Dear Sisters & Brothers
I am writing this as we prepare for the upcoming ballot drop in the APWU National Elections. This is a watershed moment in our APWU history. This election will not only shape the current round of contract negotiations/arbitration, but also the next. That is exactly why I am running. As Chairman of the Rank & File committee in this past round of negotiations, I had a front row view of the process. I had a key role in what transpired. What I witnessed was disturbing. I witnessed the circumvention of the National Constitution, and the expertise of our National Craft officers of both the Clerk and Maintenance craft. This fatally flawed methodology from both the current National President and current Director of Industrial Relations has truly painted us in a corner. I saw language produced that is counter-productive to the primary mission of a union which is to protect its membership on the workroom floor, by way of workplace rules, and decent benefits.
Both the Rank & File committee and the Maintenance Craft officers starting with the Director and Assistant Directors saw that the main maintenance proposal would be devastating to both the Maintenance Craft and the Clerk Craft tangentially. That is why the Maintenance Craft Council and majority of NBA’s have endorsed me. They recognize that I understand the negative ramifications in what was negotiated by my opponent and current National President. The language was one-sided and open for exploitation from the Postal Service. In addition, The Boston Metro had the foresight to see the effects of the upcoming handbook changes designed to reduce staff. We launched initiatives well in advance of these changes in the area of Maintenance subcontracting. Our attacks have increased staffing in Maintenance. We have gained back some elevator work that had been lost in the Maintenance Craft by increasing custodial positions that carve out elevator duties from the custodial duties during peak dispatch periods. We have attacked subcontracting not only putting settlement money in members pockets, but more importantly protected and advanced work hours for our Maintenance Craft.
Although very rounded as a result of being current President of a large local; (200 plus MVS, 400 plus Maintenance, 1500 plus clerks), my experience draws more from the Clerk Craft. I have been an arbitration advocate for nineteen years. I have been the first to win issues such as TAC’s work for the level sevens, OTDL vs PSE hour expansion, and have essentially performed the role of NBA for the local doing all the difficult contract and removals for the local, as well as performing sanctioned arbitration reviews. I have negotiated both large installation and Associate office contracts. I have not given back, I have only moved the line forward through negotiation or properly prepared impasse arbitration.
The Clerk Craft National Officers Clint Burleson, Lamont Brooks, and Lynn Pallas Barber all stated the language negotiated by my opponent and current National President was harmful to the clerk craft, as did the overwhelming majority of the Rank & File committee. They, as did the Maintenance Craft officers, saw one-sided regressive, and easily exploitable language that would eliminate liability and leverage , and allow the Postal Service to decrease career positions, decrease PTF hours and conversion opportunities, allow more work for non-career employees, with decreased conversion opportunities as well for PSE’s. The language would make it nearly impossible for local officials to police and enforce.
I find it disturbing that the current Director of Industrial Relations and President would first categorize the language that has been exposed as detrimental to two crafts as fair and positive. Then when politically expedient, try to appear offended by management proposals that they had already agreed to. The current message from President Dimonstein and Vance Zimmerman is don’t believe your own eyes, and common sense. By signing off on bad language that was not properly vetted and inspected by the constitutionally mandated experts, they have done great damage to the arbitration process. They are now trying to sell the concept of not changing drivers in the middle of the race. You do when the drivers have crashed and have shown their driving skills to be lacking.
My opponent did not see the devastating negative effects of the failed language presented to the Rank & File. He did not see that an Art. 12 placement would trigger exceptions to current work rule protections that not only create liability and leverage, but also protect career jobs, PFT hours. PTF conversions, PSE conversions, in the Clerk Craft; but also job/hour loss in the Maintenance Craft, even less clean facilities, and a loss of massive liability pay-outs to the Maintenance Craft based on contract violations to current protective language designed to deter all of the above.
In closing, this election not only shapes this current contract but also the next. This union can not afford another disastrous round of negotiations and pre-determined arbitration proceedings. My record of pioneering language, arbitration decisions, and millions of dollars in settlements and language resulting in liabilities; which also serve as deterrent to non-compliance can not be matched. I not only have the ability to read, interpret, and enforce contract language, but I can also write it. This is what separates me from my opponent. This last round of contract offerings affirms this concept. My opponent has been able to read, and argue contract language as an NBA, but when it came down to writing it he failed. Just ask the Maintenance Craft, the Clerk Craft, and the over 2-1 majority of the expertise of the Rank & File Advisory Committee.
I ask for your support and vote in this most critical election. Contact me on Facebook @Scott.hoffman.336 or 617-894-6472
In Union Unity,