AFGE, Local 3937 - Local Business Meeting
January 8, 2020
ATSC, Auburn WA
Present were: John Pfannenstein, Jackie Walton, Laura Novakoski, Steffen Pleiness, Jeff Shane, Don Schaefer, Tonya Boren and Melanie Broady.
The meeting was called to order at 5:05pm, chaired by John Pfannenstein, Local President.
We currently have $52,998.39 in checking and $57,045.85 in savings. Our strategy to be more careful and conservative with our spending over the past few years is paying off and we have seen our funds gradually grow. It is time to approve our 2020 budget, and Jackie discussed with us the proposal below:
2018 2019 Spent through 08/19 Proposed 2020
General Overhead $18,500 $12,000 $7,470.27 $10,000
Union Administration $17,000 $15,000 $3,704.34 $10,000
Representation $18,500 $20,000 $3,169.32 $35,000
Legislative/Political $15,000 $16,000 $15,540.56 $4,000
Officer $30,000 $28,000 $10,776.07 $20,000
Employee $2,500 $100 $0 $500
Contributions/Gifts $1,000 $900 $750 $1,000
Total $102,500 $92,000 $108,218.07 $80,500
We have $17.65 biweekly dues per member (X26 pay periods = $38.24/month), AFGE National takes $20.91 per member, AFGE Council 220 takes $1.50 per member and the other Councils charge minimal set fees (e.g. Council 215 takes $25/month or $300/year). This leaves about $15 net per member per month (X450 members average not including retirees = $180 per year) or roughly $81,000 total net income that is available for the budget – this is a purposeful underestimate and is lower than our annual budget for previous years. We discussed staying out of the annual Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. in February 2020, due to the cost, the presidential election next fall and that we will probably hear the same message from our (supportive) legislators as we heard last time around: we hear you, we support you, but gosh our hands are tied in the current political climate … John will create a letter from the Local to send to legislators to express both this decision, and our frustration with the lack of concrete action for our employees and the public. If this budget proves too fiscally conservative, we can revisit it at a future Local meeting. Laura made a motion that the Local approve the budget as noted and detailed above; Jackie seconded. After discussion, motion passed.
Two members of our Election Committee (Jeff Shane and Tonya Boren) attended today’s meeting to announce the results of the Local’s recent election and ballot updates. The Election Committee certified the final results for the recommended bylaws changes and the delegate selection – all of which were approved by a majority of members voting. They met on 12/21/19, picked up any materials in the PO Box and tallied votes. Despite the confusion over the first mailings not including a secret inner envelope, they were able to maintain anonymity of all votes so counted them whether they arrived with or without an inner envelope. However, they did have to invalidate 26 ballots because no return address was included on the return envelopes, so they were unable to verify the membership of the voter. There were 62 undeliverable ballots returned from 37 individual members (the apparent discrepancy is only due to our multiple mailings, when we remailed ballots to the same members more than once). There were 30 valid votes, although not every ballot included votes for each item (i.e. someone voted for delegates but not bylaw changes, or vice versa).
All Local officers were previously elected by acclamation at the nomination meeting held on 10/23/19: Local President, John Pfannenstein; Executive Vice-President, Nicole Duncan; 1st Vice-President, Steffen Pleiness; Secretary, Laura Novakoski; Treasurer, Jackie Walton.
On the ballot for Delegates (ranked choices): Steve Kofahl had 19 votes for 1st delegate, Andrea Wassner had 13 votes for 2nd delegate, and Monica Rodgers had 14 votes for 3rd delegate.
All the proposed bylaw changes passed: Section 2 had 28 yes votes, Section 6 had 28 yes votes, and Section 7 had 25 yes votes. We discussed and reviewed copies of the tally sheets the committee provided and thanked the Election Committee for their contributions and efforts.
Jackie previewed that the Local will soon need an annual audit of our finances. The Audit Committee requires at least 3 members (preferably in the commute area), to perform the work on Official Time ensuring all our documentation is in order. Tonya, Jeff and Don, who are present at today’s meeting, all volunteered to do this!
Steffen attended a training recently in Charleston led by Rich Couture, who was on the contract bargaining team and could speak to the intent of AFGE on the finalized language of the Articles. He provided us with a short summary of notable changes. The final contract was heavily influenced by the Executive Orders of 2018, but it is somewhat better. It’s still the worst negotiation we’ve experienced in years, and we ultimately had to accept an “all or nothing” agreement. The duration of the agreement is 6 years.
There is no telework in FOs currently, based on the recent decision by Commissioner Saul, but there are some changes to Article 41 (telework). In other changes, if you serve as an EEO personal representative, and you are also a Union representative, this now counts as Official Time. Melanie Broady, our past Local President, who also resigned as an active Union rep, is willing to consult on EEO issues in some cases and possibly serve as a personal rep so that those hours do not count against the Local’s total Official Time hours.
All Official Time must be requested and approved in advance (usually in OUTTS). Repeated and serious abuses could result in disciplinary action as well as suspense of the use of Union time for the duration of the contract. We can no longer use Agency metered mail for Union representative business. Management will no longer provide Weingarten information to new hires, and do not have to inform any employees of the right to Union representation in a meeting even if it may result in disciplinary action.
Laura made a motion that we accept the minutes as written and read; Melanie seconded. Motion passed. Melanie moved to adjourn; Jeff seconded. Motion passed.
Minutes written and submitted by Laura Novakoski, Secretary.