AFGE, Local 3937
Local Business Meeting
July 9, 2014
Labor Temple, Seattle WA
Present were: Steve Kofahl, Carrie Kitchin-Kofahl, Laura Novakoski, Ivan Weich, Ardeth Bolin, Susan Campbell, Tim Roark and Cassandra Butler.
The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm.
There is no Treasurer’s report for tonight.
We received an invitation from the Puget Sound Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists to attend their August 2nd celebration at the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park in Seattle about the signing of the Civil Rights Act. There will be a march, rally, and community celebration and cookout. We made a donation to this organization last year. They are asking for another donation, and we discussed whether we want to give money every year to this organization (a constituency group affiliated with the AFL-CIO). We do need to expand our vision as unionists, and try to show support for and reach out to community groups, so some of the same reasoning from why we donated last year still applies. Ardeth made a motion that we contribute $50 to this event; Carrie seconded. Motion passed.
The Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Council intends to put on a Labor Day picnic, although it’s in the early planning stages. Tim made a motion that we contribute $50 to their annual picnic upon verification that it actually will occur; Ivan seconded. Motion passed.
Our Local has some individuals who spend a great deal of their time to assist us. Carrie made a motion that we gift each of the Election Committee members who served this last year, Ben Konrady and Steffen Pleiness, $100 each in appreciation for their efforts on the committee. Laura seconded. Motion passed. She also moved that we gift $100 each to the three members of the Audit Committee who recently completely several years of audits for our Local: Lydia Marsh, Leri Harper and Steffen Pleiness. Ardeth seconded. Motion passed
Ivan recently attended the District 11 Caucus, and everyone who had been serving in positions there was reelected by acclamation. The business of elections was completed in less than half an hour – since this has happened more than once in the past, our Local will certainly be cautious when we consider how many delegates to fund for travel and lodging for these events in future.
Steve showed us a flier with 1187 that we will be using for our organizing next week at four locations in the Local, and around the country. The theme is to fight back against SSA’s Vision 2025 to save our jobs and to advocate for the people we serve. He also shared the Huffington Post article titled “A Secret Plan to Close Social Security’s Offices and Outsource its Work,” from June 24th (the best of several pieces that came out in the media around that time). The Union plans to educate, engage and mobilize AFGE members to support increased full funding for SSA operations and to develop and build on an alternative Vision. Many members of management have been downplaying the extremely probable outcomes of Vision 2025 by assuring employees that the field office and ODAR structures will not change, nobody’s jobs are in jeopardy, and trying to frame the Union’s concerns as overreactions and “crying wolf.” We will continue to work with our allies and national coalitions to fight back and spread the facts. SSA’s website is a sorry substitute for the wealth of knowledge and experience that our employees can provide.
While Ivan was at the Human Rights Committee meeting in June, he met another SSA Claims Rep who has created a presentation instructing the public via a Power Point presentation on how to contact SSA to “get what you want,” i.e. get an appointment or to speak with a real person. He gives presentations to Union locals and is willing to share it with us.
Carrie made a motion that this evening’s LBM minutes be approved as read and amended; Tim seconded. Motion passed.
Susan moved to adjourn at 7:40pm. Motion passed.
Minutes written and submitted by Laura Novakoski, Secretary.