Attend a Pre-Convention Workshop

March 1, 2018

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(This article first appeared in the March-April 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Research & Education Director Joyce Robinson 

The Research & Education Department will sponsor the APWU’s 16th Educational Conference, a National Convention event that provides union members with a wealth of information to take home to their locals and state organizations.

Twenty-eight workshops will be offered on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, the day prior to the craft meetings, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Hall B.

All APWU members are welcome and encouraged to sign-up online by the early registration deadline of Friday, Aug. 3. This deadline is firm for participants with special needs: If you need an ASL interpreter, for example, you must register by Aug. 3. Other participants may try to sign up for workshops after they arrive in Pittsburgh; however, late registrants will have a limited choice of workshops and will not receive certificates.

More information can be found at Below is a list of workshops and times.

Arbitration Forum
Provides an exceptional opportunity to observe a panel discussion where an arbitrator, USPS Labor Relations Manager, and an APWU NBA give their unique perspectives on preparing, presenting, arguing and deciding cases. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Article 37.3.A.1 and MDAT
Outlines how to use these tools to create and preserve jobs in the Clerk Craft, reduce the PSE complement, create desirable duty assignments, maximize PTFs in small offices, reduce disputes on reversions and abolishments, and reduce excessing when the USPS is utilizing PSEs. Participants must bring a fully charged laptop to the training. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Basic Shop Steward’s Training 
Guidelines for new shop stewards, with a focus on proper documentation of grievances, and the duties, rights and guidelines for shop stewards. (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Building Coalitions to Fight Consolidations
Discusses how to build the alliances we need to keep offices open and located in the communities they serve. Examines an essential element in the fight to protect jobs and improve service. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Communicating at the Local Level 
Examines the importance of information sharing, using various mediums with special emphasis on the process of producing a member-oriented, high quality, union publication. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Custodial Staffing Basics
Provides instructions on putting together and verifying a MS-47 custodial staffing package and covers staffing development for both the T/L-3 and T/L-5 version. Best suited for officers and stewards lacking previous Maintenance staffing training or those who want to brush-up on their knowledge of custodial staffing. Correct custodial staffing is the first step in enforcement of Line H issues. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Digital Media Basic: What Is All the Fuss About?
Provides digital media training for beginners, giving an overview of what it is and how it affects the daily lives of workers. Outlines basic strategies to reach out to members, allies and potential members through websites and social media. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Digital Media Intermediate: Taking it to the Next Level
Digs deeper into digital media strategies with hands-on practice. It is geared toward participants who regularly use digital media – such as having a personal Facebook profile or page, a blog, or some other internet presence – and are looking to up their digital media game. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Disabled Veterans’ Benefits
Assists representatives in helping disabled veterans obtain benefits. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Disability Retirement
Explains how disability retirement pay is calculated and how to avoid delays and disapprovals. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Effective Retiree Chapters
Discusses how to start a new chapter or reboot your current chapter. Information will be provided on maximizing membership and attendance, increasing volunteer participation, taking on leadership roles in the chapter and community, and supporting the APWU’s legislative endeavors. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Electronic Grievance System (EGS) Training
Provides instruction on how to use the web-based EGS to complete grievance forms, email grievance information, attach supporting documentation and save grievances electronically. Participants must bring a fully charged laptop with ability to connect to the internet during the training. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Empowering Young Workers 
Brainstorming ways to encourage young members to become more actively involved in the union, increase activism and aid in building a more diverse labor movement. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Examines Article 12 and answers questions on what causes excessing, the timetable when excessing occurs, and the process – from notification to the Regional Coordinator, meetings, production of information, comparative workhour reports, retreat rights, “senior in lieu of,” super-seniority, preference eligible veterans’ rights and saved grade. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Family and Medical Leave Act
A “how-to” session on FMLA forms, eligibility, leave requirements and guidelines. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Handling Workplace Injuries
Designed for beginners or to refresh your knowledge of the types of OWCP claims, forms, achieving claim approval, appeals, COP, wage loss compensation, medical treatment, return-to-work, job offers, reasonable accommodations, suitability determinations, and employer violations. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

How to Win a Grievance Without Filing One
Addresses building workers’ power on the job without getting bogged down in paperwork. Answers the question, “How do we become a fighting union and not just a grievance machine?" (2:30 p.m.-5:30p.m.)

Innovative Organizing
Teaches techniques and strategies for signing up non-members utilizing the APWU Health Plan and other benefit programs that are reserved for members. Explores ways to get members who have quit to rejoin the union. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Labor History Comes Alive!
A dynamic look at what we can learn from the major struggles of the past and how we can apply the lessons to the challenges we face today. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Labor Law Fundamentals
A look at the National Labor Relations Act, with a focus on the rights of APWU members, the Duty of Fair Representation and how to identify unfair labor practices. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Large Office Issues (Function 1)
Covers current issues in large mail processing facilities. Topics include creating jobs, preserving existing jobs, filling residual vacancies, machine safety and staffing, and RI-399. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Legal Issues and Union Communications
A review of editorial policies, union regulations, libel, copyright and federal election laws that apply to hard copy and electronic forms of communication. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Maintenance New T/L-5 & T/L-3 Staffing Calculations
Teaches how to use the Maintenance Craft Excel workbook to input data and calculate an MS-47 custodial staffing package. This tool aids in determining the correct custodial staffing. Participants must bring a fully charged laptop with the ability to connect to the internet during the training. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Motor Vehicle Service Division (MVS) Issues
An update on MVS issues and information on Articles 39, 32 and other articles of the CBA that apply to the Motor Vehicle Service Craft. (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Protecting Clerk Work in Smaller Offices
An overview of issues such as crossing crafts, maximization, supervisors performing bargaining-unit work, PSEs, “lobby sweeps/lobby director” and “Article 37.3.A.1, creating duty assignments in small offices.”  (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

PSEs Issues
Focuses on enforcing contractual rights of Clerk Craft PSEs. Topics include protecting PSEs’ rights, holding management accountable for exceeding the use of non-career employees, increasing the career workforce and seniority issues. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Retirement Planning
Provides information for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) employees and Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) employees on annuity calculations, best date to retire, benefit choices, important records to keep and tips on successfully completing the application. (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Stand Up for Safe Jobs
Designed to build active and strong safety campaigns at the “grassroots” level. Participants will learn how to complete a PS Form 1767 (Report of Hazard, Unsafe Condition or Practice), the role of local safety committees, how to seek assistance from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and how to help employees understand the importance of reporting safety violations on the job. (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)

If you have problems registering online, please contact Joyce B. Robinson at or by telephone at 202-842-4225.

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