I know this holiday season is going to be "ugly" due to lack of bodies in everyone's work place. I have put together some information that I hope you will find useful in filing grievances at Step 1 on reversions. To date I have only received notice of the consideration to revert from two offices. The business agents have instructed us to sit on those because they were not sent properly. I anticipate that I will be getting reversion notices soon, as most duty assignments became vacant on October 31. I wanted everyone to have a good idea of how to argue these cases so we can be effective in fighting against the continued loss of craft work. I don't consider myself the expert, but I have but some thought into this problem. I only offer this to you as a frame work for making any arguments you deem appropriate, this is not a mandate.
One thing that I did forget to mention in the attachments, watch for the inclusion of any injured carriers in LDC 48, operation 742. This will inflate hours in LDC 48 and that has been one of the arguments around the state used to make adjustments in clerk staffing.
I know this is going to be a tough time to be filing grievances that are as involved as this so I hope the attachments will help. If you have any problems in meeting time limits for any of the grievances in your area please let me know right away. Together hopefully we can share the load so everyone can enjoy the holidays without feeling overwhelmed or over burdened by their grievance load.
You have all been doing a wonderful job and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your talents as stewards. I am very fortunate to have an opportunity to work with each and every one of you. Enjoy your holiday.
IPWU Reversion Grievance Form
IPWU Reversion Instructions
IPWU Steward Questions for Reversion Grievances
I am sitting here wondering what to write for my very first article in Solidarity, and all I keep thinking is how did I get here? I remember going to my very first local union meeting 16 years ago, and being afraid to say anything, not knowing my rights as a member. I attended several meetings before I gained the confidence to make any contribution at all. I listened at these meetings and learned what was going on in the local. A year or so passed before I had the courage to ask to become a steward. At the time there were no female stewards, and I felt pressure to do this work well. In order to accomplish this I read; I read a lot, I reviewed grievances, and asked for convention materials. Then I started attending conventions and training seminars.
That is when I first met Bruce Clark. He was chairing the state convention, and I challenged the chair on a parliamentary procedure. My first convention, and I challenged the chair…I thought he would hate me! To the contrary, he came to find me later that evening so that he could introduce himself. In our very first conversation it was very evident that he passionately believed in the power of the union. I was immediately impressed. Through the years we have had lively conversations regarding organizing, one union, and politics. In every conversation it would be hard to miss the power of his conviction. It is even more apparent that he is not afraid to stand up and put himself on the line. I have been watching Bruce and learning from him. It is in many ways because of Bruce that I began to push the boundaries of my own comfort zone. It has been over 6 years ago that I became an area steward for the state, and left the comfort and familiarity of my local environment to learn about issues facing small offices in our state. It was this appointment that profoundly changed my focus regarding the union. Over the years Bruce has been very patient in answering my questions. Through his leadership I have been made aware of my misperceptions and I now have more clarity in my politic and economic thinking.
Meeting Bruce Clark changed my thinking and my life. I know his continued contributions to the union will affect others in a similar way. It is because of him that I am now writing this article. It is now my turn to step up and give back to the union for all that the union has given to me. With his guidance I hope to continue to represent the issues of the state in a positive and progressive way. I have ideas that I hope will empower our members with the information they need to protect our craft work. I am determined to do whatever is necessary to achieve this goal. To Bruce’s credit he has nurtured these feelings in others, and it is my pleasure to be working with these individuals. Lance Coles, Lonnie Matticks, Bill Baumgardner, Jim Spina, Jon Arnold and Chuck Konig have been working for the state for several years on the executive board of the IPWU. New to the executive board will be Dan Skemp as the clerk craft director. I am confident that he and the other craft directors will be a dominating force in representing grievances for the state. In addition I am proud to announce that the state has six area stewards. The following individuals will be the initial contact for asking questions and filing grievances across the state:
Lance Coles- South West Area Steward
Don O’Hern- North West Area Steward
Lonnie Matticks- South Central Area Steward
Larry Wegmuller- North Central Area Steward
Sheryl Stagg- South East Area Steward
Ann Denniston- North East Area Steward
The state is very lucky to have the breadth of knowledge these individuals bring to their roles for the organization. I am honored to be working with these talented and committed people. I encourage everyone to clip the contact information out of this issue of Solidarity so they will have it for future reference.
In remembering how I got to this point, I am at a loss for a means of expressing my thanks to Bruce for everything he has accomplished for the state, and all that I have learned from him personally. It has also left me feeling pressured to prove myself. Once again I am reading, reading a lot and asking questions. I will stay focused on my goals, and hope that this will yield the same caliber of accomplishment that those before me were able to achieve. I am in the process of discovering my place, understanding my responsibilities and uncovering my limitations. I hope that my efforts will inspire others to recognize the full magnitude of the benefits that union membership brings and motivate them to have the courage to stand up and give back.
Most analysts have concluded that the election of Barack Obama signals that the majority of Americans are ready for a change. The country is facing monumental challenges. The changes will not come easy, hard decisions will need to be made in order to get this country back on track. The challenge is not solely housed in Washington D.C., everyone will need to participate in bringing about the change that is truly needed. The battle ground for the future of this country has just changed to be closer to home; it is going to be waged in State Legislatures, and local government bodies. We need to keep leaders at all levels of government focused on the goals of working people. The election was only the first battle in the economic war between working people and corporations. In this article I want to discuss a few issues that you should know about, become familiar with, and be willing to discuss with friends, co-workers and neighbors. Understanding the issues and letting government leaders know how you think they should vote on the issues is going to be crucial in achieving victory for working families.
In the work place- What can happen when the public’s attention is diverted elsewhere; harmful laws are passed without notice. As a parting shot against workers, the Bush administration passed changes to the FMLA regulations which will go into effect January 16th. These changes make it more difficult to be certified for FMLA protections and provide additional leverage to managers to discourage individuals from exercising their rights under the law. What you need to know in brief:
Categories 2 & 4-
5 days to determine eligibility-
Contacting Doctors without permission-Originally the law makers believed that 2 days was sufficient to determine whether or not the employee was eligible for FMLA. Now the law allows management to delay that decision.Last and worst of all the new law allows managers to contact the employee’s health care provider directly and without permission to obtain clarification or verify authenticity of the certification. can now be counted against the 12 week FMLA entitlement. If you are restricted to only 8 hours a day, and would have been scheduled to work overtime if not for this restriction, then the overtime hours can now be counted towards your 12 weeks. This effectively limits your entitlement. Prior to the changes you only needed to be seen by the doctor once and prescribed medication to have a qualifying condition. The new law requires that you be seen by the doctor twice in a 30 day period- the first time within 7 days of becoming incapacitated and the next no later than 30 days of the first day of incapacity. With condition 4 you also need to demonstrate that the condition will require at least two treatments in that year period.
Send an email to the new President to let him know that you support the immediate repeal of these very damaging changes in the law.
All levels of Government
It is important to remember that issue is a huge threat to corporations in this country. It has the potential to impact how profits are distributed, meaning the leaders of these business are likely to have less in their bank accounts. The fight will be ugly. I anticipate that corporate America will go "all in" on this issue. It is also my feeling that the battle will move away from the National stage, where the potential for gaining media attention can be avoided. The battle will be waged in state and local governing bodies. Although postal employees already are organized and represented by a union, it is important to understand that this issue directly affects you as well. In negotiating the salaries and benefits for postal employees, the compensation of private sector employees is used as a comparison to determine whether our compensation is adequate. If the private sector cannot organize and achieve better compensation packages then our compensation package becomes too generous and is subject to cuts. (It can happen, it does happen- look at John Deere workers, and the recent cut for the United Auto Workers. We are not insulated!) By becoming educated and understanding the true importance of this issue, we can prevent big business from distracting our friends and families with false claims. Please go to www.APWU.org , the Secretary/Treasure’s section has additional information and suggestions for becoming involved in the passage of this legislation.
Some say that change is constant. For too long the change has consistently taken away the economic security of American workers. It has been dependent on building false security by distracting the attention of the masses, and preventing any coalition of ideas to form. With the election of Barack Obama it is now evident that success can be achieved through grass roots campaigning. For me it reinforces the idea that average citizens can influence the outcome of elections, and policy. It casts doubt on the unlimited power of the minority simply because they have money. I am hopeful that a change in the economic balance is coming, and Working America, the majority, will once again be recognized and represented by the policies at all levels of government.
Stay informed, and involved! Let your law makers know what is important to you and your family.- There is a battle looming that all Americans should become educated about, that of the Employees Free Choice Act. This may be the most important decision that any government body will discuss, and it affects everyone who works in this country. For too long there has been an economic imbalance in this country as a result of government de-regulation of corporate activities. This lack of oversight has allowed big businesses to hoard the company’s profits; cut benefits and pensions without notice, and generally avoid compensating employees in a meaningful way for their contributions to the company’s success. These policies have contributed to the current crisis on Wall Street due to the unavailability of consumers to offset poor trading and lending practices with consumer spending-no one has the money! Why? Average workers earnings have not kept pace with the cost of living. This is due largely to the fact that a majority of workers are not represented by a union. Although 60% of Americans have indicated that they would join a union if one was available to them in their work place. This legislation would allow workers to freely discuss and make a choice whether or not they wish to form a union without interference from the employer. Millions of dollars will be spent on campaigns against this legislation. When the balance of power is threatened, that is to be expected. It is my hope that workers will arm themselves with the truth about the benefits of unions; how they have positively affected the earning power of the members they represent, and increasing the tax bases in the communities where they exist. I am hopeful that the activism that was instrumental in electing Barack Obama will continue with this issue so that it is adopted at all levels of government.- Many employees are not aware that currently two laws exist that reduce retirement benefits for federal employees. These two laws are the Government Pension Offset, (GPO) and the Windfall Elimination Act. Both of these laws penalize federal employees that may be entitled to Social Security benefits or through a spousal entitlement. Currently H.R. 235 has been introduced to repeal these two very damaging, and discriminatory laws. It is critical that the voices of the people be heard on this issue. Please contact your Representatives and Senators and urge their support for this legislation.