Accident Benefit Association Helps APWU Members
Organization Department Director
(This article first appeared in the May/June 2013 edition of The American Postal Worker.)
In 1891, 23 Railway Clerks from Portsmouth NH contributed $5 each to create a fund that could be used to help injured co-workers. So was born the Accident Benefit Association (ABA). The fledgling organization laid the groundwork for future contractual demands for sick days, medical coverage and other benefits. The ABA was incorporated in 1898 as a member-owned organization whose sole purpose is to provide low-cost, high-value benefits to APWU members, retirees and their families.
The ABA has grown significantly since then, but some features of the group have remained constant:
The ABA offers several options, including:
An Organizing Tool
ABA benefits can be a life-saver for union members. They also can serve as an organizing tool — encouraging non-members to join the APWU.
Locals can sign-up their entire membership for ABA coverage, which provides a tangible example of the benefits of union membership. The standard premium for coverage under the ABA Value Plan is $1 per member per pay period. Locals that cover all of their members pay just 60 cents per member per pay period for the Value Plan — a savings of 40 percent. Likewise, the standard premium for the coverage under ABA Advantage Plan is $2.50 per member per pay period, with 100 percent ABA locals paying just $2 — a savings of 20 percent. Locals that wish to become 100 percent ABA locals should contact the organization.
To help spread the word to APWU members about its programs, the ABA visits postal installations and attends state-wide union meetings and other events. When ABA members promote the group’s programs in swing rooms and at conferences, they also sign up non-members to join the APWU. If your local or state organization is interested in having an ABA representative visit your facility or meeting, call 603-330-0282.
The ABA has been helping the APWU grow, even as the USPS downsizes. In fact, at the union’s 2012 National Convention, the ABA was awarded the title of “Best Organizer in the APWU.”
The ABA is:
The ABA now offers APWU retiree chapters the same dues structure as 100 percent locals, which can save retired ABA members 40 percent on their premiums. If your retiree chapter is interested, please contact the ABA.
The ABA is determined to continue serving our members, both active and retired. For more information, call 603-330-0282 or 1-800-526-2890, visit www.apw-aba.org, or write to ABA, PO Box 120, Rochester, NH 03866.