“Amazing” Convention Sets our Priorities

Charlie Cash

September 10, 2022

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The 2022 Biennial National Convention has just concluded and it was amazing! Due to COVID-19, the APWU had been unable to hold a national convention since 2018. It was great to be together with more than 2,000 APWU union family members in National Harbor, MD, where we met to debate the issues facing our union, and to hear the will of the delegates. It was an honor to be there as your Industrial Relations Director.

The delegates didn’t always agree on every issue. There was healthy debate amongst the delegates, but at the end of each convention day, we all left as friends and dedicated members united in our cause to defend our collective bargaining agreements and to move the APWU forward.

One of the important tasks at the national convention is the report of the Labor-Management Committee. I want to thank the committee for their hard work. Prior to convention, local and state organizations vote on and submit “resolutions” to be debated and voted on at the national convention. These resolutions are what the membership of the APWU would like the contract negotiators to attempt to achieve in national negotiations. The Labor-Management Committee goes through each resolution, examines the effect each resolution may have on the contract and the membership, and then makes a recommendation to the delegates of the national convention on whether a resolution should be supported by the delegates (concurred) or not (non-concurred). From these resolutions, the leadership of the APWU determines what will be negotiation priorities to submit in upcoming contract negotiations.

I was asked a question at the conclusion of the national convention that I would like to address here: “How soon will the things we voted on be implemented?” This is a really good question. I know when I first started at the Postal Service over 25 years ago that I didn’t quite know how everything worked in the union-management relationships.

 The answer is that the labor-management resolutions will only become effective if we are able to successfully negotiate them with the Postal Service. Some resolutions have been APWU demands for many years; Some were new. It is now the job of the APWU negotiating team to review the resolutions that were passed from, not only this convention, but also from previous conventions; prioritize them, and develop proposals to present to the Postal Service and attempt negotiate them. The Industrial Relations Department has already begun to compile the recently passed resolutions into our book of adopted labor-management resolutions, making sure it includes the most current contract desires of the delegates to the national convention. Preparation for future national negotiations is an ongoing process. This is one of the very first steps we take to prepare for the next negotiations.

 The APWU belongs to you, the members of the APWU. Even if you were not a delegate to the 26th Biennial National Convention, you can participate in directing what you want your leaders to negotiate in the future. Each resolution had to be submitted to the convention through a local or state organization. There will be another convention in 2024 where another round of Labor-Management Resolutions will be voted on. At your local membership meetings, you have the right to submit resolutions that your local can vote on, and if passed, are then submitted to the national convention, where they are debated and possibly adopted. Any member can do this! I encourage all of you to participate! If you want to write a resolution for future consideration, please reach out to your local officers and ask them to help you to write it up. It is your right as a member to be a part of the most democratic union in the country!

Solidarity Always!

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