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Taking on Rising Health Care Costs

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Health Plan Director John Marcotte

As I have previously reported, and as all of us unionists see in our paychecks, the cost of health care is spiraling out of control. Recently, ABC News reported on this issue in a story that both reinforced my outrage at drug company profiteering and broke my heart as a parent. I would like to share some of that information.

A Woman For All Seasons

Dedicated to Memory of Eleanor G. Bailey

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Retirees Department Director Nancy Olumekor

Dedicated APWU unionist Eleanor G. Bailey passed away on December 12, 2018 at the age of 87. Over the course of her life, Eleanor never stopped fighting and organizing.

Closing the Gender Pay Gap

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Research & Education Department Director Joyce B. Robinson

Because women earn less than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. In 1996, The National Committee on Pay Equity originated Equal Pay Day to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages and create a symbolic day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. This year, Equal Pay Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

New Directions for EAP

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Human Relations Director Sue Carney

On Dec. 27, the United States Postal Service awarded a contract to New Directions Behavioral Health to provide Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services to USPS employees and their eligible family and household members. Founded in 1995, the company reports it is one of the fastest growing behavioral health care companies in the industry; providing assistance programs and consulting services to private and public health plans, student organizations, Fortune 100 companies, large and medium employers and labor groups – more than doubling its membership to 16 million members in the last five years.

Home Front

New Law Streamlines Claims and Appeals

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

Last month, the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 finally went into effect after having been signed into law on Aug. 23, 2017. It is said to represent one of the most significant statutory changes expected to benefit veterans in decades.

Reform has been a long-time goal of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its stakeholders; so much so that the VA sponsored an Appeals Summit three years ago, in Mar. 2016. The VA, Congress, veteran service organizations and advocates worked together during the event to design a new appeals system. The law is intended to deliver reform to veterans on the legacy appeals system.

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of many, veterans now have a choice in how unfavorable decisions will be reviewed. Veterans should also realize more timely resolutions of appealed decisions through the new streamlined process.

Stay Strong Going Into Arbitration

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith

With contract negotiations going into interest arbitration, staying united and strong is essential at every level. Reminding not only ourselves but our non-member co-workers that the need to stand together is essential to preserve the rights and benefits we currently enjoy.

Below are some examples of what APWU members can and have achieved by working together.

Anti-Privatization Resolutions Re-Introduced in Congress

04/02/2019 - (This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Legislative & Political Department Director Judy Beard

House representatives in the 116th Congress wasted no time displaying their opposition to the White House plan to privatize the Postal Service. On Jan. 9, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8), along with 12 original, bi-partisan co-sponsors, re-introduced the resolution to ensure the USPS is not subject to privatization. This resolution (H. Res 33) already had 205 co-sponsors as this issue went to press, reaffirming strong support for the public Postal Service. The companion Senate resolution, S. Res. 99, was introduced by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on March 7, and has 30 co-sponsors.

Kathy Danek Retires as APWU Auxiliary President

04/02/2019 - This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

At the beginning of the year, Kathy Danek retired as APWU Auxilary President, a position she has served in since 2012.

When Kathy Danek’s husband Terry became a Postal Service employee in 1974, he brought home a paycheck worth over two-and-a-half times what his old job as a minimum wage worker brought in. When she saw the value of the check, Danek quickly realized the importance of joining the APWU Auxiliary to support the union during political battles.

Chicago Local President Keith Richardson Honored with ‘Eyes on the Prize’ Award

At the 2019 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference

04/02/2019 - This article first appeared in the March/April 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 


Photo courtesy of ShaDonna Jackson, AFL-CIO

Chicago Local President Keith Richardson was honored with the “Eyes on the Prize” Award at the 2019 AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference on Jan. 20.

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