AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO

Representing over 50,000 SSA employees across the nation, Puerto Rico and Pacific Islands

 

 

RESOLUTIONS SUBMITTED FOR

AFGE COUNCIL 220

2009 NATIONAL CONVENTION

 

I.       Constitutional Amendments

 

A.     Per Capita (from Dana Duggins):

 

Whereas, increases to the council per capita tax has not kept up with inflation ($.35 in 1978 equals $1.16 in 2009);

 

Whereas,  the costs of professional staff has been absorbed by the council per capita tax-

         

          -salary and benefits for an attorney is $95000, ($.61 of per capita tax or 35% of entire budget)

-salary and benefits for a lobbiest $105000, ($.67 of per capita tax)

 

Whereas, the Council had to cancel it contract with its lobbiest because of budget shortfalls,

 

Whereas, the contract negotiations may require the Council to reimburse travel and expenses for negotiators to insure the council’s full representation in the process, ($.08 of per capita tax)

 

Whereas, the budget is supplemented with the council’s savings, rebates from national office and partial reimbursement from the legal representation fund to meet the Council’s expenses, ( $115600 or 43% of entire budget)

 

Whereas, the costs of council communications continue to rise, yet the demand for addition issues is high ($6000 per issue, $.04 of per capita per issue)

 

Whereas, the council’s communications, legal representation and legislative programs continue to be successful and beneficial to the Council’s bargaining unit,

 

Therefore, let it be resolved that effective January 2010, the council’s per capita tax shall be $2.00 per member, per month.

 

B.     Per Capita:

 

Submitted by Budget Committee (Ken Keillor, Cheryl Hainkel, and Rich Kirchner)

 

Whereas the resources for union representatives has diminished, especially in terms of official time; and,

 

Whereas the amount of representation work is increasing; and

 

Whereas  the Council needs to improve its assistance in the representation of our members; and,

 

Therefore, be it resolved, that the following be added to Article V, Section 1 of the Council Constitution:

 

Effective December 1, 2009, per capita tax to this Council shall be $1.25 per member per month.

 

 

C.    Council Records (from Dana Duggins):

 

Whereas the President of Council 220 directs the day to day administration of the Council;

 

Whereas the Council President has a daily need for accurate and updated information regarding Council Officers, Local Presidents, Council Representatives and Council Committee members;

 

Whereas the Council President has maintained this information for over a decade;

 

Whereas the Council President sends out updated Local Presidents and Executive Committee lists as changes occur;

 

Be it resolved that Article VIII Section 3 shall have stricken “ …. Shall keep the official roster of member locals and Local Presidents up to date ……”

 

Be it further resolved that the last sentence of this Section shall also be stricken:  “The Secretary shall distribute copies of the Council Local President roster to all Local Presidents and the Executive Committee on at least a biannual basis.”

 

 

D.     Assignment of Duties (from Dana Duggins):

 

Whereas Council Representatives are appointed by and given assignments by the Council President;

 

Whereas the Article VIII Section 5 provision that “The First Vice President for Labor Relations shall coordinate the activities of Council Representatives ….. “ has never actually happened during the tenure of multiple First Vice Presidents;

 

Whereas the provides the task of chairing the arbitration committee shall also be the responsibility of the First Vice president,

 

Whereas, the President should have the ability to assign the duties and committee assignments based on ability and qualifications,

 

Therefore, be it resolved that that language shall be stricken from the Constitution.

 

Therefore, be it further resolved that the President shall assign duties and committee assignments to each Vice President.

 

E.    Name Change (from Jill Hornick):

 

Whereas we have historically referred to our union in official situations as “The National Council of Social Security Administration Field Operations Locals;”

 

Be it resolved that Article1 Section 1 of the Constitution shall be amended to reflect this as our official name.

 

F.     Negotiation/Consultation Committee (from Jill Hornick):

 

Whereas we no longer have a Negotiation nor Consultation Committee;

 

Be it resolved that Article VIII Section 1 will no longer state that the President of Council 220 is the chairperson of these committees.

 

G.    Negotiation Committee (from Jill Hornick):

 

Whereas the Council no longer has a Negotiating Committee;

 

Be it resolved that “Negotiating Committee” shall be stricken from Article X Section 1.

 

H.   Organizing Committee(from jill Hornick):

 

Whereas we have not used the term “Membership Committee” in over a decade;

 

Whereas we refer to this Committee as the “Organizing Committee;”

 

Be it resolved that “Organizing” will replace “Membership” in Article X Section 1.

 

I.        Negotiation Committee (from Jill Hornick):

 

Whereas, we no longer have a “Negotiating Committee;”

 

Whereas the practice of the Council is to solicit for negotiators for each particular bargaining session;

 

Be it resolved that the first two sentences of Article X Section 3 pertaining to the Negotiating Committee shall be stricken.

 

Be it further resolved that in the third sentence “The members of the Negotiating Committee and” shall be stricken.

 

 

II.    Council Policy

 

A.     Official Time:

 

COUNCIL 220 POLICY RESOLUTION

Submitted by Local 3342

 

 

Note: The most recent published C220 Policy Document is dated January 2003. However, any revisions to that document since that time have not been published on the Council website and, therefore, are not available for general review and comparison.

 

Background

 

Official Time (OT) is the union’s greatest asset and source of power to gain rights and privileges for AFGE and SSA employees and defend against attacks against it.

 

The amount of OT and the purposes for its use are determined by the union’s actions at the bargaining table. Currently the union functions with a finite “bank” of OT while the agency conducts labor-management relations without restriction.

 

The distribution of available OT is set forth in the Council Policy Document, Section XII F. The basic policies are 1) OT is distributed to regions based on membership size as a proportion of total membership; 2) the Executive Committee (EC) has the authority to “adjust” regional allocations based on the undefined criterion of “good cause”; 3) the EC is required to review OT use quarterly (but with no stated purpose or procedure for what to do with the findings); and 4) the EC is to be the arbiter of disputes over OT distribution at the National Council and/or regional level.

 

We understand that the EC amended OT policy related only to underutilization of “50% slots” that were created in the current contract. (The result of that change has not been published to our knowledge.)

 

There appears to be a problem in underutilization of the total OT hours distributed to Regions (and their subordinate Locals). It appears that some regions utilize OT hours to near maximum, and have to curtail representative activity in order to do so while other regions have a significant surplus of OT at the end of the year.

 

We believe underutilization of total OT does disservice to the union at large due to failure to provide sufficient representation for a large number of dues paying members and by giving the agency an argument during contract negotiations that the already limited “bank” of OT is overly generous and should be reduced.

 

We believe that regions/Locals should be using hours consistently during the allocation period – a minimum of 20% per quarter would be a reasonable standard, which would still leave hours for unexpected activities. We also believe it unconscionable for the full allocation of hours not to be used by the end of the allocation period.

 

Resolution

 

Therefore, unless and until the union is able to negotiate contract provisions that do not artificially restrict use of OT nationwide, the union must create internal policies that allow for redistribution of underutilized OT among regions.

 

Therefore, we recommend changes to Section XII F of the Council Policy Document dated January 2003 as follows:

 

-         Change Section F-3, Formula Used to Allocate Official Time Hours to Each Region to read: “The initial formula used to allocate official time to each region shall be based on percentage of membership.”

-         Add as the second sentence of Section F-4: “The Executive Committee may adjust initial allocations taking into account factors including, but not limited to a region’s overall membership penetration rate, the pattern of past official time use, and documented special requests from RVPs.” Change the new third sentence of F-4 to read: Once official time has been allocated to a region the Executive Committee shall not take back time without good cause, including underutilization of hours, and without advance notice.”

-         Change Section F-5, Review of Official Time Usage, to read: “Once allocated, official time is expected to be used only for necessary representational purposes. It is expected that official time will be used on a consistent basis (a minimum of 20% per quarter) during the allocation period. The Executive Committee shall review official time usage of the National Council and the regions on a quarterly basis.

 

At the end of the first quarter, if there is an appearance of underutilization of hours, the Council President, or designee, will promptly advise the RVP of the possibility that hours may be redistributed if a pattern continues. If at the end of the second quarter and/or third quarters, it is determined that a region is underutilizing its allocation, the Executive Committee shall take back hours (following F-4 above) and will send notice to the other RVPs. RVPs will be given ten (10) days to make a detailed request of need for additional hours. If all hours are not reallocated, RVPs may make additional requests on a flow basis. RVPs who lose hours may submit to the Council President a written appeal, which will be distributed it to the Executive Committee for a vote, following the ballot procedure. Filing an appeal will not stay the reallocation process.

 

If the Executive Committee determines that the National Council allocation is being underutilized, they will follow the same procedure to reallocate hours as with the regions. An appeal of loss of National Council hours must be filed by the Council President; it will be distributed to the Executive Committee for a vote, following the ballot procedure.”

 

Respectfully submitted by:

 

__________________________                          _________________________

Paul Demler                                                        Norma Kitzmiller

Local President