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RE: SMART Northeast Regional Council

January 20, 2021

RE: SMART Northeast Regional Council

Brothers and Sisters,

I hope you and yours are staying safe and having a great start to 2021.

As you may know, SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. recently sent a letter to the membership announcing the formation of the SMART Northeast Regional Council, effective May 1, 2021. This new Regional Council will be comprised of Local 17, along with Local 63 and Local 40.

The decision to create the Northeast Regional Council was made by General President Sellers. While this is not the governing structure we had envisioned moving forward, we all need to embrace the formation of the Council in order to make it successful.

General President Sellers has appointed me to serve as President of the Northeast Regional Council and Russell Bartash has been appointed to serve as Financial Secretary-Treasurer. In these new roles, we look forward to centralizing our resources and increasing our market share to create more opportunities for sheet metal workers across the region.

For this new Regional Council to be successful, we also need the participation and support of all our members. Together, we will have the chance to further strengthen our workforce, build our region, and protect our wages and benefits. I look forward to standing with you in the weeks and months ahead.

As General President Sellers outlined in his letter, the Council will conduct its first election in June 2024, and elections will take place every three years thereafter, according to the Regional Council Bylaws. Starting in 2024, the President and Financial Secretary-Treasurer will be elected by the full membership of all the local unions in the Regional Council. The members of each local union will also elect Executive Committee Member(s) to represent their individual union on the Regional Council. There will be 9 Executive Committee Members, including 5 Committee Members from Local 17, 2 Committee Members from Local 40, and 2 Committee Members from Local 63.

General President Sellers has appointed the following members to represent Local 17 on the Executive Committee in the interim: Paul Conners, Sean Hayward, Michael Matthews, Patrick McCormack, and Jason Wright.

Along with these new changes, we will continue to preserve the democratic leadership and union benefits that we have all come to rely on. Please note that the following will not be affected by the new Council structure:

  • Our Local collective bargaining agreement (CBA) will still be in effect, including holding regular Union meetings.
  • Our member benefits, including your pensions and health coverage, will stay the same and remain under the Local 17 Funds.
  • Our Local number will also stay the same regardless of Council leadership.
  • Our level of representation and commitment to you and your family will not waver.

If you have any questions on this transition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Local 17 Financial Secretary-Treasurer Russell Bartash at 617-593-6357 or rbartash@smw17boston.org.

Thank you again for your hard work and dedication to our Union and for your collective support as we embark on this new chapter.

In Solidarity,

Bob Butler
Business Manager
Sheet Metal Workers Local 17