2019 NWPA ALF Convention in Review

On Wednesday, June 26th, we held our NWPA ALF Convention, a five-hour jam-packed event that started with a working lunch. Our volunteers helped to assure things run smoothly and we thank them all.

Welcome Address: Jack Lee, President of the Erie-Crawford CLC and Summit Township Supervisor gave the Welcome Address.  He thanked everyone for attending, discussed some of the histories of labor in the area, the economy, and what the area has to offer.

Keynote Address: Irwin Aronson, PA AFL-CIO General Counsel and labor’s friend who  started his speech  with a quote “Justice, Justice, thou shall pursue.”  He discussed the reason we have 500 school districts in 67 counties, school funding and legislation that will impact it with a more in-depth explanation of why we should be against this legislation as written. He discussed the need for attention and participation in the election process at every level. Irwin discussed the work he has done and litigation he was a part of the impact of labor. He discussed the multitude of ways the election, retention, and decisions made by Judges can impact our lives and livelihood of unions, their members and the commonwealth. Irwin discussed the possibility of merit selection of judges and why it should be fought by labor. Irwin said we are still working on Public Sector OSHA and explained a bit about the history of OSHA.  After he completed his speech Irwin took Q &A from those in attendance. Andrew Harkulich presented a small token of our appreciation for all he has done for us, which was donated by George Bryan, President of USW 1917.

UE Update: Scott Slawson, President of UE 506 and Mike Ferritto, Business Manager UE 506 who were invited to bring us up-to-date on their progress. They talked about the 128 days of negotiations, Solidarity of their members, the structure and support of and during their 9-day strike the many events held and the support of organized labor and the community. 

Irwin thanked UE 506 for showing the impact and power labor can have when they have been vested in Comunity Service in their communities and work in Solidarity with the Unions and Community. 

Presentation of Scholarship awards: Andrew Harkulich thanked all who judged the scholarships and commended on the quality of the essays submitted by the applicants.

 Samuel Vrenna who submitted our winning Theme Slogan Contest. Samuel thanked us for the opportunity to enter this contest and told everyone the slogan he submitted ”Unions Unite A Community” and explained why he chose it. Andrew presented him with his award and check for $200.00.

Stone Robert Helsel our winner of the NWPA ALF and gave him an opportunity to address those present.  He read his essay which was also printed in your program book and our recent newsletter. He thanked us for what we do and said he is looking forward to College. Andrew presented his award and check for $500.00.

The winner of the David A Bielski Scholarship, Emily Hughes, is in College in Washington DC and was unable to join us. However, Greg Laird from IAFF was able to accept it on her behalf and read a letter of appreciation and acceptance sent by her. Andrew presented the award and $500.00 check to Greg who will give it to her father, later.

Election of Officers and E-Board Members:

Nomination and Election of our Officers and Executive-Board was the primary reason for the convention. Howard Thompson chaired the Election Committee the results of that committee are listed below:


NWPA ALF Officers & E-Board Members

  • Chair                                      Andrew Harkulich
  •  S_T                                        Philip     Lasky
  • V-chair                                  Julie       Barnett
  • V-chair                                  J David  Henderson
  • V-chair                                  Gary      Bittner
  • V-chair                                  Richard Galiano
  • V-chair/Trustee                 Frank     Telesz
  • Rep GMP/Trustee           Anthony Modaffare
  • Rep GWCLC/trustee       Walter    Geiger

 Union Reps        

  • Rep AFSCME      Shane   Clark
  • Rep APSCUF       Andrea Wyman
  • Rep ATU               Pattie    DeMichele
  • Rep IAFF              Greg      Laird
  • Rep IBEW             Jim         Nuber
  • Rep IUOE             Rich        Barrett
  • Rep IUPAT           Giles      Grinko
  • Rep OPEIU          Jeffrey  Hapke
  • Rep PA JBWU     Linda     Gomaa
  • Rep PSEA             Mike      Kalpich
  • Rep Roofers       Jack        Lee Jr.
  • Rep SEIU              Mike      Butler
  • Rep UA                 Dennis  Pry
  • Rep UFCW           Daryl      Busch
  • Rep USW             George Bryan

 CLC or Chapter Reps        

  • Rep B CLC                            Jim         Saeler
  • Rep B&CTC                          Darrell   Niemenski
  • Rep B-L CLC                         Kerrianne  Theuerl
  • Rep CECJ CLC                      Jeff        Miller
  • Rep EC CLC                          Rosanne  Gangemi
  • Rep I-A CLC                         Jerry        Shull
  • Rep M CLC/ UBC               Lonnie  McFall
  • Rep V-C Chapter               C.J. Pete  Kluck
  • Rep  W-F CLC                      Archie   Graham

 We congratulate the members of our new E-Board. We are proud and grateful for all those who have chosen to serve the NWPA ALF.

Special Presentation:  Our meeting included an interesting and informative presentation on “Off the Table” which included a video about taking healthcare off the table by the implementation of single-payer healthcare and the benefits to members and our unions. John Thompson- UE, Steven Kocherzat, Jan Carpenter, T Berry (all of whom are with the Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council) and Dr. Judith Alberts, Pittsburgh chapter of the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) were the presenters and panel discussing the topic. We truly appreciated it.

A special thanks to all who attended, took out advertisements in our Convention Booklet, Ran for Office, volunteered or worked at our event and contributed to its success.