John Gearhard: National Business Agent (A), Maintenance Division, Southern Region

My name is John Gearhard. I am seeking your vote for re-election for Maintenance National Business Agent A Southern Region. I have been honored to serve as your Southern Region NBA for the past eight and half years. I am requesting your vote in this election to continue the same integrity, dedication, and hard work.

I began my postal career in 1975 at the opening of the Jacksonville Florida Bulk Mail Center. My 44 years of continuous service to the Union include the positions of shop steward, Maintenance Craft Director, Vice President and President of my local. I started in maintenance as a custodian and eventually became an MPE.

I was elected to NBA in 2010 and re-elected in 2013 and 2016. I am the senior NBA in the Maintenance Division. My training includes APWU Basic and Advanced Arbitration Advocate training. I began arbitrating cases as a “National Advocate” under the guidance of my NBAs Charlie Robbins and Terry B. Martinez for 10 years before being asked, and endorsed, by the Maintenance Council, Steve Raymer, Idowu Balogun, Greg See and Gary Kloepfer to run for the vacant NBA position vacated by Charlie Robbins in 2010.

There are 2 elected Maintenance NBAs in the Southern Region, myself and Carlos Paz. The great working relationship we have is a must when tasked with training, arbitrating, pre arbs and step 3 meetings covering 11 states, 17 districts, over 250 locals, the largest in the APWU.

Since 2010, we have also assembled our team of 15 Maintenance National Advocates, who are appointed by the APWU President to assist the NBAs in the Southern Region in arbitrating your cases. The training the National Advocates receive from us, along with the experience in arbitration is instrumental to one day becoming better qualified, for a position as a Maintenance NBA.

There is nothing more important to the membership on the workroom floor, in their day-to-day struggles, then their grievances. There is nothing more important an NBA does for the membership then to arbitrate, pre arb and win the memberships grievances. Just as important is to develop training and then train shop stewards on how to file grievances for the membership.

Other Unions use attorneys to arbitrate their member’s grievances. The APWU still continues to select and train its members as National Advocates and NBAs to represent its members to arbitrate their cases.

Also, having knowledge of the contract and its handbooks and manuals becomes the basis for an NBA position. Not only to arbitrate and pre arb grievances, but to also train stewards to investigate and file the memberships grievances at step 1 and step 2.

The membership expects and demands that NBAs be experienced, knowledgeable and successful at arbitration and pre arbs of their grievances.

Ask the candidates for their experiences in arbitration or training, and what they have offered and done for the membership. Compare the candidate’s experiences and successes in arbitration.

Would you select an attorney in your personal life to represent you that has little to no experience or little to no winning record in a court of law?

As an NBA, it’s all about experience and winning results, not empty promises.

I have won thousands of cases at step 3, pre arbs and arbitration resulting in millions of dollars in settlements for the membership. This includes, but not limited to, subcontracting, Line H, staffing, crossing crafts.

In an effort to reduce the number of grievance’s thru ought the APWU, Headquarters has continued to assist NBAs in setting up pre arb sessions at the National Level. During these sessions we are able to get hundreds of settlements during the week long sessions. We will continue these sessions as long as we have grievances in the system. Those that are not resolved, will then be scheduled for arbitration.

I have also developed and given training classes at both the National Conventions and All Craft Conferences along with training stewards in all of the 11 states and 250 plus locals in the Southern Region. There is only one candidate with the needed experience and success in handling your grievances.

During election time it’s easy for candidates to tell you what they are going to do if elected, rather than tell you what they are presently doing. The membership wants to know what have you done for me lately.

It is easy for someone to say, if elected, I will become a steward, hold an elected position, get training to become a National Advocate, get certified by the president to start arbitrating cases, become successful at arbitrating cases, develop and give training to your local, state stewards.

Ask the candidates for a list of endorsements, including by their own local. Also endorsements of the other 250 plus locals of the Southern Region, and endorsement of the Maintenance Council of Idowu Balogun, Terry B. Martinez and Jimmie Waldon.

I thank the Jacksonville BMC local and the New Orleans local, along with the majority of the 250 plus locals I represent for their support and or endorsement. Also, for the support and endorsement of the Maintenance Council of Idowu Balogun, Terry B. Martinez and Jimmie Waldon.

I respectfully urge you to research all the candidates who are running for Maintenance offices. This is a very important election which will define the future of the Maintenance Craft and how this great craft will be represented. I endorse Carlos Paz for Southern Region Maintenance B. I also personally endorse Director Idowu Balogun, Assistant Director “A” Jimmie Waldon and Assistant. Director “B” Terry B. Martinez, for they are highly qualified and capable to lead our Maintenance Craft.

A vote for John Gearhard and team “Keep Maintenance Strong” is a vote for integrity, dedication and hard work for all our Union Members.

Visit our website to learn more about myself and our Maintenance Team. I ask you to re-elect John Gearhard, NBA Maintenance A, Southern Region.