P O Box 3775, Jackson MS 39207-3775
The local did an outstanding job in hosting the State Convention and the Tri-State. The Tri-State is joint training with MS, AL & TN. I want to thank them and Sec/Treasure, Pat Lampley, for a well organized and professional job of making the Tri-State one of the best.
This was also an election year for MS State Officers and we have a few new officers, including myself.
I’m Sundrenia “Sunny” Thigpen out of Jackson. We have George Collins of Gulfport, District Director for District 4 (393,394 & 395), and Shawn Page of Grenada, District Director for District 2 (387, 389 & 397). He was our former Legislative Director.
The sad news is Shawn is transferring to Little Rock, and we will miss him dearly. I am working on getting a replacement for that area. Rest assured, you will be represented.
Returning officers are Pat Lampley and Tim Eaton of Hattiesburg, Jerry Moore of Jackson and Reco Colebrook of Tupelo. I look forward to working with each of them. I’m a firm believer in, don’t take a job if you are not going to give it your best. The new officers have had to hit the ground running and are trying to play catch up on issues that were pending. We had to leave the convention seeking extensions from day one to try and protect time lines. We have many goals and we will be working to reach them. I ask that you work with us as we work for you.
As you know on May 20, 2015 The Collective Bargaining Agreement between APWU and the USPS expired. Mark Dimondstein, our National President, reported that management’s economic demands and proposed changes to the workforce structure were completely unacceptable.
The Postal Service wants to: eliminate most if not all of our cost of living adjustments; Increase our contribution to healthcare coverage; Permanent lower pay scale for future career employees with reduced benefits; Increase the percentage of non-career employees; And weaken protection against layoffs.
APWU will enter into mediation with the Postal Service in accordance with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act. If a settlement is not reached, they will proceed to (put link here to arb.htm)Arbitration and the Contract will be settled by a three panel team of Arbitrators. Until all of this is complete, we will continue to be protected under our present Contract.
COPA: Many members don’t understand how important COPA is and how it can affect your job. If you watch TV, and I know everyone does, it’s all politics, politics and politics. If you don’t thinks politics affects your job then you are living in a bubble. COPA is our Campaign on Political Action. We have to raise money to lobby Congress. This helps keep our voices heard concerning our jobs and the threat of privatization, consolidation and plant closures, etc.
COPA cannot be taken out of our dues. It has to be taken out of our pockets. We started a COPA club a few years ago for MS and ask each of our members to give $52 dollars a year which is $2 dollars a pay period. If each of us would do that, MS will have a powerful voice. The responsibility is not just for a few, the responsibility is for all of us. Make sure you are doing your part.
And finally I will complete this article by thanking our former President Mark Cunningham for his service to and for the members of the MS State Organization. You will be missed. Thank-you Mark!
Sunny Thigpen, President MSPWU