AFGE, Local 3937
Local Business Meeting
July 12, 2017
Auburn Teleservice Center, WA
Present were: Ana Rivers, Laura Novakoski, John Pfannenstein, Cinthia Diaz, Melanie Broady, James Paxton, Steffen Pleiness and Michael Dopp.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm, chaired by Ana Rivers, Local President.
The books for this year are still in transition, but James gave us a one-month summary at today’s Executive Board meeting. There will be a full Treasurer’s report at our next Local Business Meeting.
Melanie made a motion that the Local donate $100 to Idaho AFL-CIO to help support the costs for their sponsorship of the movie Heather Booth, Changing the World, a film about the history of Union organizing. The target audience is millennials and others involved in activism. They’re showing the movie in Boise on 10/19/17. It comes to us from Washington D.C. and was created by the National AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO has been very supportive of AFGE and our Local, and we often have common interests. John seconded and the motion passed.
There was an AFGE Town Hall meeting by phone this week, and we found out that in the 2018 federal budget proposed by the administration, workers would have to pay an additional 6% out of pocket towards their pension, and the calculations adversely change retirement benefits by using the high-five years of pay instead of the high-three years. It would eliminate the COLA for CSRS annuities. There would be a 1.9% pay raise in 2018, but it’s actually a net loss because of the pension changes. Federal workers will also be hit by the elimination of loan forgiveness for those who enter public service. We strongly oppose this budget.
On a more positive note, there will be awards this year. ODAR has already allocated the amounts and FO is on their way, but we don’t yet know when funds will be released.
Melanie Broady and Cassandra Butler attended arbitration training in Portland in May, for five intensive day-long classes on how to present effective grievances and arbitrations that are based on Contract violations. Our Local does occasionally bring cases before an arbitrator, so this gives them a good basis to help us represent and protect our members. Melanie shared some of her experiences there, including participating in mock arbitration hearings, and she felt that it gave them a lot of insights in how to prepare for arbitration.
Melanie was able to participate in a union women’s conference in Hawaii in June (SIUW 2017), funded by a scholarship that she won from the WA AFL-CIO. She attended training sessions and was able to network with women from across North America. She went to women in leadership training, public speaking, grievance training, and many of them participated in an action at a local hotel to get attention for better pay for the workers.
Melanie made a motion that this evening’s LBM minutes be approved as written; James seconded. Motion passed. Laura moved to adjourn at 6:10pm; James seconded. Motion passed.
Minutes written and submitted by Laura Novakoski, Secretary.