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APWU Web News Article 11-2019

APWU Representatives Meet to Discuss Safety Issues

02/01/2019 - APWU Regional Safety and Health Representatives, Regional Coordinators, and National Officers responsible for the flow of workplace safety programs recently met over two days at headquarters, where they discussed APWU’s Stand Up for Safe Jobs campaign and prepared to go into the field to present training on the campaign, and safety in general.

Each APWU region has at least one member in the field, a Safety and Health Representative, who is appointed to help states and locals with safety issues that affect workers.

 

Social Security, IRS, & OPM Are Not Calling You!

Be on Alert for Fraud Calls.

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

By Retirees Department Director Nancy Olumekor

When you receive a “cold call” from a federal agency – like the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – it is a fraud call. A “cold call” is an unsolicited call from someone that you did not call, which may include a voicemail to call them back. Cold callers identifying themselves as being from a government agency are committing fraud – they are attempting to get your personal identifying information, such as your social security number, your bank account information, your CSA (Civil Service Annuity) number or your credit
card information.

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. 

From the Field

01/16/2019 - This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

Below are quotes from various APWU local and state publications throughout the country. All the publications listed are part of the Postal Press Association.

Attacks on Federal Workers

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

By Industrial Relations Director Vance Zimmerman

Recently our sisters and brothers who work for other federal agencies had their collective bargaining rights attacked. In a series of Executive Orders, President Trump forced agencies to re-write collective bargaining agreements under new guidelines. 

Open Season

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

By Health Plan Director John Marcotte

This year’s Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Open Season is Nov. 12–Dec. 10. Now is the time to take advantage of a union-owned health plan, staffed by union employees, whose singular focus is serving you, the member.

At the APWU Health Plan we are driven to provide comprehensive health insurance at an affordable price. Now is the time to compare your current yearly out of pocket costs and the coverage your family needs with what the APWU Health Plan has to offer. Whether you desire proactive wellness coverage, are managing current heath care conditions, or looking for peace of mind and financial security if an illness or injury strikes, the APWU Health Plan (APWUHP) is here for you.

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.

Is the Postal Service Sick?

11/02/2018 - (This article first appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

By Western Regional Coordinator Omar Gonzalez

33,400+ employees are absent daily claims management, triggering their Attendance Control Employee Availability (AC/EA) crackdown while they impose so-called “Dynamic Scheduling.”

Leave rules in CBA Article 10 and the Employee & Labor Relations Manual (ELM) Chapter 510 have existed for 40 years. ACEA can’t change those rules. ELM 665.11 requires you to be regular in attendance. However, ELM 511.1 requires management to administer leave on an equitable basis for all employees considering a) the needs of the service b) the welfare of the individual employee.

Too often management imposes discipline using select rules and dictates, such as, three (3) absences in 90 days requires discipline. This dictate violates the contract. “It is the supervisor’s review of the attendance record in light of all relevant evidence, NOT any set number of absences that determines whether corrective action is warranted.” [Article 10.1; 10.2 JCIM].

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