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NALC Executive Assistant to the President: F. John Miller Records

 Collection
Identifier: LR001916
The papers in this portion of the NALC collection are records from the office of F. John Miller and reflect his activities as executive assistant to President Sombrotto during the years 1984 through 1999. They are a combination of documents directed to, and generated by, both Miller and President Sombrotto. Materials include correspondence, memos, minutes, financial statements, reports, testimony, surveys, questionnaires, and other types of documents used in conducting the business of the president’s office, including extensive material relating to the Joint NALC-USPS Employee Involvement Program that began in the early 1980s and continued through 1995. Also included are detailed records produced in planning the 55th and 56th biennial conventions and NALC’s 1989 centennial celebration, as well as the development and planning of several promotional video productions.

Important subjects covered in this collection: Advertising, Public Service Advertising, Radio Advertising, Television American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations Annuity Trust Funds Carrier Alert Program Centennial, National Association of Letter Carriers Cluster Boxes Conventions Edmond (Okla.) Post Office Shootings Employee Participation Employee Thrift Advisory Council Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (U.S.) Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Health Benefit Plans Historical Research Investment Funds Labor-Management Relations Leadership Development MasterCard Program Membership Drives Quality of Work Life Sculpture, Commemorative Surveys, Employees Theater TV Radio broadcasts/Media Union Privilege Benefit Programs United States Letter Carriers Mutual Benefit Association United States Postal Service Video Production Working Environment

Important correspondents in this collection: Armstrong, William L. Bahr, Morton Bates, Hugh M. Berrien, Glenn Biller, Moe Brin, David Brock, William E. Casey, Albert V. Chavez, Cesar E. Ciorbea, Victor Constantinescu, Emil D’Amato, Alfonse M. Dixon, Alan J. Downey, Thomas J. Duarte, Jose Napoleon Dymally, Mervyn M. Ford, William D. Frank, Anthony M. Gildea, James C. Handelman, Rubin Hart, Gary Hayes, Charles A. Heinz, John Hunter, Kenneth J. Kirkland, Lane Kostmayer, Peter H. Leland, Mickey Lysaght, Stephen Meier, Vernon H. Morihara, Mitsunori Moynihan, Daniel P. Nader, Ralph Offner, Elliot Paltrow, Bruce Quinn, Jack Runyon, Marvin Simon, Paul Specter, Arlen Stevens, Ted Strang, Michael L. Tisch, Preston R. Trumka, Richard L. Walgren, Doug White, George N.
Series Description:

Series I: Chronological Files, 1984-1999: Subseries A: General Correspondence, 1984-1998: Materials in this subseries include a Master index for 1984 and a partial Master index for 1985. Both list correspondents alphabetically. Correspondence for years 1991 through 1995 is missing. Monthly files in this subseries contain copies of most outgoing correspondence generated by the executive assistant, but researchers should also examine specific subject files for a complete search of the material.

Subseries B: President’s Correspondence, 1985-1999: This subseries consists primarily of outgoing correspondence to branch officers, state associations, and union members, often in response to questions addressed to the president or in recognition of special events. Many of these letters were written by Miller for the president’s signature, or written and signed by Miller at the stated request of the president. With the exception of a few letters from 1991, correspondence for years 1991 through 1995 is missing. Files are arranged in chronological order.

Subseries C: Memos to President, 1986-1999: The bulk of these memos were prepared by F. John Miller in his capacity as executive assistant to President Sombrotto. They consist of reports relating to many areas of union business and numerous topics of interest to the union. Memos from 1991 through 1995 are missing. Files are arranged chronologically.

Subseries D: Inter-Office Department, 1984-1999: The inter-office memos in this subseries represent written communications to and from various NALC offices and individuals. Some are directed to specific individuals, such as the president and/or executive assistant, while others are blanket memos addressed to a larger group. With the exception of a few inter-office department memos, most communications from 1991 through 1995 are missing. Personal names are listed alphabetically. Department files follow and are arranged first in alphabetical and then in chronological order.

Series II: Meetings, 1985-1989: Subseries A, Executive Council Meetings, 1986-1989: Records in this subseries consist of memos, reports, and minutes prepared by officers and staff for examination and discussion during meetings of the Executive Council. Reports should be of interest to researchers as they provide detailed information on activities conducted within each union office and department. Materials are arranged chronologically according to meeting date.

Subseries B: Investment Funds—Board of Trustees Meetings, 1985-1989: Agendas, minutes, financial statements, supplementary material, handwritten notes, and investment reports related to meetings of the trustees of the NALC Annuity Trust, the NALC Health Benefit Plan, and the United States Letter Carriers Mutual Benefit Association investment funds. These meetings, held consecutively, are listed in chronological order.

Series III: Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, 1986-1988: Materials in this series relate to the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, (established by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986), and, more specifically, the Employee Thrift Advisory Council (ETAC). The bulk of these materials were generated from President Sombrotto’s involvement with and chairmanship of ETAC. These include his 1986 appointment to the chair and other correspondence with the Board’s Executive Director, correspondence with ETAC members, meeting plans, press releases and Sombrotto testimony.

Series IV: Health Benefit Plan, 1981-1990: Contains correspondence, health plan type reports, and material generated during the 1983 through 1990 NALC Health Benefit Plan Open Season enrollment campaigns. Enrollment files include both direct mail and media campaigns, and contain information on markets, budgets and schedules. Files are arranged first alphabetically, and then in chronological order.

Series V: MasterCard Program, 1986-1999: The bulk of material in this series relates to NALC’s participation in the AFL-CIO Union Privilege MasterCard Program, and consists of contracts, notes, correspondence with plan marketers and members, application requests, Union Privilege liaison conference materials, and information on other Union Privilege benefit programs.

Series VI: Subject Files, 1978-1999: The subject files in this series reflect the range of topics that drive the activities of the executive assistant to the president and are indicative of the responsibilities of that position. The bulk of these materials relate to both special and general administrative issues, such as correspondence with branches regarding the NALC Annuity Trust Fund, the planning and development of various NALC publications and videotapes, and the annual NALC non-member drives. Of special interest is information relating to the 1986 Edmond, OK post office shootings. Also included are records of several organizations on which President Sombrotto held a board/panel seat, such as the Center for National Policy, the Economic Policy Council, and the Labor Institute of Public Affairs.

Series VII: Media Promotions, 1982-1995: This series contains information on the planning, preparation, taping and distribution of radio and television commercials created to promote the image of letter carriers. Records include correspondence, media proposals, advertising materials, polling data, broadcast schedules, and public service announcements.

Series VIII: National Conventions, 1976-1988: Files in this series contain planning material generated in preparation for the 55th (1986) and 56th (1988) biennial conventions (1980-1994).

Series IX: Centennial Celebration, 1889-1995: Subseries A: Centennial Event Planning, 1889-1990: This subseries contains files relating to the extensive planning of the NALC Centennial Celebration held in Milwaukee, WI in 1989. Of special interest is the historical material gathered by researchers across the country, as well as publications containing historical information produced by NALC for the centennial event. Files are arranged alphabetically. Subseries B: Centennial Celebration – Play, 1987-1991: Subseries B consists of materials reflecting the planning and production of “The Letter,” a musical written for the 1989 centennial celebration. These records include correspondence, contracts, drafts of script and other materials generated in the development of the play, as well as arbitration information relating to a subsequent conflict with Actors Equity.

Subseries C: Centennial Celebration – Sculpture, 1987-1995: Records in this subseries relate to the planning, creation and installation of a commemorative sculpture erected in Milwaukee during the centennial celebration, as well as the creation of bronze miniatures of the statue. Files contain correspondence, site plans, drawings, and images of the sculpture.

Series X: Employee Involvement Program, 1982-1995: Subseries A: EI Chronological and Subject Files, 1982-1995: This subseries contains correspondence, research material, surveys, maps, charts, directories, schedules, and reports relating to the Joint NALC-USPS Employee Involvement program. General EI files are arranged in chronological order, while subject files are alphabetical.

Subseries B: EI Meetings and Workshops, 1985-1993: Subseries B contains training workshop and seminar materials, as well as information on committee meetings at every level of the Employee Involvement program. Also included are records of St. Paul, MN station workteams, with meeting logs and minutes, training feedback forms and follow-up questionnaire.

Series XI: Calendars, 1986-1998: This series contains daily, weekly and monthly calendars presumed to belong to F. John Miller for the years 1986 through 1998. Daily calendars for the years 1986 and 1997 are incomplete. Many calendar pages have been duplicated as some appointments in these calendars were originally affixed with adhesive and had begun to separate.

Dates

  • 1889 - 1999
  • Majority of material found within 1984 - 1999

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

24 Linear Feet (24 SB)

Abstract

The position of executive assistant to the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) assumes duties and responsibilities that address the needs and requirements of the existing NALC president. F. John Miller held the position of executive assistant to President Vincent R. Sombrotto from 1984 to 2002, and later President William H. Young from 2002 until 2005. After earning a graduate and doctoral degree in history from the University of Minnesota, and a law degree from Catholic University of America, Miller served as a staff member of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies and a business agent and organizer for the Service Employees International Union. His association with NALC began in 1977 where Miller was first an aide to President J. Joseph Vacca and director of the Department of Research and Education before beginning his tenure as executive assistant.

History

Over the years, a number of individuals have filled the position of assistant to the president of NALC, and each has assumed duties that address the needs and requirements of the existing NALC president. F. John Miller held the position of executive assistant (later referred to as chief of staff) to President Vincent R. Sombrotto from 1984 to 2002, and President William H. Young from 2002 until 2005.

Miller was born in 1940, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Carlton College, master’s and doctoral degrees in history at the University of Minnesota, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Catholic University of America. Prior to his employment with NALC, he served as a staff member of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies and a business agent and organizer for the Service Employees International Union. Miller began his work with NALC in 1977 as an aide to President J. Joseph Vacca and director of the Department of Research and Education. In 1984, he began serving as executive assistant, first to President Vincent R. Sombrotto, and then President William H. Young. Miller retired from NALC in 2005.

Arrangement

Arranged in 11 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-10), Series 2 (Boxes 10-11), Series 3 (Boxes 11-12), Series 4 (Box 12), Series 5 (Boxes 12-13), Series 6 (Boxes 13-15), Series 7 (Box 16), Series 8 (Boxes 16-17), Series 9 (Boxes 17-20), Series 10 (Boxes 20-24), and Series 11 (Box 24). Folders are arranged alphabetically or chronologically depending upon the series.

Series 1 is further subdivided into 5 subseries, Series 2 into 2 subseries, Series 9 into 3, and Series 10 into 2 subseries.
Note: When deposited, many of the files contained in this record group were separated by year. In order to make the information more accessible to researchers, yearly records were merged according to subject. Unless otherwise noted, material is now arranged first alphabetically by subject, and then in chronological order.

Acquisition

Records of F. John Miller, Executive Assistant to the President, were deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in March 2004 and February 2007.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in July 2007.
Title
Guide to the NALC Executive Assistant to the President: F. John Miller Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
2007-07
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA