Union: It’s Who We Are

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(This article appears in the March-April 2014 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine.)

Anna Smith, Organization Director

During this year’s organizing campaign we will remind each other of a basic truth: We are the union. For everyone’s benefit we have joined together to fight injustice in the workplace and to bargain for better working conditions.

We will need every member to help us bring our friends and, yes, sometimes family members, who have delayed joining our union. We can no longer afford to let non-members be the weakest link in our fight to save the Postal Service from those who would destroy or privatize us.

The campaign is about each of us standing up and letting our co-workers know that they can no longer sit in the bleachers. We must convince them to join us on the field as we fight management’s efforts to dismantle the USPS. All of our jobs depend on it.

The Organization Department is ready and willing to assist every local and state organization in their organizing drives during this campaign. Incentives from the national union will be geared toward the members and organizers who are successful in getting their friends to join us. We will also be offering incentives that encourage locals to help each other in these efforts. In the coming months, be on the lookout for training opportunities and additional information.

New Membership Forms

Our department routinely fields questions from the members, many on the same topic. I want to take this opportunity to address some of them. I know how frustrating it can be to call one phone number only to get transferred to another department. We may not always have the answer right then and there, but finding the best person to assist you will always be a priority.

I recently met with our computer programmers to dis- cuss how we can collect the information we need to sign up new members online. Online forms must comply with the needs of the union and management, while complying with all aspects of the law.

Upon receiving an online application, headquarters would forward a copy to the local or state organizations for their records.

We also will make the triplicate Form 1187 available again for local organizers. The three-part form seems to work best for local recordkeeping and provides members with a receipt showing that they have signed up.

Transferring Between Unions

The postal unions have specific guidelines on how to transfer dues from one union to another when members switch from a craft represented by one union to a craft represented by another.

In the Organization Department’s section of www.apwu.org, you will find generic letters that should assist members making the transition.

The new 1187s also will help make transitions smooth by making a box indicating transfers more visible.

APWU Health Plan

We will have an updated version of the PSE Health Plan Benefits video very soon.

When members ask questions about the health plan, please urge them to call the APWU Health Plan Department directly. That way, they won’t have to make multiple calls.

However, as with any concerns you may have, the Organization Department will always help direct people to the right department.

Membership Reports

All local and state presidents should be sending the national union an updated list of officers on a yearly basis. Doing this will enable the appropriate officers to gain access to lists of members and non-members.

This information can be found in the Members Only section of www.apwu.org. If you are having difficulty accessing these reports, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We have set a lofty goal of 4,000 new members for 2014. Together we can achieve it.Organizing in Solidarity is our creed, and together we will make a difference.

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