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Retiree's Corner


Informal get together at member's own expense - Gulden's on Highway 61 11:00 a.m.

Next official  retiree meeting - July 20th 2016!  We'll be having a BBQ so come hungry!

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reprinted from the May 2016 Postmark

NEWS AND VIEWS FROM THE ST. PAUL AREA LOCAL APWU RETIREES CHAPTER


The next meeting of the St. Paul Area Local Retiree's Chapter will be on May 18, 2016 at 11 AM. Our meetings are held at the St. Paul, MN Area Local's office at 2261 Waters Dr., Mendota Heights, MN 55120. I hope you can join us.

As I read the Postmark each month, it is evident to me that management has no respect for the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and therefore have no respect for postal employees. They are willing to pay out enormous amounts of money, over and over again, due to violations of the CBA. It's as though they are proud of the violations and don't seem to be concerned about the enormous sums of money they are wasting because of their inability to manage within the terms and conditions of the CBA.

The latest bulletin from the St. Paul Area Local speaks to the issue of management's attempts to force another type of employee involvement program, the Lean Six Sigma, on employees. We have seen these programs come and go, but this new one has a different twist; it requires employees to evaluate each other, and "squeal" to management. With this program, management stoops to a new low, by trying to get employees to take the blame, or blame each other, for management's inability to manage. I hope our members don't fall for it.

What does this have to do with retirees? Our welfare depends on the stability and survival of the Postal Service. If management causes the Postal Service to falter and or fail, you can be sure congress will privatize the Postal Service. If that can be accomplished, our retirement benefits will be negatively affected; maybe even gone! We have to speak up for our brothers and sisters who are still postal employees as well as for ourselves. We must contact our congressional representatives to support the survival of the Postal Service. Some things that need to be addressed are:

Privatization must not happen;

Privatization of the Postal Service would bring higher prices; cuts in service except in highly profitable areas; loss of jobs that provide a measure of stability to employees, which means  economic stability for the communities in which they live; loss of a valuable communication tool for the elderly and disabled; increased costs to companies that rely on the Postal Service for purchase and delivery of goods, etc.

Safety in the work place must be a priority;

Automation has increased the pace of work performed by  employees. Little or no effort is made by the Postal Service to make safety a priority in these high paced and pressured work areas.

Consolidation of processing facilities must stop;

Consolidation of processing plants causes mail to be transported hundreds of miles, just to be sorted and in many cases much of the mail gets transported right back to the originating area. If a person mails a letter to a friend in an area where it should be delivered the same or the next day, it will now take two or three days.

Changes in delivery standards must be reversed;

In order to make the plant consolidations work, management changed the delivery standards, e.g., an area which was a one day delivery area before the changes is now a two day delivery area; a two day delivery area is now a three day delivery area, etc.  Good service is just something to be manipulated to cover up failed policies.

If you need addresses or phone numbers, contact me or call the union office.       

I can be reached on the internet at lreed6112@aol.com.

The union office number is 651-778-1637

Postal employees take pride in their work and want the public to receive the best service possible. It takes the best efforts of all our bargaining units, Motor Vehicle, Maintenance and Clerk Crafts to get the mail ready for delivery or for transport across the country or to international destinations. In most cases employees get the job done in spite of management. Wouldn't it be nice to work for someone who cared?

Management, however, just doesn't give a damn. Changing  delivery standards to meet failed management policies is just one example. Another example is trying to get employees to manage for them by implementing programs such as Lean Six Sigma.

I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.



Lola Reed Langford

Chapter President

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The March 16, 2016 meeting of the St. Paul Area Local Retiree’s Chapter was very interesting.  We had 3 representatives from the Veteran’s Administration, who discussed various services available to veterans. 

If you are a veteran and develop illness or symptoms related to your military service, you may be eligible for benefits even though you have been out of the military for several years. Some issues have time limits; some do not.  If you are eligible for a VA Home Loan, that eligibility stays with you and can be used more than once.

¨ There are no time limits for application for Compensation and Pension benefits related to military service. It may be difficult to prove subsequent illness or disability is related to military service; however, if you think that you may be eligible for compensation, you should apply.

¨ Health Care, Vocational Rehabilitation, Education and training are some things for which you may be eligible.

¨ Some burial assistance may also be available.

¨ Some benefits, such as educational assistance, are available for family members

¨ A special effort is being made by the VA to assist homeless veterans. Get help at 1-877-424-3838

¨ You may contact the VA on line at   www.va.gov

¨ The Veterans Crisis Line phone number is 1-800-273-8255

¨ TDD phone number is 1-800-829-4833

¨ Debt Management Center can be reached at 1-800-827-0648

¨ Call 1-800-827-1000 for more information, or go to the VA Center at Fort Snelling to seek help with applications, information, etc. 

After much discussion, several failed motions, etc., the issue of sending delegates to the retiree’s convention was resolved. No delegates will be sent by the St. Paul Area Local Chapter.  President Todd Elkerton agreed to get copies of any information regarding retirees as is made available at the convention. In addition, if something that needs our Chapter’s attention or input occurs, President Elkerton agreed to contact me and I will go to the convention at my own expense to address the issue. I do not expect that to happen, but will do so if necessary. Any retiree can go to the convention at their own expense. 

Ray Moore, the entertainment chairperson, reported that retirees usually get together in the month between meetings. It is an opportunity to have lunch, at your own expense, as well as to stay in touch.   On April 20th the group will get together at the Great Moon Buffet in Maplewood, at 11:00AM. All retirees and guests are welcome.


Retirement information that may be helpful is available from OPM, especially on line.  Just go to www.servicesonline.opm.gov 
You can change your Federal and State Income tax withholding; set up checking or savings allotment; sign up for direct deposit of your payment; view/print annuity statement/verification of income; 1099-R tax forms; retirement services reference card (ID card); a year to date-to-date summary of benefits; verification of life insurance (FEGLI), and much more. 

Other sources of information that may be useful to retirees and/or family and friends are:

¨ National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) can provide support and help navigate the system when dealing with mental illness.

¨ The toll free number is 1-800-950-6264. They can be reached on the internet at nami.org.

¨ The Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance (DBSA) can be reached via telephone at 1-800-826-3632 or on the internet at dbsalliance.org 

Feel free to contact me if I can provide additional resources for you or your family. I can be reached on the internet at lreed6112@aol.com

Please join us at our next Retiree Meeting at 11:00AM on May 18, 2016. Our meetings are lively; we get some work done and we catch up on our post retirement lives, but most important we have a good time. We will have lunch after the meeting. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting. 

Our meetings are held at the St. Paul, MN Area Local’s office at 2261 Waters Dr., Mendota Heights, MN 55120. The office phone number is 651-778-1637

Lola Reed Langford, Chapter President 

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Our January 20, 2016 meeting of the St. Paul Area Local Retiree’s Chapter was very well attended.

After a brief business meeting the attendees had a tour of the mail processing facility in Eagan. Everyone seemed to find it interesting. I couldn’t help but compare the automated processes to the primarily hand sortation that was procedure when I started working at the post office in 1967. Thanks to the Local’s president, Todd Elkerton, for arranging the tour.

Several issues were discussed during our brief meeting:  A motion was made, seconded and passed that the Chapter send two (2) delegates to the Retiree’s Meeting at the National Convention in August of 2106. The Convention will be held in Orlando, Florida. After much discussion, the motion was properly tabled until the next meeting, March 16, 2016, in order to give notice to members that delegates could be selected at the next meeting and to get more information regarding requirements for electing delegates as well as associated costs. If delegates are sent to the retiree’s meeting at the National Convention, they will be expected to attend all meetings of the retiree’s group and to report back to the local chapter what they learned at the meetings; keeping in mind that they are representing the St. Paul Area Local Retiree Chapter.

 Ray Moore, the entertainment chairperson, reported that retirees usually get together in the month between meetings. It is an opportunity to have lunch, at your own expense, as well as to stay in touch.  On February 17th the group will get together at the Old Country Buffet in Roseville, near Rosedale Mall, at 11:00AM. All retirees and guests are welcome.  Various efforts to defraud people, especially seniors were discussed. One recent scam involves callers identifying themselves as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The caller usually asks for a specific person, indicating that that person is about to be arrested for unpaid taxes. Of course they want you to send money to them. Don’t fall for it!!! The IRS doesn’t call anyone about such matters. If they wanted to contact you they would do so via the United States Postal Service. 

 
Another scam is related to computers. Sometimes someone will call and say they have discovered a virus on your computer and if you will give them your credit card information they can fix it remotely. Again, don’t do it!!! If you get a pop-up on your computer indicating something is wrong with your computer, just delete it. If problems are occurring with your computer, you should be the one making contact. If it isn’t resolved, get a computer technician of your choice involved. Never give credit card information, social security information, or any other personal information to someone who has “cold called” you. Even when you are making the call, be sure that information you give is necessary. Protect yourself.

Retirement information that may be helpful is available from OPM, especially on line. Just go to www.servicesonline.opm.gov  You can change your Federal and State Income tax withholding; Set up checking or savings allotment; sign up for direct deposit of your payment; View/print annuity statement/verification of incomeView/print 1099-R tax forms; view/print retirement services reference card (ID card)View/print a year to date-to-date summary of benefits; View/print verification of life insurance (FEGLI), and much more. 

Other sources of information that may be useful to retirees and/ or family and friends are: 
National Association on Mental Illness (NAMI) can provide support and help navigate the system when dealing with mental illness. The toll free number is 1-800-950-6264. They can be reached on the internet at nami.org. The Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance (DBSA) can be reached via telephone at 1-800-826-3632 or on the internet at dbsalliance.org  Feel free to contact me if I can provide additional resources for you or your family. I can be reached on the internet at lreed6112@aol.com  Please come join us at our next Retiree Meeting at 11:00AM on March 16, 2016. Our meetings are lively; we get some work done and we catch up on our post retirement lives, but most important we have a good time. It really is good to see old friends. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
Lola Reed Langford, Chapter President 

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Retiree Dues for 2016

$18.00 if you have the death benefit, $12 for just membership to the Local
Pay to "APWU" at
 
St. Paul, MN Area Local
PO Box 21128
St. Paul, MN 55121

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News and Views from the St. Paul Area Local APWU Retirees Chapter

  Peter Rachleff, History Professor at Macalester College in St. Paul and founder of the East Side Freedom Library, located at 1105 Greenbriar St., St. Paul, MN 55106, was our special guest at the November 18, 2015 meeting of the St. Paul Area Local Retirees Chapter. His presentation about labor’s history and struggles was informative and interesting.

The East Side Freedom Library is a place where children and adults can learn about labor, especially about labor unions and the benefits they have brought to society. Things like better wages, hours of work and safety in the work place are just a few of the contributions made by labor unions. The Library always needs volunteers and some supplies.
 
Get in touch with Professor Rachleff at 651-230-3294 if you can help.

Our next meeting will be held on January 20, 2016. President Elkerton has arranged a tour of the new mail processing facility in Eagan for those who are interested. We meet at the Local’s office on Waters Dr. If you need directions please call the union office at 651-778-1642. You can reach me at lreed6112@aol.com.  Food will be served after the meeting.  President Elkerton is generally on hand to up-date us on current activities of the local as well as working conditions for current employees.

 As you have probably heard, there will be no cost of living increase for 2016. This is bad news, since the cost of everything is rising. As I said in my last article, we are lucky to have a good union that continues to bargain for our benefits, even though we are retired. However, we must support the union’s efforts by contacting our state and federal legislators regarding protection of our retirement, social security, veterans’ benefits, Medicare, etc. Contact information is  included in this issue of the Postmark. We will provide information you need if you choose to get politically active; however, we will not try to coerce you into anything you don’t want to do.  Just remember, if we value the benefits we’ve earned, we are going to have to fight to keep them, because our benefits are targeted by most of the current political candidates. Because we are retired, we can do a lot that active employees cannot do to help ensure the survival of the Postal Service as well as to protect our retirement benefits.

The Postal Service is under attack by the private sector, politicians and even by some managers who are too short sighted to realize that changing service standards, closing processing centers, etc., is a serious hit to our customers’ need for efficient service. When management’s actions cause disruption in service, customers as well as employees suffer economic losses and even physical hardships e.g., when medicines and or legal documents are delayed. If private industry is successful in their efforts to privatize the Postal Service, everyone will be hurt. Service will deteriorate and wages and benefits will be cut. People need the services provided by the Postal Service, but they won’t really know how much they need the services until they don’t have them. Let’s make sure they never have to find out!

The deficit that is being touted by some people is not a true deficit; it is due to the previously unheard of requirement that the Postal Service fund up-front, the cost of employee retirement for seventy five (75) years. No other government agency or private company is required to do so. Retirement information that may be helpful is available from OPM, especially on line. Just go to www.servicesonline.opm.gov   

You can change your Federal and State Income tax withholding; Set up checking or savings allotment; sign up for direct deposit of your payment; View/print annuity statement/verification of income View/print 1099-R tax forms; view/print retirement services reference card (ID card)   View/print a year to date-to-date summary of benefits; View/print verification of life insurance (FEGLI), and much more.

We had a very lively meeting in November. Seventeen members were present. They had lots of questions about health insurance, which we hope were answered adequately. The Union’s insurance representative, Jane Masterman, was able to provide information about the APWU Health Plan, but the union is not allowed to provide information about the other plans available to postal workers, except for basic information, such as cost of premiums.

Please come join us at our next Retiree Meeting at 11:00AM on January 20, 2016. Our meetings are lively; we get some work done and we catch up on our post retirement lives, but most important we have a good time. It really is good to see old friends. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Lola Reed Langford, Chapter President  



reprinted from the January 2016 Postmark

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from the November 2015 Postmark 
Peter Rachleff, History Professor at Macalaster College in St. Paul and founder of the East Side Freedom Library, will be our special guest at the November 18, 2015 meeting of the St. Pail Area Local Retirees Chapter.

He will be discussing labor issues and the history of labor.
Professor Rachleff teaches and conducts research on U. S. labor history, immigration, etc. He is also the founder of the East Side Freedom Library, located at 1105 Greenbriar St., St. Paul, MN 55106. The library has an extensive collection on labor history.

Future meetings will include information on veterans’ benefits, social security, etc. President Elkerton is attempting to arrange a tour of the new mail processing facility in Eagan after a future meeting.

President Elkerton is generally on hand to up-date us on current activities of the local as well as working conditions for current employees.

 As you have probably heard, there will be no cost of living increase for 2016. This is bad news, since the cost of health insurance will increase substantially. Please make sure you research your options during this open season. Get the insurance needed without buying benefits that are not needed. According to most economists, our actual income is, after adjustments for inflation, shrinking fast.

We are lucky to have a good union that continues to bargain for our benefits, even though we are retired. We need to support the union’s efforts by contacting our state and federal legislators regarding protection of our retirement, social security, veterans’ benefits, Medicare, etc. We will provide information you need if you choose to get politically active; however, we will not try to coerce you into anything you don’t want to do.  Just remember, if we value the benefits we earned, we are going to have to fight to keep them, because our benefits are targeted by most of the current political candidates. Because we are retired, we can do a lot that active employees cannot do to help ensure the survival of the Postal Service as well as to protect our retirement benefits.

Some tips from AARP on how to block ID theft when a loved on dies:

- Immediately send copies of the death certificate, via certified mail, to the three primary credit reporting bureaus, requesting that a deceased alert be placed on credit reports.
- Mail copies of the death certificates to banks, insurers and other financial intuitions requesting that accounts be closed or a change of ownership be made to the surviving account holder.
- Report the death to the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213, the IRS at 800-829-1040, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at 202-606-1800 and the Department of Motor Vehicles in the appropriate area.
- Do not include birthdate, place of birth, address or a specific place of employment in the obituary.
- Starting about a month after death, check deceased credit report at annualceditreport.com for suspicious activity.
- Retirement information that may be helpful is available from OPM, especially on line. Just go to:www.servicesonline.opm.gov 
-You can change your Federal and State Income tax withholding; Set up checking or savings allotment; sign up for direct deposit of your payment; View/print annuity statement/verification of income, View/print 1099-R tax forms; view/print  View/print retirement services reference car (ID card) View/print a year to date-to-date summary of benefits; View/print verification of life insurance (FEGLI), and much more.

I hope this information is helpful.Please come join us at our next Retiree Meeting at 11:00 AM on November 18th. We meet at the Local’s office on Water St. If you need directions, please call the union office at 651-778-1642.

You can reach me at lreed6112@aol.com. Sandwiches will be ordered for delivery after the meeting. 
Our meetings are lively; we get some work done and we catch up on our post retirement lives, but most important we have a good time. It really is good to see old friends. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.
Lola Reed Langford, Chapter President 

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At the last meeting of the St. Paul Local Retiree’s several questions were raised about the security breach regarding current and former government employees. Based on a letter received by one of the members present, I have been able to do some research regarding the investigations of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and what OPM is doing to notify those affected and to prevent additional breaches.

According to my research, one of the things being done by OPM in addition to written notification to affected current and former employees is to offer credit monitoring service and identity fraud protection and fraud resolution. Affected individuals will be offered credit monitoring service through CSID. All potentially affected individuals will receive a complimentary subscription to CSID Protector Plus for 18 months. All potentially affected individuals, whether or not they take individual action to enroll, are covered until 12/7/2016. Additional information is available at www.csid.com/OPM or by calling 1-844-777-2743. International callers may call collect at 512-327-0705.

Some tipsDo not provide personal information in response to emails or telephone calls. Several scam attempts have been reported since the security breach.If you receive a written notification regarding the security breach, please check it out with OPM before responding.Request a free credit report at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.  You are entitled to one free report per year from each of the major credit bureaus; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion for a total of three.   The FTC has a web site that can be used to report problems  www.identitytheft.gov. You can also place a fraud alert on your credit file which will cause the notification to you if someone tries to open a new account in your name, by calling TransUnion 1-800-680-7289. TransUnion will then notify the other credit services.We are planning to have guest speakers at future meetings. Some topics of interest to the group are, labor history, veteran’s affairs, and of course.. politics; especially political effects on social security, Medicare and security of our retirement benefits.

As retirees we are no longer prohibited from political activities. We can do a lot to help ensure the survival of the Postal Service as well as to protect our retirement benefits. If we don’t fight to protect our retirement benefits as well as our pay, then we can’t blame the loss of same on anyone but ourselves.We will provide information you need if you choose to get politically active; however, we will not try to coerce you into anything you don’t want to do.

Please come join us. The Chapter meets every other month on the 3rd Wednesday at 11 AM. The next meeting will be on September 16th at the Local’s office on Waters Drive.  If you need directions, please call the union office at 651-778-1642. You can reach me at lreed6112@aol.com. Our meetings are lively; we get some work done and we catch up on our post retirement lives, but most important we have a good time. It really is good to see old friends. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Lola Reed Langford, Chapter President

 

                Thanks to Pat Mc Carty and Dan Blees, the Retirees Chapter of the St. Paul Area Local is alive and well. Pat’s dedicated service since the Chapter was formed has been outstanding. Because of him, the Chapter survived some pretty rough spots.

As the newly elected Chapter President, I look forward to his continued support, along with the support of the folks who have continued to attend meetings since the Chapter was formed. 
Dan Blees was recently elected Treasurer, and Joe Marino was recently elected Secretary of the Chapter.

I would like to extend an invitation to all the Local’s retired members to come join us.

The Chapter meets every other month on the 3rd Wednesday at 11 AM. The next meeting will be on July 15th at the Local’s office on Waters Street.  Our meetings are lively; we get some work done and we catch up on our post retirement lives, but most important we have a good time. It really is good to see old friends.

President Elkerton is available to bring us up to date on happenings in the Post Office and in the Congress.  As retirees we are no longer prohibited from political activities and can even campaign for candidates we choose to support. We can do a lot to help ensure the survival of the Postal Service as well as to protect our retirement benefits that current postal employees cannot do. If we don’t fight to protect our retirement benefits as well as our pay, then we can’t blame the loss of same on anyone but ourselves.   We will provide information you need if you choose to get politically active; however, we will not try to coerce you into anything you don’t want to do.

I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting. 

Lola Reed Langford,
Chapter President 

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the following links are a letter the Chapter received from Judy  Beard at APWU Headquarters.  We will discuss the letter at the November 19th meeting.

Judy Beard Page 1

Judy Beard Page 2

Judy Beard Page 3

Helpful Links for Retired Members

Retiree Articles

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  RETIREES  If you haven’t paid your 2014 dues yet, they are now due!IF you have the death benefit, the yearly dues are $18.00.If you just want membership, but not the death benefit, your dues are $12.00 a year!   Thanks for  staying a member of your union!  

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  Congratulations New Retirees!!!  

The St Paul Area Local APWU Retirees Chapter wants to congratulate and extend best wishes to all our new retirees. “Retirement is a time to quit living at work and begin working at living”. 


We also invite you to continue your national APWU membership as a retiree at an annual fee of $36. This will allow you to receive updates and info from “The American Postal Worker” magazine and automatically makes you a member of our local Social / Rec Chapter. 

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To contact the retiree's chapter you may email apwuretiree@mail.com.

If you need to contact the Local about dues or any other related question, please call us at 651-778-1637