Tri-State Training

The Tri-State training seminar at the Golden Nugget Casino/Hotel in Biloxi MS, which began on 4/11/2022, was the first time we were able to meet as a group since the beginning of the Pandemic.

It was great to get together with all the our sisters and brothers from Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi..

These types of seminars are a great way for individual stewards to learn what other stewards are doing. Of course, the formal training provided is great too.

The attendees heard reports from national officers President Dimondstein, Debby Szeredy, Vice-President, Charlie Cash, Industrial Relations Director, Michael O. Foster, MVS Director, Lamont Brooks, Clerk Craft Director, Judy Beard, Legislative Director, Organization Director, Anna Smith, and Kennith Beasley, Southern Region Coordinator.

President Dimondstein reported on negotiating the new contract which was ratified by a 94% vote. He also reported about the success of the campaigns the APWU has been spearheading, such as the “Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service”, the “Stand Up For Safe Jobs” campaign and the contunuing campaign to keep the Postal Service from being privatized.

He also told us about the challenges we face as a Union on the workroom floor, in the public, and in Congress.

He introduced a new campaign to get 5,000 new members

Vice-President Debby Szeredy reported on many of the same issues covered by the President, but she also is the ‘point person’ for the consolidations that are ongoing. She gave advice on what the State and Locals could do and she met with individual locals to get information and give advice.

We had an opportunity to visit with the new Industrial Relations Director Charlie Cash. Charlie’s report was mainly dealing with the finalization of the wording of the new contract. Like the Bible says, “As it is written, so shall it be”. It is important to get the words right; and that’s his specialty.

Clerk craft director Lamont Brooks’ report basically told us we need to be filing grievances to get all clerk work returned to the clerk craft. He is always a passionate speaker and his report exhorted all of us to use the contract language to get all the clerk work we are entitled to.

Legislative Director, Judy Beard gave a report on what is going on in Congress. She emphasized the importance of the recently passed Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 and how all the letters and phone calls from members to Congress played a significant roll in getting it passed.

Kennith Beasley, Southern Region Coordinator gave a report on the consolidations in AL, TN, and MS in the General Session. He also met with the individual Locals that are under withholding in order to hear our concerns.

The Basic Steward Training portion of the seminar, which is open to all attendees, was conducted by Clerk NBA’s Pamela Smith and Joe Jolley and Maintenance NBA’s John Gearhard and Carlos Paz. This is the part of the training for articles in the contract that applies to all crafts and teaches stewards the basics of filing discipline and contract grievances.

Next we went into “break out” training. This is more specific training according to craft articles.

The clerk training was facilitated by NBA’s Pamela Smith and Joe Jolley, who are experts on Article 37.

The maintenance craft training was facilitated by NBA’s John Gearhard and Carlos Paz, who know Article 38.

The MVS craft training was facilitated by Michael O. Foster, MVS Director and he’s the expert on Article 39.

f you were unable to attend the training but need the info, email your NBA and request the training materials.

I think the training was excellent and all attendees left with a better understanding of the contract as it applies to their craft and a better understanding of the grievance procedure in general.

A special thanks to the MS Coast Area Local 0204 for hosting this event.

The importance of the Tri-State training is that it gives us the tactics we need to prepare ourselves to be able to continue the struggle; winning a battle here and there; but the war against workers continues unabated.

The battle-field in this war extends from each local post office all the way up to the halls of Congress, and the soldiers are each of us, volunteers from the average union member up to the executive board members; each doing what they can to preserve the dignity found in work, for us and all workers.

The beauty of our cause is that it knows no difference in color of skin, no difference of religion, no difference in wealth or status. If you are a worker, you are one of us, and every worker’s voice, his vote, counts the same as every other workers voice or vote.

Our strength is found in our reliance on each other instead of reliance on any powerful leader. What benefits one should benefit all; what hurts one, hurts all.

This is our power, our beauty, and our righteousness; this is our solidarity.

This is why our cause will WIN!