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  2. Greetings to all, As many of you know I have retired from the USPS effective May 31, 2019. I am still active as a full dues paying and proud member of the Charleston WV Area Local # 133. I also serve as your Legislative Director and, as such, will attempt to keep you informed of the federal and state legislative issues that affect all of us as postal employees. I have been a bit out of commission since retirement due to health issues but I fully intend to keep the membership informed. That being said, I can print the info here, but as with all things union, I am only one. A reaction to the info is what is needed. I shall attempt to keep Republican vs. Democrat (or vise versa) out of the picture, as neither in my opinion is 100 percent correct. I just ask that you read the info, decide for yourself and react, if you’d like to help further the cause. And, by react I mean call, write, email your representatives. Contact info is at the end of this article. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that. It is my intention that this report will appear quarterly and will contain many issues ranging from the repealing of the pre-funding mandate to lowering prescriptions drug prices for all. Hopefully, something for every employee to take a stand. On that note: 1. House Resolution (H.R.) 2382 USPS Fairness Act, Introduced April 29, 2019 in House of Representatives. Referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on April 29, 2019. Due to the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act the USPS has been burdened with pre-funding its retiree healthcare benefits 75 years in advance. No other company does this and it is the reason the USPS almost always operates in the red. By repealing the refunding mandate, the Postal Service would then be able to focus on investing and innovating services in order to better meet its mission to service every American household and business. H.R. 2382 has achieved a bi-partisan majority of co-sponsors. With new House rules, legislation that reaches 290 or more co-sponsors can be scheduled directly for a floor vote. Currently there are 294 co-sponsors. David McKinley from District 1 of WV and Harold Rogers from District 5 of KY has signed as co-sponsors of the bill. Alex Mooney and Carol Miller of WV have not, nor has David Massie of District 4 in KY. 2. On May 2, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK-04) introduced the Federal Retirement Fairness Act. H.R. 2478 would allow postal and federal employees who moved from a temporary (PSE) to a career position to “buy back time” towards their retirement. The time worked as a PSE would count toward their retirement. This would affect more than 60,000 APWU members who have converted from temporary to career positions. 3. H.R. 2517, The USPS Shipping Equity Act. Private carriers, such as UPS and FedEx, are already able to ship beer, alcohol and wine direct to consumers. In 2018, private carriers reported a revenue of over $3 billion form delivering for wineries, breweries, and other producers. Due to outdated Prohibition Era regulations, it is currently illegal for the USPS to ship these products. Realizing this missed opportunity to increase revenue, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), along with 12 co-sponsors, introduced the Act. Under bipartisan legislation the prohibition of the USPS shipping alcohol would be fully removed, while setting up regulations which would include: Shippers must register with the Department of Treasury, the federal regulator of alcohol; Recipients must be 21 or older, with valid government-issued ID shown at time of delivery; and, Shipments can only go to consumers - deliveries cannot be for resale or commercial. Additionally, the USPS must comply with state and local laws in force at the point of delivery. As the Postal Service looks for innovation and how to diversify provided services, the delivery of wine, beer, and spirits is an obvious solution that would bring in millions of dollars. Additionally, the Postal Service can reach more customers than its private counterparts. The USPS delivers to every address, regardless of geographic location. With this bill, even those in rural areas will have access to direct-to-consumer shipping of beer and wine, who would otherwise see exorbitant shipping fees or no shipping options at all. Not only does this legislation level the playing field between the Postal Service and private carriers, but it also provides equal access to all customers. 4. APWU calls on Congress pass comprehensive Postal Reform legislation and to support H.Res.60, H.Res.23 and H.Res.54. Briefly, House Resolution 60 (Sponsor: Rep. David McKinley WV-1) calls to restore service standards that were in effect as of July 1, 2012. House Resolution 23 (Sponsor: Susan Davis CA-53) calls for the continuation of door delivery for all business and residential customers. House Resolution 54 (Sponsor: Rep. Gerry Connally VA-11) calls for the continuation of the 6-day mail service delivery. These are but a few of the issues facing the American Postal Worker. I urge you to contact your representatives in the House and Senate to let them know where you stand on these issues. We must be active. Contact info follows: WV Senate, https://contactsenators.com/west-virginia Joe Manchin III 306 Hart Senate Office Bldg Washington DC 20510 Ph. 202.224.3954 Shelley Moore Capito 172 Russell Senate Office Bldg Washington DC 20510 Ph: 202.224.6472 WV House of Representatives, https://www.house.gov District 1 David B. McKinley 2239 Rayburn HOB Washington DC 20515 Ph: 202.225-4172 District 2 Alex X. Mooney 2440 Rayburn House Office Bldg Washington DC 20515 PH; 202.225.2711 District 3 Carol Miller 1605 Longworth HOB Washington DC 2015 Ph: 202.225.3452 KY Senate, https://contactsenators.com/kentucky Mitch McConnell 317 Russell Senate Office Bldg Washington DC 20510 Ph: 202.224.2541 Rand Paul 167 Russell Senate Office Bldg Washington DC 20510 Ph: 202.224.4343 KY House of Representatives, https://www.house.gov District 4 Thomas Massie 2453 Rayburn HOB Washington DC 20515 Ph: 202.225.3465 District 5 Harold Rogers 2406 Rayburn House Office Bldg. Washington DC 20515 Ph: 202.225.4601 I sincerely wish each of you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. God Bless. Glenn R Wilson Legislative Director, Charleston WV Area Local # 133
  3. On Thursday, Oct. 31 the APWU conducted the installation of the newly elected national officers with a message of unity and determination to fight for the future of postal workers and working people everywhere. Secretary Treasurer Elizabeth "Liz" Powell Presided The night’s theme was “Moving Forward Together” and the ceremony was presided over by APWU Secretary Treasurer Elizabeth “Liz” Powell. The guest of honor at the ceremony was AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre who administered the oath of office. After an introduction by Executive Vice-President Debby Szeredy, Gebre addressed the gathering, praising the work of APWU’s officers and leadership, “Your union, led by your president, Mark Dimondstein, has been a leader in our movement with the creation of a A Grand Alliance to Save our Public Postal Service, the successful fight to Stop Staples, the campaign to expand the role of the Postal Service, including vote by mail and postal banking -- Fighting to defend the common good, public services and public sector unionism.” He spoke of the fight during the tough times we face, with working people experiencing cruel and unnecessary hardships with low wages, unsafe workplaces, voter suppression, families ripped apart and refugees turned away. But he expressed his hope in the face of this adversity: “…Hope in each of you...serving your communities. Hope in striking teachers. Hope in the 60 million Americans who would join a union today if they could. Hope of a brighter day,” he said. AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre APWU President Mark Dimondstein gave the keynote speech, congratulating all who were elected and thanking the outgoing officers for their contributions and dedication to the APWU and postal workers. With the union election over he pointed out that, “Now principled unity is key, as we battle corporate greed, Wall Street privatizers, a hostile political environment, and those in management who are undermining the Postal Service.” After summarizing our substantial progress over the last six years, Dimondstein raised, “But we cannot rest. We are working, living and struggling when there is an all-out war on workers, our families, communities and our organizations. It is Them vs Us, Wall St. vs. Main St., Capital vs. Labor,” he said. He set out some of the priorities for the coming years: “We will complete the ongoing interest arbitration for a new and good union contract… We will bolster our efforts for new opportunities for postal services, revenue and jobs, including expanding financial services and vote by mail....We will advance the ongoing efforts to gain postal legislation that strengthens the public Postal Service.” President Dimondstein Gives the Keynote Speech “A new broad union education program is already in the works,” he said and advocated that, “Our Stand Up for Safe Jobs campaign needs deeper roots among the members. And together we must find ways to improve staffing of facilities and address the ever-increasing hostile work environments.” Most importantly, Dimondstein raised, “The paramount job security battle of our time is to ensure the public Postal Service remains just that. Our jobs, our union and the people’s democratic right enshrined in the Constitution depend on our determination and success. Since the White House plans for full-blown postal privatization emerged, the APWU has mobilized all hands-on deck. With a soon to be new Postmaster General chosen by the Trump-controlled Postal Board of Governors, this critical battle will greatly intensify.” He encouraged members to, “…attend meetings, join committees, write articles, stand up for safe jobs, sign up non-members, wear union gear with pride, welcome young workers, lobby politicians, fight for postal banking, stand in solidarity with all workers, speak up and defend the public post office.” He ended with the call to action, “…We must carry on the crusade to save the public Postal Service and our collective bargaining rights and to take on corporate Wall Street power with more workers’ power! Let’s continue to stand up and fight back, hand in hand with each other, all crafts, active, retiree and auxiliary members, postal and other unions, community allies and the people who support the public post office and trust postal workers.” APWU National Officers Say the Oath of Office
  4. Per the rules and regulations governing the 2019 APWU National Election, candidates’ statements have been updated to include any new information and/or new submissions submitted by the September 1, 2019 deadline. Statements by candidates for national union office are posted on www.apwu.org in accordance with Article 11.3.c.2 of the APWU Constitution. To view the statements click here and follow the log-in instructions for the Members Only section.
  5. On September 15, big changes are coming to your Thrift Savings Plan withdrawal options. You’ll be gaining options of how and when you can access money from your TSP account. TSP breaks it down here: Flexible Withdrawals Begin September 2019 Current Rules You can customize your installment payments and change your payment frequency at any time as your needs change. You can choose among monthly, quarterly, and annual installment options. Requests to change monthly installment amounts can only be made once each year during a designated open season. You never have to make a full withdrawal election. When you need to make IRS-mandated required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 70 and after, we'll automatically send you the right amount if you don't withdraw enough during the year. A full withdrawal election is require-d the year you are separated and 70 years older, or your account becomes abandoned. You'll request withdrawals easily using fast and secure online tools by logging into My Account on tsp.gov. Paper forms must be submitted by mail or fax to make or change a withdrawal election. You can choose to withdraw traditional money only, Roth money only, or a proportional amount of both. All withdrawals include both traditional and Roth funds as a pro rata (i.e., proportional) distribution. Any in-service withdrawals you make have no effect on the number of post-separation partial withdrawals you can make. You can make partial withdrawals even if you receive installment payments. Only one age-based in-service withdrawal or one post-separation partial withdrawal allowed in a lifetime. Then a full withdrawal election is required. Now is a great time to review your TSP account and ensure your information and contribution is current and accurate, visit TSP.gov or LiteBlue. Click here for TSP’s downloadable Questions and Answers about Changes to TSP Withdrawal Options.
  6. On Aug. 8, the Maintenance Craft reached a settlement with the USPS regarding Handbook MS-1, TL-5 and TL-6 Revisions and Related Maintenance Management Orders, originally grieved by current Maintenance Division Director Idowu Balogun. On Sept. 13, 2017, Arbitrator Goldberg remanded the MS-1 revisions case nos. Q10T-4Q-C-14171644/ Q10T-4Q-C-16481407 back to the APWU and USPS for resolution, directing the Postal Service to provide the APWU with all data and data analysis collected by the Postal Review Team. The new settlement designates that maintenance work in stations and branches transitioning to Field Maintenance Operations (FMO) as a result of MS-1/TL-6 will continue to performed by the employees currently performing those duties. It also stipulates that: When attrition at the installation results in a staffing level below the authorized complement, management may determine the occupational group of the employee(s) that will continue to perform the work in the stations and branches… due to the transferring of maintenance work of stations and branches from plant maintenance to FMO, the FMO authorized staffing may increase in order to provide maintenance for the stations and branches. For FMO staffing increases that exceed the available plant LDC 37…those positions shall be posted and filled under the FMO in accordance with Article 38 and the Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM). The Postal Service will publish the final versions of MS-1 TL 6 and MMOs on Aug. 8, 2019. Click here to see the full settlement on Q10T-4Q-C-14171644/ Q10T-4Q-C-16481407. Register today for MS 1 TL5/TL 6 Settlement and Implementations on Monday Aug 19, 2019 2:00 PM EDT. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
  7. We have been engaged in an effort to assist our locals and states with organizing by using the APWU Health Plan as an organizing tool. Our PSEs are eligible for the wonderful union-negotiated benefit of being able to be enrolled in the highly-rated APWUHP Consumer Driven Option (CDO). This plan is chosen by tens of thousands of career federal and postal employees and the improvement in benefits for our members and their families when choosing the APWUHP is dramatic. The APWU Health Plan sends a letter from the director to every PSE as they become eligible for APWUHP CDO (PSEs become eligible when they are reappointed after a 360-day appointment with no more than a five day break). If they are a union member, I congratulate and inform them that this benefit is yet another benefit of their union membership. If they are not a union member, I inform them of this wonderful union-negotiated benefit and ask them to join the APWU so they can receive it and include a 1187. This letter is signed by myself and the Organization Director. After we complete the monthly mailing, we have the mailing list placed under the “Members Only” section of the website. The list can be accessed by your local President or Secretary-Treasurer with their dues check-off list information. To get a brief idea of how much better the APWUHP CDO is than the USPS Health Insurance Plan please see the information below. To answer your questions on Federal Employee Health Benefits program, come to the 2019 APWUHP Open Season Seminar. It will be held this year in beautiful downtown Portland, Oregon! This informative, motivating seminar will be from October 26-28 and all meals are provided. Together Better Health! Health PlanPSEs
  8. The Senate confirmed three appointees to the Board of Governors on Thursday, August 1, before adjourning for the summer recess. Ron Bloom, Roman Martinez IV, and John Barger will join current Governors David Williams and Robert Duncan. Bloom previously served in the Department of Treasury and was an advisor in the Obama White House. Additionally, he worked in the labor movement as a Special Assistant to the President of the United Steelworkers. Martinez comes from the private sector as an investment banker for Lehman Brothers, focusing on mergers and acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. Barger also comes from a financial background, and also served as the Director on the Investment and Retirement Boards of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, the largest county pension fund in the United States. With the confirmation of these individuals combined with the currently sitting governors, the Postal Board of Governors has finally reached a quorum for the first time since December 2014. The Board of Governors has the responsibility to direct and control expenditures; review USPS practices; and, ensure USPS meets its statutory obligations. Additionally, the Senate approved the nominations of Ann Fisher and Ashley Poling to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). They are replacing Tony Hammond and Nanci Langley, respectively, whose terms expired in late 2018. The PRC is an independent agency that provides regulatory oversight to the Postal Service. Fisher worked as staff to the PRC, having been the chief of staff to former Chairman Dan Blair and the Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. Poling has a legislative background as the Director of Governmental Affairs and Senior Counsel to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC). Prior, she served as Senior Policy Counsel to the HSGAC Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management. “The APWU looks forward to working with these new members of the Board of Governors and the PRC in defense of the public Postal Service and its workers,” said APWU National President Mark Dimondstein. “We will forthrightly promote the issues vital to our members and the postal public, oppose the management 10-year business plan targeting workers’ benefits and service, and continue advocating for expanded and enhanced postal services.” Postal Regulatory CommissionPostal reform
  9. Web News Article #: 39-2019 It is that time of the year when the Postal Service wants to take your pulse! Like previous years, the 2018 Postal Pulse survey showed the USPS what we already knew: Your work environment is not good; your supervisors treat you poorly and morale is low. The mean score changed by less than one-tenth of a point—suggesting nothing has changed at the Post Office. One statistic that trended in the right direction in the APWU’s opinion, was employee participation in the survey. It went down from 46% in 2017 to 42% in 2018. The APWU’s goal is a zero-participation rate. The APWU implores you once again: Do not participate in the 2019 Postal Pulse Survey. View the full article
  10. Web News Article #: 38-2019 The American Postal Workers Union is mourning the sudden loss of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President Larry Hanley. We extend our deep condolences to his immediate family and his extended ATU family. Brother Larry Hanley will be missed. His life’s work in the cause of justice for working people has bettered the lives of countless workers and his example of bold leadership will inspire working people for generations to come. View the full article
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