2010 National APWU Convention: Detroit, Michigan


On This Page:

  • Convention:  the left-hand column contains daily business notes.
  • Notes: the right hand column contains notes, pictures, video, Detroit, and commentary pertaining to convention business and non-convention business both.
  • Disposition Of Resolutions Table: At the bottom of the page is a table showing the disposition of all issues by number. There is a link there for looking up particular resolutions on the National Website.
  • Safe Saturday Delivery: speeches and video
  • Voices Of Labor Slide Show
  • Parade Of States Video & the INDIANA REMIX
  • Contentious Moments Video
  • Non-Convention Slide Show
  • Non-Convention Video
  • Chicago Trip Slide Show

Please remember that the passage of Resolutions does not mean that it will come to pass. These resolutions is where we, the members through our Delegates, tell the National officers the policy and practices they are to pursue. It is also, and most importantly, where we tell them what they are to pursue in upcoming contract negotiations. Of course, the USPS will resist any actions that benefit us in anyway. 

How The Convention Unfolds:

The convention is basically three events:

  1. Craft Conference: The first two days [Sat/Sun] are for the different APWU crafts. Delegates from each craft [Clerk, MVS, Maintenance as well as the Retirees and the Support Services Division] meet separately for two days and debate and vote on ‘Resolution’ that are unique to their craft. After those two days the Resolutions passed will go to the General Convention. *
  2. General Convention [Sessions]: All delegates meet as one [M-F] and will further review, debate and vote on the resolutions that came out of the Craft Conferences and different committees. Once those are disposed of the delegates will review, debate and vote on resolutions that are not unique to the separate crafts. These could be contract, legislative or procedure issues. [see table at bottom of page for resolution votes]
  3. Training: Training sessions are offered on Saturday and Sunday following the General Convention for a variety of items. Steward, trustee, legislative etc. It is advantages for locals to have delegates obtain training at the convention because they might save on transportation cost as opposed to paying for a separate trip. *

Convention Expenses:

Convention expense for delegates to the convention can vary as the mode of transportation, per diem*, lodging and days in attendance can vary.

It can amount to a fair sized expense for a local, especially one that has suffered a significant loss of members over the last 10-15 years, but there are three things to keep in mind about Convention expenses:

  1. It is a budgeted item that is ‘paid for’ over two years. That budgeted item pays for an annual State Convention and the bi-annual National Convention. We can send up to twenty Delegates at the local’s expense, but we tend to get more representation for our dollar because we also get to send extra members by virtue of them being state office holders. In those cases the State picks up their expenses.
  2. In comparison to the expense for training, conferences and other travel items, conventions have the lowest per day per member cost. The reason for that is that Convention Delegates are not reimbursed for their time away from work or home. In non-convention travel and training cases their is an additional expense of ‘Lost Time’ where the member is reimbursed for their time away from work at a dollar for dollar rate. In other words a weeks pay would be added to the cost of sending me to a conference or training. That would make the cost per person about $200 more per member per day than it is for conventions. So on a per day per member rate, conventions are cheaper.
  3. Because their are no Lost Time reimbursements for conventions, less members opt to attend. Additionally there is a meeting requirement for conventions and you have to submit your name for Delegate during the tri-annual elections [local]. Your also away from your family as well as your pay check. In order for me to attend I’m having to use 16 hours of LWOP and 24 hours of my annual in addition to giving up two off days for travel. Now a lot of members will point out that ‘its a vacation’, but who would use LWOP and annual to take a vacation in DETROIT? If you mean a week away from the PO is a vacation then OK its a vacation, but I don’t see a lot of members fighting for a seat as a delegate.

I would also point out that many members attend the conventions at their OWN expense with no cost to the local.

Sunday: Today is my travel day. Left Indianapolis by train [AMTRAK] to Chicago with a two hour lay over before leaving for Detroit. If you’ve never traveled by train I recommend it…even if it is just for a day trip to Chicago. It is always longer than driving or flying but also always more comfortable. Roomier seats with outlets for your electronics and you can get up and walk around as well as visiting the dining car for eating, playing cards, etc.  Less security and boarding hassles also.

Got in late, unpacked and went to get something to eat…wow! $12 hamburgers, $5 pizza SLICES! and $24 buffet! This is worse than L.A. in 2004 where I had to rely on crashing ‘hospitality’ rooms to eat. The per diem isn’t going to cover meals let alone my LWOP. After tomorrow's General Session I’m looking for a Kroger's or something.

Pictures from Chicago Stopover

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* notes

It should be noted that to my knowledge no one is attending training from our local. In addition we unfortunately and maybe unwisely, did not send our delegates to the Craft Conferences*. This means that we did not represent our members in the processing of resolutions unique to their craft. I’m sure that this was done as a cost savings move but will we choose to not send members to Craft Conferences in non-convention years? I doubt it. We partially remedied this decision by approving the attendance of the Craft Directors at the August General Membership meetings. I’m also sure that there will be some delegates arriving early and attending the Craft Conferences on their own, but the idea behind delegates is numbers, not just observing the activities. 

per diem is set by the IRS and cannot be withheld.

In the course of the General Sessions the resolutions from the different Crafts will be reviewed, debated and voted on individually, but at some point the body will entertain a motion to accept all recommendations from the Craft Conferences, deferring to the judgment of those bodies. With some resistance the motion usually passes. This is why full delegate attendance at the Craft Conferences are just as important as at the General Sessions. The Craft Conference is where the resolutions are fully debated and decided.


For more about Resolution and Conventions see:

  How Does Good Friday as a Postal Holiday Sound?



3,106 Delegates from 294 Locals present.

After formalities we preceded to review,debate and vote on Resolutions from the Labor Management Committee.

The highlights of the days resolutions:

#20 Overtime be increased to 200% and Penalty to 300%; #21 Employees be paid Sunday Premium when attending training which prevents them from working their normal schedule if it includes Sunday; #49 Maximum bids during a contract be increased from 5 to 7;  #71 To extend Employer share of health care premiums payments from 30 days to 18 months when employees are laid off; #73 Requires USPS to state specific reasons FMLA is denied within a specific time frame.

Remember these resolutions are directing the National what they are to pursue during contract negotiations. The USPS will fight against these resolutions.

In addition to these new resolutions several proposed resolutions where rejected because they have been adopted at previous conventions:

#22 That employees be paid Sunday Premium while on sick or annual if that is their regular schedule; #56 Assess monetary penalties on the USPS for repeated violation of contract language or grievance settlements; #76 The expansion of the definition of “Family Member”; #82/83/84/85 Uniform Allowances provisions.

In all by the end of the day we had completed action on 91 Resolutions.

Invocation, Host Local Welcome to Delegates, Welcome to Other Unions {Presidents of 17 Postal Unions from around the world}, Guest Speakers, and Roll Call of National Officers.


Convention Business starts at 10am and includes at 4pm. There are sometimes optional meetings. At the 2006 Convention in Philadelphia there were state caucuses in the morning and evenings and I attended at least one a day on some very contentious issues. This convention had very few caucuses by comparison, but the Tri-Sate [Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky] did schedule one for Wednesday morning.


10-4 seems like a short work day but you must take into account that being on the road adds its own time consuming rituals as transportation, meals and calls home become a little more complicated. [i.e.. where to eat? the hotel dining is too expensive but downtown eating isn’t much cheaper and transportation is an added problem as I am walking or taking public transportation almost everywhere.]
If you factor in trying to post nightly reports and updates to this blog there is little time and opportunity for taking advantage of free time.



The convention was called to order with formalities and the Credentials Committee Report.

Convention Business began with the resumption of the Labor Management Resolution Report.

Following the speeches and rally the Labor Management Resolutions were completed. We then dealt with the MVS Divisions Resolution which was completed minutes before the mandated 4pm adjournment time.

The highlights of the days resolutions were:

Retreat Rights, Leave Sharing and Seniority issue were dominate today. From the MVS Resolutions #176 concerning “Residual Bid Choice Time” was passed which gives a time frame of 7 days, or the local established bid cycle, in which to reply when receiving an offer to retreat back; #98 seeks to eliminate limits on sharing sick and annual leave as well as limiting leave sharing to Bargaining Unit Employees and their families; #100 added Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law to the list of eligible relatives. This issue drew a lot of debate as it was revisited, via reconsideration, as attempts were made to add even more relatives. Eventually someone brought the debate back to earth by mentioning the family dog. At that point all amendments were defeated and the originally passed version prevailed; #101-103 where passed basically dealing with other aspects of the leave sharing program such as allowing donated increments of less than 8 hours and that unused donated leave is returned to the donor or stays with the recipient but is not returned to the USPS as is the present case.

The most contentious issue of the day, as it has been in past conventions, was the mobility of Seniority Rights. Several motions were made in various forms to try to allow the continuation of Seniority when voluntarily transferring. Sometimes debated as a north-south issue, sometimes debated as an issue of protecting local or craft seniority the motions as always were beaten back.

By the end of Day Two we have dealt with 123 Resolutions.

Sightseeing and entertainment are common activities by delegates in their free time. For me its sightseeing which is difficult when Convention business restricts your opportunities to the evenings.

One thing I try to do is take the Convention Shuttle only when necessary. In L.A. I walked everywhere or took the subway. In Philly I took the subway, trolley, bummed a ride with fellow delegates to Atlantic City, NJ, and walked everywhere. Here I’ve been using the People Mover, city bus and walking.
I like doing this because with limited time and transportation you get more of a feel for the city you are visiting.

Reverend Jesse Jackson, Central Region XXX Sharon Stone, Indianapolis Area Local #130 

Guest speakers at mid-day where the Reverend Jessie Jackson and NALC President Fredric V. Rolando. Sandwiched between the speakers was a march to, and rally at Campus Martius Cadillac Square Park in support of six-day delivery.




Preceding the convening of the Convention the Tri-State Area [Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio] held an 8:30am meeting to discuss two contentious resolutions, #16 which dealt with a General Dues Increase and #6 which dealt with the filling of vacancies at the National level.

The convention was called to order with formalities and the Credentials Committee Report.

Convention Business began with the presentation of the Constitution Committee Report. Most Constitution Resolutions require a two thirds vote.

In the course of the day two parliamentary procedures* occurred which had not happened up to this point:

Teller Counts: Whenever the chair is not able to determine the outcome of a vote he will ask the membership to rise when they vote. If this fails then a ‘Teller Count’ will be declared, at which point all delegates will be given 8 minutes to return to the hall before the doors are locked by the Sergeant of Arms. Once locked a standing vote will be taken again except the Sergeant Of Arms [there are many] will precede up and down the conventions with ‘clickers’ counting the votes individually. They will then return to the appropriate station and add up the clickers to obtain an exact Yay or Nay vote. Teller Counts are most common on Constitution issues because the two-thirds majority is harder to judge.

  1. Similarities: Whenever Resolutions are so similar that it would be redundant to consider them individually they are grouped together and given the same number and a letter to distinguish them from each other. When those resolutions come to the floor the committee will pick the one they consider the most appropriate version. That version will be the only one considered and its defeat or passing eliminates the remaining similar resolutions. The Delegates are free to make a motion to substitute one of the other resolutions for the committee choice, but the convention will have to vote on that motion. I’m not sure, but I believe that sometimes the only difference between ‘referring to’ and ‘similarities’ is when they are discovered.

After Resolution #1 was defeated a motion to ‘Transpose’ business was made and passed to allow for two Resolutions to be considered out of sequence, so business proceeded to #16 and #6. These two Resolutions where so contested that sparks flew as it took about two hours to deal with them:

  • Resolution #16 had several similar versions: #16 and #16a-16i. #16 proposed a general dues increase of 3 dollars, with 2 of the dollars going to the Locals. Several attempts were made to reduce or redistribute the breakdown but all amendments and the Resolution failed to get a majority or a two-thirds majority as required. It was ironic that the National, including President Burris, opposed and spoke against the dues increase, emphasizing that the Union was financially sound. Many Local’s however had suffered massive reductions in membership that have left them hurting financially. The Indianapolis Area Local lost about 80 member to the last early out and the excessing to Mail Handlers of some Clerks have left a significant deficit in revenues.
  • Resolution #6 also had several versions: #6 and #6a-j. #6 dealt with granting the President the authority to withhold filling vacancies on the Executive Board as they occur. One hurdle was an amendment to drop 3 of the 4 points in the Resolution. This went to a Teller Count where the Amendment passed by a count of 1007 For and 784 Against. The Resolution as amended eventually failed on a voice vote as it did not obtain the required two-thirds votes.

I will try to add video from one of the above two debates so that you can see the intensity that goes into the convention work.

Throughout the day several more resolutions involved ‘similar’ resolutions.

Many resolution pertained to retirees and to their department, which got very emotional, and led to the withdrawal, in frustration and anger, of several Resolutions by the submitting Local.

Attempts were made to reduce the convention from 5 to 4 days, expand the hours the convention were in session, and reduce the number of days the Craft Conference meets from 2 to 1.

A Resolution raising the per capita support for the PPA from 5cents to 8cents was approved. This resolution does not increase dues it just increases the portion of dues that goes to support the National Postal Press Association.

This completed the Constitution Committees Resolutions and the convention proceeded to the National Executive Board Report.

The National Executive Board [NEB] Report.dealt with only 4 Resolutions before adjournment at 4pm. Only 1 of the four were passed.

By the end of Day Three we have dealt with 153 Resolutions.



Mariners’ Church
”…the church bell chimed ‘til it rang 29 times for the men of the Edmund Fitzgerald…” The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

Reverend Jackson to the Convention Delegates

Save Saturday Delivery Rally

Mark Gafney, president of the Michigan State AFL-CIO asked participants: “You wanna know who’s on your side? Everyone with a mailbox!”

* notes

Other Parliamentary Notes:

Referred Elsewhere means that this Committee sent the resolution to a more appropriate committee or craft for consideration or differed the resolution to a superior resolution.
Reconsideration is when a delegate, who was on the winning side in a vote, decides he would like to change his vote can make a motion for Reconsideration. If they receive enough 'seconds' they can state their reasons and the delegates can vote to approve the request for reconsideration or reject the motion.
Previously Adopted means that a Resolution was identical to a previous Resolution at this or a previous Convention and is not considered because it would be redundant.
Detroit (68)b

In walking the Detroit Riverfront I can’t believe that the tourist bureau or the Convention organizers didn’t make a point to direct Delegates to Detroit’s rich history in the labor and civil rights movements. In particular visiting the Labor Legacy Landmark (the big arch and sculptures) and the Underground Railroad monument (at the river's edge) in Hart Plaza. The place provides both education and inspiration.


Contentious Moments:

When I have finished editing this video I will post it here after the upload.













Convention Business began with the presentation of the remainder of National Executive Board Resolution. This was followed by the MVS, Support Services, Legislative, Formal Resolutions and the Maintenance Committees. All of these committees appear to have completed their business. The Human Relations Committee and the Health Plan Committee presented their reports but had no Resolutions to submit.

The Maintenance Division Resolutions were interrupted, after the first two Resolutions were processed, with a motion to accept the Committees Report ‘in toto’, which means that the Resolutions will be dealt with based on the Committees recommendation. i.e.. Recommendation of ‘concurrence’ means the motion passes, recommendations of non-concurrence’ mean the Resolution is defeated, etc. The motion passed.

Formal Resolutions Committee passed a resolution calling for the Mexican Government to end its repression of democratic unions, allowing organizing and urgently asking the government to deal peacefully with the Cananea strikers. The illegal immigration problem in this country is fed by three related forces: extreme poverty in Mexico, American businesses that entice workers south of the border to come north and take jobs at sub-standard wages, and the failure of America to force trade partners to live up to ‘Treaty’ promises to enforce safety, environmental and worker rights regulations.

Resolutions dealing with legislative issues the APWU supports such as Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Finance Reform, and bringing our troops home were dealt with passionately and passed by overwhelming majorities.

Following Tuesday and Wednesday hectic and volatile deliberations Thursday by comparison was fairly tame and Resolutions moved along at a good pace. It appears that, unless new Resolutions arise, the only Reports due will be Credentials and the Clerk Craft. The Clerk Craft Report will take up most the day as they have the second largest number of Resolutions.

For the first time at this Convention the Delegates recessed early, 26 minutes**. The evening activities for tonight are the Parade Of States and The COPA Dinner.

By the end of Day Three we have dealt with 231 Resolutions. I may have missed 3 votes* today bringing my total of missed votes to to 16 out of 231 over 4 days..

Parade of States
Every APWU convention conducts a parade to acknowledge the Delegates present and the States and Territories they come from. It is an event designed to promote Union spirit and gives the families in attendance a chance to participate.
 The Indiana Delegates showed out with a tribute march to Michael Jackson, coming out in a moon walk, sort of, with MJ fedora, white glove and t-shirt they finally did what hasn’t been done before; outdoing the PR mariachi band.
* notes:
*I stepped out of the convention hall to get a quick cup of coffee and when I returned SS#s 188-190 were completed. Judging by the short time I was out it would be a save guess that they were either Referred Elsewhere, Previously Adopted or Postponed. It is unlikely they were postponed. I will count them as missed votes and try to find out there disposition later. 
**The Human Relations Committee and The Health Plan Committee had no resolutions to present in their report.



With the completion of the Clerk Craft Division Report* and some late resolutions from other Committees the Convention completed its business and adjourned early [ABOUT 1PM] on Friday.

11 Resolutions from the Clerk Craft dealt with 204Bs and Article 37 of our contract. The debated ones were #115 and 116 which basically required 204Bs to return to the Craft for a minimum of one pay period and that while a 204B retreat right offers will not be allowed resulting in they will lose retreat rights.

* notes
A few of the Clerk Craft Resolutions where dealt with individually after one motion for ‘in toto’ failed, but eventually a motion for ‘in toto’ was made and passed. see notes for Sunday above.

Pictures from Convention activities during the week.

Non-Convention Pictures

Non-Convention Video

When video editing and upload is complete it will display here.










The below is for informational purposes only, it is not an official version it is based solely on my notes. Contact me for clarification or information on my notes. Contact the National APWU site for official information.

To see complete wording on a particular resolution go to the National APWU site:  click here


Labor Management






Previously Adopted

*= not present

1,4-6,8-9,12,19-21,23-25,27,29,31,32, 33,34-38,
101, 102,104-105,213-214,Addendum1
32 as amended,
33 as amended,
43 as amended
55 as amended,
58 as amended,
62 as amended,
69 as amended,
103 as amended,

32 was defeated, but on Reconsideration it was amended and passed

66 motion to reconsider failed

100 which had passed was reconsidered for a amendment which failed, then 100 was passed in its original form, un-amended

33 to the Clerk Craft and passed
48 to 47 and passed
42 to 54 and 54 to 52 and 53 to 52 and failed
44 to 51 and passed
50 to the MVS Craft and passed
99 to 98 and passed
104&105 to the Clerk Craft and passed
138-140 to the Clerk Craft and failed
141 to Legislative??

3) ???

13&14) #206 in 2002

18) #34 in1996 and #36 in 2000

22) #46 in 1998 and #69 in1994

26) R98-009 in 1998
56) #271 in 2000

59) #67 in 2000

76) #113 in 2006

82&83) #292 in 2000

84&85) #293 in 2000

7* Monday

92-97* Tuesday

215 ???


Clerk Craft





Referred To

Previously Adopted

*= not present

109,115,118-121,123-124, 127,129-130,133-134,142-144

116 as amended

138-140 to Labor-Management and was defeated.
141 to Legislative ???

137) #106 in 2008

The bulk of Clerk Craft was passed ‘in toto’ so I don’t have all of the amendments.
106-108 ???
111-114 ???






Referred To




addendum 1 as amended
147 as amended

148-149,&151 to #150

163 to 164

153) #157 in 2000 The bulk of Maintenance was passed ‘in toto’ so I don’t have all of the amendments.






Referred To

Previously Adopted



174 as amended

178 to 139LM
179 to 140LM
180 to 138LM

171) #1030 in 2004 MVS3 ???

Support Services





Referred To

Previously Adapted


181-187,188-189 190-192

188-189 to Labor-Management
190 to 138LM
191 to 139LM
192 to 140LM


Formal Resolutions





Referred To

Previously Adopted








Referred To

Previously Adopted



195 as amended
199 as amended
196   200) ??? 141 from Clerk Craft ???