Call to Serve
(This article first appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Maintenance Division Director Idowu Balogun
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My name is Idowu Balogun, your New National Maintenance Division Director. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your letters, cards and emails of congratulations and condolences.
Brother Raymer’s untimely departure left all of us stunned and without adequate words to describe our feelings.
I am writing this open letter to you to share with you the state of the Maintenance Division within a 60-day time frame of the unexpected passing of our beloved Director Steven G. Raymer.
• Two weeks prior to Director Raymer’s passing, the Maintenance Division Secretary retired after over twenty years at the APWU headquarters.
• The 2018 contract negotiations were set to begin in a matter of days.
• Article 32 Roof National Maintenance Arbitration was in full swing.
• The APWU 2018 National Convention was also less than 60 days away.
• National Convention books had to be completed, Pre-Convention workshop materials had to be finalized.
• BMC Conference materials, schedule and agendas also needed to be completed.
• The Assistant Director A, two National Business Agents, and Maintenance Secretary positions all needed to be filled. The Director and Assistant Director office relocations were in progress, furniture had to moved.
• President emeritus William Burrus and former Assistant Maintenance Director A, Edgar Williams passed away.
Through it all, we buckled down, multi-tasked and together we weathered the storm in Maintenance fashion – making decisions and readjusting those decisions all along the way. We learned new skills in addition to polishing our contract knowledge and making necessary changes. Daily, we prayed for clarity of mind and continued good health to be able to persevere and complete the missions ahead. I am humbled to inform you, although still saddened, we have completed all of the above listed tasks. Many thanks to all of you, especially the Maintenance Council and Staffing Advocates across the country for lending a helping hand in our time of need. Thank you! Thank you!
In Union Solidarity,
2018 APWU Maintenance Contract Update
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (union contract) expired on September 20, 2018. By the time you are reading this, we are either getting ready for interest arbitration or we are successful in reaching a settlement. Negotiations with the Postal Service started months before the expiration of the contract. The Maintenance Craft Resolutions were fully deliberated in Pittsburgh, PA by our delegates attending the Maintenance Craft Conference and the 24th Annual National Convention. The maintenance resolutions revolve around training, open season and billet allocations. Your Maintenance team is fighting and will continue to fight for your interests, day and night. The struggle continues!