Call Your Representative to Protect Your
HR 22! It's back, it's really back! As this bulletin goes to press, House Postal Service Subcommittee Chairman John McHugh's (R-NY) bill, HR 22, now called the Postal Modernization Act of 1999, is slated for mark-up on Thursday, April 29, 1999.
APWU has vehemently opposed this postal privatization bill for years, but now, APWU's enemies--especially United Parcel Service and Federal Express--have decided to move on HR 22. This bill still contains certain provisions that are of great danger to postal workers and postal customers.
HR 22 would allow delivery of letters weighing 12 ounces or more to be carried outside the Postal Service when the amount paid is at least $1.98, or six times the first-class postage rate. The change would put more than $4 billion of Postal Service revenue at risk. Cream-skimming is postal privatization and APWU opposes all postal privatization!
HR 22 provides a formula by which maximum rates for postal services can be set. The price cap formula, CPI minus productivity, will be defined and set in a rate case every five years by the Postal Regulatory Commission. The productivity factor may not exceed zero except under restrictive circumstances, thereby keeping postal rates below the rate of inflation. A price cap is a wage cap! Don't let Congress cap postal wages.
HR 22 provides for an independent study by the National Academy of
Public Administration to evaluate and recommend solutions to the "myriad
of employee-management difficulties
HR 22 directs the Postal Service to conduct a study and define "universal service." A narrow definition could reduce postal services as well as USPS revenue! APWU demands that Congress respect the Postal Service's mandate to provide universal service at uniform rates. No competitor to the Postal Service can do that job!
Amendments Added by Subcommittee in 1998
Several members of the Postal Service Subcommittee introduced
amendments to HR 22 last year that were accepted by Chairman McHugh and
the subcommittee. One amendment, by Rep. Chaka Fattah
(D-PA), was to provide that a representative of a labor organization
representing postal employees serve on the Board of Governors.
Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) introduced amendments
calling for reemployment assistance for postal workers displaced by
automation or privatization; a study on women and minority representation
in management positions; and requiring the USPS to report on the number
and value of contracts with women, minorities and small businesses. An
amendment by Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY)
Members Urged to Take Immediate Action
APWU members are urged to immediately contact the House Postal Service Subcommittee members before the April 29 mark-up and urge them to vote NO on HR 22. Subcommittee members include: McHugh; Steve LaTourette (R-OH); Gilman; Mark Sanford (R-SC); Dan Miller (R-FL); Fattah; Major Owens (D-NY); and Davis. The US Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121.
After the second month of the second cost-of-living adjustment period under the 1998-2000 Collective Bargaining Agreement, postal workers have accumulated a cost-of-living adjustment of 3 1/4 cents per hour, $2.60 per pay period or $68.00 annually. This results from an increase in the CPI-W to 480.9 in March.
CSRS and FERS
CSRS retiree COLA is based on the third quarter (July, August, September) average CPI-W index in 1999 over the 1998 third quarter average. After the first quarter of the adjustment period, the quarterly average has risen 0.7 percent.
The formula for FERS retirees is the same as for CSRS retirees,
except that if the CPI-W average increases 3 percent or more, the
adjustment will be the CPI-W increase minus 1 percent. If the average
increases between 2 percent and 3 percent, then the adjustment will
Cost-of-living adjustments for FECA recipients are based on the percentage increase in the December index from year to year. After the third month of the adjustment period, the CPI-W index has increased 0.4 percent.
Oklahoma Convention Rounds up $1,714 for Political
Boston Metro (MA) Area Local members kicked off the APWU Committee On Political Action 1999 campaign, "It's Up to You," by raising a whopping $3,565. Members attending the Oklahoma State Convention led several other state conventions, conferences and meetings with a generous contribution of $1,714.75.
COPA's '99 campaign reminds every APWU and Auxiliary member that "It's Up to You" to fight back against legislation that threatens working families. "Congressional leaders want to privatize postal services and Social Security, and destroy the Medicare system," said APWU President Moe Biller. "It's up to you to stop it. Support APWU's political action fund and contact Congress immediately and demand they vote NO on any anti-worker legislation."
APWU COPA appreciates all contributions and fundraising efforts. The following group contributions have been reported since the last News Service contributions list:
Acknowledgment for Group Contributions
Important: For correct handling and acknowledgment, send all group contributions to COPA, APWU Accounting Department, 1300 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005.
Individual contributions should be sent to APWU/COPA, PO Box 96542, Washington, DC 20090-6542.
Note: Contributions or gifts to COPA are not
deductible as charitable contributions for
Reminder: May 25-29, 1999 in Washington,
The APWU's Seventh National Deaf/Hard of Hearing Conference will take place Wednesday, May 26 through Saturday, May 29, 1999 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008. An optional Steward Training workshop will be offered on May 25.
To register for the conference, use the registration form that was
printed in the March 18, 1999 News Service bulletin,
or contact the APWU Secretary-Treasurer's office by
An optional pre-conference Steward Training workshop will be held from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Tuesday, May 25, 1999, and will continue on Wednesday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. The conference gets under way with registration beginning at 9:00 am on Wednesday, May 26. The opening session begins at 6:00 pm on Wednesday.
The new collective bargaining agreement will be discussed on
Thursday, May 27.
For room reservations, contact the hotel directly at (voice) 202-756-5125 or 202-234-0700 (Washington, DC relay: 1-800-735-2258). The fax number is 202-756-5145. Room rates are $109 single/double; $129 triple; and $149 quad, plus 14.5 percent tax, per room, per night. Make reservations by the May 1 deadline to guarantee these rates.
Montgomery Shuttle Service is available from BWI, Reagan National
and Dulles airports
Workers Can Change FEGLI Coverage April 23-June
The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Open Season gives all current federal workers the chance to upgrade their coverage or to sign up for the program. The open season is April 23-June 30, 1999.
Retirees cannot sign up for new coverage during the open season,
but they can take
Basic Life Policy Changes
The cap on the value of Basic Life coverage has been removed. The value of basic coverage is determined by rounding an employee's annual salary upward to the next thousand and adding $2,000 (a salary of $36,860, after rounding to the next thousand ($37,000) and adding $2,000, provides a basic coverage of $39,000).
Option B (Additional)
There is no longer a limit on the multiple (amount of salary) used
to calculate coverage.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) says that current annuitants younger than 65 will be given an opportunity to elect an unreduced Option B and that retirees 65 and older will be able to freeze Option B insurance at whatever value it holds on April 24, 1999. Freezing the value on this date will require the payment of premiums; electing an unreduced option also will require the payment of premiums.
Option C (Family)
Option C now provides $5,000 of coverage for an employee's spouse and $2,500 for each child. After the changes, employees will be able to elect coverage in multiples of one to five times the current coverage. Coverage could be increased to as much as $25,000 for spouse and as much as $12,500 for each child.
OPM says that "as with Option B coverage, retiring (not those already retired) employees can elect unreduced Option C by continuing to pay premiums after age 65." Currently, Option C follows the same two-percent reduction policy as Option B.
In many instances, new Option C coverage elected during open season won't go into effect until the first pay period beginning on or after April 23, 2000. Premiums for new coverage won't be collected until the coverage goes into effect. The changes in Basic Life coverage and Option B are immediate.
See Personnel Department to Make Changes
The USPS is responsible for providing FEGLI Open Season information to all employees. Those who elect to enroll or change coverage should see their personnel department. Those who don't want to change their FEGLI coverage don't have to do anything during the open season.
Payroll Deduction to Occur April 30, 1999
In the March 18, 1999 News
Service bulletin, members were advised that
However, the Postal Service failed to make the deduction as
scheduled. The retroactive
The dues deduction was to have coincided with the retroactive payment of the general wage increase for the same period. The back wage payment was made as scheduled, but the dues deduction was not.
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