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APWU 133

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    By Apwu133,

    Charleston WV Area Local Members

    Register on this webiste with your First and Last name and a current Email address

    and be entered in to a drawing to win up to $1000.00

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    Services Scheduled for Former Local President Paula Barker-Harless

    By Apwu133,



    Paula D. "Lala" Barker-Harless

    ( February 23, 2023 )

    Paula D. “Lala” Barker-Harless, 60, of Cross Lanes, went Home to be with the Lord, on Thursday, February 23, 2023, after a short illness.

    Lala was born on February 3, 1963 in Charleston, WV to the late Barbara and Harold Barker. 

    She was a 1981 graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School, she was a former employee of the Charleston Newspapers, and was retired from the US Postal Service, she was the former president of the American Postal Workers Union, Local 133 in Charleston.  Lala was a member Community Chapel Church in Cross Lanes.

    Lala was also preceded in death by her sister Carol D. Tawney and her mother-in-law Ann G. “Nubby” Bonds.

    Left behind to cherish her memory are her husband of 28 years Tommy L. Harless, brother-in-law Jeff Tawney, sister-in-law Becky Harless, nephews Adam Tawney and Tommie “TA” Harless, niece Lusinda Harless, and her special canine companion Kylla Jaxx.

    A Memorial Celebration of Lala’s life will be held at 1:00 PM Friday, March 3, 2023 at Community Chapel Church, 5287 Big Tyler Road, Cross Lanes, WV 25313 with Pastor Jacob Burgess and Jeremy Mace officiating.  Her cremated remains will be placed at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens, Cross Lanes, WV.  The family will receive friends from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Friday at the church.

    With Great Sadness

    By Apwu133,

    It is with great sadness the Charleston WV Area Local was made aware of the passing of former President Paula Barker-Harless. Paula passed away on Thursday February 23, 2023. Paula served the Local in various capacities during her time with the U. S. Postal Service. She will be greatly missed.

    Third COLA Increase Announced

    By Apwu133,

    In accordance with the 2021-2024 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), career employees represented by the APWU will receive a $0.10 per hour cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), effective March 11, 2023.

    The increase is the result of a rise in the January Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). It will appear in paychecks dated March 31, 2023 (Pay Period 07-2023). The value of the COLA for full-time employees in each step and grade will increase by $208.00 annually for full time, career employees.

    The COLAs are in addition to general wage increases. This is the third cost-of-living increase under the 2021 CBA. The first increase, effective in February 2022, amounted to $0.63 per hour or $1,310.00 annually. The second, effective in August 2022 was $1.18 per hour, or $2,455.00 annually. The COLAs received so far during the 2021-2024 CBA total $3,973.00.

    In light of the fact that Postal Support Employees (PSEs) do not receive cost-of-living increases, they have received several additional increases beyond the general wage increases for all employees in the APWU bargaining unit under the 2021 contract.

    Rising inflation underscores just how important the continuation of our negotiated COLA is in our outstanding new CBA. The COLA is our best protection against inflation. Postal Workers are some of the few U.S. workers who receive these increases. Even in the postal world, we are the only postal union that has maintained full COLA in our CBA.

    Department of Labor Announces New FECA Procedures for COVID-19 Cases

    By Apwu133,

    Department of Labor Announces New FECA Procedures for COVID-19 Cases


    The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) expired on January 27. The APWU has opposed the expiration of those provisions of the act that protected federal workers who contracted COVID-19 (COVID). We are providing the following as information to members on the new procedures for COVID-related workers’ compensation (OWCP) claims through the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA).

    The ARPA included presumptions for federal workers who were exposed to COVID in the course of their employment. Postal workers who tested positive for COVID and had been working in the Postal Service were presumed to have contracted their illness while at work. Workers’ compensation claims were to be processed through the Department of Labor (DOL) by submission of form CA-1, Notice of Traumatic Injury. Traumatic Injury claims allow for the benefit of Continuation of Pay (COP).

    The ARPA expired on Jan. 27, 2023. For workers who test positive for COVID after Jan. 27, 2023, the DOL has announced their procedures for processing workers’ compensation claims in FECA Bulletin 23-02, available online.

    In most instances, workers’ compensation claims for COVID should now be filed on form CA-2 Notice of Occupational Disease (unless the injured worker is capable of positively identifying their exposure to a single event or a single work shift). There is no entitlement to COP in an occupational disease claim. Any claim for wage loss benefits will need to be pursued through filing a CA-7 through the DOL. Any claims for COVID benefits based on testing after Jan. 27, 2023 and filed on a CA-1 will be administratively converted to a CA-2 by the DOL, and COP will be denied. The injured worker will receive written notice of any such change. There is also a three-day waiting period and the employee will initially need to use their own leave until the claim is approved.

    For claims based on positive testing after Jan. 27, 2023, the injured worker will have the burden of establishing all five (5) essential elements to workers’ compensation entitlement to include a causal relationship (there will be no more presumptions). A causal relationship is established by providing a physician’s reasoned medical opinion as to why he or she believes that a positively tested COVID diagnosis was attributable to work place exposure. The claims examiner will issue a developmental letter explaining in more detail the evidence needed to establish the claim.

    All COVID claims based on positive testing through Jan. 27, 2023 were assigned case number with a prefix of 19. COVID claims based on testing after Jan. 27, 2023 will be assigned a prefix 55, like most other claims received by the DOL.

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