AFGE, Local 3937
Local Business Meeting
September 11, 2013
Labor Temple, Seattle WA
Present were: Steve Kofahl, Carrie Kitchin-Kofahl, Laura Novakoski, Ivan Weich, Ana Rivers and Tim Roark.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm.
Deferred as the Treasurer is not present at tonight’s meeting.
Ana, aside from serving as our 3rd VP, recently became a member of the Washington (Spokane Chapter) of Young Emerging Labor Leaders (WA YELL) on the recommendation of the L3937 Executive Board so she could involve herself in other organizations and hopefully bring more new members to the labor movement. She told us about an upcoming event planned by WA YELL, for which they would appreciate support from its affiliates. Carrie made a motion that Local 3937 contribute a $100 donation to the Spokane Chapter of WA YELL for their upcoming outreach event for new members and in support of their labor activities; Ivan seconded. The event will take place in October and will also commemorate the one-year anniversary of their organization’s founding. Motion passed.
We received a donation request from the Labor Archives of Washington at the University of WA describing their mission. They were founded in 2010, and their focus is to ensure that current and future generations understand the struggles and history of labor and contributions of unions and individuals. They do outreach to teach about labor history, they have a research facility and they grant awards. They also hold an annual banquet and our donations have supported them in the past. Ivan accordingly made a motion that Local 3937 donate $50 to the University of WA (Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies); Tim seconded. Motion passed.
The Agency is moving forward with plans to close more SSA field offices. If anyone in your office hears of a proposed closure, alleged consolidation of offices, as well as any further reduction in public service hours, they should contact our Local President Steve Kofahl. We have had some success in stopping office closures, and we support the maximum level of employment for our employees. We will rally community and labor allies, as we have in the past, to try to prevent more closures because of the impact on our job security and the public we serve.
Martha Lambie, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Operations, met with Seattle Metro and ATSC employees in August. She asked the employees if they liked early closures or if they wanted to go back to previous schedules. They said they liked the additional quiet time for adjudication. She covered the need to work more effectively and efficiently and made a parallel between online banking and online SSA eServices. In August of this year, the Agency piloted their first online SSI application in a test scenario. She talked about potential future expansion of My Social Security by allowing SSI PE changes to be directly input by claimants or payees, and the idea of a tiered system of benefits that would function like a family cap for SSI. We have 1262 field offices (less now), 35 TSCs, and there is a big celebration planned for the 25th anniversary of the 800# system. She said she expects the WSUs to handle two-way communication for iClaims (click-and-chat), flexible video, and acknowledged that we will strengthen identity authentication processes by tying it to the MySSA account. Many people experience difficulties signing up for MySSA due to conflicts with Experian (credit) data, and SSA does not plan to loosen our requirements although we have less than 1% fraud at this time. There are about 7 million accounts established. She wants to get the call wait times down before allowing TSRs to complete more production work (referring less to FOs). She reported that in February 2012, they brought the last piece of MSSICS to a web-based platform.
Ivan reports that the resolution we offered last year through the WA State Labor Council for fair (increased/at least minimum) wages for disabled workers in sheltered workshops passed that body and the resolution went on to the AFL-CIO last week at their national convention, where it also passed.
Carrie made a motion that this evening’s LBM minutes be approved as read and amended; Ivan seconded. Motion passed.
Carrie moved to adjourn at 7:45pm. Motion passed.
Minutes written and submitted by Laura Novakoski, Secretary.