Greetings Midwest Area (MWA) NASCOE Members. One week ago, your NASCOE Executive Committee, National Committee Chairpersons, and your area Negotiation Consultants all traveled to Grapevine, Texas for our 2018 Pre-Negotiations meeting. The meeting I must say was a very productive meeting. We covered everything on the agenda and then some. There were a total of 48 negotiation items submitted. The MWA submitted 15 of those items. Great job! Thirteen of these items will be an “IT bundle” covering a plethora of IT concerns that were submitted. It looks like we are going to negotiate 10 items. One of those items was combined with 5 others in regard to Staffing / Personnel. Our team has three new Negotiation Consultants this year. However, by their professionalism, knowledge, drive, and energy they presented as if they were “old pro’s” at being a Negotiation Consultants.
As I sit here compiling my report, I have the news on in the background. The number one story is the Government shut down. This is a very emotional time for all of us. I want everyone to remain calm and try to keep a positive attitude and image. We may not be at work, but our reputation as USDA employees was built on our resilience. Hopefully we will be back to work without a break.
I want all members to know that we are hearing you loud and clear in regard to staffing and workload. NASCOE is working diligently to ensure that we are a part of creating an accurate workload report and system.
The next item I feel needs addressed is the OneUSDA and USDA reorganization. I want everyone to know that NASCOE, and our political consultant, are working hard for you to ensure we are being heard through the reorganization process. We are ensuring that service to our producers and our employees are being considered throughout this process. We have asked our consultant to provide an overview of where we are at in this reorganization. I will forward this once we receive this update. I want to point out to all members, our consultant is a valuable asset too us. Last night, (January 19, 2018) he was in constant communication with the Executive Committee well past midnight, and again before 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning. As many of us were up most of the night watching our futures play out before us, he too was watching and working hard for us.
I have been assigned the duty of reviewing the current Roles and Responsibilities for all Committee’s. It was determined that we should review and make applicable changes to ensure our Responsibilities Handbook is current and up to date.
Publicity/ Webmaster –
I will start off the reports with Publicity. Teresa has informed me that she is ready to start working with states teaching them how to use the MWA website. Teresa has heard from IL, IN, MI, MN, and WI. She has not heard from OH, IA (static page), or MO (static page). IA, MO, and OH please contact Teresa in regard to the email she sent and the information she is requesting of you.
We have been provided a listing of ALL county office employees in our area. I will be working with LeAnn on how we would like to proceed using this list for our area. Jump teams were discussed. I am going to visit with LeAnn, and the leadership in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin about the potential need for a jump team. Those three states have membership in the 60th percentile. PT Leadership Trainings would be a good place to promote NASCOE. I encourage states to have the Membership is Important Flyer at all PT training’s. I was told that there is a section in the training that allows employee associations to be discussed. If time allows, this would be a good time to discuss NASCOE.
Awards/ Scholarships/ Emblems-
The Midwest Area had a total of 61 Scholarships applications of the 154 NASCOE submissions this year. That is amazing! The MWA also had 41 of the 73 Distinguished Service Awards submitted to NASCOE. Thank you all for taking the time to apply and recognize those we serve with! As states start to have their conventions, please make sure you are contacting Tina Young to have emblems available for sale at your conventions.
I have been contacted by a few states in regard to locating JM Marketing information on the nascoe.org webpage. Once on the NASCOE home page, navigate to WHO IS NASCOE, then NASCOE AFFILIATES. There you will find the link to JM Marketing.
We had a success story in one Minnesota county where six County Committee Members joined NAFEC! This was good to hear. Mary Roberts sent out the NAFEC packet to all states. Please ensure that County Committee Members throughout the MWA are informed of their right to join. County Office employees can join as associate members. If you did not promote NAFEC to your County Committee during the 2018 Organizational Meeting, please do so at your next COC Meeting.
Donny and Jackson, along with Hunter, provided a Legislative Update to the group. Again, as I sit here today, I personally didn’t expect the shut down to occur.
- PAC – Political Action Committee:
- Currently there are 724 active contributors and a total of $3,315.00 per pay period. That’s an increase of 79 new contributors since PP25 of last year (2016). Currently the MWA has 10% of membership contributing to the PAC. Are you? If you aren’t, why not? $1-3 a pay period is unnoticed.
- Do you realize you may be spending more daily on coffee or pop than what you would spend daily on PAC? The PAC will help you keep that paycheck, whereas coffee or pop won’t. Think about this:
I stop everyday at Casey’s for a 32oz. Coke or 24oz coffee. Multiply that by 18 work days a month. I was spending $17.10 a month on drinks for work. Instead, I decided the PAC was worth contributing to more, so I could have the job that provides me my paycheck. I decided to start donating $3.00 to the PAC and start making my own coffee at home. I am money ahead in my wallet AND I feel I am participating in the PAC which is another type of “job insurance” to me! Start contributing today! Every little bit helps!
I also want to inform everyone that Sara Bateson will be assisting Kay Lumsden with the Congressional Contact listing. Both Kay and Sara are looking forward to working with each other and will be in contact with states soon.
Programs – Jamie Garriott, CED Indiana
Since July 1, 2017, the Midwest Area has submitted 26 of the 70 NASCOE Program submissions so far.
2018 Midwest Area (MWA) Rally- Des Moines, Iowa & 2018 State Convention Schedule
The IASCOE (Iowa) leadership, Jackson Jones, and myself had our first MWA Rally Conference Call on Friday, January 5, 2018. IASCOE is hosting the 2018 MWA Rally in Des Moines, IA March 22 – 24, 2018. The ideas and excitement they are planning is shaping up to be what looks like a great rally. The registration form and hotel information is set to be released this week. I have included on this email the registration form. Please make sure you register and make your room reservations timely when the information is released.
MWA State Convention Schedule
Illinois – March 9 -10
Iowa – Midwest Area Rally March 23 – 24
Minnesota – April 6- 7
Wisconsin – April 20- 21
Indiana- April 27
Michigan –May 5
Missouri – August 27 – 28
Ohio – TBD
I want everyone to know that Debbie Staley did a great job representing the MWA as your Negotiations Consultant, along with Jackson Jones, as your Midwest Area Alternate Executive. These two deserve a thank you the next time you see them. I am very proud to serve our area with them by my side.
Christopher L. Hare
Midwest Area Executive