The Merger Guidelines: What are our Options?

Elizabeth Powell

March 1, 2021

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(This article first appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

When locals are faced with circumstances whether foreseen or unforeseen that result in the local being unable to provide the representation it was chartered to provide and comply with LMRDA provisions, the procedures provided in the Merger Guidelines would need to be considered and administratively fulfilled.

The merger guidelines outline the steps and documents locals considering a merger would need to follow and submit to the Secretary-Treasurer’s office. Upon receipt the documents are reviewed to ensure the criteria for the type of merger requested is met and documented. The merger guidelines stipulate that members must vote to approve a merger and set the terms of the merger. There are three guidelines to consider depending on the local’s status.

Local/Area Local Merging with a Local/Area Local: Merging with an existing local is usually the best option for a local that wants to maintain a locally negotiated contract, but does not have the dues structure, officers, or stewards to represent local members. Locals that merge into existing locals become members of that local and often can negotiate specific terms for the merger that ensure a voice in local affairs.

Member-at Large (MAL) Merger with a Local or Area Local: A Member-At-Large (MAL) merger is between a MAL office and a Local or Area Local, so long as the requesting MAL office is within the jurisdiction of the gaining Local or Area Local.

Dissolve the local and become Members‐at‐Large: If a merger is not an option because of location or membership choice, local members can choose to dissolve their local and become members of the state APWU. In these cases, the state’s union representative serves as steward and chief negotiator. If the local is dissolved, the members of the defunct local become Members-at-Large (MALs).

A copy of the Merger Guidelines can be obtained from the Secretary-Treasurer’s page on Local officers can also request a copy by emailing Annette August-Taylor, Executive Assistant to the Secretary- Treasurer, at

Schedule a Virtual Finance Training

During the month of January and February, the Secretary-Treasurer’s department provided training on covering important information that will assist in keeping local finances in compliance with their legal requirements. Local officers, either newly-elected or looking to schedule a refresher training for executive board members, can schedule a specific local training utilizing Zoom. Please contact Annette August-Taylor to schedule your request.

The APWU Scholarship Deadline is March 31st, 2021

The deadline for a child, grandchild, stepchild, or legally adopted child to a current, retired or deceased APWU member to submit scholarship applications for the E.C Hallbeck, Vocational or Best Essay Award is March 31, 2021. The E.C. Hallbeck Memorial Scholarship awards $8,000 ($2,000 annually) to ten recipients (one male and one female from each of the five postal regions) to apply towards their fouryear college tuition.

The Vocational Scholarship winners will receive up to $3,000 for specialized training in such fields as culinary arts, medical or dental assistant, electrician, real estate, auto mechanic, certified IT/computer education, cosmetology or massage therapy, etc. Eligible programs can be of a nine-month to three-year duration.

One Best Essay Award winner is selected from the applicant pool to receive a one-time $2,000 award towards his or her four-year college tuition. Additional information and scholarship applications are available on

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