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Good Day to All APWU Members. My name is Leslie M. Taylor; I’m a member of the “APWU Workers for Change” Coalition and am seeking your support to be the next Research & Education Director. I am a dedicated member of the Houston Area Local 0185 since March 1991. I’m 51 years of age, a loving wife, aunt, sister, friend and the daughter of a Retired APWU Union & Health Plan Member. Through my Dad, I come from Union Legacy. I have been involved in the Labor Union Movement as early as my preteens. We were required as children of an elected Labor Union Officer to participate in all pickets with the Transportation Workers Union (TWU). I understood then and now what helped put food on the table and clothes on our backs. I am grateful.
My educational background and flexible attitude to change signifies I am the right fit for this position. I hold an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts and have experience as an Associate/Substitute Teacher with the Alief & Fort Bend Independent School Districts. Before working for the USPS, as a student, I worked for Texas Southern University with the campus Psychometrist and assisted in administering the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to college students. As the Health Plan Director for the Houston Area Local, I spearheaded the first and only Prostate Cancer program with Physicians in this field who performed on-site Prostate Cancer screening for the Members in the Southern Region. My dedication provided an educational program concerning Breast Cancer with one of MD Anderson’s spokespersons and advocate, Dr. Jennie M. Bennett. In September 2006, I received an award for exemplifying Leadership, Dedication and Participation in the Health Awareness Programs by the Houston Area Local and took that same drive and initiative and spearheaded organizing the Open Season Health Fairs for Members and Employees of the Houston District North Houston Mail Processing Center and former Houston GPO facility. I have been entrusted with the position as Secretary-Treasurer, responsible for assets of over 1.5 million dollars, Tour Director, Steward, Step 2 Designee, Arbitration Tech and am a member of POWER. I am currently from the Maintenance Division as a Maintenance Support Clerk and have worked as a Maintenance Mechanic, LSM Clerk, CFS Mark-Up Clerk, FSM Secondary Clerk and a former Data Conversion Operator in which I was instrumental as a Union Official at Step 1 and Step 2 in the payment of 37 DCO clerks receiving $400,000 for being improperly excessed to the Mail-Handler Craft.
Many of our members were actually surprised that there is a Research & Education Department with our Union and want to know what are its functions as it relates to APWU. As your next Research & Education Director, I will assure you as members, you will not just hear about the Research & Education Department during election time, but year around. The Research & Education Department is to Educate, Distribute and Organize information about Labor Studies and its inner workings. My vision is to reach and teach the masses through Distance Education. Some APWU Locals, in particular small locals, are sometimes financially strapped and cannot attend all Workshops, Conventions and Seminars. My plans are to work with the Regional Coordinators and utilize the knowledge and experience of the National Business Agents by providing an educational video-based Mock demonstration on how the grievance process works. The video-based training will be available under the Research & Education page and will offer a Mock demonstration on how a grievance is processed from Step 1 to its final resolve. Educating the membership of the grievance process will curtail questions such as “where is my grievance” and we all know that knowledge is half the battle. This will also benefit newly certified stewards where a suspense date is required for them to completely review and answer questions from the Mock demonstration performed by our experienced National Business Agents. Remember, we all grasp information in various ways.
Let’s talk about Virtual Learning. I prefer Virtual Learning over webinars because it allows the Instructor to reach more participants. The settings are real-time and attendants can engage each other on grievance issues specific to their Local. Educational Seminars and Conferences taught by the National Business Agents and National Craft Directors will be equipped with technology where Union Representatives not in physical attendance can log into the trainings online, while the Conference is taking place, as if they are in the classroom.
Alongside the Shop Stewards Training Manual’s, it will also be beneficial to our Union Representatives, especially newly certified stewards, to provide grievance examples broken down by Articles under the Research and Education Department page and include under each Article links of supporting documents that are needed to assist processing a winnable grievance. Consistency and back-up in argument is important.
I also believe the Research & Education Department should work simultaneous with the other APWU Departments to keep our membership knowledgeable of every aspect of APWU. No man is an island and we all need each other to survive.
This is not the first time a plan to move this Union forward has been shared in this setting. Having a vision and embracing technology is not empty promises but what is needed to continue moving this great Union forward. A Woman’s Place is definitely in Her Union and there is room for everyone at the table.
I am the person for the job and will work diligently to put these ideas into action. As a candidate I believe a leader should be responsive to change and progression. Now is the ideal opportunity for adjustment to move the Research and Education Department into the 21st Century. Let’s make educating the masses a priority through Distance Education.
I, Leslie M. Taylor, humbly ask for your vote to be the next Research & Education Director and vote for the “APWU Workers for Change” Coalition.