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January 19, 2018

Clerk Division, Linyal

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Postal Service's announces Early Out

The Postal Service has announced an offer of an early out. There are no monetary incentives to take the offer. There are three dates upon which you can retire.
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New PSE Relative Standing Seniority

A recent list of Long Island District PSE seniority is now available in the members section.
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Ridge off excess list

Thanks to the efforts of the APWU, from the local level to the region, the Ridge Post Office has been removed from the impacted offices.

New York State is #1!

Good Afternoon Sisters & Brothers: Don't know if you saw the report just released by APWU Legislative & Political Department Grassroots Coordinator Janice Kelble. The report lists COPA donations by state for the period of July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. Once again the State of New York ranked number 1! Great work by all.


Think hard about taking the VER

WARNING! Voluntary Early Retirement has Potential Side Effects

WEB NEWS ARTICLE#: 6-2018

01/11/2018 - The Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) recently announced for eligible Clerk Craft employees by the Postal Service has generated many questions from the members of the APWU. The Postal Service published a list of 93 questions and answers shared with our members in an earlier Web article.

Many are asking, "Should I accept early-out retirement?" It is not the place of the national APWU to give advice on whether to retire or not. That is a personal decision. However, it is decision with implications that members should know and consider.

USPS management did not discuss the VER with the APWU in advance of the announcement. APWU national officers initiated a January 10 meeting with postal management to address issues  and concerns about the VER including why the VER was not offered to all crafts, the need to halt all plans for excessing in light of the VER and the process in place for retirement counseling. Management has committed to respond to the APWU's questions which we will share with the membership  as received.   In this meeting, the union also pressed its  views  that

  1. the Postal Service is notoverstaffed, and service to the public is suffering due to understaffmg; and,
  2. if the Postal Service moves forward with misguided plans to reduce the workforce, the Postal Service should offer a monetary incentive for those eligible for regular retirement as well employees eligible for an early-out.

Incentives have been offered numerous times in the past for both bargaining unit and supervisory employees.

If you are eligible for the VER, the USPS will be mailing you a packet on January 12th. The packet will have vital information about your opportunity for an early-out. The packet will include your annuity estimate (this is not a guarantee of what your annuity payments will be; OPM makes the final determination of your annuity, and it could be different than the estimated amount provided in your packet) and information about available benefits including eligibility, limits, and costs. Anyone considering the early-out offer needs to study the packet.

You are eligible for USPS-sponsored retirement  counseling  -   both group  and individual.   Information  on who to  contact and how to arrange counseling  will be in the packet. The packet  along  with your  counseling  session(s)  will explain eligibility for any annuity supplement, your health insurance premiums, how your FEGLI life insurance can change, and  other issues.   According  to  a previous  grievance  settlement  with the APWU, local management  must  arrange  a reasonably private space for employees  who wish to receive individual  counseling on the clock. Your spouse can participate in the counseling session(s). Take advantage of every opportunity to learn the specifics about your retirement benefits.

Some points to consider when making your decision:

 
  • As of now there is no financial incentive to retire early, unlike the 2009 and 2012 VERAs, where incentives were negotiated with the APWU.
  • In its August 22, 2017 request to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for VERA approval, the Postal Service said that 10,522 APWU represented employees will shortly be "impacted" by "differing personnel actions" and "repositioning initiatives."
  • The Postal Service estimates that only 1,712 of  the 10,522 APWU represented employees  will accept the VER.
  • Those who apply for the early-out will see financial/income impacts, including:
    • If you are an employee covered by CSRS, you will have your annuity reduced by 2% for each year you are under age 55.
    • If you are covered by FERS, you will only earn 1% of your salary as an annuity for each year worked (e.g. if you

worked 20 years, your annuity will be 20% of  your high-3 average salary).

  • If you are under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA), you will not receive the Social Security Supplement until you reach the MRA. Find your MRA using this OPM Chart. FERS is a three-legged stool: a modest annuity, social security, and retirement savings in TSP. If under normal conditions, you retire after reaching the MRA but are not yet eligible for Social Security, you receive an "annuity supplement" to provide that social security leg until you reach the  age of  sixty­ two (62) An "early-out" is different; so, for example, if you are age 50 and your MRA is 57 you will not receive the supplement  until you turn age 57.
  • You will not receive Cost of Living Allowances (COLAs) on your annuity until you reach MRA.
  • With an early retirement you can't make additional contributions to TSP or receive employer contributions as you would with continued employment.
  • TSP withdrawal restrictions are not eased for those accepting a VERA.
  • Your life insurance coverage (FEGLI) may change. The amounts of coverage may decrease and the costs (if you continue coverage) will likely rise.
  • Your health insurance premiums will increase if you currently are covered by the Consumer Driven APWU health plan.

Make your decision on complete and accurate information about your retirement benefits. Postal management has verbally committed to the union that they have no intention of capping the number of employees who can take this VER offer, so there should be no need to rush your decision .

The APWU will continue to share important information on the VER. If you are having trouble getting USPS-provided counselling, you can call the APWU Retirement Department at (877) 279-8669.

Tags: Contract Enforcement. Dues. Mailing Lists & Membership. Jobs. Pay and Benefits, USPS Policies & Programs. President. Vice President. Secretary Treasurer, Industrial Relations. Clerk Craft. Human Relations. Health Plan

VERA Questions and Answers
Questions and Answers on Benefits, Pay, and Leave Under Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) Updated January/2018 The date above indicates the date that this document was reviewed and updated. Whenever  this document is updated, every FAQ is reviewed, but not every FAQ requires a change.
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VERA Steps

Voluntary Early Retirement (VER)

January 31, 2018; February 28, 2018 or March 31, 2018 Clerks and Mail Handlers

Steps At-a-Glance

The VER process requires very careful thinking on the part of eligible employees. To help you make an informed decision, please review the following quick steps and important dates. Use this summary of the instructions spelled out in the VER Offer Letter in conjunction with the annuity estimate and any other forms in the VER Offer Packet to make an informed decision.

Dates

What Happens

What Should You Do?

January 8, 2018

Postal Service announces VER offer for the following effective dates: January 31, 2018, February 28, 2018 or

March 31, 2018.

If you are VER eligible, make sure your address of record is accurate.

January 8 - 12, 2018

Annuity Estimates and VER Offer Packets are mailed out to VER eligible employees.

Review the estimate carefully and consider your retirement options. Additionally, read through the information provided on the Organization Change Management and LiteBlue webpages.

January 8, 2018 to

January 26, 2018

VER eligible employees must decide whether to apply for retirement during this period.

Acknowledgement of Irrevocability and Application for Immediate Retirement forms must be received at the (Human Resources Shared Service Center) HRSSC no later than 8:30 PM EST on January 26, 2018. You will be mailed additional forms required to complete the retirement process and information needed to schedule your retirement information session. Complete all required forms, and send to the HRSSC per instructions provided.

January 26, 2018

Required documents must be received no later than 8:30 PM EST on January 26, 2018, by the HRSSC to take advantage of VER offer.

Submit Retirement forms to take advantage of offer. DON’T MISS THIS DEADLINE!

January 31, 2018

VER Effective date for eligible employees who choose this date.

January 8, 2018 to

February 23, 2018

VER eligible employees must decide whether to apply for retirement during this period.

February 23, 2018

Required documents must be received no later than 8:30 PM EST on February 23, 2018, by the HRSSC to take advantage of VER offer.

Submit Retirement forms to take advantage of offer. DON’T MISS THIS DEADLINE!

February 28, 2018

VER Effective date for eligible employees who choose this date.

January 8, 2018 to

March 23, 2018

VER eligible employees must decide whether to apply for retirement during this period.

March 23, 2018

Required documents must be received no later than 8:30 PM EST on March 23, 2018, by the HRSSC to take advantage of VER offer.

Submit Retirement forms to take advantage of offer. DON’T MISS THIS DEADLINE!

March 31, 2018

VER Effective date for eligible employees who choose this date.

TRUSTEES NEEDED

As of April 1, 2018, the Long Island NY Area Local will need two (2) trustees to serve a three (3) year term.

The duties of a trustee are to review, on a Semi-Annual Basis, all financial reports and examine any documents and/or records that they deem necessary to satisfy any questions that they might have about the financial state of this local. They will also be required to make a verbal report at the next regularly scheduled General Membership Meeting after the Trustee Review.

The trustees terms will begin on April 1, 2018 and  end on March 31, 2021.

In accordance with our Local Constitution - Article #6 Trustees:

Selection of Trustees will be as follows:

     1. Volunteers will be solicited at two (2) consecutive General Membership Meetings and a notice of vacancy will be posted on the Local Web-Site.            

     2. The Executive Board will review all those names submitted and by a secret ballot selet the    order of candidates to be submitted to the membership at the next Genereal Membership Meeting for approval.   

     3. At the General Membership Meeting, those members present shall vote as to approve or disapprove the recommendations of the Executive Board. A simple majority of those present will be needed for approval. Vote will be by secret ballot. 

Peter P. Lockwood

Secretary Treasurer                    

Proposed Dues Increase

                                        NOTICE TO MEMBERS

                                          Proposed dues increase

Due to a declining membership, (1900 members in 2001 - 1000 members in 2017) it has become financially impossible for this Local to properly represent our members under the current dues structure, therefore, the Executive Board of this Local has recommended the following dues increase.

All career members     $2.00 per pay period, which will bring the dues to $32.87 per pay period.

All PSE members          $5.62 per pay period in 2018, which will bring the dues to $24.44 per pay                                             period.

                                      $5.62 per pay period in 2019, (one year after initial increase) which will                                             bring dues to $30.06 per pay period.   

Currently each member enjoys membership in our Accident Benefit Association at no cost. The Local has absorbed a cost of 75 cents per member per pay period since 1987. This cost will be part of the recommended dues increase.

This dues increase will be read and discussed at the January 21 and February 25, 2018 membership meetings.

After the February 25, 2018 reading a floor vote will be taken to approve or disapprove this increase A simple majority will be needed. 

This notice will also be posted to our official Local Website- LONGISLANDAREALOCAL.ORG - and will be sent to all Local associate offices.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard P Golini

Executive Secretary

Call to action!! Stop the tax give away!
Last week, the House unveiled a tax bill that seems designed to hurt the working class while lining the pockets of the rich. We need your help if we are going to defeat it.
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Congress inching toward taking money out of your pocket
On Thursday, Oct. 5, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance its 2018 budget resolution. This resolution is a broad measure that designates government spending with far-reaching implications, including enormous cuts to postal and federal workers, as well as America’s social safety net, while providing tax cuts for the wealthy.
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Take Action! Your Retirement and Job at Stake!!
APWU members made 5,000 calls during our call-in Day of Action to fight the House Budget Proposal, but our fight is not over. This Wednesday, Oct. 4, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on their 2018 Budget Proposal. NOW IS THE TIME TO KEEP UP THE PRESSURE. Let your Representative know that their constituents are deeply concerned. CALL 1-844-402-1001 NOW.
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URGENT ACTION ALERT!!!!
URGENT ACTION ALERT: Affordable Care Act Repeal is Back! WEB NEWS ARTICLE #:  88-2017 09/19/2017 - This week, the U.S. Senate is working on their newest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Graham-Cassidy bill, a last-ditch effort to repeal the ACA, is gaining steam, and Senators are hoping to bring it to a vote by September 30.
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Postal News Briefs
Postal  NeWs·Briefs The Postal Service reported in August a net loss of $2.1 billion for the third quarter of 2017, an increase in net loss of $573 million, compared to the same quarter last year.
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Steward Flash Report
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For Your Future, Contact Congress
CALL 844-402-1001  to tell your Member of Congress  How You Really Feel  About the House Budget  Before the summer recess, the House Budget Committee advanced its Fiscal Year 2018  budget resolution which includes an outright assault on postal and federal workers.
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Download: Summer Action Flyer.pdf
Contract 2018 Preparation
APWU Contract 2018 “We’re Fired Up! Ready to Go!     Hopefully, you have received the attached important letter from President Dimondstein about the beginning of our 2018 Contract Campaign, the Slogan contest, and the contest forms.
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Fighting Back
Update on the Fight Back Against USPS Reductions in Service and Jobs WEB NEWS ARTICLE #:  70-2017 07/20/2017 - Following strong resistance from the APWU - and the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) - USPS management agreed to a five-month delay in implementing forced reassignments and excessing of employees out of their installations.
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Long Island District does it again
On July 19, 2017 Long Island District reduced the number of identified Excessed Post Offices from the Original 88 Post Offices to 68 Post Offices, and the number of employees to be Excessed from 188 to 137. Although this is a step in the right direction the APWU will continue to press both Regional and District Management Officials that their numbers are still bogus, inflated and in violation of the APWU - USPS National Agreement.  
MEMBERS PLEASE STAY ALERT - LOG ON TO OUR LOCAL WEB-SITE..... 
Peter Furgiuele, President
For more information, log onto the website and go to Members Home
URGENT!!! DAY OF ACTION!!!
YOUR ACTION IS NEEDED!! YOUR ACTION, YOUR JOB, YOUR PAY!!! Join the APWU in a Day of Action on July 18th to Fight the White House’s Budget Proposal Speak Up to Protect Your Job and Your Retirement.
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A small documentary from PBS

From our friends at the AFL-CIO

The Labor Wire

July 12, 2017

In the midst of a stormy political summer, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers are staying focused on good jobs with a short documentary produced by PBS and narrated by James Earl Jones called “Made in America.” Check it out. The labor movement will never rest in our fight to make the American dream real for all workers.

Postal Service attack on our jobs
MEMBERS ALERT -     MEMBERS ALERT Dear Sisters & Brothers, Posta l Management has officially notified the APWU of their intentions to excess at least 188 employees from 88 different post offices represented by our Local. To see the complete list of offices and the number of employees affected visit our Local Web-Site (see enclosed  information).
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Unions Stand Together Against Postal Service Jobs Attack
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My job is safe. NOT!
So you thought you had a job, eh? A good job. Good days off, good hours.  Seniority has its privileges, eh?  You’re a senior lead clerk, level 7, do the tasks you want to do.  But do TACS? No, I do not want to do that. Station inputs? No, let them find some junior clerk to do that.  In fact, let management do that work.
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Trumpcare

Q and A on the Bills Pending before Congress
Get the Facts Postal Reform Questions & Answers WEB NEWS ARTICLE #:  34-2017 04/10/2017 - In order to have a healthy, sustainable, public Postal Service, legislation is necessary to protect postal customers and postal workers from USPS’s current financial crisis.
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Washington Post Has it Wrong
WASHINGTON POST GETS IT WRONG By AGAFebruary 16, 2017Recent News14 Comments 6    Response to Washington Post Editorial Board’s “The Postal Service needs more than a Band-Aid,” February 13, 2017.
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APWU Legislative Update
The Staples Dirty Deal is over!!!
We Won!! The USPS and Staples Deal is Over! WEB NEWS ARTICLE #:  01-2017 01/05/2017 - Rallying in El Cerrito, CA.  Postal management informed the APWU in writing that the “Approved Shipper” program in Staples stores will be shut down by the end of February 2017. This victory concludes the APWU’s three-year struggle.
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Long Island NY Area Local Constitution Changes
Farewell to Jeff Kehlert
Health Plan Special Enrollment Period for Non Career

For all PSEs and non career employees!!

A special enrollment period for the USPS Health Plan is now open. We encourage any PSE who desires to enroll to review the information and process as soon as possible. The enrollment period ends June 30, 2016.

To see this information, click here.

Health Plan for PSEs less than a year on job
For more information, visit the member resource page. You must be a union member to access the page, and register on the website.
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Year end recap
Postal Service delays payments
Our members Rally!!
OIG and Postal Passport Acceptance
USPS OIG Audit Report: Optimization of Passport Facilities Posted courtesy of 21st Century Postal Worker 3 1 1 Background The U.S. Postal Service accepts passport applications at over 5,000 post offices nationwide on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. The Postal Service agreed to accept passport applications for a minimum of 5 hours per day.
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NLRB Decision on Staples
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Middle-Class Betrayal? Why Working Hard Is No Longer Enough in America
NO PULSE
03/02/2015 - The APWU and USPS are facing off over management’s latest scheme: The Postal Pulse, a new employee opinion survey. “The APWU vehemently opposes Postal Pulse – and any other employee opinion survey – despite management notices that say otherwise,” said President Mark Dimondstein.  A Feb.
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In today's anti-labor world by Mike Puterio

In a typical example of corporate disdain and disregard for unions, their employees, and the compesation they deserve, Cablevision has gone to new lengths to get rid of a union, and pay their employees less than they deserve.

Brooklyn technical workers voted to unionize through the CWA three years ago. In that time, Cablevision has refused to negotiate a fair contract with the CWA, arguing that by paying those workers compensation comparable to technicians in other locales, it would be unfair to non-union workers. They have also allegedly threatened to withhold raises unless the group votes to decertify the CWA, without ever negotiating a fair contract. A typical representation of the attitude of big business in today's climate.

For the whole article, click here.

Someone Else Died

APWU Stands up for Safe Jobs


The American Postal Workers Union continually fights for safe jobs. The Postal Service, as we all know, is not the safest place to work. Learn what we can do to keep ourselves safe, and what the Union is doing to help keep us safe. For more information, click here.

Money on the table
For those Long Island NY Area Locals who have been paying attention, or have been on the receiving end, the members of this local have won thousands of dollars for various violations of our contract in their offices. Almost quarterly, many of our members receive checks for several hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars.
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Union Relevance

Rage Against the Machines Tom Morello is an active union supporter. Listen to his song "Union Town" here. 
Action Center
Boycott Staples
Let Staples know we will not sit by while they take our jobs!! Click on the link to get a downloadable flyer!
UCOMM Radio
A radio station dedicated to union causes
NO to PULSE
The Postal Service is again urging workers to take a survey, called PULSE. Just like the VOE, the Union urges members to boycott this survey.
21st Century Postal Worker

Breaking Postal news, information, and opinion.

http://www.21cpw.com/

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