Minutes of Meeting of

Local 880 General Membership

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

               10 AM Meeting   

    

 Present: President Joseph Romeo, ST John Campanella, Delegate Brian Park plus ten union members.

Call to order: President Romeo opened the meeting at 10 AM and asked for a moment of silence for the following: Brother Frank Catando, a pensioner who passed away; Brother Howard Pennello, a pensioner who passed away; Brother Warner Carter, a pensioner who passed away; Sister Dorothy Balsavage, a pensioner who passed away; Sister Marybelle Figueroa, an active member who passed away; Brother Corey Gallman, whose mother passed away; Brother Angela Harrell, whose father passed away; Sister Erika Figueroa, whose mother passed away; Brother Jeffrey Gamble, whose mother-in-law passed away; Sister Renata Tramel, whose grandmother passed away.

 

New Business: A Motion was made by Brother John Campanella and seconded by Brothers Tommie Newton and Brian Parks to waive all union business and proceed with the arbitration case.  Motion passed.

 

Arbitration Case: President Romeo explained the circumstances of Brother Derek Cummings’ grievance.  Brother Derek Cummings presented his case and all questions were answered.  A Motion to vote was made by Brother John Campanella and seconded by Sister Karen Price.  Motion passed.  The votes were sealed in an envelope and the seal was signed by Brother Cummings.  The envelope will be opened at the evening meeting and included in the tally of the evening vote.

 

Old Business: President Romeo explained the issues regarding the RX-65 prescription plan and answered all questions.

 

Adjourn: A Motion to adjourn was made by Brother Ray Cappy and seconded by Brother Antwan Lindsey.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 10:20 a.m.

 

Sincerely,

John Campanella

Secretary-Treasurer

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes of Meeting of

Local 880 General Membership

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

 

 

Officers Present:                                                                               Officers Excused:

President – Joseph M. Romeo                                                                        Delegate – D. Nickodemus

Secretary-Treasurer – John Campanella                                            Steward – J. Castor

Vice President – John H. Cooper Jr.                                                  Steward – S. Rollins

Delegate – Jami Lyles                                                                                   

Delegate – Brian Parks                                                                      

Steward – Bruce Chew                                                                      

Steward – Ben Davis                                                                         

Steward – Corey Gallman                                                                 

Steward – Robert Jackson                                                                 

Steward – Deonne Moore                                                                  

Steward – Anthony Morgan                                                              

Steward – Jerome Page                                                                     

Steward – Felix Rogers                                                                     

Steward – Timothy J. Simmons                                                        

Steward – Marvin Taylor                                                                  

 

 

Call to Order: President Romeo opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m. and asked for a moment of silence for the following: Brother Frank Catando, a pensioner who passed away; Brother Howard Pennello, a pensioner who passed away; Brother Warner Carter, a pensioner who passed away; Sister Dorothy Balsavage, a pensioner who passed away; Sister Marybelle Figueroa, an active member who passed away; Brother Corey Gallman, whose mother passed away; Brother Angela Harrell, whose father passed away; Sister Erika Figueroa, whose mother passed away; Brother Jeffrey Gamble, whose mother-in-law passed away; Sister Renata Tramel, whose grandmother passed away.

 

Minutes: President Romeo said the minutes were posted in all locations and asked for questions.  A Motion to accept the February minutes was made by Brother Marvin Taylor and seconded by Sister Jami Lyles.  President Romeo asked if there were any questions.  Brother Ray Wetzel Sr. said that the minutes should not be posted in the garages so management can read about what happened at our meetings.  Members should come to the meetings if they want to know what is happening.  Brother Ray Wetzel made a Motion that the union dispense with posting the minutes in the garages.  Brother John Campanella said that the minutes have been posted in the garages for the last twelve years and they are posted on our website, which anyone can access.  Brother Campanella said that Brother Wetzel has a Motion on the floor to cease posting the minutes in the garages and asked if there was a second.  Brother Bruce Chew seconded Brother Wetzel’s Motion.  By voice vote, there were approximately five members in favor and 60 members against.  Motion failed.  Brother Wetzel said what occurred at the last meeting was a disgrace.  Brother Campanella said he agrees and he will do a better job weeding out what is not necessary in the minutes.  Brother Campanella said that there is a Motion on the floor and a second to accept the minutes.  President Romeo asked if there were any questions.  There were none.  Motion passed.

 

Financial Report: Secretary-Treasurer John Campanella read the financial report, which was also posted on the bulletin board.  Brother Campanella also reported that the beginning balance for the assessment for legal fees was $48,546.31, we recovered $5,746.00 in February’s assessment, leaving a balance of $42,800.31.  Brother Campanella asked if there were any questions.  Brother Ray Wetzel Sr. asked how much money we pay the NJ State AFL-CIO.  Brother Campanella said that the per capita tax to the NJ State AFL-CIO was not reported tonight because it is paid quarterly, but the tax is approximately $1,500 every quarter.  Brother Ray Wetzel Sr. asked how much money we pay the Southern NJ AFL-CIO.  Brother Campanella said that we currently do not pay the per capita tax of the Southern NJ AFL-CIO because they do not bill in a timely manner.  They send bills for one or two year’s worth of taxes.  We have made numerous phone calls and mailed a letter asking them to bill us quarterly.  They have never responded to our phone calls or letter so we are not paying the per capita tax, but the bill is approximately $675 per quarter.  Brother Ray Wetzel Sr. said that we should drop out of the NJ State AFL-CIO because they do nothing for us.  Brother Campanella said he is not sure we can or should withdraw from the NJ State AFL-CIO.  Brother Ray Wetzel asked if we send delegates to the NJ State AFL-CIO convention.  Brother Campanella said that we do send delegates to the NJ State AFL-CIO convention in Atlantic City.  Brother Wetzel asked if the union pays the delegates’ expenses and salaries to the convention.  Brother Campanella said yes.  Brother Campanella said that we are entitled to send ten delegates to the convention and last year we sent four.  Brother Wetzel asked how much money the convention costs the union.  Brother Campanella said that he does not know the cost at this moment but the expenses were reported at a union meeting following the convention.  Brother Wetzel said that a lot of members are complaining about the assessment and we should try to eliminate some of our expenses.  Brother Campanella asked Brother Wetzel if he attended the NJ State AFL-CIO conventions when he was a union delegate.  Brother Wetzel said yes.  Brother Campanella said that our delegates have been attending this convention for over 20 years.  Brother Wetzel said that the union pays for the hotel rooms, meals and wages at the rate of an International Vice President.  Brother Campanella said that the delegates are not paid at the IVP rate.  Brother Wetzel said that we are paying delegates to go to the convention to do nothing.  Brother Campanella asked Brother Wetzel how many years did he attend the conventions.  Brother Wetzel said that he attended the conventions for 18 years.  Brother Campanella told Brother Wetzel that he attended the conventions for 18 years and now he wants to complain that the current delegates should not attend.  Brother Frank Olive said last year it was approved by the members at a meeting to attend.  Brother Wetzel said that the bylaws state that the delegates can attend.  President Romeo said that he has attended the convention and it was informative.  The delegates were informed about what is happening to Labor all across the country and Delegate Sullivan gave a report at the following meeting.  Brother Wetzel said that the Chairman of the State Council said at one of our meetings that we should not belong to the AFL-CIO because they do nothing for us.  President Romeo and Brother Campanella said that they do not recall the chairman making that statement.  Brother Campanella asked Brother Wetzel if he wants to make a Motion that our delegates do not attend the NJ State AFL-CIO convention.  Brother Wetzel said no.  A Motion to accept the financial report for February was made by Sister Jami Lyles and seconded by Brother Robert Jackson.  Motion passed.  Brother Wetzel was the only member opposed.

 

Arbitration Cases: President Romeo explained the circumstances surrounding Brother Derek Cummings’ arbitration case.  Brother Derek Cummings presented his case and all questions were answered.  A Motion to vote was made by Brother Ray Wetzel Sr. and seconded by Brother Timothy Simmons.  Motion passed.  The result of the vote was 64 yes votes and 9 no votes.  This case is approved for arbitration. (Note: seven votes from the morning meeting were included with the votes at the evening meeting.)

 

President Romeo explained the circumstances surrounding Brother Adam Albino’s case.  The meeting was temporarily interrupted by the Mt. Ephraim police asking for members to move any vehicles blocking the throughway for emergency vehicles.  Brother Adam Albino presented his case and all questions were answered.  A Motion to vote was made by Brother Ray Wetzel Sr. and seconded by Brother Bryan Johnson.  Motion passed.  The result of the vote was 66 yes votes and 0 no votes.

 

New Business: President Romeo told the members that he has appointed a bylaw committee because our bylaws need updating.  The committee will consist of six union officers and three non-officers.  The committee will consist of himself, Brothers John Campanella, John Cooper, Brian Parks, Dave Nickodemus and Sister Jami Lyles.   The three non-officers will be EHT bus operator Steve VanSant, WT bus operator Omar Higgs, and NA bus operator Kathy Lannon.  President Romeo told the members that they can submit any bylaw proposals in writing to the committee.  Please specify the specific bylaw being changed and the new proposal.  The committee will then evaluate the proposals and make a recommendation.  If the committee is not in favor, the member can present the bylaw proposal directly to the membership.  Brother William Spencer asked for the comparison of voters in the last two elections.  Brother Campanella said that in the last mail-in election approximately 922 members voted.  In the recent in-person vote at the garages approximately 722 members voted.  President Romeo said that we will be having a vote for the RX-65 in the garages soon and he is considering having a poll done as well to see which method of voting the active members prefer.

 

President Romeo said that letters were mailed out a few weeks ago concerning the financial distress of the RX-65 prescription plan.  Members will be receiving another letter informing them of an upcoming telephone conference where members can learn about the issues facing the plan.  Members can also ask questions during this conference call.  President Romeo explained the troubles the plan is experiencing.  Letters were handed out to the members in attendance.  President Romeo told members to learn as much as they can about the plan and join in on the phone conference because the active members will decide whether we keep the plan or terminate the plan.  The vote is tentatively scheduled for March 20th.  Brother Wetzel asked if he could address the members regarding the plan.  President Romeo said yes.  Brother Wetzel explained that he was a union delegate when the RX-65 plan was created.  He explained why the union created the plan and what troubles were experienced during the life of the plan.  President Romeo gave more information regarding the plan and how the problems were addressed.  President Romeo said that the plan started with good intentions but is has become unsustainable.  The union will be able to answer more questions after members listen to the phone conference.  The voting will take place in the three garages.  Brother Wetzel explained how signing up for Medicare D has helped him.  Brother Frank Olive asked if the members will continue to pay for the plan if it is terminated.  Brother Campanella said yes, we have to pay off the debt.  President Romeo said that there may be other options that become available during talks with NJT.  The RX-65 plan was discussed further.

 

President Romeo said that there is nothing to report on contract negotiations.  There have been no talks between the union and the company.  We are heading to arbitration.  Do not listen to the rumors.   The company’s position is they have given us their final offer.  President Romeo explained some of the possibilities that may occur before and during arbitration.

 

Brother John Campanella told members that it is very important to update their beneficiary information with NJT.  Many things change during a member’s employment that requires updating their beneficiary information.  Also, if members get married or have a child, they have 30 days to notify the NJT benefits department to add coverage.  After 30 days, members must wait until open enrollment.  President Romeo said that any retirees should send the union a copy of their monthly pension statement to check for errors in deductions.

 

Adjourn: A Motion to adjourn was made by Sister Jami Lyles and seconded by Brother Chris Walton.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

 

Sincerely,

John Campanella

Secretary-Treasurer

 

Note: The next general membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.  Hope to see you there.