AFGE, Local 3937
Local Business Meeting
September 13, 2017
Auburn Teleservice Center, WA
Present were: Ana Rivers, Laura Novakoski, John Pfannenstein, Melanie Broady, Ivan Weich, Cassandra Butler.
The meeting was called to order at 5:00pm, chaired by Ana Rivers, Local President.
We don’t have a full Treasurer’s report at this meeting but we need to approve the Local’s budget for fiscal year 2018. Our previous Treasurer, James Paxton, resigned and we have appointed Tammy Peebles as our new Treasurer to finish out the term. She was sworn in today at the Executive Board meeting.
Budget Category 2016 Allocation 2017 Allocation 2018 Allocation
General Overhead $25,500 $20,500 $18,500
Union Administration $13,500 $18,500 $17,000
Representation $15,000 $15,000 $18,500
Legislative/Political $15,000 $15,000 $15,000
Officer $30,000 $30,000 $30,000
Employee $2,500 $2,500 $2,500
Contributions/Gifts $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Total $102,500 $102,500 $102,500
2016 and 2017 allocations are included here just for comparison purposes. Laura made a motion that the Local approve the budget as noted above; Melanie seconded. Motion passed. We decided to roll the current categories mostly unchanged because we don’t have an up to date Treasurer’s report, as we transition officers.
Ivan made a motion that Local 3937 contribute $625 as a sponsorship for the Economic Opportunity Institute (EOI) 2017 dinner, which will be held on Thursday October 12, 2017; Melanie seconded. Their mission is to create a fair and sustainable economy for everyone; this is their biggest fund-raiser of the year for their work to create a more just society. We discussed that it is a worthy organization but considering our Local’s finances this year it would not be prudent to contribute. Motion failed.
HR1364 and its amendments comprise a government-wide anti-Union bill that would make it difficult for managers and employees to successfully work together, by limiting the Union’s ability to use Official Time and penalizing the pension funds of representatives who devote too much time to helping workers. HR1461 would completely remove use of Official Time at the Veterans Administration. Please contact your representatives in Congress to voice your opposition to these bills, as long as you are on your personal time, personal phone or computer, and not in the SSA work space.
Ivan reported that he attended the Washington State Labor Council convention in July, and shared their primary message with us. They are gearing up to reframe the so-called “right to work” discussion. We need to educate people that it is a misnomer and actually leads to lower wages and fewer benefits for employees. In the workplace, people already have the right to choose whether or not to join the Union and should push back against this kind of legislation that is only good for corporations, not for workers.
John told us about the Council 215 (ODAR) meeting in August in Las Vegas, attended by Local Presidents and others from around the nation, where they discussed problems facing hearing offices in terms of backlogs and support staff retention. There was previously no career mobility or promotion potential for case technicians, and the Union has highlighted this as a retention and morale problem for our bargaining unit employees. At the Seattle Region’s forum in September, ODAR management informed us they have now opened internal vacancies for paralegal specialists that do not require a law degree, so clearly the agency has listened to us, understands this is a problem and is moving to correct it. So far, the Seattle Region is the first to offer this type of position.
Ivan made a motion that this evening’s LBM minutes be approved as written; John seconded. Motion passed. Laura moved to adjourn at 5:45pm; Melanie seconded. Motion passed.
Minutes written and submitted by Laura Novakoski, Secretary.