Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I’d like to take this opportunity to inform you of my decision to run for the office of President in the 2019 APWU national election, and to seek your support.
As you may recall, last Dec. 2018, APWU President Mark Dimondstein reported that he had reached a tentative contractual agreement with management that he believed “to be fair and positive for the members.” However, the Rank and File Bargaining Advisory Committee disagreed with his assessment, found the tentative agreement unacceptable, and voted 9 to 4 to reject it.
To put President Dimondstein’s agreement into perspective, it is worth noting that this is only the second time in the history of the APWU that the Rank and File Committee has rejected a tentative agreement.
President Dimondstein’s agreement included several of management’s demands for the Clerk Craft and Maintenance Craft that the respective Craft Directors had explicitly rejected. In agreeing to management’s demands for concessions, Dimondstein undercut our craft negotiators, undermined the APWU’s democratic process, and compromised the union going forward.
In addition, when President Dimondstein didn’t get his way, he treated the members’ Rank and File Committee with contempt and disrespect.
During previous negotiations, members have always been informed of what was in a tentative agreement. However, this time there has been no transparency, and information has been kept from the members.
The tentative agreement would have had a negative impact on our job security, our work, and PSE conversions to career positions. Among other things, it would have weakened existing limitations on hours postmasters are permitted to work in smaller offices, eased restrictions on Mail Processing PSEs working the window and the USPS Line H staffing obligations for maintenance craft members.
President Dimondstein’s tentative agreement would end the Postal Service’s monetary liability for contract violations of these provisions and for failing to comply with existing settlements and negotiated provisions, thereby weakening contractual protections we have.
For more detailed information concerning why the majority of the Rank and File Committee rejected the tentative agreement, a member of the Rank and File Committee posted a report (http://www.gregbell2019.com/presidents-report/) to his local members concerning the tentative agreement. In addition, the Rank and File Committee Chair provided a Majority report (http://www.gregbell2019.com/rank-and-file-report/) summarizing the reasons and rationale for the committee’s rejection of the tentative agreement.
I believe in our APWU’s democratic process, and our elected craft officers’ authority and responsibility under our constitution. When they are undermined by the President, it demonstrates a lack of leadership and shows disunity to management. It compromises the union and our officers’ ability to effectively represent their respective craft members. This is unacceptable.
I’m running for President because I believe I can do better. I believe in being transparent with our members and representatives. I believe in treating people with dignity and respect, whoever they may be. As a union we fight for and demand that management treat our members and representatives with dignity and respect. Such behavior is unacceptable and cannot be condoned – even by a president.
I’m an experienced and knowledgeable leader with a record of aggressive representation and accomplishments who can best represent the APWU and our members as President. I have demonstrated the ability to unite with others, provide leadership as an integral part of a team, and inspire confidence among members and representatives at all levels of our organization in our common struggle as postal workers.
As a national officer for 18 years, I have worked with and provided assistance and advice to local, state and national representatives, regardless of craft or local.
Before being elected Executive Vice President in 2010, I served for 15 years as your Industrial Relations Director. I was primarily responsible for national negotiations and administration of the contract, labor-management and safety and health. Since 1995, I have made significant contributions and played a major role in the APWU’s success in improving job security, working conditions and benefits for our members in contract negotiations and arbitration.
I have been involved in eight national contract negotiations, the first three in my capacity as a member of the national Rank & File Bargaining Advisory Committee for the 1987, 1990, and 1994 contract negotiations – when I was president of the Philadelphia PA Area Local.
Prior to being elected as a national officer in 1995, I served as president of the Philadelphia PA Area Local for nine years and as chairman of the national Presidents’ Conference for four years. As local president, I led the Philadelphia Local to historic victories, including negotiating major gains for my members in local negotiations, and played a major role in forging the Philadelphia Local’s reputation for aggressive representation.
I have never forgotten where I came from, and have always identified with local officers, stewards, and members, and the problems they face on the work floor. And I have always been a strong, independent voice at the national level – putting members’ needs and problems first and foremost
I ask that you visit my website at gregbell2019.com to share my history and proven record of experience, leadership and accomplishments on behalf of our members – both as national and local leader. I hope you share this information, and the website, with local officers, stewards, active members and retirees.
Please feel free to contact me at (202) 262-7655 or by email at email@example.com. If I am not available to answer your call, please leave your name and number and I will return your call. I can also be contacted by mail at P.O. Box 10054, Silver Spring, MD 20905.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Yours in Solidarity,