AFGE, Local 3937 - Local Business Meeting
November 18, 2020
Present were: John Pfannenstein, Nicole Duncan, Laura Novakoski, Steffen Pleiness, Andrew Seger and Jackie Walton. The meeting was held via secure conference call with dial-in information posted to the Members section of our Local website.
The meeting was called to order at 5:32pm, chaired by John Pfannenstein, Local President.
We currently have $62,819 in checking and $102,070 in savings. We are operating under budget, which is always great news, with lower expenses than usual this year due to many representational activities constrained because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some offices in our region that will be participating in the new MS Teams video call pilot for enumeration (replacement cards). This may begin later this month or next, and we have been in contact with the Agency about our concerns for employee privacy as we try out this new system. This service channel will give the Agency the opportunity to provide expanded services to the public while keeping employees safe at home as much as possible, so we are interested to hear how it goes.
We are looking for those who may want to participate in an organizing cadre to help us gain members, or who would like us to arrange something for your own office; please let us know. We will be sending out an email shortly. We plan to hold virtual events via Zoom, as mentioned in our last report. We’ll post updates on our Local website and we hope that this will increase the availability of these meetings to a larger audience.
Dr. Al Gross, who we endorsed at our last meeting, didn’t prevail over incumbent Dan Sullivan for the AK Senate race. He fought hard and got as close as possible in this state, with 41.3% of the vote. We hope that he runs again in future.
The District 11 (virtual) caucus was held 10/10/20. Tim Snyder is our new National Vice President. We endorsed him, and John served at his request on the credentials committee to review documents to ensure that everything was in order. Most Locals were seated and able to cast votes. Katherine Foley is our new Women’s Coordinator, and Stephanie Hooks is our Fair Practices Coordinator. Tim has already volunteered to stop by our organizing Zoom calls in future, and we look forward to working with him and his team on issues for our employees.
The Council 220 (virtual) caucus was held 11/14/20. It was brief, with an audit committee report, a review of this year’s budget and passage of next year’s budget. C220 President Emeritus Witold Skwierczynski joined us as a guest for a legislative Q&A session, which the participants found quite helpful. He shared information about the Biden transition team for SSA, headed by Carolyn Colvin, SSA’s previous Acting Commissioner, and Scott Frey, Counselor to the President for AFSCME. We have some strong pro-labor and pro-employee transition team members coming in who will no doubt clean house and make way for President-Elect Biden’s views. But how to move on? Commissioner Saul has an appointed commission with term, so he cannot be replaced without cause; something he has done or neglected to do that would necessitate his removal. Another option would be to fill his team with people with whom Saul does not care to work, and he would leave voluntarily.
You can stay informed about topics like these and much more by going to www.afge.org to sign up for Action Alerts to be sent via text or email so that you are informed of current legislative and political events – please do so on your personal computer or phone, not on duty time or on Agency equipment.
Laura made a motion that we accept the minutes as written and read; Steffen seconded. Motion passed.
Jackie moved to adjourn; Laura seconded. Motion passed.
Minutes written and submitted by Laura Novakoski, Secretary.