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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.

APWU Web News Article 246-2016

2019 Update

Wounded Warrior Leave

02/11/2019 - Consistent with the requirements of the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015, the Postal Service allows veteran employees who meet the eligibility requirements to take Wounded Warrior Leave. This is a specific type of leave, which provides veteran employees with no loss in pay, for undergoing medical treatment for a service-related disability rated at 30% or more.

Home Front

VA Mission Act: A Mission to Help Veterans or Effort to Privatize the VA?

01/17/2019 - (This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

The Veterans Administration Maintaining Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act was signed into law on June 6, 2018. Dubbed the VA MISSION Act, the “reform” was touted to improve veteran access to VA health care and pave the way for a major overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which has long been plagued with problems that negatively impact our veterans.

Critics, however, see the act as an effort to privatize the VA. If you look at the fine print, they just might be right. 

Home Front

Court Rules Pain is a Disability

11/05/2018 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans recently ruled that pain alone, without an underlying disability, may entitle veterans to compensation benefits. This decision could affect both veterans seeking service connection and those seeking increased ratings for conditions that are already considered service connected. Prior to this decision, the federal circuit held veterans had to have a diagnosed disability that rationalized the source of their pain in order to receive Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits.

Labor News

07/27/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

JetBlue Workers Vote for Union Future


New member of TWU: Jet Blue
InFlight Crewmembers.

Workers are standing up for a better deal at JetBlue. It’s one of the few companies in the airline industry that has operated in the past as a non-union carrier.

The future will be different. In April, flight attendants at the New York-based airline overwhelmingly voted for representation by the Transport Workers Union (TWU). In May, the Air Line Pilots Association announced a tentative agreement on a first contract with the airline.

Members in Action

07/27/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

PORTLAND, CINCINNATI LOCALS RALLY AGAINST CUTBACKS IN JOBS AND SERVICE


Teresa Oller, steward from Portland OR Area Local, 
helps lead a rally against jobs and service cuts. 

In June, as the APWU bargaining team prepared for contract talks with the U.S. Postal Service, union members in Portland, Oregon and Cincinnati, Ohio rallied with supporters to protest job and service cuts that have led to long lines and delays in mail service.

Home Front

Hearing Loss

07/24/2018 - Twenty percent of Americans report some degree of hearing loss but those who serve are far more impacted by auditory disorders than the general public due to their exposure to artillery gunfire, battlefield explosives, loud machinery, aircraft noise and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Hearing loss and tinnitus, a perceived ringing in the ear that often accompanies it, are the top two service-connected disabilities afflicting service members and generations of veterans. These maladies are often overshadowed by other challenges our service men and women face.

In 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reported, more than 1.6 million veterans received disability compensation benefits for tinnitus, and another 1.1 million received monthly payments for hearing loss. A staggering 60 percent of the troops who returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan sustained some degree of hearing loss, causing the military to take preemptive measures to curtail hearing loss.

APWU Web News Article 59-2018

Statement by President Dimondstein on

White House Plan to Privatize the Postal Service

06/21/2018 - The White House proposal on restructuring the federal government released today, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” delivered nothing but misinformation and, if implemented, would end regular mail and package services at an affordable cost to 157 million addresses every day. Furthermore, the White House plan is an attack on many federal agencies and the public services they provide.

Eliminating the universal service obligation, as the plan suggests, would hurt business and individuals alike, and would be a dagger aimed at the heart of rural America and undermine e-commerce.

APWU Web News Article 33-2018

Update: 2 New Classes Added!

Attend a Pre-Convention Workshop

Register Today!

03/27/2018 - The Research & Education Department will sponsor the APWU’s 16th Educational Conference, a National Convention event that provides union members with a wealth of information to take home to their local and state organizations. Twenty-eight workshops will be offered on Friday, Aug. 17... All APWU members are welcome and encouraged to sign-up online by the early registration deadline of Friday, Aug. 3. This deadline is firm for participants with special needs: If you need a sign interpreter, for example, you must register by Aug. 3. Other participants may try to sign up for workshops after they arrive in Pittsburgh; however, late registrants will have a limited choice of workshops and will not receive certificates. 

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