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V.P. / TREASURER
BOB DEMPSEY
Fourth Quarter 2011 Bostonian
                                   Crazy Days

Weíve surely entered into a period of uncertainty for the future of the Postal Service. Every day we read about new legislation being introduced to "save" the Postal Service. Unfortunately, most of these plans are designed to dismantle and destroy the Postal Service as we now know it.

The recent introduction of the 21st Century Postal Service Act (S. 1789) sponsored by Senators Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Scott Brown (R-MA) is a quick fix that in short, provides some "Short-Term Relief" but "Long-Term Damage".

Although this legislation is less destructive than the house bill (H.R. 2309) that is being pushed by Representative Darrell Issa, itís still just another plan designed to dismantle and destroy us.

In the meantime, Postal management has entered into "survival mode" and they think they can just go on their merry way into destroying our Postal Service by liquidating assets by closing Post Offices and plants. They now want to change the delivery standards by delaying the mail to accomplish their goals.

It has been nonstop trying to deal with this insanity being dealt our way by the Postal Service in these crazy days of Postal "survival mode". Iím really starting to get nervous about our futures and whether or not weíll have a Postal Service ten years from now. Seems like many of our legislators want to create "private sector" jobs at our expense and continue attacking working families.


These crazy days have us attending community input meetings for the following Post Offices management is looking to close: East Arlington, Arlington Heights, South Waltham, W. Medford, Tufts, Readville, Soldiers Field, North Weymouth, East Dedham, Boston College, Newton Upper Falls, West Newton, East Watertown, New Town, State House, Babson Park, Grove Hall, Uphams Corner, Nonantum, Newton Lower Falls, M.I.T. and Inman Square.


The really scary part of the above closing proposals is that all of these Post Offices are generating a PROFIT. None of these Post Offices are losing money but management believes they can transfer the business by inconveniencing the customers and forcing them to use other locations. It has been pointed out by many customers at these meetings that if the Postal Service closes their location they will probably switch their business to either UPS or FedEx rather than be forced into going to another location.


I hope the Postal Service is listening to the customers who are making it quite clear
Ė they love their Post Office and the clerks who service them!! Unfortunately, I believe these community input meetings are only a "dog and pony show" for some of these offices, and their comments are falling on deaf ears. No one in attendance at these meetings can understand that if these Post Offices are making money why is the Postal Service hell bent on inconveniencing the customers by trying to force them into using other locations.


The saddest part is when someone in the community raises their concern about handicap parking or accessibility at other locations and management starts slinging their BS. I was reading a story about another Post Office closure in Minnesota that contained the following: "One more thing: Think the Postal Service is worried about people with disabilities? The mayor of Clements is wheelchair bound.

The city clerk said that "the entire process was not handled very well," and she hopes the Postal Service has learned something so other communities donít have to experience what Clements did. Donít count on it. Weíre going to be reading this story over and over and over again."


I thought this story was timely since weíre seeing this lack of concern and compassion firsthand on behalf of management for handicap parking or accessibility at these community input meetings here. If the customers only knew how management treated their employees who get injured on the job, they would soon come to the realization that postal management simply doesnít care.


We recently returned from our All Craft Conference at which I submitted the following two resolutions of behalf of Boston Metro:

1.

                              **    NTFT MOU Q&A    **

WHEREAS, the following question and answer appeared on the National website (www.APWU.org) on April 28, 2011:


"Question: Could new Non-Traditional Full-Time jobs be scheduled six days a week?


Answer: Clerk Craft NTFT assignments could be created as six-day assignments where necessary to create a desirable duty assignment for employees to bid (for example, at a small Post Office that is open six days per week). This type of schedule would not be permitted in a mail processing operation or in any installation that has 200 man-years or more of employment.


The local union would have the opportunity to work with local management to assure that full-time assignments are maximized while at the same time protecting the desirability of the assignments which are posted.


No current Full-Time Regular employee can ever be involuntarily assigned to a posted duty assignment of six work days."

WHEREAS, this Q&A was released during the ratification process to alleviate concerns over NTFT duty assignments and was used by many to help decide which way they were going to cast their vote.


WHEREAS, this Q&A has yet to be incorporated in any of the mutually agreed to release of Q&Aís that have been received by the field.


WHEREAS, management has already "tipped their hand" with their intent to create six day schedules in installations that has 200 man-years or more of employment.


RESOLVED
, This Clerk Craft Conference go on record that this question & answer (above) needs to be included in a future (updated) release of mutually agreed to set of Q&Aís/JCIM to be used by the field ASAP.


Be It Further RESOLVED
, If the Q&A/JCIM (resolve) above cannot be accomplished the APWU file a Step 4 dispute on this issue.

2.

**   Stamp Stock    **
 

WHEREAS, The Postal Service has consolidated Accountable Paper sites making it more difficult for stamp replenishments by eliminating the ease of access to "emergency orders".

WHEREAS, The Postal Service has instituted a computer program that controls/"forecasts" what a station can carry as inventory and also controls the amount of stock allowed on the floor (screenline).

WHEREAS,
most stamps these days are "Forever" stamps and the only cost to the Postal Service for carrying more stock is the cost of printing the stamps.

WHEREAS,
these newly implemented consolidations and computer program have resulted in many Sales and Service Associates/Window Clerks to be embarrassed, ridiculed and verbally abused for having to explain they donít have stamps to sell to frustrated customers is inexcusable.


WHEREAS, the Postal Service is currently using declining revenue for their closing proposals, whether it is by design or not, this flawed computer program is subjecting our clerks to unnecessary customer abuse and should not be tolerated.

RESOLVED, This Clerk Craft Conference go on record that the Clerk Craft Officers meet with Postal Management to adjust this computer program to ensure that Sales and Service Associates/Window Clerks have sufficient stock on hand so clerks never have to be subjected to embarrassment, ridicule and verbal abuse for not having stamps to sell ASAP.


Iím happy to report that both resolutions were passed unanimously by the Clerk Craft Conference. The first resolution has resulted in an "Initiate National Dispute" (Step 4) on October 18, 2011, concerning the six day work weeks.


The struggle is crazy these days so stay informed and get involved because our futures depend upon it.


In conclusion, since this is actually our Holiday issue, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year !!
                            ------------------------------------------


Third Quarter 2011 Bostonian

Weíre Under Attack

By now I am sure you are all aware of the bombshell the USPS dropped on us with that Congressional white paper. The Postal Services thinks what cannot be won at the bargaining table could be changed on Capitol Hill. They are looking to lay off 120,000 USPS employees, remove USPS employees from the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHBP) and withdraw from both CSRS and FERS retirement programs.

This BULL$H!T has resulted in "Mandatory Stand-Up Talks", "uspsnewsbreaks", and numerous news articles, in which they love to claim: "The Postal Service is facing dire economic challenges that threaten its very existence. " . . . If the Postal Service was a private sector business, it would have filed for bankruptcy and utilized the reorganization process to restructure its labor agreements to reflect the new financial reality."

They sat down at the bargaining table with the APWU and sang the same song, but negotiated an agreement to which they NEED to be forced to honor. In the last round of contract negotiations with the APWU, sacrifices were made in order for members to continue to have the "No Layoff" provision in our contract. Our negotiated protection from layoffs, our retirement, and our healthcare should not be altered by Congress. The USPS has asked Congress to allow them to screw us in order to help alleviate their money problems and circumvent the bargaining table.

Less than three months after signing our new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Postmaster General Donohoe is urging Congress to restructure our Agreement by getting involved. If nothing else comes of this atrocious act, it should make it very clear to us exactly who we are dealing with.

Remember, when Donahoe and APWU President Guffey testified together before Darrell Issaís committee, Donahoe was asked what the USPS needed from Congress. The PMG responded that there were only three things he needed - an end to the prefunding, return of the FERS overpayment, and five day delivery. "Get those things out of the way and you will never see us again!"

The way things look now, I donít believe they had any thoughts of honoring the agreement from day one. I think the Postal Service probably showed their greed when they hired the new Deputy Postmaster General mostly for his Congressional experience. Now, they want to go for the jugular because they believe the timing is right in America.

As of now, there have been eight Step 4 grievances filed at the national level because management chooses not to follow what they agreed to within the contract. There seems to be no end in sight as management just selectively reads what they want within the CBA and violate the rest of it on a daily basis.

It has become quite clear that management doesnít care one bit about the employees. Theyíre leaving employees by themselves (they simply donít care about the safety concern) in Post Offices, in violation of their own financial rules and regulations. They encourage violating established SOPís daily because of staffing concerns and thus putting employee safety at risk.

They establish NTFT assignments scheduling people for six days a week because some schmuck told them they could. Never mind the fact that most of these employees have twenty-five years of service or more. Now thereís some gratitude for you, but unfortunately members get mad at the wrong people. Itís time to redirect that anger and time to address the real problem, which is management !!

We need every member, along with their family members, co-workers, friends and neighbors, to tell their congressional representatives that this attack on working families in America needs to stop immediately and to please support collective bargaining.

Tell them, closing profitable offices doesnít make sense. Tell them, you want them to stop this postal privatization. Tell them, Congress should send in a team of accountants and auditors to find out whatís really going on within this Postal company before any changes are implemented. They really need to find out the truth and should be investigated because management lacks integrity and credibility.

To protect our careers, we are asking everyone to get involved and the easiest way to accomplish this would be to follow the link on our website (bostonmetroapwu.com), or go to the Congressional Information Center on the National APWU's website (APWU.org). You can send an email, print letters to mail, and get telephone numbers to call. Please sign up for the e-Team News Updates on the nationalís Legislative & Political Department page to stay on top of the issues and pending legislation.

Now more than ever we need you to get involved because our futures depend upon it!                                         
                                     ------------------------------

Second Quarter 2011 Bostonian

- - Time to Move Forward - -

On June 1st, Iíll be returning to the VP/Treasurer position to continthirdwith the financial and administrative duties of the local as our new terms of office begin. I would like to once again thank everyone for allowing the local to save the expense of an election as all officers went unopposed (February Membership Meeting) for the upcoming term. Paul will be moving into the Presidentís position as a result, and itís nice to have the Clerk Craft Presidentís vacancy finally filled with Scott Hoffman. This will alleviate some of the double duty weíve been doing and give us a good foundation as we move forward with our restructuring and transitioning of officer duties.

In an effort to continue financial transparency, youíll find in this issue copies of our 2010 annual report prepared by the accounting firm of Rutfield and Hassey, LLP. Hopefully, youíll notice the results as we returned to the black for the year by $40,323. I would like to thank the outgoing executive board of officers for helping make this possible. I welcome the incoming executive board of officers. Our challenges certainly await now that the new tentative agreement has been ratified and itís time for the implementation, administration and enforcement.

This new agreement certainly created a buzz within the local and lots of debate around the country. In this day and age of social networking, emails, websites and, last but not least, the "Postal rumor mill", negativity and mistruths were abundant everywhere; but our local was sandwiched with it by two neighboring locals trying to get people to vote against the tentative agreement.

As I reported in a bulletin, we had 200 members in attendance at the membership meeting/seminar on Sunday, April 17th. After the officers gave their reports at the membership meeting, a seminar commenced for both stewards and members. I attribute the high attendance to the above created buzz.

There were many questions asked regarding the status of part time regulars going to full time. Other areas of concern were the new nontraditional (NTFT) duty assignments, excessing and the limitation of 40/50 miles, and relief and pool clerks. I, along with VP/Treasurer Paul Kilduff and DIR Bob Keough answered the questions. NBA Steve Lukosus was also in attendance and assisted with answering membersí concerns.

We couldnít stress enough that: No current full-time employee can be involuntarily assigned to an assignment of less than 40 hours or more than 44 hours in a service week.

I was confident that the questions were answered to the best of our knowledge and hopefully alleviated a number of concerns. Iím not that naive to believe that all part time regulars left satisfied. We know there are part time regulars who do not want to work 30 or more hours for their personal reasons.

However, there are PTRs that do want more hours and will now be able to bid those duty assignments and not be restricted because they are not currently qualified. The threshhold of a minimum of 30 hours will now entitle these employees to be eligible for FMLA coverage, which 20 hour PTRs do not currently have. PTRs are now GUARANTEED a minimum of 30 hours per week Ė NOT the 4 hours per pay period currently.

The only questions we could not answer were in the hypothetical, and Iím not going to pretend to be a psychic. We canít answer what management is going to do and at what time frame. Those discussions will begin now that the contract has been ratified. Change is difficult to some and resisted by many but now that the vote is in, itís time to move forward.

We need to come together by supporting our national officers and our new agreement. Hopefully, the division over this agreement will be repairable . I, for one, cannot believe some of the BULL$H!T that has been said over the past couple of months by the naysayers. I also cannot believe how former president Burrus came out so publicly and aggressively against this tentative agreement. Iíll admit his actions, motives, distortions and mistruths have caused me to lose some of the respect I had for him.

I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion and I have no problem with people who didnít like or vote for the agreement. I do however have a problem with people distorting the truth in an effort to persuade or in some cases scare people. Some of these naysayers crossed the line with their attempts and I hope we can move forward in unity. Iíll admit I was disappointed with the outcome of the vote here in the local but believe that was a reflection of the above "buzz" and our own division on the executive board. Regardless of how anyone voted, I wish to thank those members who took the time to vote.

President Guffeyís theme for contract negotiations was "WE WANT OUR WORK BACK" and he also wanted to protect the current workforce. I believe he has achieved both objectives with this new agreement. Now, letís hope what was agreed to in DC actually makes its way into the field.

Here is an example of why Iím glad we have a contract that will take us into 2015. Lately there have been a number of news reports concerning the Postal Serviceís prefunding requirements and I get nervous when I read stories like:

1. "Dennis Ross subcommittee quietly corrects USPS financial numbers after the hearing".

2. "Congressman Dennis Ross says that the US Postal Service hasnít overpaid any obligations. Ross says the prefunding requirement is appropriate because, well, because Congress said it was appropriate".

3. When Congressman Dennis Ross isnít busy overseeing the US Postal Service, heís working on solutions to the debt "crisis" he and his colleagues have created: Dennis Ross, a House Republican and a member of the Tea Party caucus, told Reuters: "I donít think Treasury has been up front with us. I am not convinced the sky will fall in on August 3." Ross added: "Iím not an economist, but I have maintained a household. The federal government owns 70 per cent of Utah, for example. There are federal buildings. If you need cash, letís start liquidating."

This guy is dangerous and exactly the reason why we need APWU members to contact their members of Congress and urge them to support H.R. 1351(introduced on April 4, 2011, by Congressman Stephen Lynch), an important measure that would restore financial stability to the Postal Service.

In closing, I would like to say that it has been an honor to serve the membership as the General President our great local. I look forward to continuing the strong fiduciary mindset I have brought to the localís finances.

*******

Iím happy to report that at our membership meeting on May 24th, the members voted unanimously to accept the Foxboro local to merge with us.



                   --------------------------------------
First Quarter 2011 Bostonian


Iím currently in Washington, DC, as a member of the Rank and File Committee sitting in front of my laptop once again trying to finish up my article. Iíve been holding off sending this to the publisher, hoping I would have something new to report other than "weíre close" and "theyíre still talking". There are grounds for optimism but for one reason or another, a tentative agreement has yet to be reached.

This weekend is also a National Presidents Conference and Legislative Rally so there will be plenty of APWU representatives in town. As a matter of fact Paul Kilduff, Bob Keough and Bill Weaver are scheduled to come down on Saturday to participate. Mike McDonald (Vice-President - APWU of Mass.) has been working with Steve Albanese (Assistant Director - National Legislative & Political Department), who has been setting up appointments with our Congressional Representatives next week for the Massachusetts delegation that is coming down. It sure is nice to have someone like Steve !!

Now more than ever we need to convince our elected officials that something has to be done about this pre-funding requirement. Without relieving pressure from the USPS pension and future retiree healthcare obligations, the Postal Service will only be a memory. In Massachusetts we are fortunate that the majority of our representatives understand the Postal Serviceís dilemma and that relief is needed, unlike some of their counterparts. Iím still trying to figure out whoís worse Ė Issa or Ross?

All of these right-wing budget balancers want to attack the working people as the problem instead of dealing with the real reasons behind most problems. Look at the extremes theyíll go to - such as what is happening in Madison, Wisconsin. This, in my opinion, is ground zero for middle class working families. Governor Walkerís plan to strip public workers of their right to collective bargaining is as extreme as it gets. Claims by the governor that his proposal was necessary due to budget problems were shattered when public worker unions agreed to meet the governorís demand for an increase in pension and health benefit contributions in exchange for dropping the union busting portion of the bill. The governor has continued his refusal to compromise. Besides ending collective bargaining, other provisions in this measure would end union dues deductions from payroll and require public sector unions to be re-certified by their members each year. When the governor took office in January, Wisconsin had a surplus that he quickly turned into a deficit by enacting tax breaks for companies at a cost of $117 million.  Itís now starting in Ohio and Indiana, two states whose governors have agendas terrifyingly similar to Governor Scott Walker's. What's worse: it won't stop there if this ever materializes, so we need to stop this before it gains any traction. Governors across the country, and probably some members of congress, have their eyes on these states (to see what happens) and we cannot afford any more of these proposals, so we need this massive public uproar to continue and please do what you can to show your support.

It was nice to see President Barack Obama and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis speak out this week because Iíve been reading a lot lately about the pledge made by candidate Barack Obama in Spartanburg, S.C. on November 3, 2007, when he declared: "Understand this. If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain, when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself. I'll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States because Americans deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner." Heís also being criticized for not using his appointive powers to help laborís (especially us) cause.

Iím going to try and keep this article short to free up a little space to publish a couple of pictures from the Solidarity rallies held here in Boston, but want to thank our members for showing some confidence in us and what we are trying to do going forward. At the February meeting (nominations) all officer positions went unopposed which, from my understanding, is a first in our localís history. This is allowing us to save the expense of an election and a nice way to start the year off.

Last year, Iím happy to report we finished in the black as the result of cutting expenses wherever we could and I would like to thank all for that endeavor and the end result. In the next issue we will once again publish the annual report after itís completed.

Once again, thank you and I promise I will continue to work hard to accomplish our (APWU) agenda and try to better the lives of our members !!

-------------------------------------------


Fourth Quarter 2010 Bostonian

Change

I would like to first of all thank everyone who took the time to vote in our recent APWU National elections and the mid-term elections. Change was the theme of our last National Convention and change is what we have coming.


Some of this change will not be in the best interest of working families if Darrell Issa, (Republican from California, who is set to become chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the next Congress) gets his way, and he is going to be a challenge for our recently elected National officers. This guy sounds like he is going to be a nightmare to all Federal employeesí families and not just Postal families, but it seems like he has a special interest in trying to "fix" the Postal Service.


Unfortunately, his idea of fixing would be actually destroying the Postal Service as we now know it. This California congressman caught my attention in a guest editorial in the Washington Times. In an article about the Postal Service and contract negotiations, Rep. Darrell Issa declares: "No union has or ever will lobby for a layoff, so itís up to USPS management and Congress to demand concessions." Yes, Rep. Issa wants Congress to demand layoffs and other concessions from postal workers.


Following his victory in the mid-terms, in an interview with Congressional Quarterly, Issa vowed "to clamp down on government agencies he sees as wasting taxpayersí money." He outlined an agenda that includes cutting postal facilities and creating a commission to decide which facilities should be shut down. "There are too many distribution centers, too many postal workers, too many post offices, and thereís a reluctance to make those changes," Rep. Issa told CQ magazine.


This guy is scary because it was also reported that he believed the CSRS overpayment was a "myth" and that relieving the US Postal Service of its crippling $5.5 billion annual "prefunding" requirement would be a "bailout".

 

I hope he read the article is the Washington Times that wrote about how the Postal Service echoes Enron abuses and how this Postal Company keeps blaming outside factors for its financial woes while repeatedly ignoring or excusing revealed mismanagement and major scandals. He needs to address the belief in management which was confirmed by top USPS attorney that there are two sets of rules, one rule for hourly employees and another for executive employees.


The bonuses, selling of homes at inflated prices, recently an IG report that found stunning evidence of contract mismanagement, ethical lapses, financial waste, excessive executive perks and the hiring back former executives at nearly twice their former pay to advise new executives who were placed in their position is where he should be focusing his attention. Iím willing to bet that this is only the "tip of the iceberg" and Iíve said it before and Iíll continue to say it; Congress needs to send in a team of accountants and auditors to find out whatís really going on within this Postal Company. I think itís time for a full scale Congressional investigation before itís too late. Could this be helping Potterís recent decision to retire?


As I try to finish this article before heading down to Washington, DC, as member of the Rank and File Committee for the final week of contract negotiations, I would like to wish outgoing President Burrus the best in his retirement. I also wish incoming President Cliff Guffey the best of luck because heíll surely have his hands full with a contract set to expire, Postmaster retiring, Issa and company etc.


President Guffey leads a team that unfortunately has no time to transition into this time of change and needs to "hit the ground running". Over the past few weeks while talking with some of these members on various issues, Iím quite sure theyíll do just fine and believe they all have our best interests at heart. Some of their ideas of change are positive and hopefully implemented to help save our futures. This Postal implosion needs to stop, and hopefully the Postal Service will listen.

                                             #####

Speaking of our best interests at heart, we locally were forced into making a tough decision after Moeís retirement and my condolences go out to Moe after losing his quest in the national elections.

At the beginning of the year we were facing a projected deficit of roughly 139k dollars for the year 2010, so in order to try and balance the budget we needed to reduce our expenses and this included a full-time officer position rather than be forced into a dues increase scenario.

We recently completed the restructuring at the October 17, 2010 meeting by making the required constitutional changes to the Clerk Craft Presidentís position. This was not an easy decision but done out of necessity. It has been a grueling task to accomplish this and time to move forward.

I would like to thank everyone for their patience while we explored different options to get where we needed to go. A special thank you goes to Paul and Bob because weíve all had to do "double-duty" during this restructuring and some days it has been a little trying to say the least.

#####

As much as would like to comment on the Braintree/Sokolski farce and the fact that there are two sets of rules, one rule for hourly employees and another for executive employees as described above but I need to cut this short since my article is now overdue. Iíve been sitting here in DC trying to finish this up on breaks and I think itís time to just wish everyone Happy Holidays and hopefully Santa will have a contract to deliver for us. Happy & Safe Holidays to all !!

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Third Quarter 2010 Bostonian
             
-- Pet Peeves --

We recently returned from our National Convention in Detroit. The delegates designated retention of Federal Health Benefits a ĎTop Priorityí because on the fifth and final day of the convention, delegates reaffirmed their commitment to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) by voting "yes" to a resolution that would make retaining union membersí right to participate in the plan a "top priority" for negotiators during 2010 bargaining.

Iím going to take an excerpt from my Nov/Dec 2008 Bostonian article because Iíve been writing about this subject for years. "Öit agitates one of my favorite pet peeves with postal mismanagement. Iíve said it before and Iíll say it again, we need changes within the USPS policies on medical documentation. Over the years, USPS policy on FMLA second and third medical opinions, the ACS (Attendance Control Supervisors), medical documentation for absences of three days or less and the RMD process (1-800-BANG-IN) has hurt the entire FEHBP (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program). These policies are even referred to as PAT (Postal Attendance Terrorism) in numerous APWU locals.

Management has more or less thrown the entire country on the Restricted Sick Leave list (MER) Ė USPS ELM 513.39. It actually still exists but supervisors are too busy doing our work (because they cut so many jobs) they donít have time to do their own:

Management Responsibilities (USPS ELM 511.42) To control unscheduled absences, postal officials:

a. Inform employees of leave regulations.

b. Discuss attendance records with individual employees when warranted.

c. Maintain and review PS Form 3972, Absence Analysis, and PS Form 3971.

When can you remember any of the above occurring on an individual basis, or a supervisor informing you in advance that medical evidence would be needed for future absences?

Policy these days are some handed down blanket directives from somebody who wants to cut overtime. The problem is many of our local managers and supervisors blindly implement these so-called directives without question. Most of these unnecessary office visits being required are downright foolish and nothing more than a form of harassment to our members.

Management complains about the health insurance premiums (their contribution), but they have brought these escalating costs upon themselves with their abuse of the healthcare system.

As a former Actuarial Analyst I understand the devastating effect these so-called policies have had on our health care premiums and cannot believe that the OPM (Office of Personnel Management) has allowed USPS management to drive up the FEHBP health care costs the way they have over the years.

This is where our FEHBP problem occurs. Health Care costs are rising at an alarming rate but USPS management for years just compounded the problem by requiring unnecessary office or even emergency room visits which sent FEHBP premiums escalating (a twofold problem but once again Ė thereís no accountability for postal mismanagement). Unfortunately, OPMís response to try and control costs (healthcare premiums) has been to reduce our (FEHBP) benefits and increase our out of pocket expenses (increased deductibles & co-pays, etc.). So without any internal changes to the current ill-advised medical documentation policy within the postal service, these problems will only escalate in my opinionÖ"


Management has been really abusing the documentation process for absences of three days or less including pre-certified intermittent absences under FMLA when requesting sick leave here in Boston lately. I recently authorized Bill Weaver to file a class action grievance on this subject for all crafts/all tours because it seems the VMF adopted a new policy without telling anyone, and the documentation abuse is completely out of control over there.

NWB seems to be the worse concerning the documentation process for absences of three days or less for pre-certified intermittent absences under FMLA when requesting sick leave. Phones calls from members in station and branches happen daily Ė that a supervisor or manager called them after they called Shared Services (877-477-3273). The supervisor or manager will leave a message on either an answering machine (home #) or voice mail (cell phone #) that documentation will be required even though they were not told when they first called in sick. Weíve had Labor/Management meetings on this subject, but it seems that didnít solve this abuse.

If any of the above happens to you, please ask for a steward and file a grievance. If you went to the doctorís office, ask to be reimbursed for your co-pay, travel expense and time. Stewards, if you settle a grievance at Step 1, please send a copy to the Union office because I plan on giving our national negotiators some rebuttal when the Postal Service wants to complain about rising health insurance premiums.

Speaking of bringing things to the attention of our national negotiators, I just wanted to comment on what an honor it was to be appointed to the Rank and File Committee for our contract negotiations which started September 1st. This will be probably one of the most important contracts in our history based on the state of the Postal Service and the economy. It sounds like they want to come after us hard with all these concessions Iíve been reading about. Iím so happy to be on this committee because this is why I became involved in our Union in the first place Ė to try and make a difference and improve things for our future.

Boston can be proud because Mike McDonald (Massachusetts State APWU - MVS Director) was also appointed and for a local to have two members on this committee speaks greatly of our local. Both of us pledge to do our best for the membership.

#####

Another problem which seems to be out of control is the fudging of numbers for these many reports management uses. Iíve met with the District Manager and then with the Postmaster on this subject and both claim they donít condone the practice and that if it is going on, they want to know about it. So, if you have a supervisor or manager scanning or giving a "direct order" to scan that the mail is up (boxline or "hotcase") and itís not, please contact me so I can relay the information to them. Mail being scanned as "notice left" when the mail piece never even left the office is also happening. Scanning fraud needs to be addressed before they completely ruin our service, so if you see something Ė say something.

In order to stop them from ruining the Postal Service as we now know it, we need everyone to get involved. The APWU at all levels is doing everything we can to stop this insanity but we need member involvement when asked and Iím asking.

We need you to contact your representative in Congress and our Senators to reinforce our arguments. Tell them, closing profitable offices doesnít make sense. Tell them, our veterans deserve decent jobs. Tell them, you want them to stop this postal implosion by CEO Potter. Tell them, they really need to find out the truth because the Postal Service is spewing all kinds of garbage, mis-truths, and misleading statistics about what is really going within this Postal Company. Tell them, before any changes are implemented, Congress needs to send in a team of accountants and auditors to find out whatís really going on within this Postal Company. Tell them, you would like to see a Postal Service in the future for your children. What is wrong with a so called federal agency being expected to offer jobs that provide a decent wage and benefits?

We need our elected officialsí involvement and your help, in order to get theirs. Itís all about numbers and if no one calls or writes, these arguments just fall on deaf ears. The Postal Service woes are not our fault and we shouldnít be allowed to be the scapegoat. We need our elected officials to put a stop to this destruction by CEO Potter. Our careers are under this capitalism driven attack on decent jobs, and we need you to get involved for our survival. Please visit BostonMetroAPWU.com and look for the link to the Congressional Information Center for the easiest way to get involved !! Last but not least Ė please remember to get out and VOTE !

 
 
            
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Second Quarter 2010 Bostonian


                                         PRESIDENT'S REPORT

It sure has been a busy past couple of months and it seems like Iíve been going nonstop with the transition, Year-end filings, Framingham merger and the Mass./N.E. Convention. Iím happy to report that the Framingham merger has been approved by the National (thereís still a little leftover paperwork and filings that need to be done). With the merger we picked up an additional forty-six members and with that, the Boston Metro Area Local would like to welcome our new Framingham brothers and sisters to our local.

We recently returned from the 39th APWU of Massachusetts Annual State Convention and the first ever New England States Convention. It was with great pleasure and honor that the Boston Metro Area Local, along with the Rhode Island State APWU, hosted this historic weekend in Newport, RI.

As we face a Postal Service determined to get rid of our jobs, this weekend of solidarity couldnít have come at a better time. Many issues that affect our wages, benefits and working conditions were discussed. It was nice to hear President Burrus comment on all the gloom and doom this Postal Company has been feeding the media. CEO Potter wants to capitalize on the current economy/recession and destroy the Postal Service as we now know it.

We need you to please call (today) your Congressional Representative and ask them to co-sponsor H.R 173 (legislation that would ensure the continuation of its six-day mail delivery service). Currently, only three Massachusetts Congressional Representatives (Frank, McGovern and Neal) are co-sponsors. We need them to reject Potterís plan designed to accelerate significant savings and become a delivery arm of major mailers.

In addition to being skeptical about cutting the Saturday delivery, Postal Regulatory Chairman Ruth Y. Goldway has also criticized Potter's other plan: "his plan to move post offices into Wal-Mart is not my idea of an adequate replacement".

On April 15, 2010, Goldway (before a Joint House Hearing on the Future of the Postal Service) presented ten ideas for positive change for the future of the U.S. Postal Service. Some of these ideas will grow our business and are something Potter should be exploring instead of trying to deny services to the American public through the service reductions. We are Federal employees and he should be promoting that fact and providing a one-stop shop for government services (one of the ten ideas) is something that should be explored.

Instead, Potter wants to explore Office Depot, Target and maybe Wal-Mart deals to get rid of retail services and our jobs. In this day and age of identity theft why would members of Congress even consider weakening the sanctity of the mail and the American publicís identities as Potter suggests with all his subcontracting/outsourcing proposals?


****************************

Itís not just the Postal Service trying to capitalize on the current economy and destroy the lives of working families. More than 300 members of UFCW Local 791 have now been on strike at the Shaw's Warehouse in Methuen for over two months.  Strikers and their families have been without health insurance since April 1st. These workers simply wish to return to their jobs under a fair and equitable agreement, yet Shaw's consistently refuses to engage in real negotiations. We have made a donation the strike fund to help the families and we support the striking Shawís workers. Please do not shop at Shawís until this matter is resolved !!

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Iím happy to announce that this yearís winner of the Matt Bowen Memorial Scholarship is Gavin Mahoney, son of Stephen Mahoney. Iíd like to share the comments that came back with the selection Ė "Excellent essay! Relates the real world experiences of his family to the objections of the labor movement, which is to improve the lives of working families. The applicant is a solid student and an asset to his community. His work ethic and discipline should insure the Boston Metro can be proud to award him the Matt Bowen Scholarship for 2010."

Now, the winning essay.

Although I am just 18 years old and I am about to start a new chapter in my life, I understand the importance of having a union in the work place. For the past 28 years my father has been a union member. He has always encouraged me to read the union paper stories and has taught me to appreciate the sacrifices that have been made in the past by union workers as these sacrifices have proven to be significant in the present. A great example from past history is Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, a book in which my father strongly encouraged me to read.

Due to all my reading, I can now understand why my father truly appreciates belonging to a union. Belonging to a union represents better wages, better benefits, better working conditions, better retirement benefits, and better health coverage. My father used to work as an independent contract teacher for three years which meant that he had no sick time, no personal days, no health coverage, and no union representation. They changed his hours and forced him into doing things that he was not hired to do such as covering bus duty, lunch duty and teaching extra classes.

Despite the fact that my father is hard working and committed to his family, he knew that he was being taken advantage of and he made the decision not to renew his contract. Belonging to a union for 28 years was so significant for my father and to me and my family. I would not be where I am today if it were not for the backing of my dad's union. I sincerely appreciate the fact that my dad belongs to a union as it has provided me and my family with a good life.

A good life to me is knowing that my family is respected, protected and treated with equality and this is what belonging to a union represents to me. 

                                                  Gavin Mahoney
                                         
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First Quarter 2010 Bostonian

BUSY YEAR AHEAD

I hope everyone enjoyed their Holidays which are probably a fond memory at this point considering weíre entering that long stretch before we see another one. Since this article is due in the middle of our year-end business, Iím going to use this opportunity to update some ongoing issues.
 

Hopefully, this economy will gain some traction and it will help stop the implosion at the Postal Service. As the Postal Service continues to lose money, the more and more they want to get rid of our jobs. Itís to the point where itís obvious they want to drive the customers away and continue selling us off through subcontracting.


This year will be a busy one for the APWU with a National Convention, National Elections and contract negotiations all falling in the same year. With all the gloom and doom in the newspapers lately concerning the Post Office, Iím sure it will be a challenging one for us. There are many opinions being expressed to our detriment. The OIG seems to be in the news quite a bit lately expressing their opinion. Theyíre continuously recommending the Postal Service could save money by subcontracting out custodial jobs.

A few months ago in one of their reports they made reference to some concerns expressed by President Burrus; that the OIG inappropriately interfered with the collective bargaining agreement. They went on to say: "While we respect differences in opinion, the OIG has a mandate to promote economy and efficiency in the Postal Service. Thus, recommendations made to management to lower the cost of custodial service remains within our statutory responsibilities".


Since the OIG claims they respect differences in opinion, Iíll continue to share mine. I believe the Postal Service and the OIG are disrespecting our veterans (these custodial jobs were originally intended for our veterans) by not allowing them to have these jobs. What is wrong with our veterans being allowed to have a "Federal" job with a decent wage and benefits? Where is the outrage with what is currently going on within the Postal Service these days from our elected officials? Maybe subcontracting those jobs and suggestions such as that should be addressed by these elected officials, including President Obama. This subject and these types of comments are getting a little old and insulting. This entire attack on working families across the country driven by corporate greed is a real concern and needs to be addressed.

Speaking of outrage, these consolidations being proposed by the Postal Service to our stations and branches is a farce and just another attack on our jobs. This Postal Company (they removed service with the passage of the 2006 postal "reform" law which needs to be fixed by Congress before itís too late) doesnít think twice about inconveniencing the customers these days.


On December 14, 2009, the Boston City Council's Committee on City and Neighborhood Services held a hearing to discuss the proposed closures of Boston Post Office stations within the city. Currently Faneuil Hall, B.U. and Logan Retail remain on this list. The Postal Service chose not to attend the hearing, claiming everyone was too busy, but we got a chance to bring our concerns forward before them. The councilors also heard from Carol Troxell from the Faneuil Hall Merchants Association, her business partner Sarah, B.U. box holder and Post Office activist Brian Sirman, and Logan customer, Sonja. We owe these individuals a big "Thank You" for taking their time to appear and testify before the committee.

I hope everyone had the opportunity to see the recent Burrus update on January 20, 2010, which commented on "A stunning announcement: OIG says USPS overpaid the Federal government $75 BILLION". We spent all last year hearing about how the Postal Service would run out of money without any relief. They claimed they needed to cut delivery to five days per week, and they needed to close stations and branches to save money. The sky was falling because they were fast approaching the cap under the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 (PAEA). Maybe the Postal Service needs to be put into some sort of receivership before any proposed closures or a day of delivery is eliminated. You mean to tell me, after this happening on two previous occasions, it didnít dawn on somebody that something might be wrong in this area again, especially when they started losing all kinds of money (again)? Weíre talking $75 BILLION !!


Since this announcement everything has been hush-hush on the subject as they try to move forward with their plans. Now it looks like another round of deception to accomplish their agenda. It was recently reported that on their latest submission (January 29, 2010) to the Commission concerning the closures, they had nothing new to add to their previously filed reports. I can think of seventy five billion new things that should have been added. Whereís the accountability?


The APWU at all levels is doing everything we can to stop this insanity but we need member involvement when asked. We need you to contact your representative in Congress and our Senators to reinforce our arguments. Tell them closing these profitable offices doesnít make sense. Tell them our veterans deserve decent jobs. Tell them you want them to stop this postal implosion by CEO Potter. Tell them they need to find out the truth because the Postal Service is spewing all kinds of garbage, mis-truths, and misleading statistics about what is really going within this Postal Company. Tell before any more changes are implemented, Congress needs to send in a team of accountants and auditors to find out whatís really going on within the Postal Service. Tell them you would like to see a Postal Service in the future for your children. What is wrong with a so called federal agency being expected to offer jobs that provide a decent wage and benefits?


This ongoing attack on our custodians, truck drivers and clerks needs to stop before itís too late. We need our elected officialsí involvement and your help, in order to get theirs. Itís all about numbers and if no one calls, writes or signs petitions, these arguments just fall on deaf ears. The Postal Service woes are not our fault and we shouldnít be allowed to be the scapegoat. We need our elected officials to put a stop to this destruction by CEO Potter. How come this guy is not up on Capitol Hill answering to somebody? I can think of seventy five billion reasons why he should be up there !! They need to hold these JACKA$$ES accountable before they completely destroy the Postal Service. Our careers are under this capitalism driven attack on decent jobs and we need you to get involved for our survival
.
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Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program Information

Unfortunately, OPM (U.S. Office of Personnel Management) who administers our Healthcare Benefits only covers dependent children till age 22. Most parents find this out six weeks before the childís birthday that their students will not be covered until age 26. This causes a last minute scramble for coverage that I wanted to point out to parents for some advanced warning. 

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Sept. / Oct. 2009 Bostonian

                                          Scary Days


Labor lost a great friend with the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. On that sad day, I joined the rest of the country by saying "thank you" and expressing my heartfelt sympathy to the Kennedy family. Working families will surely miss him and while I was at Arlington National Cemetery for our special wreath-laying ceremony, I also had the opportunity to pay my respects to Ted.

I want to say Arlington National Cemetery is a breathtaking and memorable experience. This was a first for me and if you
íve never been -- I hope you get the chance some day. I felt such a sense of honor to be there that Iíll be forever thankful that I attended.

Iím missing Ted already because these are some scary days weíre experiencing in America today with these never ending capitalism driven attacks on working families. The Hyatt Hotels Corporation just fired 100 workers here in Boston who were making up to $15 an hour because they found a company they could outsource the work to for an estimated $8 an hour. How will this economy ever turn around if people keep losing their jobs?

Unfortunately, this mind set has been attacking our jobs here within the Postal Service, and there seems to be no end in sight. The day before we left for Arlington National Cemetery, the OIG was again in the news. They were once again recommending the Postal Service could save money by subcontracting out custodial jobs.

In the OIG report they made reference to some concerns previously made by President Burrus that the OIG inappropriately interfered with the collective bargaining agreement with their other report. They went on to say: "While we respect differences in opinion, the OIG has a mandate to promote economy and efficiency in the Postal Service. Thus, recommendations made to management to lower the cost of custodial service remains within our statutory responsibilities".

At Arlington National Cemetery in the visitors center, the Postal Service has a display which we went over to check out. As we were looking over the display, Bob Keough made a comment about the OIG report which got us talking about the fact these custodial jobs were originally intended for our veterans. Since the OIG claims they respect differences in opinion, Iíll share mine. I believe the Postal Service and the OIG are disrespecting our veterans by not allowing them to have these jobs. What is wrong with our veterans being allowed to have a "Federal" job with a decent wage and benefits? Where is the outrage with what is going on within the Postal Service from our elected officials? Maybe subcontracting those jobs and suggestions such as the above should be addressed by these elected officials including Obama.

Speaking of outrage, these consolidations are a farce and just another attack on our jobs. Why are they insisting on closing these profitable offices? In my opinion, if they get away with this, we are going to have all kinds of problems in the future. The Postal Company doesnít think twice about inconveniencing the customers these days. They just tried scheduling the citizens of Newton for a community input meeting at Northwest Boston in Waltham concerning the proposed closing of the Nonantum Post Office. This office serves many senior citizens in the area, and expecting them to travel to Waltham or another Post Office is insulting to our senior citizens. This office will net after expenses provided by the Postal Service a profit of roughly $351,000. So why is this closing in the first place? 
If I had an office making $351,000 a year in this economy, I'd want to open at least another 1000 of them!!!

We are doing everything we can to stop this insanity but we need your involvement when asked. We need you to contact your representative in Congress and Senator Kerry to reinforce our arguments. Tell them, closing these profitable offices doesnít make sense. Tell them, our veterans deserve decent jobs. Tell them, you want them to stop this postal implosion by CEO Potter.
Tell them, they need to find out the truth because the Postal Service is spewing all kinds of garbage, mis-truths, and misleading statistics about what is really going within the Postal Company these days. Tell them you would like to see a Postal Service in the future for your children. What is wrong with a so called federal agency being expected to offer jobs that provide a decent wage and benefits?

These attacks on our custodians, truck drivers and clerks need to stop, and we need your help in order to get theirs. Itís all about numbers and if no one calls, writes or signs petitions, these arguments just fall on deaf ears. The Postal Service woes are not our fault and we shouldnít be allowed to be the scapegoat. We need our elected officials to put a stop to this destruction by CEO Potter.  Our careers are now under this capitalism driven attack on decent jobs, and we need you to get involved for our survival.

On another note speaking of our survival, Iíve spent the past year scrutinizing every expense in order to try and balance our budget. Iíve renegotiated most of our leases, contracts, policies and agreements in an effort to save money. We are like any other business and trying to balance the budget doesnít come easy. These efforts have caused a few arguments and even earned me a few nicknames that Iíll refrain from printing, but youíll be happy to know these restructuring efforts have resulted in thousands of dollars saved.

The trustees are actively involved as we try to stop the bleeding from last yearís deficit. Weíre currently looking at and reviewing all options. This includes some positions on the Executive Board that we might want to merge and reduce before the next election, in a continuing effort to save money -- more on this as we progress.

In closing, if there was ever a time working families needed someone to step up and stop the attack, the time is now. With that thought, I want to once again say "Thank you, Ted and weíre surely going to miss you"!


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July/August 2009 Bostonian

Alternate Access = Attack APWU Jobs


Say No to alternate access (Mail Boxes Etc., Kinkos and CPUs) and Yes to alternate plans! In the last couple of issues, weíve tried to stress the need for all of us to become more proactive before CEO Potter and company run us into the ground. We need to protect our careers because management plans on trying to dismantle the Postal Service as we now know it. If you havenít heard by now, management intends on consolidating more than 3200 station and branches around the country.

Last fall, when we started our "Media Committee", this was one of our fears Ė management wanting to cut service! In November & December we spent numerous hours up the State House & City Hall, meeting with our elected officials to warn them this might be in our future, but never imagined to this extent.

Management believes they found a loophole and conceded that among the reasons for closing stations and branches is that there are fewer "procedural requirements" for closing stations and branches than for small post offices. They anticipated only a 60-day process for making these decisions, including a 10-day window for input from affected customers. Theyíre seeking the Postal Regulatory Commission's (PRC) blessing on the legality of its efforts.

As I write this article, I just read the Board of Governors voted unanimously to once again close to public observation its meeting to be held on July 15, 2009. The June meetings were also closed to the public (sounds like they plan to railroad this BULL$H!T through before the public knows what hit them). 

The Postal Service is doing this in response to a GAO (Government Accountability Office) report issued May 20, 2009. In this report the GAO criticized the USPS for failing to take the necessary steps to remain viable, such as "rightsizing its retail and mail processing networks by consolidating operations and closing unnecessary facilities," and "reducing the size of its workforce." The Postal Service is concerned that the GAO is closely monitoring their financial viability to determine whether to add USPSís need for restructuring to GAOís High-Risk List. We need to let our Lawmakers know that closing station & branches is not in the Postal Serviceís (our) best interest going forward.

The report also went on to say that other options (alternate plans) that could help USPS remain financially viable involve difficult trade-offs, including:
deferring USPS payments for retiree health benefits, which would increase the unfunded retiree health benefit obligation;
reducing the frequency of 6-day delivery, which would affect a key aspect of universal service and could further accelerate mail volume decline;
downgrading delivery standards, which could affect time-sensitive mail;
raising statutory debt limits, which could further exacerbate USPSís financial difficulties in the future; and providing direct appropriations, which would be contrary to the fundamental principle that USPS remain financially self-supporting.

This is why getting H.R.22 passed is so important. This bill would modify a provision of the 2006 postal "reform" law that needlessly drains the Postal Service of billions of dollars per year. (The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, requires the USPS to spend more than $5 billion per year from 2006 through 2016 to "pre-fund" retiree healthcare benefits from its operating budget.)

Keep in mind that Postal Service revenue in 2008 more than covered operating costs, $2.8 billion more. Projected losses for this year are also artificially inflated by $5.6 billion because of this requirement. Letís help take some of the pressure this budget shortfall and contact our representatives.

The APWU Legislative and Political Department has developed a new Congressional Information Center. This excellent resource has made it really easy to contact your elected officials; I hope everybody takes advantage of it. Thereís a link to the new Congressional Information Center on our website homepage: BOSTONMETROAPWU.com and also on the Public Eye page. Please take the time some morning over a cup of coffee and visit the Congressional Information Center and help get H.R.22 passed.

Please ask your co-workers, family and friends to also ask their representatives to support H.R.22 because we need all the support we can get. It would mean so much more to our elected officials when we said the APWU supported a bill that it was followed up by a few thousand e-mails and letters and it has never been easier -- you can either send an e-mail or cut and paste to send a letter from the new Congressional Information Center.

Where is the outrage with the mismanagement and wasteful spending that has been going on?

Remember, it was only back in March that the Postal Service was questioned about the policy where people were beating the housing bust by selling their houses to the Post Office under the Relocation Program. It must have been nice to request a transfer to play that game. CEO Potter was also reported to face tough questioning on Capitol Hill to explain the red ink as well as his compensation package. Nice bonus!

Under this 2006 postal "reform" law the board boosted Potter's salary from $186,600 to $258,840 for fiscal 2007, in May 2007 retroactively. Then in March we read his base compensation for fiscal 2008 listed at $263,575 mushrooms into a cool $857,000 package. Again, all I can say is NICE!

This absurdity continues all the way down the Postal chain of command, even down through the EAS trough to everyone except those who actually do the work. Those people get the standard 1.2% and management claims that theyíre the problem.

So now, they want to close stations & branches to save money --  what a joke!

Before that, in February, a report from the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG): Postal managers buying TiVos, video games, designer watches with postal funds. The following is excerpted from USPS OIG Report FF-MA-09-002:

Employees have made, and are continuing to make, imprudent and unnecessary purchases during a time of severe economic uncertainty in the Postal Service. While such purchases are generally not in direct violation of Postal Service policies, they conflict with the Postal Serviceís objective of driving down costs in all operations and processes. Moreover, the publicís view of such imprudent purchases could have a detrimental effect on the Postal Serviceís public image due to the perception that the agency is using funds from sales of stamps to purchase expensive itemsÖ"

So now, they want to close stations & branches to save money --  what a joke!


More than a year ago there was an OIG report that supported the APWU position that Subcontracting Fails Workers, Consumers, and the USPS. The Postal Service outsourcing practices often prove to be wasteful and inefficient, resulting in poor customer service and undermining the USPS. It reported that mail processing, transportation, and retail services often cost the Postal Service more than if the work were kept in-house.

Yet, we continue to have managers being rewarded under this pay for performance bonus system because they reduced one budget by switching the expense to another budget. This often incurs a greater expense to the Postal Service because itís not being monitored under actual job performance by its impact on the bottom line. Now, theyíll be racking up all kinds of lease termination expenses (penalties). This practice of taking work away from our career employees at any expense has to stop!

We need more Lawmakers resisting the Postal Serviceís attempts to close stations & branches and end Saturday deliveries in order to make up its budget shortfall. Iím surprised we donít have more people starting to smell the stench of these plans.

Itís this type of crisis management, arrogance and lack of accountability that has gotten us in this mess in the first place. We need our elected officials to put the brakes on these plans before the irreparable damage is done!

Please watch the bulletin boards in the days ahead!

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June 2009 Bostonian

As I write this article we are fast approaching a year in office and I want to say that itís been a year full of surprises and challenges. I believe the biggest surprise was how quickly our economy went into a dive and the magnitude of the fallout. The pain inflicted on working families will be felt for years and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

The biggest challenge Iíve encountered so far is trying to convince people we need to come together and get involved because weíre not immune to this pain. Companies are scrambling to cut costs to stop the bleeding and it seems they always start with their workforce. This new Postal Company led by CEO Potter is no different and looking to capitalize on these recent losses and inflict their own pain.

The simplest way to take some of this pressure off the Postal Service is to get H.R.22 passed. This bill would modify a provision of the 2006 postal "reform" law that needlessly drains the Postal Service of billions of dollars per year. (The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 requires the USPS to spend more than $5 billion per year from 2006 through 2016 to "pre-fund" retiree healthcare benefits from its operating budget.) No other federal agency is subject to this requirement.

Despite drastic cuts in work hours and other savings, in Fiscal Year 2008 the USPS suffered a net loss of $2.8 billion. The Postal Service could save as much as $3.5 billion a year through 2016 if this amendment to the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act were to become law (Postmaster General John E. Potter said in testimony before a Senate subcommittee early this year).

The APWU has developed a new Congressional Information Center. This excellent resource has made it really easy to contact your elected officials; I hope everybody takes advantage of it. Iíve added a link to the new Congressional Information Center on our homepage: BOSTONMETROAPWU.com. While youíre there please read about the other important bills pending and ask for support on them, as well.

A union is only as effective as its ability to mobilize its members and we seem to be struggling in this area. I would like to ask all members to take the time some morning over a cup of coffee and visit the Congressional Information Center. Please take the time to ask your representative to support this important bill and it has never been easier -- you can either send an e-mail or cut and paste to send a letter. Ask your co-workers, family and friends to also ask their representatives to support H.R. 22 because we need all the support we can get. It would mean so much more to our elected officials when we said the APWU supported a bill that it was followed up by a few thousand e-mails and letters.

If this bill doesnít pass things will go beyond ugly at contract negotiations next year. We need to step-up and start taking a vested interest in our future before itís too late. The last thing we need at this point is to be looking toward the Obama administration for any taxpayer money. We have fought too hard for what weíve achieved over the years to let outside influences back in to what weíve negotiated. Please remember it was the APWU that got us the benefits we currently enjoy and these were, by no means given freely.

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Another surprise I couldnít imagine during the year was the amount of time and energy Iíd waste trying to straighten out the mess that I inherited from the former treasurer. Calendar year 2007 reports and returns were not filed in a timely manner. This caused letters to appear in the mail during the year from the IRS, MASS DOR agencies, The Department of Labor and all looking to impose penalties on us. The biggest concern was the threat from the Department of Labor turning our issue over to the Department of Justice. Iím happy to report theyíve all been resolved (finally) and all penalties rescinded. One agency even commented: "and everybody be happy".

I mention this because it was a time consuming endeavor, and you have the right to know how Iíve been spending my time. If you think trying to straighten out problems with the Postal Service is time consuming, try a couple of these agencies.

In addition to the above, I also worked numerous Saturdays correcting or rebuilding some of our systems to bring them up-to-date. Iíve implemented or restored safeguards that werenít being utilized to protect the local. I also continue to work with the trustees to cut expenses wherever we can and we look to implement even more safeguards or check and balances going forward. Lastly, let us not forget the infamous 401(k) issue that seemed to drag on and on, which finally needed to be put to bed with some help from our lawyer. Most of this wasted time and energy on the above could have been avoided by the former treasurer doing their job!

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Weíve been trying to brainstorm different ideas to increase participation at our monthly meetings. I want to remind everyone that these meetings are held for your benefit and this is your opportunity to hear whatís going on first hand or if you have a problem, to bring it forward. If you donít have a steward in your office, please take turns and send a representative to the meetings. Some things cannot be put out on bulletins and best discussed only at meetings.

Paul Kilduff came up with a great suggestion the other day that weíre going to try at the July meeting. It will be a Sunday morning meeting followed by hamburgers and hotdogs. Please watch the bulletin boards for the date (TBA) and come on down. Have a burger afterwards and take a stroll along the beach or bring a fishing pole and try your luck around Castle Island.
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Iím happy to announce that the winner of the 2009 Matt Bowen Memorial Scholarship is Alison Lonergan from the Whitman-Hanson High School. Alison is the daughter of member George W. Lonergan and her essay was judged as a timely topic, in addition to being well written with references and personal connections. It was also commented that: "this was the best set of essays seen in quite a while, making the selection a tough choice". Hopefully, all applicants can take solace in knowing they were part of the best essays seen in quite a while. So without further adieu, the winning essay:

George Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, stated: "The current process for forming unions is badly broken and so skewed in favor of those who oppose unions, that workers must literally risk their jobs in order to form a union. Although it is illegal, one quarter of employers facing an organizing drive have been found to fire at least one worker who supports a union. In fact, employees who are active union supporters, have a one in five chance of being fired for legal union activities." As the daughter of two union employees, I began to think about the Employee Free Choice Act. This act would allow employees to make their own choices on whether to be part of a union without fear of losing their job. If this passes, the employer will lose their right to decide if an election is necessary, instead the employee will have the choice of a secret ballot when at least thirty percent of the employees petition for an election.


My parents have relied on their unions to protect their rights as well as their jobs for many years, and many of these problems never even come to their attention because the union takes care of the issues efficiently. Unions protect health benefits, provide a stable schedule, and work on behalf of the employees constantly. In today's economy, workers need their jobs, yet they should not have to risk their jobs in order to gain union protection.

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April 2009 Bostonian

                    Irrational Pessimism

Weíve gone from the days of "irrational exuberance" to irrational pessimism. Our economy is in trouble and businesses are scrambling to cut costs. Every day you read about more layoffs happening in some corporation, adding to the unemployment totals. Thankfully, we have a contract and I want to emphasize that itís still in effect!!! 

I know some days you would never know it, but can you imagine what it would like if we didnít? You can already see the signs of panic within the Postal Service. Stories that a senior postal official in the western part of the country suggests that "some managers ought to be taken out and executed" during Telecons.

Rumors that the Post Office might not be able to make payroll and what some supervisors and managers are asking of you, such as: Look the other way while they do our work, work off the clock, work less than eight on a non-scheduled day etc.

On February 23, 2009, PMG Potter issued a reminder memo to honor the contracts. ". . . As we adapt to a dynamic and dramatically changing environment we will, by necessity, bring even more change to our business, But one thing cannot change: our adherence to the provisions of our labor agreements. They are our word. They are our pledge of fairness to our employees . . .".

The entire memo can be read on our website @ BostonMetroAPWU.com. Hopefully, this reminder memo will stop some of our overzealous management personnel from trying to take matters in their own hands. Itís disgusting to see how some will try and capitalize on this situation for their personal gain ("pay for performance"). The economy will recover in time and hopefully the Postal Service doesnít implode before it does.

Remember and be thankful we have a contract, and itís in effect through November 20, 2010. I found NAPS President Keatingís recent testimony interesting and wanted to reprint a synopsis of his recommendations. 

His comments came during a hearing of the House Federal Workforce and Postal Oversight Subcommittee on the financial crisis facing the Postal Service. He urged the Postal Service ". . . to consolidate its nationwide management structure from ten geographic areas to five, calling the current framework far too large, bureaucratic and costly to be allowed to continue to exist." "By reducing and consolidating its top management structure, the Postal Service would eliminate needless bureaucracy, save costs, and operate more efficiently", Keating said. "It is time that the Postal Service apply the same rigorous cost-cutting scrutiny to the numbers of its upper ranks as it is applying to middle and lower-management."


Keating also criticized the Postal Serviceís practice of buying the homes of relocated employees and called for the end of the practice. "Recruitment and retention incentives can be provided through sufficient other means, without the need for home purchases that cause the Postal Service to rack up significant losses", Keating said.
Additionally, Keating took aim at the practice of USPS district managers detailing supervisors and managers to positions that, Keating said, donít officially exist in the USPS personnel structure. Keating said the practice, which involves hundreds of supervisors in ad hoc positions, is costly and harms productivity.

"This is only one of numerous problems that NAPS and the postmaster organizations have raised with USPS, in light of the savings and management efficiencies that could be secured. Like so many of our recommendations, they have been ignored by USPS top management," Keating said. 

Will our "AIG style" management listen to anybody before itís too late? Their plans going forward are downright scary and need to be stopped. They believe they can run the Postal Service as a "shell" (a company overseeing a bunch of subcontractors).

They refuse to acknowledge that subcontracting, outsourcing, work-hour reductions, work-share discounts, and an unhealthy level of cooperation with major mailers and their agents have been ineffective.

We cannot wait till our positions are proposed to be abolished before we wake up and get involved. We need to protect our work and not look the other way Ė file that grievance! We are not part of their "vision" for the future and as career employees we are under attack. Here is another insult being proposed:


Vision 2013 is a plan to revamp and/or curtail retail activity by:


ē
Redirect customers to non postal vendors
ē Reduce patron transit time, streamline customer processing
ē Expand self-service options
ē Relocate retail units, change hours
ē Separate Retail from Delivery
ē Share space with competitors
ē Have carriers do more house calls and provide retail services
ē Use more CPUs and establish some Post Office Express (POE)


We need help from our elected officials and the American public to pressure the Postal Service to come to its senses before itís too late. Please give to COPA because the Postal Service is on a path of self-destruction, and the job you save could be your own. Hopefully, everyone sees the writing on the wall. The Local is currently in the middle of a COPA/Media fundraiser for this very reason Ė please see your steward to purchase a raffle ticket or two.

Shortly after the Postal Service released their fiscal year loss all kinds of costs reductions (mostly craft specific) were being announced by management. The one I know that is affecting most of our members personally is the current overtime reduction directives. In order to help in this area, Iíve added an Interactive savings guide to our website to help members reduce their out of pocket expenses wherever they can because I know every little bit helps these days.

If you are having financial trouble (debt) and it is affecting your sleeping, relationships or thoughts you might consider contacting EAP. 1-800-EAP4YOU is no longer just for alcohol and substance abuse; they now do financial planning and debt consolidation as well. Please give them a call and youíll be pleasantly surprised with the changes.

                        
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Jan/Feb 2009 Bostonian

2009, A Year of Change?


I enter the New Year with renewed optimism and look forward to Inauguration Day Ė (twelve days away as I write this article). My enthusiasm started when we formed our "Media Committee" and was reinforced when I heard:

"ÖThis is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can..."

                                 - President-Elect Barack Obama in his victory speech on November 4, 2008


Obama was elected to rebuild the middle class and he is against increased privatization of public services. This issue is of utmost importance to postal workers because privatization is not just a threat; it is being viewed by some powerful forces as the solution to the Postal Serviceís billion-dollar deficits. They refuse to acknowledge that subcontracting, outsourcing, work-hour reductions, work-share discounts, and an unhealthy level of cooperation with major mailers and their agents have been ineffective.


This union must be prepared to fight these forces because the Postal Service is on a path of self-destruction
so we decided the "Media Committee" was the place to start. Everyone seemed excited to be trying something different from the grievance procedure to address our concerns and they enjoyed meeting numerous elected officials. It was nice to see everyone come together and get involved to make this happen.

I want to thank Mike McDonald, Bob Waterhouse and Bruce Pearson because these three were the driving force of this committee. They pushed the deadlines & coordinated the efforts of all involved and things were a little hectic some days (with all that was going on within the Postal Service over these past couple of months). This was no easy task because this was a large committee which consisted of the Full-time officers, Craft Presidents, Boston District Area VPs, Scott Hoffman and our three coordinators. I also want to thank the South Shore Area Local for their help in producing our edition of "Labor Talk", the Ĺ hour TV show which aired last month on cableís "public access" channels. In case you missed any of our hard work and efforts, you can visit "The Public Eye" page of our website: BostonMetroAPWU.com.

Management believes that because theyíre currently losing money, our Collective Bargaining Agreement (C.B.A.) is null and void. Some sort of accountability needs to be established because the Postal Service believes they can do as they please, and now seems to think theyíre above the law. What was reported in those stories in the
Philadelphia Daily News at the beginning of December was a disgrace but shows the current intent level of managementís deception game.


Youíve heard of the so-called "Tour Compression" but it now looks more like "Tour Suppression" and that they refuse to acknowledge that subcontracting, outsourcing, work-hour reductions, work-share discounts, and an unhealthy level of cooperation with major mailers and their agents have been ineffective but let me share something you might not know about which brings subcontracting to a new level of concern. Never mind the fact they are contracting out at a higher rate, theyíre now (in some cases) violating their own regulations governing security clearances: ASM 13 at 272.322 Citizenship requires that "Individuals requiring nonsensitive clearance, sensitive clearance, or interim sensitive clearance must be United States citizens, except that permanent resident aliens and other citizens of foreign countries may provide services with the prior approval of the Postal Career Executive Service (PCES) manager for whom the services are required."

272.343 Nonsensitive Clearance: Requires that "documentation must be provided for each individual before these individuals are authorized to enter a postal facility in connection with contract performance."And requires

f. Verification of the individual's United States citizenship

These regulations prohibit the use of non citizens in the performance of postal work within postal facilities.

The above violations recently resulted in a Step 4 grievance being initiated on these violations/concerns found here in Boston. Hopefully, weíll have more to share on this subject in the coming months.

When I was recently reading about some more proposed job abolishmentís around the country ("Öthese "indirect" positions include expediters, general clerks, transfer clerks, training technicians, secretaries, review clerks, data collection clerks, ramp clerks, express mail clerks, special postal clerks, etc.."), I thought about an article I wrote back in the December 2006 edition of the Bostonian called The River Wild. I wanted to reprint the article but you can see I had a little more I wanted to talk about so please read it, if you get a chance, on the website. This article can be viewed on the "My Bostonian Archives" link, off the President's page of our website, and it talked about our work being redefined and given to supervisors, which continues to our determent.


I believe we need to continue to get the word out and in order to do so; we need to use the resources at our disposal, to expose this sham including the media. This has gone beyond the grievance procedure and it needs to stop yesterday. We need help from our elected officials and the American public to pressure the Postal Service to come to its senses before itís too late.
To help in these efforts we have redesigned and reconfigured our annual fundraiser.


                                         ************************


 


 -- Miscellaneous Info. --

HATCH ACT
Permitted Activity

Register and vote in any election.

May solicit, accept, and receive political contributions for COPA from an employee who is an APWU member, and who is not supervised by you.

Take an active part as a candidate or in support of a candidate, in a nonpartisan election.

Take an active part in managing the political campaign of a partisan political candidate or a candidate for political party office.

Serve as an election judge or clerk, or in a similar position, to perform nonpartisan duties as prescribed by State or local law.

Be a member of a political party or other political group and participate in its activities.

Serve as an officer of a political party or other political group, a member of a national, State, or local committee of a political party, an officer or member of a committee of a political group, or be a candidate for any of these positions.

Attend and participate fully in the business of nominating caucuses of political parties.

Participate in a political convention, rally, or other political gathering.

Drive voters to polling places for a partisan political candidate, partisan political group, or political party.

May contribute money to political organizations.

May attend political fundraising functions.

May anonymously stuff envelopes with campaign literature which includes an appeal for political contributions.

May give a speech at a fundraiser, as long as the speech does not include an appeal for political contributions.

May be identified as a guest speaker on an invitation to a fundraiser as long as the reference in no way suggests that the employee is soliciting or encouraging contributions.

May serve as Treasurer of a campaign or political organization if the duties are limited to preparing financial disclosure forms, giving advice, etc.

May serve as an officer or chairperson of a political fundraising organization or committee, as long as he or she does not personally solicit, accept, or receive political contributions.

May help organize a fundraiser as long as he or she does not personally solicit, accept, or receive political contributions.

May solicit, accept, and receive political contributions on behalf of a candidate for public office in a local nonpartisan election.

May solicit, accept, and receive political contributions for his or her own campaign for public office in a local nonpartisan election.

May solicit, accept, and receive political contributions on behalf of a nonpartisan group.

Prohibited Activity

May not be a candidate in a partisan election.

May not participate in political activities:

(1.) While he or she is on duty;

(2.) While he or she is wearing a uniform, badge, insignia, or other similar item that identifies the employing agency or instrumentality or the position of the employee;

(3.) While he or she is in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by an individual employed or holding office in the Government of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof; or

(4.) While using a Government-owned or leased vehicle, or while using a privately-owned vehicle in the discharge of official duties.

May not solicit, accept, or receive political contributions from the general public, except under specifically defined circumstances.

May not coerce another employee to make a political contribution.

May not become personally identified with partisan fundraising activities.

May not solicit personal services, paid or unpaid, from a business or corporation.

May not sign campaign letters which include a solicitation for political contributions.

May not participate, even anonymously, in phone bank solicitations for political contributions.

May not solicit political contributions in speeches given at fundraisers.

May not otherwise allow the use of his or her name on an invitation to a fundraiser, as a sponsor of a fundraiser, or as a point of contact for the fundraiser.

May not serve as Treasurer if the duties include solicitation, acceptance or receipt of political contributions.

----------------------------------------


COPA DONATIONS                                     (Jan. 2008)

A salary allotment to APWU COPA - the Committee on Political Action - - can be set up easily and efficiently. Just follow the guidelines below and call PostalEase to begin your COPA salary allotment.
The APWU has made it possible for you to support the unionís COMMITTEE ON POLITICAL ACTION by giving an amount you choose through a payroll allotment with PostalEase.

By creating a COPA allotment, you can help our union make a stronger effort to support the political candidates who will fight fo us. It is an easy way to give, and - - just like your other deductions - - it will go to work for you
immediately.

1. Before you dial, write down the following account number: 29320001, followed by your Social Security number. This 17-digit number (no hyphens) will enable the APWU to identify this contribution as having come from you. You will use this number in #11 below.

2. Dial 1-877-477-3273 (1-877-4PS-EASE).

3. Press #1 for PostalEase.

4. When prompted, enter your Employee Identification Number (EIN).

5. When prompted again, enter your USPS PIN number. (This is the same number you use for telephone bidding and / or other payroll allotments.)

If you do not have a USPS PIN number, or cannot remember your PIN number, follow the instructions at the bottom of this page, under (Donít have your USPS PIN?).

6. When prompted, choose option #2 (to select payroll allotments).

7. When prompted, choose option #1 (to select type of allotment).

8. When prompted, press #2 to continue.

9. When prompted, press #3 to "add" the allotment.

10. When prompted, enter ROUTING NUMBER: 054001220.

11. When prompted, enter the COPA ACCOUNT NUMBER: 29320001, followed by your Social Security number (No hyphens, 17 digits total). Press #1 if correct.

12. When prompted, press #1 for checking.

13. When prompted for the dollar amount of the allotment, enter your choice for a biweekly allotment. Press #1 if correct.

14. When prompted, press #1 to process. 
At this point, youíll be provided with a confirmation number and the start date of the allotment. Record the confirmation number and start date.


Press #1 to repeat, or press #9 to end the call. Retain this form for your records.

                
---------------------------------------------------------


Donít have your USPS PIN
? To obtain your PIN:

1.) Call PostalEase at 1-877-477-3273.

2.) Press #1 for PostalEase.

3.) When prompted, enter your Social Security #.

4.) When prompted for your PIN, pause, then press #2.

5.) Your PIN will be mailed to your address of record the next business day.

               ------------------------------------


 

The following was taken from the National Unionís Retirement Counselors Training Guide.


THE MILITARY CATCH 62 NIGHTMARE


If you have military time and you are a CSRS employee, do you understand you may lose thousands of dollars in retirement annuity payments if you make the wrong decision? The most common mistake is not considering your Social Security quarters earned and those that may be earned after retirement from federal service.

This mistake can be easily researched by requesting a personal earnings benefit from the Social Security Administration. If you were in a covered position before October 1, 1992, and you had creditable military service after January 1, 1957, your Civil Service Retirement may be reduced because of the "Catch 62" penalty. The problem arises because the military time is included in the service computation date, but can be removed at age 62 because of your being fully insured for Social Security. Those hired on or after October 1, 1982, must make a deposit to have their military time included for retirement annuity calculations.

The Catch 62 is to keep federal retirees from receiving double credit; CSRS retirement and Social Security, without making proper deposits for both. To receive credit for the CSRS annuity, the deposit must be made before retirement. This small detail, if overlooked, can cause a major reduction in your retirement annuity. Many employees, CSRS and FERS, fail to plan for their military service deposit. In addition, the small amount of deposit originally owed often has grown substantially because of interest.

MILITARY CREDIT  - CSRS / CSRS OFFSET


The difference in the annuity if deposit is made:


55 years with $45,000. High-3 average with 30 years -

$25,312 annual annuity, or: $2,109 monthly annuity


Two (2) years of military, total service time: 32 years

$27,112 annual annuity, or $2,259 monthly annuity

Difference of $1,800 annually, or $150 monthly


Three (3) years of military, total service time: 33 years

$28,012 annual annuity, or $2,334 monthly annuity

Difference of $2,700 annually, or $225 monthly


Four (4) years of military, total service time: 34 years

$28,913 annual annuity, or $2,409 monthly annuity

Difference of $3,601 annually, or $300 monthly

               --------------------------

MILITARY CREDIT - - FERS

The difference in the annuity if deposit is made.


55 years with $45,000. High-3 average with 30 years -

$13,500 annual annuity, or: $1,125 monthly annuity


Two (2) years of military, total service time: 32 years

$14,400 annual annuity, or $1,200 monthly annuity

Difference of $900 annually, or $75 monthly


Three (3) years of military, total service time: 33 years

$14,850 annual annuity, or $1,237 monthly annuity

Difference of $1,190 annually, or $112 monthly


Four (4) years of military, total service time: 34 years

$15,300 annual annuity, or $1,275 monthly annuity

Difference of $1,800 annually, or $150 monthly


                   -------------------------------

Refunded Service Terminated Before October 1, 1990

 

Retirees whose annuities begin after December 1, 1990, who owe a redeposit for a period of refunded service that terminated before October 1, 1990, are not required to make a redeposit to receive credit for this service in calculating the annuity. But, if no deposit is paid, the annuity is actuarially reduced. The formula for calculating this reduction takes into consideration the employeeís age at retirement and the amount of unpaid redeposit.


Refunded Service Terminated on or After October 1, 1990

Retirees whose annuities begin after December 1, 1990, who retire and owe a redeposit for a period of refunded service that terminated on or after October 1, 1990, are required to make a redeposit for the service in order to receive credit in the computation of the annuity. The amount of the redeposit is the exact amount refunded plus interest.

Voluntary Contributions
CSRS / CSRS Offset

CSRS/CSRS OFFSET: You may increase your annuity by making contributions to the retirement fund. Voluntary contributions earn a variable interest rate compounded annually. You may withdraw them at any time before you retire.   Each $100 of voluntary contribution increases your annuity $7.00 to $10.00 per year, depending on your age at the time of retirement.


 

Military Service Credit

CSRS/CSRS Offset


All honorable active military service performed before January 1957 is included in the computation of the annuity unless you are receiving military retired pay. Employees who are receiving military retired pay must elect to waive the retired pay in order for their military service to be added to their civilian service for purposes of computing their federal annuity.

If employees do not waive their military retired pay, their retirement rights will be based on their civilian service only, and the period of military service will not be included in computing their annuity.


Post - 1956 Military Service


The rules for crediting post-1956 military service for retirement eligibility and for the annuity calculation vary depending on the date of your initial period of CSRS employment.


Before October 1, 1982


If you were ever employed before October 1, 1982, you receive credit for all military service in the computation of your annuity, provided you meet the eligibility requirement for an annuity. If at age 62 you are eligible for Social Security benefits, your annuity is recomputed eliminating the years of post-1956 military service. (However, the service may be creditable for purposes of determining entitlement to an annuity.)

Your options:

Making a deposit for post-1956 military service, thereby avoiding a reduction at age of 62, or

Not making the deposit and, if eligible for Social Security benefits, having their annuities reduced at age 62

You should be aware that the re-computation of annuity at age 62 occurs only if you are eligible for Social Security benefits at age 62. If you do not become eligible for Social Security benefits until after age 62, then the CSRS annuity will not be recomputed and full credit will continue for post-1956 military service in annuity, even though a deposit has not been made. AND, any survivor annuity payable to your spouse after your death would also be recomputed when your spouse attains age 60 and becomes eligible for Social Security.


On or After October 1, 1982


If first employed on or after October 1, 1982, you must make a deposit or receive no credit at all for military service, including eligibility to retire.


The deposit for the military service is 7% of your military basic pay. If you made this deposit before October 1, 1986 (or within 3 years of being hired if that date was later than October 1, 1986), no interest will be charged. Payments must be made to the Postal Service before you separate.

                   -----------------------------------

Retired Military Annuity


In deciding to waive or not to waive, consider:

Is military time needed to be eligible to retire?

How much will the required deposit be?

What is the difference between separate vs. combined pensions?

What is the effect on survivor benefits?

What is the effect on health coverage?

____________________

Request for Estimate Earnings During Military Service

ARMY: DFAS - Indianapolis Center

Attention: DFAS in JFJC-A

8899 East 56th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46249-0875

Tele: (317)-510-2813

_______________________________________________

NAVY: DFAS - Cleveland Center & FMCS

1240 East 9th Street
Cleveland, OH 44199-2055

Tele: (216)-522-6545
        1-888-332-7411

__________________________________________

AIR FORCE: DFAS -DE-FJY

6760 East Irvington Place
Denver, CO 80279-7408

Tele: (303)-676-7408

_______________________________________________


MARINE CORPS:

DFAS - Kansas City Center FBL

1500 East 95th Center
Kansas City, MO 64197-0001

Tele: (816)-926-7652

FAX: (816)-926-7648

            ------------------------------------


COAST GUARD:

Commanding Officer (SIR)

Settlement and Records

Military Pay & Personnel Center

444 S.E. Quincy Street

Topeka, KS 66683-3591


Phone:   (785)-339-2200

                             * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


GO TO THE "LINKS" PAGE IN THIS WEBSITE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON A.B.A., VOLUNTARY BENEFIT PLANS, LIFECARE, AND VARIOUS TOPICS THAT COULD BE HELPFUL.

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