(This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)
By Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell
Under the provisions of Article 16.4 of the APWU Constitution, the Secretary-Treasurer’s Department must notify locals in writing that their charter will be revoked if they fail to meet their requirements listed below:
- Filing annual financial reports with both the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as required by federal law.
- Announcing nominations and conducting an election of officers at least every three years.
- Maintaining a fidelity bond covering at least 10 percent of its assets if the local collects more than $5,000 a year in dues.
- Abiding by a properly-adopted local constitution.
Secretary-Treasurer’s “To Do” List!
The Secretary-Treasurer’s department asks local unions to provide a copy of their DOL reports and IRS forms to us after submitting them to the appropriate federal agencies. Local unions are also asked to provide a copy of local election results and amendments to local constitutions to the Secretary-Treasurer’s department.
Retiring Local/State Officers
The Secretary-Treasurer’s Department has received manyinquiries regarding the status of local union officers/members who will be retiring or have already retired.
If the President or other elected officer(s) retire from the Postal Service, they may continue to hold local union office, with all the rights of membership, by continuing to pay full local and national dues. Any elected or appointed officer who retires and does not pay full dues to the local and national union must be removed from office and their former position filled in accordance with the local constitution. If the local constitution does not have provisions for filling a vacant position or for succession of officers, local elections should be held in accordance with Department of Labor regulations.
Every retiring APWU local officer/member has the option of continuing to pay full local and national dues to retain their current positions. Local officers choosing this option would become cash pay members of their respective locals and have the option to:
- Pay the total of their local and national dues in accordance with their local constitution, or no less than quarterly, to their local treasurer. The local treasurer would then forward the national dues to the APWU Accounting Department.
- Split payments. One payment(s) for the local dues, in accordance with the local constitution; in addition, no less than quarterly payments of their national dues, to the APWU National Office.
The local treasurer should provide a receipt for any dues payments, and the national APWU will mail a quarterly notice of national dues that have been paid or are due to the national union.
Article 3 sec. 4 (d) of the Constitution and Bylaws of the APWU has provisions for retirees whose full dues/per capita payments have lapsed due to extenuating circumstances.
It is important to remember retired officers are not postal employees and any compensation for union work should not be documented as lost time or reimbursement for leave without pay. Local and state unions should amend their constitutions, or adopt a motion, to authorize a pay rate for retired officers performing authorized duties for the union. Compensation for any union official who performs authorized union duties outside of their work schedule is also not considered lost time and is only compensable if constitutional language authorizes payment or a motion is adopted to authorize a pay rate.
Any compensation under these two circumstances should be identified as “Other Compensation” and annotated on the local vouchers when submitted for payment.