4 thoughts on “APWU Pittsburgh Retiree Record – August 8, 2014 Edition

  1. I had vowed not to comment. Brothers Townsend and Donelson, and Sister Bobo are absolutely correct. I’m weighing in as maker of 3 retiree related structuring resolutions, including the paramount proposal to appoint a Retirement Technician in the Retirees’ Dept. to respond to the complex retirement inquiries of retiree members, their spouses, survivors, and yes; active members, Locals and Local Retiree Chapters. It’s curious to read comments regarding the intent of this resolution. The intent is exactly what you see and can read in each ‘whereas’ preceeding the “Resolve”. The Only intent was, and is to provide improved service to the membership, retired AND active; to investigate, research, establish contacts with OPM, HRSS, Social Security & Medicare, and agencies to resolve complex retirement issues that can have serious financial consequences. In our delierations, we asked Retirees’ Dept. Director, Judy Beard, which of the 5 resolutions was most important to advance structuring the department. A Retirement Technician to better serve the membership. Thus, that became our paramount resolution.

    I’m somewhat amused at the speculation of the “intent”, mine and that of those retirees in leadership who advocated adoption of this proposal. I can only surmise that the checkered history of APWU internal politics raises questions as to what ulterior motives are behind a proposal such as this one. I can only state unequivocally that there are no ulterior motives. Because there’s old pro’s out there that operate that way and see an ulterior motive behind every bush, they are unable to comprehend that there’s still some of us who don’t operate that way. To question my intent is to question my integrity. We can engage in debate on the merits of the proposed amendment without hitting below the belt to get our point across.

    I admit to being somewhat jaded having witnessing internal rivalries. That was abundantly clear by the tone of Human relations Director, Sue Carney, when she took the floor mic in opposition to Res. #14. The Officers’ Reports & Resolutions book, page 24, Human Relations Department, Carney reports; “….We have addressed thousands of inquiries regarding claims and grievances….” “I am thrilled to share that we have hired Mr. Ed Duncan, former Deputy Directer of the Division of Federal Employees Compensation, as a consultant to assist in these areas.” So, the question is; Why object to the Retirees’ Dept. asking for what the Human Relations Dept. already has?

    And I vowed not to comment…… Peace.

  2. Frank Townsend article and Beth Bobo comments are right on.

    Retirees are not a threat to the union.

    John Richard’s a Retiree Chapter President and unopposed Eastern Region National Delegate did nothing to represent the retirees. In fact his comments actually hurt the retirees issues. He totally opposed to the issues retirees voted on and wanted.

    Always remember John was opposed to elected Retiree Director and wanted to break away from the APWU, AFL-CIO.

    John Richard’s report does not actually reflect retirees views or opinions. They are his opinions and he has a right to them even if they are wrong and misguided.

  3. As I read Brother Richards’ August 8, 2014 issue of “The Retiree Record” I was struck by the thought that the author must have been joking with his tirade about the retirees at the Chicago convention. Perhaps pulling our legs is a more apt description.

    The idea of “Empire Build” (his words) the Retiree Department at the expense of the rest of the APWU membership is poorly conceived and twisted in a Machiavellian way to totally distort the truth.

    Fact-According to Brother Richards, the cost of adding an appointed technician to the Retiree Department would cost $144,000.00. That’s more than the $101,325 the Retiree Department Director receives. Do you honestly think an appointed technician would receive more pay than the Director? I don’t think so.

    Fact-It wasn’t that many years ago that Brother Richards took up the battle for pay and expenses for the five elected Retiree Delegates to attend the National Convention. Even though he did not ultimately win that battle, it was something he fought vigorously for. To deride the effort to change the name of the five Retiree Delegates to Regional Representatives along with asking for pay and expenses for the National Convention reeks with the bitterness of hypocrisy and defeat.

    Fact-The five Retiree Delegates are elected by the retirees in their region to represent them at National Convention. Part of that responsibility is to take up the causes that represent the wishes of those who elected them. Brother Richards gave away his responsibility to those who elected him and became a “rubber stamp” for the decisions of the Constitution Committee. Did he even attempt to make the argument before the Constitution Committee of retiree wishes? In his own words, Brother Richards says “I took the floor in support of the Committee’s rejection of them.” I might add that the rest of the Constitution Committee was silent on the floor on retiree issues.

    The idea of “naked thirst for resources and power” (his words) by the retirees to become full and complete members of the APWU does not accurately describe what happened. In fact, this concept shows Brother Richards’ contempt for retirees and members alike as it violates items 1 and 2 of the APWU Members’ Bill of Rights—(1. Every member has the right to be respected as a human being-2. Every member has the right to be respected as a brother or sister of this Union.) This concept is disgusting and shows total lack of responsibility and reasonableness. All retirees want is the due respect shown all other members of this great Union. Remember, the only way to change the APWU Constitution is by the amendment process.

    Whether or not Brother Richards believes in the purpose of the Retiree Division is questionable. It was in Los Angeles two years ago that Brother Richards presented a Constitutional amendment calling for the Retirees Division to be separated from the APWU and made a free-standing organization (such as the PPA, APWU Health Plan, & APWU Benefits Plan). Of course, this amendment went down in flames evidently to be forgotten by the maker of the amendment.

    In short, one has to wonder why an individual would do something this year and then make a 180 degree turn and be against the very idea he presented previously. Consistency is not something Brother Richards believes in. Perhaps in his effort to be seen as supporting President Dimondstein in all things concerning the APWU, Brother Richards is building what he hopes will get him ___________, well, you can fill that part in.

    Whatever his reasons, it’s questionable whether Brother Richards is representing all the Retirees in Pittsburgh or those in the region he represents. One does not say one thing to those he represents and then do something completely different at Convention.

  4. Since I can’t get anyone to comment on this site, I will share the comments about the latest APWU Pittsburgh Retiree Chapter’s Retiree Record made on Facebook:

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