and legitimate postal business/training expenses.
Brian addressed the new 1800 reporting for those EAS who work in delivery.  He said that there are now several forms and analysis which are required to be sent in before 0750 the following morning.  He said that his concern was that some Supervisors might be inclined to enter false information in TACS in order to avoid the mountain of paperwork supporting employees working after 6pm.  Brian said, “Don’t do it.  Fill out the paperwork.”  He said that EAS who manipulate TACS records are hard to defend. He said NAPS cannot help you if you manipulate discoverable data. 

Vice President Joanne Keeling emphasized that if members are in trouble they need to contact someone from NAPS.  She said there are a couple of members who have received suspensions “in lieu of Letters of Warning,” that needed addressing, along with a manager who was being investigated for financial issues.  She said there were also a number of redresses that required NAPS attention over the past month or so. 
Joanne closed saying that she urged anyone having any problems to contact her or any eBoard member so that they could mitigate potential issues. 
Motion to accept Vice President’s report: Pat Bennett, Seconded: Victor Giorgio

Brian introduced NAPS 105 eBoard member Rose Russo.

Rose spoke to us about the Combined Federal Campaign. She said President JFK began the charitable fund in 1961, and that she is currently the coordinator for the 029 offices.  Rose said that she has been involved in bringing actual organizations that benefit from CFC contributions, such as Amos House, A Wish Comes True, or benefiting our troops, as speakers to engage employee contributions.  She said that these speakers were very effective in reaching out to Federal employees.  Rose told us that these “real life” situations served to energize the need for employee response and that she hoped members would respond or contact her should they have any questions. 

Brian asked if there were any first time members present.  Rick Condon, Providence P&DC SDO said this was his first time; Nash Blackwood, SCO Olneyville 02909 was also a first time attendant.  

Brian asked NE Area VP Cy Dumas to speak.
Cy asked all the Veterans in the room to stand.  He thanked them all for their service in the light of the recent Veterans Day Holiday.  Cy reminded everyone that the USPS continues to be a major civilian employer of veterans in the country.  He also extended a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone on behalf of the NAPS Resident Officers and Tony Roma.  Cy said he attended a NAPS brunch in Boston recently and reflected on what he was thankful for; he said he was very thankful for the 38 plus years that he was employed by the US Postal Service, and the steady paycheck he received that allowed him to send his four kids to college.  He said that many of us have profited like that, and that even though things seem to be more challenging than ever, we are still better off than many others in the private sector.  He said he was also thankful for having been a member of Branch 105 for many years, and that it is the best branch overall in New England, if not in the country.  He said that Branch 105 consistently demonstrates both quality and commitment, but that we could get better by bringing new people to the meetings and continuing to support one another. 
Cy spoke about the Fall Executive Board Meeting, remarking that it was rather flat.  He mentioned that  there were two speakers from L’Enfant Plaza who attended: COO David Williams, and PMG Megan Brennan.  Cy said that PMG Brennan hit a home run with her speech.  He reminded everyone that Megan Brennan was a guest speaker at a NAPS 105 meeting years ago in Warwick.  He said she gave a strategic overview of where the organization was heading, and was very motivating and impressive.  He said the PMG then took questions, which proved a bit embarrassing since there were some unprofessional questions posed.  Cy said that he was surprised that the board didn’t address those issues after the PMG had left the meeting. 
Cy said that he was proud that New England NAPS and Branch 105 understand how to conduct themselves with speakers, and emphasized that this has resulted in great relationships with Leadership in the New England Area. 
Cy spoke about membership, saying that in the past year, nationally, membership has gone up a little.  He said NAPS currently has approximately 24000 regular members and 1000 associate members.  He said that the national percentage of those EAS (non Postmasters) who could join to actual members is 70%, and New England at 80%, the highest in the country.  New York is second at 79%. 

Break for dinner: 6:31
Meeting Resumed: 6:56

Brian introduced Guest Speaker (A) Plant Manager – Providence P&DC Rick Goodwin.  Rick began by confessing that this was his first NAPS meeting and that he was happy to be here.
Rick spoke about the challenges faced by both the P&DC and customer service offices regarding load leveling and the inconsistencies of mail volume.  He said that load leveling was intended to keep volumes of mail from overloading carriers and offices, but that now the mailers have figured out the system and have begun to drop off mail with commitment dates that must be honored, thereby negating much of what load leveling was brought on to fix.  He said that the Plant is working hard to fix that, but it remains a challenge. 
Rick mentioned that another problem the Plant is facing is OWC, Operational Workload Change.  He said put together with the Fall mailing season, it is creating a lot of work in the Plant, and incurring more work hours to cover the commitment.  He said that many people are being forced in to work over the Thanksgiving holiday in order to process all the anticipated mail. 
Rick told us that we can expect over 20% more package volume this holiday season, and that there are a lot of moving parts and processes in place to manage the load. 
Rick said CTV District is doing well, and that we are at the top as far as meeting targets.  He reminded us that everything we do is trackable, and that Leadership is on top of all the data.  He said that there are constant telecoms that devote attention to working better and smarter, and that here in New England, Leadership works together to improve communication and operations.  He said they have many meetings and go over the challenges everyone is facing.  He said there is a big learning curve and everyone is striving to do their best. 
Rick then took questions from members regarding their offices issues with processed mail from the plant.  He emphasized that as a former Postmaster in Attleboro, he gets the problems that are being faced by the Postmasters and Supervisors each and every day. 
Brian Holt asked if machines were being removed from the plant.  Rick said that there were Phase 1 DBCS double-sided machines that had become inefficient and outdated that are being removed, and so mail run on other machines means bigger sort plans and longer runs.  He said this poses a problem especially with the new holiday help (over 70 new employees.) 
Kristine Moore asked about empty equipment and the FSS arriving on pallets instead of castors.  Rick said that equipment continues to be a problem.  He said equipment tends to go west and never comes back.  He said he struggles constantly trying to find solutions to equipment issues. 

Cy Dumas returned to speak about recruiting Postmasters.  He said there are currently approximately 2000 Postmasters among the 24000 NAPS members nationally.  He asked the Supervisors to inquire about their Postmasters and see if they can persuade them to join NAPS.  He also suggested that if you are promoted to a PM from Supervisor or Manager, to please remain a NAPS member.  Cy stressed that the NAPS Representation Fund is a fundamental benefit for NAPS members that is missing from NAPUS or League membership.  Cy said that NAPS uses Sciallo and Associates and they have been highly successful in defending cases for members who were facing disciplinary action.  He also cited NAPS finances as being an incentive for membership.  Cy mentioned that NAPS HQ owns a building which continues to bring in a great deal of revenue, as well as a great financial portfolio.  He said that this is due to financial controls that continue in spite of dues being consistently low for members. 
Cy spoke about Tommy Roma, saying he has so much integrity, and votes with a conviction for what is best for NAPS members. 
Cy said that on November 24, he will meet with Tommy Roma and Jimmy Warden, along with people from NAPUS and the League to speak with NE Area VP Rick Uluski about issues going on with folks in the field.  He suggested sending him any questions that members would like answered and he would do his best to present them to Rick.
Cy mentioned the recent member advocacy training session held in Shrewsbury.  He said that Jay Killackey was excellent as a trainer, and that the session went very well.  Cy said that he would try to duplicate the training and that anyone, especially officers, who might be interested in getting that training can contact him or any executive board member of NAPS 105. 
Cy ended by saying, “Let the minutes reflect, Nancy, that I finished my 7:30 remarks at 7:33!”  
Frank Halm asked Cy about downsizing the National Executive Board.  Cy said that he is part of the committee, and Cy said that at the next National Convention there would be some recommendations that go before the National Delegates to make some changes. 

Old Business:
Regarding the last meeting’s motion from Betty DiSalvia 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.
Cy Dumas spoke against the motion.  He said that meeting with Postmasters or Leadership or a member under duress then the $1000 would be a benefit that the officers could use.  He felt the money was appropriate for he discretionary time spent by the officers.  He did not feel it required reduction at this time.  Cy also mentioned that since the motion would require a change to the constitution it would require 2/3 vote to pass. 
Motion to vote: Victor Giorgio. 
Motion did not pass. 

New Business:

Robert Conroy Sr. said that Article 4, section 1: which deals with members being elected tonight; for some reason the article specifies executive board members at 4. He said he wished to make a motion to change that number to show that 6 members shall be elected. He said he thought that the original article goes back to when the Branch elected people from Pawtucket, etc.  He said the article should read that 6 members shall make up the executive board, along with the officers.  He said since it required a change to the constitution and bylaws, it could not be voted on tonight. 

Robert Conroy Sr. continued with a second motion; Citing Article 6, Sections 1 and 3, and that the language should change from 3 meetings to 2 meetings as the minimum criteria for members wishing to attend the National Meeting or Legislative Meeting.  He said that since we have reduced the total number of meetings per year for NAPS 105, then the mandatory meetings should also reflect that reduction and go from 66% to 50% of mandatory meetings.  He also said that since this was also a change to the constitution and bylaws it also could not be voted on tonight. 
Motion seconded by Bob Conroy Jr.

Budget Committee Named:  Sue Evans, Betty DaSilvia, and Andy Maynard
Audit Committee Named: Donna Machala, Rose Russo, and Regina Delsesto

Frank Halm spoke about Continuous Contributions for SPAC and how it could assist NAPS legislative emphasis.  He said that we often get more than we give in order to interact with our Senators and Representatives, and that money is definitely needed to bring about positive change. 

Brian mentioned that there will be another social gathering/meeting scheduled for May 21, 2016 at the Fireman’s Hall in East Greenwich.  More information will be coming out. 

Michaela Saccoccio mentioned that Sue Evans has been acting as NAPS 105 Treasurer for some time and is eager to pass that role on to someone else.  She asked anyone out there who is interested to please consider working with Sue over the next year to learn the ropes so they could take over at some point and let Sue pass the baton.  She said that we are eager to mentor people who are eager to take on new responsibilities to help the Branch grow.

50/50 Raffle:  One half benefits SPAC.  Proceeds from raffle ticket sales = $260.00.  Michaela Saccoccio drew the ticket.  Associate Member Frank Halm won $130.00.

Tickets were drawn by Rick Goodwin and Cy Dumas for Stop & Shop Gift Cards.  Cards were won by: Jim Brien, Andy Maynard, Joanne Keeling, and Rose Russo. 

Brian spoke about security on the work-room floor, in light of all the issues going on in the world right now, supervisors should ensure that employees are wearing ID’s, hats are being worn by CCA’s, etc. 
Michaela echoed the need for security citing issues she was aware of regarding missing vehicles.  She said that these problems are especially problematic.  She said please make sure you know where all your vehicles are, and that carriers are not taking keys home.  Brian said that this is important with rental vehicles, and that local authorities know they are being used. 

Ballot Committee member Steve Rodowicz told us that there was a tie for the executive board.  Robert Conroy Sr. told us that according to the constitution, only those present at the meeting are eligible to vote to break the tie. 
Alan Kesack and Peter Wood are to be voted on to break the tie. 

Joanne Keeling held the Scholarship Drawing: Kristine Moore pulled the winner of the $500.00 Dean Ambrosino Memorial Scholarship.  Three names are pulled, and the first name has two weeks to provide proof of enrollment.  If proof is not received, the scholarship goes to the second name, etc. 

Winner is Alexandra Conroy- Daughter of Regular Member Robert Conroy

Officer and Executive Board Election Results:

President - Brian Holt                                                            
Vice President – Roger Johnson
Secretary - Nancy Walkden
Treasurer – Sue Evans
Legislative Rep – Frank Halm
Executive Board (6 positions)
            Betty DiSalvia
            Victor Giorgio
            Joanne Keeling
            Alan Kesack
            Donna Machala
            Colleen Sherratt

All new officers were sworn in by Cy Dumas. 

8:11 - Motion to adjourn – Vic Giorgio

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Walkden