Attend a Pre-Convention Workshop

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(This article appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Joyce B. Robinson, Research & Education Department Director

The Research & Education Department is proud to announce that the APWU is sponsoring its 13th 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-one workshops will be offered on Friday, Aug. 17, the day prior to craft meetings, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, 404 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90071.

Workshop Registration:

The pre-registration deadline was Friday, July 20.

Late registration will be available on Thursday Aug. 16 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Friday, Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Late registrants will have a limited choice of workshops, however, and will not receive certificates.

The following are summaries of the workshops, along with their starting times. Except where noted, preconvention workshops are three hours long:

APWU Search: An overview of APWU’s recently updated arbitration database for arbitration advocates, with emphasis on how to identify relevant keywords and the use of simple search techniques to retrieve relevant cases. (2:30 p.m.)

Basic Shop Steward Training: Guidelines for newly elected or appointed shop stewards, with a focus on proper documentation for grievances, the duties and rights of shop stewards. (This is a full-day workshop, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)

Disabled Veterans’ Benefits: Tips for helping disabled veterans obtain benefits. (10 a.m.)

Documenting Maintenance Craft Grievances: Explains the importance of properly documenting Maintenance Craft grievances and discusses the appropriate handbooks and manuals to utilize. (2:30 p.m.)

Establishing an Effective Retiree Chapter: Covers the benefits of establishing a retiree chapter and tips on how to make your chapter more effective by engaging in community, social, and political activities. Includes a brief presentation on topics to discuss during chapter meetings. (2:30 p.m.)

Excessing in the Clerk Craft: Focuses on the Memoranda of Understanding on Minimizing Excessing, Transfer Opportunities to Minimize Excessing, eReassign , and the changes in Articles 12 and Article 37 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. (10 a.m.) Family and Medical Leave Act: A “how-to” session on forms, eligibility, leave requirements, and guidelines. (2:30 p.m.)

Legal Issues - Union Publications & Websites: Discusses editorial policies, libel, copyright, internal union and federal election laws applicable to union publications and Web sites. (2:30 p.m.)

Legislative Issues and Political Action: An examination of current legislative issues and the important upcoming elections. (2:30 p.m.)

Maintenance Custodial Staffing: The basic application and enforcement of custodial staffing, including background, history, and grievance filing. (2:30 p.m.)

Managing Your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Account: Designed for members and their spouse, relative, or a significant other, who assists them in planning for retirement. Learn in-depth information about the different investment funds, transferring money, the various withdrawal options, annuity checks, spousal rights, and the importance of designating a beneficiary. Members must also register their guest. (2:30 p.m.)

Motor Vehicle Craft Issues: An update on MVS issues and information on Articles 39, 32, and others sections of the contract that apply to the craft. (This is a full-day workshop, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

Non-Traditional Full-Time Duty Assignments (NTFTs): Provides an overview of NTFT duty assignments and gives guidance and strategies for negotiating desirable duty assignments with the Postal Service. Gives instruction on how to document grievances using all available hours, including PSE hours, toward the creation of desirable duty assignments in the Clerk Craft. Addresses scheduling and pay issues for employees in non-traditional duty assignments. (10 a.m.)

Organizing - The Lifeblood of the Union: Learn and share creative ideas on how to bring back non-members and how to energize young workers utilizing the APWU Health Plan, the Accident Benefit Association, the Voluntary Benefit Programs, and Union Plus. Now is the time to rebuild the union movement. (10 a.m.)

Protecting Clerk-Craft Work in Small Offices: An overview of issues such as crossing crafts, maximization, supervisors performing bargaining-unit work, and Postal Support Employees. (10 a.m.)

Representing Employees When Discipline is Issued: An in-depth discussion of how to protect APWU members from unwarranted discipline. Proper investigation techniques will be explained in detail, along with common arguments for defending employees against unwarranted discipline. (2:30 p.m.)

Retail Issues: Everything you wanted to know but were (almost) afraid to ask about Function 4, Small Office Variance, Delivery Unit Optimization, Retail Customer Experience, and a myriad of other window issues. (10 a.m.)

Retirement Basics for Officers and Stewards: Provides officers and stewards with information on the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), “early outs,” and disability retirement to enable representatives to answer frequently asked question. (This is not a retirement planning workshop.) (10 a.m.)

Stewards in the Information Age: Discusses the various reports available to shop stewards through the Time and Attendance Control System, and information on understanding which reports to request to properly support and document grievances and disputes. (10 a.m.)

Tools for Creating Desirable Duty Assignments in the Clerk Craft: Demonstrates how to input data into the APWU Scheduler, to create desirable duty assignments in the Clerk Craft for Function 1, Function 4, and Maximization hours. Attendees should have a basic knowledge of data entry using Excel spreadsheets. (2:30 p.m.)

Union Publications – Reaching the Membership: Examines the need to communicate and the process of producing a member-oriented, high-quality union publication. (10 a.m.)

If you have problems registering online, please contact Elizabeth Edwards or by telephone at (202) 216-2655

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