Next Step in APWU’s TV Ad Campaign
APWU News Bulletin 11-2013, Aug. 5, 2013 | PDF
The APWU has launched the next phase of its television ad campaign, with spots airing on NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News.
“As the Postal Service’s manufactured financial crisis deepens, several dangerous bills have been introduced in Congress,” said President Cliff Guffey. Bills proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) in the House and by Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) in the Senate “fail to address the cause of the crisis,” he said. “Instead, they would punish workers, slash service, and lead to the demise of the USPS.”
In early July, the APWU aired an ad that helps dispel the myth that the USPS is supported by tax dollars.
At the end of the month, the union began airing a second commercial that explains — in just 30 seconds — the true cause of the Postal Service’s financial crisis. The spot quickly identified the problem — a 2006 law that imposes a $5 billion annual burden on the USPS that no other agency or company bears. The ad concludes with a simple message, “Congress created this problem and Congress can fix it.”
The ads have helped change the terms of the debate about the USPS financial crisis. “But we must continue to press our message with legislators, the media, and the American people,” Guffey said. “Our members must ask their senators and representatives to endorse the Postal Service Protection Act (H.R. 630/S. 316),” Guffey said, “which would help solve the USPS financial crisis without hurting workers or downgrading mail service. We also should seek support for the Protect Overnight Delivery Act (H.R. 2459), which would help safeguard mail processing centers.”
Federal Benefits Now Available to Same-Sex Spouses
As a result of the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex spouses of postal and federal employees and retirees are eligible for health and retirement benefits, regardless of where they currently live or work, the Office of Personnel Management has announced.
A special open season is underway for eligible employees to enroll in federal health and life insurance programs. Employees and annuitants will have until Aug. 26, 2013, to make immediate changes to their enrollment.
For employees who have a Self and Family plan, coverage for same-sex spouses and their eligible children under age 26, including stepchildren, will be effective immediately after they notify their Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) insurers of their newly eligible family members. Contact information for FEHB carriers appears on insurance cards.
Eligible employees who are not enrolled in a Self and Family plan may: enroll; change from Self-Only coverage to Self and Family coverage, or change coverage from one plan or option to another. Employees who want to make an enrollment change must complete the PostalEASE FEHB Worksheet, which can be found at https://liteblue.usps.gov. Employees can also request the worksheet by calling 1-877-477-3273, option 5 (TTY 1-866-260-7507). Completed forms and the required supporting documentation should be mailed to:
ATTN: Compensation & Benefits
PO Box 970400
Greensboro, NC 27497-0400
Same-sex spouses also are eligible for retiree survivor benefits. In addition, employees in same-sex marriages are now eligible for Dental and Vision Insurance (FEDVIP), Long-Term Care Insurance (FLTCIP), sick leave for dependent care, bereavement leave, annual leave-sharing and relocation benefits. They also are permitted to submit claims for medical expenses for newly qualifying family members to flexible spending programs.