March 01, 2015 - William Schneider
Greeting to all 157 members. I recently was appointed by 157 President Randy Zebin to the position of Chief Steward /Treasurer as Geary Wertz retired in January 2015. While I appreciate the confidence and support of President Zebin and the letter carriers of Branch 157, I do recognize the fact that I have some big shoes to fill. Geary Wertz served the members in this position for the last 10 years. Prior to being the Chief Steward and Treasurer, Geary worked as a Steward in his offices (Germantown and Fox Chase) for many years. Geary was an instructor at the Carrier Academy . He also served on the UMPS team prior to the implementation of the dispute resolution process (DRT). After the creation of DRT, Geary served the members as the "Formal A designee"
The story of Geary Wertz was not defined by the union positions he's held. Geary was a true friend to every letter carrier in the branch. He was a wealth of knowledge and someone you could lean on for help with almost anything. For many years we all had the opportunity to call the Union Hall and pick Geary's brain on contract grievances, disciplinary issues, and general advice on dealing with Steward's duties. We sent carriers from our stations to see Geary about OWCP issues and questions about retirement. Geary was more than just a Steward. He always went the extra mile to find the answers and keep the carriers he represented on the right track. ?From a personal point of view, Geary has meant everything to the progression I have made in representing letter carriers. He was the crutch I leaned on when I first became a steward. He took the time to show me how to process grievances at the Formal A level. When I became an arbitration advocate , Geary gave me extensive training and the information I needed to be successful.
On top of being a great Chief Steward , Geary handled the finances for Branch 157 for the last decade. This can be a full-time job in itself. Geary did this with a level head and without complaint. Filling Geary's shoes, is certainly the toughest thing I've ever been asked to do. Geary, we all wish you well in your retirement. You certainly earned it in every way. We are all fortunate to have had you in our corner. We'll miss you buddy! As for myself, I can only promise to continue to push myself to be as dedicated and professional as the man who came before me.