APWU Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee Report

We have a contract report from Scott Hoffman, Chair of the APWU Rank and File Bargaining Committee. Scott Hoffman is President of the 2,000-member Boston Metro Area Local #100.


4 thoughts on “APWU Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee Report

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Frankfort, KY Local 3944
    Office held, if any
    Mike Nodine, I know Vance also and greatly respect him, but if you read the report above it would appear he was a part of the problem. Am I reading this wrong?

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Oakland Ca
    Office held, if any
    Retiree Legislative Director
    This past week I have been joining the Oakland teacher’s strike, picketing and attending rallies. The teachers have been without a contract for over a year. Much like USPS, the school board claims to be broke. The situation is similar to ours with this exception: The teacher’s are organized and united. No premature criticism of their union officers during negotiations. And they are winning.

    I have read in recent weeks that our president is ‘selling us out’ in contract negotiations. Mark Dimondstein doesn’t deserve this. For over thirty years he has worked tirelessly for the betterment of postal workers. He has been our champion in the struggle over decent contracts, privatization, and all other management schemes. Yes, I have differences on occasions with him but I know in my heart that when he says take it to the streets, he means it. He proved it in the Staples campaign. Every time we put in a bid for a window clerk position we should thank him because thousands of jobs would have been lost.

    The teacher’s union stands tall. We should too. The stakes have never been higher.

    As a follow up on the Oakland teacher’s strike tonight, a tentative agreement has been reached: 11% over four years and bonuses. The union got most of what they asked for but they are the lowest paid teacher’s in the Bay Area. They haven’t let anything break their solidarity. Way to go teachers!

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Atlanta
    I had hoped this was not in fact the case and the rumors were just that, rumors.

    But unfortunately, it seems President Dimondstein’s Contract Proposal was indeed an echo of the “2010 Watershed Agreement.”

    And the problem would have been had the Rank and File Committee sent it to the Membership for ratification, the Membership would have probably ratified it because our Membership is largely ignorant of how changes in contract language will actually affect them. Therefore, our Membership generally must trust and rely on our national officers to protect their best interests in contract negotiations.

    This poses a great dilemma in this year’s APWU national officer’s election as it appears the two most prominent candidates for our national president are now tied in the betrayal category 1 to 1.

    Only this time our Rank and File saved us, the Membership and the sitting president from the same fate of the 2010 Watershed perpetrated by every single executive board national officer at that time, including the then vice-president. None of them can ever be trusted to lead this great Union after that fiasco.

    In the 2013 election that followed the 2010 Watershed Agreement, the majority of those complicit national officers were purged by our Membership after our Membership realized they had been sold a bill of goods.

    Some will remember that I was one of the loudest voices in social media during that election explaining that Brother Mark Dimondstein was the right person at the right place at the right time to do what needed to be done. And he was.

    But it seems his day may have passed and it breaks my now very heavy heart to say this. I genuinely like and greatly respect him. He has accomplished much and deserves our appreciation for his many amazing achievements.

    Given the choice between voting to reelect President Dimondstein for a third term or reinstating any 2010 Watershed Agreement conspirator to any elected office, I will still support President Dimondstein.

    The tie-breaker for me in this dilemma is that at least President Dimondstein did not even try to form a conspiracy to ram his agenda down our throats. And while he may have exerted some verbal pressure on the Rank and File Committee to agree with him, and even may have expressed his displeasure at their decision, he did not attempt to subvert them from performing their duty. That cannot be said about the 2010 Watershed Agreement’s ratification process or any of its conspirators.

    A word to the wise… when national officers produce slick videos telling you what a great deal the tentative contract is going to be for you, and they send the NBA’s around like timeshare seminar salespersons to hawk it, that is your clue that you should vote NO! to ratifying it.

    Because of these recent developments, President Dimondstein is not my first choice to lead our great Union this time around. There is another qualified officer who I believe is now the right person at the right place at the right time.

    I have not spoken to the person in a few years and no one knows what I am about to say. It may anger a few and cause me to create enemies and suffer some political fallout. It may even cause some turmoil among our national officers. But it needs to be said nonetheless. And while even saying this requires some boldness and conviction on my part, that is nothing compared to what I am calling for this officer to do.

    This is my open letter appeal to National APWU Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman to run for the office of President of the APWU.

    I make this appeal for the same reasons I supported President Dimondstein’s candidacy in 2013, he is the right person at the right place at the right time.

    It would be a devastating loss to the APWU should Brother IR Director Zimmerman run and lose, but the dividends to the APWU should he win would far exceed that terrible loss.

    I know it is very late in the campaign season to consider a run for a national office position that has not already been in the planning stages for some time. But news of the Rank and File Committee report is just now reaching our Membership which is the tipping point for me to make this appeal.

    I also know it is very expensive to run for a national office and winning is not guaranteed, even for incumbents. But I believe enough people know Brother Zimmerman well enough to know he is the right person at the right place at the right time to create a groundswell of grassroots support for him, something that money can’t buy.

    Please share your thoughts here, good or bad, and whether you would also support Brother IR Director Zimmerman for President of the APWU.

    -Mike Nodine, APWU Member, Atlanta GA

  4. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Charlotte Area Local, 375
    Great report, clears up all the confusion and unknown. Everyone kept saying well we really don’t know what happened, now the membership has an insight into what the R&F Committee saw, heard and why they voted as they did. By the way that doesn’t mean that everyone will agree with their reasoning, there were four members of the R&F that disagreed and would have accepted the contract as negotiated.

    I believe that those who voted not to send it out to the members made the right decision. Had Burrus proposed this contract (he wouldn’t have) when I served my vote would have also been a no. There are some out there that say let the members decide. That’s not the process and the current process works well. The committee has reviewed far more information then the membership would ever see or hear.

    I hope our union keeps negotiating and achieves a fair and reasonable contract that includes all crafts and all ideas. But we shouldn’t negotiate a contract based on a fear of going to arbitration.

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