First Installment of
Retirement Incentive Due May 24
(05/16/13) APWU President Cliff Guffey is congratulating APWU retirees and other former employees who will soon receive the first installment of the $15,000 incentive the APWU negotiated last year. The first payment of $10,000 (minus applicable taxes and withholdings) will be available on May 24, 2013. The second installment of $5,000 will be paid on May 23, 2014. “We hope our newest retirees are enjoying their new lives,” Guffey said. “We’re sure they will enjoy the incentive. [read more]
Louis Retirees Celebrate Older Americans Month
(05/15/13) Approximately 250 APWU retirees celebrated Older Americans Month in St. Louis on May 10. “Our retirees were not only happy to begin a new chapter of their lives, they were also fired up and ready to stop post office closings, protect service standards, and support legislation that would stop cuts to seniors’ benefits,” said Retirees Director Judy Beard.
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(05/14/13) APWU President Cliff Guffey asked leaders of the Alliance for Retired Americans to encourage members of Congress to support the Postal Service Protection Act (S. 316 in the Senate and H.R. 630 in the House) when they met with U.S. senators and representatives on May 10. Guffey addressed the organization’s Leadership Conference on May 9. APWU Retirees Director Judy Beard serves on the National Executive Board of the ARA.
Other topics discussed at the ARA conference included the chained-CPI and protecting Social Security and Medicare.
Save Social Security
Judy Beard, Director
(This article first appeared in the May/June 2013 edition of The American Postal Worker)
The current debate over the nation’s deficit is being used as an excuse to advocate privatization of Social Security and Medicare, yet nearly 70 percent of Democrats and Republicans oppose cutting these vital programs, according to a poll conducted in February for The Hill newspaper.
The Protecting Social Security Act would extend the solvency of Social Security for approximately 75 years. The bill (S. 308 in the Senate and H.R. 639 in the House) was introduced in February by Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).
The legislation would require people who earn more than $113,700, to pay Social Security taxes on all their earnings. Currently, the wealthy pay Social Security taxes only on earnings up to $113,700.
The bill also would designate a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for seniors. The CPI-E measures the costs of goods and services that seniors actually buy. (The “E” stands for “elderly.”)
The Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) supports the use of the CPI-E and opposes the proposed use of the “chained-CPI,” which would reduce cost-of-living adjustments. (I represent the APWU on the organization’s National Executive Board.)
I encourage all APWU members to use the resources of ARA (www.retiredamericans.org) and the Retirees Department and to connect with your local retiree chapter to keep the pressure on Congress. We must protect and preserve Social Security, Medicare, and other social programs that are essential to our nation’s seniors.
Unleash the Power of Age
This May, the APWU will honor the contributions of our retirees during Older Americans Month. The theme for this year’s celebration is Unleash the Power of Age. We will celebrate the vitality and aspirations of APWU retirees, and acknowledge the skills, talent, wisdom, and life-experiences they share with their families, friends, and neighbors.
In the past year, I’ve witnessed APWU retirees working to make our union better — at chapter meetings and state conferences as well as at rallies, lobbying activities, and the 2012 National Convention.
APWU retirees have also helped thousands of newly-retired union members make the transition to retirement. You can also help our older Americans stay positive, active, and forward-looking. We encourage every union member to take time this month to pay tribute to an APWU retiree.
A Retirees Educational Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nov. 4-6, in conjunction with the union’s All-Craft Conference. We will conduct many new workshops this year. A registration form, with a list of workshops, as well as a way to register online will soon be posted on www.apwu.org.
Congratulations to APWU retiree member Roy Braunstein and his wife, Marilyn, for their continued support of the union. Roy retired from his role as National Legislative Director in 2004, and moved to Phoenix AZ.
Marilyn, a former national Auxiliary officer, helped organize the Phoenix Local Retiree Chapter. Roy’s advice to retiring postal workers is, “Enjoy your families and friends. Remember to get to know your congressional representative, contact them on issues that impact our union family, and keep APWU strong by donating to COPA!”