12 September 2018
Guest Column
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Tell a Friend: Join the Union

Tell a Friend: Join the Union
Susan Robison, Assistant Managing Editor, Oakland Postal Worker News Media

Most new clerk hires and PSEs have signed up with the APWU, yet there are still hold-outs among long-term Oakland employees. Here is why those people should reconsider.

While the Union must represent all craft employees in grievances and contract negotiations, only members may attend membership meetings and vote in Union elections for the candidates who are going to represent them. Members run the Union! Local 78 has an excellent record of communicating with members through the Local’s website, the news Briefs, and workshops on topics like retirement planning, injured employees’ rights, and current legislation that affects postal workers. Our website, www.oakapwu78.org, has recently been redesigned for greater ease of use.

There are monetary benefits to Union membership. The APWU health plan immediately comes to mind. Members are also eligible for the Union+ credit card, several forms of supplemental insurance such as pet insurance and dental coverage, and a mortgage lending program through Wells Fargo. A complete description of available discounts can be found on the national APWU website under “get benefits”. And let’s not forget the Word Find contest the Local just introduced, with a cash prize for members only.

On the subject of money, keep in mind that representation comes with expenses at both the local and national levels. Renting or buying office space and maintaining office space and maintaining office staff and representatives, contract negotiation, and taking cases to arbitration all cost money. Dues income pays for all that; if we fail to increase membership, our ability to cover those costs is restricted.

These days we are going up against not only management, but political forces who want to privatize the agency. Everyone’s job is on the line. Everyone should join the Union.

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