Sunday, March 27, 2011

D'Errico, Bilello, Gausman, Who Is President of Local 157?

Picture from left Rally Organizer Donny Arana, brother Gauntlett Holness and pro tem Vice President, Gerry Gausman.
Who is the president of Local 157? It seems like a simple question with a simple answer. But like so many things in the UBC, it's an answer with many shades of gray. Is pro tem newly elected President Mike Bilello, President, or is pro tem Vice President Gerard Gausman, or is President Lawrence D'Errico still the President of Local 157?

There has been much discussion and confusion on this subject pertaining to what exactly happened at last Monday's Local 157 meeting and who the President is. Even the parties involved are not entirely sure what happened!

To help answer that question and give you a better understanding, I needed to refer to the UBC Constitution, consult with Chief Compliance Officer John Ballantyne and recap exactly what happened and the events leading up to Monday's historic meeting to find the answer.

On Monday March 21, Local 157 was thrown into the unprecedented position of having both the President and Vice President absent for a regular schedule meeting because of Review Officer ("RO") Dennis Walsh zealous investigation of organized crime influence over the District Council.

We reported that the RO's investigation netted eight council employees, among them were, President Lawrence D'Errico, who's employment the RO is considering vetoing, Vice President Anthony Pugliese, who was pushed into retirement because he refused to cooperate, and Financial Secretary Paul Capurso, who is consulting with an attorney.

D’Errico, who the RO is investigating and considering vetoing has not resign and is still the President of the local. We reported that D’Errico was suspended without pay by Supervisor Spencer, until such time as he is able to resolve his issue with the RO or the RO makes a final determination and vetoes his employment. 

Vice President Pugliese signed a letter of resignation resigning from his position as Vice President as stated by Financial Secretary Paul Capurso at the meeting.

Capurso, who played a prominent role in the meeting, did not inform the members about the RO’s investigation, stating only that D’Errico was "unavailable" and Pugliese has retired. 

We reported that Pugliese was pushed into retirement because he refused to cooperate with the RO and sign a declaration under penalty of perjury pertaining to mob influence over the affairs of the District Council.

According to Capurso, in accordance with Section 32 D of the UBC Constitution, which he stated, “In the absence of both the President and the Vice President, the Recording Secretary shall call the meeting to order and those present shall elect a President pro tem”.  

The Recording Secretary opened the meeting and an election was held electing Brother Michael Bilello as pro tem President (pro tem derived from the Latin word pro tempore meaning for the time being; temporarily). Capurso stated that Bilello will act as president pro tem for the March meeting "only."

Upon taking his position on the dais, the newly elected pro tem President put his foot in his mouth, self-destructed, and criticized for being against union democracy and transparency, (See, A Defining Moment) by wrongfully refusing to accept a motion for a copy of the meeting minutes.

"I was disappointed at how the meeting was facilitated by Brother Bilello, in particular regarding the meeting minutes, though he handled the issue slightly better than Derrico (at least there was some progress in the end.) "Allowing the member increased access to meeting information is common sense and entirely consistent with the spirit of direct democracy and Robert's Rules of Order." "Billelo's obstinate adherence to an irrational interpretation of Rule 30, and his arbitrary departure from the due process of consistently recognizing motions brought to the floor by all members, is a foul omen of history repeating in the perpetual cycle of dictators. Because Bilello disagrees with a motion is not justification for blocking the members from voting on it."

"Furthermore, if the issue is maintaining secrecy, the meeting can be moved to Executive Session where no records of the proceedings are kept (except results.) Limits of secrecy can be set accordingly for what is printed on paper or posted on the website by vote."

"The real issue should be that there are bosses who hold cards, who can attend meetings, who can log on with a password to the District Council. Perhaps for security purposes bosses should not be eligible for membership." "But limiting access to information is sure sign of dictatorship; Bilello has acted in a way that has inspired a significant no confidence vote against him in a time when there should be no question about the qualifications of our elected officials"
, a member posted criticizing Bilello's action.

Under his authority as pro tem President, Michael Bilello conducted roll call after which he appointed Brother Gerard Gausman as pro tem Vice President.

As stated in Section 32 B of the UBC Constitution, “When vacancies occur in any elective office of a Local Union or in the position of delegate to the Council from a Local Union, the President of the Local Union may appoint a qualified member to fill the vacancy pro tem, until such time as an election is held to fill the vacancy." (Note: May appoint, not must appoint)

On December 7th, Gausman was elected Vice President in a special executive board election in former Local 608 before UBC General President dissolved the local on December 14, 2010 and transferred all its members to Local 157. Gausman, promised to "end the years of corruption, institute democratic reforms, have full transparency and accountability, and run the local solely for the benefit of the membership."

Now this is where it gets very interesting so pay very close attention.

In the possible absence of President Lawrence D’Errico during our next scheduled meeting on April 18th, we need to refer to Section 34 of the UBC Constitution, which states:

“The Vice President shall assist the President in the discharge of the official duties and shall perform the duties of President in the event of the absence of the President.  In the event of the death, removal or resignation of the President, the Vice President shall fill the office of President, until such time as a President is elected." 

Based on this section, pro tem Vice President Gerard Gausman would open the April meeting in the absence of President D'Errico, in his capacity as pro tem Vice President.

Bilello was elected pro tem President for the March meeting "only," and who's service is no longer needed, in essence he served only as the presiding officer to conduct one meeting. Bilello was under no obligation to appoint a pro tem Vice President, he chose to do so. Had he left the office vacant, and in the possible absence of President Lawrence D’Errico during our next scheduled meeting, the April meeting would resemble the March, and we do it all over again.

But that did not happen, we have pro tem Vice President Gausman, who will open the April meeting and assist the President and perform the duties of President in the absence of President D'Errico.

In the event D'Errico resigns his position as President, pro tem Vice President Gausman shall fill the office as President until such time as a President is elected. Local 157's next election is scheduled for July.

All bets are off of course if General President McCarron decides to dissolve Local 157 for whatever reason and transfers all it's members to newly formed Local 395 and appoint a new executive board.

With over 10,000 members, Local 157 is the largest of 11 locals in the New York City District Council of Carpenters and the UBC, the local controls virtually all high-rise construction in Manhattan and in the Bronx.

You couldn't make this stuff up...fascinating, congratulations Brother Gausman.

John's Note:  We urge all our union Brothers and Sisters to attend the "Rally For Solidarity" schedule for Wednesday April 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm.

Click here to print out the Rally flier and and hand it out to your fellow brothers and sisters, post it at your job site, deli, etc. The Rally is being organized by Donny Arana and pro tem Vice President Gerry Gausman. To volunteer or for more information contact Donny at 516-582-8930 or Gerry at 516-695-1439.

We must stand together and let our voice be heard!




  2. The Recording Secretary called the meeting to order at the last local 157 meeting due to an absence of both the President and the Vice President.
    He informed the members that their would be nominations and elections to select a pro tem President to facilitate the holding of the meeting. This position was to be for the duration of the meeting only.
    In the event that Derrico did not show up at next months meeting, the members would have to select a pro tem President again.
    Mike Bilello and Pat Crean were nominated.
    Mike Bilello won the election.
    Everyone who voted for Mike Bilello and everyone who voted for Pat Crean in essence agreed to be bound by the election rules outlined by Capurso.
    So more people voted that the position of pro tem President would be for the duration of the meeting than voted for either candidate.
    During roll call Mike Bilello appointed Gerry Gausman as vice president pro tem.
    Now this position could only be filled for the duration of the meeting by Mike Bilello. When the meeting ended, so did Gausmans term as VP because:

    1. The members had agreed to having a President elected pro tem for the meeting in the understanding that it would be for the duration of the meeting only and that the process would be repeated if Lawrence failed to show up for the next meeting.
    Anything which would alter the terms agreed to by the members would require a vote by the members.
    2. Mike Bilello did not have the power to change the terms under which he was elected and so could not appoint anyone to a position which would not allow for there to be pro tem elections for President at the next meeting if Derrico was a no show.
    3.Is it possible to withdraw a resignation after it has been submitted?
    A resignation is a Request to Be Excused from a Duty. It may be withdrawn in the same manner as any motion may be withdrawn - that is to say, before the proposed resignation has been placed before the assembly by the chair stating the question on its acceptance, it may be withdrawn without the consent of the assembly, but it may not be withdrawn without permission of the assembly once it has been placed before the assembly for its approval.
    Since the meetings are conducted under Roberts rules, has Pugliese resigned?

    4. While the constitution does grant the President the authority to appoint a new vice president, it does not say when he has to make that decision. It does not say that he makes this decision at the meeting. So as President, Lawrence retained the right to select a new VP, it was not within the power of anyone at that meeting to take this from Derrico.

    Bilello is not President and Gausman is not Vice-President.

  3. Pat Nee: Mike Bilello did not have to appoint a pro tem Vice President he chose to do it. The meeting could have been conducted without a vice president. We had many meetings over the years without a vice president for what ever reason.

    Under his authority as pro tem President, Bilello appointed Gausman as pro tem Vice President, per Section 32 B of the UBC Constitution.

    When the recording secretary said, "In the event that D'Errico did not show up at next months meeting, the members would have to select a pro tem President again."

    That was based on not having a vice president, the recording secretary did know know Bilello would appoint a vice president.

    We will see how this all plays out, but I believe Gausman is the legally appointed pro tem vice president.

  4. cbox chat stopped responding for some reason, I was saying listman: My post is basically what Ballantyne communicated to me in an email.

  5. Dear John Musumeci;

    In your above article you misquoted me. You omitted part of a sentence I wrote without the proper use of ellipses. I appreciate your including of a link to the source, but please correct your quotation to indicate, with ellipses, that there was an omission made. I've included the original passage below for reference.
    Thank you for your work providing this site.
    Respectfully, Anonymous

    "I was disappointed at how the meeting was facilitated by Brother Bilello, in particular regarding the meeting minutes, though he handled the issue slightly better than Derrico (at least there was some progress in the end.)

    Allowing the member increased access to meeting information is common sense and entirely consistent with the spirit of direct democracy and Robert's Rules of Order."

  6. Why is there so much opposition against This guy Mike. When you finally got some one every one voted for And agreed to put the minutes on the web for all to see not just those who attend the meeting. This blog is full of facts, gossip,and people with an agenda that will always have a problem. We should be coming together no still bashing one another. I guess that will never stop.

  7. In reply to Anonymous, "Dear John Musumeci"

    My error I have included your full quote in the article.

  8. To Anonymous who said..."We should be coming together not still bashing one another."

    It is not bashing, I am reporting what happened at the meeting and we have a disagreement.

  9. Thanks John;
    It would have been perfectly acceptable for you to have omitted part of what I wrote; I just chalked it up as a grammatical error. But thank you kindly for putting it up in it's entirety.

  10. Thanks for posting, I like this blog!

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  11. I can't wait to see your examples of how your handwriting has evolved! I am obsessed with the different forms that handwriting takes. I love collecting old postcards just to see the writing...
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I would ask that if you would like to leave a comment that you think of Local 157 Blogspot as your online meeting hall and that you wouldn’t say anything on this site that you wouldn’t, say at a union meeting. Constructive criticism is welcome, as we all benefit from such advice. Obnoxious comments are not welcome.