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NALC Office of the Secretary-Treasurer Records

Identifier: LR001751

Scope and Content

Materials in this collection document the activities of the administrations of Gustave J. Johnson (1976-1980) and Richard P. O’Connell (1981-1994), and reflect the responsibilities charged to the office of the secretary-treasurer. Also included is a small amount of correspondence generated from the Office of Assistant to the Secretary-Treasurer during the years 1971 through 1988.

Important Subjects in this collection: Accident Prevention American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Relations Annuities Arbitration Automation Collective Bargaining Constitutional Conventions Contract Negotiations Fair Labor Standards Act Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Grievances Health Mail Sorting NALC Ladies Auxiliary National Labor Relations Board Pensions Postal Service Postal, Telegraph and Telephone International Retirement Homes Safety Education Safety Regulations Scholarships United States Postal Service

Important socrrespondents: Robert E. Andrews William P. Barr William F. Bolger Bill Boner Phillip Burton John C. Culver Bernard E. DeLury William D. Ford Sam M. Gibbons James M. Hanley Jacob Javits Edward M. Kennedy Ray Marshall George Meany Moe Miller Robert N. C. Ni Earl W. Ogle; Robert P. Pincus; Matthew J. Rinaldo; Wayne Schley; Stephen Solarz; John J. Sweeney; Ron Swisher; Steve Symms; Harrison A. Williams, Jr.; Charles W. Wilson

Series Description: Series I, Chronological Files, 1971-1993, Boxes 1-4: This series is comprised of correspondence, memoranda, reports, and miscellaneous materials related to the individuals identified in this series. Files are arranged chronologically under each name.

Subseries A, Office of the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer, 1971-1986, Box 1: Files in this subseries were originally housed in the Office of the Assistant Secretary-Treasurer and were later combined with material from the secretary-treasurer’s office. These records reflect the terms of Assistant Secretary-Treasurers Tony Huerta (1971-1974) and Alfred K. May (1975-1976), as well as material generated by Huerta while holding other NALC positions. Several pieces of correspondence from one-time assistant secretary-treasurer Halline Overby was also found with this material and is included here. It should be noted that Huerta also served as secretary-treasurer of NALC from 1974 to 1976, although no material created by him during that period was found in this collection.

Subseries B, Office of the Secretary-Treasurer, 1981-1993, Boxes 1-4: Primarily correspondence, material contained in this subseries was created by Richard P. O’Connell during his term as secretary-treasurer. The largest portion consists of communications with state and branch officers and with members. Although no general files from the office of Secretary-Treasurer Johnson are available, material generated during this period can be found in many files throughout the collection which reflect the years of his administration. Subseries C, Officer Files, 1977-1990, Box 4: Files in this subseries contain communications between the secretary-treasurer and the individuals named, and include reports, memoranda, and copies of shared information, or correspondence written by the secretary-treasurer at the request of Presidents Vacca or Sombrotto. Files are arranged by office and then chronological order, with the exception of National Business Agent files which are listed alphabetically by name.

Series II, Executive Council, 1975-1989, Box 5: This series consists of minutes, reports, and supplemental materials compiled for examination and discussion during meetings of the Executive Council.

Series III, Subject Files, 1952-1995, Box 5-11: The subject files in this series represent the general administration of the office of the secretary-treasurer, and are indicative of the duties and responsibilities of that office. A large portion of these files contain financial and investment records and audits, including those for special funds, such as WAR (Win-a-Sure Retirement Fund) and COLCPE (Committee on Letter Carriers’ Political Education Fund), tax and insurance records, and material dealing with various facets of membership and personnel. This series also contains files relating to the William C. Doherty Scholarship Fund, and numerous records dealing with safety issues and worker protection.

Series IV, Nalcrest Foundation, 1972-1994, Box 11: Files in this series consist of auditor’s reports, monthly financial records, resident lists and applications, and material dealing with the general administration of the Nalcrest retirement facility in Florida. General files contain management reports and minutes of meetings of the Nalcrest Foundation Board of Trustees.

Series V, National Conventions and Special Events, 1921-1994, Boxes 11-17:

Subseries A, National Conventions, 1921-1994, Boxes 11-16: This subseries contains files relating to the planning of the 52nd through 53rd national Biennial Conventions (1980-1994). Materials for the 1980 through 1984 and the 1988 conventions consist of large numbers of constitutional amendments and resolutions proposed by state associations, while committee records begin to appear in material for the 1986 convention and delegate information is prevalent in 1988.

Subseries B, NALC Centennial Celebration, 1987-1989, Boxes 16-17: Files in this subseries contain planning materials for the NALC Centennial Celebration held in Milwaukee in 1989.

Subseries C, NALC Christmas Parties and Officer Installations, 1981-1993, Box 17: Files in this subseries contain planning materials for the annual NALC Christmas parties and for the installation of national officers and dinner events that followed NALC elections. On occasion, these events were held simultaneously and planning records for the two events were interfiled. A large portion of this material consists of invitation lists drawn from labor, industry, and government.

Subseries D, NALC Legislative Conferences, 1978-1985, Box 17: Files consist of promotional material and invitations to attend the NALC Legislative Conferences in 1978, 1983, and 1985.

Series VI, Contract Negotiations, 1972-1990, Box 18: This series contains correspondence, 1972 convention resolutions, and materials relating to meetings and promotion of solidarity events conducted by the Joint Bargaining Committee, all in connection with contract negotiations conducted between 1972 and 1990.

Series VII, Grievances, Arbitration and Litigation, 1969-1993, Boxes 18-20: Materials in this series include compilations of miscellaneous arbitration decisions, as well as arbitration cases listed by specific topic, arbitration requests, NALC appeals, litigation relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and investigation reports generated from charges made against NALC officers on both the local and national levels.

Series VIII, NALC Branches and State Associations, 1972-1993, Boxes 20-26: Materials consist of 1983 branch lists, state convention information, a breakdown of the state dues structure, and correspondence with branches, state associations, and union members throughout the country. State files also contain reports, requests for information, member lists, and various types of information generated at the local and state level. These files are arranged alphabetically by state and then in chronological order.

Series IX, Member Recognition and Honors, 1966-1994, Boxes 26-33:

Subseries A, Hero of the Year Awards, 1987-1993, Box 26: This subseries contains planning material related to the yearly presentation of awards in recognition of those letter carriers who have performed an act of heroism or an outstanding gesture of good will. Materials vary each year, but generally consist of correspondence, dinner programs, clippings, and travel authorizations. Of special interest are the personal stories contained in these records which document these heroic acts and provide some insight into the daily working lives of the letter carriers. Subseries B, NALC Honor Roll, 1982-1992, Box 26: Lists of NALC members who have achieved fifty, sixty, seventy or seventy-five years of union membership. Names of these individuals are also published monthly in the Postal Record. Subseries C, Gold Cards and Awards, 1966-1994, Boxes 26-33: This subseries contain orders for Gold Cards and plaques to be given to members who have attained fifty or more years of membership in the union, together with correspondence from branch officers and union members requesting that Gold Cards be presented to qualifying members. Letters from members indicate the importance of these awards, as recipients commonly express their pride in this recognition and often share personal experiences from their years as letter carriers.

Series X, Affiliations, 1977-1995, Boxes 33-34:

Subseries A, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Relations (AFL-CIO), 1977-1995, Boxes 33-34: Calendars, correspondence, program information, and invitations to AFL-CIO conventions, seminars, workshops, and union industry shows.

Subseries B, Postal, Telegraph and Telephone International (PTTI), 1977-1993, Boxes 34-35: This series contains correspondence, reports, travel information and proceedings of various PTTI meetings throughout the world.

Series XI, Calendars and Telephone Records, 1981-1992, Box 35: Calendars in the form of appointment books and weekly reminders for the years 1981 through 1992, along with telephone record books for that same period. Note that a large number of telephone messages are illegible due to faintness of the carbon copy.


  • 1921 - 1995
  • Majority of material found within 1971 - 1995


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Copyright to the materials is held by National Association of Letter Carriers. No material in this collection may be photographed or otherwise copied/digitized without written permission from the copyright holder. 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.


The Office of the Secretary-Treasurer was established in 1956 at NALC’s 40th Biennial Convention in Minneapolis, MN. At that time, convention delegates approved a plan to reorganize the administrative structure of the Association in efforts to adjust NALC operations to the decentralized program within the Post Office Department. Among the changes to occur as a result of this reorganization was the elimination of the position of treasurer, with the duties of that office assumed by the new position of secretary-treasurer. The secretary-treasurer was also given the responsibility of supervising the administration of regional offices that were to be activated as part of NALC’s own decentralization program. Other duties included keeping and publishing a record of all proceedings of the Association, maintaining all records, overseeing funds, and preparing financial reports.

The records in this collection evolved primarily from the activities of two administrations. Secretary-Treasurer Gustave J. “Gus” Johnson held this office from 1976 through 1980, and Richard P. O’Connell served as secretary-treasurer from 1981 through 1994. Both men served many years with NALC, and both held multiple positions within the Association.

Johnson was born in New York City on January 21, 1927. He entered the Post Office Department in July of 1947 and served as chairman of the Substitutes Committee of Branch #36 that same year. In 1965, he was elected executive vice president of Branch #36, and branch president in 1968. Johnson also served as National Field Director (later known as National Business Agent) for the New York Region from 1968 to 1970. On March 17, 1970, with members frustrated by an inadequate pay raise and proposals for postal reform, Johnson conducted a strike vote, and on March 18, 1970, in defiance of a court injunction, he led a walkout of letter carriers in New York City, an act which led to the infamous wildcat strike of 1970. President Rademacher created the national office of Director of City Delivery in 1971 and appointed Johnson to that position. Johnson was then elected to the office of secretary-treasurer in 1976 where he served until 1980. He passed away in 2001.

Richard O’Connell entered the Post Office Department service in April of 1958 and spent more than forty-seven years with NALC. He was elected secretary of Branch #366 in Bloomfield, NJ in 1958, and served as branch president from 1960 to 1980. He also served as president of the New Jersey State Association from 1970 to 1980. O’Connell sat on the NALC Board of Trustees from 1972 to 1978, and was elected national secretary-treasurer in 1980. He retired at the end of his term in 1994, but remained active in the union. O’Connell passed away on October 6, 2005.


35 Linear Feet (35 SB)


During the 40th Biennial Convention of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in 1956, delegates approved a plan to reorganize the administration, resulting in the elimination of the treasurer position, and the formation of a secretary-treasurer who would assume the duties of both offices. Other responsibilities now under the new secretary-treasurer position included supervision of regional offices, maintaining and publishing a record of all proceedings, overseeing funds, and preparing financial reports.

The collection is composed primarily of the activities from the administrations of Gustave J. "Gus" Johnson who held the position of secretary-treasurer from 1976-1980, and Richard P. O'Connell who served from 1981-1994.


Arranged in 11 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-4), Series 2 (Box 5), Series 3 (Boxes 5-11), Series 4 (Box 11), Series 5 (Boxes 11-17), Series 6 (Box 18), Series 7 (Boxes 18-20), Series 8 (Boxes 20-26), Series 9 (Boxes 26-33), Series 10 (Boxes 33-34) and Series 11 (Box 35).

Series 1 divided into 3 subseries. Series 5 divided into 4 subseries. Series 9 divided into 3 subseries. Series 10 dividied into 2 subseries.
When deposited, records in this collection were separated according to their originating office, with material generated during Gustave Johnson’s term of office (1976-1980) separated from the records of Richard O’Connell (1980-1994), although the latter actually included a large amount of Johnson-era material. Additionally, all records were divided by year. In order to make the collection more accessible to researchers, the records of the two secretary-treasurers were combined and yearly records were merged according to subject. Files have been refoldered, but most retain their original titles. Unless otherwise noted, material is now arranged first alphabetically by subject, then in chronological order. Records from each administration can be identified by date.


The records of the Office of the Secretary-Treasurer were deposited in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in 2001 and 2002.

Related Materials

NALC: Office of the President, James H. Rademacher; NALC: Office of the President, J. Joseph Vacca; NALC: Office of the Executive Vice President; NALC: Office of the Vice President; NALC: Research and Education Department; NALC Auxiliary


Several photographs have been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in November 2006.
Guide to the NALC Office of the Secretary-Treasurer Records
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA