The Delegate Assembly kicked off on Friday, August 23 with a meeting for younger and newer NAPE members called NAPE’s Next Wave. Over twenty young NAPE members attended and we discussed ways that we will involve and recruit new younger members to our union. The Delegates then had a welcome reception at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln as attendees arrived from across the state.
On Saturday the delegates heard reports on membership, finances, and representation. We welcomed 273 new members in fiscal year 2019 and an additional 55 new members in July and August! NAPE membership is up 11% over last year, and we are committed to continuing to grow as we organize to fight for a better contract in 2020. NAPE’s finances are stable, and the fiscal year 2018 audit came back clean. NAPE has filed 44 grievances since January 1, and of the cases that have reached conclusion, NAPE has prevailed 80% of the time. We will continue to fight for the rights of our members!
Delegates attended two training sessions presented by AFSCME regarding reaching out to potential new members and conducting new employee orientations. They also heard short speeches from candidates for Nebraska Legislature and a presentation from our lobbying firm about the upcoming legislative session and why it is important for our members to be involved in the political process ahead of elections next year.
The delegates adopted a strategic plan for our union that focuses on organizing, communication, negotiations, and political action. You can read a summary of the strategic plan here. The delegates also adopted significant changes to our bylaws. The changes must be approved by AFSCME in order for them to take effect. The most significant changes allow members of the union to participate in the contract negotiations process after six months of union membership, and an elimination of the current “district” model of governance. Under the new bylaws, governance decisions will be in the hands of an expanded Board of Directors. More info will be communicated about the bylaw changes when they are approved by AFSCME.
On Sunday, the delegates recognized retiring NAPE staff members Mike Steadman and Ted Buri, and they also recognized volunteers from our retiree chapter, Bill Arfmann, Bob Corner, and Mike Zgud for their efforts in organizing new members through lunch time meet & greets.
The last order of business was the election of officers. Delegates elected five new officers and re-elected two officers. The new Board of Directors had their first business meeting at the conclusion of the Delegate Assembly.