2009 MPWU Educational Convention
June 11 - 13, 2009
Bay City, Michigan
Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center
Scroll down to view the links for the photos
The 2009 Educational Convention started off unofficially on a cool, but beautiful day in Michigan, Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. with an Audit of the books by five members of the APWU, but not affiliated with the Executive Board. Everything was found to be in order. At 7:00 p.m., the Executive Board met for 2 1/2 hours to deal with issues at hand and to welcome two new members to the board (Robin Ely (Area 3 Director) and Therese Cowan (Area 8 Director). We also received a presentation from American Income Life (Viki Farr).
On Thursday, June 11, 2009, before the actual start of the convention, seven local presidents met to discuss financial issues of the state organization and where and what cuts need to be made and what has already been done. At 1:30 p.m., the "festivities" officially began with a Welcome by MPWU President Gary VanHoogstraten and MPWU Research and Education Director Mike McCain, who then turned over the meeting to National Vice President Cliff Guffey who made a presentation on the future of the Postal Service and that we must remain vigilant and ensure the contract is enforced in every regard. After Cliff spoke, a break was given, where those who were taking the Arbitration class (being taught by NBA John Clark and assisted by Detroit Vice President Chris Ulmer) began their studies, and the rest were given updates by other National officers in attendance (Steve Raymer (National Maintenance Craft Director), Sue Carney (National Human Relations Director), Sharyn Stone (Central Region Coordinator), and Lynn Pallas-Barber (National Business Agent - Clerk Craft). At the same time the members were being enlightened, the MPWU Retirees Chapter Executive Board met.
On Friday, June 12, 2009, the classes started in full force at 9:00 a.m. with Arbitration continuing, other classes ranged from Maintenance learning about the RMSS from Director Raymer and NBA Troy Rorman, to an Article 12 Class taught by NBA Lynn Pallas-Barber, to an OWCP class taught by MPWU Human Relations Director Jennifer Amos and assisted by 480-481 HR Director Lucy Morton to a Postal Press class taught by PPA President Tony Carobine with the class rounded out by a Computer and Excel class taught by this year's honoree Jane Duggan and assisted by Area 1 Director Larry Moyer.
In the afternoon, the classes continued with the Arbitration, Maintenance, and Article 12 continuing as above, and National Director Carney taught regarding the National Reassessment Program under the umbrella of OWCP; Kathy Danek (National Legislative Aide and Editor for the Auxiliary) taught a Hatch Act class. The two members of the Michigan Office of Services to the Seniors also attended for Director Sharon Gire and gave those in attendance some information to resources available for our aging. Later in the day, after the classes finished, the Motor Vehicle attendees had an opportunity to meet with NBA Merlie Bell.
Later that evening, the Awards dinner was held where this year's honoree (Jane Duggan) was presented a clock and high remarks for her service to not only our union, but to all of our union brothers and sisters in different locals and organizations. Jane also gave a moving and heartfelt speech and left few tearless.. The night concluded by remarks from National Business Agent John Clark, followed by NBA Linda Turney and Kathy Danek
On Saturday, June 13, 2009 the classes continued with those in the Arbitration class making and presenting their case and making their arguments and Maintenance continued in their discussions and learning. New classes were on the agenda for the others. With Retirement being taught by Joe Gordon (480-481 Area Local) and MPWU Retirees President Al LaBrecque; Function 4 class being taught by NBA Linda Turney, and a Beginner Stewards class being taught by MPWU Clerk Craft Director Richard Blake. Also, the children that were in attendance with their parents were also included in learning and training. The Auxiliary (through MPWU Auxiliary President Kelly Wilinski and Kathy Danek gave these young unionist the basis to bargain and understand why a union is needed in the workplace. The children decorated cookies and sold them. During this class, I was told that the children got fed up with the way the "boss" was treating them, and proceeded to strike! Way to go! (As a side note, I personally think many adults in the private sector, along with corporate heads need to take this class.)
In the afternoon, with the convention finally winding down, the teaching and education was as hot as ever. Those in the Arbitration class finished presented their case and was waiting on the "Arbitrator's" decision; Function 4 continued , and the Basic Stewards class moved into more advanced territory. National Motor Vehicle Director Mike Foster was on-hand for an update to the MVS attendees. National Retirees Director Judy Beard was giving information as to Retirement benefits and Information. During this class, an Attorney from the "Elder Law Center" of Michigan gave information as to Wills, Trust, and what information and resources are available. Did you know their was a hotline for seniors to answer their legal questions? Neither did I. Click here to view more about this service.
Photos from the Convention
1. (Wednesday) Pre-Convention (Audit & E-Board meeting)
2. Day 1 (Thursday) - Afternoon
3. Day 2 (Friday) - Morning
4. Day 2 (Friday) - Afternoon (to include the dinner, speakers and awards)
5. Day 3 (Saturday) - Morning
6. Day 3 (Saturday) - Afternoon