NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101


Regular Meeting #1 Minutes – 2/2/2017
Meeting place:  Kelley Gazzero VFW Post, 1418 Plainfield Street, Cranston RI  02920.

Members Present: 28

The meeting opened at 6:10 P.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Cy Dumas.

Roll Call of Officers: Brian Holt, Roger Johnson, Barbara Bouchard, Sue Evans, and Donna Machala - all Present.
Executive Board members present:  Betty DiSalvia, Victor Giorgio, and Joanne Keeling.

Excused:  Colleen Sherratt, Don Taylor, and Joan DiSanto.

Brian explained that we have lost two members from our board, Al Kesack and Frank Halm, as Frank has moved to New Hampshire.  I have appointed Donna Machala to replace Frank.  Don Taylor agreed to replace Al, however, he’s on sick leave right now.  Additionally, Joan DiSanto will replace Sue Evans as treasurer.  She could not be here tonight because she had to travel to Hartford today.

Brian recognized Greg Murphy, the new North East AVP for NAPS, and he will speak later.

Brian said there are no guest speakers or first-timers to recognize tonight.

Barbara Bouchard gave the Secretary's Report.  According to the latest DCOs, this branch has 155 general members and 27 associate members for a total of 182.  We received a holiday card from Jim Langevin as well as a written thank you from John Pagano, the winner of our 2016 scholarship award.  John is the son of members Angelo and Sheila Pagano.

Motion to accept the Secretary's report:  Made by Vic Giorgio; Seconded by Roger Johnson.

Donna Machala gave the Legislative Report.  Donna said the House Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR) Committee leaders introduced H.R. 756, the Postal Service Reform Act of 2017.  The bill resembles last year’s House bill, but with some differences.  The MSPB provision has been modified and simplified, in part to add OIG employees.  Jason Chaffetz’ strategy will be to get this bill passed early in this session. 

Although not yet announced, there will be an HOGR hearing on the state of the Postal Service next Tuesday, February 7th.  NALC, APWU, and USPS will testify.

There were two memos that came out from the Trump Administration: 2017 Hiring Freeze and the Priebus Memo.  NAPS HQ received these memos and is in the process of reviewing them.  NAPS reached out to USPS Headquarters on the potential impact of these memos on the Postal Service.  NAPS received the following statement from USPS Headquarters on January 24, 2017 regarding the 2017 Hiring Freeze:

“The Postal Service provides an essential service to the people and businesses of the United States, and is a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure.  In view of our independent status, past Executive Orders imposing hiring freezes on Executive Departments and Agencies have not applied to the Postal Service.  We have reached out to the Administration to discuss this matter.”

NAPS will update information on the Breaking News section and Legislative Center of the NAPS website as additional information becomes available.  The NAPS website has a lot of information, and we encourage everyone to log on for up-to-date information.

Motion to accept the report:  Made by Bob Conroy, Sr.; Seconded by Vic Giorgio.

Brian asked Roger Johnson for his report.  Roger said there is one action right now, a letter of warning which in his opinion should not have been issued.

Motion to accept the report:  Made by Rose Russo; Seconded by Vic Giorgio.

Treasurer Sue Evans provided the Financial Report.  Sue had provided her financial report for December through to the end of the calendar year.  The only expense for December was the $500 scholarship.  She said our total assets are $35,096.76.  The last DCO dated December 28th did not get deposited because of the holiday.  If it had, we would have been in the black to end the year for 2016.  Also HQ did not take out associate dues so an extra pay period will be deducted next month.  Jim Ulinick asked about the interest on all the accounts and associate dues.  Sue said her second sheet shows the income more clearly.  Cy commented that as far as the $774.04 we are in the hole, this was a convention year.  Many branches end with more debt than this.

Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report:  Made by Eric McCarthy; Seconded by Pat Bennett.

Sue provided the written results of the Budget Committee which consisted of Cy Dumas, Betty DiSalvia and herself.  They met on January 19th, and their proposal for 2017 is based on past year proposals and actual expenses.  We initially thought we would have four attendees for LTS this year, but only two are going so we are saving there.  We need a firm count for the New England Convention in North Conway NH.  Events and gifts we budgeted $500, meetings $4,500, postage $3,300, scholarships $500, and reimbursements $2,439; for a total of $23,439.  On the income side, dues are projected at $27,000, $2,000 special deposits, and money market interest $110; for a total of $29,110.  If there are any changes, the budget committee can meet again.

Motion to accept the Budget Committee report made by:  Roger Johnson; Seconded by Dave Girard.

Donna provided the written results of the Audit Committee consisting of Barbara Bouchard, Regina DelSesto, and herself.  They met on January 19th and found the financial records to be very clear and well organized.  Our only recommendation would be that a copy of each DCO be included so the automatic deposits can be crosschecked with the bank statements and the treasurer’s balance sheet.

Motion to accept the Audit Committee’s report:  Made by Skip DelSesto; Seconded by Vic Giorgio.

Brian asked everyone to make sure they had signed so we have an accurate record of attendees at this meeting.  He
asked everyone to please give us your personal email so that we can message you if the need arises.  We are not supposed to use Postal computers for NAPS business.  Cy commented that Labor Relations can tap into your work emails and so can the OIG.  Brian asked if everyone would please sign up to attend the meetings by using EventBrite so that we can get an accurate head count for each meeting.  For example, we have 28 attendees tonight, but only 13 people registered on the website.  The more accurate our head count, the more savings to the Branch as we don’t want to pay for too much food.

Brian recognized Dan Guenette, the President of UPMA (United Postmasters and Managers of America) and Chuck Narcisco, the UPMA Vice President.  Brian asked Dan if he had any comments.  Dan cautioned everyone about social media usage.  If you are being investigated, social media can be accessed back many years.

It is 6:30, and we will break now for dinner.  The formal meeting resumed at 7 P.M.

Brian asked Greg Murphy for his comments on NAPS HQ and the new Administration.  He indicated that Tony Roma sends all branches his best regards for 2017.  He said there will be a management association meeting soon with the District Manager, Dave Mastroianni.  We will go over issues of the branch presidents in the CT Valley District.

LTS is March 5-8.  This is very important.  We need to get representation at the LTS to reach out to senators and congress about our concerns.

The North East training seminar is in Puerto Rico on March 24-25.  We expect Brian Wagner, Chuck Mullidore, Ivan Butts, Ed Phelan, Ann Mailloux, and Doug Tolino to attend.  No one from our branch plans to attend.

The New England Convention will be May 18-21 in North Conway NH.  A single room is $571, doubles are $688.  This year you will make your reservation directly through the Red Jacket.   They have agreed to accommodate as many preferences as possible.  Dave Mastroianni and Mike Powers will be attending.  Blue Cross/Blue Shields will be represented.  Jay Killackey is making a presentation.  Labor Relations has been asked to make a presentation.  Cy is planning a mock mediation.  There will be massages on Saturday morning.

Greg ended his comments with a quiz on heart related deaths and risk factors in the U.S. 

There is a bi-partisan bill, HR576 sponsored by Republican Chaffetz and Democrat Steve Lynch from Massachusetts.  NAPS HQ is still discussing their position on this bill.  We may finally see something pass this year.  This bill includes pension funding reforms, allow Postal rate changes, health benefit changes in 2019 for employees and retirees, and Medicare.

He said we are doing a good job of making sure our DCOs are accurate. 

Chuck asked if the Board of Governors was being reduced, and Greg said no.

Old Business:  Bob Conroy, Sr., said there are motions from our last meeting that he wants to read again as they need to be voted on.  Article 3, Elections, in the by-laws.  In Section 4C, he would like to change 10 days to 20 days.  All in favor:  Yes.  Under Section 5B, he would like to add this sentence:  “An additional sixty (60) ballots shall be printed and held by the election committee which can be used in case of a tie in the election of officers.”  All in favor:  Yes.  Additionally in Section 5B, he would like to add that a blank white envelope shall be provided for the return of the ballots.  This is common practice for elections.  All in favor:  Yes.  And finally in Section 5C, he would like to add that ballots can be placed in a ballot box provided at the annual meeting. The reason he is presenting these changes is that last November, we had a tie for the first time.  If we had the additional ballots ready, we could have used them.  All in favor:  Yes.  These are just a couple of minor procedural changes that will help us this November.  Each motion passed with no opposing votes.

New Business:  Cy had additional items to discuss.  He said in the past, we’ve had very strong LTS representatives such as Mike Januck, Pam Thurber, and Frank Halm.  All three were very effective.  Now Donna Machala is taking over.  She has already scheduled three out of four appointments for this year’s LTS.  No one else in the country can say that.  He feels we could not find anyone better in this regard she is tailor made for this job.

Returning to HR 576, this is a big item.  Lots of study on this is required as it will affect everyone here going forward.

Regarding membership, your officers are getting frustrated by the lack of general members attending these meetings.  And it’s not just in this branch; all the branches have the same problem.  For the next meeting, try to reach out to someone to bring with you.  Your officers work hard, and when you bring in a speaker and have a large group for them to speak to, it garners their respect for the branch.  This goes a long way when you are conducting official business with them.  In his time as the AVP, he visited about 20 branches on a regular basis.  Barbara said we have 182 members, and about 15% are attending tonight only 10% are active members.  The branch with the highest was Portland with 30%.  Membership is key to the branch’s success.  Try to get more of your peers to the meetings.

He reminded everyone he is still accepting cases, and can help the branch with any information needed.  Cy asked how many scholarship applicants there were last year.  Joanne said nine.  Cy said we gave out one at $500.  Boston gave out ten at $500.

Brian said he’s spoken with the eboard members, and we will visit with the different tours at the Plant to speak with their EAS about attending meetings.  The Plant Manager has no problem with this, so we will be setting that up as a way of reaching out to them.

Bob Conroy, Sr., asked when our next meeting was, and Brian said May 6th.  With regard to membership, we need 15% in attendance to make by-law changes in a meeting.  We do not always have a quorum.  We need a quorum in order to conduct business.  Touch base with those people retiring to retain them as members also.  Cy said you are right, we should drop that to 10%.  Does it need specific language in the motion?  Mr. Conroy said, I move the quorum in Article 4 be reduced from 15% to 10%.  We can vote on this at the next meeting and there’s no discussion at this time.  Brian Holt seconded the motion.

Brian reminded everyone that associate member dues are due!  Sue can accept your checks tonight.

Our last item of business is to appoint an Election Committee.  Brian nominated Andy Maynard and Dave Girard.  He will find one more.

Brian asked if we can get out a flyer on our next meeting before the minutes are mailed.  Barbara said she’ll work on that.

The 50/50 raffle was pulled, and Barbara Bouchard won!  The pot was $130 with half going to SPAC. 

Our next meeting will be held on May 6th at the East Greenwich Firemens Hall in East Greenwich.  This will be a social event, same as last year.

Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Roger Johnson; Seconded by Vic Giorgio.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Bouchard