NAPS Branch 105
PO Box 9101
Providence RI 02940-9101

Regular Meeting #1 Minutes – February 24, 2021, Wednesday, 6 P.M. 
  Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the State of RI, we are not allowed to meet in person.
Meeting Place:  Via Zoom/telecom.
Members Present:  17 (11 general members, 6 associates).  See last page for list of attendees.

Our President, Sabir (Jamal) Salih, called the meeting to order at 6:10 P.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Anthony Alviti.

Roll Call of Officers:  Sabir (Jamal) Salih, President; Shaun Branch, Vice President; Barbara Bouchard, Secretary; Sue Evans, Treasurer; Donna Machala, Legislative Representative, were all present.

Executive Board members present:  Dave Costa, Victor Giorgio, Al Kesack, and  Kristine Moore.
Excused:  Jessica Sargo.

First Timers:  There were none in attendance.

Shaun Branch gave the Vice President’s report:  There are four current cases pending.
Motion to accept the Vice President’s report:  The motion was made by Mr. Conroy, Sr., and was seconded by Becky Brown.  All were in favor.

Treasurer’s report by Sue Evans:  Sue said our expenses as of December 31, 2020, were $12,605, and we received $27,378 for a balance of $14,703.  Mr. Conroy, Sr., asked for the total balance of all assets, and Sue replied $58,228.  He asked if there is a limit on the total balance we are allowed to have.  Sue will check on that.  She is currently working on an IRS form.
Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report:  The motion was made by Becky and seconded by Vic Giorgio.

Secretary’s report by Barbara Bouchard:  As of the most recent DCO for January 2021, we have a total of 164 members, 16 of which are associates, and 148 are general.  There are 13 non-members.  Barbara said we received two holiday cards, one from Senator Reed and one from Chuck Mulidore.  The Branch also received a thank you card from our scholarship recipient, Kelsey Pedro.  Jamal asked if there were any additions or changes to the minutes, and Mr. Conroy, Sr., said yes.  Scholarship applicants are allowed 21 days to provide proof of college enrollment not tent days.  Barbara will place a corrected copy in the November 2020 meeting folder.
Motion to accept the Secretary’s report:  The motion was made by Mr. Conroy, Sr., and was seconded by Sue Evans.  All were in favor.

Old Business:  Jamal indicated that we filled a vacant executive board seat.  Anthony Alviti from New Bedford is our new member.  Joanne Keeling asked who left the board, and Jamal said that Gregg Anderson had resigned from the eboard.

Donna Machala gave the Legislative report:  Donna said that on February 15th, she attended our NAPS Headquarters’ Legislative Zoom meeting with Bob Levy, Director of Legislative and Political Affairs and our NAPS executives, Brian Wagner, Ivan Butts, and Chuck Mulidore.  We covered the 117th Congress, NAPS broad legislative priorities, and the upcoming Legislative Training Seminar (LTS). 
There was a Board of Governors’ meeting on February 9th:

  • Maintain six-day delivery – not focus on frequency
  • Stability and strength – workforce and finances
  • Infrastructure investment – replace and modernize fleet, increase capacity
  • Improvement needed – plant processing and transportation, not specific to what extent.

Our yearly in person LTS event in Washington DC has been cancelled.  There will be a virtual LTS event on April 18th.  It will be a four- to four and one half hour event with registration beginning ten days prior.  There are two top priorities on the agenda:

  • Supervisor and Manager Fairness for fair and timely consultative sessions
  • MSPB Appeal Rights

In the week following this virtual LTS, we will meet with our senators and congressmen virtually.  And the week after these meetings, we will report to NAPS HQ on the outcome of our meetings.  As part of our virtual event, our NAPS Auxiliary will support legislative efforts through the Auxiliary Fund-Raising portal.  Visit the portal to take part to support and be eligible to win prizes.  Jamal asked if there was a cost associated with the LTS since it’s virtual.  Donna will look into it.
There were a number of bills and resolutions re-introduced this month, between 2/8 and 2/13.  The bills to co-sponsor are:
House Legislation:
HR 6085 – Postal Supervisors and Managers Fairness Act, for timely start of pay talks.
HR 597 –Postal Employee Appeal Right Amendments Act, for MSPB rights
HR 695 – Repeal requirement USPS pre-pay future retiree health costs, reintroduced 2/8/21 as HR 695 by Rep.  Peter DeFazio.
HR 141 – Social Security (SS) Fairness Act, to repeal Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Process (WEP), reintroduced 2/8/21 by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
HR 4540 – Public Servants Protection and Fairness Act, for fairer formula to pay Social Security benefits in proportion to the share of a worker’s earnings that were covered by Social Security.  Current WEP retirees will receive $150 a month in relief payments.
H Res. 23 – Resolution to Maintain Door Mail Delivery, reintroduced 2/8/21 as HR 109 by Rep Stephanie Murphy (D-FL).
H Res. 33 – Resolution to Oppose Privatization of the U.S. Postal Service, reintroduced 2/8/21 as H. Res. 47 by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA).
H. Res. 54 – Resolution to Maintain Six-Day Mail Delivery, reintroduced 2/13/21 as H. Res. 114 by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA).
Senate Legislation:
S. 521 – Social Security Fairness Act, reintroduced 2/9/21 by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
S. 2965 – USPS Fairness Act, reintroduced 2/8/21 as S. 145 by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)
S. Res. 99 – Resolution to Oppose Privatization of the U.S. Postal Service
Voters in Georgia elected two new Democratic senators, Rep. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, on January 5th.  With this election, the Senate breakdown is 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and two Independents.  The two Independent members caucus with Democrats, providing 50-50 tie.  On January 20th, Democrats assumed majority status in the Senate when the Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President.  The Vice President serves as the presiding office of the Senate and is able to break the votes.  The new Senate majority has important legislative and governance consequences for the Postal
Service and its employees.
There was a Washington Post article today, “Biden said to nominate three to USPS Board of Governors.”  Ron Stroman, former USPS Deputy PMG; Amber McReynolds, a leading rights advocate and Chief Executive of National Vote at Home Institute; and Anton Hajjar, former general counsel of the APWU.  If confirmed, this gives the Democrats a majority on the nine-member Board of Governors with potentially enough votes to oust DeJoy.  DeJoy testified before House panel today that his new strategic plan for mail service including slowing deliveries, improved employee benefits, and supports New Postal Reform Bill. 
As there were no further questions, Bob Conroy, Jr., made a motion to accept the report.  Shaun seconded the motion.  All were in favor.

Old Business – Mr. Conroy, Sr., presented a motion regarding Article 1, Meetings, New Section 4:  Meetings shall be described as (1) In-person meetings; (2) Zoom meetings; (3) Hybrid Meetings (in-person and virtual concurrently); (4) Any other technical devices used to participate in the live meeting; (5) All members must log into the live meetings in order to receive meeting credits.  And it shall also count toward the 10% quorum in Article 4 of the by-laws.  Note – there may be other types of remote teleconferencing applications the branch may want to search to find the best fit in terms of members access and cost effectiveness.  Any method used should be approved by the executive board prior to its use.  Jamal asked if this pertains to when things return to normal?  Mr. Conroy, Sr., said no the change is necessitated by the fact that we cannot have live meetings now.  Sue asked once things do return to normal, will we continue to use zoom?  Mr. Conroy said no.  Victor asked what is keeping people from attending, and Mr. Conroy said right now it’s because of the virus.  Bob Conroy, Jr., said you may want to reconsider that.  Look at the ages of tonight’s group.  We are all older.  Younger generations are all about using the technology.  So you may want to continue to have zoom available as an option.  Vic suggested we purchase a laptop for the Branch which could be taken to any meeting venue to better enable us to offer zoom attendance at all meetings.

Victor made a motion to approve the changes to the by-laws.  All were in favor.  **The actual recording of the meeting indicated we did not get a second on the motion.  This will carry over to our May meeting.

Budget Committee:  Sue said the budget committee convened.  She eliminated costs for the New Hampshire convention and LTS.  Anticipated costs for the National Convention are still in the budget.
Donna made a motion to accept the committee’s report, and Betty DiSalvia seconded it.

Jamal said the Audit Committee has not met yet.  We will move this item to our May meeting.

Sue asked who is still thinking of attending the National Convention.  Jamal said he is attending as well as Barbara.  Do we know about John Goeden?  Jamal will check with him.  Mr. Conroy, Sr., said we should allow two additional people as long as they meet the criteria.  Anthony asked about the particulars, and Jamal said it’s being held just outside Dallas.  Plan to arrive on Sunday, August 29th, and it runs Monday the 30th through September 3rd.  Victor indicated he is interested in attending.  Sue nominated Vic Giorgio to attend National.  The registration cost is $250.
Mr. Conroy, Sr., questioned the fact that national conventions are normally held in even years.  So would there be one this year for 2020, and another one again in 2022?  With the costs associated with a national convention, he finds that hard to believe.  Check with HQ NAPS on that.

Vic asked if there were any updates on the pay talks, and Jamal said NAPS is appealing the lawsuit.  Rich Wilson said it’s almost March, and we have not yet received our NPA criteria with all the indicators.  Jamal agreed we are five months into this fiscal year, and we do not have our goals yet.  Even though out-going NEAVP Eric Chavez was working on that for HQ and said everything was completed.  Kristine Moore said there is heavy weight on the corporate side.

Jamal said he recently spoke with Lisa Douglas.  There are organizational changes coming.  Changes to districts.  Bob Conroy, Jr., said there are a lot of rumors going around.  Jamal said do your best every day, follow the rules especially regarding changing start times.

Vic asked Bob about Express delays this week.  Bob said due to recent severe storms in Memphis, they had service issues and delays.  Providence is getting two planes tonight.  We have an issue with the PAS machine.  Many of the employees are on a 14-day quarantine.  The district nurse takes the employee’s word regarding possible exposure, so we are down 140 employees right now.  We have 90 out, and 50 out long-term.  We have to manage the operation a different way going forward.

Victor made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:40 P.M.  The motion was seconded by Donna, and all were in favor.

Attendees:  Anthony Alviti, Becky Brown, Betty DiSalvia, Robert Conroy, Jr., Robert Conroy, Sr., Joanne Keeling, and Rich Wilson.