Site Map Icon
RSS Feed icon
 
 
 
Upcoming Events
Executive Board Meeting
Sep 20, 2019
Denver Metro Area Local APWU 15677 E. 17th Ave. Aurora, CO 80011
General Membership Meeting
Sep 28, 2019
Denver Metro Area Local APWU 15677 E. 17th Ave. Aurora, CO 80011
Executive Board Meeting
Oct 18, 2019
Denver Metro Area Local APWU 15677 E. 17th Ave. Aurora, CO 80011
General Membership Meeting
Oct 23, 2019
Denver Metro Area Local APWU 15677 E. 17th Ave. Aurora, CO 80011
All Craft Conference
Oct 28, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
Breaking News


Sep 18, 2019

50,000 United Auto Workers (UAW)

Members on Strike Against General Motors

September 17, 2019

APWU President Mark Dimondstein calls on all APWU locals, state organizations, retiree and auxiliary chapters and members to support our brother and sister GM workers in their strike for job security and equal pay.

“We could not have won the Stop Staples fight without labor solidarity and the GM workers will need solidarity to win their fight,” said President Dimondstein. “While we are currently fighting to end the divisive multi-tier pay system in the USPS in ongoing contract arbitration, the GM workers have taken the same battle to the streets. A victory for them will be a victory for us!”  

The GM workers and their union agreed to massive concessions in the financial crisis, starting in 2008, as part of a government bail-out. GM received $11 billion from the taxpayers.

Not surprisingly, in the years since the financial crisis, GM’s profits have soared. The company made a near-record $12 billion in profits last year, and CEO Mary Berra’s 2018 salary of nearly $22 million was an outrageous 281 times the amount that the average GM worker brought home. Yet, the company laid off workers and shuttered plants.

Equal pay and the elimination of the two-tier system, and a steep reduction in the use of temporary workers, are among the central demands in the strike.

“We have given away so many concessions over the last eight-plus years, and this company has been ridiculously profitable over that time,” Chaz Akers, an assembler at G.M.’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant, told the New York Times. “That’s why we’re here. We’re fighting to get everything that we lost back.”

Another important demand is maintaining the status quo on employee health care costs. Workers paid between 3 and 4 percent of costs during the last contract, but in negotiations, GM presented an unacceptable offer that increased that number to 15 percent. Other union demands include increased job security, reopening of closed factories and general wage increases.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the strike is expected to be a long one, lasting weeks rather than days. As unionized GM workers prepare to walk the picket line for an extended period, they have already received inspiring solidarity from fellow union brothers and sisters: on Monday, the Teamsters Union announced its members would honor the strike and refuse to transport GM vehicles from plants to dealerships.

UAW asks for support by bringing water, food, and grocery store gift cards to picket lines. To find a picket line near you, call UAW's Education Department line at 313-926-5474. If you are not near a GM facility, the UAW is asking for messages of solidarity through social media with the hashtag, #standwithUS.


Sep 18, 2019

Why the High Cost of Prescription Drugs?

John L. Marcotte

September 12, 2019

(This article first appeared in the September/October 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

Americans are not able to negotiate over the price of prescription drugs for several reasons. First, laws passed by Congress forbid the government from negotiating prescription drug prices for its citizens and make it illegal to import prescription drugs from other countries that do negotiate drug prices. Secondly, unlike most other goods and services, you cannot walk away and not buy the lifesaving drugs you need. That gives you zero negotiation power at the pharmacy.

This has created a system that has made drug prices highest for those who can afford it the least and unfair to use for all. The uninsured pay retail prices for drugs. The underinsured, out of financial necessity, tend to choose high deductible health insurance plans or those are all that their employer offer. High deductible plans force patients to pay the full cost of drugs until their considerable deductible is met. Those lucky enough to have quality health insurance still are paying for the huge mark-up on prescription drugs – if not in copays and deductibles, then in the large premium increases in their paychecks.

Several states have either passed or are passing legislation so they can purchase drugs from other countries for state employees in an attempt to stem the tide of rising prescription drug costs. I look forward to seeing if the courts side with the states and allow them to go outside the country to seek relief from the rising costs of prescription drugs.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans have been in the news recently and not for good reasons. There have been news stories of Medicare Advantage plans overcharging Medicare for services not provided to seniors. This issue is important to postal workers as the USPS has mailed newsletters to our retirees touting the availability of Medicare Advantage plans in lieu of FEHB health insurance and traditional Medicare Part B.

Switching to a Medicare Advantage plan is an option our members have and as each person’s health care needs and finances are unique, it is a personal choice. Therefore, I will not offer any advice on this subject, but as the information that was provided to our members was lacking, I will relay some facts from the Medicare.gov website.

Medicare Advantage plans are a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans provide all of your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage plans include:

  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Preferred Provider Organizations
  • Private Fee-for-Service Plans
  • Special Needs Plans
  • Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan:

  • Most Medicare services are covered through the plan
  • Medicare services are not paid for by Original Medicare Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage.

The network, area covered, drug coverage and costs may be different with Medicare Advantage plans than what our members are used to with FEHB coverage and traditional Medicare. I urge our members to get all the information when making this decision. This is of paramount importance: make sure, if you do make this decision, that you elect to suspend your FEHB coverage and NOT cancel your FEHB coverage as the form is very confusing.


Sep 18, 2019

Return to Work Responsibility

Sue Carney

September 12, 2019

 (This article first appeared in the September/October 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

To help injured employees return to suitable employment, the Postal Service may request medical progress reports. Form CA-17 is generally used for this purpose but is not required. Preexisting disabilities, workrelated or otherwise, are factored into job offers and therefore should be included.

These reports may be requested at reasonable intervals – generally every 30 days for employees with temporary medical restrictions unless otherwise indicated by the physician, and annually once disabilities are deemed permanent. An earlier request is permitted when a change in condition is suspected.

Employees should refrain from seeking ‘permanent’ declarations to avoid more frequent medical reporting. Employees with permanent disabilities may be subjected to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) vocational rehabilitation program, which rarely has a favorable outcome.

The USPS is permitted to contact the physician directly, but only in writing and only in reference to work limitations and possible job assignments. The employee and OWCP should be copied, and be sent a copy of the physician’s response upon receipt. Telephone contact and personal visits are not permitted for any reason except fraud investigations.

Claimants should forewarn physicians about these rules and request they be alerted when communications are received and consulted prior to responding. The doctor and office staff should also be advised that OWCP makes all claim and bill payment decisions and should be informed that USPS frequently oversteps its authority in an effort to sidestep Department of Labor privacy rules.

It is preferable for the employee to return to their bid provided they are able to perform the core essential duties of their position, with or without reasonable accommodations. When this is possible, their job is not considered a modified assignment. When this is not possible, the Postal Service must then make every effort to find medically suitable work within the employee’s work limitation tolerance with minimal disruption to the employee. (ELM 546.142 a. 1-4). This is a daily obligation (USPS must make every effort).

Job offers should identify whether the assignment is temporary or permanent, and must include a description of the duties, specify all physical requirements, and indicate any special workload demands or unusual working conditions, the job location, effective date of the position, date the employee must accept or refuse the offer and the position’s pay rate. Job offers may be made verbally but must be provided in writing within 2 business days. (ELM 545.32)

Employees are responsible to have their treating physician review any job offer to determine if they can perform the assignment. (ELM 545.33 b., c.). As a result, any mandate that requires an employee to accept or refuse a job offer immediately is a contract violation.

Refusals do not immediately put compensation benefits at risk. OWCP conducts suitability determinations on all refused offers, but not on offers accepted under duress. If an employee is already collecting wage loss benefits, they will continue to do so during the process. However, if an employee has been working and is sent home in response to a refusal, a recurrence claim (CA2a) should be filed for “employer withdrawal of medically suitable work”, a claim for continuation of pay, or if ineligible, wage loss compensation (CA7) should also be filed, and a grievance should be initiated.

OWCP grants 30 days by letter for claimants to explain and document why an offer is unsuitable. Do not miss the deadline. Upon receipt, OWCP makes a final determination. If considered suitable and the employee fails to report to a temporary assignment, compensation is suspended until the offer no longer exists. To reinstate compensation, notify the USPS in writing of your willingness to now accept that specific offer. Failure to respond or an unfavorable response should be communicated to OWCP and benefits should be reinstated. When the offer is permanent, compensation benefits are permanently terminated.


Sep 10, 2019

September Updates: 2019 National

Officer Election Candidates’ Online Statements

September 9, 2019

Per the rules and regulations governing the 2019 APWU National Election, candidates’ statements have been updated to include any new information and/or new submissions submitted by the September 1, 2019 deadline.

Statements by candidates for national union office are posted on www.apwu.org in accordance with Article 11.3.c.2 of the APWU Constitution. To view the statements click here and follow the log-in instructions for the Members Only section. 


Sep 09, 2019

Band Together & Stick with the

Union During Interest Arbitration

September 6, 2019

Thank you to everyone for your solidarity and support on the Opening Day of Interest Arbitration!

Members from local and state organizations across the country submitted dozens of selfies and group shots showing their fighting for a Good Contract Now!

This action is not only for one day. Let’s show management throughout September that we are banding together and sticking with the union! Wear your union gear, stickers, and/or wristbands all month-long.  

Continue to share your shots with us. Take a selfie or a group picture with your coworkers and email it to nccc@apwu.org, then post it on social media with #APWUnited, and tag us to share. Follow @APWUNational on FacebookInstagramFlickr and Twitter to check out your brothers and sisters from coast-to-coast.

Members in the official USPS uniform should not wear stickers. Instead, they should contact their local or state union for wristbands.


Sep 05, 2019

Download: Veteran's Day Parade.pdf

Aug 29, 2019

‘Stick’ Together in September!

August 27, 2019

On Sept. 4, the APWU and USPS will begin the interest arbitration proceedings for our new Collective Bargaining Agreement (union contract). Further hearing dates are scheduled for later in the fall.

Our negotiating team is fully prepared – backed by economists, attorneys, staff and postal worker witnesses! We faced a similar battle in the 2015 negotiations, and we intend to prevail again!

Every APWU member an important role to play during interest arbitration. It is vital that we show unity and solidarity as we begin the final phase of our contract battle. Every member will be receiving stickers that read: “Arbitration 2019 – Good Contract NOW,” during the month of September. Wrist bands will be available for window clerks through your local and state organizations.

With thousands of members across the country wearing the stickers, we will send the message to management: APWU members are united in support of our contract demands! These include:

  • Fair wage increases & cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs),
  • Job security by retaining the no-layoff clause and the 50-mile limit on excessing,
  • Improvements for PTFs and PSEs,
  • More career jobs,
  • Increased USPS contributions to health care premiums,
  • Limits on subcontracting,
  • Addressing workplace harassment,
  • Gaining better service for our customers.

Management’s regressive and insulting proposals include no pay increases or COLAs, more non-career workers, a new lower pay and benefit structure for future career employees, elimination of the no lay-off provision, custodial work subcontracting, replacing PTFs with PSEs, and increasing workers’ share of health care premiums.

The battle lines are drawn. We encourage you to show your union pride by wearing your sticker during the month of September. Take a selfie or a group picture with your coworkers and email it to nccc@apwu.org. Post it on social media with #APWUnited. Let’s show our solidarity across the country.


Aug 26, 2019

Big Changes Coming to TSP Withdrawal Options

August 23, 2019

On September 15, big changes are coming to your Thrift Savings Plan withdrawal options. You’ll be gaining options of how and when you can access money from your TSP account. TSP breaks it down here:

Flexible Withdrawals

Begin September 2019

Current Rules

You can customize your installment payments and change your payment frequency at any time as your needs change. You can choose among monthly, quarterly, and annual installment options.

Requests to change monthly installment amounts can only be made once each year during a designated open season.

You never have to make a full withdrawal election. When you need to make IRS-mandated required minimum distributions (RMDs) at age 70 and after, we'll automatically send you the right amount if you don't withdraw enough during the year.

A full withdrawal election is require-d the year you are separated and 70 years older, or your account becomes abandoned.

You'll request withdrawals easily using fast and secure online tools by logging into My Account on tsp.gov.

Paper forms must be submitted by mail or fax to make or change a withdrawal election.

You can choose to withdraw traditional money only, Roth money only, or a proportional amount of both.

All withdrawals include both traditional and Roth funds as a pro rata (i.e., proportional) distribution.

Any in-service withdrawals you make have no effect on the number of post-separation partial withdrawals you can make. You can make partial withdrawals even if you receive installment payments.

Only one age-based in-service withdrawal or one post-separation partial withdrawal allowed in a lifetime. Then a full withdrawal election is required.

Now is a great time to review your TSP account and ensure your information and contribution is current and accurate, visit TSP.gov or LiteBlueClick here for TSP’s downloadable Questions and Answers about Changes to TSP Withdrawal Options.


Aug 21, 2019

House Majority Supports H.R. 2382

August 19, 2019

On August 16, the USPS Fairness Act (H.R. 2382) achieved a bipartisan majority of cosponsors.

This critical milestone is the direct result of a successful, day of action held on July 23 and our ongoing work with the AFL-CIO, and our sister postal unions.

This legislation, if signed into law, would repeal the mandate that requires the Postal Service to prefund its retiree healthcare benefits 75 years in advance. The prefunding mandate is responsible for 100% of the Postal Service’s net losses since 2013, has harmed the Postal Service’s operations, and negatively affects postal employees and the public they serve. Eliminating the mandate would allow the Postal Service to revert to the pay-as-you-go method for retiree benefits and focus on innovation and investing. 

“APWU members showed once again what we can accomplish when we work together to send a message to Congress,” said President Mark Dimondstein. “By making calls to every single Representative, we showed that our fight is of national importance and we will be heard.” 

“Let’s keep up the momentum and make sure this fight is taking place in every zip code across the country,” said Legislative & Political Director Judy Beard. “We can gain even more cosponsors and show Congress this is critical legislation that should be brought to the House floor for an affirmative vote.” 

Keep the pressure on over the summer recess! Schedule in-district meetings and/or attend town halls to stress the importance of your Representative supporting H.R. 2382. Thank them if they already have. 




Page Last Updated: Sep 18, 2019 (13:51:36)
Member Login
Username:

Password:


Not registered yet?
Click Here to sign-up

Forgot Your Login?
<< September 2019 >>
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30
Google
Site Search
Site Map
RSS Feeds
Weather Report
Important Links
National APWU
 
 
Denver Metro Area Local APWU
Copyright © 2019, All Rights Reserved.
Powered By UnionActive™

357998 hits since Apr 07, 2008
Visit Unions-America.com!

Top of Page image