NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101

Regular Meeting #1 Minutes - 2/09/2020, Sunday
Meeting place:  Gregg’s Restaurant, 1303 North Main Street, Providence RI 02904.
Members present:  32 (28 general members, 4 associates Sue Evans, Bob Conroy, Sr., Betty DiSalvia, and Steve Ravo).

Our President, Sabir (Jamal) Salih, called the meeting to order at 11:45 A.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Chuck Narciso.

Roll Call of Officers:  Sabir (Jamal) Salih, President; Shaun Branch, Vice President; Barbara Bouchard, Secretary; and Sue Evans, Treasurer – all present.
Executive Board members present:  Victor Giorgio, Kristine Moore, Donna Machala, Jessica Sargo, and Gregg Anderson.
Excused:  David Costa and Al Kesack

Joining us tonight is Chuck Narciso, UPMA President.

First Timers:  Kelly Poullin and Cyril Murray please stand, we appreciate your coming today.

Shaun Branch gave the Vice President's report:  Shaun said we currently have no disciplinary cases to report.
Motion to accept the Vice President’s report:  The motion was made by Victor Giorgio and seconded by Donna Machala.  All were in favor.

Barbara Bouchard gave the Secretary's Report:  Barbara said that as of the most recent DCO dated December 31, 2019, we have 145 general members and 26 associate members for a total of 171.  We received a thank you card from Ally Larson.  She was very appreciative that she won the Dean Ambrosino Scholarship for 2019.  We had also received an invite to Senator Jack Reed’s annual holiday celebration at The Carousel in Roger Williams Park.  We also received a thank you from the Lt Gov McKee for our donation to the 17th Operation Holiday Cheer 2019. 
Motion to accept the Secretary's report:  Made by Shaun Branch and seconded by Bill Downes, and all were in favor.

Treasurer's report by Sue Evans:  Sue said there is a copy of January’s financial report on the tables.  The balance on our checking account for this month is $3,205.05.  We took in from DCOs $1,861.00.  Our officer reimbursement was our biggest expense, plus the rent for our P.O. box.  We are currently in the red at -$1,211.92.  This is common for a national convention year.
Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report:  Made by John Goeden, and seconded by Vic Giorgio.  All were in favor.

Donna Machala gave the Legislative Report:  On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act, by an overwhelming 309-106 majority.  No Democrat voted against it, and 87 Republicans voted in favor.  This legislation would repeal the onerous requirement that the USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits imposed by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.  It is important to note that passage of H.R. 2382 will not solve all of the Postal Service's financial and operational problems.  Comprehensive, constructive, and meaningful legislation is the path to long-term viability.  H.R. 2382 is a small step in the right direction.  NAPS members are to be commended for their efforts in soliciting for bill cosponsors. 

Although H.R. 2382 passed the House, it faces an uncertain future in the U.S. Senate.  Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the Senate version of the House bill, S. 2965, and there are two co-sponsors, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD).  The bill has yet to be scheduled for any action in the Senate.  A strategy would be to attach it to a must-pass bill.  That could circumvent the normal committee process and go directly to the Senate floor and be enacted.  We need co-sponsors.  NAPS members should contact their Senators to co-sponsor this bill, S. 2965.

On Monday, President Trump will submit to Congress his Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal.  NAPS anticipates the same proposals as last year.  One change that occurs this year is the federal budget deficit escalated to $1 trillion.  

NAPS HQ submitted comments to the Postal Regulatory Commission concerning the Commission’s proposal to modify postage rates for market dominate products.  Generally, the PRC would continue to use the consumer price index for urban consumers (CPI-U) as the basis for future rate adjustments.  However, it would modify that adjustment by taking into account the reduction of mail per delivery point and the USPS obligation to pre-fund retiree health benefits.  NAPS submitted their comments last week urging the PRC to replace the suffocating CPI-U index with a more appropriate index used to measure inflation within the delivery services industry, for example, couriers and messengers, such as UPS and FedEx.  That rate should be more reflective of how Postal rates be adjusted.  Over the past 13 years, the CPI-U increased by 3.9%, while the CPI for Delivery Services (CPI-D) increased by 11.4%.  The CPI-U is measuring the total market basket of products purchased by consumers, like toilet paper and toothpaste, automobiles, and the housing costs.  The Postal Service would have greater rate flexibility with CPI-D.

The Board of Governor's had their first meeting of 2020.  PMG Megan Brennan continues to participate in Board of Governor's activities.  One report from John Barker, who is leading the search for a new PMG, was that a "robust search process is ongoing" for a new Postmaster General.  Another report was from Dave Williams on how he plans to trifurcate the Postal system, that is create a matrix with three categories of mail and three points in mail processing system.  Evaluate independently how letter mail is treated, how flat mail is treated, and how package mail is treated.  Looking at First Mile being acceptance, Middle Mile being processing, and Last Mile being delivery. 

NAPS Legislative Training Seminar is March 8-11 in Washington, DC, and the theme is "Engaged Minds Producing Legislative Partners.”  NAPS legislative effectiveness relies on NAPS members’ engagement in the legislative and political realm, whether in our Nation's Capital or in our home communities.  We will engage our elected leaders by educating them about the need to reform the EAS pay consultation process, the need for meaningful and constructive Postal legislation, the importance of preserving a government-run Postal system, and the necessity to protect Postal employee health and retirement benefits from the budget axe.  LTS will connect 600 NAPS LTS delegates with their House members and Senators.  This year's LTS takes place in an election year when all 435 House of Representative seats and 35 Senate seats will be decided.  So, congressional accountability is front-and-center.

We have a luncheon meeting with Congressman Langevin at his fundraiser event on March 10th which NAPS HQ has approved to fund.
There is a fundraiser for Congressman David Cicilline on a Sunday in March at 5 P.M.  If anyone is interested in attending please see me for more details. 

I encourage everyone to listen to NAPS Chat.  Last Friday, Feb. 7th, Bob Levy, our NAPS director of legislative and political affairs, covered Capitol Hill, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and the Board of Governor's meeting. 

A handout was provided at the meeting with the following information:
Thank Senators Reed and Whitehouse for supporting the following Senate bill:

S. Res. 99 - express the sense of the Senate that the Congress ensure that the USPS is not privatized
Please send requests to Senators Reed and Whitehouse to support the following Senate bill:
S. 2965 - bipartisan bill to repeal the primitive provision in the 2006 Postal Accountability & Enhancement Act that requires the Postal Service to pre-fund its retiree health obligations
Thank Congressmen Langevin and Cicilline for supporting the following legislation:
H.R. 2382 - USPS Fairness Act (repeal requirement that USPS pre-fund future retiree health benefits imposed by the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act)
H.R. 141 - Social Security Fairness Act (repeal Windfall Elimination Provisions & Government Pension Offset)
H.R. 1 - For the People (increase voter participation in elections, e.g.: Vote by Mail, reduce influence of "big money" in politics & strengthen ethical rules for elected officials
H. Res. 54 - expresses sense of the House of Representatives that Congress ensure continuation of 6-day delivery
H. Res. 33 - expresses sense of the House of Representatives that Congress ensure that the USPS is not privatized
H. Res. 23 - expresses sense of the House of Representatives that Congress ensure door delivery of mail
Please send requests to Congressmen Langevin and Cicilline to support the following bills:
H.R. 2553 - permit investment of Postal Retiree Health Benefit Funds in index funds similar to TSP long-term lifecycle funds (currently 2 co-sponsors)
H.R. 2517 - bipartisan bill: authority to mail alcoholic beverages (currently 42 co-sponsors)
H.R. 597 - extend right to appeal Merit System Protection Board to certain EAS level employees of US Postal Service (currently 28 co-sponsors)
When bills come up, the senators and congressmen are looking at the numbers of calls or letters they received on that bill in their respective offices.  In addition to reaching out to our RI representatives, ask your family and friends living in other states to also call their representatives to vote on these bills.

Please consider making continued contributions to SPAC through payroll deduction.  I have enrollment forms, The Postal Supervisor Magazine has the enrollment form, or you can go to the NAPS.org website to enroll online.

Jamal asked what the chances really are that this bill will be passed by the senate?  Donna said there are only two co-sponsors so we need more support on this throughout the country.  This will be our mission at LTS.  And it could get piggybacked onto something that will pass.  Vic asked if it does pass, would that give back the prior years to 2006?  Yes, it looks like it does.  Jamal said that the elected officials in RI and Mass. support NAPS.  It’s a matter of getting the rest of the country to join in.

Update:  On Monday, Feb. 10th, Donna received an invitation to Senator Jack Reed’s Annual Spring Breakfast that is held at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, RI, on Sunday, May 3rd from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M.  Anyone interested in attending can contact her at xthdr0@verizon.net.  As in the past, NAPS HQ has provided funding for ten of our members to attend.  Let’s fill that table.

Motion to accept the Legislative Report:  Made by Chuck Narciso and seconded by Anthony Alviti.  All were in favor.

At 12:30 P.M., Jamal said we will break for lunch now.  The meeting resumed at 1 P.M.

Jamal introduced our first guest speaker is Jeanne Jackson, Providence Postmaster.  Jeanne thanked Jamal for providing her with this opportunity to speak with NAPS members.  She said she is proud to be the first female Postmaster of Providence RI.  She spoke about her education and is a graduate of both Bryant University and Johnston and Wales.   She worked in the craft and then had various details in HR.  Her first managerial position was in the Brockton area.  She worked in Medway, Stoughton, Norwood, North Attleboro, Brockton, Nantucket, Fall River/Somerset Manager, and Franklin all in Mass.  She was the Postmaster of Warwick before coming to Providence as the Manager of Corliss Park, and then the Providence MCSO.  She worked herself up the ladder in management by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.  My best advice to you is to take every opportunity that comes you way, whether you know the demographics of the area or not, and give it your best shot.

She is speaking today on “visions in action.”  Let’s start with the definitions:  A vision is a vivid mental image of what you want to achieve with your business plan.  Action is the process of doing something to meet the business plan.  Let’s go down the blue brick road in the Postal Service.  Just like in the Wizard of Oz, you need to have brains, heart, and courage.  Ask all the questions you can.  Be a life-long learner.  Have a heart for your people; be their advocate.  Have the courage to do the right thing.  There are highs and lows in the Postal Service.  The business world is constantly changing and evolving.  The NEA AVP said Providence has made big improvements in the performance of Priority Mail.  We serve our customers by being efficient and providing them with reliable service.  Our process is easy to use.  Many of our offices have gotten multiple 100% RCE scores like Newport and Barrington. Our EAS need to learn both delivery and window functions.  Remember a vision with action can change the world. Jeanne had left packets of the most recent CTV District policies on the tables and briefly reviewed them. The new media relations specialist is Amy (Bolger) Gibbs.  She replaced Christine Dugas. 

Jamal said our second guest speaker is Ken Poynton, President of PGE.  Jamal said Ken is a graduate of Bryant University, and he began with PGE in 1991.  Ken thanked Jamal for inviting him.  Both Bob Conroy and Betty DiSalvia are on the Board of Directors there.  He wants everyone to know that PGE is a full-service institution.  We are here for hard working people like you who want a better future.  We are a different kind of a bank; we are owned by you.  Your first priority should be to establish an emergency fund.  The credit union is on your side; you are more than just an account number to us.  Our members trust us.  We offer personalized banking.  We can help you purchase a new car or take a vacation, and give you financial advice.  We have investment specialists who can assist you to get your money working for you.  We are part of the RI Credit Union ATM connection which can save you withdrawal fees.  Our technology, products, and your information are secure.  He said every element of the technology they offer, he uses for his own accounts as a test to make sure the aps work correctly.  I appreciate your time.

Jamal thanked both speakers and presented them with a token of our appreciation.

Old Business:

Budget Committee – Sue said that she and Bob Conroy, Jr., and Betty DiSalvia met on January 29th to develop the budget for calendar year 2020.  The total breakdowns are attached in their report.  They arrived at a budget of $32,967 against an income of $25,800; these figures are consistent with a national convention year.  Motion to accept the report was made by Bob Conroy, Sr. and seconded by Donna.

Audit Committee – John Goeden read the report that he, Donna and Jim Bourque presented.   They met on Friday, Feb. 8th to conduct the financial review.  They saw only a couple of minor corrections. The records were very clear.  Motion to accept the report is Bob Conroy, Jr. and the second is Bill Downes.

Jamal said he would ask Mr. Conroy, Sr., to speak about a change we need to make in the Constitution.  He said we need to vote on Article 5, Section 1 to change from six months to three months to fill eboard vacancies.  He asked if all were in favor, everyone said yes.  He asked for any no’s, and there were none.  Jamal said the motion passed.

    Conventions in 2020:

  • LTS March 8-11, Crystal Gateway Marriott, Washington DC (Jamal and Donna) – John Goeden expressed an interest in attending but needs to see if he can get leave approved to attend.  Registration cost before 2/14 is $225, after that date it is $300.  Single room rate is $275.
  • New England Convention May 14-17 at Red Jacket, N Conway NH – with Cy’s resignation, we are unsure if this will occur as scheduled.  Update:  Interim New England NAPS AVP, Lisa Douglas, will continue with the New England Convention as scheduled.
  • National Convention in Grapevine TX August 17-21 - Attendees are Jamal, Barbara, Victor, and John Goeden.

Mr. Conroy, Sr., reminded everyone of the requirement to attend National that you must have attended two general meetings of this group.

New Business:
Jamal said he needed to inform everyone that Cy Dumas has resigned as the New England NAPS AVP.  Lisa Douglas, who ran the National Convention in 2018 at Mohegan Sun, was appointed to take his place as interim until August.  The position will then go up for election in August.  She is the Branch 5 President in Hartford.  She also worked on detail here at the Providence PDC over Christmas of 2018.  Loosing Cy is a big loss for us, but he said he is just a phone call away.

Jamal received a letter from Brian Wagner, NAPS National President, that he will not seek another term.  Ivan Butts is running for Brian’s spot.  Jamal has mixed feelings about the timing of this.  Ivan has been very involved over the years on the legislative side.  Mr. Conroy, Sr., asked who is running the court case.  Brian will complete his term to the convention.  Mr. Conroy, Sr. said, the life of NAPS depends on the outcome of this court case.  HQ doesn’t want to give you anything now, if we lose the case, you won’t get anything.  Jamal said the national board serves us, we vote for them.  How many votes do we have?  About 14.  Chuck said we need to continue to drive membership, that’s how we get the votes at national.

Spring Event being coordinated by Kristine Moore and Gregg Anderson.  They found a venue in North Kingstown called the Back 40 which will charge $18.75.  This is for finger foods, not a sit down meal.  And it will be a “pay as–you-go bar.  For most places they have contacted, we need to guarantee that 50 people will attend.  We are dealing with businesses who are looking to make money.  So we would really need to push it.  We’ll handle it as the attendee pays up front, you get the money back when you come to the event.  It will be on a Saturday night in March, and you can bring a “plus one.”  Jamal said we are trying to achieve a sense of unity within the group.  This will not be a meeting, just a get-together to have fun outside of work.  We are looking for a way to drive commitment to NAPS.  We got some good comments about today’s meeting from folks who close their office usually.  Instead of trying to drag yourself to a dinner meeting during the work week, a weekend lunch was a welcome idea.  We are trying to find creative ways to get more people to attend, and today we are seeing new faces.

Jamal asked the group, who here has not yet looked at the NPA scores for December which came out last week?  You need to really look at it to see where you can drive up your scores and improve your back office operations.  We’ve had a very mild winter, that should help with safety.  Look at your VMF bills and gas receipts, make sure they are accurate.  We can see if Chris French can speak on this. Rich Wilson said in his office, they are on FSS.  Bundle visibility was taken off, and that’s an impact for them in 02920.

The 50/50 SPAC raffle was won by Betty DiSalvia.  The pot was $180.  Betty donated an additional $30 to SPAC.  Donna will send the balance to SPAC.  Jamal asked Betty to remain standing.  He presented her with a gift card for all of her work on the website.

Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Greg Anderson, and was seconded by Donna Machala, at 2:15 P.M.
Respectfully submitted,

Barbara A. Bouchard
NAPS Secretary