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APWU 133

    The Debt Ceiling & Postal Workers

    By Apwu133,

    The Debt Ceiling & Postal Workers

    No postal worker or federal retiree will see a gap or reduction in pension payments or healthcare coverage.

    January 20, 2023

    The Treasury Department announced on Thursday that the United States government has hit its statutory “debt limit.” The next several months will be full of political drama, with serious risks at hand for working people and working-class retirees.

    While the debt limit was technically reached this week, the Treasury Department has begun certain accounting measures to extend its ability to pay the government’s bills. Among the “extraordinary measures” announced by Treasury are some that are of serious concern to postal workers.

    The Treasury Department has announced it will begin a “debt issuance suspension period” which will affect the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (CSRDF), the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund (PSRHBF), and the G Fund of the Thrift Savings Plan

    These funds are normally invested in U.S. Treasury bonds. By suspending the debt issuance, Treasury temporarily saves the interest that would normally be paid into the funds.

    While the political brinksmanship around the debt ceiling is a shameful reflection of Congress’s disregard for working peoples’ interests, postal workers and other federal employees should rest assured that their retirement benefits are secure at this time. No postal worker or federal retiree will see a gap or reduction in pension payments or healthcare coverage. The law further requires that the Treasury Department make whole the effected funds once the debt ceiling has been either raised or suspended. 

    Treasury has previously taken similar actions, and in each instance, benefits continued to be paid and the CSRDF, the PSRHBF and the G Funds were fully reimbursed for the temporary losses incurred by the funds. Today, the law makes that reimbursement automatic once the debt ceiling issue is resolved.

    The debt limit showdown is a manufactured crisis, the product of decades of tax cuts for the wealthy led by a political elite that is more comfortable debating cuts to already-starved social programs and hard-earned benefits than ensuring the federal government works for working people.

    The new Republican majority in the House is demanding the Biden Administration agree to steep cuts in federal spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. It’s projected that the Treasury Department will be unable to pay bills in a few months, putting the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government in question and risking an unnecessary recession that would surely hit working people hardest.

    “Make no mistake working people and our unions won’t stand for benefit cuts in exchange for what should be a routine act of Congress,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “The debt limit has  been increased on a bipartisan basis dozens of times before, including three times during the Trump presidency. The cynical hostage-taking is unnecessary and dangerous.”

    The APWU leadership is following the developments closely and will continue to demand our political leaders don’t sacrifice working people’s benefits in exchange for a debt limit increase and will keep members informed of any new developments.

    APWU Position on Employees Who Have Had Direct Deposits Stolen in LiteBlue Fraud

    By Apwu133,

    APWU Position on Employees Who Have Had Direct Deposits Stolen in LiteBlue Fraud


    January 20, 2023

    APWU national officers have filed a national dispute with postal management on behalf of members who have had their pay stolen by cyber-criminals and are unable to recover the money.

    Several hundred postal workers have had pay stolen by cyber-criminals who used fraudulent websites to obtain sensitive personal data that was used to divert and steal direct deposit payments.

    The thefts mainly occurred during Pay Period 26 of 2022 but continued into Pay Period 1 of 2023. The thefts led the Postal Service to shut down employee apps on LiteBlue and through PostalEase on any computer or device not connected to an internal Postal Service Intranet network.

    While many workers have been able to recover money that has been recovered from banks, Postal Service management has taken the position that any unrecovered loss of pay as a result of the fraud is the fault of postal workers.

    However, management was aware of the risk of cyber fraud but did not send warnings to employees. It is also known that the Postal Service was aware of security threats to the LiteBlue application because they had been working on the creation and implementation of a Multifactor Authentication (MFA) process since mid-2022, but did not inform the APWU of this until the last week of November 2022.

    The banking industry and secure websites have been utilizing MFA processes for years because of the everyday security threats on the internet. Yet the Postal Service chose not to implement these processes until just this week, when a Stand-Up Talk was issued on December 17.

    Although not every APWU represented employee has had their pay stolen, we understand that anyone who has lost money has been affected deeply, and these issues must be addressed by the Postal Service immediately.

    APWU President, Mark Dimondstein, said: “It appears that the number of affected people is not huge, but a paycheck is a family’s lifeline and not one single worker should be left without money as a result of this attack.”

    “The criminals behind this attack are to blame, but postal management must also take its share of the responsibility,” said Charlie Cash, APWU Industrial Relations Director. “It is clear that Postal management knew for a long time that LiteBlue had this security risk by they made no serious attempt to warn workers or upgrade security until it was too late for hundreds of workers.”



    1. Call the Accounting Service Center to report the fraud at 1-866-974-2733
    2. Report the loss to the USPS Cybersafe unit at cybersafe@usps.gov
    3. Call the Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC) at 1-877-477-3273 and either change the direct deposit information or cancel it entirely
    4. Request a pay advance, but note the advance will more than likely be denied as the Postal Service takes the position that due to employee negligence, no advance is owed. A grievance can be filed on the denial of the advance at this point
    5. The employee can file a PS Form 2146. The PS form 2146 is a claim for employees lost personal property while on duty or while on postal premises. An employee’s pay is personal property and is connected to employment.

    Once the claim has been submitted, the Postal Service must act on it. The Supervisor must complete their portion, send to the Area, and a decision must be rendered within 30-days of receipt at the Area Level.

    Employee and local officers and stewards need to make sure the form is submitted to Area ASAP. If a negative decision is rendered, the denial should be appealed directly to arbitration.

    There is no guarantee this will lead to the Postal Service paying the lost funds to the employee--this is only one possible action an employee can take on the issue and it is up to each employee whether or not to make such a claim.

    If the Postal Service recovers the funds lost and returns them to the employee, each employee and union official must then evaluate any grievances or claims currently active and make a determination on the continued processing of such grievances or claims.

    Protecting LiteBlue from Cyber Criminals: Multifactor Authentication Required After January 15

    By Apwu133,

    Protecting LiteBlue from Cyber Criminals: Multifactor Authentication Required After January 15


    January 20, 2023

    APWU national officers are continuing to advocate for members who have had had their wages stolen in the recent online fraud attack on USPS systems. Below is an update on management’s introduction of multifactor authentication (MFA) for LiteBlue log ins.

    MFA is a tool that banks and other institutions use when dealing with sensitive personal information to prevent cyber-attacks. It is an identity verification method where users have to use two or more methods to gain access to an online account. Entering a password and then a text message confirmation code is an example of MFA.

    Management has provided an update about the implementation of MFA to log into LiteBlue after cyber criminals gained access to sensitive employee data using fake websites that closely resembled LiteBlue. The fraudsters used this information to make changes to net-to-bank and allotment accounts to divert and steal direct deposit funds.

    A Stand-Up Talk issued on January 17 announced that the Postal Service began requiring MFA in order to access LiteBlue on Jan. 15, 2023 as an additional layer of protection to strengthen online security measures for postal workers personal data.

    When employees log into LiteBlue, they will be required to set up their MFA preferences. Once an employee’s MFA setup is enabled, these ID confirmation factors will be required each time they log in.


    After Jan. 15, 2023, when you log in to LiteBlue:

    • Reset your Self-Service Profile (SSP) Password.
    • Verify the last four digits of you Social Security Number (SSN.
    • Set up your multifactor authentication preferences.
    • After set up, you will be required to confirm your credentials each time you log in.

    For more information or to view support materials, go to the LiteBlue login page and select “Multifactor Authentication.”

    Resource materials, including an Instructions to Enroll and Sign in to LiteBlue with Multifactor Authentications (MFA) user guide, are also available below.

    LiteBlue MFA Documents & Materials


    Employees who have had direct deposit stolen

    By Apwu133,

    Subject: Employees who have had direct deposit stolen


    APWU Family,


    Please see the attached document. This is only a suggestion on what can be done. This is not a guarantee that an employee will have lost funds returned nor is it a guarantee that a claim will be successful or that the APWU at any level will be successful in arbitration on a claim issue.


    You may share with the field.


    Thank you and remember—stay safe, wear your mask!

    Charlie Cash

    Industrial Relations Director

    American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO


    Direct Deposit Theft suggestion with 2146 example (2).pdf PS2146 fillable (2).pdf

    JCIM is Available: Order Yours Today!

    By Apwu133,

    JCIM is Available: Order Yours Today!


    January 5, 2023

    The 2023 Joint Contract Interpretation Manual (JCIM), a resource for the administration of the 2021-2024 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), is now available for members! Members can order their JCIM for $10 from the APWU Store on the APWU website, or you can click here for an electronic copy.

    The JCIM is an APWU and USPS jointly prepared manual for interpreting issues related to the union contract and serves to address and resolve disputes as well as ensure contract compliance.

    The JCIM is a collection of agreed-upon interpretations that have been made over decades of collective bargaining. Whether those interpretations have been made by simple discussion and agreement, interpreted by a national arbitrator in arbitration proceedings, agreed upon in memoranda of understanding, or through dispute settlements, the JCIM is the final word on issues printed in the booklet for all levels of the grievance process.

    The purpose of the JCIM is also stated at the beginning of the manual:

    “When a dispute arises, the parties should first go to the JCIM to determine if the issue in disputes is addressed. If it is, the parties are required to resolve the dispute in accordance with this manual. If the parties effectively use and consult the JCIM, many disputes can be settled early on in the grievance/arbitration process.”

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