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Postal Support Employees Deserve Better

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Health Plan Director John Marcotte

The USPS continues to fall short in its obligation to provide Postal Support Employees (PSEs) health insurance information that is vital to them and their families.

As I wrote in the September/October 2017 issue of The American Postal Worker, PSEs are not being informed upon conversion to regular that their USPS PSE insurance will be cancelled and they have 60 days to choose a FEHB health plan. If these new career employees do not choose a plan within 60 days, they will have no health insurance because the USPS will drop the USPS PSE insurance after conversion. Those PSEs who already have APWUHP Consumer Driven Option (CDO) plans are not being dropped, since APWUHP CDO is a high-performing FEHB plan and the coverage continues.

Celebrate, Protect Your Benefits

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Retirees Director Nancy Olumekor

Every year we recognize and celebrate the Social Security Act, enacted on Aug. 14, 1935, 83 years ago, and Medicare, enacted on July 30, 1965, 53 years ago. These two important laws were established to benefit workers in their old age, as retirees.

Our celebration this year during July and August includes continuing the fight to protect these earned benefits. All APWU members, along with their families, friends and neighbors, can participate in an action of recognition by supporting APWU legislative priorities for fair benefits for American seniors.

Who We Are

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Human Relations Director Sue Carney

There is no doubt our country is divided, whether it is because of opposing political views and party allegiance, or because of differing opinions pertaining to copious social issues. With all that divides us, it is a good time to remind ourselves who we are, where we come from and what we stand for.

We Are Labor
Bound together, our fundamental purpose has always been to seek political, social and economic justice for the disadvantaged. We are not a fee-for-service organization or a group of self-serving individuals simply looking to make gains for ourselves. We seek fairness, equality, dignity and respect for all common people, including those beyond our workroom floors and borders.

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.

The Struggle to Win the 40-Hour Workweek

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Research & Education Director Joyce Robinson 

The upcoming celebration of Labor Day is a good time to remember the role labor unions have played in raising living standards and improving the quality of life for working people in the United States. While most people recognize that unions have been beneficial for their members, there is little known about the role of labor unions in winning the 40-hour workweek.

Many Hands Make Light Work

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Organization Director Anna Smith

Sometimes it seems like we are our own worst enemy. When I first started my postal career there was always gloom and doom rhetoric going around the workroom floor. Talk that frankly scared the heck out of me. What I learned though, is that I don’t get to complain about what someone else isn’t doing for me if I’m not willing to step up to the plate and fight for myself.

The Attacks From All Sides Can Only Be Fought Through Solidarity

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August  2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard 

White House Proposal to Privatize the Postal Service
In June, the White House proposal, “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” was released. This proposal puts forth a restructuring plan for the federal government which includes the privatization of the Postal Service. It was crafted around a slew of untruths including the implication that the Postal Service relies on taxpayer dollars.

The Function One Fiasco

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Eastern Regional Coordinator Mike Gallagher 

The USPS embarked on a mission to staff all Function One Mail Processing operations using a program that sets up staffing based on a time and work measurement system (earned hours) rather than hours actually used. This program has been the basis for a substantial number of Regional Notifications for clerks to be reassigned out of craft and/or out of installation nationwide.

Can We Trust USPS Management?

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Motor Vehicle Service Craft Directors 

Can we ever trust USPS management to live up to their agreements and obligations?

On August 18, 2016, during our last convention in Orlando, the Motor Vehicle Division received one of the most important arbitration decisions relating to Article 32.2.B and the renewal of Highway Contract Routes (HCRs).

Filling Maintenance Vacancies - Part 1

07/24/2018 - (This article first appeared in the July-August 2018 issue of The American Postal Worker magazine)

By Maintenance Craft Directors 

The Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM) is the mutually agreed upon explanation on how to apply our contract to filling vacant maintenance positions.

The May 2017 JCIM included the Order for Filling Vacant Maintenance Positions. The contractual definition is to duty assignments. Within the craft, we referto this as the “pecking order.”

The preamble paragraph is frequently overlooked: The appropriate PAR and PER must be exhausted before considering other hiring options. To be considered qualified an employee must either be eligible under the current in-craft process for the position in question or be a Maintenance Craft employee in the same level and occupational group as the vacancy.

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