The Human Relations Department's Year in Review

Daleo Freeman

November 15, 2023

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It has been an exciting and noteworthy year. We are proud to report that the Human Relations Department has been on the move to better assist locals and states with issues under the jurisdiction of the department. Here is just some of the work that we have accomplished over the past 12 months.

Human Relations Educational Assembly

For the first time on my watch, we held an Assembly that proved to be a significant educational and empowering family gathering. We were overjoyed by the engagement of members from across the country who were able to attend the training.

We encouraged members to take the information given on Workers' Compensation Programs, Civil Rights, Civic Participation, the Employee Assistance Program, the Postal Employees Relief Fund, Veterans Resources, Equal Employment Opportunity and more back to their respective areas and educate members on these issues. It was an honor and extreme pleasure to train and assist in training our fellow family members.

Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP)

First, under the area of OWCP, we have successfully trained over 1,000 members, activists, stewards, and officers.

We conducted trainings in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, Hawaii, Maryland, Iowa, Alabama, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah, New Mexico, Florida Illinois, Georgia, and many other cities and states.

The word is out on the outstanding training that we provide, and we are looking forward to continuing the work that is both wanted and needed.

As a department, we provided much-needed assistance to members who needed representation for specific OWCP cases. We have successfully won favorable decisions for a number of members. So, again, the department is moving forward with excellent representation for our members. The Human Relations Department’s Year in Review The Employee Assistance Program is much needed and a contractual right under the collective bargaining agreement. We have been meeting actively to assure the importance of having assistance available to members as they need it.

Veterans’ Rights and Benefits

We are encouraged to report that the department has set forth a program to activate our members that have served this country as well as those that represent veterans. We have started building a coalition across the country to mobilize around issues that affect our service members, whether they are active or not. I am looking forward to continuing the work.

At the All-Craft Conference, we were proud to hold a meeting for APWU veterans. The well-attended meeting discussed the issues that veterans face within the Postal Service and how we can protect the earned rights and benefits of the union’s veteran members.

Civil Rights and Engagement

It is a priority of the department to remain active around our civil rights, which are being threatened or attacked. We stand together with the civil rights issues of the day. We participate in the movement daily, and proudly organized a group of APWU members who attended the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.

So, we continue to strive for equality for all and to protect the rights and benefits of all who have served, as well as mobilize and continue to secure assistance for all who are in need. As we become more knowledgeable and empowered, we provide education to give our members assistance and help everyone understand we have a right to compensation when we get injured on the job.

I want to thank all of those who have participated and provided this information in all these areas. I appreciate you all, please have a safe and productive new year, and stay tuned to what we have in store for next year. Thank you for encouraging continued progress. Remember, the struggle won’t continue without work. In Solidarity! ■

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