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APWU Maintenance Division Director Web News Article #:
06/18/2018 – Brother Steven G. Raymer, who served as the union’s Maintenance Division Director for the past 17 years and was on the union’s National Executive Board and a lifetime trade unionist died suddenly from a heart attack on June 16, 2018. Steve was 61 at the time of his death.
“We are all deeply saddened and still in shock over the untimely passing of Brother Raymer. Our heartfelt thoughts go to his wife Nancy, daughters Allison and Jessica, his three grandchildren and his extended family,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “Up until the last days of his life, he was working on behalf of our members – getting ready for contract talks, national arbitrations and planning for our convention. We salute his many contributions over the years and his deep dedication to the APWU and its members.”
Brother Raymer, a proud veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp., was hired into the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in 1982 as a clerk prior to transferring to the maintenance division in 1987
In 1989, he was promoted to Mail Processing Equipment Mechanic (MPE).
In 1990, Brother Raymer was elected by his co-workers as president of the Madison, Wisconsin Area APWU Local Union. He served in that position until 2001, when he was elected as National Maintenance Division Director for the entire APWU.
As a national officer he was fully involved in every National Negotiation since 2001. “I served with Steve for 17 years on the National Executive Board I know how hard he worked, how much he loved the union and how deeply he cared about our members,” said APWU Secretary-Treasurer Liz Powell.
During his tenure as National Maintenance Division Director, Brother Raymer negotiated hundreds of settlement agreements on behalf of the Maintenance Craft. He played a major role in issues that affected not just the maintenance division, but all members of the union. He also represented APWU on the postal and logistics committee of UNI, the global union.
“The APWU has lost a union brother, a good friend, and a mentor,” said Idowu Balogun, assistant maintenance division director for the APWU.
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Web News Article #: 40-2018
Tulsa Area Local Secretary-Treasurer Cynthia McNeilance (right) speaking to
strikers. Also pictured is OPWU President Ashley Cargill (top left), and OPWU
and Oklahoma City Area Local Vice President Janice Pickup (bottom).
Teachers and public service workers in Oklahoma, inspired by their colleagues in West Virginia, went on strike April 2 to take a stand for themselves and their students.
Over the last decade, education funding in the state decreased by 30%. This reduction has led to deplorable conditions in schools, a severe cut in classes offered, a shortage of textbooks and other materials, and teachers not receiving a pay increase for ten years (their salaries ranked 49th in the country). Thousands of teachers and education workers rallied in front of the State Capitol in Oklahoma City during the strike. As in West Virginia, students and parents were firmly behind the workers in their fight for the future of education in their state. APWU Oklahoma Postal Worker Union (OPWU) members joined the strikers outside the State Capitol in Oklahoma City on April 10. At a tent set up outside the State Capitol building, APWU members distributed 600 bottles of water, 400 granola bars, 60 boxes of pizza and over 2,500 stickers to teachers and their allies.
“The teachers also enjoyed the more than 300 PayDay candy bars we handed out and hope they will soon see a ‘PayDay’ for themselves, their students, and our education system,” OPWU President Ashley Cargill said. “It was an amazing experience and it was heartwarming to be able to support our teachers, as well as show our solidarity and encourage them through this difficult time,” she added. “We will not give up in this fight and we will continue to be there for them however we can.”
At the end of the nine-day strike, teachers walked away with their heads held high. Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill that increased revenue for education by $450 million, funded by the first major tax hike in the state in nearly 30 years. It also secured a pay raise of $6,100 on average for teachers and $1,250 for school professionals. Education workers plan to continue their fight at the polls, to secure the additional $150 million for education the strikers wanted.
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