Contract Ratified!

 

        On August 7, the national office officially released the news that our tentative agreement had been ratified by an overwhelming 16 to 1 margin. The vote by the active membership to ratify was 78,935 for the agreement versus 4,732 against it, according to NALC Ballot Committee chairman Joe DeRossi. The new contract covers a 40-month period from May 21, 2016 to September 20, 2019. The increased pay rates for career letter carriers became effective on Saturday, August 19, 2017. As we go to press we still do not have any additional information on retroactive pay and other issues regarding the official implementation date.

 

Budget Battle 2017

 

        On the legislative front, the White House has released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. Unfortunately for federal employees the budget axe is aimed squarely at us! (Good thing we got a contract, eh?) The following is a list of some of the budget cuts aimed at federal and postal employees:

 

  •  Raising federal employees’ pension contributions by up to 6.45% of pay over the next six years, thus costing active letter carriers up to $3,600 per year!
  •  Eliminating cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for current and future retirees under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
  •  Reducing COLAs for the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuitants by one-half of one percent or 0.5% each year.
  •  Reducing CSRS and FERS pension benefits for new retirees by basing annuities on an employees’ highest average pay over five years(high 5) instead of the current three year period (high 3).
  •  Eliminating the annuity supplement that covers the gap for employees who retire under FERS before they qualify for Social Security benefits at age 62.
  •  Slash the rate of interest paid on assets invested in the Thrift Savings Plan (G Fund) which is estimated to cost active and retired carriers some $32 billion over a ten year period.
  •  The White House Plan also calls for some $46 billion in undefined cuts and revenue changes to the Postal Service, which would most likely include reducing the days of delivery and scaling back door to door delivery.
  •  Making the Postal Service part of the federal budget and moving it from and independent “off budget” status to an “on-budget” status, which could open the USPS to across the board budget cuts and service disruptions should the federal government shut down during its frequent budget conflicts.

 

        Well, you can say one thing about the Trump Administration; If nothing else, they are equal opportunity federal employee bashers. Their proposals would hurt all federal employees and postal workers - active and retired, young and old alike! According to the July/August edition of the Federal Times “President Trump’s proposed budget had the largest cuts recommended by any president in a budget, according to the White House”.

        The good news for now is that this is only a proposed budget; the bad news is if we do nothing it could become a reality. We must be prepared to fight this proposal, and others that will surely come, by preparing for the legislative fights that lie ahead.

Sign up to become an E-Activist, download the NALC app for the latest information regarding budget proposals that could affect you, and last but not least join the battle to protect your jobs and way of life by signing up as a contributor to our political

action committee, the Letter Carrier Political Fund. If you are not signed up and need help call the Branch 2184 office for assistance.

 

Picnic Pandemonium!

 

        On Sunday June 25, approximately 350 Branch members and their families enjoyed pictureperfect picnic weather at our annual Branch event. As always, it was nice to see so many old friends and new members enjoying themselves. The hit of the picnic was our Branch version of karaoke night when members from across the branch stepped up to the microphone to entertain the crowd. We also had a special guest as Congresswoman Debbie Dingell once again stopped by to say hello. Debbie took time from her busy schedule to talk to our members and wish us well.

        As I have said many times before, a picnic and event of this size could not happen if it were not for the many volunteers who help out to make it possible.

Special thanks go out to our volunteer team of members, friends, family, stewards, and officers who come together to make our yearly Branch picnic such a success. I would also like to thank our sponsors, Sam at Allie Brothers for the dunk tank, Bob Kreager at Brookfield Uniforms for the cotton candy machine, and last but not least Congresswoman Debbie Dingell for the popcorn machine and for her continued

strong support of letter carriers and working families.

 

Scholarship Reminder

 

        You still have time to apply for one of the four $500 Branch 2184 scholarships. All applications must be received at the Union office by September 25, 2017. To be eligible applicants, must be a high school or GED graduate who is currently enrolled

or planning on enrolling or attending college or technical school in the fall. For further information please see the application in this months “Speaks.” If you have any questions please see your steward or call the office.

       I hope you and your families have a wonderful and safe Labor Day!

 

 

-- Mark Judd

President

 

 

 

Wayne County, MI

Western

AFL - CIO

Branch 2184

President's Report

July/ August 2017