|By the time that you receive this issue of the
newspaper, the 2016 Biennial Workshop will be over and I
certainly hope that everyone came away with a lot of
very important information and their questions were all
answered. As I write this article, the Sierra Vista
Chapter just asked a great question regarding chapter
newsletters and receiving so many back with bad
addresses. We will have discussed this at the Workshop
and hopefully gotten some good ideas from each other.
Our next big event will be the NARFE National Convention at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada, from August 28th to September 1st. Again by the time that you read this newspaper, the deadline for designating delegates for your chapter will have passed. “IF” a chapter has not designated any delegates, then it is VERY IMPORTANT that you designate a Proxy; someone to vote for your chapter. The deadline for designating a Proxy is August 1st but I have asked every Chapter President to please do this by June 1st and hopefully this will have been done. If not, I will be contacting any chapter that has not done it.
EVERY chapter’s vote is important as we will be voting at the National Convention on four (4) major changes that can affect the future of NARFE and EVERY chapter should voice their opinion. They are:
Optional Chapter Membership – Current and new NARFE members will be members of the national organization and will have the option to join a chapter of their choice at any time. Chapters will be retained
One Member/One Vote – Change national voting so that each member has one equal, direct vote. Rather than have a few delegates vote for each chapter, every member would receive a ballot and be able to vote.
Dues to be Set by the National Executive Board (NEB) – Not more than one increase every two years and not to exceed 10 percent increase each time.
Change Number of Regions – The Arizona Federation and other Federations have submitted both Bylaw Changes and Resolutions to Change the Number of Regions. The Arizona Federation proposes to change from 10 regions to 5 regions to save money.
These changes will have been discussed at the Biennial Workshop and we hope that you will take that information back to your chapters so that your members can discuss them and advise your “Ballot Voting” delegate on how you want that person to vote. EVERY chapter has a specified number of votes based on the number of Voting Members that your chapter had on January 15, 2016. This information was emailed to each Chapter President in early February. If you do not know your Delegate Count, please let me know. Presently, each chapter has one (1) delegate vote for every 50 voting chapter members or portion thereof; example – 151 voting members equals 4 delegate votes. If no one from your chapter is going to attend, then in order for your chapter to have a voice in how you want to vote on these changes, then your Chapter President needs to designate a Proxy. Any delegate that is going, can carry up to three (3) proxies, including myself. If any Chapter President needs help designating their Proxy, please let me know and I will walk them through it.
The Chapter should talk with their designated Proxy and discuss how the chapter wants the Proxy to cast the chapter’s votes. After the convention, the Proxy should make a report to the Chapter. Two years ago in Orlando, I made reports to a chapter each day on what was happening on both the ballot votes and the floor votes. This does not have to be done but at that time there were three candidates running for National President and the vote to reduce national officers from 4 to 2. This year there is only one running for National President and one for Secretary/Treasurer. But we do have some major resolutions to vote on.
To see a list of the proposed resolutions and bylaw changes, go to the NARFE website (www.narfe.org) and click on the “34th NARFE National Convention” button on the right-side of the Home Page. Then click on “Resolutions & Bylaws” on the left-hand side and then click on “Proposed Convention Resolutions” and/or “Proposed Bylaw/Standing Rule Amendments”. Sixty (60) days prior to the National Convention, a booklet of all the proposed resolutions and bylaw/standing rule proposed changes will be sent to each Chapter Secretary and designated Delegate. By the time you get this newspaper, these may have already been received.
In the May issue of the NARFE magazine is a list of the candidates that are running for office. In Region VII, there are two candidates running for Region VII Vice President. They are our current Region VII VP Rodney Adelman from Arizona and John Swett from Wyoming. The Region VII Vice President will be elected at the Regional Caucuses on Tuesday afternoon. Chapters please let your delegates know who you want to vote for.
I would encourage every member to attend at least one National Convention to see what goes on. You would learn a lot. Previously I have said that a National Convention would never be closer than Reno, Nevada. BUT – Awhile ago I received an email from our Region VII VP Rodney Adelman stating that Scottsdale, Arizona, was one of the final 4 sites for the 2020 National Convention and was asked how the Arizona Federation felt about that. I asked the elected Federation board members and the Phoenix area chapters how they felt and the vote came back that the majority were in favor of hosting it. With that information, Rodney attended the NEB meeting that had this site selection on their agenda. The 4 sites were: Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida where it was held in 2014; the Marriott and Sheridan in New Orleans; and The Westin-Kierland in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona. Remembering that National tries to have one in the east and then the next one in the west and that the 2018 national convention will be in Jacksonville, Florida, there was no question what would be selected.
So The Winner is – Scottsdale, Arizona. The 2020 National Convention in a little over 4 years from now will be closer than Reno. At the Federation Board Meeting on June 3, 2016, prior to the start of the Biennial Workshop, we will be discussing the 2020 National Convention and selecting a Chairperson. Please plan now to help the Arizona Federation host this event and let’s make Arizona proud. We will be looking for entertainment for the Arizona State Night. If anyone knows of some special Arizona type entertainment, please let me know.
Now I know that many or most chapters, including my own, will be going dark for the summer months BUT PLEASE do NOT forget to RECRUIT, RECRUIT, RECRUIT. If you meet someone new, see if maybe they are or were a federal employee and sign them up. If they don’t join right away, get their name, mailing address, and email address; send it to the National Office and they will put them on the Prospective Member list and periodically send them recruiting information.
Congressional members will be in Arizona for most of August. I would hope each chapter will work with your Congressional District Liaison (CDL) and set up meetings with each Arizona Representative or a staff member and work with Thad Andreski our Senatorial Legislative Liaison (SLL) to set up a meeting with each Senator or a staff member. For those congressional districts with no CDL, please try and set something up on your own. If you have questions, please either go to the NARFE website Legislative section or contact the Federation Legislative Chair, Vern Pall, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-760-1952. Remember, this is an election year! Remind them of how many federal employees and retirees live in Arizona and how important our airbases, post offices, VA Hospital, etc. are and what would happen if they were closed. How many jobs, both military and civilian federal employees, would be gone? What would happen to our economy? And, following any meetings, please send an email to the Legislative Department (email@example.com) and report on your meeting.
This summer will also be a good time to attend events with candidates that are running for office. Talk with them about their opinions of federal employees and retirees. Would they support us or not? Remember, federal retirees can work on political campaigns but employees are subject to the Hatch Act. If you are volunteering to work on a campaign, please do NOT wear NARFE apparel. You are not representing NARFE; you are working as an individual. If you have any questions, please let me know.
It has been announced that the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) rates will increase no earlier than fall 2016. Current enrollees in the program, which provides coverage to help pay for the cost of care when an individual needs assistance with everyday activities or suffers from severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease, can expect rates to rise. NARFE and the Arizona Federation will keep you informed as information becomes available.
As a reminder, the deadline for articles for the next Arizona NARFE News, which will come out in September, will be in mid-August. Please remember to submit some articles and help our newspaper editor. Write an article on any activities your chapter has held during the summer months or upcoming events. You can include pictures; please send them in jpeg format. But be sure and give us the information on people’s names, chapter, etc.
Dates to Remember & Mark Your Calendars --
August 28 – September 1, 2016 – 2016 National Convention in Reno, Nevada
May 7-9, 2017 – Arizona Federation Convention – Holiday Inn & Suites, Mesa, AZ – Hosted by District 4
Please have a safe summer. We know that many will go or have gone to cooler climates. Stay healthy and enjoy yourselves!
Thank you for your support and taking the time to read the Arizona NARFE News.
UPDATED: July 5, 2016