Forming APWU State Retirees Chapters

Via Bobby Donelson, Southwest Coastal Area Local Retiree Chapter President:

I would like to encourage the APWU National Executive Board to reverse it’s decision to require that an APWU Retirees State Chapter can only be established if there are at least three local retirees chapters. At the October Retirees Conference, most of those attending were not opposed to a change. I personally see no harm in the change.

Please accept and approve Bill Keeton’s Request (See below).

Thank you.

3 thoughts on “Forming APWU State Retirees Chapters

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Pittsburgh Area Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    I don’t see any value to join a State Chapter. They suck up revenue that Local Chapters, who directly service Members on a daily basis, could better use, not union politicians. Moreover, fat with these funds, they oppose increases for the Local Chapters which requires amending the Constitution. We in Local Chapters service Members and generate direct action on a number of fronts. State Chapters only play the political game to be reelected by keeping a few Local Chapters in hand.

  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    APWU - Michigan State Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    Email Address

    If the APWU Executive Board were to waive the 3 Chapter requirement, it would be possible for 10 members in a State to form a State Chapter and receive the dues money from hundreds of members all over a State with little accountability or oversight on how thousands of dollars a year were spent. This is not to accuse well intentioned Retirees of malfeasance but merely to recognize the need for organizing the larger Local retirees into Chapters for more communication and participation.

    Here in Michigan, we have seen organizing efforts that resulted in five Locals Retiree Chapters with membership from 100 to 400 retirees. This allowed us to form a State Chapter representing 400 retirees who did not belong to a Local Chapter. Our State Executive Board has had at various times members on it from 3, 4, or 5 of the Local Chapters. Such membership has provided retirees throughout the State a means to work together in educational and political efforts with very effective communication for all as well as voice in the prudent spending of State Chapter funds.

    Certainly there are sparsely populated States where the 3 Chapters requirement could be waived but to do so carte Blanche would be contrary to ground up organizing principles. Our current APWU National President has an extensive organizing background and experience. If Mark Dimondstein can start from the ground up, our in the field Retirees who want to organize should take a page from his book.

  3. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Flint MI A.L. #271 Retiree Chapter, Michigan State Retiree Chapter
    Office held, if any
    MPWU State Retiree Chapter & Flint MI A.L #271 Retiree Chapter Advisor.
    Email Address

    Readers interested in this hot button issue of the 3-Local Retiree Chapter requirement to organize a State Retiree Chapter, I refer you to the Facebook group where I’ve posted the chronological history, starting in 1996, of the reasons for instituting the requirement. Admittedly it’s lengthy, but thorough IF you are interested in the FACTS as they occurred, you can scroll down to a 5-part explanation by someone who was there and intimately engaged….yours truly…along with then Western Region National Retiree Delegate, who can verify it’s accuracy.

    Understanding that this writer IS NOT opposed to reasonable accommodation for those states who cannot possibly meet the 3-Local Chapter standard and, in fact, has offered a modified waiver process contained in the Facebook posts. However, the central figure, the great State of Tennessee, does not even come close to qualifying for a waiver with Locals; Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, Knoxville and 3 other APWU Locals in TN have the minimum requirement of 10 or more APWU Retirees’ Dept. members within those Locals’ representation jurisdictions. I would concur with the premise that the 3-Local Chapter requirement has not worked in TN, not because it’s an unreasonable requirement, but because it’s apparent that NO attempt to organize Local Chapters under the provisions has been made to qualify organizing a State Chapter, other than this plea to circumvent the NEB requirements so they can get in on that ‘pot of gold’ known as Retirees Dept. dues rebates. Those rebate monies are available for those states willing to do the minimum of the work. No free lunches.

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